Here's an entry from Sunday following a record shopping trip on Saturday.
Because I know you care so very deeply (an obviously sarcastic statement, as if I needed to state as much) it's time to run down all the shit I bought at Square Records yesterday. I'm just saying.. it *would* be sort of nice if some folks left comments, but I don't really expect anyone to actually bother reading all the text I'm about to type. But hey, if something catches your eye, leave a comment. Whatever.
First of all, I need to put over how awesome Square Records is. Their inventory seems to just keep getting bigger and bigger. Prices on new CDs generally run $2-3 more than I'm willing to pay most of the time, but definitely cheaper than chain stores, and a lot of probably are likely not as picky about prices as I am. The used CD sections seems to grow larger every time I go there, and the prices there are fucking *great*. Used CDs are generally all priced at $4 or $6, with the occasional $2 CD in there. And I've gotten some insanely good finds out of the used stuff. Consider that I got Kathy McCarty's CD of Daniel Johnston songs, Dead Dog's Eyeball for FOUR DOLLARS and I got an old Columbia House pressing of Metallica's $9.98 CD - Garage Days Re-revisited for SIX DOLLARS. Among other things. So, yeah. Basically, if you're really into indie rock, punk, emo, newer kinda weird experimental stuff and that sort of stuff and you ever find yourself in the Akron area, go to Square Records. Give them your money. They're super awesome.
And now.. on to the purchases!
And yes, it's fucking loaded with links all over the fucking place.
BucK - BucK cd ($4.oo)
[ The lowercase "c" in the band's name is actually a "cents" symbol, but I seem not to have that on my keyboard (without doing that alt+numpad shit). BucK was a rocking sort of pop punk band fronted by Lisa Marr of the band Cub, so you sort of know what you're getting if you're familiar with Cub. I originally bought this album on vinyl in 1998 from the band's merch table when I saw them open for the Queers at the Agora (as I've mentioned before, waxpumpkin attended the same show, but we didn't know each other until some five years later). I'm not sure why I bought the 12" rather than the CD, but I did, and I've meant to get the CD for some time now. I've just never really bothered to seek it out, or want to pay $10 for it. They put out some ep a couple years later, BucK in Black, that I've never bothered to get hold of. So, here's something completely fucking bizarre. While the album has 12 actual songs on it, I put the disc in my computer's CD player to discover that there's actually a 13th track that runs about 32 minutes. THAT isn't really the weird part. The fucking ridiculous part is that the 13th track is.. wait for it.. THE ENTIRE ALBUM AGAIN AS ONE 32 MINUTE TRACK. What the fuck is that? Oh yeah, this was released on Sympathy For the Record Industry. I think it's technically out of print, but not really hard to find online. ]
The Evaporators - Ripple Rock ($6.oo)
[ I had been thinking about getting this album for a while, at least since I downloaded mp3s of some of the songs from Alternative Tentacles, who released the album. That silly Canadian interviewing personality Nardwuar the Human Serviette (or Napkin Dude, as Nikster and I like to call him) leads this band, who play kind of poppy garage punk with silly lyrical themes on songs like "(I Gotta Disease I'm) Addicted to Cheese" and a song about Napkin Dude's internet message board, "Nard Nest". This should be a fun listen. ]
Face to Face - Don't Turn Away ($6.oo)
[ According to many, this is better than their major label debut, Big Choice on A&M, which is a really, really good album. This was on Fat Wreck Chords. Face to Face played the kind of fast melodic punk that became somewhat popular in the early and mid-90s which helped Fat and Epitaph sell bazillions of records. Although less thrilling bands like the Offspring, Green Day and Rancid were really the big sellers, I guess, bands like Face to Face and No Use For A Name did pretty well, too. I've been meaning to pick this up for a while. It should rock. ]
Fifteen - Allegra ($6.oo)
[ Fifteen is probably one of my favorite bands overall, and more than likely one of my favorite punk bands of all time. This is a CD of their final show, recorded at 924 Gilman Street in Berkeley on June 14, 1996. Or.. it WAS their final show until they got back together like two years later, toured some more and put out two more albums on SubCity. In some respects, I think they should have just stayed together, as their later stuff was lyrically kind of preachy and dogmatic, and Jeff Ott's new smoother, cigarette-free voice could be a little annoying at times. But he still wrote a bunch of great songs. I think there are at least two different versions of this album, although I think the main difference is the cover art. This CD is on the Notta Life At All label, this being their third release (and I'd be willing to bet they didn't put out more than five things) with a young baby on the cover. I think the other version was released on No Records (which may even be the same label) with a different photo of a slightly older young baby on the cover. Who the fuck knows. The version currently available at InterPunk, on SubCity Records, appears to have different indexing and more between-song banter. It also has the "older kid" photo. So, I'm guessing the copy I have was the original "No Records" version, even though it's labelled as being on the "Notta Life At All" label. Weird. Anyway, this show includes a bunch of the best Fifteen songs from all their releases up to that point, including "Petroleum Distillation", "Middle", "Land Mine", "Helter Smelter", "Notion" and some others. The final song is "Inspiration" originally recorded by Crimpshrine (who, of course, included Jeff Ott on guitar and vocals). I don't know how often they performed this or any other Crimpshrine songs, but I'm guessing it was a rarity, and this was probably intended as a big treat for their last ever show (or what was intended to be their last ever show, at least). "Helter Smelter" amusingly and surprisingly includes a complete, but very fast, performance of "Travelin' Band" by Creedence Clearwater Revival between the first and second verses. Very funny. Ah, yes, I've listened to this one a couple times already. I like it. Sometimes Jeff yammers on for too long and gets too preachy between songs, but whatever. The songs themselves are terrific. ]
Shonen Knife - Pretty Little Baka Guy ($6.oo)
[ Somebody traded this one in awful fast, as the (c)(p) date on this CD is 2005. A reissue of the classic Shonen Knife album on Oglio Records. I had only ever heard one song from this album, "Public Bath", which was on the first mix tape that my friend Billy made for me seven years ago (which turned out to be very influential for me) and that song on this album sounds noticeably different.. it's mainly the lack of reverb on the vocals and a little bit cleaner sounding guitar, leading me to think maybe this was remixed at some point. There are like two previous versions of the album (AFAIK, an LP release on K Records and a CD on Gasatanka/Giant, but I don't know how they differ from this one, other than this one has two live-in-Japan tracks and I think that at least the Gasatanka one had six or eight, which is why the CD was re-titled Pretty Little Baka Guy + Live in Japan). Anyway, as I'm sure you know, Shonen Knife are three Japanese women who are cute and write cute little punk-influenced pop songs about cute boys, chocolate bars, public baths and such. I've been meaning to pick up a copy of this for quite some time. And actually, with this purchase, I come ever closer to eventually owning every album from which a song was included on that tape Billy made me. It's not a specific goal of mine to own them all, but I already own quite a lot of them, and I get the feeling that one day I will probably have them all (perhaps minus two or three that I wouldn't really want to own or would never be able to find, like that weird Mark Blitstein Presents record). ]
Slick Shoes - Rusty ($4.oo)
[ Speaking of buying albums with songs that Billy put on mix tapes for me, I didn't even notice until I brought this home that it includes the song "Proved Me Wrong", which is the only Slick Shoes song I've ever really heard, which was on a tape that Billy gave me. I didn't buy the CD because it had that song on it, I just thought it might be a good album, if "Proved Me Wrong" is any indication of how good the band's stuff is. Slick Shoes play fast melodic punk, like Fat Wreck Chords kind of stuff, and this album is on Tooth and Nail, so.. you know.. they're Christians (and each band member makes sure to thank Jesus first on their "special thanks" lists.) I have to wonder if their guitarist Jackson Mould is in any way related to Bob Mould. I suppose it's possible. Also, I'm pleased to not be giving Tooth and Nail money by buying this used. ]
(compilation) - The World's in Shreds, Volume Five ($2.oo)
[ The World's in Shreds was a series of 7" compilations on Shredder Records designed to feature new punk bands, some from the San Francisco Bay Area. The first volume featured Crimpshrine, while the second volume included the first released Jawbreaker song (the original recording of "Shield Your Eyes"). Volume Five features three bands - Ice Fan, Dryrot and Krupted Peasant Farmerz. And apparently, you can still buy Volume Two and Volume Five from Shredder for $2.50! While I have no idea who the first two bands are (they hailed from Morgantown, West Virginia and Richmond, Indiana respectively) I bought this record for the Krupted Peasant Farmerz. They were an early pioneer of the kind of fast, bass-drum-instensive style of melodic hardcore most associated with bands like NOFX, Strung Out and others on Fat Wreck Chords. I haven't listened to it yet, but.. you know.. I'm sure their song is good, and I'm interested to hear the other two. ]
Fuel - Take Effect ($2.oo)
[ Not the wimpy "alternative rock" band Fuel, who had some radio hit or another in the late 90s (and should burn in hell for stealing a punk band's name, much the same as the British band called Embrace), this Fuel hailed from the the SF Bay Area and released this single and an album on Allied. Both records plus maybe some other stuff, are compiled on the Monuments to Excess CD. This four-song dealie was released as Lookout! Records No. 26 in 1990. Fuel played not-too-fast, somewhat melodic punk and emo-core influenced rock not too much unlike other bands of the day such as Monsula, Sludgeworth, Jawbreaker and Samiam. ]
Tumor Circus - two song single ($2.oo)
[ Tumor Circus brought together Dead Kennedys frontman and lyricist Jello Biafra with the noisy San Francisco rock band Steel Pole Bath Tub (man, this is the third 7" in a row here that has some kind SF Bay Area connection..) While neither of the songs is explicitly marked as the A-side or B-side, this record contains "Swine Flu" and "Take Me Back or I'll Drown Our Dog". I think Tumor Circus released one and one-half singles plus a full length album on Alternative Tentacles, the CD of which also contains said singles. ]
Alloy - "Reading Blind" b/w "Eliminate" ($2.oo)
[ Alloy was another band project of Articles of Faith frontman and punk veteran Vic Bondi, which also featured Roger Marbury and, later, Colin Sears of Dag Nasty on bass and drums, respectively. This single was released on Engine Records in 1993 and comes on lovely blue vinyl. ]
The Unholy Three - six song ep ($2.oo)
[ The four-man Unholy Three were a heavy hardcore band from Akron with some jazz-ish and otherwise experimental tendencies. Members of this band were previously in Splinter (or XsplinterX or something.. which is stupid.. anyway, they just shared a singer) and folks who later went on to form the even better Akron hardcore band Don Austin, including superdrummer Joe Melnyk (who played in Fight the Worm with my very good friend Billy), guitarist Clint Bott and vocalist Larry Gargus, a former employee of the Belden Village-area Kinko's and the defunct Cuyahoga Falls Quonset Hut and a man who has, in the past, performed his services as a columnist (as Larry Bleachmouth) for the respected Massillon, Ohio fanzine Something For Nothing (a humble distinction also shared by yours truly derekfz, tylerpistol, createdestiny, whosplittheatom and some fat girl that roses_rejoice really doesn't like who used to date longstemrant.) And since I'm throwing around links like they're candy at a fuckin parade, here's another interview with Larry. This ep, apparently lacking a proper title, was released on Akron's Rubber City Records. ]
Billy Preston - "That's the Way God Planned It" 45 ($1.oo)
[ I was reminded of this song a while back when my friend JD864 (who occasionally appears here in the form of IM conversations) after a conversation about the Beatles song "Get Back" and how feeble Billy Preston's electric piano sounds. It's kind of a neat, funky little song. It makes me chuckle. The B-side is "What About You?" The single is, believe it or not, in honest-to-Jah MONO (e.g. not STEREO). For a 23 year old 45 purchased for a dollar, the wax is clean as a dick. Any idea how much this might snag on eBay? Maybe not much, considering that Billy Preston, while he may be able to claim to be the only living human to have performed with both the Beatles and the Rolling Stones (his claim, not mine, so don't bitch to me about the accuracy of that statement), he is more than likely cursed due to being a participant in that diabolical celluloid atrocity of 1978, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band starring Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. ]
(compilation) - The Lovitt Empire ($2.oo)
[ Four band 7" on Lovitt Records. I picked this up because it contains a song by Frodus, who I've sorta wanted to hear for a while, as well as a song by Blue Tip, fronted by Jason Farrel, former guitarist of the amazing DC harcore band Swiz. ]
Chi-Pig - two song single ($4.5o)
[ Admittedly, I don't have much to say about this, because I really don't know much of anything about the band. They came out of the Akron punk / new wave scene of the late 70s along with the Devo and the Clone Records bands. Apparently, they recorded some stuff in 1979 that was never released until fairly recently on the Miami CD. This single - "Bountiful Living" b/w "Ring Around the Collar" - must have been self-released, as it's on Chi-Pig Records. But the thing I can't really figure out is if this record I got is a recently unearthed original (like, say, all those Clone singles that came out of Terry Nichols' basement) or if it's a newly released reproduction.. I just don't know. But I'm inclined to believe it's vintage. Anyway, here's the All Music Guide entry on the band, which I didn't feel like trying to shoehorn behind anything I've already typed. ]
The Urinals - first two 7" EPs ($4.5o each)
[ The Urinals were a weird, primitive band emerging from Los Angeles not long after that city's initial punk uprisings. Post-punk but pre-hardcore, adopting a metholodogy of writing short, extremely simple but catchy songs, and not mucking about with too many fancy chords or guitar solos, they were a seminal influence on the Minutemen, among others. They released these two EPs on their own Happy Squid label, followed only by an even more obscure single a year or so and contributing a few random songs to scattered compilations in the 80s (including the classic Human Music compilation on Homestead Records). A discography-plus-live-set titled Negative Capability... Check It Out! was released on Amphetamine Reptile in the 1990s. My good friend Chad found a used copy of that CD used at Quonset Hut and, seeing how many songs were on it (a lot), kind of figured "it must be punk rock". He picked it up, exposed me to it and it became one of our favorite recordings, something weird and obscure that we could kind of call our own (that's always fun, right?) So, when I found these singles, I thought "why not?" Old favorite and all.. Anyway, these are fairly recent reissues of those first two Happy Squid releases. The first one effectively has no title while the second is simply known as Another EP. I'm *guessing* these might be some kind of unauthorized facsimile / reproduction, although the band may have approved them, who really knows. They just have simple photocopied covers and blank labels. The first one is on clear gold-ish yellow wax, while the second is on black wax. ]
And now comes the jewel in the crown of my 5/7/05 record buying trip...
Mid Carson July - Turn the Radio Down. ($2.oo)
[ Oh. My. Sweet. Shit. Fucking. Jah. I never thought I would see this record. Not in Akron. Not anywhere, really. I haven't fucking laid eyes on a copy of this record in eight years. That was when I was in 10th grade and this three-song ep was one of the many 7" rekkids that my friend Damien let me borrow, in order to expose me to more punk and indie rock. I heard things on those records that were unlike any rock music I had heard before. I loved it. I loved this single. I had seen the band play before hearing the record. Mid Carson July were one of several bands that played at the first show I ever went to, when me and Chad went to this place called The Fort in Hartville, Ohio. Knowing I saw them, Damien then gave me the record to listen to. Along with a stack of others, of course. I taped it.. listened to a ton of times.. accidentally taped over a few seconds of the last song.. hoped for ages to somehow get a copy of the single or the full length album that I *knew* they already had out. When I finally bought something of theirs, it was some time in 1999 and it was the Wound Up Down South cd, which contained three new songs, a compilation track and all three songs from this 7". And I was overjoyed. And I eventually got a copy of their full-length cd, Minus Wings and Halo, as well (probably from No Idea). So, I mean.. yeah, I have the songs from the record. But to actually find a copy of the record. After all this time. And how much the record meant to me when I was 16. Just.. damn. This was the band's first release, put out by Alone Records. A note inside the record containing contact info for the band states that this is from the second pressing. And come to think of it, it does differ from the one Damien had back in the day in two ways.. the label on the B-side of the record is different and the back cover contains an extra logo, for what was apparently the band's own label, Swing Kingdom, and some pen-and-ink drawings of a radio two and little people without faces. It's neat looking. And I don't really care that this wasn't the first pressing or whatever. Because I totally didn't expect to find it and I fucking got it for TWO DOLLARS. Completely and totally made an already nice day that much more fucking sweet. ]
There you are. Leave comments. If anyone cares enough, I'll repost the two entries I did in relation to my entire collection of 7" records.