Monthly Archives: January 2013

Update 01/31/13

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Record Vs. House has officially been active for one month.  What’s been going on?  Over the month, I sold 8 records and made $71.44 towards the purchase of a house.  I know, it’s not much, but it’s a start!  Look at my little savings account growing!  See what’s available right now in my eBay store!

I’d like to make a shout out to my friend Casey, who has graciously made me her charity case and purchased a few records.

I said goodbye to Olivia Tremor Control, Karate, and Jim O’Rourke, but perhaps I am saying hello to homeownership in Guatemala, Spain, or New York!  This is a crazy ride, but I feel like I am making a positive change in my life.

Also, at my friend Patrick’s request, I will list some cheaper records this month.  My Bloody Valentine is too much?  Okay, okay!  I’ll take it down a notch!

JANUARY PLAYLIST

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Ten

pearl jam ten

PEARL JAM – TEN
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Pearl Jam’s Ten was the record that changed everything for me.  Up until 3rd grade, I was on a strict diet of New Kids on the Block, Madonna, Amy Grant, and Mariah Carey.  But 1991 was a big year!  My brother, Mike, was having his bar mitzvah and he found it imperative that I learn to dance.  He had just discovered Pearl Jam.  Yes, I learned to do the running man to “Even Flow”.  Don’t ask me how that works!  But that’s how everything changed.  I was hooked and ready for rock n’ roll!

I self-enforced a strict dress code of flannel shirts and Doc Martens every day.  At over night camp, I had so many flannel shirts with me that I was able to dress all 9 of my bunk mates in flannel for the talent show where we performed–you guessed it!–“Even Flow”.  Cause at 9 years old, I knew all the words.  Most adults have no idea what Eddie Vedder is saying!

In fifth grade I had a dream I was in a band and told my mom I had to learn to play guitar.  Some of the first songs I learned to play were “Alive”, “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town”, and “Nothing Man”.  By the time I was really rockin’ these jams, Pearl Jam was not cool with my peers.  It was all about Nirvana and Green Day.  But I stayed the course!  I was a super fan.  I was in the Ten Club.  I had a crush on Eddie Vedder.  I knew all the trivia (Ten  is named for the jersey number of the band’s favorite basketball player, Mookie Blaylock!).

For my punk and emo years, I squelched and hid my adoration for the band that helped push me in the direction I’m still living today–singer, songwriter, recording engineer.  But if I’m truly honest, part of why I moved to Seattle after college was because of Pearl Jam.  How could I not want to be in the city that so shaped the band members’ lives and careers?  I got to Seattle and worked in a recording studio and at Easy Street records.  Imagine my amazement to find myself working on records with Kurt Bloch (of the Fastbacks), who I knew from the documentary Hype!  Rumor was that the guys from PJ would shop at Easy Street all the time, but I never saw any of them!  Until my last week on the job… I had less than a week before I was moving to LA, and still no sightings!  And there he was… Jeff Ament.  I rang him up.  I actually checked his ID!  I didn’t even realize it was him!  Time stood still.  It felt like I was staring at his name for eons, but it was probably only a handful of seconds.  A little piece of me felt like every decision I made was worth it and the universe was letting me know it would take care of my dreams.

I haven’t listened to Ten  in a long time.  “Black” is still one of my favorite songs.  “Porch” is probably still one of Mike’s favorite songs.  “Jeremy” is still a classic, and I promise to sing it at karaoke this week.  But, I think it’s finally time to say…

Goodbye, Ten.

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eBay 01/27/13

The following albums go live today. Check the Records Vs. House eBay Store for all available LPs.

 

Explosions in the Sky All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone cover

EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY – ALL OF A SUDDEN I MISS EVERYONE
Buy this record!

 

my bloody valentine

MY BLOODY VALENTINE – LOVELESS (897/1000 on red vinyl)
Buy this record!

 

eagles of death metal

EAGLES OF DEATH METAL – WANNA BE IN L.A.
Buy this record!

 

laura nyro

LAURA NYRO – ELI AND THE THIRTEENTH CONFESSION
Buy this record!

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Return to the Sea

IslandsReturnToTheSea

ISLANDS – RETURN TO THE SEA
But this record!

You know how sometimes you can know what’s good for someone else even if it’s not your thing?  I lived with this girl, Penny, in college, and she would get upset with me because I would recommend albums for her all the time.  I’m pretty eclectic.  I will listen to just about anything.  I’m not a music snob; I am a music lover.  So sometimes I would hear a band and think to myself, “Boy, Penny would like that!”  And every time I suggested an album to her, she would get upset and ask me why I didn’t want it.  She thought I was making fun of her taste or suggesting bad music.  I don’t really know why she got upset.  I think it’s nice when someone understands your taste and can let you know about things you might like.  She was so mad when I suggested she buy Metric’s debut album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, like I was passing judgement on her.  She bought it anyway and it was her favorite album of the summer of 2004.  And truth be told, I love that album!  But, I also knew she would love it.

Return to the Sea was not an album I recommended to Penny.  I did recommend The Unicorns, which was the band the members of Islands were in previously.  Of course, Penny got angry and then loved them anyway.  This record takes me back to this sort of contentious relationship.  You know how sometimes a person you dislike can embody a song so much you can’t listen to it anymore?  Penny did that to music.  When she liked something, she played it over and over, and I can’t disassociate her from the music of that year.  It took me a while to listen to Metric again.  But I was never able to again fall in love with the quirky musings of the Canadians in Islands.  I always think of her, and I don’t wish to.

Return to the Sea actually reminds me of the Olivia Tremor Control album I sold earlier this month.  It’s well-crafted, weird indie rock.  Listening to it feels like riding a locomotive in a live action water color painting.  It chugs along and makes you smile.  The first three songs on the album, Swans (Life After Death), Humans, and Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby are still great songs.  Really great songs!  Listening now makes me think that maybe I should keep it.  Maybe this is one of the few I should keep.  But I haven’t listened to this record in at least 5 years.  I think it needs a new home.  And since this album is from a limited pressing of 500, is out of print, and is a double LP on white vinyl, I know it’s going to find a place in a very happy collector’s home.

Goodbye, Return to the Sea.

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Salesucker

How do you turn off being a record collector?  Here I am trying to sell my record collection, and I get an email from Insound (my favorite online distributor of vinyl) saying they are having a 25% off sale.  Of course I have to check it out!  Of course I want to buy some records!  Cause they are on sale!  And I bet if I spend $50 or more, I get free shipping, right?  Well that means I must buy at least 2-3 records… hell, it’s such a deal I should buy more!

 

There are 7″s by Lou Reed and New Order!
     

 

There are LPs by Band of Horses and Lykke Li!
     

No, no.  I must restrain myself.  There is a purpose to my foolish endeavor.  I have a goal.  I must be strong.  I will not break out my credit card today.

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All the Lady Singles

When I was in college I used to go to open DJ night at the (now defunct) Lava Lounge in Wicker Park.  Every Sunday night, anyone could bring their records and play whatever they fancied on the turntables for 30 minutes.  I remember getting all dressed up, inviting my friends, and acting like this was my big break into the DJing circuit.  But I was a total idiot about it.  I loved getting everyone up and dancing, and then squashing it with a song no one could dance to, or would even want to hear.  It would go a little something like this… Worked Up So Sexual by The Faint would get people interested, like maybe I was gonna play some good jams.  A few more songs and I would throw on PYT by Michael Jackson to appeal to everyone’s inner youth to incite ridiculous dancing.  Then, at the crux of passion, I would throw on a symphonic version of Carol of the Bells.  The looks on peoples’ faces was priceless!  Disappointment, anger, confusion… I was successful!

Needless to say, I never became a legit DJ.  But over the years, I still fantasized about becoming one.  I bought records with the explicit thought, “I could play this at a party when I’m a DJ.”  Maybe weddings?  Bar mitzvahs?  Dive bars?  But I never bought mixing tables.  I never bought gear or travel crates.  I never even sought out opportunities.  So now I have some 12″ singles that are fun, but were specifically purchased with the idea in mind that I would one day be a DJ.  Which I definitely will not be.

 

brandymonica

BRANDY & MONICA – THE BOY IS MINE
Buy this record!

Who didn’t love this song when it came out?!  It’s really the best of both Brandy and Monica’s careers.  And the video is so epic.  It feels dated now, but at the time, it was pretty flawless.  Who else misses the weird trend TLC started of wearing silk pajamas in music videos?  You have exactly one week to hire me to play this at your party.  Hurry!

 

 

lady marmalade

CHRISTINA AGUILERA, LIL’ KIM, MYA, AND PINK – LADY MARMALADE
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This reboot of the classic performance by Labelle is fantastic.  The original was no joke–written by Bob Crewe and produced by Allen Toussaint.  Geniuses!  But Missy Elliott’s reinvention of Lady Marmalade is nothing to shake a stick at either!  It’s edgy enough to be original, but true enough to the original to keep it timeless.  The best part of the song is so obviously Christina Aguilera.  She blows all the other ladies out of the water.  She sure is the best voice of current pop, and has been for over a decade now.  If only she could get the right songs to catapult her career to legend status.  But, dang!  Girl got pipes!  I remember when this song came out, I still was not into radio or mainstream pop, but this song is undeniably catchy.  I was reeled in.  Still am.  Plus, the video is hot!

 

 

she bop

CYNDI LAUPER – SHE BOP (DANCE MIX)
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I love Cyndi Lauper.  She’s such a kooky and unexpected pop icon!  Girls Just Want to Have Fun was one of my favorite songs when I was a kid.  It’s the perfect young, feminine anthem.  Her cover of Prince’s When You Were Mine is better than the original, and her choice to not change the pronouns is brilliant.  And finding out that She Bop is about masturbation simply tickled me as a kid.  I probably found out on VH1’s Pop Up Video or something.  Nothing but love for Cyndi Lauper.

 

Goodbye, The Boy is Mine, Lady Marmalade, and She Bop.

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Guadalupe Plata

Guadalupe Plata - Guadalupe Plata - negro solo marco

This whole process is difficult for me.  Just today I came a across a new record store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Record Grouch.  I guess it’s not so new–they’ve been in the space since last March.  But all I wanted to do was go inside and sift through the stacks!  I resisted, mostly because present company showed zero interest, and we were on our way to brunch.  And earlier this week, I found out Guadalupe Plata released a new album and the vinyl is for sale.  I want it!  I am so tempted to buy it!  I discovered Guadalupe Plata at a little record store in Granada, Spain over the summer and then went to see them play on top of a mountain and they blew me away!  See Festiva de Sierra Nevada on my travel blog for the whole story.  Do I pass up buying it?  I know, I know… I am trying to sell my records.  But I probably won’t be able to part with everything.  I have to keep the absolute favorites, right?  And seriously, Guadalupe Plata is so good!  Definitely my new favorite band.  Take a listen and purchase their new self-titled album on their Bandcamp page.

The following albums go live today.  Check the Records Vs. House eBay Store for all available LPs.

doors

THE DOORS – THE DOORS (first pressing; gold label)
Buy this record!

jimorourke

JIM O’ROURKE – INSIGNIFICANCE
Buy this record!

pretenders

THE PRETENDERS – LEARNING TO CRAWL
Buy this record!

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That Much Further West

lucero-front

LUCERO – THAT MUCH FURTHER WEST
Buy this record!

I’m a good girl these days.  I would say most people describe me as square and prudish, right?  Okay, probably not.  But back in the day (say, 10 years ago), I was a wild child.  Or at least a curious and defiant child.  Or at the very least, a sometimes poor decision making child.  Or more commonly, I did some drugs in college.

So when I was 19, I went to visit Fen, the ex-friend of my ex-boyfriend from Cleveland.  Why was I visiting my ex’s ex-friend?  I guess we were both mourning the loss of a truly special person in our lives and thought that maybe by being together, we would have a little piece of him with us.  Our ex didn’t die or anything… he just moved on.

Fen had come to visit my roommate Melissa and I in Chicago, and I in turn visited him in Cleveland.  It was his birthday weekend, and I promised one helluva a weekend.  I showed up with shrooms.  Neither of us had ever done shrooms before.

We opened up the Scrabble board and laid out our booty.  We ate the nasty little things one at a time.  We giggled and smirked.  Then we acted miffed that nothing happened and put some records on.

I have no idea what happened in what order after that.  I know bats fell from the ceiling and the walls started dripping.  I know I ate a hot dog bun for what seemed like an hour.  I watched the most beautiful sunset of my life.  Fen freaked out and cleaned his entire apartment–vacuumed and everything.  He even reorganized his entire record collection.  He surmised that if he did normal things, he would go back to normal.  It didn’t work.  But in the meantime, we listened to Lucero.  I had never listened to Lucero before, and I fell in love with them.  We were listening to their first album (self-titled).  It wasn’t just my state of mind… “My Best Girl” is still one of my favorite songs ever.

Fen and I went for a walk, and after what turned out to be 10 hours, we finally came down.  We sat overlooking Lake Eerie, huddled in each others arms, never happier to be sober, to look out across a night sky, to breathe, to be in good company, but mostly, to be normal again.

I left Cleveland that weekend with three important things: my sanity, a tattoo, and Lucero.

That Much Further West is not the record I listened to during this experience.  But I think that’s kind of the point.  I love the self-titled record, and Lucero is great live, but That Much Further West never had the same significance to me.  What’s special about this record is that it’s SUPER RARE.  Limited edition (459/500) with a screen printed cover.  You will not find this in any record stores, ladies and gentlemen.  It’s a gem and a rare find.  But, alas, it’s time to say…

Goodbye, That Much Further West.

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eBay 01/13/13

The following albums go live at 4pm EST today.  Check the Records Vs. House eBay Store for all available LPs.

karate

KARATE – THE BED IS IN THE OCEAN
Buy this record!

Olivia_Tremor_Control_-_Dusk_at_Cubist_Castle

OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL – music from the unrealized film script, DUSK AT CUBIST CASTLE
Buy this record!

einarstray_chiaroscuro_lp_300

EINAR STRAY – CHIAROSCURO
Buy this record!

hawk beak prey

ME AND MY DRUMMER – THE HAWK THE BEAK THE PREY
Buy this record!

parson red heads

THE PARSON RED HEADS – YEARLING
Buy this record!

cowboy junkies

COWBOY JUNKIES – THE TRINITY SESSION
Buy this record!

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Dusk at Cubist Castle

A fair amount of my records have been in storage at my mom’s house for the past few years.  I’ve moved around a lot since I landed in NYC, so we’ve been waiting to reunite me with my records.  But she moved in with her boyfriend recently and started sending me absolutely everything I had left at her house.  And also things that she (or perhaps her boyfriend) don’t want at his house.  So, tonight I brought home 8 boxes she’d sent to my office, the contents of which have turned out to be photo albums from college and overnight camp, a popcorn machine, the board game The a-MAZE-ing Labyrinth, and about 200 records.  This project is really going to take me a long time!  But, to be fair to vinyl addicts out there, my record player moonlights as a cat bed, so I really ought to let more avid listeners re-home my records.

Olivia_Tremor_Control_-_Dusk_at_Cubist_Castle

OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL – music from the unrealized film script, DUSK AT CUBIST CASTLE
Buy this record! (on sale 01/13/13)

This record is so weird and adorable.  Olivia Tremor Control has to be one of the original, true indie rock bands.  Indie rock pre-Garden State.  They paved the way for bands like Arcade Fire and Animal Collective.  If I had to pick what genre of music I most gravitate towards, I would have to say pop–in the sense that I love a well-crafted pop song.  I love a catchy hook I can sing along to.  Especially if there are harmonies.  So while OTC make lots of strange noises in their songs and skew on the weirder side of pop, their songs are so well-crafted and original and catchy that I can’t help but adore them.  Perhaps one might describe The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds that way.  That’s fair.  If Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson don’t tell you that this is one of their favorite albums of the 90’s, I’d be surprised and horrified.  Aghast, even!

Listening to this record makes me think of Marie, a girl a I worked with at the (now defunct) record store, Harmony House, in Farmington Hills, MI.  She was a couple years older than me, and as an impressionable young high schooler, I viewed her as my music model.  I don’t think she knew that.  She probably just thought we were regular old co-workers.  Boy was she wrong!  I pretty much worshipped her.  Whenever she said she liked a band, I bought their record.  That’s how I found out about bands like Camper Van Beethoven, Adam’s Castle, and Olivia Tremor Control.  This record makes me feel hopeful, like I’m that worry free high school senior again with no cares in the world.

I can’t help feeling that I will be upset that I sold this record, but I think I will feel that way with every record.  I just have to be quick and never look back!  So, without further adieu…

Goodbye, Dusk at Cubist Castle.

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