Tag Archives: karate


secret stars
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I know I already sold a Geoff Farina album (Karate – The Bed is in the Ocean).  It’s not a reflection of him!  Damn, he is a fine songwriter!  The Secret Stars is another of his projects.  Part of the charm of The Secret Stars is their relationship with the band Ida.  These two bands have a history of covering each other’s songs and mentioning each other in their lyrics.  Très adorable!  One of the greatest songs either band ever recorded is The Secret Stars’ “Shoe In”.

Lyric: “Up in heaven you’re a shoe in if you open up your heart to me.”  It just melts your guts.

This, again, is a song that my college friend Andrea put on a mix tape for me.  It’s moody, sad, and lovely.  It makes me feel like riding a train in Chicago on a winter day.  It makes me hopeful and nostalgic.  It makes me yearn for simple love and easy times.  Farina doesn’t need a lot of words or time to paint a picture.  It’s hard to write a song that can make someone cry without feeling depressed, and somehow Farina is a master.

Farina is most definitely a prolific songwriter, but his efforts with The Secret Stars are limited.  Genealogies is the best (in my opinion) of TSS releases.  It is with a heavy heart that I bid adieu…

Goodbye, Genealogies.

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Update 01/31/13


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!


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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.


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OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL – music from the unrealized film script, DUSK AT CUBIST CASTLE
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hawk beak prey

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parson red heads

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cowboy junkies

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The Bed is in the Ocean

I have received some interesting feedback on the first post:

“What the hell kind of house are you planning on buying for $50,000?!?”

Good question!  I don’t know.  The New York City real estate market is expensive to get into, so maybe I will need that much.  If I buy overseas, maybe I will need to put down more than 10%.  Or if I buy a shithole, I’ll have leftover money for renovations.

“Is your record collection really worth $50,000?!?”

Ha!  That’s cute.  No.

“I can’t believe you’re selling your records!  Can I buy them?”

Yes!  I mean, you’re making me second guess my decision.  Maybe I want to keep them now!  Oy… this is so hard!  But yes, I will be posting everything on eBay, and you may certainly purchase anything you like.  My eBay username is aptly RecordsVsHouse.

One friend even forced her boyfriend to watch two episodes of House Hunters International in response and suggested we do a marathon.  Of course we should do a marathon!  But never regular old House Hunters.  The Americans are utterly unbearable to listen to.  Plus, who cares about people buying condos in Cleveland?

On to the show…


Buy this record! (on sale 01/13/13)

I wish everyone still had cassette players.  I wish cars still had cassette players.  I wish the people at my gym had walkmen dangling from their waists as they ran their 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill.  I wish all of this because I love mix tapes.  Actual tapes!  I have a cassette suitcase that an ex-boyfriend gave me just full of mix tapes from old friends and lovers!

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Call me nostalgic!  But these mix tapes were so important to my musical evolution.  I hated the radio in my youth, and I’m just old enough to remember when the Internet had limitations–one webpage could take minutes to load (minutes!), and downloading one song could take all night.  So the circles I ran in made mix tapes for each other to discover and share music.  And making a mix tape is not the same as making a playlist, or even a CD!  You had to choose the songs in real time, recording them as you listened.  You had to make sure the last song on each side didn’t get cut off.  There is a real art to this.  And I love the art.  I wish I still had people I could make mix tapes for.

In college, I was friends with a girl named Andrea.  Andrea was fun and exciting and knew just about everyone in the music scenes in Chicago and Philadelphia.  We went to shows together all the time and we made mix tapes for each other.  One of the cassettes she gave me had a song on it called “There Are Ghosts” by Karate.  I just found the cassette!  It also has songs by Chamberlain, Afghan Whigs, Lifetime, Elliott Smith, The Police, Owen, Christie Front Drive, Braid, Boys Life… this is really bringing me back!

It’s hard to disassociate the songs we love from the time they came into our lives.  I was 19 years old when I received this mix tape.  And I loved this Karate song.  It’s so sad and haunting.  The lyrics make a small moment in time feel like something much, much bigger.  And that’s what the song does for me.  Andrea may have just been a blip on the radar, but this song makes me think of roller skating at the legendary (but now defunct) Rainbow Rink in Chicago, riding in trains to the east coast, baking brownies in dorm rooms, hanging out backstage at The Metro… this little song is so big in my memory.

But, alas, it’s just the one song that stole my heart.  The whole album is pretty and moody.  But that’s not enough to stave my heart for selling it.

Goodbye, The Bed is in the Ocean.

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