April 21, 2014

Record Store Day and my vinyl obsession, Vol. 2

I enjoyed doing my Record Store Day post so much, I thought I'd extend it. Here is more of my vinyl booty.

This coveted 12" single by Everything But The Girl is the title track to one of my favorite albums of all time. The artwork by Form was economical yet beautiful (love the Japanese referencing). Jeurgen Teller captured Ben and Tracey at a moment of complete power in their creative rejuvenation. This was phase two of an already brilliant career.

On my November 2013 London trip, I did a wee bit of vinyl shopping. These came from Music & Video Exchange in Notting Hill. I already had the Nick Heyward and Prefab Sprout in their US versions, but the former is a gatefold in the UK and the latter has a different album name, Steve McQueen. Which is, you should know dear reader, my favorite album of all time.

A pretty and high-quality pressing of Deee-Lite's second album, 1992's Infinity Within. The record sounds better now than it did on release and the artwork was stunning. This hip NYC band understood visuals. I should add that I recently went to a record store and found two of the 12" singles from this LP. Score!

This is the back cover of the 7" of Human League's amazing 1982 single, Mirror Man. I find the image so classic that it could have been taken today. It's subtle, but the details - like Phil Oakey's heels - really pop. Since I took this picture, I've acquired the 12" version . The actual image is much richer than this sort of washed out version.

Need I say more? Look at this! I actually have Karma Chameleon in both the 7 and 12 inch versions and they're almost identical. Like the Human League above, I just needed it in a larger size to appreciate it.

#nofilter, as the say on Instagram. New Order's records are somewhat elusive in vinyl stores (true of Depeche and The Smiths too) because they are so gorgeous. Technique is perhaps the greatest cover they did. Peter Saville did the design and he explains it in this funny piece from The Guardian.


Okay, I did not actually buy this, but I loved the image - taken in a record store - that I had to post it. I've been going to this place, by the way, since the 90's glory days of two-part CD singles. I duked it out to get my Tori and Bjork singles, etc. This is a classic record store and it's had the same core staff for over twenty years.  Love them.

diana - little d - is one of the most perfect, concise records of the 80s. The cover shot represented a big change in image for Diana at the time. No big hair, minimal makeup. The music is like a manifesto and still moves me to this day. Have fun again...

I think it's appropriate to follow Diana Ross with Janet Jackson. A vinyl was manufactured for the 2001 album this title track came from, but I've always felt that this single image far exceeded the bland Maybelline-like LP cover shot. It's far more iconic.

You've seen enough of my grubby thumb in these shots. Again, if you'd like to occasionally see what I am buying, I tend to post the prettiest stuff on Instagram. Be sure, also, to read this funny Washington Post piece on what the actual plural of vinyl is. You can guess where I stand on this matter. xo

April 19, 2014

Record Store Day and my vinyl obsession

Record Story Day has finally arrived. I just talked to a friend of mine who's waiting in a long line. I've been spending every week on vinyl for most of 2014, so I thought I'd share a bit of what I've been collecting. These images come from my instagram - feel free to follow me!

I bought this UK 12" single because of the gorgeous Jean Baptiste Mondino image and the fact it's in my Top 5 Eurythmics songs.

Wham's UK 12" of Freedom. Pretty boys, big "frosted" hair.

My favorite Aztec Camera album and one of the prettiest LP covers of the 90s. This one is hard to find, perhaps because of the beauty.

This is the 7# UK single - it's actually got a better cover than the 12" which I also own. The Style Council was spot on with their design. I have some espadrilles that make me think of this image when I wear them. Except I'm not lounging around next to the Seine.


The American pressing of Vacation, circa 1982. Notice the attention to detail, from the inner sleeve to the album label.

We were well into the cassette era when this came out, but the album is musically flawless and the artwork is, again, by Mondino.

Fashion icon Helmut Newton shot this rare image of Sade with her hair down for the 12" UK single of 1985's Is It A Crime, her most perfect song.

BowWowWow's poppiest classic is in my hot hands because she was a definitive style icon of the early 80s.  If certain poplet's today want to class it up, they'd do well referencing the mohawk, prom dress and combat boots style of Annabella Lwin. Disastrously, Lwin was kicked out of this band before the album promotion ended because she was... too popular.

A full list of my vinyl is here on Discogs. I am rebuilding after selling most of my collection in a pique of anxiety in 2008. Friend me on Discogs and follow me on Instagram to see more vinyl as I buy it.

April 15, 2014

Spring Songs #9: Eurydice

The press release for Pains of Being Pure At Heart's new single Eurydice likens their sound to Aztec Camera, Lightning Seeds and House Of Love. This is all true. They also have dwell in the same airy Scottish "town pop" of their contemporaries Camera Obscura, Canada's Stars or Portland's Pure Bathing Culture. This track's title character was, should you feel like being illuminated, the wife of the musician Orpheus and a daughter of Apollo. She died of a snakebite

Eurydice is one of the best songs they've ever done, the guitar surge balanced by chiming bells and layered vocals. The amazing ad lib bit starting at 3:10 through to the starry fade is chill inducing.

The album, Days Of Abandon, is out on May 13 in the US and June 2 elsewhere.

April 7, 2014

Spring Songs #8: Artifice

SOHN (all caps) is a name that's starting to proliferate. He's best known as a producer for BANKS and Kwabs - more on the latter this week - but he has a solo album called Tremors, out April 8. Recent single Artifice is smart, catchy and pop-minded.

As a solo performer, SOHN doesn't just produce edgy instrumentals. He's more akin to Active Child and James Blake in that he can actually sing. His label is 4AD (Cocteau Twins!), which is apt because I think he's a part of a real movement in the UK, with musician/producers like Dave Okomu, Two Inch Punch, and Julio Bashmore, creating emotional and very modern music. It's not about the producer, it's about the song.

April 5, 2014

Spring Songs #7: Repeat Pleasure

Tom Krell - aka How To Dress Well - is what some people are calling a "bedsit artist." Making music on his own at home. And then one day he plays it for someone else and a whole thing is born, This track, from his third album, What Is This Heart?, is just lovely. Catchy and effortless.

The new LP is due in late June and iTunes has another track for sale, the vibey soul jam, Words I Don't Remember. Boyfriend must be a fan of Jam and Lewis.