Category Archives: Vinyl Love

Big School Records – In Session


If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr you may have heard (via big announcements) that I’ve decided to fire up my own record label. If not, the logo over to the right might have given it away. I chose not to properly scatter the confetti until I had the first physical release in my hands. Last Friday, 251 precious slabs of wax arrived at my work with the unmistakable Pirates Press logo stamped on each box…so here I am.

There’s no greater feeling than being able to support and promote artists/musicians who I’ve either enjoyed for many years or have just made acquaintances with through various outlets. Maintaining has been a treat in of itself but, nowadays, words only seem to go so far in a music blogging world over-saturated with voices/opinions/plagiarism. I wanted to use a different outlet to get myself involved with musicians and promoting artists I love via the record label is definitely the next logical step for me as an enthusiast. I expect to ride this feeling out as far as you, the listener, allows.

The first release is the latest full-length from Scranton, PA’s Kid Icarus, whom I’ve been following for many years as they’ve progressed from Eric Schlittler’s outlet for lo-fi experimental musings on up to their current-day 4-member lineup. American Ghosts is being released on a limited run of 250 LP’s on white vinyl with reverse-board jacket – $15 in the US and $20 world postage-paid. Today is the official release date for the LP so orders will ship immediately. Head over to the web store to grab a copy. For those who prefer digital downloads to vinyl, you can purchase the album from their Bandcamp page and iTunes (coming soon).

I’d like to thank everyone who, not only strung together the necessary ingredients for this release, but for all parties involved with nurturing my habits and obsessions since early childhood on up to my ‘grey years’. This includes friends, family, readers of BTID, my Soulseek posse, countless numbers of bloggers who’ve inspired me to keep giving everything I have back to the music community.

It definitely doesn’t end here – in the coming months you can expect new releases from Shy Mirrors (LP), The Gifted Children (7″), Deirdre & Conor/Kitchen Table, Illinois (digital) and Graham Repulski (7″).

Kid Icarus – Bicycle Spokes

Shy Mirrors – I’m Not Around

The Gifted Children – Please Freeze Me

Deirdre & Conor/Kitchen Table, Illinois – Love In Philadelphia

Graham Repulski – Mongrel Pie

Follow BSR on Twitter and Facebook and spread the good word!


Filed under Updates, Vinyl Love

PREMIERE: Chef Menteur


The lads of Chef Menteur are asking for your help in funding their latest album, East Of The Sun & West Of The Moon, on vinyl via Kickstarter. I’ve written about CM before and featured their songs on monthly mixtapes. I first stumbled across their music when I bought a giant lot of ‘indie’ cd’s on eBay years back and this stuck out of the pile so I decided to tackle a review of it and I never looked back. In my opinion CM are one of the most unheralded pioneers of ambience in the past 10 years. Bandmember/multi-instrumentalist, Alec Vance, is also the curator of Backporch Revolution, a label and collective of musicians in the NOLA area specializing in the occult of experimental/psychedelic/unexplainable sounds . I’ve had first glimpse of the new album and it’s a massive, genre-busting supernova of sound. Taken from their Kickstarter page:

:::We wanted to make sure that when trying to release a classic double album, in all its monstrous glory, there were still no excess or throwaway tracks: Just as much time was spent whittling songs down as it was building them up. At least as many songs didn’t make it on the record as those that did in the interest of providing the most conceptually pure experience. This is an epic aural journey, containing songs for lovers of classic psychedelia, space-odyssey synth drones, Warp-records style electronica, krautrock and kosmische, doom drone, hints of early metal, folk-, math-rock and prog-rock sneaking in from time to time as well. “A symphony of space rock” one might even call it..:::

Their funding drive ends in 3 days so please help out with whatever you can – you shan’t be disappointed. If ever there were music meant to be immortalized on wax, this is it. I chipped in a cool 50, which earns you the double LP plus a test pressing, compliments of the sick United Pressing promo. Check out a track and video from East below as well as a few bonus songs from their 2 (outstanding) previous LP’s.

I Belong To This Plateau (from 2011’s East Of The Sun & West of The Moon)


I.E.D. (from 2008’s The Answer’s In Forgetting)

W.A.S.T.E. (from 2005’s We Await Silently Tristero’s Empire)

Chef MenteurIIl obstrue ma vue de Vénus



Filed under Artist Profile, The Super Mega BTID Hype-o-tronic Capacitor, Video, Vinyl Love

Chuck Ragan/Sharks/Dave Hause

Went to see Chuck Ragan play the other night at The Note in West Chester and it made me realize a few things:

A.) Sharks are mining a very much missed 80’s mod/punk/alternative territory that has not been replicated well lately, at least not from anything I’ve been listening to. They’re going to be pretty big as far as ‘our’ circles go, especially since they have been and will continue to tour with Social D this year. That fabulous looking black and blue swirled LP is going to be gone before you know it. Check them on tour and grab it for 12 bones if you know what’s best for ya.

B.) Local songsmith Dave Hause (member of The Loved Ones) knows how to stir up a typically-complacent Philly crowd with acoustic, yet high-energy odes to the proletariat. This marked my first experience with Dave’s wares and it certainly won’t be my last. I was more than ecstatic to hand over my working-class cash to pick up all the wax he had out on the table, including 2 different versions of a misprinted Loved Ones 10″.

C.) The two Rumbleseat songs below still resonate as strongly with me today as they did several years ago when I first downloaded them from Audiogalaxy. We’ll always be BFF’s. Click that link to get the discography LP for a cool $8 from the bitchin’ No Idea distro.

D.) For as much as I like/appreciate Chuck getting his beard on and playing alongside a fiddle and upright bass – I really really want Hot Water Music to write and tour again. He belted out a few old HWM tunes (with the help of the Sharks lads) and the place just exploded out of its cathartic state with shout-outs and fist pumps.That’s one show I’d get in the pit for, gray beard, busted knees and all.

Rumbleseat – California Burritos

Rumbleseat – Cursing Concrete


Leave a Comment

Filed under Loving The Locals, Vinyl Love

Record Store Day ’11

RSD’11 – This year I ended up taking a 4-pronged approach to the still-relevant Record Store Day celebrations. This past Wednesday I took a trip to Fishtown’s very own Milk Crate Cafe, who announced the grand opening of their bargain bin basement. Most of these titles consisted of the 80’s rock and jazz, both of which I care little for. However, I did manage to score some nice finds upstairs and downstairs:

The Chamelons UKStrange Times (2LP version – MEGA-BONUS!) $5
FranklinGo Kid Go LP (classic local Philly emo-core band from the mid-90’s) $5
R.E.M.Document LP (long overdue) $5
TyvekTyvek LP (garage punk weirdos kinda like Titus Andronicus or Times New Viking on the legendary Siltbreeze label) $5
Nick LoweLabour Of Lust LP (also long overdue) $5
Hüsker DüNew Day Rising LP (arguably my favorite HD album and one of my top 10 fave albums of the 80’s altogether) $10 (VG+)
Saturday Looks Good To MeFill Up The Room LP (one of the most painfully underrated indie-pop bands in recent memory – TWO great songwriters in Fred Thomas & Chris Bathgate) $8

My mother was in town visiting this weekend so my official RSD trek was limited to one stop in hopes of A.) finding the few items I was looking for and B.) spending a little dough at a shop I don’t frequent very often, that being Repo Records. I scored the following (pictured above) but walked away without the repress of Matt Costa’s debut and the Piebald 3LP set (more on that later..):

Big StarThird LP (housed in magnetic tape box with replica music sheets and notes) $39.99 (FYI I did not win one of the 5 test pressing *sad face*)
tUnE-yArDsw h o k i l l LP (I’ve only heard the first single off of this (‘Bizness’) though after watching footage of some of these songs being played live I have no doubts that this will be one of my faves of 2011) $13
The Joy Formidable – Whirring 7″ (after their debut EP and seeing them live I’d buy a can of botulized creamed corn off them) $6
CreepoidHorse Heaven LP (thus far, one of my favorite local albums of 2011 and it keeps getting better with each listen – sad I missed their show @ Main Street Music in Manayunk…of all places)

I showed up at Repo at 10:45 and the doors were already busted open and a line of 30 or so people had formed so my immediate assumption that Piebald and Matt Costa would not be had was correct. The good news is that I found the Piebald release on eBay – sold for a cool $25 by the actual record label (love you, Rise Records) to prevent post-RSD ‘scalping’. A.K.A. Music will be special ordering the Costa LP.

The celebration continued on Sunday when my lady friend and I decided to check out the virtually-unknown Long In The Tooth (no website!) down by 21st & Walnut. A few short-winded reviews on Yelp claimed this place to be ‘off the beaten path’, ‘a treasure trove of gems’ and ‘overseen by a pissy shopkeeper’. Two of these were true – the owner’s main gripe consisted of the lone record-shopping common courtesy – if you flip through records with one hand you’re more likely to bend the edges and degrade the vinyl/jacket/sleeve. There are signs everywhere throughout the store to remind you of this. But man, a treasure trove indeed. I brought my girlfriend along thinking there would be a few crates of Kansas/Jethro Tull/Fleetwood Mac records but I was dead wrong. The used vinyl selection was equal to or even possibly greater than my favorite haunt, Princeton Record Exchange. The selection of used, new, 10″, 7″ records, movies and books/zines/memorabilia to browse through could easily take me an entire day to ingest but, out of respect for my g/f (who managed to pick up a few LP’s herself), I had to quit after the used LP section. LITT, hands down one of the most pleasurable experiences in recent memory and I’ll definitely be stopping back again as it’s literally two doors down from the Helium comedy club. Here’s the shortlist of what I walked away from here with:

ColourmusicF, Monday, Orange, February, Venus, Lunatic, 1 or 13 LP (popsicle orange vinyl) $8
Patsy ClineAlways LP (1964 Italian import) $10 (swoon)
Johnny CashEverybody Loves A Nut LP (his novelty, sing-a-along, not-quite-a-joke-not-quite-serious album) $5
Atom & His PackageMaking Love LP (blue vinyl) (love his package) $8
ThemFeaturing Van Morrison 2LP (1972 anthology in VG condition, shit my pants when I saw it for so cheap…) $20
Someone Still Loves You Boris YeltsinLet It Sway LP (peach vinyl) (the peachiness is sweet and Critical Drain is one of my favorite tracks from last year) $8
The PineLead Blocks For Feet LP (classic obscuro emo-core; muddled, frantic and essential!) $5(!)
VA – A Food Not Bombs Benefit LP (classic OOP hardcore/screamo/emo comp feat. Swing Kids, Franklin, Indian Summer etc. – sadly didn’t include the booklet) $8(!)
Film SchoolFission LP (this was recommended to me via Nada @ FWBA so I took a chance – 180g clear vinyl) $8
Elvis PresleyThe Sun Sessions LP (girlfriend’s squeeze) $10
Otis ReddingLive In Europe LP (girlfriend’s squeeze and I’m not complaining) $5
Bruce SpringsteenBorn In The U.S.A. LP (sure, why not) $4

It was a pretty good week for shopping that sent many worthy acquisitions to my shelves. I could probably live without the rat-race, Black Friday-esque trappings of the ‘holiday’ and the severe exclusivity of some releases but I still love the concept of Record Store Day and I hope to see y’all out and about next year.


Filed under Commentary, Vinyl Love