Friday, July 24, 2009

A Mid-Summer Nights Scratch Update

It's 2 am and i'm on my second...make that third root beer float. No time to sleep. Its time to talk shop. New records have arrived! And more are on the way.

The last week or some and the coming weeks are some pretty exciting releases, including re-issues and new albums from some of our favorites. We've been eagerly awaiting the seminal Galaxie 500 vinyl re-issues of their 3 studio albums. They have finally arrived and we are proud to bring them to you--an often overlooked late 80s/ early 90s trio whos down-tempo and simplistic dreamy drones (ala VU) pre-dated more successful bands who would rise to prominence after Galaxie 500's demise. (They would split into Luna and Damon & Naomi). These vinyl editions were remastered by Alan Douches and Kramer at West West Side Music, cut by Kevin Gray at AcousTech, pressed to virgin vinyl at RTI, and packaged in old-fashioned tip-on style jackets at Stoughton.

2 days later...still working on the update.

Also in stock:

RUSTED SHUT - DEAD Pummeling constantly since the mid 1980s, Houstons RUSTED SHUT are an institution of negative, repetitive riff heavy and harsh rock. Not to be pigeon-holed as noise rock or sludge (or the marketable "stoner rock" stamp--though they display all these traits), Rusted Shut can appeal to fans of Flipper or the Brainbombs as well as the Melvins...but they present their negative outlook in a dirtier fashion as all of the aforementioned. Allmusic calls it a "monstrous powerhouse" and they have found an approproate home on LOAD RECORDS. New fans can fear not starting right here where old fans can rejoice in the filthy pessimism of DEAD.

COSMOS - Jar of Jam Ton of Bricks - Guided By Voices nerds rejoice! Bob Pollard is a busy man these days...among his latest projects is this album...a collaberation project with Richard Davies...the psych-pop fella who fronted the amazing CARDINAL and also led the band MOLE.
This one has been regarded as one of Pollards more accesible indulgences of late, with shared vocals--though Pollard sings twice as
many songs while Davies' and his hired guns, including Malcolm Travis (Human Sexual Response, Sugar) and David Minehan (The Neighborhoods) handle the arrangements. An interesting collaberation that has some picky fans very pleased.

MATES OF STATE - All Day 12"
A re-issue of a the indiepop husband and wife duo, Mates of State, All Day was a career defining release. Includes their revered cover of David Bowies Starman. Re-packaged in all its glory on 180 grams of vinyl and free mp3 download.

THE OH SEES - SUCK BLOOD - Another re-issue, though this one is from 2007. The Oh-Sees (aka OCS aka thee Oh-See's aka...) delivered probably the best a
lbum of this year with the surprise "HELP" and are about to issue another as well. This is the lp that preceded "Help" and, though with a more mellow and dreamy vibe...more evidence that we are talking about one of the best bands in the world at the current moment. Also in stock is the split 7" with Ty Segal (Sic Alps) who also has his second solo album en route to the Scratch and another 7" single. The Oh Sees are led by John Dwyer (ex-Coachwhips) and feature shared vocals with Brigid Dawson, offering a unique take on what has been described as 'the Mamas and the Papa's meeting up with the Cramps'. Coming soon "The Masters Bedroom". And hopefully a re-stock of "Help"..which repeatedly sold out to a wide range of music fans--it crosses several genres. Seems like everytime the store copy gets a spin, another one goes out the door. Great bloody spattered white vinyl, too.

more incoming stuff of note:

CURSIVE - Mama I'm Swollen - The latest (third) longplayer from this Omaha, Nebraska band on Saddle Creek™. Playing Buffalo on the 31st. I wish we had tickets to sell you, but we do not. We will, however, sell you their albums.

BEASTIE BOYS - Ill Communication - The Beastie Boys 1994 album which assured their superstar status for good. Also in stock is Paul's Boutique and Check Your Head--all of which have been re-issued in top quality packages. Superfans take note: Pollywog Stew shows up every so often here on might be a week or so, but it's coming back. In the meantime, dig these three handsome reissues.

RS - Brown Reason To Live 12"- The first release from these twisted acid damaged Texans--featuring some of their most well-known tracks and a sign this band wasn't your typical hardcore punk band. All of their albums are unique and sound like a completely overhauled band up until the point they were discovered by the mainstream around two decades after thier first release.
They weren't hardcore at all...they were vulgar, they could play well and were inventing their own genre, that has never been duplicated, though their unique and distinctive sound would influence post-punk and punk bands forever, whether they realized it or not. They could write sludgey and twisted dirges alongside catchy or weird blasters and subdued pop numbers...and they did all that on theirground-breaking debut released by a very enthusiastic Jello Biafra and his Alternative Tentacles label. It remains one of the most unique and adventurous documents to come from the hardcore era. Essential listening and priced to move! The follow-up will be here soon, also.

some re-stocks:
  • MEATMEN - We're the Meatmen and You Suck! LP - Tesco Vee and the early classic lp that combined their early 12" eps. Offensive as hell from the man who really started Touch & Go Records. This is the labels first release. Speaking of which...
  • NECROS - Conquest For Death LP Here is Touch and Go release number #2, featuring Corey Rusk--the man who eventually took over Touch and Go (and subsequently ran it into near bankruptcy in the last year--though they survived and will re-issue the Jesus Lizard back catalog soon). Early midwestern hardcore punk.
  • PIXIES - discography of all studio lp's--now including Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde, alongisde the staples that are Doolittle, Surfer Rosa and Come On Pilgrim.
  • V/A - Last Kind Words:1926-1953 - "Wonderful compilation of rare blues and gospel from hard-to-find 78rpm laquers. All Classics!" [barrels]
CRAMPS - Off The Bone LP - Early Cramps vinyl is not easy to find. This import compilation offers some of their greatest (gravest) stuff dating back to late 70s and early 80s material.

Also restocked our classic Dischord material (SST is next update):
  • Minor Threat - First Demo Tape 7"
  • Minor Threat - s/t 12"
  • Minor Threat - Out of Step 12"
  • Fugazi - In On The Kill Taker LP
  • Faith/Void split LP
  • Four Old Seven Inches On A 12" LP (SOA, Teen Idles, DC Youth Brigade, Gov't Issue)
  • Flex Your Head comp
  • Dag Nasty - Can I Say?
  • Dag Nasty - Wig Out At Denkos
And finally, as we finish off the painstaking pricing process of our used jazz records, we grabbed a few classic reissues from the likes of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and more! Stay tuned for more news and comment. And records. (CDs if you desire)


Don't Forget...the good folks at SPIRAL SCRATCH and TERMBO are bringing you DRUNKDRIVER (nyc) with PLATES (last show ever?), BROWN SUGAR and RATIONAL ANIMALS (rot-chester) MONDAY AUGUST 3 at thee MOHAWK PLACE! 8:30 pm is go-time.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7: A Good Day For A Scratch

This post is more or less a reminder of a few things. First, our sale bin ($1-$4 off marked prices) which always includes new and classic turds, has been re-loaded with marked down titles. We will also be unveiling a massive used 7" section-it's been growing like a mold (the records are not moldy, though) in back while we sorted, priced and made sense of what we had. It is vast, priced to move and loaded with goodies. We'll let you know HERE when it goes public.

Don't forget we have the new SONIC YOUTH on sale (priced below most wholesale prices we've seen). Only a few remain...and we probably won't be getting more. We're busy tracking down re-issues of their earlier albums now.

Speaking of sales...our Wilco+Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band $3 kickback applies up until the show or when we run out of one...whichever comes first. If yer just after the new Wilco lp, mention this post and get a buck off the list price (which we thought was a bit steep anyway).

A few re-stock copies of Eddy Current Suppression Ring - Primary Colours (it's since been re-pressed, though these are from the initial batch) remain. Yellow Covers this time. Check out these hott traxx from the album:
Incoming: A few new, fancy and limited (1000 copies, in most cases) titles arrived this week, direct from the smokey offices of Southern Lord Records. orders=lower prices!!

PELICAN - Ephemeral LP - Their first release on Southern Lord is widely being touted as a "return to form". Gold vinyl, pressed to 180 gram vinyl and painfully limited to 1000 copies.

WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM - Black Cascade 2x LP/Two Hunters 2x LP - Olympia, WA triumvirate of 2 brothers and a pal who are one with nature, winter solstice and black metal leanings. This is their second and third LP respectively, both of which have received rave reviews, and their first for Southern Lord. Deluxe gatefolds, the usual 180 grams of wax and limited quantites, though we are unsure of the scum stats on these.

SUNN 0))) - Domkirke 2 x LP - 2008 release in deluxe gatefold packaging.

EARTH - Radio/Live - Another handful of this RecordStoreDay™ Vinyl Saturday title, these are also severely limited and our first batch went fast. We didn't get many, so don't wait on this one. This one has a fabric-type sleeve with silver foil lettering on the cover. 3000 were made in this form.

****This just in from Matador Records!
Get your Pixies fix here--we now are carrying, in addition to the oft seen Surfer Rosa and Doolittle lp's, their Bossanova and Trompe Le Monde long players (and, of course, Come On Pilgrim). Thats every Pixies studio take your pick.

Also, the latest from Columbus 'sensation' (and SHITGAZE™ torchbearer), PSYCHEDELIC HORSESHIT (try to get past the worst band name in many years/biggest interview shit-talkers) with their ironically titled Shitgaze Anthems 12"--as they have left behind the distorto lo-fi sound behind that both helped coin a sub-genre and influenced an army of like-minded bands such as Wavves, Times New Viking, Vivian Girls, Pink Reason (Kevin probably coined the term 'shitgaze'), Eat Skull (we do carry most of these bands, just in case you were wondering...) and scores of others-- for a cleaner sounding record this time around.
  • HARLEM - Free Drugs ;) - Debut album from up and coming Austin band...which has been welcomed with rave reviews. Fantastic NUGGETS-esque rock and roll with a big sense of humor and no shortage of fun. Highly recommended from Team Scratch. From the trusty-worthy Smashin' Transistors webzine: "It's obvious in the way the chug & chime on some of the songs that their water has been spiked with a good dose of the Velvet Underground doing bong rips instead of junk shots on songs which is not something all that uncommon of course but it's then tempered with as good amount of Roky-like psychosis (you can especially hear it in the screams-which also may remind some a bit of Dan Kroha's singing in the Gories from time to time as well...and maybe even....GASP! A touch here and there of the Pixies), elements of baroque pop and and a dollop here and there of folkish whimsy.
    The general framework of the tunes ARE of the "garage rock" persuasion but things are tweaked and twisted a bit where there are a lot of different dimensions to the songs which make the entire album interesting & clever than something just typical and shopworn."

Stay tuned for more updates and a special announcements soon!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Turning Up The Heat at Spiral Scratch: New Releases and New Stuff!

You'd be surprised how well that little fan gets a breeze going in that shop when the temp goes really would. The calls for used Michael Jackson product have slowed (not a single request for Ya Ho Wa 13 records, to our dismay, not that we would have been able to honor the request--until our friends at Revolver make at least one available later this month). Maybe a Seeds record, though. RIP, Sky.)
It was really a week of celebrity deaths (and non-celebrity's too, I'm sure...but that's just not newsworthy unless it's bizarre or something). King's of Pop, Angels of Charlie, Infomercial Kingpins ex-members of Wilco and Sky Saxon (am I missing someone?) We all know who is getting the ink. Darby Crash might be more well remembered by mainstream America if John Lennon hadn't been shot and killed the next day. Hopefully Shane West meets a better, more sensationalized demise when his number is called.

Anyway, to the new stuff:
DINOSAUR JR. - Farm - The second full length (and ninth overall) with the original line-up back intact. These are, like so many other new releases, a double-deluxe-long player that includes a load of extra songs, including a Zombie's cover and the obligatory free download card. It's received loads of praise already, surpassing Beyond from 2007. Seems all Dinosaur Jr needed was a big group hug instead of being a J. Mascis solo vehicle to re-achieve greatness.

here are pictures of other new stuff:

WILCO (the album) The latest from the long running half-spawn of Uncle Tupelo. A new Wilco album seems to be the source of much talk. They will be at Artpark in Lewiston in a few weeks with Connor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band. A SpiralScratchBlogReader only special... buy the new Wilco and latest from Connor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band and receive a $3 return at point of purchase. (you will have to mention the discount before it's rang up on the register)
Think of it as us covering your tolls or buying you a few slices at Vincenzo's Pizza House (on Center Street in Lewiston) while you wait in that dreadful line of traffic the night of the show.

RESIST CONTROL - demo cd-r In addition to loads of Matto related projects like Kitty Little from the great Capital Region, we received sale copies of this introductory cd-r only demo release from a Buffalo supergroup of sorts-a band chock full of members with great resumes. This is fast paced hardcore that is absolutely blazing, perfectly executed and worthy of your attention. And 3 bucks. If you haven't picked one up at a show or don't feel like it, or just downright forgot...we have some for you. Each with a quality silkscreened cover and insert. Seems like our town is fertile ground for this sort of thing again, and the quality of bands doing it continues with Resist Control. Top notch release.

THE INSUBORDINATES - "1968" b/w "Rendezvous" Yet another familiar face from just down the I-90 (Rochester). This authentic sounding blast of classic hardcore punk (recorded in glorious MONO by Mr. Ski Mask at the prolific Electric Pumpkin Patch Studio) is short but very sweet. Speaking of prolific, it's Feral Kid #16. Fantastic silk screened cover art and a real ripper of a record inside. Yet another (almost) local release we are proud to make available to you in case you think punk rock died at the mall.

- Around The Well - This 3 lp set (!) is priced as an affordable double album, Around The Well is a vast collection of hard to find or unreleased tracks spanning the bands career and reaching up until 2007 (The Sheppard's Dog sessions, an album which we also have in stock again on lp). The tracks range from raw, unedited home recordings to produced studio outtakes. Obviously, a must for any Iron and Wine fan.

some more re-stocks of note (don't forget to check last weeks update for the onslaught of new stock that preceded this smaller batch.
  • Bad Brains s/t (Roir) LP
  • Bad Brains - Black Dots - essential early recordings..perhaps their best, done by dc legendary engineer/producer Don Zientara. Zientara may have captured the bands early days best on this collection of some of the Bad Brains earliest recordings.
  • Weakerthans - Left and Leaving This one never sticks around long.
  • Zero Boys - Vicious Circle - Their classic album (though don't overlook the earlier, rawer History of the Zero Boys collection), this one has become rather elusive. Secretly Canadian, strangely enough, is responsible for these re-issues.
  • Big Black - Lungs 12"/Headache 12"/Songs About Fucking LP - All crucial releases Touch and Go deemed worthy (one of their wiser business moves in the last 20 years or so) of keeping in print. As long as they do, we will keep them in stock. Along with the Heartbeat and He's A Whore/The Model 7" reccords.
keep an eye out for some exciting releases and reissues coming up in July. new Reigning Sound lp, Galaxie 500 catalog reissued on vinyl, new Sic Alps (on Drag City) and Ty Segall stuff...we still have the "older" stuff. Of course, there is lots more in the cooker, as they say.

and then there is this...a truly big star.

--anchovies 7/2/09