Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving, Danksgiving & Indie Black Friday

Black Friday,a pockmark on our society, our country and those who inhabit it. People literally are killed in a mad rush in the freak hours of the day in seek of a bargain. no self-respecting Spiral Scratch customer would be caught dead at one of these freak shows (we hope---geeze). plus, you'll find plenty of bargains at the Scratch every day. Typicallly not our busiest day of the year, the folks who have brought to us Record Store Day had a brilliant idea--Indie Black Friday. Thats right, we've been sitting on this box of stuff, only to be unleashed on Black Friday. However, there is no chance of us opening at 7 a.m. Unless you hear different--regular hours. (flexibly, noon.)
Whats in the box, you say?
Exclusive releases from Drive-By Truckers, Gaslight Anthem, Iron & Wine, Jimi Hendrix, Slayer, Soundgarden, MGMT and more. yep, thats all the info you get. In addition, we are outing a bunch of recently discovered used records that have been in storage since the move to Bryant Street. some real winners in there, and other gold nuggets we've acquired recently. More collections coming in as the days pass, too much pricing for one man.
Speaking of this madness, Matador, and 4AD recording artists The NATIONAL have released an expanded edition of their album HIGH VIOLET (cd only). This disc will be made available separately for the one day only price of $8. that's right, *8 bucks for a full companion disc/download featuring an updated recording of Terrible Love, unreleased tracks, and some bonus live material. A 7" will also be released in conjunction with the disc. Violet Friday, Goddamnit! *one day, only.
Spiral Scratch is the ONLY VIOLET FRIDAY participating store within a 100 mile radius! This includes surprises from Matador, 4AD, too pure & XL Recordings...things you might be interested in like reissues from the Fall and other cool stuff. Prices viciously slashed.

Lastly, the highly sought after Spiral Scratch Gift Certificates will make their return this week, along with some brow-raising re-stocks, new releases and whatnot.
-The Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelion (featuring Greg 'Oblivian' Cartwright)
-Tyvek - Nothing Fits Tyvek, who we watched grow up, are peaking with their second proper full length, not to mention some nifty cover art.
-Iron Lung - Life. Iron Lung. Death. (re-issue just released last week)
-Neil Young - Le Noise accidentally sent to us, we are selling this a hair above wholesale making this overpriced record almost affordable. we will be returning them after next week. you wont find it cheaper--if you do, someone's cheatin'
Torche - Songs For Singles
Earth - A Bureaucratic Desire For Extra-Capsular Extraction
Purling Hiss - PSA/Hissteria/Purling Hiss. Michael Polizze plays guitar for 'lo-fi' guitar psych creepers, Birds of Maya when he is not recording his own, fuzzed out psych/space blasts on his solo albums. As someone noted, Polizze sounds, at times, like he's playing guitar to save his life. Fans of heavy, fuzzed out, spacey psych-ROCK take note...three solo albums re-released on 3 top notch indie labels (Richie, Woodsist and Permanent Records (super cool folks from chicago, who double as chicago's best record shop).
Man Or Astro-man? Debut lp from surf astromen. where were you in '92? Loserpallooza? Bringin'the mosh™? Look what ya' missed! Estrus has unveiled more copies of this classic debut. We have them for you.
NEW 7" records!
OHSEES, DUM DUM GIRLS, KITTY LITTLE/SCIENTIFIC MAPS split, INTEGRITY reissues and more restocks. Lots of killer used vinyl priced to move unveiled this friday (11/26). No peeking...

Support your local labels!

In addition to our constant touting of the mighty fine Feral Kid imprint, and ex pat label BIG NECK RECORDS--several regional labels are putting out quality, good looking product. The bands are not necessarily local--these are people pouring their hard earned money into releasing music they believe in and should be commended, if nothing else, for their efforts in making Buffalo a better place to be--musically speaking. I mean, what else is there, anyway? also: Buy their records.

--Peterwalkee Records! Matto seems, from afar, to defy "time constraints" of daily life. he's in like 5 bands, goes to school and runs a record label. Most recently, Peterwalkee has reissued the class act Figgs "Sucking in Stereo" album. Thats just the tip of the 'berg, as they say from this Capital District DIY Maniac. A recent Kitty Little/Scientific Maps 7" and another Figgs release, the Casino Hayes 7", are recent releases from this ongoing label.

-WARM BATH LABEL. Recently cherry picked 7 of buffalo's most brooootal and released a compilation on 7". (one band per inch!) Resist Control, Inerds, SCHEISSE KRIEG, Ordinary Men & Women, Avulsion, Ancients of Earth and Morax.
Warm Bath also has a gnarly distro which can probably be accessed at their myspace page

-Desire Path Recordings upstart label with an LP release of Solo Andata's Ritual. read more about Desire Path here.

-One Percent Press No stranger to buffalo music and beyond, good ol' boy stephen "percent" floyd has, upon relocating to the Empire State, dedicated resources to putting out records by (and playing bass for*) Everything Falls Apart, Failures Union and more recently non-localized bands like Venice Is Sinking and involvement with a split band/split label 12" from the Convocation. Read more about the label, whats going on and the mysterious Minnesota "connection" at their official website, which boasts audio and visual clues as to what to expect from the labels offerings.

*i wanted that job.

-Last, but not least, the pretty prolific Vega Vinyl, which has put out area and non-regional releases. The Giant Squid album looks about as cool as anything i've seen released in quite some time. VV spares no expense. Also in stock from the label is Damiera, Constants and a 3-way lp featuring East Of The Wall, Year of No Light & Rosetta. Read all about them here.

if you know of any other labels releasing good stuff based in the area, let us know.
11/26 [friday] Don't forget the JOE BOMPCZYK MEMORIAL TRIBUTE SHOW.
this show is a benefit for joe's kids, as joe, a founding member of buffalo's legendary ENEMIES, succumbed to a bout with cancer. he was a dear uncle to our own richie and a buffalo music benchmark. we will be donating a gift certificate in addition to the other stuff the organizers have going on.

12/1 [wednesday] Spiral Scratch Night at the Mohawk!!
The Scratch and Mohawk become one as staffers unite and play their favorite records.
DANCE PARTY! Donations to the Buffalo Animal Shelter will enter you automatically to win a hefty gift certificate, too. please check their site, see what they do and do NOT need and if you have some laying around...bring it down. If you cant make the dj night, bring it here!
celebrity dj's include:

still bill
t.m. street pervert
barrels, chas

shenanigans shall ensue.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

"what's the name of this place again, brah?"

blogging. time consuming, yet crucial to the curious consumer. this posting is dedicated to my late best friend, my dog of 9 years--rescued at 2-ish, the british bred chocolate labrador retriever who stumbled into my life (as it was crumbling), took shits in the weirdest of places, would eat anything but celery (good for him, i wont eat that crap either)and probably the most willing to hang out with me these passed few years. He succumbed a year long battle with cancer and arthritis a few weeks ago leaving my world quite emptied. I understand this is the STORE blog, but i would be remiss without eulogizing one of the creatures on this rotten planet that meant the world to me.
as a result, some things have slowed down (he telepathically helped me order in new stock). i apologize if these have effected/affected you in any way, or i've been a grouch behind the counter-- and i have been. short wick. but things continue blah blah blah. the milkbones remain on the counter and if yer strolling by with your french poodle, don't hesitate to bring them in. this goes for your bikes, too. now, on to the business at hand.
I: Incoming/New Releases

the latest from legendary imprint, In The Red Records, brings forth a batch of new and upcoming releases.
CHEAP TIME - Fantastic Explanations A few years back, Memphis' Tennessee unleashed Cheap Time's debut, a herky-jerky catchy punk rock record that drew comparisons from early Redd Cross, most notably. The band even, through much begging with basement show folks, played a blazing set at the late Death Trap located at 29 Custer Street. They were unknown at the time, but managed to leave with a hundred bucks, some food and a batch of new fans. Then Jeffrey Novak retreated to the bedroom and unleashed a major departure solo album, all of which he wrote and played. The light pressing (500?) was so good, it stunned folks. 60s pop influenced (someone said it made XTC sound like george jones) all around, it was packed with well written hits.
On Fantastic Explanations, that solo album style worked its way into Cheap Times uptempo punk style and these are the results. A top shelf sophmore album.

FRESH & ONLYS - Play It Strange
The girls are gone, the uptempo garage rock ravers are gone, but the mood isn't quite as dark as their previous album. Not content to sit in one place for long on their third album (an 8.0 on Pitchfork so you have to own it). While the rest of the world is catching up with the Fresh & Onlys, Spiral Scratch customers have been snatching up their singles and lp's--3 in a year and a half with this being the first to escape any semblance of an unfair "lo-fi" tag. Well crafted and memorable, often dreamy 60s pop (i think they've left the garage completely) songs that fill an album that is being critically acclaimed and coinsidered a "best of so far" by some high brow publications. **Waterfall= from "Play It Strange"

coming soon from In The Red (11/11) TYVEK Nothing Fits LP (their masterpiece?) and The PARTING GIFTS (featuring Greg 'Oblivian' Cartwright of Reigning Sound!)
*all Reigning Sound lp's back in stock and several 7"'s on the way.

BELLE & SEBASTIAN - Write About Love - The latest from this force of indie rock comes with a free 7" with "bonus tracks" and a contest in which you....write about love (300 words) and send it back to Matador (secret code inside). More details at the counter. This may be Belle & Sebastians finest moment in years, at least a few. A certain step away from the preceding album, which, if you like, is available alongside reissues of Tigermilk, If You're Feeling Sinister and the Boy with The Arab Strap.

More from el Matador: the recent efforts from RATATAT (LP4) ,DEERHUNTER 'Halcyon Digest', BRITISH SEA POWER 12" (6 songs), MISSION OF BURMA (plus the reissues now available as single budget priced lp's and deluxe editions, Pixies and pavement back catalogs.

Some other newer releases:
NOBUNNY-First Blood (incredible follow-up to the smash hit debut (also in stock) plus an assortment of Nobunny 7 "'s.

WOVEN BONES- In and Out and Back Again LP - not that new, but worth noting--comparisons to VU and Jesus and Mary chain abound, the Woven Bones stand strong on their own merits and the recent 7" shows them stepping away from the minimal fuzz and offering 2 great tracks of new material.

INSUBORDINATES s/t - These Rochester punks are no joke, though their frontman with the dangling earing would like you to think so. Maybe he has pissed you off and maybe he tried hard in doing so, but just let the record spin and realize one of the best straight forward punk rock records released recently has come from nearby Rochester, NY. Alongside "buddy bands", 7" records Braincar and the Narc's are in stock, there is finally something brewing in Rochester besides homicides.

WIPERS - OUT TAKES - Recorded between 1979-1983, these 13 tracks are culled from the bonus tracks of the original first 3 lp box set, hand picked by Greg Sage and drawn from the original tapes. This, along with the first 3 WIPERS albums, have been stocked-ordered direct from Jackpot Records in seattle who spared no expense. These are by no means throwaway tracks, rather different approaches and takes on essential tracks from the early days.

A-FRAMES - 333 A 3 record set of singles, demos, unreleased tracks from one of the great, yet criminally overlooked, bands of the last decade. (Drummer Lars now fronts the Intelligence) A career spanning behemoth of a package not just for superfans. Probably limited, but i'm not sure.

Moonhearts s/t - Debut longplayer from the artists formerly known as Charlie & the Moonhearts (Chaz plays drums, by the way), with assistance from the amazing Ty Segall (we have his latest 2 albums and a split with UK band Black Time in stock) present their 7 track (no joke) is full of fuzz and scuzz and memorable blasts of raunchy goodness. Dig in while they last.

more recent units:
Black Angels - Phosphene Dream 2x lp (playing Buffalo soon!)
!!! - Strange Weather Isn't It (marked down!)
Azure Ray - Drawing Down On The Moon LP
Real Estate - s/t 7"
Antony & the Johnsons - Swanlights lp
Fucked Up - Year of the Ox 12"
Jeff The Brotherhood - Heavy Days

Forgetters 7" (Blake from Jawbreaker)
Make Do & Mend - Bodies of Water
Les Savy Fav - Root For Ruin
Ex-Humans - s/t (catchy punk from ex-Carbonas)
Red Red Red - New Action LP
Circle Pit - Bruise Constellation
Gorillaz - Plastic Beach
II: Reissues Current

Some reissues instock include those demented Swedes BRAINBOMBS and their Urge To Kill LP and SINGLES compilation. Lyrically, they claim to be influenced by a writer named Peter Sotos (whatever, dudes), but this is clearly not for the faint of heart. Musically, the seminal style is minimal, noisy slashing with spat out singing in broken english, words that would make a feces slinging gg allin cringe. This is not of much consequence, since the music is so good and these records have been sought after in the years following their initial release (when they were ignored). Keep in mind the last record to spin before fire claimed our North Buffalo location was, indeed, a Brainbombs record.
DROPDEAD reissues, 3 lp's straight from the Armageddon Shop.
Influential metal/hardcore heroes Zero Tolerance have had their first 7" reissued, with early Sick of it All and Agnostic Front records.
A 10 song 7" from Negative Approach slap's their first demo onto wax for the first time.

Don't forget previously enjoyed/used records are going out every day, trying to keep up with a recent influx.

Entry to be continued...suns coming up.

anchovies 10.28.10

PART 2 More Reissues and Restock Action & SCRATCH & SNIFF #2

Post Modern Blooze & Propoganda. From the makers of Spiral Scratch and carefully edited and put together by our own "employee", damage controller and general rock and roll wunderkind, Get Mugged Gaffney--comes the second installment of Buffalo's Only Rock and Roll Mag. Chock full of writing about our favorite music, interviews and grainy photographs. Going fast.

Reissues from
STRIKE ANYWHERE (Exit English and Change Is A Sound)
DISCHARGE - War Is Hell (featuring 1978 demo 7" tracks). we are expecting the first 2 Discharge records in the coming weeks, as well. These, i gather, will sell out quickly.
DRI - Dirty Rotten LP & Dealing With It
LUNGFISH - Pass and Stow
This coming week is a huge week for us with new orders coming in, so stay tuned for more....Integrity, Converge reissues en route. We bet the farm this week.

Next post: A look at some local/area labels and their releases.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

3 weeks. Semi-Update.

it's taken some time to adjust to the new digs here at 291 Bryant Street, as it has our UPS™ driver who cant seem to find the place. we've had a few orders sent back--but they should all be back in our grimy hands this week.

keeping up with demand has been an issue, but have no fear--we're catching up as we speak. please try to be patient with your special orders as we...get our heads around the continued support. we didnt expect an AV cover, but thank all who made it happen. and BuffaloNews™ coverage. truly, we are not worthy...well, maybe a little. show us a quality photoshopped version of the cover and you can walk home with a gift certificate worth your while. ok, now to business:

in stock this week includes, but is not limited to, new releases from:

The Sword
Birds of Maya (fans of heavy ROCK, take note)
The Intelligence (lars, ex-drummer of a-frames). Their best since Icky Boyfriends?
Sex Church (staff pick) this is an addition of 500. we have a few more left.
Double Negative
Personal & the Pizzas
Dirty Projectors
Ty Segall
and more...

DROPDEAD (3 different titles)
Pretty Things

plus plenty of restocks of new and classic titles. in addition, new & hip used records are coming in more frequently than ever. Keep an eye on the incoming bin.

**cool local music supplied by the prolific Feral Kid Records label, which has most recently offered up a split record with Inerds and Coworkers, an incredible surf-punk record by Mayday and a healthy back catalog of singles, 12 and 10 inch records--mostly buffalo and rochester bands. in addition, new releases from White Whale, Iceberg, Gas Chamber. A few more i'm forgetting, but are no less worth checking out.

stay tuned for a real update as our influx of orders land at the counter (we hope) in the coming days.

we'll be carrying tickets as promoters see fit to bring them to us. no service charges, unless you use a credit card in which we must claim a buck. limited tickets to a rather interesting show coming up will also be announced in the next update.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

doors open at noon.

wednesday august 11, 2010.

after a complicated trail of snags, good times and good people (we would have possibly shut down for good if it weren't for the outpouring of support), sweat, lamenting lost records...out of print favorites...and finally, being forced to move the entire shop...we re-open SPIRAL SCRATCH in the Elmwood Village today at noon.

we are still struggling with electrical, banking and pricing issues--the place looks good enough to soft open with a GRAND OPENING being planned.

starting over in a empty room painted pink was no easy task. we changed colors.

to show strength and resolve, we brought what was left of the old counter--which was rebuilt by Martin K.--it's original owner at Sit-n-Spin. He received much support from his beautiful son, Foster. Norelle and my mom donated computers and we used benefit money to buy a new register and credit card terminal, along with fantastic wood bins and displays built by idea we spied from a reborn shop in Pittsburgh (also a generous doner of records), Mind Cure Records Mike. His shop was built by himself and buffalo native Pat C., but Pat C. now lives in Pennsylvania.
Anyway you get the will.

pretty fancy...and a sneak peek at some of the fine slabs we carry...just a peek.

one of those puppies is not for sale, autographed 12" (one of 3 of the remaining copies) encouraging autograph by the legendary Jon Spencer (Blues Explosion, Heavy Trash, Pussy Galore, Boss Hogg, Honeymoon Killers, etc) following his show a few weeks back. Spencer is a soft spoken, nice guy--contrary to his stage presence or whatever has been said about him over the years. here's a close-up:

someday, i will sit down and make a giant list of all the people, record labels, bands and such who have lent a hand in slowly getting us back on our shaky feet. that day wont be today, however. Don't think for a minute we have overlooked anyone. We are and will be here for if and when YOU get knocked down and need a hand...that, you can depend on.

Team Scratch. Richie, Marisa, Brandon have been the core during the rebuild. There have been others, too. Donating time, sweat, ideas and work. We have received help moving in the heat from several others, too. We, again, appreciated it all. It cannot be stressed enough how important everyone coming together was to the survival of the store. Starting with Norelle, Rhinoceros, Bill/Spicoli and the massive Mohawk Benefit, Iceberg & Stokes and continuing from there. I fear if i continue, i will forget someone, but soon an S.S. Hall of Fame post will detail it all. In the meantime, the minds of Team Scratch (in lieu of my own spinning head, brainless & hairless head) have put together a new look Spiral Scratch in the Elmwood Village. Once again, the focus remains the same, the prices stay as low as possible and we ask you to avoid tripping on extension cords, touching electrical outlets (you WILL get tazed, bro) and if someone wanders in and asks for change to "catch a bus", go ahead and suplex them on the sidewalk.

pictured: Chuck Barrels, Interior Design/Record Guru/Termbro

It's come a long way, baby.

"some" new stuff in stock or on it's way, includes (but is not limited to)
* new marked men 7"
* broken social scene lp
* against me lp
* black sabbath 180 gram reissues
* jimi hendrix experience 180 gram reissues
* brian eno bbc sessions lp
* sst records restock (minutemen, descendents, black flag, etc)
* gg allin "always was..." lp and early 7"
* riverdales lp
* gaslight anthem lp
* arcade fire lp (cheap!!)
* leadbelly
* lee 'scratch" perry lp
* mummies (both estrus and telstar lp's--limited again!)
* oblivians (popular favorites, soul food, 9 songs)
* real kids s/t lp
* pretty things lp
* of montreal (several)
* off with their heads/dear landlord 7"
* corpus dei split 7"
* neu! & neu '75
* can monster movie (UA press) lp
* bastard noise lp (should be in on wednesday)
* death - for all the world to see
* personal & the pizzas - raw pie singles comp (punk!)
* cap'n jazz reissue lp
* Touch & Go Book assembled by Touch & Go founder Tesco Vee! all the zines in one absolute must-have for an early 80s hardcore fan. these will vanish quickly.

plenty more, too. including used stuff donated. more to come, too.

we'll be in touch. thanks again, all.

-anchovies 08.11.10

Sunday, July 18, 2010

it's been awhile...

Sure as shit has been awhile. Rebuilding a record store ain't easy and truth be told, we hate to move.

yes, North buffalo is not the ideal spot for a record store--but things were going ok. Nobody had been run down crossing the street and the non-existent parking situation
wasn't in everyone's best interest (your knowledge of NB streets was crucial to this...or your willingness to park at KwikFill™.

We held out for the windows and door to be replaced and the minor damage to be addressed, but as of press time we have seen nothing but an electrician take a peek at some outlets and the plywood remains. We will miss our clubhouse that was, for a brief time, Sit-N-Spin before we moved in. We loved our neighbors at Rise Above Tattoo and Kellys Korner, as well as customers who lived nearby. And it was, well...close to home. For me. But they say the customer always comes first....somehow you still found us. Thank you.

Since the first wave of benefits and donations, we have received a steady stream of care packages to beef up the used section/replace my personal stuff lost from all across the world.

And if you're ever in Pittsburgh, seek out Mind Cure Records. The owner, Mike, personally donated me a huge box of killer albums and he is just getting on his feet himself.

So the big news is it isn't blue inside and its off of Elmwood on Bryant Street. A few more details to pound out and we will be ready to serve you the latest, the best vinyl available today. We have been able to make some orders, but rebuilding a shop costs money, takes time and the ordering will pick up even more after we open. Meanwhile, keep in tune to when exactly that will will be soon. It's gonna be weird, it's gonna be different, it's gonna be pretty interesting...a new adventure to embark on.

More to come in the coming days....but get ready for Spiral Scratch Grand Opening 2.0.
Counters By martin K.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Fire and the Damage Done--and what came next

ohh ohh, the damage done...

Wednesday May 18, i receive a call from dale...a young, aspiring tattoo artist from the mighty Rise Above Tattoo-our neighbor at 2531. it's around 9:35, and i'm watching the yankee game on the tube with a burger in hand. i had closed up shop after a quiet night to the sounds of the recent Brainbombs - Obey reissue. I had kept a close eye on the door because, in case you have never heard the Brainbombs, these critters are a swedish noise band whose lyrical subject matter has been said to be of the type to make GG Allin, at his worst, cringe. Personally, I'm unimpressed by that aspect of the band and it's shock's the music that drives me. A killer of an album.
Anyway, Dale informs me the shop has caught fire--our worst nightmare. Some quick action by passers by and the Buffalo Fire Department contained the blaze to the back counter area--but the devastation is significant. Special orders, a shit heap of unpriced, recently purchased used records, registers, computers, personal items, our stereo system, prized possessions and the store in-store play library (about 200 or so of my own personal collection) are destroyed. Everything on the walls and the entire bin of 7 inch records also are ruined. However, the set up of the store which has most of our new and used stock and the back room are spared. Some small miracles, but a whole lot of painful casualties are lost.
To make matters worse, our insurance agent has left us dangling for weeks and only a fraction of what is lost has been covered. To date, we have received $0 in insurance money. Due to potential legal action, i refrain from commenting on that matter further at this time.
Some of our friends stop by the grim scene, call, post on the internet their concern and condolences. Richie stands by me as the final nail is pounded into the emergency plywood enclosure.

Rumors debunked:
  • we did NOT burn to the ground
  • we are NOT closing down
  • the brainbombs record did NOT combust with flames of evil
"Everything happens for a reason"- the late, great Leonard Palumbo, Sr. (1940-2008)

A few customers donated records to replenish our used section, people we didnt even know donated money into our paypal account and Buffalo band RHINOCEROS immediately stepped up to the plate and donated their cut of a rather well attended show. We forever thank them all, be it $1 or a box of records. Or a hug.

The night of the fire, an equally rattled Bill Nehill, a shop fixture, sometimes employee, constant customer and great friend tells me this-"It's time to find out who is who in this town."
Bill organizes a benefit show which is planned for June 3rd at the bar he works and books bands at. Due to the short notice, it's a Thursday night and the bill is quickly filled with some well established local acts. Everything Falls Apart, Roger Bryan & the Orphans, Failures Union, Funnyman Bill Nehill, All Of Them Witches. The turnout is staggering. The bands, all of them, deliver fierce sets on an unusually hot and humid June night. The bartenders-Bill and Spicoli, work for free donating all their tips at their insistence. The bar is full of friends, familiar faces, strangers--everyone of them appreciated. Buffalo, my friends, is really a great fucking place to be. This was a night I won't ever forget for the rest of my life--an overwhelming conglomeration of faces you don't often see in the same room, at the same show.

Thank you, Bill, Eric, Joe and everyone who has been kind enough to show the slightest bit of interest, donate a few records, sell some records (we really need them now more than ever), offer their services, play a show to help us out or organize a benefit. We can't wait to give it back. The wheels are in motion, thanks to you.

Outside of Buffalo, we have received thoughts and help from our own heroes...the Cheater Slicks, Goner Records, Icki, GiGi in Italy, Tom from Memphis, Matador Records/Dave, Tommy at Edge and others i'll remember later and add to the huge list. how can we repay the favor? just let me know...i'll be there for you. Even Fucked Up, who erroneously thought i emailed them, plugged our benefit show on the 3rd.

We owe you all and will repay the support when we land back on our feet...which i promise will be sooner than you think.

Like i said, orders are being made so don't be us your wants, needs...or if you need a hand with anything i can help with. we are lucky to be born in a city full of great people who dont always get together...lets keep it together.

and to wrap this one up--we are YOUR store. let us know what you want to see and, goddamnit, i'll do everything i can to get it there as best i can.

thanks to Team Scratch, as always-Richie, Mugged, Marisa, Bill and anyone else who sat behind that counter, suggested stuff to get in, etc--we are coming back and stronger than ever. maybe at 2531, maybe somewhere else...but we'll be back before you know it,

THANK YOU and stay tuned! we love you.

*to keep in touch, as always, email us at spiralscratchrecordsATyahoo or pal up with us on facebook and send us a message. you may call the store or me personally if you have records for sale at 716.316.5589, or if you need any further info. or just wanna say hello.

-anchovies, 6.10.10

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Post-Record Store Day Ramblings/Happy Mayday!

A day of broken records (our best day ever...doubled), broken dreams (that goddamned Daytrotter 7:...). good times, great performances, shorted orders, shoplifters and missing cameras and lots of record buying.
We thank y'all again for checking us out, for coming back and buying stuff and supporting Artvoice's least favorite record shop.


We sure are proud as punch to be carrying a few new local records to get excited about: Mayday (aka Seasonal Geese) 3 song ep and the brand new Sonorous Gale 7", along with a split record that include's Buffalo's Failures Union. The Mayday and S D records are self-released and all our bands to be aware of.
In addition, some stragglers from Record Store Day...Monsters of Folk, Black Keys and REM Chronic Town, to name a few.

New Releases*New Arrivals*ReIssues*ReStocks*ReRun

EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING - Rush To Relax LP Aussie phenomenon ECSR seem to have the attention of a wide range of music fans at this point Coming together almost on a lark, 4 record plant workers for a band to play a work xmas party...release some singles and the rest is history. Full fledged stars in their home country, ECSR is slowly getting it out to the masses the world over. No trend hopping, no gimmicks, no bullshit--finally the good guys win. A;lso in stock is their second, Primary Colours...and we're expecting the self titled debut back any day now.

TOWNES VAN ZANDT - Live At The Old Quarter, Houston, Texas The mighty Townes Van Zandt--stripped down and laying it all on the line in front of a receptive crowd, recorded in 1973. Van Zandt is candid and away from any studio production here--the way a live album should be. Recorded in 1973, 2x LP pressed to 180 gram vinyl.
We have, in stock now, several other Townes' albums-his second studio album "Our Mother The Mountain", "Delta Momma Blues" and this double-live set.

CIRCLE 1 - Patterns of Force - Here's a rare find and we only managed to get a few. Circle 1 was a early 80s Southern California hardcore band with, along with the brute force of the music, a bit of melody. Infamously led by the hulking John Macias who had his friends and enemies, met an untimely death after being shot by an LAPD officer following him throwing a person off of Santa Monica Pier. Macias, a lot of history reports, was huge, strong and had some screws loose...often a dangerous combination. The band was also known for it's violent shows and a somewhat "creepy" following Macias led.

A few other restocks include BAD BRAINS incredible "Rock For Light" on vinyl, with the superior "euro mix"--different than than the PVC mix and miles above the atrocious CD mix. I know these may seem like slight nuances...but on this classic album, it made a world of difference. Another example, which is also back in stock for a time, is REAGAN YOUTH "often mistaken by the casual browser as a hate band due to the ironic imagery and name", comes a reissue featuring the superior early mix for vinyl--miles for lively than previous reissues. Last, but not least, we have the CRO MAGS "Age of Quarrel-Before the Quarrel" demo lp. Many songs appeared on their legendary debut, some did not. The mix of the demo, ironically, blasts the proper albums sound to pieces in terms of sound quality--a bright, bombastic counterpart to the flatter production which followed.

heres a few more new releases:

SHE & HIM - Volume Two She, Zooey Deschanel, and Him (no, not HIM), M. Ward, return for an appropriately titled follow up to last years equally appropriately titled Volume One. Building off of the acclaim of that first album, Volume Two is no re-write, but picks up where its predecessor left off.
Ghostface/Method Man/Raekwon - WU MASSACRE - It's back to the basics for the core of the legendary WU TANG CLAN. Production by RZA. Read the AV Club Review HERE

Trouble - Psalm 9 - 1984, metal was speeding up or often preceded by the word thrash. Meanwhile, these seminal doomsters were slowing down, creating a template for what we now call doom metal. Strange religious themes are the undercurrents to this out-of-time masterwork of metal that was, unfortunately for the band, decades ahead of it's time. Along with early Saint Vitus (also in stock now!), these bands are now receiving their due praise in the form of beautifully packaged reissues like this one on the usually more restrained Siltbreeze imprint. Clear 70's Sabbath influenced at a time when that was mostly ignored. Ignore it no longer.

Poison Idea - Feel The Darkness A classic of American Hardcore Punk, Poison Idea epitomized sloth and debauchery. Forming in 1980, they were one of the few successful at fusing metal with simple hardcore punk with classic results, as the 90s saw hardcore and punk parting ways for a time...both sides could get down with Poison Idea. Feel The Darkness, originally released in 1990 is one, if not thee, bands high points--chock full of classics. Shadily reissued by Epitaph in 1996 (the band was unhappy with the deal and, reportedly, still is to this day), this vinyl import should do the job for a long lost (but never forgotten) classic hardcore punk document. RIP Pig.

CARIBOU - Swim 2x lp Admittedly, I know little of Caribou other than it earned high marks across the board. Tastemakers Pitchfork dot calm delivered it an 8.4-read all about it here
or you can check out a review here from a less obnoxious, more detailed source (still receiving an 8.5) right here.

CHIN CHIN - Sound of the Westway - All female band formed in Switzerland in 1982, influenced by the Ramones, first wave british punk, 60s girl groups and a flare for pop hooks. Though considering themselves a punk band, these swiss ladies helped set the blueprint for noisy indie pop on this classic album. Another long sought after album reissued (with download) with style.

HARLEM - Hippies - More of the good time jumpy garage that was laden on their debut Free Drugs ;), HARLEM has found themselves signed to the huge Matador Records who probably hope they will be the next Black Lips. As of right now, they are sure as hell more listenable. A fine follow-up and just in time for spring...

PUFFY AREOLAS - In The Army 1981 - From just a few hours left on the 90 west (cleveland!) come these Puffy Areolas and their debut lp on Siltbreeze Records. Careful when searching Google for this band, too...check 'em out HERE. Filthy, dirty with equal parts psych/noise and influence drawn forth from some KBD type bands, In The Army 1981 is a blast o' bombastic punk rock...of the dirty kind.

NICE FACE - Immer Etwas - "Immer Etwas -translated, "Always Something", is the first full length release from this one man bedroom recording project turned full on 5-piece live band. Nice Face (Ian Magee) have been turning out singles, comp tracks, and cassettes at a steady clip over the past two years and change. This LP is a solid thirteen tracks of drum-machine driven blown out hook-laden punk rock." (Sacred Bones). A welcome mix of lo-fi electronics, and guitar driven punk rock...just don't call it garage, cause Magee recorded it in his bedroom. And don't call it "lo-fi, because it is not. This is further proof you can make a lot from just a little. And another example of the cream (of the genre, overcrwded already) rising to the top. Beautiful silkscreened covers and most likely limited to low numbers. Here's a pretty spot-on review to accompany my confused, yet glowing account of this album.

THEE OH SEES - Warm Slime - Another? I'm still digesting the gear change of "Dog Poison" and the weird one song 12" Quadrospazzed when Thee Oh Sees churn out another lp--this time they're back on In The Red and a welcome return to their louder, more rockin' sounds heard on the HELP & MASTERS BEDROOM lp's. Can you keep up? Sure I'm trying to peddle records, especially ones I like, but this band is so prolific and so good, for all the pushing, those pushed always came back for more. Among their best works is Warm Slime. It's not the same record, and i have a feeling this is gonna sound even better when the weather stops it's schizophrenia.

MOUNT CARMEL -s/t Here's a winner, alright. Forget everything you've ever heard about the Siltbreeze Record label and/or the current music scene in Columbus, Ohio. Mount Carmel is a straight forward blues-rock power trio with no attachments.
Drawing inspiration from British and American heavy blues rock from the 1970s, they spend most of side 2 covering TEN YEARS AFTER'S "Hear Me Callin'" It doesn't get overbearing, nor is it some other "stoner rock" band coming down the conveyor belt. They know when to keep things sparse and when to go for the kill. Memorable songs, great riffs--a fantastic lp hopefully we'll be hearing more about soon.

Scratchy Favorite
HOME BLITZ - O.ut O.f P.hase - Yes, this came out late last year and yes it's probably been posted on this blog before, but I'll be goddmaned if it isn't one of the most played records behind the counter.
Danial DiMaggio and his Home Blitz unit, oft compared to Jonathan Richman, Daniel Johnston, Dead Milkmen simply writes these quirky (sometimes) pop songs--sometimes on the sidewalk. This album shows more of hyper approach here and there, field recordings of just....noises. When the songs kick in, its pure joy. The perfect pop songs, loose, an occasional flub...but the charm can't be denied. Watch for a possible June show in Buffalo!


OZZIE - The Parabolic Rock 1975-1982
Credit Chuck Barrels with this one (and a slew of others). And credit the man behind SS Records. OZZIE were a genre-proof proto punk, proto-glam, wave, art rock...proto ev erything except what was blasting into everyones heads in the early 70's. They found themselves playing with punk bands in their native Northern California, as they were too off center to fit in with the Bowie's, Roxy Music's, BOC's they were clearly influenced by...hard rock with those proto-new wave/artsy/punk/weird tendencies makes for a strange, but fantastic musical garbage plate. Drawing from the bands limited released output and lost tapes, this is a double lp that is packaged with all the fixins' (gatefold with plenty of eye candy: flyers, pictures, etc and a insert sized booklet with extensive notes.) As is standard with SS Records, this shit is taken seriously and done right. An essential piece of rock history I reckon won't be around forever. If you wanna hear it (or anything else mentioned herein), just ask.

More Reissues....

JESUS & MARY CHAIN - Darklands
MAZZY STAR (all 3 albums)
THE FALL - Dragnet/Grotesque
MENTORS - first 12" on Mystic plus extra 7" and other shit. "valu pack"
UNIFORM CHOICE - Screaming For Change
YOUTH OF TODAY - Break Down The Walls
LIFETIME - Jerseys Best Dancers (Hello Bastards & s/t still here)
SPEED, GLUE & SHINIKI - Eve Pounding Japanese Psych/Hard Rock masterwork.
CLASH - London Calling
THEM - Angry Young Them (Mono)
SPACEMEN 3 - Sound of Confusion
SPACEMEN 3 - Perfect Prescription
PUBLIC IMAGE LTD - Second Edition
TROUBLE - PSALM 9 (80s early doom)


some incoming 7" records you should know about include, but are not limited to:

well, that's all for now. plenty to absorb. plenty to listen to.

and don't forget SATURDAY NIGHTS on WBNY, listen to thee Men of the Scratch & Scratch & Sniff Quarterly Magazine play these records and more. It streams live at the link there and plays on yer ghetto blasters in the Buffalo area tuned to 91.3 frequency modulation.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Record Store Day 2010 & other stuff

Record Store 2010 is finally upon us. Shrouded in the dark, our invoices started appearing today...when you deal with small distros and deal direct label to label...this is the day you hold your breath because more and more, it's the big guys running the show. And why not? This has turned into a big cash crop for certain major labels who have deprived Hold Steady fans of a release nobody seems to be able to get their hands on. We apologize in advance. However, its not all negative...there's loads of cool stuff coming.

Obviously, our proudest piece is Fucked Up's Daytrotter 7". What a concept. I rarely enter a competition...but i felt i already had the perfect photo. By now you've seen Spiral Scratch as the cover and title of Fucked Up's donation to RSD. 9 other stores were chosen across North America--obviously we like ours the best. We even made a RSD banner with it. Shit, look at that. Exciting.

With the help of our al-volunteer staff--we will open
the door at 10 am. A playoff hockey game helped
with this decision--we know Buffalo is a hockey town and it's been awhile since we made the post-season, so come in and brave the
can go 'cross the street and have a beer and beef for breakfast (or something healthier off the Kelly's Korner menu) then come back and buy more records in between periods. We will also be open later than normal if need-be --9 pm.

In lieu of the small allocations of Record Store Day product, we have loads of new stuff coming in Thursday and Friday. We also have an exclusive FAILURES UNION Record Store Day 7" no other store will have on Saturday, plus the brand new Sonorous Gale 7". Support Local Music and Support your local record store.

If you read the Buffalo News article, let us remind you we are NOT downtown--we are located in North Buffalo. The address above should help...though someday,. we will be a local chain with locations all over the area. Sounds like a good idea, huh? Yeah,. i don't think so either.

Lately we have been experimenting with classic jazz reissues. Coltrane, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, Grant Green, Lee Morgan, Charles Mingus and more. The response has been staggering. So as an added surprise on RSD, we will unveil our backroom used jazz lp's along with the reissues for you to check out. Some very interesting titles. What started as a punk & indie store as litersally "spiraled" into the best of everything (except showtunes, though we do have a used soundtracks section.)

There will be plenty of new releases, restocks of the rock, punk, indie, soul, funk and jazz variety in addition to the loads of Record Store Day Product.
Most of the RSD stuff we ordered did indeed come, though the quantities were smaller than we had hoped. This was due to labels and/or bands cutting numbers and larger stores (like Amoeba out west) getting what are small numbers for them and tiny shops like us getting nil, or 1 or 2.

We will try and keep it safe but we cannot hold things for people. Titles will be re-stocked as they are sold, so try and get their early. In special will have to visit us at the shop--no emails or messages, please. And remember--this is a day for the dying breed of record stores--not your day to turn a buck flipping records online. One title per customer. No exceptions. There...those are the rules.

Not tipping our hand completely, we will be offering a Ted Leo 7" (exclusive tracks), Rodriguez 7", an Arthur Russell 12" and a various artist comp, plus a Pavement compilation (all vinyl) from our pals at Matador Records. Of course, we will have several "Spiral Scratch" Daytrotter 7"'s with our cover on it.
Roky, Devo, Sonic Youth, Jimi, Neil Young, Tom Waits, Against Me!. Album Leaf, Joe Strummer, Gorillaz and plenty more.

MGMT-Congratulations (limited version on sale!) with coin and sceatch iff civer)
EDDY CURRENT SUPPRESSION RING - Unlikely aussies become one of the best bands in the world. The new album is Rush To Relax We sold 5 copies the day it dropped and are fully re0stocked,
JONSI - of Sigur Ros. Solo effort.
X-Wild Gift Their second album which hasnt legitimately been reissued in at least 15 years.
Lifetime - Jersey's Best Dancers The third and final re-ish from NoIdea. Originally on jade tree.
Others include late 70s albums from The Fall, Television Personalities.

Now read the damn eyes hurt.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Record Store Day 2010 Update/RIP's/Incoming...

I: 1950-2010/RIP(s)

While we don't like to turn this into an obituary page, rock and roll lost 2 important figures earlier this week--both born in 1950.
We were stunned and saddened to here the news of Alex Chilton passing away suddenly from an apparent heart attack. His work in the almighty Big Star and as a solo artist--and the teenage with the raspy "2 pack-a-day" voice in the Box Tops before all that. Their biggest and most memorable song, "The Letter" has been a personal favorite of mine since I was a always seemed too short. I wanted that song to go on for 5 minutes. Maybe more. Of course, that was the age of 2.5 minute pop songs. Chilton's work with Big Star is legendary, and you can read (or have already read) and heard all about them by now. We hope. Needless to say, Big Star was criminally overlooked in the public eye during their existance--but their stubborn genius too great to be overlooked by the bands they influenced. But this is not an entry to sell records. That will come below. RIP Alex Chilton.
The same day, at nearly the same age (59,60 respectively) longtime Maximum Rock and Roll columnist who, though not a "Robert Christgau" award winning music journalist--his wild enthusiasm for punk rock, both old and new, made him a legend at MRR. Even if you weren't down with his tastes, he made it fun to read anyway. He was admired and well loved and our sympathies go out to his family, friends and his biggest fans.
Certainly, with the passing of Vic Chesnutt, Mark Lincus/Sparklehorse and Doug Fieger--it's been a downer of a few months for some of our loyal customers and we share in your misery. Trust us, we do. Between the lot of them...someone must have lost at least one person they admire, and that's never fun. RIP Bruce!!!!!!! and RIP Alex.

II: RECORD STORE DAY : April 17, 2010
Shit, that's all i got. Here's some of what's been offered--but not promised to us here.
Live performances, free mini-corn dogs and other bullshit stillbeing let us know if you're after anything in particular. Matador is also offering a limited Pavement retrospective lp, a Ted Leo 7". That's all for now...

III: Incoming: New Releases and Re-stocks, re-issues and loads of previously enjoyed records.

Red House Painters - Songs For A Blue Guitar This one went fast the first time around and has bee tough to track down, like much of Mr Kozelek's records. A double lp's worth of Songs For A Blue Guitar--freed from his fiormer bandmates, baring his soul and a little legal red tape, this batch of songs dates back to 1996 and has been handsomely re-issued by Plain Recordings. Also finding it's way back to 2531 is Sun Kill Moon's "Tonight The Sky"--a full length companion piece to his acclaimed "April" lp from 2008. As is often the case with Kozelek's limited and disappears quick. We'll try and keep 'em around as best we can.

The Baby Huey Story - The Living Legend Ironically (is that proper useage? let me know in the comments section, creep) released after his untimely death, Baby Huey was 400+ pounds of pure soul...another situation where he didnt attain the popularity his incredible music warranted. of course, dying didnt help his cause. Regardless, this album is an essential that we just can't get enough of over here at the Scratch. Produced by the almighty (and also the co-writer/writer of several tracks here) Curtis Mayfield, the giant fell victim to his vices (eating and heroin) at the tender age of 26. Another example of a massive (no pun) talent overlooked until years after it's release--the Living Legend is a soul classic.

Lifetime - Hello Bastards The mid-90s benchmark for melodic-hardcore, in an overcrowded genre, Lifetime's debut became a cult classic almost in an instant. As it went out of print after it's initial release on Jade Tree in 1995, it also became a pricey collectors jewel. The fine folks at No Idea Records have made this slab affordable for the common folk with this re-issue (they have since re-issued all of Lifetime's lp's--Jersey's Best Dancers should be arriving next week or so).
Unlike many of their counterparts in the genre, Lifetime has stood the test of time with their fans and are even making new ones with these re-issues.

Die Kreuzen s/t - "The Crosses". Milwaukee's die Kreuzen's self titled LP was, and remains, the cream of 80s hardcore, though not given nearly enough credit for their self titled powerhouse of midwestern creepiness backed with not-so-typical sounding musical outbursts--making it sound perfectly timeless and a forerunner to noisy indie rock/post-punk, "grunge" and the weirder side of punk rock to this day. Truly deranged vocals and guitar meandering that goes beyond the 1-2-3 go power chording. (not that that was a bad thing, by any means) As with a lot of mid-western hardcore, there were no barriers to remain inside of and as a result, these bands have aged with perfectly fucked up grace. A true classic of the genre that could have come out last month and sounded right in place. Released, and re-released with an mp3 download by Touch and Go Records, these also seem to come and go. Fans of aggressive music should not be without one. Barrells has put it in his top 2 hardcore records and that is a 5 star statement.
Thomas Function - Celebration The debut lp after a couple of acclaimed singles from this hard-to-pin down band from Alabama.
Though embraced by the garage rock community perhaps the most, they are anything but. They have a catchy as all hell clean sound that fuses perfectly jangly (i swore i'd never say "jangly" again...i lied) guitars/acoustic guitars, a young augie myers on cheapo organ and a warbly vocalist that sounds like a teenage tom verlaine from Television. Confused? That's just the beginning.
Rootsy? They're cooking up something here and it's equal parts rock and roll, old r&b, bluegrass/country...shit, each song seems to have a personality of it's own. I kinda regret passing on this band at first, as this was released in 2008, but it's never too late to mend.
See for yourself HERE

IV: More restocking action!
  • Screamers - Demos LP Seminal LA synth punk band's only studio recorded material.
  • Bad Religion - How Could Hell Be Any Worse?/Suffer/No Control LP's
  • Patti Smith - Horses LP
  • Velvet Underground LP's--including the "mono banana". All 180 gram vinyl.
  • Dead Boys - We Have Cum For Your Children LP
  • Blue Cheer MONO reissues of Vincebus Eruptum and InsideOutside on Sundazed
  • Grant Green - Green Street LP
  • Thelonious Monk - Monk LP
  • Alkaline Trio - This addiction LP/mp3 card
  • Agnostic Front - United Blood 7"/Victim In Pain LP
  • Cramps - Off the Bone LP
and more coming. next week...including the highly anticipated brand new Eddy Current Suppression Ring lp, She & Him Volume #2, Jawbreaker "Unfun" reissue and more... (there's always more).
Well, that's about it for now folks. Don't forget TUESDAY, March 23 is a FREE IN-STORE show with: Bill "Tracy Morrow" Nehill, Singleman Affair (Chicago) and A Relative Term. Show at 6 pm, sharp.