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 kid...it 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 planned...so 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 vinyl...it'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
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.