October 17

Whenever possible I try to find records that I know my wife will enjoy for The Collection.

Call it self preservation: if she enjoys the hobby, even just a little, then I don’t feel so guilty about my obsession. “Here honey! This one record (on top of this huge pile of records) is for you!”

She had mentioned that one of her favorite albums, and one she would love to have on vinyl, was the soundtrack from the 1994 movie The Crow:

When I searched for a vinyl copy of this soundtrack, my search came up blank. It seems that there was a bootleg copy available at one time but no official releases.

It turns out that she had seen this bootleg at the local record store, 4000 Holes:

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She had dropped a few hints but I didn’t pick up on the fact that there was a copy actually sitting in our local!

The hint dropping and got more pronounced today as she broke out the CD and listened to it on repeat all afternoon.

I finally got the hint!

As always, these bootlegs are a bit sketchy, perhaps recorded off of a CD, a test pressing or some other less than optimum source. But this one sounded pretty good! It did omit the final track from the CD, It Can’t Rain All the Time from Jane Siberry (one of my wife;s favs, sorry!)

August 29

May 5

It was late 1985 or early 1986. I went to see Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers on tour in support of the album Southern Accents. Although the Petty show was good, it was the opening act that left an impression on me… Lone Justice:

Lone Justice was a Cowpunk band from L.A. and the lead singer, Maria McKee, was a ferocious stage presence in a flour sack dress and boots. Their short opening set, house lights up, sound being figured out and all… made me think I was seeing the Next Big Thing.

Their debut album charted, as did the two singles they released, and I remember reading music critics in Rolling Stone (or someplace) rating Lone Justice as one of the top albums of the year. Even so, their music failed to connect, they were over hyped by their label, over controlled in the studio and the band just imploded.

I’ve had the CD for years but came across a gold stamped promo version at 4000 Holes a few weeks back. Even if the Next Big Thing thing didn’t pan out, I remain a fan. Here’s a good looking and sounding video circa 1985… pretty close to what I remember.

April 18

So, today was Record Store Day 2015. We decided to partake, each selecting one record from the list of annual releases to get excited about and try to score at the local participating Independent Record Store, 4000 Holes:

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There’s us at the back of a ~50 person line 30 minutes before opening…

My wife was after a 7” from the band In This Moment:

I was after the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hedwig and the Angry Inch:

We had a 50% success rate.

If you’re not familiar with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, well, buckle your seat belt. From Wikipedia:

Hedwig and the Angry Inch is a rock musical about a fictional rock and roll band fronted by a gay male East German singer named Hedwig. Hedwig, formerly Hansel, assumes a female persona after a botched sex change operation which was performed to allow him to marry an American man and escape East Germany.”…  “The musical opened Off-Broadway in 1998, and won the Obie Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The production ran for two years, and was remounted with various casts by the original creative team in other US cities. In 2000, the musical had a London West End production, and it has been produced throughout the world in hundreds of stage productions.”

I was aware of the Hedwig musical, reading a review of a local theater performance in Kansas City circa 2001, the same year the film adaptation was released. That film adaptation, delivered via HBO, Showtime or Skinamax, just blew me away… the soundtrack, released in 1999, accompanied a DVD copy of the movie as a gift.

The story addresses familiar themes of love, betrayal and trying to find a true path in life, all delivered through a very unlikely medium, Hedwig. Along the way, the story by John Cameron Mitchell is brought to life by musician/composer Stephen Trask.

The result is a dozen of the best songs I’ve ever heard.

The standout song, and the finale of both the film and the stage production, is the song Midnight Radio:

Luckily this video doesn’t give too much away for those who are so inclined to check out the movie, but I hope it gives a sense of the powerful synergy between story and songwriter.

The play had survived off Broadway for many years with several surprising artists taking on the lead role (Michael Cerveris, Michael C. Hall, Ally Sheedy and Donovan’s son, to name a few). Hedwig began it’s on Broadway run in 2014 with Neil Patrick Harris in the lead. This version won several Tony awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, Best Lead Actor in a Musical and Best Featured Actress in a musical.

The original Broadway cast recording of the NPH version was released on pink vinyl for RSD 2015:

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I’m happy to have it!

April 12

My wife’s most favorite song from her most favorite band is London by Queensrÿche, from the album Rage for Order:

I managed to find a still sealed copy on vinyl at the local record store 4000 Holes.

Valentime’s day, done!

How she waited this long to finally open and listen to this record is beyond me, but it happened this weekend. Stormy afternoon, obligatory phone calls taken care of, house reasonably clean… let’s rock!

As I’ve mentioned before, I was never a Queensrÿche fan and often mocked them as an overplayed hype, but hearing them through her ears and seeing them through her eyes has changed my perspective.

I’m a Queensrÿche fan! There, I said it. Like they say, even old dogs can develop an appreciation and affection for something they once disdained if their hot wife is into it.

March 2

My buddy Brent came home with this album on day:

It’s a studio album that was recorded and released in 1973 by a pre-Fleetwood Mac duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

We listened to this thing over and over, breaking down all the Buckingham guitar parts and soaking in the now familiar music from these two then struggling artists… now uber-famous rock stars.

There was chatter that Buckingham Nicks would be re-released for its 40th anniversary, but nothing ever materialized. I’ve been patiently waiting for this album to get the full remaster and extended version treatment it deserves. There are a few “re-issued” versions out there, but the word is they are produced from masters that were made by recording an existing vinyl record and duplicating that to vinyl and CD… no thanks, I’ll pass.

I coveted this album back then and have always been on the lookout for a copy of my own. So, when a used copy turned up in the local independent 4000 Holes, I snatched it up.

Visually, mine has some issues, including some jerk named “Hale” writing his dumb name on the cover and on the side 2 label. The cover is pretty worn, especially on the edges and there are a few scuffs and light scratches on the groove.

More concerning was a fairly deep scratch almost all the way across one side. Ugg. I could even feel this one with a finger, which is not a good sign, and would have been a “pass” on almost any other record.

But this record is one rare bird so I took the chance… and, boy, I’m happy I did! It plays really well and, with the exception of the quietest acoustic passages, the surface noise is minimal.

Here’s a version of the song Crystal from Buckingham Nicks followed by Crystal from the 1975 Fleetwood Mac eponymous record:

January 29

Speculation in vinyl records is a fool’s errand.

This fool has a hundred or more records he speculates will bring profitable “in store credit” to his account at a local independent Record Store. The theory is that if you find a unique, interesting, clean (hopefully all three) LP at a thrift store, garage sale, estate auction… whatever, for $1.00 or less your local independent Record Store will happily give you $1.00 (or more) in “in store credit” to spend as you see fit on records of your choice.

You see, since I have started this endeavor I have been buying apparently (to me anyway) unique, interesting and clean vinyl LPs by the box-full. Some deals have been too good to pass up, some have been a stretch. All in I’ve probably spent $300 on vinyl (sorry honey) this month. Some of these LPs will go into “the collection”, LPs I hope to play and cherish often in my home. But most will go in dribs and drabs to the three local Independent Record Stores we have here in Spokane, hopefully to net a small margin for me to expand “the collection”.

If this goes as planned, we all win, right? I mean, I get the records I want to complete “the collection”, the Independent Record Store gets good LPs that keep regular customers coming back and they also get to make a profit, shoppers at the Independent Record Store get to buy LPs to add to their own “collection”…

This is the first record I purchased speculatively, Shoes – Boomerang.

Mine is promo #214046. Honestly, I had never heard of Shoes, despite the fact that they were active during my formative years and had some MTV exposure. My copy of Boomerang was in a thrift store, visually graded as a VG+ vinyl and sleeve (complete with a protective jacket).

After a cleaning the record played very well, just a slight surface noise. The music was a great throwback to 1982… almost a mix between Oasis and the Knack.

Would I listen to Boomerang again over some other tried and true record in “the collection”? Probably not, but I’m glad I got to listen to it this one time. I’ll hope my speculation pans out… and I hope the Shoes fan in Spokane that finds this record at 4000 Holes, or Groove Merchants, or Recorded Memories, is as thrilled to have found a unique, interesting and clean copy of Boomerang as I was.

Either way, I’ll blog about it!