Thursday, 31 December 2009

It's The End Of A Fucked Up Year..

OK, so here's the summary of the numbers of records I picked up in 2009, all of which were covered by this blog:

And here are the numbers presented graphically:

Some observations are as follows:

- May was by far & away the most active month. I picked up 101 new records. Most of these were in one trip to buy a chunk of someone's collection.

- The second busiest month was August, where 41 records were acquired. This was once again mainly due to a road trip to buy bits from someone's collection. This was where my XClaim! Records collection officially started.

- Even though I prefer LPs to 7"s, there were only two months where I picked up more 12" records than 7" records (Jan & Oct). There were 7 months where I picked up more 7"s than I did 12"s, and three months where I picked up the exact same number of 7"s as 12"s.

Overall it was a good year for me for records. I picked up some long-standing wants. My favourite items of the year (in no particular order) were as follows:


Pitchfork 'Saturn Outhouse' 7" on clear vinyl

Bane 1st 7" Test Press

American Nightmare 2nd 7" on orange vinyl

Sub Zero 7" on blue vinyl.


American Nightmare 'Background Music' LP purple X vinyl

Black Flag 'My War' LP on red vinyl

Champion LP on White vinyl with special sleeve

Dinosaur (Jr) 1st LP on yellow vinyl

SSD & DYS LPs on XClaim!

Jawbreaker 'Unfun' LP on blue vinyl

Dag Nasty 'Minority Of One' LP on pink

Sadly, it was also definitely the year in which i bought less new releases than ever before. I guess I am growing old and growing out of touch. But there were a few great new releases to come out this year:

Pulling Teeth 'Paradise Illusions' LP

Rot In Hell 12"

Iron Age 'The Sleeping Eye' LP

Coalesce 'OX' LP

ON 'Double Vision' 12"

Bizarrely, it seems that 2009 will be largely remembered as the year of the reissue. I ended up buying several records that I already own on new colours or with different packaging. I guess this has something to do with labels not being able to make money from CDs anymore, and realising that they actually CAN sell records. Possibly the first time in about 18 years that this has been the case. Good.

Here's the list of reissues I picked up...

Bad Religion LPs on colour

Sunny Day Real Estate LPs on double colour vinyl

Mouthpiece discography LP

Unbroken discography triple LP

Carry On 12"

Rorschach double LP

Face To Face 1st LP

Embrace LP

Barfight 7" as a 12"

Dag Nasty 'Can I Say' LP

So, overall, a great year for my record collection. But the ultimate irony is that the record I LISTENED to most was one that my Dad bought me for my birthday, which isn't a record at all, but a CD. By far my fave release of the year (even though it technically came out in 2008). What is it? This:

See you in 2010!


Today's entry is without doubt THE most important entry I have made yet on this blog, and without doubt the longest. Please bear with me whilst I give you the background on this, discuss the issues it raises, generally whittle on and finally bore you into submission…

But before I get started, I'm going to tell you what the record is. It is a 7" by a band called PITCHFORK called 'Saturn Outhouse', released by a record label called Nemesis Records back in 1989. This is one of 100 copies on clear vinyl, which are hand numbered on the back of the sleeve. Until today, this was by far and away my most wanted record. This what it looks like:

In case you have never heard of the band, Pitchfork was a short-lived band that were active between 1987 and 1990. They were from San Diego and released only two records - this 7" and an album called 'Eucalyptus', which was also put out by Nemesis Records. Pitchfork was the first band to feature John Reis & Rick Froberg (aka Rick Fork). In case you are unfamiliar with these dudes, they went on to do several other bands over the years, such as Drive Like Jehu, Rocket From The Crypt and Hot Snakes.

But why exactly was this my most wanted record? And why the hell did I pay so much money for it? Well, to understand, you need to know the FULL story. Take a deep breath...


When I first got "serious" about trying to collect records in the early to mid 90s, one of the first things I did was to put together a Wants list. Any self-respecting record collector has one. And when I was getting started, the way I put together my first wants list was just to flick through my collection and just list colour vinyl versions that I knew about of all the records I already had at the time on black vinyl. So, for example, I had the Gorilla Biscuits LP on black, and the Turning Point LP on black, so on to my wants list went the GB LP on purple and the Turning Point LP on clear. There was no level of priority to it. I just wanted a colour version of every record I already had. And yes, I mean literally EVERY record that I already had on black vinyl. I guess that really it was more of a wish list rather than a want list. I mean, it was a pretty long list. So even if someone magically appeared and offered me the whole lot at one go, I would not have been able to afford it. No chance. Not when I was a 20 year old student. I wasn't in a hurry though. I saw the list as a long-term objective, and was happy to tick things off one item at a time for as long as it took.

I used to write up wants lists by hand, photocopy it & send it out when I wrote to people. I wish I had some of my early ones, but I don't. The oldest want list that I still have in my possession is one that I published in my first zine in 1996. Yes, I made a zine and used one page of it to publish my want list. Here is a scan of the page from my zine which shows the want list:

Some of the items on the list are pretty funny, because back then there was no internet and information was scarce, and I got some things wrong. I guess I had bad information. But it makes me laugh that I was seeking a Turning Point 7" on BLUE. Ha! What an amateur.

Next, a scan where I have highlighted the items that, since publishing the zine thirteen years ago, I have NOT yet acquired:

As you can see, there are 9 items that I have still not yet acquired. However, six of them I could have bought many times (Bold 7", Endpoint 7", Swiz 7", Unity 7", Face To Face LP & Uniform Choice LP) since they have sold on eBay frequently over the years. That leaves three of them I have not had a chance to get... the Drive Like Jehu LP (although I did get a white vinyl copy, so getting a clear one isn't that much of an issue), the Uniform Choice demos double 7" (which is also on Nemesis Records, and also seems rare as hell), and the Pitchfork 7".

What this shows is two things - that The Pitchfork 7" has been on my want list since AT LEAST 1996, and that it is hard to find.


As you can see, I had a pretty long wants list back in 1996. Funnily enough, since 1996, my wants list has only really got longer. But by 1996 I had started buying new releases direct from labels in order to get the limited colours of vinyl, so in theory all I had to do was keep up with new releases and then, now and again, pick up some slightly older things, and the wants list would start to reduce. Sometimes, however, I would miss new releases, e.g. the Floorpunch LP on white or the first In My Eyes LP on red. They sold out super fast and I missed them, so they got added to the wants list. Or sometimes I would pick up rather late on bands that had been around for a while, so I would then need to go backwards and try to get their older stuff. But I would always be picking up things from it at the same time, so whilst it was never really getting any shorter, it was constantly changing.

What I quickly began to realise was that, although my want list was long & comprehensive, I could pretty much classify each item on it according to one of three levels of priority:

Priority 1 - This was usually reserved for my favourite records, which were generally the classic, older releases that I really badly wanted.

Priority 2 - This was stuff that I definitely wanted, but not as badly. Generally, newer releases that I liked a lot that I had somehow missed fitted into this category.

Priority 3 - This would be stuff that was on there because I knew it existed and in an ideal world I wanted it, even though the record itself was not a particular favourite. Generally, Priority 3 stuff was just there for completeness, and tended to be stuff that I wasn't that bothered about (so why the hell did I even put it on the list - what a dipshit!)

Each record on the list would fit into one of the above priorities, although the priority list was just in my head rather than on paper. Quite often I would get offered things by people that were priority 3 and I would turn them down because I really wasn't bothered about them. A lot of Priority 3 items are relatively easy to get. They're for sale all the time, and this somehow makes them less attractive. You probably have your own priority list, but you just don't have it written down.

Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is that, when I first made my early wants lists, the Pitchfork 7" on colour vinyl was definitely priority 3. I had the record on black vinyl, and I put the colour vinyl one on my want list simply because a colour one would be better than a black one. I didn't even know it existed on colour vinyl at the time. It was just an educated guess, given that most other Nemesis releases came on colour. But yeah - I fully acknowledge & admit that, back in 1996, this record was only on my list for the sake of completeness, and not because it was one of my favourite 7"s.

As time passed, however, I found the Pitchfork 7" moving up the priority list. Not because I listened to it loads and decided that it was in fact my favourite record ever, but more because it started to feel somehow elusive. I began to notice that this one record seemed to have been languishing on my want list longer than most others, and ultimately this began to irritate me. I just didn't understand why it was so difficult to find.


I have a hazy memory of finding the Pitchfork 7" on clear vinyl for sale on How's Your Edge trade board circa 2001. I have no idea who was selling it. I didn't exactly use HYE regularly back then. But I distinctly remember the incident because I remember the price. I emailed whoever had it on their list, and they replied to tell me that they wanted $50 for it. So I said no.

What you need to understand though is that back then this was a LOT of money. To give you an idea, at around the same time Revelation used to sell records on the 'Charity Auction' section of their site, and I bought a test press of the Supertouch LP on there for $50. Even funnier is that I thought I was pushing the boat out by paying $50 because it was the one Revelation release that didn't exist on colour vinyl, and because I focused my collecting on limited versions, I figured that the only way to get a limited copy of the Supertouch LP was to get a test. So I spent big money. Fifty bucks. It felt kinda lavish and reckless at the time. Haha! Oh yeah, and around the same time I remember Rev selling a Movielife LP test press and there was only one bid and it sold for $20. I guess this seems as ludicrous to you right now as it does to me as I write this in 2009. But the point stands - in 2001/2, prices were a lot lower than they are today, and $50 for the Pitchfork 7" (making it comparable with a Supertouch LP test press) seemed insane. So saying no seemed sensible.

If, however, I could have known how much that decision would come back to haunt me in the following years, I would have gladly paid it twice over.


After turning down the chance to buy the Pitchfork 7" in 2001/2, I then didn't have so much of a sniff of it for another 5 years or so. So somewhere around 2006 I began to realise that this 7" was different to any other record I wanted or indeed had ever wanted. What made it different was:

- I had never seen one.
- I had never come across anyone who had one
- I had never seen it on anyone's trade list
- I had never seen it on eBay
- I didn't know anyone who knew anyone who had it
- I didn't know anyone else who wanted it
- I didn't even know anyone who even knew what colour vinyl it was on (I mean, I had been offered a clear one, but I hadn't SEEN it, so wasn't sure if it was actually existed. Nor did I know if there was another colour of it, seeing as Nemesis Records seemed to make a lot of their releases on several different vinyl colours).

It was because of these factors that, around this time, I began to think of this record in a different way. The more I thought about it, the more I began to realise that this somehow seemed to feel like THE rarest record of all time. It began to take on holy grail status (or 'white whale' as people seem to refer to it these days). I struggled to understand was how obtaining a Chung King LP and a Chain Of Strength 7" with silver sleeve had proved relatively easy, yet this 7" by some crappy rock band that nobody really knows or cares about was so difficult.

Realising just how difficult it was to find only succeeded in making me more frustrated about it, which made me want it even more. At this point I realised that I wanted it more than any other simply because this record seemed so elusive. So rather than just sit around hoping it was going to fall into my hands, I decided (for only about the second time ever) to target this record and put some time & effort into trying to find it.


After deciding that this was my number one want and my record collecting priority, I naively figured it would be relatively easy to find. I've always has this theory that I can have pretty much any record I want any day of the week. How? Simple. Money.

Ultimately, with tangible goods, everything just comes down to money. Using sites like HYE, Dead Format, eBay and Google, it's possible to quickly locate people who have pretty much any record you can think of. I mean, if I decided that owning a Chung King test press was the ultimate objective, then I know three people I could email! Once you find someone who has something, then IN THEORY it is then just a question of money.

For example, let's just say that I decide I want a Chung King record... well, I could quite quickly find a list of several people who have one. Then all I do is offer them money until one of them gives in and agrees to let me have one. If everyone says no, I would just increase my offer. But eventually someone would give in and take the money. You think that's not true? Well, imagine for a second that you have a Chung King, and you know that they usually sell for about $3000. What if I offer you $3500? Are you going to sell it? Possibly not. But then what if I offer you $10,000? Or $20,000? Are you still going to say no? Probably not. So even though the people who have one say they don't want to sell, there comes an amount at which they would change their mind.

So all I am saying is that, if you decide you want something more than anything else in the world, all you have to do is pay more than someone else thinks it is worth and they will sell it. That's my theory.

However, this theory is predicated on one basic assumption - that you can FIND someone who has the thing you want in the first place. Unfortunately though, this was exactly my problem with the Pitchfork 7". Nobody had one, nobody had ever seen one, and nobody knew anyone who had one. So what the hell could I do?


Well, I racked my brain and came up with a few ideas of things I could do to find a Pitchfork 7" on colour vinyl. Here's what I did:

1. Set up a trade list on HYE. I put my whole collection up for trade, and listed the Pitchfork 7" as my only want. I figured that, since I have a lot of rare records, someone out there would come out of the woodwork with one and ask for one of my records in exchange. And chances are I would have gone for it. I was prepared to trade BIG for this record. But I never had a single offer.

2. Contact the owner of Nemesis Records - After he appeared on Double Cross, I emailed Big Frank Harrison, who used to own/run Nemesis Records. He was able to confirm that the Pitchfork 7" existed on clear vinyl and that the sleeve was hand-numbered out of 100. Unfortunately though, he didn't have any spares. In fact, he didn't even have one for himself!

3. Contact other collectors - I asked Igby (some dude who works at Revelation, who used to be good friends with, and helped out the label). He had sold some Nemesis Records tests a couple of years ago, and is supposed to be a big collector, so I thought he may be able to help. But alas he didn't have a Pitchfork 7". But he did say that he thought that he may have had one at some point in the past. I also asked Dave Mandel, who runs Indecision Records, and who is reported to have one of the best collections out there. Again, he didn't have one, but also thought that he may have had one years before… but he also threw a spanner in the works and told me that he thought it existed on blue vinyl. I also asked Cliché Jon, a young British chap who seems to be particularly talented at locating ridiculously rare records. But he couldn't find this one.

4. Search the internet! I tried HYE and Dead Format regularly, but nobody on either seemed to have the record I was seeking. I got excited for a short while when I used google and found this weird site where the clear vinyl Pitchfork 7" is mentioned. I emailed the site owner and offered him some money twice, but I never got a reply.

5. Contact the band - I emailed Rick Froberg himself, who is now an artist living in NYC, and who plays in a band called Obits. To my surprise, I got a reply within about twenty minutes, saying that he had "a few" copies of the clear vinyl Pitchfork 7"s in his storage back in California. He even said that next time he was out west he would grab one for me. A few months later I emailed to see if he had been, but I got no reply. I tried again two or three times, each time a few months apart, but I got no reply each time. Eventually I felt like I was bothering Rick, so I gave up emailing him.

6. Set up an eBay notification so that when anyone lists anything in the records category in eBay containing the word 'Pitchfork', I get an email. At least twice a week I would get one of these emails from eBay, but the listings generally pointed me toward were always either the Pitchfork 7" on black vinyl, or Clutch records ( since the first Clutch 7" was called 'Pitchfork').

Despite putting in the time & effort, I was no better off. All of this action yielded no result. Well, that is until...


Sunday 29 November 2009 was the day that my luck changed. I awoke to find an email from eBay. And as usual, the records it was showing me were Clutch records. However, at the bottom of the screen there was a fourth listing… and when I saw it, my eyes nearly popped out of my head. The email I got can be seen here:

The listing went up and, as you can see in the picture, the starting price was $249.99, but there was also a buy it now of $999.99. And to make things just that little bit more nail biting, it was a 10 day listing. I didn't want to have to wait for ten days, but at the same time I didn't want to pay the ridiculous buy it now price. So I didn't really have a choice.

However, to make it complicated, the main problem was that I have NEVER seen one of these before, let alone seen one sell. So I had absolutely no idea what it might be worth... or rather, what it might sell for. But I did figure that I probably wanted it more than anyone else in the world... which meant that I was, in theory, going to pay more than anyone else in the world for it. But I had absolutely no idea whatsoever how much this might need to be. Would it REALLY need to be a thousand bucks?

I talked with my girlfriend about it for about an hour, trying to figure out what to do. I did actually consider paying the buy it now, as it would have been the only guaranteed way I could get the record. Any other tactic carried a risk that someone else might beat me to it. But in the end, after a lot of thinking, I was so convinced that nobody would use the buy it now that I decided to just sit & watch the auction progress. To add to my worry though, the seller kept reducing the buy it now price. After a couple of days it went down to $750, then down to $500, then down to $400. There was no hit counter on the page, so I had no idea how many people might have been interested. But I stuck with my original theory that nobody was going to want this as much as me, and nobody was going to use one of these insane buy it now prices.

Well, the day of the auction end finally came around. It was ending at about 17:30 my time on a weekday. Usually I would be at work at this time. And where I work, the internet gets blocked if you are on it for more than half an hour. Although for some reason, if you go on eBay, you seem to get blocked within about ten minutes. In the past I have logged into eBay at work to bid on something, waited until there were a few seconds to go, then clicked "submit bid" only to have my work system block me from ebay, causing me to lose the item. Obviously I could not risk this. So I took the afternoon off work.

Well, with 5 minutes to go there were still no bids and I started to get nervous. I just sat there clicking refresh over and over until there were only seconds to go. Then I put my bid in. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, I won. One bid. Clearly my initial assumption was correct - nobody wanted this as much as I did.

As soon as the auction was over, I emailed the seller to ask where he got the record from. I was just curious as to whether the seller was the original owner or not. Here's the reply I got:

No, I'm not the original owner. It was just one of those lucky things where I went into the music store just after they had priced the 45, but before they put it out for sale. There was actually two of this same Pitchfork 45 that they were about to put out for sale, this one, and a black vinyl one. I bought them both. The black vinyl one was in good shape, but obviously had seen a bit of play. With clear vinyl it's harder to tell, but when I played the record at home to judge the condition for the auction it was obvious to me that the same person had owned both the 45s, and had used the black one to listen to, and had just kept the clear vinyl one pristine. My play of it may have actually been the first time! Although that's a hard claim to make on a eBay auction unless you ARE the original owner. Based on some other auction with some other super-rare Reis related 45s I had going about 9-10 months ago, I really thought this would sell for twice as much, if not more. But am glad that you bought it. I'm sure you'll be very happy with the condition

I'm guessing the seller paid like $5 or so for it. I didn't care though. What I found interesting was simply that I had been chasing this thing for years and theoretically, if I were in a different part of the world, I could have just walked into a used record store and picked it up for next to nothing. What a concept! Made me wonder how many other people's white whales are out there just waiting to be found.

The story wasn't quite over yet though. The next problem was shipping. The seller insisted on this thing being sent insured. Previous experience told me that, if I had paid for this to be insured, then the "value" would be declared on the packet and I would be hit for import duties, probably amounting to about $60. Obviously I would rather avoid this if I could. So I hatched a plan. I paid to have the item shipped to Mike in the States, and got him to send it on to me in a regular priority mail envelope without declaring the value. The only downside to this plan was that it would take longer to get to me, and there was a chance I would not get the record before the xmas holidays.

After only a couple of days, I was informed that the record had completed stage one of it's journey and arrived safely at Mike's. He even sent me a picture as proof:

He then sent it on to me. It was then a race to see if it would arrive before xmas. But there was an added complication. I get all my records sent to work, since my home mail box is tiny and anything that gets delivered ends up being taken back to the depot until I can collect it. But my last day in the office was 22 December, and the office was going to be closed from the afternoon of the 24th until 4 January 2010. And come 22 December, it hadn't shown up. So I instructed my colleagues to call me at home if it showed up on either the 23rd or 24th. And wouldn't you know it, I got a call on the morning of 23 December telling me that it was there. Typical! I take a day off work and then there's a reason for me to go in! So I drove the 38 mile round trip to London and back to collect the thing. Here's what it looked like:

The main feeling I felt holding this envelope was relief. Relief that the 13 year old chase was finally over. I savoured the moment for a few seconds, then sliced the fucker open...

The record itself is an interesting colour. Clear, but with a slight green tint to it, like glass. There are also a few brown-ish smears eminating from the centre, which just about show up in this picture:

And, as I had heard years before, the sleeve is hand numbered out of 100.

So there it is. My number one want finally acquired. Kinda feels like finishing a video game that you have been playing for months, or the end of a long-running TV series that you have loved. I'm just left with a feeling that some part of my life is over.

So what's next? I don't know. No idea what my most wanted record is now. Maybe I should just give up collecting. Stop buying records and stop this blog. Game over. I'm done.

Although, that said, I'm suddenly thinking that I wouldn't mind a Pitchfork 7" test press...

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Bane 2009 Tour 7"

This is the tour version of the 'Dublin, 11:58 PM' 7" that I wrote about a few weeks ago ( HERE ). This version has a different sleeve and was made for the Bane european tour that took place in late August & early September 2009. I actually think this sleeve is way better than the regular one, but that's a different story. Anyway, even though it was a tour version, they still knocked out two different versions...

Black vinyl, of which there are 120 copies:

Green vinyl, out of 480 copies:

Now, I should have had these way back on 2 September. I went to see Bane play in London on that day, where they were selling these records. However, something went wrong and I only ended up getting the 7"s in mid December. Here's the story...

I arrived at the Camden Underworld in the pissing rain. I wasn't in the mood to go to a show. I pretty much only went because I have been to see Bane every year that they have toured and I wanted to catch up with them. I also knew they would be disappointed if I didn't make it. So I went, but not really feeling that good. But then when I arrived I saw a few people I knew and chatted to them, and things kinda turned around. I guess you could say I had a good time.

I also got given a record by Sheep. He gave me a 12" of his old band, Honour Among Thieves. I'd seen the band a couple of times. I thought they were good at what they do, although admittedly this isn't really my cup of tea in 2009. But still, I figured I couldn't turn down a free record. He also gave me an LP mailer to carry it in, which came in very useful later...

There were 250 copies of this record made. I think it's the only record I own that I can't pronounce the title.

Anyway, a couple of bands played, but I have no idea who they were. I was too busy talking to people. Then Down To Nothing played. I kinda like some of their earlier records, but wasn't really in the mood to enjoy them. I watched them play, but the average age of the audience made me feel old. Then Bane played. I pretty much watched the whole set from the sidelines. Just wasn't feeling in the mood to jump around. But at the end of the set I was so disgusted that they didn't play "Superhero" that I went up front and requested it. Of course, they're nice chaps, so started to play, and I started to dance...

A few seconds in, I got pushed forward against the stage. At this point I figured that the best course of action was to jump back onto the people behind me. So I put my foot on the edge of the stage and launched myself up and back, expecting to land on top of the crowd. However, by some unfortunate twist of fate, suddenly there was no crowd behind me anymore. I didn't know this at the time of course. I found out as I fell further than expected onto the floor. And, as anyone would do when they realise they are falling, I put my hand down to cushion the impact. And this is where it all went wrong. When my hand hit the ground something inside my arm moved. I actually felt bones kinda shift position. It didn't really hurt, but I knew something was wrong immediately. I got up and glanced briefly at my elbow. I can't describe it other than to say it looked wrong. Trapped at the front of a packed room, I figured the best way to get out of there was to walk over the stage, which is what I did. Then some dude walked me upstairs and called an ambulance.

The paramedics came pretty quick. They gave me oxygen and morphine. A short while later a proper ambulance came and took me to Charing Cross hospital. Clearly I wasn’t an emergency because they didn’t even drive with the siren on, and they kept stopping at traffic lights. I got there about midnight – so about an hour after the incident. Once admitted, I had x-rays and the doctor (who looked exactly like Elizabeth Shue – I even asked her if anyone had ever said she looked like someone famous and she replied “yes, the prostitute from Leaving Las Vegas”) told me I had a dislocated elbow. I could still move my fingers and had feeling in them, and could squeeze her hand, so they were sure it wasn’t broken. So good news in a way. But they said they were going to sedate me and then pop my elbow back into place. And that’s what they did. They gave me ketamine at about 1am and a few seconds later I was out of it. In case you don't know what ketamine is, I grabbed this from the nerd:

Ketamine is a short-acting but powerful general anaesthetic which depresses the nervous system and causes a temporary loss of body sensation. Ketamine can cause perceptual changes or hallucinations like LSD, in addition to its effects on reducing bodily sensation. Users can trip for up to an hour and may feel after-effects for some hours.

Oh well, there goes the edge. After I woke up I felt super drowsy and dizzy. The room was spinning. After a while I managed to focus on the clock and see it was about 2:30. It had felt like about ten seconds. At this point they told me I was fixed but I was kinda out of it so couldn’t tell. I had to go for more x-rays so they could check everything was where it was supposed to be. After this they put a cast on my arm and a sling. By this time it was about 3am. They then told me I could go home, but there was no way that was going to happen because I felt too ill. So I tried to sleep. I kept drifting off but then waking up again feeling sick. At 5am I went outside to get some air and ended up throwing up (although nothing came out because I hadn’t eaten for over 12 hours). At this point they realised I wasn't right, so they let me sleep in a dark room… although they didn’t give me a pillow and the bed was like a rock, so sleep was not easy.

I was then woken at 7am (aka two hours later) by some chick telling me I could go home. Unfortunately though, I didn’t want to because I still felt sick. But they wanted the bed, so they offered me a chair to sit in instead. At about 8:15 some dude came along to tell me that they were going to look at my x-rays and make a decision about whether I needed surgery. Turns out that my arm was fractured and there was a little piece of bone fragment loose and they might need to do surgery and put a pin in my arm! So I waited. Throughout my entire wait I kept going to the toilet to throw up nothingness. Thankfully, about 45 minutes later they told me that they didn’t think surgery was necessary and I could go home once I had been given a better sling. Again, I had to wait for this for the best part of an hour.

Finally, at about 10am, I could go home. But then the next problem was logistics. Before going to the show I had parked my car in Camden. The hospital was in Hammersmith in West London. Probably five miles or so. But with one arm I couldn’t drive anyway. So I called my dad. He ended up catching a train to Camden, and I got a taxi there (throwing up nothing en route) to meet him. He then drove my car to my place, with me sat in the passenger seat giving directions. Finally got home at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon looking something like this:

Later in the day my friend Adam called to check I was ok. He had seen the whole thing. He also told me that Dalbec had given him two of the Bane tour 7"s to give to me. I figured I would get them from him at some point. But then a few weeks later I realised I wasn't going to bump into him anytime soon so asked him to send them through the mail to me, which he did. And even though he lives in London and I asked him to send them to my work address somewhere else in London, they still took almost a month to arrive. Goddamn postal strike backlog!

Anyway, hopefully this explains why this post is nearly four months later than it should have been. Apologies. Hopefully it won't happen again.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

The Brown Book 'Thirty Nothing' LP

Still frantically trying to catch up on the stuff I got in the past few weeks before the end of the year... looks like I might just make it!

Somewhere around the beginning of November, I got an email from a dude called Ryan, saying that his band had just put out an album and saying that he would like to send me a copy. So I sent my address, and a short while later, the record arrived.

The band is called The Brown Book. The record is called 'Thirty Nothing'.

This record has a very DIY feel. No insert, no colour vinyl, no limited editions. Just a black record in a simple sleeve.

I originally said to Ryan that I found this interesting, and I'm keeping with that comment. This record is full of loud rocking sounds, but no vocals. I guess the only bands I really listen to that sound remotely like this is Pelican and Grails, but The Brown Book don't sound like either. Imagine Botch playing Pelican covers but not bothering with the long build-ups and quiet jangly bits. Well, The Brown Book sound something like that. Except better. I've been enjoying this a lot lately. I don't know whether this is classified as rock, metal, hardcore, or something else. But it matters not. All I know is that this has been the perfect soundtrack to cold, dark evenings.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, check out the band's myspace:

You can buy the LP there using paypal for only $10 postpaid.

For me, it was interesting listening to a band with no preconceptions whatsoever. Most bands I listen to I pick up on because of the record label that they are on, which usually gives an indication of what it is likely to sound like. So to get a record and have no idea what it is going to sound like was a different experience. Thanks Ryan!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Descendents 'Enjoy!' LP Pink

I guess I'm old now. I can kinda tell this because as time passes I find myself more interested in the past than the present and future. These days I am far less interested in current bands. For some reason I would rather go back and listen to older stuff. And even though there are lots of bands that I have listened to over the years, there are a lot that I have not. Or some that I tried years ago & didn't like, who I now think that I should try again. The Descendents is one such band. I had the album 'ALL' years ago and only really liked one song, so I got rid of it. But a couple of months ago I was listening to a cover of the song 'Bikeage' and really liked it and decided to give The Descendents another try. And you know what... they're frickin' awesome!

So next, as usually happens, I started looking on eBay for their records. I remember seeing some of their colour vinyl LPs sell for big money on eBay a few months back, and never thought I would later be thinking about trying to pick some up for myself. But that's how it works sometimes I guess. Well, as it turns out, I recently stumbled across one on eBay uk just before xmas which I thought looked likely to go for a bargain price, so I bid and won for a lot less than it usually sells for. So here it is - my first piece of Descendents vinyl (which I highly doubt will be the last):

This seems to be universally acknowledged to be their worst album, and I can understand why. Kinda sounds for most of it like they just can't be bothered and are making songs up as they go along. But there are a few good songs on it. And no doubt it will grow on me in time, as their other albums have done. If only I'd gotten into this band in 1993 when Alan Rancid was listening to them I would probably own their entire catalog on colour vinyl now. Oh well.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

Carry On 'It's All Our Blood' 12"

Here's the latest release from React! Records and Youngblood Records. A split (re-)release of Carry On 'It's All Our Blood'.

The funny thing about this is that the 'It's All Our Blood' CD was itself a reissue of two Carry On 7" vinyl releases... which I bought when they came out many moons ago. So this 12" is a vinyl reissue of a CD that was itself a reissue of vinyl. Interesting concept huh?

As usual, I couldn't help but order more than one copy. Luckily, I managed to get my hands on one of the colour vinyl copies, which sold out in a matter of hours:

React! put out a limited red vinyl, but I am not sure how many were made. There was also a different colour for the Youngblood customers, which is (I think) white. I don't have one of those. Yet.

This record was subject to a few delays, which was in part due to the tri-fold lyric sheet. I understand that this record was quite the labour of love. The quality of the whole thing is top notch.

As usual, React! made up some screened cardboard mailers to make the package that little bit more interesting, as well as throwing in the obligatory written words and stickers that come with every release.

The craziest thing of all is realising how long it has been since the original 7"s came out. I distinctly remember where I was living and what I was doing in life when they came out. It seems kinda bizarre how much time has passed and how many years Carry On has been in my life. But getting this record forced me to go back and listen to them for the first time in a while, and they have aged well. Kinda feels apt to close out the decade listening to stuff I was listening to when it started.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Bane - 12:58 AM Rome 7"

Today's post is the latest installment in the recent Bane 7" series, which sees 40 different record labels release 800 7"s on 4000 different vinyl colours over the course of the next 30 years.

This one is called 'Rome, 12:58 AM' and is released by Hurry Up! Records. Pressing info on this one is as follows...

Some on grey:

A barrel load on Maroon:

And infinity copies on purple-ish with some blue in it:

Soon I am going to be able to pile all of my Bane 7"s on top of each other and knock the moon out of the sky.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Crimpshrine 7" 1st Press

Well here I am - still catching up on posts from the last few weeks. Clearly I have missed my 'one post a day target'. But I can still just about catch up by the end of the year if I get a move on...

Regular readers of this may know/remember that about 4 years ago I discovered 120 or so 7"s in my collection that had damaged sleeves. Pretty much all are records that have photocopied (or cheaply printed) sleeves. The problem is to do with the ink, which over time somehow goes "sticky" and starts to look wet. I am convinced that the cause of this problem is heat. Here's a picture of my Crimpshrine 'Sleep, What's That?' 1st pressing, which suffered badly:

Notice how the black ink reflects the light, because it has taken on a wet appearance. Notice also the red, stamped number, which was present on the first pressings of the first five Lookout! releases.

Well, a few weeks ago I got around to replacing this one via a cheap buy on eBay. But unfortunately, when the record arrived, I discovered that the sleeve suffered from the same problem as mine... only far worse. The ink had stuck so badly that it was impossible to remove the sleeve from the PVC cover.

As you can see, this is in very poor shape:

I emailed the seller, he refunded me immediately and told me there was no need to send the record back. Good service for sure, but it still left me without a copy of this record in good condition. So I went back to eBay again, and got lucky. I found a listing for another first pressing copy, but this was one better, because it had (apparently) originally been owned by a member of the band... and for some reason, it came with a second sleeve printed in an alternate colour. I bid and won and, fortunately, when the record arrived it turned out to be in perfect condition.

The alternate colour sleeve is pretty crap in all honesty. Basically it's just a photocopy of the regular sleeve:

This record comes with a little booklet containing lyrics and other stuff. And this copy also comes with a second copy of that too, also printed on exciting white paper!

So now I have one copy of this record in great shape, one in not so good shape that I have owned for about 16 years, and one trapped in a PVC cover in very poor shape.

No idea what I am going to do with the excess two copies. Anyone want a less than mint Crimpshrine 7" first press?

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Police & Thieves 7"s

I originally started this blog out of boredom. Sitting around at home one night, bored, I decided to take a couple of photos of some records I had recently bought and then see if I could start a blog. It's only a bit of fun... although is starting to feel more and more like a chore. But there have definitely been some good things come out of this. I have met (albeit in cyberspace) some cool people, and also this has helped me to pick up some cool records. This latest entry is an example of both of those things.

A while ago I got a comment on one of my posts from Carlos. It also had a link to his website, which turned out to be that of his band - Police & Thieves. Now, I'm a big fan of the entire catalogue of Youngblood Records, and have been buying their output pretty much since the label started. But I didn't know that Carlos also used to front another Youngblood band - Worn Thin - which was one of my favourite bands of the early 2000s, and definitely one of the most under-appreciated bands on the label. Their LP is one of my favourites.

Anyway, Carlos ended up hooking me up with a couple of rare Police & Thieves 7"s. The record release edition of the Youngblood 7":

I love this sleeve. I love the bright colours and the crazy purple octopus character. This sleeve is also hand numbered:

I also got a limited version of the first 7":

I'm stoked to now have 5 Police & Thieves 7"s. You know the saying - great band, great dudes!