Saturday, 26 June 2010

Saturday Night Live

Saturday night & this is what I am doing right now... tidying up and filing some 7"s whilst watching the USA play Ghana in the World Cup:

Yep, it has to be said - life doesn't get much better than this!

Well, unless of course you're one of those people who actually have a life... but if you were then you wouldn't be reading this, right?

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

It's 1997, I'm 27, I have a bad credit report

Gordo from Double Cross was selling some records recently. I saw a list on the Livewire Board and sent off an email with a long(ish) list of stuff I was interested in, but got a reply to say that nearly all of them had gone. I was still happy though, because the thing I wanted most was still available. I was all set to pay when I got another email from Gordo saying that he would let me have some of the other items I wanted, because some dude had reserved some stuff but hadn't paid & seemed unreliable. So I paid like a good citizen and a few days later I got the goods...

The thing I had wanted most was this LP:

There were (I think) only 100 of these on red. This has been on my want list for many years. I had a chance to buy one not so long ago for $70 which I didn't take. So getting this for $35 seemed like a good deal.

The second item I was excited by was a red vinyl copy of a record that I already own on blue vinyl - the 'Time Is Now' comp that came with the Tension Building zine, circa 1997 I think.

Red is the rarest colour, being numbered out of 83 copies (although technically there is a rarer version - a solid red, which is out of 25 copies, which I doubt I will ever see):

I got one of these things when it came out. I still have the zine I bought years ago, but I think I only ever read it once. But I remembered that there was a great quote from Chris Zusi in the Floorpunch interview:

Pretty funny how I thought this was cool when I first read it, but now, being a bit older I am exactly the kind of person he is talking about. Ha!

Next is another record that has been on my want list for a long time. I just never got around to picking this one up. I've had numerous opportunities to grab this over the years, but I always figured I would wait and score it for a cheap price. Finally that day came. Breakaway 7" on blue vinyl on Teamwork / Consequence Records. Nice one to have mate:

Next up, more entries in the 'straight edge hardcore compilation 7"s from 1997' category. I could feel myself wanting to collect this comp for a while now. So I took the opportunity to grab three versions at once. The blue vinyl with blue letters on the sleeve:

The white vinyl in the blue lettered sleeve:

If memory serves correctly, the blue letters were the second press. First press was red letters. And this is where I fucked up. I picked up a clear vinyl copy from the first pressing:

But when it arrived I realised that this is the version that I already have. Turns out that I need the red vinyl one. Damn. It's not a good situation when I don't even know what I have anymore. But my loss is your gain. This is spare and available for you to buy or trade from me.

Next up, a Carry On 7". I already have one of these. This is a spare. I just picked it up because the price seemed good. Thought I could trade this with someone. Could be your lucky day, punk.

And also, same deal on this great split 7"... I already have it. This is a spare for trade purposes:

Come on, let's make some trades people!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Floorpunch 2xLPx2

I am really conscious of how many reissues I seem to be buying lately. It seems that, ironically, vinyl is the only format that anyone can sell and make money from these days, so a lot of labels seem keen to reissue stuff that is long out of print. And even though the vinyl is probably intended for the new generation of kids who weren't around when the records were originally released back in the day rather than fools like me who were around, it doesn't stop me keep getting suckered into buying the same records again.

Sometimes it's nice to get the same songs repackaged in a new sleeve with new artwork. Sometimes it's nicer just to get it in the same sleeve but on a different colour of vinyl. I guess it varies depending on the band in question.

Sometimes though, I really wonder why I bother. This is one of those times. I like the front cover of this, but the rest of it does not look very nice. And the vinyl itself.. well, the only problem is deciding which of the two colours that I got sent is the most hideous.

This is one reissue that I can comfortably live without multiple copies of. I bought the tour press when they were on tour (see HERE), so I think I'd rather just let these vomit-inducers go. Not that I can imagine that anybody will actually want to buy these after seeing them though...

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

COALESCE - the mother lode

Ok, so I get a few records in the mail from time to time. We know that much already. But this package had me more excited than I have been for a long time...

It all started on eBay. I found one of my long-time wants - the "final" pressing of the 'Functioning On Impatience' 12" from 2003. I say "final" because it was supposed to be the final pressing at the time, but it actually got repressed a couple of years ago to celebrate its ten year anniversary. But anyway, I always wanted one of the 2003 final pressing copies because the record rules and it comes in a different sleeve. I've seen this on eBay (and been outbid) many, many times. There are 300 copies in total, so it's not really THAT hard to get. It usually goes for somewhere in the region of $35-40 or so. Well anyway, I spotted one on eBay a few weeks ago which got me more interested than any other copies, because the description claimed this one was number one of three hundred... although there was no picture in the listing. But I decided that the time had come to pick this one up. So I bid, expecting the price to go high... yet I won it for $16! To say I was stoked out be an under-statement. Here are some pics:

The back of the sleeve has the pressing info for all colour vinyl pressings prior to (and including) this version. Nice touch.

Also, this copy is signed. I'm not sure if all of them are signed, or just this one. And I'm not sure who has signed it. I would guess at Sean Ingram, singer for Coalesce and (I think) owner of Blue Collar Distro, who released (or half released) this version of this record. Not how he has signed it & also written '001' too, which I assume is a reference to this copy being number one:

And here's the money shot - the number on the back of the sleeve. If only the seller had put up a picture like this in his listing, he probably could have got a bit more than $16 I would guess:

Well anyway, as usual, I checked out some other items the dude was selling and found another Coalesce record that I wanted. This is a test press of the 'Salt And Passage' 7" that was released in 2007, which was the band's first release since their last one, which had been about eight years earlier. I remember three years ago when this was announced, there were about two thousand colour variations for sale, and the rare ones sold out in two seconds. So I just never got around to picking it up. Until now. This marks my only copy of this record. And I don't think I am too fussed about trying to get more to be honest. This will do.

The paper dust sleeve has the Second Nature Records logo embossed on it, which is a nice touch if you ask me:

So that was my eBay winnings. I was more than happy with this. But somehow the story didn't end there. The next day I got a message from the seller asking if I would be interested in any more Coalesce rarities. My answer was simple - "yes, but it depends what you have and how much you want". I was then offered three records. I was told they were $40 each, or I could have all three for $100. I decided to pay the dude $100 before he could change his mind. I think this was a smart move. I am convinced that this was a really good deal. Here's what I got...

First, a clear vinyl pressing of the 'OX' LP. As you may or may not know, Relapse Records press 100 copies of every record they release on clear vinyl, but these records are not for sale - they are given to the band and friends of the band and label only. So anything on Relapse on clear vinyl usually sells for top dollar - especially if it's by Mastodon! Seeing as the only version of this I had previously was the regular, black version, I was happy with this.

Second, a clear vinyl copy of the 'OX EP'. This is a 12" ep that was released a couple of months after the 'OX' LP. I somehow never got around to picking it up, even though I loved the 'OX' LP last year. But yeah, once again, clear vinyl was not available for Joe Public, so I'm stoked to have one of these. Even cooler, this record also has the logo / cover art screened on the b-side of the vinyl. This thing looks very, very nice:

And finally, I am super stoked on this one... a test press of the 'OX' LP. This one comes in a specially made sleeve, made by Ohio Pride from the Vinyl Collective message board. I feel very lucky to have one of these things.

Total cost of this haul was about $150. A lot to spend at one go, but I'm pretty sure I could sell all this stuff tomorrow for double what I paid. Not that it's about the money, of course. But it's always satisfying to get nice items for a good price.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Iron Age Hen's Teeth 7"

Another day, another Iron Age record. Today it's a 'Burden Of Empire' 7". This just strikes me as a weird release. Why? Well, just because it has a very DIY (and cheap) feel to it. I would have thought that there would have been labels pretty much queuing up to release it, yet the band chose to release it themselves. What's wrong with that? Well, nothing at all. In fact, it's cool. But the weird thing is that they seem to have not put a lot of effort into it. The records have blank labels, but there are about 20 different sleeve variations for it. But each 'sleeve' is just a single piece of card. So no wrap-around sleeve or jacket that the record goes into. So it just feels kinda rushed and kinda cheap. Kinda like what you would expect from a bootleg. I guess I only find this weird because I think that if I were in a band then I would want to make my records look nice. But maybe I'm missing the point.

Anyway, despite there being an insane number of cover variations, nearly all of the records are black vinyl. There are, however, a few copies on red vinyl. I have no idea how many. But I do remember that Dave from Six feet Under Records sold one on eBay some months ago. I remember this for one reason - that the description said it was 'rare as hen's teeth', which was a phrase I had never heard before. Cue me trying (unsuccessfully) to find out if hen's teeth do actually exist. If not then it's a stupid saying.

Anyone know the pressing info for this thing? I mean, is it really as rare as something that may or may not exist?

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The lost New Age records

Sometime in February this year I ordered some records from New Age Records. Until that point, I hadn't realised that the label was still going really. I just figured that it had fizzled out about ten years ago. But no, it's still going, and still releasing new bands... although I haven't heard of any of them and am not really interested in any of them because, clearly, none of them are going to be anywhere near the quality of the bands that the label released in the mid 90s.

Back in the mid 90s I ordered from New Age a few times, and (unlike most people) always got my stuff in good time. Really good time in fact. Like, about three weeks to a month, from the point I sent off the cash in an envelope. But I guess my luck had to run out sometime... even if it was about fifteen years later.

So like I said, I ordered in early February and the package finally rolled up at the end of May. So even though payment technology has improved to the point where cash is received in seconds, it seems that order processing technology at New Age Records hasn't improved at all over the last decade and a half. Oh well. At least it was only me that was surprised.

Well anyway, the whole point of the order was a repress of the Outspoken 'Survival' 7". This was one of the first straight edge hardcore 7"s that I bought back before most of you were even born. And since it never came on colour vinyl previously, a 2010 repress got me excited. Even better, this one was packaged in an alternate sleeve:

This also has the 'Walk Proud labels' (NOTE - this label was originally used on the b-side of the 2nd pressing of the Walk Proud 7", which was the first release from New Age. This label was subsequently used on the super rare pressing (77 made) of the Unbroken final 7", which you probably haven't seen).

And just like the Unbroken 7", there are only 77 copies of this thing:

Cool record, cool pressing. But you know me, no point in paying for one record since the shipping is high. Might as well add some more stuff to the basket to make it seem worthwhile (even though adding more stuff to the basket just adds more to the shipping costs!). So I also picked up a new version of the Mean Season 7". This one, however, is not a new pressing. This is clearly just a new (cheap & crap) photocopied sleeve whacked on to some leftover 7"s from way back when.

This is numbered out of 47, which seems like a weird number. I'm guessing the reason is that they found 47 records laying around that needed to be shifted.

I now have three versions of the Mean Season 7". I would rank this one as the third coolest. Ha!

Finally, to make the order even more worthwhile, I picked up two new versions of the first Amendment Eighteen LP, 'All My Heroes Are Dead':

I'm not going to pretend that this is my favourite New Age release. It's way down the list. But I picked these up because I am an idiot and that's just what I do.

The first copy is a new pressing. This is on glow in the dark vinyl, has black labels, and comes in a regular sleeve. There were 55 of these.

I'd love to include a picture of this glowing in the dark, but alas that is impossible, since it doesn't generate enough glow for the camera to pick it up in a dark room. You'll just have to take my word for it. It glows in the dark.

The second version is described as the ten year anniversary edition. This is limited to 48 copies. It contains a green vinyl record leftover from the first pressing, put into a 'special' (aka cheap, crap) sleeve:

Mine also came with a limited bent to fuck sleeve, due to completely inadequate packaging. Normally I would raise this as an issue with the seller, but in this case I don't see the point, seeing as just getting the records at all seemed like a major achievement after 4 months of waiting.

The worst thing about this episode is that the label has now put up yet another different version of the Outspoken 7" in their store, which I want. So in theory I have to place another order and endure another long-ass wait spent wondering how bent up the sleeves might be and, in fact, whether the stuff will come at all. Brilliant!