Friday, 29 April 2011

Record Store Day 2011

Ok, so Record Store Day 2011, the annual event intended to celebrate & hep preserve local record stores, took place two weeks ago. I have never participated before, but this year I had seen an impressive list of records that were being made specially for the day, and realised that I had to get involved. My main point of interest were the Revelation Records reissues, and since I knew that my local store would be getting them in, it was just a matter of what time I should get there to be sure that I could get them. Well, I know that there were a lot of people last year, but I found out from the store that nobody got there before 9am (for a 10am opening). So I figured I would get there at 8am to be safe. So when the day came around I set my alarm for earlier than I would on a work day, got up and drove ten miles, then walked to the store. I took with me a Nintendo to keep me amused for two hours, and a skateboard to sit on. As it turns out, I would have been better to stay in bed. I got there a full two hours before the place opened, but found the biggest gathering of people waiting that I have ever seen. I took this souvenir photo then turned around and went straight back home:

Fortunately, however, I had a couple of friends halfway across the world who were looking out for me. My iphone didn't stop buzzing as both Mike and Doug kept me up to date with where they were & what they had managed to lay their hands on, so I was able to relax a little knowing that I wasn't going to have to resort to ebay and pay five times the store prices. Then it got even better (or worse). Another friend of mine who lives about ten miles away told me that he had been to the exact same store that I tried to go to at 5 in the afternoon, where he had casually walked in & picked up the Revelation releases without a problem. Even better, he told me that they still had copies left. So the next day I was able to go back again and pick up a few bits myself. So here's everything I managed to acquire from Reissue Day 2011...

First up I'm going to deal with the Revelation releases. Now, it was known that there were three 7"s being repressed, with 1,000 of each being made. I figured that this was (is) a large number, and it would therefore be pretty easy to get these. However, just to keep things more interesting, it emerged pretty quickly after people starting buying the things that there was variation in the vinyl colours. There seem to be light and dark colour variations of each 7". Speculation is that these were initially pressed as editions of 500, but then the label decided to make 500 more, and maybe the plant didn't manage to make the same colours for the second run. As far as I can tell, this is just speculation, but it certainly sounds plausible.

First up is the Quicksand 7" on blue vinyl. I was lucky enough to get one of each colour variation. One dark, which includes black swirls, and one light, baby blue. The difference between these two is quite obvious:

Next, the Youth Of Today 7". Again, I managed to get one of each variation. However, this one's a weird one. The difference in colour is quite obvious in real life. One is maroon and one is kinda pink. However, it was almost impossible to get the difference in colour to show up in a picture. I guess it's to do with me having a cheap, crap camera, but also the way the light falls on the things. Still, after taking probably 50 photos, I have managed to get a couple of shots that show the difference:

Now, the BURN 7" was the first record that I almost went insane trying to track down. Back in '92/93 this (on pink vinyl) was by far my most wanted record. It wasn't until late '96 that I managed to track one down. Back then it felt like a huge and impossible task had been completed. So pretty funny that 15 years later I once again had the BURN 7" on colour vinyl at the top of my want list. This is one of the most important records I own, in terms of shaping my life, and this new pressing on yellow vinyl looks fantastic. Shame that I didn't get the light yellow version too, but I'm sure I'll get one eventually.

And the final Revelation release is the Elliott LP. Some thought this a strange choice, given that it is nothing like, and bears no relation to, the other Rev releases. However, in some ways, it does make sense. Firstly, the singer of this band has a new band - Frontier(s) - so there's probably been a bit more interest in Elliott again recently. And secondly, this is apparently Rev's second biggest selling release ever. Not sure where I read that, and I can't confirm that it is 100% true, but I read it somewhere, and I don't disbelieve it.

My copy has a few bits of pinkish red colour in it. Perhaps a clue that it was pressed right after the YOT 7"?

Another classic hardcore reissue - the Bad Brains first 7". I'm not really sure why it has taken this long to repress this record, nor why it was selected to do this for RSD, but hey, since I don't have this record at all I figured it was worth having:

I like how it has a sticker informing us it's a reissue. Presumably this is just in case someone happened to walk into a record store and see a Bad Brains 7" for sale for $5 and shit themselves thinking it was an original.

I also picked up the Rival Schools 7". The store I picked mine up from must have had about 40 copies of this thing on the shelf the day after record store day. I figure they'll be selling this one until the end of time.

And the Off! 'Live At Generation Records' 7" on Vice Records. What I like about this is that it has the same artwork / layout style as the other 7"s they have released on this label. What I don't like is that I realised abut a week after RSD that there was a second Off! 7" made for RSD, on Southern Lorn records, which is far more aesthetically interesting... and which I don't have.

Next up, the Interpol remix 12". This was probably the most limited thing I picked up. Apparently there was only 300 of these things made in total. It seems to sell on ebay for 5 times what I paid for it. I expect this one should at least hold its value for a while, unlike the other items, where the value is likely to fall significantly over the next few weeks/months.

A new Arctic Monkeys 7". I listened to this band's first LP loads when it came out, and the second LP was alright too. But that was probably 4 years ago now & I haven't listened to anything since. I like the minimal packaging on this one.

And finally, one that I now kinda regret buying - the Mastodon / ZZTop split 7". I like Mastodon, and I guess I picked this up because it was there. But it looks cheap and mass produced, and I don't really want anything by ZZTop in my collection to be honest

As much as RSD provided a bit of entertainment for a couple of days, all things considered I have to conclude that it is a bag of shite. I mean, come on, what is the point? To help preserve record stores? Well, if that's the case then why is it only one day a year? Also, I have to say, there's something wrong when, for one day of the year, every fartknocker under the sun gets up a 5am to line up outside a store and buy every record in sight... yet every other day of the year they spend money elsewhere. Seems to me that all RSD is doing is creating hype around a bunch of crappy reissues that most people seem to be trying to buy just so they can sell on ebay to make a fast buck. Plus it seems to now be becoming more about the day itself, and the competition to get their first and buy the rarest piece of crap, that people are losing sight of the point. What should be happening, in my opinion, is that this positive energy towards buying records needs to be re-focused a little. Instead of encouraging people to buy records once a year, stores & labels should be trying to make it more sustainable. So it needs to be a bit more regular. Also, the hype also needs to be about the music, not just the plastic. We need there to be this level of interest in new releases rather than just for reissues. I think we could do with something like this every month, although there is an argument that people might then get bored with it pretty quickly. I don't know. All I do know is there is something wrong when those of us who support vinyl for 365 days a year can't get into our local shop due to 200 people we've never seen before scrambling to buy a Doctor Who picture disc for twenty quid. Morons.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Hands Tied 7" on Gold

Hands Tied 'Through The Wreckage' 7" on gold vinyl. This came out on Livewire Records late last year. It didn't make my top 5 7"s of the year list, although with hindsight, it probably should have done. I guess I didn't play it enough when I first got it, but after a while it ended up as a regular gym hit and in time I have found that it is one of those records that I simply cannot tire of. Fast & hard straight edge hardcore played by older dudes who have been around for years and who obviously still know what the fuck is going on. Unfortunately though it seems that not many other people know what is going on, because I was the only bidder for this item on ebay. I won it for $3, which seems even more crazy when you consider that this is the more limited colour out of 100 copies. I missed this when it came out because I was going through my prog rock phase.

The seller also offered me the red vinyl copy too for nothing. He had tried to sell it on ebay but got no bids, so asked me if I would like it thrown in for free with the gold one. I actually said no, seeing as I already have the red one & I didn't want this dude to lose a bit of money in sending it over to me... but he very kindly sent it anyway. What a true gentleman! You can see it here alongside the gold copy in a scene reminiscent of top (bottom) John Cusack film 'High Fidelity':

Anyway, as I already have this on red, I thought I would keep the generosity train running and offer it to someone for the same price I paid for it... which, in case you're a bit slow, is zero. If you want it, let me know & it's yours (unless you're a bellend, of course, in which case I will most likely give it to someone more deserving).

Monday, 25 April 2011

Rot In Hell Charity Auction

Everyone's favourite ex Seconds Out band, Rot In Hell, held an online charity auction recently. Inspired by Jules from Side By Side's auction to help the victims of the Japanese earthquake/tsunami, the bass player from RIH held his own sale of rare items, with all of the proceeds generously going to himself. Since I have met this dude at least twice, and know that he could do with all the help he could get, I happily dispatched two days of earnings post haste. For this kind offering, I was sent a box containing the band's greatest hits.

First up is the ridiculously limited 7" made for a music festival in Baltimore, US of A. This record goes by the title of "Ulthedinn', although you can pretty much call it anything starting with a 'U'. I have previously referred to it as 'Urethra', 'Urine' and 'Ultimate Dinner'. Only thirty of these things were made, and the rumour is that they were hand crafted by a man using a lathe in his shed.

These were originally wrapped in a hat, but mine doesn't have one because apparently it was given to someone from Integrity. In a way that's better seeing as a hat would not doubt present me with storage issues and stress me out. If you are interested, however, you can see the headware HERE.

My copy also had loads of gadgets included, like two patches, a CD (of the 'Niu' recording) and a book. A fairly impressive package.

Next up is the test(icle) press of the 'Niu' 12" that came out on A389 Recordings. This one comes in a bright red sleeve, which I like. Also, good to see a record manufactured at an American pressing plant rather than that dodgy euro one that Tre likes.

Next, one of the two record release versions of the split 7" with Wayfarer. I was supposed to get both versions ages ago in a trade with vocalist John Thin Ice, but unfortunately he got confused and messed it up. This was sold at an all dayer here in the UK held by Carry The Weight Records. There's a flyer for the show included and it comes with a rune stone.

Finally, a test press of the split 7" with Wayfarer. The sleeve for this one is a single sheet which contains so much ink that it is surely only a matter of time before it self combusts.

Don't you just love charity?

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Black Flag 'Louie Louie' 7" on SST Records on red vinyl. Even though I started collecting coloured Black Flag records a few short years ago, I was never really bothered by trying to acquire the 7"s. However, I stumbled across this one on eBay recently, had a cheeky bid and bagged it for £2. Since it costs more than that to break wind these days, I figured I got a good deal.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Movielife LP on Red

Way back in December I picked up a white vinyl repress of the Movielife LP on Revelation. I also found out that they pressed some on red vinyl too. I said:

The second colour is red and is out of 503 copies. I'd like to be able to show you what it looks like, but unfortunately I can't because I don't have one.

Well, I finally do and I therefore can. So here ya go:

As this next picture shows, the record is almost transparent. You really have to click the picture to see what I mean, and if you do you will see the band name on the sleeve through the record. However, if you hold the record up and put your hand behind it you can't see anything, as if it's a solid colour. Kinda weird. Also, kinda not very interesting at all for the average human.

That's now 204 pieces of Rev vinyl in my house. According to the latest forecast there should be approximately ten more showing up in the next month. Get in the hole!

Monday, 18 April 2011

Package From An Old Friend

This post is literally weeks late. No reason why other than I can't be arsed right now.

I got an email out of the blue one day from my old friend Atilano Moran (brother of Rob... who, I am sure you are aware, was in legendary San Diego grindcore band Kill Holiday). I traded with Ati back in the glory days of the Revelation trade board. Also, he used to work at Revelation in the mid 90s, and would often be the dude packing my orders and signing my customs forms. I even met him once when he came to the UK on holiday with Bane in November 2002. Maybe I'll meet him again one day. Who knows? Anyhow, his email was merely asking for my address, so I thought I would play along and give it to him. A week or so later a little packet rolled up. This is what was inside:

As you can see, I found a Forced Down 2x7" on clear inside along with two test press 7"s. At first I had no idea what they were. So I checked the matrix of each and then used my super-computer brain to figure out what I had.

Both 7" tests are for releases put out by Crisis Records. As you may or may not know, Crisis was a kind of subsidiary label of Revelation Records. The first release was a Farside 7". I may be mistaken, but I believe the early adverts said that Crisis Records was like the quiet little sister of Revelation. Something like that. I also think that I read at some point that Crisis was originally run by Walter Schreifels's younger brother Dylan. But again, my memory may be playing tricks on me. So anyway, Crisis put out a couple of releases and then went quiet for a few years. But then in the mid-late 90s, Rob Moran (from Over My Dead Body) was given the chance to resurrect Crisis Records. He signed up some unheard of bands like Shai Hulud, Will Haven and some other less known (these days) bands.

One such band was a girl fronted indie rock band called Chinchilla. Crisis released a full length LP and a 7" ep by them. The band was an all girl outfit from San Diego. The singer sounded like the singer of Copper in my opinion. I didn't listen to this band as much as other bands with girl vocals from the same era simply because the band name is crappy. But I just listened to it again and it's good, even in 2011. Here's the test next to the regular version of the record from my collection:

The second test is for another Crisis Records 7" of a band with a female vocalist. This test is for the Beta Minus Mechanic 7". I am at risk of sounding like some kind of fag at this point, but goddamnit I love this 7". This band sounded like Verbal Assault with female singer. The band were (I think) from Syracuse, NY, and had some connection to Earth Crisis. Not that that makes any difference. Ati sent me this because he saw that I won a test of their LP on ebay a few months ago. I guess he thought I would be into this. Turns out he was right. I friggin' love this 7". Having a test press of it made my day/week/month/year/life. It's also cool because the test is on the same baby blue vinyl as the limited pressing of the record, and not many tests come on colour.

Dude also threw in a couple of old fliers:

And a label from some old Revelation Records compilation LP:

I was really humbled by this package. A rare reminder that there are some truly nice and selfless people out there. I only hope that one day I can put a smile on someone else's face the way that this package put one on mine. Sincerely dude, thank you. Greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Tarpit / Victim split 7". Released in 2004 by Last Anthem Records. Won, by me, on ebay uk for the bargain price of £1.00.

Here are five other things that you can also buy for a quid:

1. A bad handjob

2. Revenge

3. Liquid shoes

4. Arse magic

5. Bradford

Sunday, 10 April 2011


A couple of years ago it dawned on me that I would NEVER own this thing. I've wanted one of these for pretty much ever, but just never been prepared to pay the required price. And quite literally every time I started to prepare myself to spend the kind of money necessary to get one, the price would rise. It just felt like the price would continue to climb for the rest of eternity and the amount of money I had laying about would never be enough.

However, thanks to a friend who was crazy enough to have two copies of this, and understanding enough to let me pay in two installments, I've finally crossed off one of my biggest and most long standing wants from my list.

The first time I was offered one was from some dude who used to run the Art Monk Construction record label. This was circa 1996, in the early days of email. I can't remember where he got my email address from, but the dude emailed me and said that he wanted to sell his blue YOT BDTW and he was looking for $90. I said no instantly. The thought of someone paying $90 for anything back then was too much to take. To put it in perspective, a year prior I had paid circa $30 for a Chain Of Strength 7" test press. So saying no was an easy decision. Obviously though, with hindsight, I have regretted that decision many times over in the years since. Several years later (circa 2004) I remember seeing one sell on eBay for like $400, and my mind was blown. How could anyone spend that much money on a record? I'd never known anything like it. Crazy. A couple of years the price had gone over the $500 mark. And then a couple of years after that the market price seemed to be $750. Then, wouldn't you know it, they started selling for over $800 on the bay. It seemed like it would never end. I started to imagine myself in twenty years wishing I had paid $1,000 for one because, at this rate, the price in 2030 would be ten grand.

Fortunately, in early 2011 all of the planets fell into alignment and my time came. But I wonder what the me of 1996 would have said if I could go back & tell him that saying no to Eric Astor's apparently stupid $90 offer would cost fifteen years of waiting? Ha!

Anyway, this is without doubt one of the best looking & distinctive colours of vinyl I have ever seen. OK, it's clear blue which is itself not a rarely seen colour, but it's a distinct shade. It changes in the light and can range from a deep to a very pale blue. Beautiful.