Wednesday, 22 November 2017

I've Seen The Needle And...

I was actually pretty out of touch with hardcore when THE DAMAGE DONE were an active band, circa 2000-2003. Back then I had a couple of years where I was studying hard for exams, and in that time a lot of new labels and bands were springing up and I just didn't have the time to keep up. The 90s had ended and the hardcore landscape was changing. The internet was really starting to become a major force of news and gossip, and I no longer knew where to look. With nobody to give me any advice, and all of the older labels that I had grown up following and trusting starting to put out crap (or stopping releasing vinyl altogether), as well as the lack of spare time on my hands, I started to really feel like I was losing touch with what was going on. So it's no surprise that, all these years later, I'm still hearing some of the bands from that era for the first time.

Well, a couple of months ago I acquired this awesome test press for the 'City Of Hope' 7" by The Damage Done, which was released by Rival Records (before it changed name to Rivalry) back in 2003, during my period in the hardcore wilderness. Despite having never actually heard the band before acquiring this record, it's one of my favourite pickups this year. It's taken me a couple of months to get around to posting about this one as, believe it or not, I needed several attempts to get a half decent photo. I seriously took over 100 photos of this 7" just to get two that were just about acceptable.

A few years ago I struck up a friendship with Kyle Whitlow. He used to sing for The Damage Done, and he also ran Rivalry Records and released some great records. Being a record nerd, you may also know him as a guy who used to have one of the most jaw dropping record collections on the planet (check Seeking The Simple for the proof). I bought a couple of records from him back when he was selling a big chunk of his collection, and around that time we got into a couple of discussions via email talking about the reasons he was selling. As the years rolled on, our email discussions continued on all manner of subjects, to the point where I count Kyle as a really good friend, and his emails are the highlight of my inbox. When I get an email from him I like to wait until I have a few minutes to read it uninterrupted, as I know it's probably going to be long and raise some interesting points for me to consider. From my point of view, we seem to have a lot in common in the way that we think, and we both love to analyse stuff and think about stuff that most people don't dwell on for more than two seconds. Well anyway, a few months ago I bought a Damage Done test press from someone and mentioned it to Kyle, and he told me that if he'd known that I'd wanted one then he'd have given me one. I wasn't sure if he was being serious or not, but regardless, I asked for a refund on the one I'd just bought and then set up a cheeky little reminder for Kyle to send me a test press. And I was stoked when, a few weeks later, he actually sent me this awesome personalised copy.

I'm almost embarrassed to say that this is currently the only record by The Damage Done that I own, and I'd never even heard this until this came my way. As I said earlier, I just plain missed it. But this is a great place to start. Recently I've had some fun watching videos of the band on youtube, and listening to other bands of the era. I truly believe that the early 00's were an awesome time in hardcore after the bullshit of the late 90s, and I really love the sound of the bands from those days, even all these years later.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Sub Pop Variants

So the UK seller of everything Sub Pop listed more 7"s for sale reently, and I immediately had my eye on a couple of them. They were records that I already owned, but colour variants. One was more expensive than the rest, so I decided to watch them for a bit and see what happened. Well, what happened was quite simply that the seller then listed more records, including something I really badly wanted, so I made offers on a few, all for less than the listed price, and hoped that the seller would accept less money to sell more records. It worked. Two days later the records arrived at my door.

First up is this Rollins Band 7". If you know anything about this 7", you'll know that it comes on both red vinyl and pink vinyl. So when I saw this 'purple' copy, I knew it was rare and decided to grab it.

It's not really purple as such, but more a slightly darker pink. For me, it's different enough to warrant keeping, as you can see in this pic (the nwe one is the one on the right):

Next, a blue marble copy of the Fuckers 7".

The pic on eBay made it look like a solid colour, but in real life it's clear. Just not as clear as my other copy.

And finally, the one I wanted the most. It was only a week ago on an instagram chat that I talked about how there were some orange vinyl variants of the Seaweed 'Measure' 7"... and then a few days later, a couple showed up for sale. Whats more, they were cheap. So I picked up three copies.

This lighter orange colour is my favourite. It has a few pinkish swirls in it, which are quite clear in real life, although possibly not quite so obvious in this pic:

The other two copies were both a darker orange, although there isn't too much difference between them really. If you'd like to play spot the difference, feel free:

And finally, all three copies together:

There's also a pinkish copy of this 7" out there too. yup, just like the Bold 7" and the Unbroken 'You Won't Be Back' 7", these range from pink to orange, with all kinds of mix variants in between. And whilst technically I'm trying to collect all three, I think this is the only one I have a real chance of completing successfully, due in part to how cheap this is compared to the other two.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017


Sub Pop singles, day 3 of 3.

At the end of last year I posted some Tad records. I bought a few in one go. One that eluded me, however, was the 'Loser / Cooking With Gas' 7" on pale blue vinyl. In a similar story to the Afghan Whigs 7" I posted yesterday, when I decided that I wanted to acquire this for the second time in my life, only then did I realise that the colour I was missing (and used to own many years ago) was the rarest colour. The asking price on discogs seemed stupidly high, so I waited and hoped and, in the end, a reasonably priced copy came along.

This marks my third version of this 7", alongside the more common green vinyl and the ultra cool clear vinyl test press. There's also a black vinyl version, but as usual I'm not really fused about owning that one. So right here is where this story ends.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Purple Siblings

Sub Pop singles, day 2 of 3, and today's record is a 7" by The Afghan Whigs on a beautiful shade of purple:

Along with the purple vinyl Dwarves 7" I posted yesterday, this was one of the first records I bought, way back in 1992. I'd heard of The Afghan Whigs, and just bought this 7" as a way of checking them out. I got it from a record store not too far from my house, and my copy just happened to come on purple vinyl. Then a couple of years later, I sold it.

After realising I'd made a mistake a few years later, I then tried to acquire one of these for my collection, and then it became apparent to me that the purple vinyl is actually quite hard to find. I picked up a couple of other versions over the years, but even though I already had two copies of this on different colours, I couldn't resist the lure of the purple vinyl. As a fellow lover of coloured circles, I'm sure you can appreciate why.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Get High

Almost exactly a year ago, I picked up some classic Sub Pop records from a UK seller. It was a good end to a bad year. And recently, the same seller listed a few more items, so I grabbed some items to fill some holes in my Sub Pop collection. It didn't feel right posting them in one go, so I thought I stretch them over three posts...

First up is this copy of the Dwarves 'Drug Store' 7". I've owned a purple vinyl copy of this since about 1992, and back then I remember reading in a Sub Pop discography in Record Collector magazine that the first press came with a 'Fuck You Up And Get High' pin. But it was only a couple of years ago that I actually saw one for the first time. It seems relatively hard to find a copy of the record with the pin, and tougher too to find one in good condition. But this one ticked all the boxes.

The first press copies with the pin 'only' come on black vinyl.

But as well as the pin, the other thing that differentiates this from later pressings is that the inner sleeve is printed with a live picture of the band in action:

There's also a coupon attached for the Sub Pop singles club. It's always nice to find a 7" which has the coupon still attached.

Aside from this and the purple vinyl, that's all there is for this 7". No other colours exist. So unless I ever find a test press, this one is now done.