Monthly Archives: August 2018

Purchase log, 2018-08-14

[Bobby Long - A Winter Tale]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Adam Guettel, Myths and Hymns
  • Anonymous 4 / Chilingirian Quartet, Darkness Into Light / Tavener: The Bridegroom and other works
  • Beyoncé, Beyoncé
  • Dirty Three, Ocean Songs
  • envy, All the Footprints You’ve Ever Left and the Fear Expecting Ahead
  • Isis, Oceanic
  • Huck Hodge, Life Is Endless Like Our Field of Vision (Talea Ensemble; JACK Quartet)
  • Pedro the Lion, The Only Reason I Feel Secure
Vinyl
  • Ben Watt, Fever Dream
  • Bobby Long, A Winter Tale
  • Bobby Long, Wishbone
  • Eluvium, Pedals / Petals
  • Fishbone, Truth and Soul (RSD 2014)
  • Inventions, Blanket Waves
  • Inventions, Maze of Woods
  • Semi Precious Weapons, Aviation
  • Teitur, Story Music

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Exploring the record stores of Washington, DC

[Joint Custody, shop interior, Washington, DC]

A month into my new job, I traveled to Alexandria, VA to work in the main office of my company for a week. It marks the first time in a nearly-20-year web development career when I traveled for business.

Of course, I had to spend time checking out the record stores in the area. Most of the shops in Washington, DC are concentrated on U Street, which allowed me to hit a number of them in a single evening.

I left work at around 5 p.m. on a Tuesday and crammed as much shopping as I could before the stores closed at 7 p.m. My visit to Crooked Beats happened the day before.

Crooked Beat Records

Crooked Beat was the only shop not in DC proper, but in Alexandria itself, which made it my first destination. The DC area doesn’t have a square-footage behemoth like Amoeba, Waterloo or Everyday Music. So the shops are about equal in terms of size.

That said, Crooked Beat has a slightly bigger space than the rest of the places I visited, and it allowed me to find a good cross section of releases — some Nonesuch titles, Chris Isaak’s second album and a requisite helping of Fugazi.

I probably would have spent more time exploring if I hadn’t showed up about 45 minutes before the store closed.

Joint Custody

Joint Custody is comparable to Crooked Beat in terms of stock. Everything is organized by genre, and little else, so a lot of digging is required. I came away with an impulsive purchase of Kanye West — I don’t care for his politics, but The College Dropout stands above all that — and the self-titled Minor Threat compilation.

If time weren’t an issue, I probably would have explored further down the racks. Joint Custody’s space is longer than it is wide, and the back portion of the store included jackets and vintage turntables.

The Smiths’ The Queen Is Dead was playing in the background, which enhanced my shopping experience nicely.

Som Records

On the week I visited Alexandria, high temperatures reached the low- to mid-90s. And it was a humid heat.

Som Records is located in the basement of a building with little in the way of signage. On any other day, the cramped, un-air-conditioned space would be punk-rock charming. Not so much during a heat wave.

Despite the size, the stock in the store also spanned a wide swath of styles, and I even found another Nonesuch title from the mid-80s.

Smash Records

Smash Records is the punk-centric shop of the city. Getting there was a bit more of a hike, taking me away from U Street and into the Adams Morgan neighborhood. I saved it for my last destination because it closed at 9 p.m. From the hillside, you can see the Washington Monument.

Like Joint Custody, Smash Records has vintage wear as well as records in a space of similar size. The stock of new vinyl focuses mostly on punk, but its used selection has a diverse range of genres.

I rounded out my Fugazi collection with a purchase of Steady Diet of Nothing on CD. I nearly came away with Queen Latifah’s All Hail the Queen on vinyl, but it was in a sad state, priced accordingly.

Red Onion Records

Red Onion Records is a smaller space than Crooked Beats, which meant that the available stock didn’t happen to have anything in which I was interested. So my stay wasn’t long enough to form an impression.

Photo credit: Joint Custody

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Purchase log, 2018-08-07

[Parquet Courts - Wide Awake!]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

CD
  • Parquet Courts, Wide Awake!

Catalog

CD
  • BADBADNOTGOOD, III
  • Band of Horses, Cease to Begin
  • Boris, boris at last -feedbacker-
  • Cypress Hill, Cypress Hill
  • Eminem, The Slim Shady LP
  • Jesu, Silver
  • Oscar Peterson Trio, Night Train
  • Pelican, Australasia
  • Peter Gabriel, Peter Gabriel (third album)
  • The Velvet Underground, Loaded
  • The Velvet Underground, The Velvet Underground
Catalog
  • Animotion, Animotion
  • Cliff Richard, I’m No Hero
  • Robert Palmer, Some People Can Do What They Like
  • The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
Files
  • Brandon Stansell, Dear John
  • Brandon Stansell, Slow Down
  • Trey Pearson, Love Is Love

Reissues

Vinyl
  • U2, Achtung Baby

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Looking ahead, August-November 2018

[Perfume - Future Pop]

A few titles didn’t get included in the last round-up of new releases, and the release schedule for late autumn hasn’t quite yet coalesced. So this list is thinner than I prefer.

Perfume, Future Pop, Aug. 15

We probably reached peak Perfume two albums ago, if the cool reception to COSMIC EXPLORER is any indication. Imaginative videos can’t quite make up for the weakness of the last few singles, but will either stop me from placing a pre-order? Unlikely.

Blood Orange, Negro Swan, Aug. 24

How did I miss news about a new album by Dev Hynes?

[Checks date of Instagram post.]

Oh, he announced it when my mom was in town and caught the flu, about a week before I would become briefly unemployed. Has it really been two years since the release of Freetown Sound?

Mandy Barnett, Strange Conversation, Sept. 21

I’ve Got a Right to Cry is a classic album that has been relegated to bargain bins and thrift store shelves. The Owen Bradley-produced album probably did too good of a job calling up the ghost of Patsy Cline, whom Barnett has portrayed on stage.

Barnett recently did a duet with Kenny Chesney, which … whatever. But I would still check out this album because I’ve Got a Right to Cry is an album that just doesn’t wear out, even after nearly two decades.

Jason Isbell and 400 Unit, Live from the Nyman, Oct. 19

It’s easy to marvel at how effortlessly it seems Jason Isbell spins his tales, but when he shreds on stage, it’s a sight to behold.

Fastball, All the Pain Money Can Buy (Deluxe Edition), Nov. 9

Oh, hey, it looks like part of my wish is coming true — All the Pain Money Can Buy is headed for a vinyl release, albeit saddled with bonus material for its 20th anniversary, which I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting anyway.

Vinyl

Janelle Monáe, Dirty Computer, Sept. 28

Yes, please.

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