Seapony – Dreaming / So Low / Late Summer, Clear Vinyl UK 7″ Single (Double Denim DD002)

Seattle-based boy/girl twee-pop. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, it’s just what I read online. That’s how it works. I buy stuff. I don’t know what it is. I look it up on the internet. I try to find the most salient selling point about that record. Then I simply cut & paste that into a blog post in order to make the sale. Okay, I do little to none of that. That might give one the impression that I am actually calculating and possess something approaching business acumen. I wish.

I’ll assume the twee-pop reference must be in the ballpark, as one of the members name-checked the Softies and Field Mice in an interview. In that he wanted to marry the vibe of those bands with the guitar sound of the Ventures. Okay, a somewhat noble venture. Anyhoo, band posts free songs on the internet. The blogs swoon. One of those joyous outpourings comes from the owner of a Tumblr page, who eventually asks if the band would be interested in releasing a single on his brand new label. Band replies “why, yes, we most certainly would” (I’m paraphrasing here). And, ummm, it happens. It’s the band’s first release, the label’s second.

This 2010 three-track UK single is new and unplayed, ordered directly from the label upon release. The run was tiny – a mere 300 singles, with the first 150 of those being pressed on clear “seafoamy” wax. And that is indeed the issue I have for sale. Sleeve is perfect, seafoamy vinyl is mint. $50.




Rahsaan Roland Kirk – The Case Of The 3 Sided Dream In Audio Color, Sealed 2LP Gatefold Original Pressing (Atlantic, SD1674)

My first triple-stacked post header. Another barrier broken. Also (sporadically) broken today – my wireless connection. I just lost about a half hour’s worth of work on this Kirk piece. I received the error message that my router was off the rails (or something to that effect). It came back, my Kirk post didn’t. Thanks, AT&T!

So, I’ll just say this – RRK kicks ass. Seriously. Dude blows. Hard. With tons of soul and a rock & roll swagger. He always brought it. Every time out. I don’t think he recorded a bad record. But he definitely recorded a lot of great records. This may or may not be one of them. But it probably is his strangest – a three-sided affair that consists of music that was informed by his subconscious. And those “dreams” are represented by short audio pieces that supposedly tie the greater works together. At least, musically.

And the way that Kirk weaves all of this stuff together can only really be experienced via the two-disc vinyl format, as the shorter “pieces” are more or less extensions of the “songs”. However, the current physical CD format indexes everything as individual tracks, resulting in a not so unified concept. And that’s not even bringing side four into the conversation, with its 12-minutes of blank emptiness followed by a 30 second conversation. Dude.

Also…not on Spotify. At least not that I could find. Again, this one is sealed. Outside of some minor corner dings and a faint impression of the record on the front right half of the jacket, it’s a pretty sweet copy in light of its middle age. $50.




Music Inc. – Music Inc. LP (Strata-East SES 1971)

My rule of thumb for finds such as these – as long as it’s reasonably priced, buy it. If you can’t – or won’t –  sell it, you can always own it. I knew what it was when I saw it. And it’s something you rarely see. Really just about anything on Strata-East is tough to come by. But it’s one of those labels where it’s almost always worth buying what you find because it’s likely you’ll never see it again. And whatever it is, it’s probably pretty damn great. This is the very first record released on the label, which was actually started by two of the artists on the record. 1971. DIY, yo.

To give you a much better feel for the record than I could, I give you Jim Todd’s review for All Music Guide…

“This was the first release from Strata-East Records, the label created in 1971 by Music Inc.’s co-leaders, Charles Tolliver and Stanley Cowell. For the debut, the two lead an advanced, hard bop session of their own compositions arranged for a quartet augmented by a 13-member brass and wind orchestra. The writing has an affinity with McCoy Tyner’s modal hard bop from this same period, e.g Tyner’s “Extensions” (Blue Note). Similarly, Cowell’s playing shares with Tyner’s a powerful technique, effective use of rippling two-handed arpeggios, and an ability to make its presence felt in a large group. Jimmy Hopps (drums) and Cecil McBee (bass) round out the core quartet. Hopps’ blend of muscular drive and nuance is akin to Louis Hayes or Freddie Waits. McBee’s technical command and slabs of fat, earthy tone are captured wonderfully. The orchestra includes trumpeters Richard Williams and Virgil Jones, reed players Jimmy Heath and Clifford Jordan, and trombonists Garnett Brown and Curtis Fuller. The music moves seamlessly from trio and quartet configurations to full orchestration. The centerpiece is Tolliver’s “On the Nile,” which evokes a majestic procession of ancient Egyptian nobility sailing the broad Nile, the blue and silver waters sprayed with sunlight. Like one of the pharoah’s prized falcons, the pure tone of Tolliver’s flugel horn soars overhead buoyed by the orchestra’s rich chords. Cowell’s “Brilliant Corners” is equal to “On the Nile” in elegance and class, while his “Departure” and “Abscretions” are in a more funky vein. Tolliver’s”Ruthie’s Heart” alternates stripped-down statements from the quartet with sections of full on punch from the horns. His “Household of Saud” is the most purely hard bop of the six tracks. As the launch release for a new label, this was a bold debut. Tolliver & Cowell were presenting vital new pieces that had a direct lineage with the large-scale works of Ellington, Monk & Mingus.” – Jim Todd, All Music Guide

And, if you’re still interested, I would encourage you to check out this great interview from 2002 with both Tolliver and Cowell from the July 2002 issue of All About Jazz: New York. Really killer stuff, and excellent insight to how these guys rolled, and with whom they rolled. Tight.

And then, if you’re still interested, I would highly recommend you buy this record. Duh. Honestly, way more straight ahead than I was expecting. The playing is stellar. And beautiful. The record itself is in really great shape; I  played both sides and there were no issues whatsoever. Has fantastic sound. The jacket has a small stain on the bottom left corner, a light 2″ crease and a corner ding. That said, looks pretty darn good for its age. $50.



First Class International Postage Increase

I hate raising shipping costs. It’s not a profit center for me, by any means. In fact, in the general scheme of things, I lose money on shipping. My goal is just to simply break even on postage, which seems, well, way fair. That’s where I’d like to be. Eventually. I was charging $15 to ship one record to Europe, Asia, South America, Australia and, ummm, thereabouts. That will now be $16. Our lovely neighbors to the north (that’s you, Canada!) will see postage go up 50 cents, to $8.50.

The hike is due to two things, with the continuing upward creep of international postage rates (which just went up again very recently) being a given. But surprisingly, not the lone culprit. The last shipment of LP mailers that I received from Bags Unlimited were actually sturdier than the previous batch I received. The good news – a stiffer box means a safer package. Even if it is a matter of degrees. The bad news – the 2 oz it adds to a shipment means an extra $1 in shipping costs. The actual cost of shipping the record is $15, leaving $1 to cover packaging costs. Trust me, it doesn’t.

I take a great deal of care in shipping records, sandwiching an album between two tightly taped filler pads before inserting in the mailer (to prevent shifting during transit, opening the door to possible seam splits). This is all in the name of getting the record to you in the same condition it leaves here. If, at the end of the day, that means an extra $1 to get it there, so be it. I really, truly hope you feel the same way. Seriously, I’m sorry. Bygones?

Sacramento High School Jazz Ensemble / Ike Paggett – Jazz ’77, Sealed Private Press LP

Stumbled across this one a couple of days ago. Not what I would call a surprise, finding a high school jazz band record in the city of its origin. But these high school recordings, primarily from the 70’s, can be pretty crazy affairs. Musically, that is. For instance, the repertoire here runs from Herbie Hancock’s epic “Head Hunters” jam “Chameleon” (replete with credited trumpet, guitar & synthesizer solos) to a cover of arguably the schmaltziest song of all time, Morris Albert’s “Feelings” (flugelhorn solo!), from “Salsoul Hustle” to “Girl From Impanema”.

The director of the ensemble at the time was a guy by the name of Ike Paggett. I didn’t know the name, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of detail out there on the man. But it appears he worked in music education for much, if not all of his career. I think I saw a mention on the interwebs about another album he made with a group of Sacramento students that veers toward the adventurous. And he has had some semblance of a recording career as a saxophonist, bit I still can’t figure out how extensive it was. My impression is that it was pretty limited, but musically ran to the avant side. I’d love to know more about this guy and his history in Sac, so if anyone has anything to pass along, please feel to note it via the comments section.

Again, this one is sealed. And doesn’t come around too often. Hardly ever. Even in Sacramento. Jacket has a couple of bottom corner issues – left one has a dent and a crease while the right has a very light 1″ crease. $30.



U2’s Fan Club-Only Melon, Served Two Ways

I’ve been holding onto these for way too long. And I have no idea why. So, here you go U2 fans – strong copies of both the CD and 12″ issues of this 1995 release that was intended for the band’s Propaganda fanclub, with some inevitably winding up with record store folks who then went on to sell their copies when they were likely valued much more highly than they are now.

Pictured above is the 12″ release, which includes four remixes on a 33 and 1/3 rpm platter. The vinyl, which was indeed played back in the 90’s, is still in great shape. While there are minor signs of play, there is nothing that will annoy you during playback. Nice, clean and fairly loud (nice mastering job!). The jacket has a 1″ top center seam crack, a couple of corner dings and a bottom seam dent about 2″ in from the left side of the jacket. Still looks pretty nice, but definitely graded as VG+. Vinyl is VG++.

As for the songs, side one contains a Pete Heller/Terry Farley remix of “Salome” (Zooromancer Remix) and a David Morales re-do of “Lemon” (Bad Yard Club Mix). Flip contains two mixes of “Numb”, the “Soul Assassins Remix” from, ummm, the Soul Assassins and the “Gimme Some More Dignity Mix” courtesy of Rollo and Rob D. And that is it.









And then we have the nine-track CD issue, songs noted on the second scan. The cardboard sleeve has some light edge wear and the disc has some slight scuffiness, primarily sleeve marks as the CD was simply housed in the cardboard packaging with no insert or sleeve. Again, I played all the way through just to ensure all is right. And…all is right.

Both are $35 each, which I feel is a very reasonable price based on condition. And just to remind you, even though you just read it, condition is very, very good. Either can be found of Gemm and Musicstack. Apologies for today’s lack of links as I’m a bit pressed for time. If you really want ’em, I know you can find ’em.

Black Crowes – Warpaint, Sealed Vinyl LP, 1st Pressing w/ Bonus 7″ Picture Disc (Silver Arrow)

So I started this morning scanning Facebook entries and noticed a few posts regarding today being the 50th birthday of one Axl Rose. One of those posts linked to a song from the band’s national coming out party, an installment of MTV’s “Live At The Ritz” series. Back in the pre-dreads, pre-raincoat era. But I’d certainly opt for a raincoat covered Axl over a shirtless one these days.

Anyway…every time I see a reference to G&R’s appearance of “Live At The Ritz”, I am instantly reminded that the same night it debuted on MTV, there was a show at the Cat’s Cradle in Chapel Hill (at least, this is how I remember it!), and some Atlanta band called Mr. Crowe’s Garden was opening for Drivin’ n’ Cryin’. Knew nothing about Mr. Crowe’s Garden. I was there to see D&C.  But I was instantly smitten with the opener. A pretty skeletal version of what was to come two years later when the Black Crowes dropped their self-titled Def American debut, but the band had, well, something.

My love affair with the Crowes was intense. And , alas, in relation to the band’s longevity, pretty short. I insanely love the first two records, but  I found myself with gradually less interest in each subsequent release. To the point to which I kinda stopped paying attention. To the extent that I don’t even have a copy of 2007’s “Warpaint”. It had been seven years since the last studio record, and man, “Lions” was a bad way to go out. “Warpaint”, which I don’t think I appreciated at the time, was a great way to come back. It struck a balance between the rock & roll and jam camps of the Crowes. And yes, I personally define them that way because, for me, they’re definitely different things. And I am way more down with the rock & roll side, even though I do have my occasional dalliances with the jam. I just don’t talk about those.

But back to “Warpaint”. Hey, there’s some really good stuff on this record. And ditto for 2009’s “Before The Frost/Until The Freeze”. However, I just can’t go see them live any longer. I suppose that’s good for me as they’re (once again) broken up. Or on hiatus. But from everything I have heard about the live shows, it’s still heavy on the jam. I’m sorry. I really am. I did give the Chris Robinson Brotherhood a go last year. Small club. Packed. Crowd was glazed and blissed. I swear I was ready to go after a handful of songs, but waited until the break. I will say this – I love watching Neal Casal play guitar. But I’d rather hear him play guitar…and sing. Great solo records from that guy. Check ’em if you can find ’em.

Okay, no more tangents. After all that, I’m here to sell a record for which I have pretty good things to say, but apparently not good enough to keep me from selling it. (One final meander – the next to last song on “Warpaint” – “There’s Gold In Them Hills”, is really, really good). Still selling it. This is the first press of this record, released on the band’s own imprint. It’s housed in a beautiful gatefold jacket and includes a bonus single only available in the initial run a, 7″ picture disc featuring two non-cd tracks, “Here Comes Daylight” and a cover of Joe South’s “Hole In Your Soul”. $50.

I just had this weird feeling that I may have featured this one before? Hmmmm. Maybe. Love that I can recall events of almost 25 years ago with some degree of clarity, yet completely forgot what I did (or did not do) five months ago. I’ll write it off as being Monday. Until it happens again on Tuesday.




David Bowie – Young Americans, Sealed (Original?) Vinyl LP (RCA APL1-0998)

This just in, along with a number of other well, less exciting records. Except for that Poison 13 debut on Wrestler. That record kicks ass.

Okay, so this is yet another example of a sealed record which, as far as I know, is impossible to nail the specific label variation. According to Goldmine, RCA was pressing records with both tan and orange labels in the states. Not sure if one came slightly before the other, but it does appear the orange is a bit rarer. Though it is also reportedly a Dynaflex pressing, and this copy doesn’t feel that, ummm, flimsy. To make things even more muddied, it was issued with the well-known black label the following year.

But you can be sure of this – it is sealed. And it is housed in the original textured jacket. Looks like the inner sleeve is black, if that helps anyone to identify. Jacket is in pretty nice shape with the exception of a small bottom right corner crease and some rubbing due to a shrink tear. Also a rubbed bottom left corner tip. Outside of that, super nice jacket. $50.



Philip Glass / Robert Wilson – Einstein On The Beach 4LP Box (CBS Masterworks; M4 38875)

(Reposted from last year due to this past weekend’s debut of the newest (and likely last) incarnation of this production, a sold-out preview run in Ann Arbor before moving to France in March.You can read a synopsis of that Ann Arbor preview on the Detroit News website…

I believe I have previously mentioned an occasional penchant for buying classic and/or opera titles. And again, I have no idea why as I truly know next-to-nothing (okay, really, nothing) about either of the genres. But I do personally like quite a bit of atonal-leaning 20th Century compositions, and typically the more minimal, the better. However, there is one wing of minimalism that I just have a hard time wrapping my head around, and that would be operatic and/or choral pieces. Just. Can’t. Hang.

That said, I would refer to “Einstein On The Beach” as a bit of an exception. It’s a pretty over-whelming composition, the longest operatic piece that Glass has written to date, and it takes up eight sides of vinyl to present it . So, how much rhythmic repetitiveness are you up for? (My wife just called in to say – emphatically – “none”). Strap yourself in (or down, maybe), because you’re in for a long, long listen.

“Einstein…” has been issued on two separate occasions, and this is the original, albeit slightly abridged version from 1979 (as a result of the space limitation of vinyl, there was some editing of the some of the opening scene’s repeats). It was also re-recorded in 1993, with 30 minutes of additional music, due to ahem, technological innovation (that is, the compact disc).

And the original 1979 version was issued twice on vinyl, first by Tomato Records and then shortly thereafter by CBS Masterworks in the UK. The vinyl was actually pressed in the Netherlands, and is both the scarcer and the better sounding of the two versions; vinyl, original lined Masterworks inners and 24-page 12×12 libretto are housed in a very nice, very shiny hinged box, with hinge completely intact. Box has some light general wear, including a small scuff on the front bottom. Otherwise, all components in killer shape; vinyl is exceptional. $60.




Mudhoney – Five Dollar Bob’s Mock Cooter Stew, Sealed Vinyl EP (Reprise 45439)

Not what I would consider one of the more essential releases in the Mudhoney cannon, but it certainly has some moments. Following the band’s major label debut in “Piece Of Cake”, Mudhoney dropped this seven-track odds and sods tweener EP. It marries one re-recorded track from “Piece…” (Make It Now…Again) with two b-sides sourced from “Piece…” singles and four new songs that range from the semi-twangy (Between Me & You Kid) to the semi-spastic (No Song III) to the semi-somber (“In The Blood”). All delivered with snarl-in-cheek.

No idea what the pressing run was for this one, but it had to be pretty light. I was kinda surprised how scarce this thing was, tho interestingly, the few that can be found on Gemm and Musicstack all seem to be sealed. Rarely does this item come up for auction on eBay. So…get it now for a very reasonable $30.