Archive for the ‘Our Favorite Things’ Category

Record Store Day: Black Friday 2017 Top Ten Vol. 2

November 23, 2017 Leave a comment

by Mat Weir



  1. Sonny Clark Trio — The 1960 Time Sessions

Been getting into Jazz lately and this particular record caught my attention. Not only was Sonny Clark a master but his death at 31 from a heroin overdose helped to create a mythos around him. Featuring greats Max Roach and George Duvivier, the 1960 Time Sessions is a treat in pure, soulful jazz. Of course it’s just a remastering of the Sonny Clark Trio, but this pressing also contains alternate versions of the album and takes giving the listener a true recording experience.




1967 was a crazy time for America. The Vietnam War raged as people fled to the streets in protest, the Monterey Pop Festival was held and Leonard Nimoy recorded his debut album as Mr. Spock. This highly illogical move produced a cult gem filled with eerie, 1960’s sci-fi sounds and out-of-this-world noise. With the popularity of Star Trek, the album reached number 83 on the Billboard charts and earned Nimoy his only hit single, the Emo-Before-Emo named, “A Visit to A Sad Planet.” Definitely a fun piece to add to your collection and a great album to test on new people to see who’s cool.




I love The Kills. LOOOOOVVVEEE them. Every release they’ve done is unique while remaining within their signature sound. Over the years they’ve come to evolve and grow their style, adding more layers and production in lieu of their original, gritty start. Black Rooster is a reissue of their debut EP of the same name, which is the same songs they first recorded for a demo tape. A first issue of this 10” can cost some big bucks so I was stoked to see this on the Black Friday list.




The man. The myth. The legend. Bill Hicks was a comedian’s comedian. Highly prophetic, he tapped into the same cosmic river of George Carlin and called bullshit on everything in the society we’ve built around us. Like any guru, he received relative success in his lifetime–selling out major shows– but after his untimely death his popularity soared to saintly heights. This double LP is the full special of his final, 1992 recording, Revelations. If this is on your list–and it should be–put it on the turntable and see how many things the sage got right about who we are today.



  1. BLUE OYSTER CULT — RARITIES VOL. 1 1969 – 1976)

Finally, number one! This spot goes to the one and only, Blue Oyster Cult, another band I absolutely love to the point of getting their logo tattooed a couple times as filler on my sleeve. This special, double LP on white vinyl contains their original, Columbia demos under their short-lived name, Soft White Underbelly. If you’re like me, you’ve never seen the originals and any that you might find online will cost rent for the month. Here’s a great, cheap way to experience the magic that is early Cult. The rest of the album contains live cuts from the band’s archive spanning their self-titled to Agents of Fortune, basically their best material minus Spectres. Feel the tyranny and mutation blasting at you from the height of these heavy metal godfathers this Friday!


ICYMI: The Neutral Milk Hotel Vinyl Box

December 2, 2016 Leave a comment

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Neutral Milk Hotel fans, have you seen this? The Neutral Milk Hotel vinyl box set is a gorgeous collection of music, art and other delights.

The box, which was originally released in 2011, includes:

  • Two gatefold 12” records (In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and On Avery Island
  • Two 10” records (Everything Is EP with bonus tracks and Ferris Wheel on Fire EP featuring eight previously unreleased acoustic recordings)
  • Two 7” records (Little Birds and You’ve Passed/Where You’ll Find Me Now)
  • One 7” picture disc with fold-out poster (Holland 1945/Engine)
  • Two 24“x24” posters


For super-fans of the band, as well as appreciators of that fantastic intersection of visual art and music, this set is a treasure.

ICYMI: Classic Albums as Vintage Penguin Paperbacks

February 4, 2016 Leave a comment


Leave it to the fine folks at Dangerous Minds to scare up this outstanding, cross-platform delight: classic albums re-imagined as vintage Penguin paperbacks.

The prints are the work of Etsy shop owner StandardDesigns.

Below are some of the highpoints, but do yourself a favor and check them all out at StandardDesigns.





ICYMI: Bowie’s Stunning Farewell Video

January 13, 2016 Leave a comment

Celebrating the “Slow Experience” of Listening to Vinyl

October 29, 2015 Leave a comment

The short documentary, Why Vinyl is a celebration of not just records, but the experience of listening to records. Have a look:

Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard Tours United Record Pressing

April 23, 2015 Leave a comment

If you didn’t love Brittany Howard before, this short video is going to seal the deal. In it, the woman behind the Alabama Shakes takes a tour of the United Record Pressing plant in Nashville to see how her band’s new album, Sound and Color, is bring made, from the vinyl pellets and record labels to the inner sleeve and distribution boxes.

As you might expect, Howard is funny, warm, down-to-earth and caring. Check it out. And if you haven’t heard the new album, give it a spin—it’s a soulful, catchy listen full of deep grooves and the kind of no-frills honesty we’ve come to expect from Howard and company.

Need a Record Store Day warmup? Here’s what it looks like in the UK

April 15, 2015 Leave a comment

As you wait patiently for Record Store Day to come around, have a look at this insightful documentary about the culture of Record Store Day in the UK.

A celebration of record stores, music, community, and the listening experience, the video provides an interesting glimpse into how it’s done across the pond.