Nevermind The Singles

Nirvana_and_wine

The Preample:

Wow, what a winter we had!  It’s been a long cold winter since the last post.  Tons have happened.  Besides spinning vinyl like mad, there was the December ice storm, weeks and weeks of freezing temperatures and tons of snow, vacations and a new job.  Not to mention I wore out my stylus after just over a year of (really really heavy) usage.  I rode that diamond like a 2-dollar hooker until something didn’t sound quite “right”.  Luckily I didn’t damage any vinyl, but replacing it did catch me unawares killing my plan of moving up the Dynavector food chain.  Thus, I went with same model, taking advantage of Dynavector’s trade-in discount.  It took a few weeks to get this puppy in…so no spinning for almost two weeks!

Enough about that.  Another April, another Record Store Day.  To be honest, although I own some RSD releases, I’ve never been to a RSD event.  Too many nerds jostling it out for the only copy available of a super duper limited colored vinyl release in Toronto…just to list on eBay for triple the cost.  I hit the shops twice a week so no reason to join in on the bi-annual ball-fest.  That said, RSD is the inspiration for this listen, 2011’s Black Friday limited release, Nirvana’s Nevermind – The Singles, borrowed from Peter.

Although I’m not a huge fan of Nevermind, I fondly remember its release.  During the final weeks leading up to high school graduation this new song exploded onto CFNY’s Thursday 30 and everyone was talking about it non-stop into the weekend.  I even tape dubbed the song the following Thursday knowing it would be number 1!  It was a monster all summer and into first year of university.  Good times.

No clue why I paired it with a bottle of wine.

The Record:

Artist: Nirvana

Title: Nevermind – The Singles

Label: DGC / Sub Pop / Ume

Year: 2011

Catalog: B001623-01

Country: USA

Matrix:

Smells Like Teen Spirit Side 1: B 0016231-01 A 91074 1A tph at schnittstelle

Smells Like Teen Spirit Side 2: B 0016231-01 B 91074 1B tph at schnittstelle

Come As Your Are Side 1: B 0016231-01 C 91074 1C tph at schnittstelle

Come As Your Are Side 2: B 0016231-01 D 91074 1D tph at schnittstelle

Lithium Side 1: B 0016231-01 E 91074 1E tph at schnittstelle

Lithium Side 2: B 0016231-01 F 91074 1F tph at schnittstelle

In Bloom Side 1: B 0016231-01 G 91074 1G tph at schnittstelle

In Bloom Side 2: B 0016231-01 H 91074 1H tph at schnittstelle

Barcode: 6 02527 85422 9

Mastering: Thomas P. Heckmann at Schnittstelle

Pressing Plant: Unknown (but most likely Germany)

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/3247502

Notes: Released for Black Friday Record Store Day 2011 in an apparently 5,000-limited pressing.  This one’s numbered 11,042 so who knows.  It’s a 4 X 10” box set housed in a slip case outer cardboard box with the spines facing outwards.  The 4 records are the original Nevermind singles released in (mostly) 1991 and 1992.  Back in the day originally released as 7”, 12 “ and CD single formats, I’m guessing this is the first time it’s seen a 10” format.  Besides being released for RSD, I thinks each was released as individual 10’ers also.

All the A sides except for Smells Like Teen Spirit are original LP versions, with SMLT being an edit version.  The B-sides are a mix of live tracks, radio sessions, an additional Nevermind track, and the usual fodder that didn’t make it on the LP.  All sides are cut at 33 with the A sides holding a single track and the B side two or three.  That means nice wide grooves on the A side!

All records and covers are NM.  The outter box has a bit of the expected wear; it actually looks like Pete may have sat on it in at one point.  VG+ would be a fair grade.  Lacquers were cut in Germany and although there’s no indication of pressing plant I’m thinking EU also.

The Accompaniment: 

The accompaniment tonight is a bottle of Valpolicella Ripasso Cassico Superiore.  A thank you gift from Perrone, this thing is very very nice!  I will have to remember this one for a future purchase.  An Italian wine from Veneto (Perrone’s Italian, but I have no idea from what region) its very easy drinking with lots of flavor.  Fruits galore, I may be wasting it just listening to rekkids.  This probably would be best enjoyed with some beef.

The Listen:

I just got in from taking the dog for a walk and remember the amps have been on for hours…when I check out the heat levels I get a shock from touching the MX100…and I barely feel any heat from the 275’s (It’s fucking cold down here).  A deep “tube smell” permeates the air.

Ten-inch records are funny to hold and play, unnatural like.  This sets got four, so it takes a minute to decide which to play first.  I decide to play them in the order listed on the back of the box.  I’m going to have to get up every 5 minutes or so for the next hour plus.  Scanning the track list, I remember most of the songs when I owned the CD back in the day (and I actually own a blue copy of the recent ORG reissue), but I don’t think I’ve heard any of the B-sides.  I expect these records to be cut loud, so I do a quick sound check of Smell’s Like Teen Spirit…but fucking fuck nuggets, I drop the needle onto THE BARE PLATTER!  FUCK! FUCK! FUCK 10-inch records!  I get the magnifying glass…everything looks OK; straight and sharp.  After giving myself shit and the angel on my shoulder kudos, I try again.  As expected, I have to adjust the level down as not to bother the sick wife upstairs.

SLTS is first in the queue.  Immediately, the awesomeness of the bass and drums is better than I’ve ever heard on this song.  The vinyl’s got no surface noise, providing a quiet black background for the haunting “hello’s”.  The song erupts, and to hell with sleeping wife, I turn it up.  The soundstage blossoms with ferocity, and a great sounding guitar solo half way thru.  I love it more than I thought I would have so far.  No murkiness, nice clarity and definition, yet grungy.  And an awesome close.  This song’s an “edit” version…I have no idea how it differs from the LP version.

I flip over the record for the 3 B-sides.  Although I don’t recognize the name of the first song, Drain You, I immediately recognize the song when it starts.  It’s a song I like actually, probably the best Colbain vocals I can think of.  This song’s an unexpected bonus.  Grohl’s cymbal crashing sound as good as I’ve ever heard and I’m getting shit I’ve never heard before in the song.  The amazing little segue mid song has a gasp of psychedelia, and when it breaks back I’m laughing with amazement (at the song and the fact the wife hasn’t woken up yet).  I actually enjoyed this better than SLTS, and the back says LP version.

Although Even In His Youth is not sounding familiar, it echoes a song or two from Nevermind but less polished (Polly maybe?).  It’s got a garage sound, not a bad tune, but definitely batting below average…like it’s mediocre guitar solo.  Aneurysm is a title that may be familiar, but the opening riff proves it is not.  It has a similar sound stage as the previous songs and the back jacket confirms it’s all the same session.  The guitar intro breaks into what I would describe as “college indie”, until Kurt’s vocals put an end to that thought.  The chorus is cool too…this songs a winner.  There are a few tics near the end of the song, first noise I’ve heard yet.  Song ends and I run upstairs to check on the sick wife…all good there, so I turn the volume up a pubic hair or two.

Next up is Lithium, which the back says is also a LP version.  I will definitely know this one, I have no recollection of the tune but if memory serves me correctly I believe it’s a good one.  Needle starts producing noise…yup, I know this one.  I have to say, everything sounds outstanding…drum cymbals, guitar, bass and Kurt…I’m telling you, these extra wide A-side grooves is the shit.  Although rotating at 33, the fat grooves are giving everything a crisp, airy openness.  Words cannot describe the upgrade this is over my 90s CD being played on my $300 Fisher boom box back in school.  I plan on spinning my Nevermind LP to compare that cut to this righteous beast.

The B-side opens with Been A Son, the first of several live tracks in this box.  The track opens with an energetic live crowd; this is a hometown show according to the credits, so no surprise.  Pretty good tune, showcasing a very tight trio.  I never saw Nirvana live; you would have guessed they would have played a Lollapalooza show or two, I guess Kurt’s situation got in the way.  Up next, Curmudgeon is one heavy mother displaying the same soundstage on the first 10-inch platter.  It’s my least favorite song so far.  The last track, D-7, was record at a BBC Radio Session.  It actually sounds like my BBC Mogwai records.  This is my first time hearing this also.  It’s a slow and intense atmosphere until a punk eruption mid song.  Kurt sacrifices his voice at the BBC.

Up next is Come As You Are, the first song since SLTS I know by name.  It takes only a second in to solidify that the A-sides slay the B-sides sonic wise.  This one truly sparkles, with the stage stretching left to right and front to back.  This cut really opens up the drums, bass, vocals and Kurt’s guitar transitions and renditions a quantum level or two.  The first 20 seconds of Endless, Nameless sounds like Smashing Pumpkins until Kurt starts wailing…and then the song breaks into a spy, bachelor pad lounge sound…and then Kurt goes vocally crazy…fucking trippy.  Two minutes in, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store in this one.  The jacket doesn’t mention that it’s live but it certainly feels that way.  A false ending comes up, but I saw this one a mile away…no way that was 6 minutes!  This song’s got me gulping the wine now before it ends with what sounds like a looped sample.

The last two tracks on this side are live tracks from Seattle.  School sounds like it’s an outdoor show, but the jacket says Paramount Theatre, just like DY on the previous platter. Sounds OK enough, but nothing special.  Next is Drain You live, my favorite tune of the box thus far.  Although it sounds good live, its more of a curio and I’d much rather hear the LP version.  The segue on this version is incendiary though, bettering the LP version.  I’m pretty sure this live version has crossed my path before; in fact, the more I hear this version the more I like it.

In Bloom is the last A-side and my subconscious is telling me I’m going to like this as I’ve said before, the A-sides have been sounding amazing…so much that while on the flipsides I’ve been craving an A-side.  Can you tell I’m expecting this one to deliver?  The needle drops and there’s an explosion!  I pre-emptively turn it down…I’ll let it rage tomorrow when the alarm security dude is here doing his thing.  “Nature is a whore”…not sure what that means.  But fack man, these A-sides RULE.  IB is not my favorite Nirvana song, but it definitely did the trick.

Two songs left, live versions of Silver and Polly.  Silver is live from California, and it’s weird not hearing Kurt wailing on stage like the rest of the live tunes.  Ok…he started yelling.  I’ve definitely heard this tune before, might have even been this version.  Good tune.  I know Polly also and I don’t think I’m the only one as the crowd sings along.  It’s a bit faster than I remember the LP version.  Nice ending.  Nice.

The Postamble:

Overall, I’m not sure how much I care for all the getting up and down so often to play this set; I’m not a singles guy to begin with, playing about 99.9% LPs.  Nevertheless, the set sounds awesome, especially the A-sides.  Since the flip sides don’t offer anything compelling for repeated listening, I think that Nevermind proper will do for me.  I’m pretty sure that Nevermind was released as a double 45 recently, and that’s probably the way to go if you don’t mind dropping serious coin on the album…and I think BG or CB just may have cut it.  And I’m pretty sure Pete has that set also…I’ll have to enquire, but I’m happy with my ORG reissue.

And in conclusion, I found listening to the B-sides a bit tedious.  I guess I’m just not a super fan.  If I owned this box set, it would probably only leave the shelf for spot plays of the single tracks and not an end-to-end run-through.

And again, the wine was fucking awesome.  Buy some and drink it.

The Fine Print:

This was not a review of the aforementioned vinyl LP or alcoholic drink, but a personal reflection on my experience of listening and imbibing.  Such factors such as vinyl condition, pressing, intoxication, room size, rig, stylus wear and mastering may result in a different listening experience.

Over-Nite Sensation

Overnite Sensation and bourbon

The Preample:

Frank Zappa was one of the coolest men ever to roam the earth.  Hitting the scene while the love movement was in full bloom, his music was counter culture yet anti-hippie.  A musical perfectionist who weaved avant-garde compositions about cream cheese, dental floss and catholic girls, he also sang of freedom of speech and obliteration of censorship.   He gave his kids names like Moon Unit, Dweezil and Diva, was appointed by the Czechoslovakia government to head their department of trade, cultural matter and tourism, and testified before the United States Senate.  Fucking eh.

It’s easy to write him off as a parody act or freak show, yet digesting his discography one can argue he’s the greatest composer of the twentieth century.  Who else you going to nominate…John WilliamsVangelis?  Not even fucking close.  Zappa.

My wife hates his music.  Guaranteed way to get rid or her.

Anyways, listening to Over-nite Sensation tonight which is credited to the The Mothers.  Apparently this LP and Apostrophe (‘) which was credited to Frank Zappa, were part of the same recording session.  Regardless, Frank’s the conductor so it doesn’t matter what you call the band.  Oh yeah, Tina Turner’s on this album, albeit uncredited!

The Record:

Artist: The Mothers

Title: Over-nite Sensation

Label: Discreet

Year: 1973

Catalog: MS 2149

Country: Canada

Matrix:

Side 1 – MS-2149-A

Side 2 – MS-2149-B

Barcode: N/A

Mastering: Unknown

Pressing Plant: Unknown

Discogs: www.discogs.com/release/692634

Notes: I bought this LP ages ago.  If you put me to the sword, I would guess 1992 or so at Peter Dunn’s Vinyl Museum…this could very well be the very first Zappa record I ever bought.  Back when one could buy a great condition Zappa record for under 4 bucks.  Nowadays, you’re looking twenty bucks or so.  This copy’s in grand condition.  Both sides would be grated a NM if it wasn’t for some kind of stain on both sides that stubbornly will not come off.  Smaller than the size of a dime, its origin befuddles me but if I were to guess, I’d say cum.  So lets grade it a VG++.

The jacket’s a VG+.  No ring wear, but there’s a bit of fraying of the spine although it’s entirely legible.  The cover’s got a lot going on.  It’s a fantastic gatefold with loads of shit to look at… a McDonald’s fast food box, Florida map, a disembodied hand, a donut, what appears to be a CD player and an orange with a vagina.  The gatefold’s full of lyrics, band pictures and a shit ton of mustache (must be November).

The Accompaniment: 

Received a couple of bottles of Champagne for my fortieth a few months back.  I don’t want to sound ungrateful…but come on?  Champagne?  Luckily all spirits in the beautiful province of Ontario is sold at the LCBO which takes returns.  So three bottles of French fizzy wine gets me a bottle of my beloved Pike Creek and a flyer on a bottle “premium” bourbon, Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.

As you can see in the pic, I’ve already broken it out on a few occasions.  So far so good, time to pair it with some Zappa.

The Listen:

After taking the dog for a quick walk, I warmed up the tubes with some live Bowie and whiskey (haven’t broken out the Hayden’s yet…starting off with some Forty Creek).  By the end of Diamond Dogs, Bowie’s sounding fucking awesome and I can’t wait for some Zappa.

The Bowie finishes and I pour myself a triple bourbon.  Compared to the Canadian whiskey, it has an immediate sugary perfume of black licorice.  It has a pleasant smell, sweet taste and short finish.  Agreeable enough, it has me taking large sips.  As much as I love sipping whiskey while spinning vinyl, I must admit I wish I had some king cans to go with the Zappa.

I drop the needle and am instantly encircled by sweet analog sound…but I lift the tone arm.  This shit requires more volume.  After fiddling with the knob, I re-drop the needle to an amazing clatter of drums, tambourine (?), guitar licks and Frank himself.  Instant 10 out of 10, Camarillo Brillo’s one of my favourite Zappa songs.  It’s a great track with some horn interplay which slowly gains momentum throughout the tune, taking center stage come the third go around.   Ending with a piano ditty I’m at a loss for words.  Four or so minutes effortlessly past.

I’m The Slime opens with the same airy sound (I’ve found all Canadian Zappa records to sound excellent), drums ruling before switching to a slow & low vibe while Fran expounds against mind control and commercialism as always with a political bent.  An Ikette makes her vocal entrance as some sort of radio/TV announcer…but fuck man, the drums!  The song ends way too soon.

Next up is Dirty Love…fack, can’t wait until it starts.  More fantastic drum sound staging accompanied by a cat on keyboards.  DL’s some sludgy Frank with vocal effects, a bass voice in the right channel and female in the front.  “Just like your mama make her fuzzy poodle do”…I thinks I would like some dirty love right about now.

Fifty-Fifty is a quicker number with a keyboard and bass opening for Ricky Lancelotti singing about his bad hygiene.  I’m losing control at this point, on my feet dancing to the song.  A minute in the craziest church organ solo north of the Dixie Mason erupts…the song’s going somewhere as the baton’s passed to Ponty on the violin.  HOLY SHIT!  GO JEAN-LUC!  This song’s pure psychedelia.  By the time of Frank’s guitar solo the song is driving mad as I’m still on my feet looking the part of the middle aged dufus (lets try and not throw out a back tonight).

That was a fucking righteous side.  If you can’t handle it don’t bother coming over to play.

As I drop the arm onto side 2, I notice just how skinny the deadwax is…good omen as that means more music.  Zomby Wolf’s another sludge guitar riff interspersed with rapidly changing instruments; the song bounces between speeds, instruments and direction.  More heavy psychedelia.  After about 90 seconds of this, a guitar solo tries to make sense of the song.  There’s some nasty keyboards during the backup singers… a few songs on this album are The Ikettes albeit uncredited…that means Tina Turner is on this recording.  The song ends…every song thus far a perfect 10.

The opening riff of Dinah-Moe Hum sounds like an 80s hip hop sample…Frank even raps!  DMH’s another mash of fast moving instrumentations (or at least, I think it is, kinda buzzed at this point).  Oh yeah, this long has the best interlude ever!  The Ikette resurfaces as one (or both?) of the sisters Frank makes a bet with…then Zappa raps some more over a soundtrack-like soundscape.

Whadd-ya mean cooties!  No cooties on me!

The female vocals are the cherry on top of this masterpiece…not to mention the cowbell.  The erotica interlude has me howlin’ at Frank’s mad mind (I’m thinking DMH’s just another true band story involving groupies).  The song breaks out of the long interlude to a reprise of the opening musical juxtapositions.

Damn, last song already.  No worries, I’ve already decided to drop another Zappa LP after this is done.  Montana’s the slowest track on the LP, drums still sound awesome.  This one’s a narrative.  A story about Frank moving to Montana to grow some dental floss, all the while riding vibes and a sick guitar solo.  The bass during his solo is legendary, pure fucking music…and I can’t help it; I’m up and dancing again.  Now it’s definitely The Ikettes in either a trio or duet (can’t quite discern).  According to legend Frank hired Tina Turner & The Ikettes from Ike Turner and it took them 3 days or so to nail the “I’m pluckin’ the ol’ Dennil Floss” bit, Tina excitedly called over Ike to hear it in which he responded “What is this shit?”  He later insisted that Zappa didn’t include The Ikettes on the credits.  They never knew what they were getting themselves into.  The right channel vibes literally jump out and slap me in the face, Yippy-Ty-O-Ty-Ay, and a tear materializes from my left eye as the song, side and album end.

The Postamble:

Yup, I’m giving this LP a 10.  Both the music and sound stage are excellent and riding Frank at the peak of his powers.  This record has a “sister record”, Aprostrophe (‘) which apparently was part of the same recording session but released as a Frank Zappa solo album (that’s what I listened to after this LP).  This LP is highly recommended for any Zappa fan or any stew made up of fusion, avant-garde, prog and parody.

As I mentioned earlier, I tend to find all US and Canadian Zappa records of the highest sonic quality with tons of magic pixie dust.  These old Zappa records are getting harder to find and more expensive all the time and I’m glad I was able to grab it for a fifth of what it typically goes for now.  That said, I’m very curious about the recent reissue cut by Chris Bellman.  A shoot-out would be definitively fun.

The bourbon was mighty tasty, but it might have been better paired with a more conventional jazz or rock record.  This LP called for beer.

The Fine Print:

This was not a review of the aforementioned vinyl LP or alcoholic drink, but a personal reflection on my experience of listening and imbibing.  Such factors such as vinyl condition, pressing, intoxication, room size, rig, stylus wear and mastering may result in a different listening experience.

Wakin On A Pretty Daze

KurtVile_and_Forty_Creek

 

The Preample:

I’ve been on a Kurt Vile kick for a while now.  My introduction to Kurt was 2011’s Smoke Ring For My Halo and I immediately loved it, playing it nonstop, turning all my music listening friends onto him, etc.  Anticipation for this newest release, Wakin On A Pretty Daze, was high…and it definitely delivered.  I’ve been spinning this double record regularly since its April release, and have been blown away enough to (luckily) find and purchase the rest of his OOP catalog.  His output just keeps getting better and refined with every release.  I finally saw Kurt & The Violators live a few weeks ago at TURF, it was an amazing set…one of the best of the festival…too bad he didn’t have any merchandise for sale, I was really looking forward to getting a concert tee.

Oh well.  Nonetheless, constantly rotating his discography and his show one of my summer’s live music highlights, it’s only fitting I review his latest release.  Unlike most of my recent reviews, I’m not going into this one blind…in fact it’s my third spin this week.

The wife’s out for the night, the kids are in bed and I’m going to have some whiskey as I listen to this kick ass record.

The Record:

Artist: Kurt Vile

Title: Wakin On A Pretty Daze

Label: Matador

Year: 2013

Catalog: OLE 998-2

Country: US

Notes: Wakin On A Pretty Daze was released as both a regular double LP and deluxe double package.  I opted to pay the extra 5 bucks or so for the deluxe which comes with blue pressed vinyl, a very cool alternate cover without the graffiti on the wall, a sheet of stickers of the graffiti icons that allow you to customize your cover, and limited to 3500 US copies.  The cover is also printed on solid cardboard stock, gate folded, with custom printed LP inners & printed lyric sheet and includes a low & hi rez download card.  This LP scores very high as far as tactile experience, with vivid color and tons of shit to look at and read while listening.  Very fucking cool.

I guess the only (potential) downfall is the fact is it was pressed at United Record Pressing which from personal experience can output some duds.  I have my fair share of URP records with infill problems and other manufacturing and QA problems.  I bought this album new and everything’s NM (hard to tell with blue vinyl) with superb playback.

And it’s worth reiterating one more time; the deluxe issue is one cool set.

Matrix:

Side 1 – OLE-998-1A-RE1 RJ STERLING

Side 2 – OLE-998-1B RJ STERLING Ⓤ

Side 3 – OLE-998-1C RJ STERLING Ⓤ

Side 4 – OLE-998-1D RJ STERLING Ⓤ

Barcode: 744861099802

Mastering: Ray Janos at Sterling Sound

Pressing Plant: United Record Pressing

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/4448552

The Accompaniment: 

Helped out my friend Paul a few days moving a swing set for his little girl.  Paul’s a great guy and when asked if I was free and willing to help of course I said yes!  He was looking for enough muscle and I was able to recruit Pete also without any effort.  Testament to Paul’s character he paid for our labors with bottles of whisky.  All I expected was a few beers to keep cool, so this was a nice surprise.  So I took home a bottle of Forty Creek Barrel Select, a local whisky (distilled and aged less than an hour away in Grimsby, Ontario) made of up rye, barley and corn distillates aged for 6 to 10 years in American White Oak barrels, and blended before a 6 month finish in Sherry Cask Barrels.  Sounds yummy!

The Listen:

Putting on the first side I remember how static-y these LPs are.  A total dust magnet…the vinyl literally fishes floating dust right out of the air.   Anyways, side A.  It opens with the album’s title track (well almost), a mellow groove floating in a dream (or pretty daze I guess you can call it).  The guitar and vocals are immediately recognized as Kurt.  His laid back style illuminates stellar vibes out of the speakers.  Wakin On a Pretty Day is one awesome tune…I liked it the first time and love it after incessant listens.  This is a song that rewards you with repeated listens.  The song moves with a fluidity that I don’t notice the guitar solos until they’re gone.  The song’s outro bristles with psychedelia and as the song winds down a huge smile steals across my face.  Killer track.

KV Crimes takes a 90 degree turn sound wise.  It has a cool guitar opening and the song sounds like a slowed down AC/DC track.  A very simple rhythm allows Kurt to meander between singing and guitar licks.  I’ve had the volume on pretty low so far and it’s somehow adding to my enjoyment of the tune.  I remember this song being good played loud too.  Was All Talk shimmers back and forth and I still have the big smile from the opening track going strong.  I’ve played this LP at least a dozen times if not more and still not a pop, tic, click or anything the whole side.

Making Music is Easy

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.

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Watch Me

Fucking awesome.

The percussion on WAT is also fucking awesome.  What the hell…the whole side was fucking awesome.  All three outros had me totally dialed in and tripped out.  The side finishes with a great rock & roll growl.

Flipping the record it’s easy to think the record may take a rest after side A’s greatness, but the first track sounds like a continuation of side A.  Kurt’s telling a story about a Girl Called Alex with intermittent jingling guitar solos.  A brief organ solo adds sparkle to the song.  In fact, the entire song sparkles.  And then Never Run Away starts.  Fack man…what a tune!  This one’s huge…it may be my favourite of the album.  It plays as leisurely as the rest of the other tunes, with perhaps the catchiest lyrics of the bunch.  It’s simply composed of guitar and drums with Kurt repeating “I know you’ll never run away” about 50 times throughout the tune.

Pure Rain is a testament to the quality of the songs so far.  Although my least favourite thus far, it’s still a great playable tune.  I have to admit it sounds monaural…has the whole LP been mono so far?  I plan on paying closer attention and it immediately appears not.  It’s more like Kurt is mixed in mono with left and right sounds piped in.  Throughout all first LP, Kurt’s vocal & guitar have been front center stage.  The sound stage is sufficient, better than most indie LPs these days.

The first LP was so awesome.  On to the second LP, side C.

I’LL TRY NOT TO PARTY………………TOO HARD

Ha.  The first song is Too Hard in which Kurt vaguely reminds me of a younger Neil Young due to country twang-ness qualities.  I just love Vile’s transitions from vocal to guitar work.  He truly has a unique style.  His songs seem to last forever, so easy to get lost in them.

Shame Chamber effortlessly meanders similar to the album hence.  Kurt’s yelping over a keyboard ditty sounds so cool.  And I’m pretty sure I hear a cowbell.  He yelps again, this time with some extra instruments joining the fun.  The song finishes with a great outro…maybe the best so far?  Snowflakes Are Dancing has more pace then up to this point, it’s basically Kurt rocking out, not losing an ounce of his signature sound.  I hear the dog walking upstairs thru the baby monitor…let me turn the volume up a bit.

With lament I put on the last side.  Amazing listen so far and looks like only two tracks to go.  Air Bud’s (remember that movie?) opening synth-scape is a favourite of mine continuing with the album’s mood architecture.  I wonder if this song was named after that lame 90’s movie.  The song’s not lame though…I’ll be humming this tune to myself for hours if not days after.  Sonically, my chosen of the album (I have been drinking).  The song ends with the familiar synth-scape and words fail me.

The Goldtone song name not only sounds like a Stereolab title, but it actually echoes of Stereolab.  (I tried my best to make that sentence make sense).  Goldtone actually sounds similar to the opening track…I just may play side A again to compare.  Actually, playing the whole album again appeals to me!  Vibes pan across from left to right, the song tickles me in all those places I like to tickled.  And just as the song starts to finish 10 minutes later the wife gets home.  Fantastic timing.

The Postamble:

I had an easy time finding the sweet spot for the listen.  Although not the final word in sonics, there’s a nice separation of the instruments and Kurt’s tiniest guitar nuances come thru nicely.  But most importantly, it breathes life.  The album’s mix of folk rock and psychedelia interlace with an indie presence.  Owning all of Kurt Vile’s LPs you definitely witness his maturation.  Where  God Is Saying This To You… and Smoke Ring For My Halo may have taken big steps forward, Wakin On A Pretty Daze takes a quantum jump.  He did not run out of ideas in filling 2 LPs worth.

Kurt uses the same vocal delivery throughout the songs, prone to bouts of repeating a key lyric over and over again…with “Yeah” being a particular favourite of his.  It’s an effectively catchy style.  The songs an unhurried success.

I’ve been really enjoying the Forty Creek also.  It’s a very flavourful whisky, with a subtle fruitiness.  I definitely recommend it as a buy and try.  It’s got a sweet price point and it’s distilled an aged just an hour or so down the QEW in Grimsby.  Hundred Mile Diet baby.

The Fine Print:

This was not a review of the aforementioned vinyl LP or alcoholic drink, but a personal reflection on my experience of listening and imbibing.  Such factors such as vinyl condition, pressing, intoxication, room size, rig, stylus wear and mastering may result in a different listening experience.