LP and brandy

The Preample:

I loved this CD back in the day.  I was in school during frugal CD buying days.  What CDs I grabbed were usually used or stolen and a new purchase was very rare.  This was one of them.  That fall and winter it was common to listen to it sandwiched between Pavement and Lee Perry.  It was a fresh cool sound which you either liked or pretended not to like.  It was affably poppy sing along hooks that had a Much Music synergy thanks to some great videos.  Man, did the jocks ever love it too…

I probably haven’t given this album a listen in a decade, maybe a decade and a half.  I noticed that MoFi, a reissue label I own several LPs from and respect highly, was going to remaster  the Weezer catalog with the full half mastered ultra-analog mastering chain.  Well, unlike the three Pixie’s MoFi reissues which I bought all three, I always considered Weezer a one album band and figured I’d grab me a copy of the self-titled…I mean, all the record stores in town had hundreds of them.  “I’ll grab them one day”…went to “holy shit, they only have two copies left”… to “fack, they have every other Weezer mofi but…”.  That was it, six months later and it couldn’t be found at three local stores.  Shite.

Although I was keenly aware it was still in print…Amazon promised 4-6 weeks delivery…ordering from MoFi or the US sites throws a shit load of shipping your way so I was determined to find it in store.  I hit all the usual suspects downtown and finally found it at my fourth and last stop.  And there you have, another album I’ve bought more than once.

The Record:

It’s a MoFi, so as expected minty all round.  Thick stock cardboard and a slab of vinyl built like a RTI tank.  Individually numbered, I have no clue on volume.  The gatefold states “Any sonic artifacts present are a product of the original master tape.  Attempts to eliminate them would have negatively impacted the integrity of the presentation.”  Cool, original masters.

Interestingly, this MoFi LP came with a non-branded inner…hmmmmm

Artist: Weezer

Title: Weezer

Label: Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab

Year: 2012 (originally released 1994)

Catalog: MFSL 1-390

Country: USA

Notes: gatefold, numbered 003338


Side 1 – MFSL1-390 A3 KW @ MoFi 20551.1(3)        [with a few characters crossed out between “A3”]

Side 2 – MFSL1-390 B2 KW @ MoFi 20520.2(3)

Barcode – 821797139014

Mastering: Krieg Wunderlich @ Mobile Fidelity Sound lab using “the” GAIN 2 Ultra Analog mastering chain.

Pressing Plant: Record Technology Incorporated

Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/release/3923945

The Accompaniment:

No distilled grain spirits tonight.  I opted for a cup of my dwindling Courvoisier cognac.  This shit is liquid warmth.  I mean, that first sip was THE SHIT!  This VSOP is a fine drink, super smooth with a taste that lingers for minutes after.  It’s hard to believe that there can actually be a finer brandy…hopefully one day someone will find it in their good will to gift me a bottle of XO.

The Listen:

After I finish walking the dog, I decided to move the speakers in considerably tonight, about 2 ½ feet.  Without trying too hard to find the migrated “sweet spot”, I drop the needle and My Name Is Jonah opens with guitars and vocals, both presented very nicely.  The cymbals provide a nice shimmer and the guitars have crunch.  The multi-vocals transition nicely into power guitars with great build, electric with fat analog sustain.  The closing guitar pluck lasts forever.  No One Else is another great tune with lots more vocals and guitars, again mixed & mastered perfectly.  I turn it up a ball hair.  Great fucking tune!

I notice that the drums are way back in the mix…I guess this “is” a guitar album, but then The World Has Turned And Left Me Here opens and that changes.  The skins are moved up few row or two and categorically sound great, not just shimmering cymbals.  I’m loving what Herr Wunderlich has done so far and must remember to look up what other work he’s done.  And so far I don’t notice any “tape artifacts”.  Near the end of the tune the wife gives me shit for not changing the laundry.  Oh well.  Gawd this brandy tastes great.

Seven hells…she burned the opening 20 seconds of a 160 second song, Buddy Holly.  Thanks.  The chorus for BH is just killing it…everything going on sounds great and crystal clear.  I plan on blasting the shit out of this tune tomorrow when I’m alone.  Bet on it.

“Hey Bob!  How we doin man?”

“This place is so rad”

“I’m so stoned.  Take it easy bro!”

Amazing just about sums up Undone (The Sweater Song) and this side.  Amazing Side A which ends in warm, enveloping reverb.  Since the wife said nothing about the volume I turn it up 3 notches.

Surf Wax America opens Side B with nice bass presence segueing into guitars and a great sounding drum kick.  Very very nice, the bass sounds amazing when the track breaks into slowness near the end.  So far the album’s been an upbeat, guitar driven album.  Say It Aint’ So is the first song with a slower pace, with the drum and bass interlude mixed amazing, but I can’t wait for the guitars to interrupt the ditty.  There it is.  The phone immediately rings and I’m in shit…something about other people trying to sleep in this house.  I reluctantly turn it down.  I guess this song isn’t as quiet as I thought it was.  SIAS is a righteous tune.

In the Garage opens with the harmonica returning from the first tune, along with the D&D references.  If memory serves me correctly, a 12 sided die is damage for a long sword?  I’ll have to look it up.  There’s a nice low frequency growl mixed at the back and my least favorite tune still songs great.  Holiday’s another great tune and I can’t resist giving the speakers more electrons.  The sustain on the guitars on this one is simply great.  Only In Dreams opens with an agreeable bass riff frolicking with the cymbals again.  Once again all the instruments are given proper space and everything sounds great.  All 8 minutes of the song sound great, but none as great after I move around and finally find the sweet spot.  HOLY SHIT!  The bass just jumped out and everything snapped into focus.  I’ll definitely have to experiment with moving shit around more.

The Postamble:

Very simply, this was a great listen.  I loved this CD back in the day and I’m going to love spinning this LP past my expiration date.  There was great sound staging, mix and mastering…and pressing thanks to RTI!  A home run.  The music was equally decent with a dose of nostalgia.  I think it’s proper i close the night with a little Pavement and Lee Perry.

And the cognac is just about done.  Fack.

Oh yeah…besides the different speaker placement, I also dampened my Michell motor using a bit of paper between the motor and stand.  Works very nicely and removed some noise that I previously thought was a defective motor.  Thank you 3M!!!


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.

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