Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bring It On

Goddamn it. Here we are at the end of July and this is only my third entry for the month. I keep getting vinyl in the mail, and it just keeps piling up here next to my computer. This time around we are adding new records from On to the collection...the white vinyl is limited to 250, and black is limited to 650. With Jim Hesketh as the singer, the comparisons to Champion are unavoidable. Great, solid hardcore. I'm really excited for this band, and I would love to see these guys release a full length album in the future.
One of the reasons why I have been slow to get the blog updated is because I joined a book club, and I'm trying to keep up with the reading. This ain't no ordinary book club, this is the Manly Book girls books about travelling pants. When Rob first came to me with the idea, I thought that it sounded like a lot of fun. I used to read non-stop...always burning my way through another book. Once the kids came, and I got a "real" job that didn't allow me to sit and read for most of the day, all my reading time dried up and I've never gotten back to it. I figured this was the push that I needed to start up again. The initial idea included just Rob, Brent, and I. The two of them were avid readers, so I was excited to see what book was going to be chosen as the first recommendation. Before too long, our group had expanded to include two more members, and we were off reading American Shaolin by Matthew Polly. The book was a fascinating trip with the author, as he looks to transform himself from a 98 pound coward, into a kung-fu fighting machine. In many ways I could really relate to the authors struggles with insecurity, and was completely in awe of his trip to China to train with the Shaolin monks and create a positive change within himself. It was a really fun read. However, I failed to finish the book in time for our book club meeting at the end of the month, leaving myself open to ridicule for being the only one that didn't complete it. I was feeling a little disappointed with myself for not finishing it, and I was seriously contemplating dropping out. But, damn, when we got together to talk about the book, it was such a fun time. Just a group of guys, hanging out and laughing about parts of the book. Immediately after the meeting, I knew that I needed to finish this book and prepare myself for the next one. I went home and banged out the last 50 pages over the next couple of days. I am up for this challenge. Bring it on.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Master of Vinyl

I picked up Metallica's Master of Puppets on vinyl this week. As the band is putting the finishing touches on their new album, Death Magnetic, they have been re-releasing their earlier works on vinyl. Just like Kill 'Em All and Ride the Lightning, I picked up Master of Puppets in the double LP format. The gatefold packaging is absolutely stunning, while the vinyl itself is nice and thick. They have done a great job packaging these records, and having never owned these albums on vinyl, I have been jumping at the chance to add these to my collection.

Master of Puppets was the first album that got me hooked on Metallica. Paul got the cassette tape of Ride the Lightning around 1985, and man, did we hate it. The album starts of with a thrasher in Fight Fire With Fire, and it was so over the top and fast that it just seemed silly. When the band finally released Master of Puppets in 1986, I was hearing so many good things about the band that I had to give them another try. All of a sudden something clicked. I loved the new album, I went back and checked out Ride the Lightning again, and loved that one as well. A door had been opened for a style of Metal that has been a favorite of mine for the past 20 years...Thrash.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Getting Aggressive

Man, I have been slacking off on keeping this thing updated and the vinyl is starting to stack up around my computer.
Pre-order season has arrived. Tons of great new records coming out over the next few months and one of the first to arrive was the new Verse album, Aggression. I love that record labels are now starting to provide digital downloads when you buy vinyl. Save me the hassle of searching Soulseek for mp3's if I'm not buying a CD copy in addition to the vinyl, and in the case of Aggression, Rivalry Records had the digital download available as soon as the pre-orders went up, so I was able to listen to the album as soon as I bought it online. The album is really good, and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. The band had their record release show on the same day that I had tickets to go see Iron Maiden with Jeff, so I had to miss out on that show and any record release merch that the band may have had. To make up for it though, it appears that I may have received one of the rarest pieces of vinyl pressed for this record.

When I received my order from Rivalry, I was confused by the black and clear/yellow split vinyl. The website only listed a black and clear split for pre-orders. I emailed the record label and Kyle, who runs it, wrote me back saying that he had never seen one that had the yellow/orange mixed in with the clear. He said that he likes to have one of every pressing, especially those that are unique, and offered me a "really good trade or money" to take it off my hands. I politely declined, but did make him the promise that if I ever was looking to get rid of it, that I would come to him first. Holy shit, I may have a one of a kind Verse pressing! Only the true record geeks would understand how exciting that is. I tried to explain it to my wife, and she called me retarded since I didn't sell it back to Kyle. In her eyes, it made sense to dump one since I already had another copy. Apparently she hasn't seen the 8 different pressings of Promises Kept that I have in collection...yeah, she would have a field day with that one.

The other Verse records that are new to the collection include the grey and white swirl of the LP, limited to 525. I also got the two pressings of the Story of a Free Man single that Bridge Nine Records vinyl was limited to 700, and the clear vinyl I'm not sure, but may be limited to 500.