Thursday, April 26, 2007

Pre-Order Season Begins

I have spent a lot of money over the past couple of months on pre-orders. Must be that time of the year, because all of a sudden every one seems to be releasing records. One of the first to arrive was from Rivalry Records. The new Go It Alone 7 inch is the single for the upcoming new album (also up for pre-order at Rivalry). In the same vein as the last album, the single contains three songs of some pretty heavy hardcore. The purple vinyl is limited to 155, and 875 on black.
I had never heard of the band Red Handed before, but the mp3 that Rivalry had posted sounded pretty cool, so I figured I'd give them chance. The 7 inch has a pretty good sound to it, and I'm looking forward to checking it more. This one had 214 pressed on red, and 715 pressed on white.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Treasure

I got a message from Jeff the other week...he had decided to clean out his record collection, getting rid of doubles and stuff that he no longer wanted. He was planning on putting a large number of records up for sale on ebay, but he offered to give me first crack at them. I wasn't sure what I would find, but he gave me a $2.00 price tag on everything, so I was looking forward to a little shopping.

Jeff ended up having lots of Metal up for sale, and I found more records than I was expecting.

  • Anthrax : One of the first things I picked out of the pile were these three Anthrax albums...the Armed and Dangerous e.p., Spreading the Disease, and Among the Living. I was around 15 years old, and Spreading the Disease was one of the first albums that introduced me to thrash and speed metal. The following year, I specifically remember going to the Mall to buy Among the Living with my friend Bill...sitting outside studying the packaging of the cassette tape, looking at every detail, while we waited for his father to pick us up.
  • Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell : I didn't have Heaven and Hell on vinyl for my Sabbath collection, so I picked it up. Sabbath is currently touring, with Ronnie James Dio back singing for them. Unfortunately the band is unable to use the Sabbath name without Ozzy, so they are using the name Heaven and Hell. Jeff and I are going to Massachusetts in May to catch them live.

Some stuff I picked up because it was in such mint condition, and some stuff I took a chance on.

  • Heathen - Breaking the Silence : I bought this on tape as a teenager. Cassette tapes are a complete waste of space, and this album was in such great condition that I bought it. Listening to this again, I was surprised at how good some of their songs were.
  • Flotsam & Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver : The band that had Jason Newstead as the bassist before he went on to play in Metallica. This album is the bands best. An album that I hadn't really heard for a while, and hearing it again I was reminded just how much fun it is. Great speed metal.
  • Rage - Reign of Fear : I had never heard this album before, but it was one of the early releases on Noise records (which released records from bands like Celtic Frost, Grave Digger, Kreator, etc). The record is alright, at times reminding me of Metal Church...not great, but still entertaining.
  • E-X-E - Stricken by Might : I pulled this out of the pile because of the "Thrash With Class" sticker on the cover. Flipping the album cover over reveals photos of the band members, with the one of the bass player looking "evil" covered in blood...yeah, that must be the class they were advertising. I would have bought it for that alone. The music on the album is a direct attempt at the early Slayer sound. It works for me.

Then there were the records that I was especially thrilled to get. A steal at $2.00 a piece.

  • Danzig : The first and the best. Complete with mint condition gatefold album cover, and gold promo doesn't get any more collectible than that. I put the album on Jeff's turn table, and when the needle hit the first note of Twist of Cain, the power of those chords as they roared out of the speakers was so insanely heavy.
  • D.R.I. - Dealing With It : I first owned a copy of this on cassette tape. These days I despise this format, but as a teenager, before the introduction of CD's, I preferred cassettes because they were so convenient. Sure the artwork and liner notes were so small to non-existent, or that they were so fragile that few of my cassettes lasted through my teenage years. I kick myself for wasting my money on tapes, instead of buying vinyl. Anyway, first I owned this on tape, and then bought the I have the vinyl. Everyone should own at least one copy of this classic.
  • Slayer - South of Heaven : I had seen this Slayer album in Jeff's collection before. I was surprised, because this isn't typically his style of music. I was hoping it was going to be in the pile that he was selling, but it wasn't. I asked him about it and he didn't even know that he owned it. I found it in his collection and he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and sold it to me for $2.00. When this album first came out, I didn't like it too much since it was such a departure from Reign in Blood. Over time, I came to really appreciate this record, and now I would say this is one of my favorites from the band.

Other than the Slayer record, there was one other record that I was hoping Jeff would have up for sale.

  • The Metal Massacre Limited Edition Picture Disc Box Set : I don't expect anyone else to grasp how f'n cool this thing is. Hand stamped as number 90 out of 1000. This box set contains picture discs of the first five Metal Massacre complications on Metal Blade Records. The record label left me in awe as a kid, as I would drool over their ads in Metal magazines...hoping that the local record store would carry some of their stuff. From Metallica and Slayer to Armored Saint and Lizzy Borden to Voivod and Hallows Eve. One of the coolest Heavy Metal record labels from the 80's. This one was all mine for $15.

There were so many other records that Jeff was selling that I wanted, but at $37 for the lot, I had already spent more than I was planning on. He still had a section of Metal that he had yet to sort through, so I am looking forward to going back and taking more cool shit off his hands.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Youth Crew

When I had kids, one of the biggest things that I looked forward to was sharing my love of music with them. I hated the typical kids music, and instead chose to introduce mine to Black Flag and The Misfits. By the time Sam turned 5, he really was getting interested in music, mostly early Heavy Metal and Hard Rock from my collection. The first band that he really latched onto was AC/DC, and his favorite songs were If You Want Blood, TNT, and Jailbreak. He would listen to those songs over and over again. Slowly he found interest in a few other songs, like Black Sabbath's Iron Man and Deep Purple's Smoke on the Water. I love that Sam is so interested in music...good music. Every once in a while he will want to go through my CD's and albums, pulling out the ones that he knows, and studying the album covers that he thinks are cool.
Since I had this picture of Sam looking at my vinyl collection, I needed to find one of Julia that I could post as well. I was digging around and found this picture from 2002. I had an Impact (later to change their name to Stand & Fight) sticker that I put on the front of her shirt, X'd up her hands, and we had a good time screaming into her toy microphone.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Heartfelt Punks

I finally got my package in the mail from Rold! I had sent the money to him back at the beginning of February, and by the time April rolled around, I thought for sure it had been sucked into the postal black hole as it crossed the Atlantic. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to receive what he had sent. I was so happy to find the package in my mailbox this week. He sent me two Heartfelt CD's, Take It Or Leave It (which is new on Shield Recordings), Explosive (which I think is their first one), plus a few pins and an assortment of stickers. I really like this band. Musically they kind of remind me of Betrayed, and Rold has a vocal style that really reminds me of Eric Ozenne from Redemption 87 (pre-Nerve Agents). Great stuff. Thanks Rold, now you need to get Take It Or Leave It pressed on vinyl!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

In The Beginning...

It was one of those days where I was just surfing through ebay...just looking for some cheap vinyl. I came across this Mercyful Fate album, The Beginning, for $9.99. Shipping was only a few bucks, so I picked it up. I always loved this band as a kid...the cartoonish satanism, complete with King Diamond's face paint with an upside down cross on his forehead. Awesome.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The Magic of the Celtics

Took a day off from work last week for our annual trip for a Celtics vs. Magic game. Paul, Rob and I headed down to Boston after lunch to get in some record shopping before the game. As always, it was a fun trip, but for some reason this one was one of the best...complete hyjinx from start to finish. Our first stop was supposed to be Re-Generation Records. This was a great punk/hardcore record store in Boston, but when we got there we found out that it had been turned into Re-Generation Tattoo records. It was disappointing, but the guy gave us directions to In Your Ear Records.
In Your Ear was a cool little dive of a shop. They did have a punk section, but I felt that the prices were a little too high. Still, I found a few cool records.
  • Indestructible Noise Command - Razorback and The Visitor : I loved I.N.C. when I was a kid...I remember Paul had both of these on cassette. They play that great style of generic speed metal from '87/'88. These two records were in mint condition and for $6.00 a piece, I quickly picked them up.
  • Alice Cooper - Special Forces : Another one of Alice's weaker records, that doesn't rock as hard as he had in years past. Still, there is some fun songs on this album. This was in great condition, plus it had the gold promo stamp on the front...and for only $3.00, how could I not buy it?

After our trip to In Your Ear, we stopped at Nuggets. Again, I found some cool stuff, and maybe I was just feeling cheap that day, but I felt like some of it was over priced as well. Still, I walked out of there dropping over $50.

  • Led Zeppelin - Presence : This was my first Zeppelin vinyl. Quite fitting actually, since this album was the first one that Jeff played for me that got me into the band. It was also the first Zeppelin CD that I bought (complete with packaging that replicates the original vinyl version). I grew up hating this band, and when I first heard the rumblings of Achilles Last Stand to start this album, I realized what I had been missing.
  • Deep Purple - The House of Blue Light : Come on, it's Deep Purple with Ian Gillian singing. I haven't listened to this one yet, but Gillian has such an amazing voice I'm sure I'll like this record. Plus it was only $4.99, so what the hell.
  • Tokyo Blade - Warrior of the Rising Sun : Back in 1985 this band had a song called Lightning Strikes on a compilation called Banzai Axe. The comp had songs from the likes of Slayer, Metallica, Venom and Raven. I always liked the Tokyo Blade song, but never had the chance to hear anything else by them. About a year ago, I downloaded the Warrior of the Rising Sun album, and I really liked it. Found the double vinyl at Nuggets for $12.99.
  • In My Eyes - The Difference Between : One of my favorite bands of all time. I have all their records on colored vinyl. This one was on black vinyl and only $7.99. Now I only need the Nothing to Hide LP on black vinyl and the collection will be complete.
  • The Nerve Agents - The Butterfly Collection : Another great hardcore record. The Nerve Agents were so good. I never got to see them live, but their recorded stuff...intense, ripping hardcore.

After our record shopping we headed over to the Garden. Took a trip over to Faneuil Hall before the game and Rob and I got a couple of big-ass M & M cookies. The game was an emotional rollercoaster. I'm ready for them to tank the season for a top draft pick, but Rob is a big Magic fan, and if Orlando won he'd love throwing it back in my face. It was a double overtime thriller, and even though it seemed like Boston was trying to throw the game, the refs kept making calls against the Magic. Seriously, Orlando had this game wrapped up, until the refs made a call with about 3 seconds left on the clock giving the ball to Boston, and then Pierce hit a huge basket to tie the game and force overtime. Boston wins and makes it a sweep for every time we've made a trip to a Celtics / Magic game. It was a fun game, and hey, Boston still has a good shot at a top 2 draft pick.