Hey music fans, this Saturday, April 19 is the seventh annual Record Store Day! (RSD Canada) Its purpose is to celebrate the culture of the independent record store. Just to clarify, I mean independently owned, no corporate chain stores, not Starbucks, not iTunes or Apple Store, but the once dying breed, the record store. In the past several years, there has been a revival in vinyl, which is a good thing because so many people nowadays listen to their music on their phones or other "smart" devices more for the convenience than for the music listening experience. The sound quality of these pathetic "music listening" devices is so crappy sounding our perception and standards of quality music have been lowered. Many are clueless to the low fidelity and many don't care. Blame mp3's, blame iTunes, blame the internet, blame American Idol...these are all part of the problem and Record Store Day is about the awareness of good music, getting back to how music was bought and listened to in my day (yes, I'm sounding old!). The memories of hanging out at the record store, browsing through the racks and discussing new releases and must-haves with staff and friends is the culture of what RSD is trying to recreate. Think of the record store as the organic food version of music, it tastes and sounds better and you'll feel better about yourself for caring about your health and well being.
One of the highlights of RSD is the exclusive releases sold at stores. A pdf list of what's available is here. One release that caught my attention is the Minus 5- Scott the Hoople In The Dungeon Of Horror. It will be only released on vinyl (5 record set) and limited to only 400, the price is somewhere in the $89 dollar range. I haven't been on the ball enough to request it from my local stores and I'm not sure if it will be in stock here. Also I'm working this Saturday so I won't be able to shop in person, if anyone has any ideas or help about purchasing a copy, let me know. This record should be crazy good (5 discs?!!) and I'm such a hardcore Scott McCaughey fan this is a must-have.
To get you in the mood, I'm posting a Minus 5 show from 14 years ago. This was recorded during the final days of the Lounge Ax, a cool intimate club in Chicago, with Scott McCaughey and members of Wilco (with Jeff Tweedy on bass) as his backing band for a make shift version of the Minus 5 opening for Summer Teeth (Wilco). Most of the songs during the set were new songs written for the occasion that had never been performed before and the band played them without a rehearsal, some of the songs were eventually recorded and later appeared on the In Rock album. This remains one of my favourite Minus 5 live recordings, loose, fun and some amazing musicianship.
MINUS 5 (w/Wilco) Lounge Ax Chicago, IL January 9, 2000
01. Courage Is The Smallest Bird 02. In A Lonely Coffin 03. I'm Not Bitter 04. Dear Employer 05. Lies Of The Living Dead 06. The King Of Carrot Flowers Part 1 07. Disaster Nurse Fan 08. I've Got A Lyrical Stance 09. The Night Chicago Died Again 10. Last Call For Corporal Barry 11. I Still Miss Someone * 12. Home Of The Blues * 13. I Wish I Was Your Mother
Minus 5: Scott McCaughey & Wilco with Kelly Hogan and Jon Langford*
In my early days of tape trading I came across some great collections of live shows. I didn't have a lot to trade in exchange so I was lucky enough to connect with traders that were willing to sell me tapes for the minimum cost of a blank tape and postage paid. Some traders were also willing to do a "2 for 1" where you would send two blanks for the show I wanted, they would fill one and send back, while the other tape is for them as compensation for their time. This was a fabulous way to build a collection to trade with others and around the same time I began to record concerts broadcast on the radio and I got some recording equipment to tape local shows. I later discovered that the shows I recorded were of value and very tradable because they were masters and I would be trading the first generation and on top of that they were pretty rare since I haven't seen many (if any) other recording from shows I attended.
A couple of my first trade partners were based in the Bay area and I acquired several shows from bands from that region and in the surrounding area. One of the most popular venues in the scene was 924 Gilman St, an all-ages, non profit collectively organized music club. At this time the club mainly featured punk rock bands NOT on major labels. Many of the bands that played there have gone onto bigger prominence and yes, major labels. Some of the more well known bands include, Green Day, The Offspring, AFI, Jawbreaker, Fugazi, Sleater-Kinney, Born Against, Against Me and the Mr. T Experience. Through these traders, I acquired a good amount of shows from Gilman St. which hopefully I'll share in upcoming posts.
Today's featured recording comes from the Mr. T Experience. It's a personal favourite of mine and it's another recording I freshly transferred from cassette. This was recorded when the band was a four-piece when Jon Von was still in the band. Though I have only seen MTX as a trio, the stage presence and banter between Dr. Frank and Jon Von is priceless, with Jon Von usually in the comedy relief role. I'm always on the lookout for more shows when Jon Von was in the band, which seem to be harder to come across and fortunately I have a few more recordings on tape to share, both pre and post Jon Von. This recording from Gilman St. has excellent sound and most likely it's from the soundboard (listen to the soundboard "tape change" during Up And Down). A fun and enjoyable show, the band is top notch! Stay tuned for more.
02. What Went Wrong
03. What's In The Cuckoo Clock
04. History Of The Concept Of The Soul
05. End Of The Ramones
06. Love American Style
08. She's No Rocket Scientist
09. Last Time I Listened To you
10. Pig Latin
11. Up And Down
13. Psycho Girl
14. Sex Offender
16. So Long Sucker