Archive for October, 2011

Blink-182 – Neighborhoods (1st Press)

Posted: October 26, 2011 in Vinyl
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Blink-182′ first studio album in eight years received the vinyl treatment a few weeks after the album’s initial release. It was pressed on four different variants, with two being exclusive to certain retailers. There were 500 copies pressed on pink, which was an Interpunk exclusive, 1,000 copies on white/black marble, which was a Hot Topic exclusive (and which came out to look more like grey than white/black marble), 2,000 copies on white/blue and 3500 copies on white. I think all copies have a sticker on the front denoting what color the records are; at least the pink copies do. So far the only variant that is sold out is pink. Even though there were a staggering 7,000 copies pressed, I fully expect this to sell out due to flippers snatching up multiple copies. So there majority of copies will be sitting on ebay at absurd prices for months on end. If you need any evidence to support my feelings, copies started popping up on ebay as early as three weeks ahead of the vinyl version’s release date.

Now down to some more details. The album was pressed as a double LP, and the records are some of the thinnest I’ve ever handled. At least the pink copies are, but it’s safe to assume all copies will be the same weight. I’m not a stickler for 180 gram records for the sheer fact of heavier weight and the stretch to better sound quality, but there is no way around the fact the label cut costs by pressing these on the lightest vinyl at their disposal, and still felt the need to charge over $20 for it. Some places are advertising the jacket as a “six panel gatefold,” which I feel is over exaggerating a lot. If you count the cover as an actual panel, then maybe. Upon opening the record up, there are only three true panels in my opinion. The entire jacket folds out into three panels, with the liner notes and a photo of the band on the inside panels and the full artwork on the other side.

All copies also come with a download code, which links to one of the worst set ups for a digital download I’ve ever used. There is no option to download the album as a whole, only each song individually. And if you have pop up blockers on, then you can get screwed out of some songs,because you only get one redemption of the code, so make it count. Turn off any pop up blockers, because their download host sends a pop up through that you have to click on in order to start the download. If you fail to click on it in time or if it doesn’t appear due to a pop up blocker, then you miss your chance to download that song forever. That particular song’s download button changes from ‘download’ to ‘redeemed,’ and you used up your one download. Also make sure to only download one song at a time, because if you try multiple songs at the same time it will screw up and could cancel any downloads in progress on top of missing out on downloading that second or third song you tried to download simultaneously due to their one redemption max/limit.

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Look Mexico – Real Americans Spear It

Posted: October 26, 2011 in Vinyl
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Look Mexico’s latest release, a 5-song EP entitled Real Americans Spear It, is a pretty big departure from their previous efforts. It’s like they went on a long Vampire Weekend bender, because this EP sounds more like Vampire Weekend than the Look Mexico many people have grown to love. Not that this EP is bad, but it definitely strays from their earlier releases.

Another change is that the band signed with Adeline Records, which decided the only physical release for this EP would be on vinyl in the form of a 10″. As is typical with most Adeline releases, pressing info was not released and in all likelihood never will be. All copies were pressed on light blue vinyl, and my copy has hints of white in it as well. Originally I think the 10″ was supposed to be pressed on white and blue splatter, but if those plans were ever actually in motion they were obviously axed at some point. All copies come in a gatefold jacket and also come with a download card for high quality MP3’s at 320 kbps.


Hopeless Records decided to cash in on the popularity of Yellowcard and press nearly their entire discography on vinyl. When I say nearly entire, I mean they neglected to include three full length albums and two EP’s in this box set. I can see not pressing some of the EP’s because they will not fill even one side of an LP, but leaving out the three albums, for whatever reasons, is pretty inexcusable. Hopeless had to license most of these albums to press, so why not license their entire discography, granted though One For The Kids has already been licensed out to another label. But that label is actually a webstore/online radio station/marketing company/various other fields conglomerate that has diversified so much they have bitten off way more than they can chew. I think  the vinyl version of One For The Kids has been delayed or just not in actual production for over a year now, but that doesn’t stop pre-orders from being taken.

Ths box set features everything Yellowcard has recorded since 2002, as indicated by the title of the set. The albums and EP’s included are The Underdog EP, Ocean Avenue, Lights And Sounds, Paper Walls and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes. These albums were also pressed on black vinyl and released separately outside of this box set. This 2002-2011 Collection set was limited to 500 copies, with each album being pressed on colored vinyl. The Underdog EP was pressed on red, Ocean Avenue on blue, Lights And Sounds on yellow, Paper Walls on green, and When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes on purple marble.

The box set is not at all what I expected. I expected an actual box as opposed to a string tied manila envelope type packaging that was just enlarged to allow five LP’s to fit inside. The box has a slip in lid/cover that keeps it closed aside from wrapping the string around the buttons. Once the cover slips out the box does open from all ends, but it does feature artwork on the inside, however subtle it is. The cover of the box is embossed in gold ink with the band’s logo, with the title of the set printed in very tiny letters compared to the logo. The artwork from the pre-order/order page on Hopeless Records’ store turned out to be the actual artwork used, even though they hinted at it being something different. They also re-designed the album artwork for The Underdog EP, which you can see in the photos below. The ring wear on it is intentional and part of the artwork, so don’t freak out upon opening if you ordered this box set. With the photos mentioned, I believe my blog is one of, if not the first place to post complete and detailed photos of the entire box set.

Each album is initially sealed inside the box, which after opening each one I wish was not the case. My copy of When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes in on black vinyl instead of purple marble. It is not any shade or pattern of purple. From the photos below it may look like it’s a very dark purple or dark translucent color, but holding the record up to the light it is just black. In this instance even a sticker indicating color would have helped. I e-mailed Hopeless about this and am awaiting a final verdict; whether or not it’s a manufacturing error and the plant put in the wrong color in my box set or a pressing plant error in that they didn’t press purple. Depending on the outcome, I should be getting a replacement record. After hearing back from Hopeless it was a mix up at the plant, where a black copy was mistakenly put into my copy of the box set. So far I am the only person i know of who has had this problem, with any of the albums not being on colored vinyl. If you happen to have one, or multiple albums on black vinyl in your box set go ahead and e-mail Hopeless and ask for a replacement. I received my replacement copy of When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes after waiting a about two weeks for everything to get sorted out and get delivered to me. As a result I have deleted the picture of the black record and updated it with the correct purple marble copy.

You may recal When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes being pressed on its own before this box set was released, and you are correct. There were three or four variants for that initial first pressing, with a few different stores/distros having exclusive colors. I did not bother keeping track of the pressing info for it, but after a quick easy search the first pressing of the album was on translucent purple limited to 300 copies, yellow/gold limited to 500 copies, blue limited to 600 copies and black limited to 1500 copies. Eventually all of the albums and EP’s in this box set were made available for purchase separately outside of this box set. The colored vinyl versions (except for When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes) are exclusive to this box set, but each of the albums/EPs were pressed on black vinyl outside of the box set. The Underdog EP is limited to 650 copies on black vinyl; the rest of the albums I don’t have pressing info for.

 


Been holding off on making an entry for this 7″ set, figuring I’d put it up at the same time as the Yellowcard box set, but I had no idea the box set would take this long to start shipping out. Yellowcard’s single for Lights And Sounds was split into two parts, with each part featuring its own, exclusive, unreleased b-side.

Part one is on yellow vinyl and features “Three Flights Down” on the b-side. Part 2 is on white vinyl and features “When We’re Old Men” on the b-side. Part one comes in a gatefold jacket, which has slits on each side to house the complete 7″ series together in one jacket. Each part does come in its own sleeve though, which features the same artwork except for a different sticker on the cover. I do not know how many copies were pressed of this set, but I am pretty sure pressing info was never released.


I Am The Avalanche’s long overdue sophomore album was finally released earlier this week and it is the first of their albums to be pressed on vinyl. (Their s/t album is also on the way soon) The album is already in its second pressing, even though the band is still selling copies from the first press of tour. The first press did sell out online though during the pre-order phase, but without knowing how many copies the band was given to sell on tour it’s impossible to know how many copies were actually up for grabs during pre-order. The first 100 pre-orders of the first pressing, regardless of color ordered, were given a letterpress print that is hand numbered /100. The print is just the album artwork in red ink on  a small piece of paper, nothing fancy.

The first pressing featured four color variants, gold limited to 50 copies (and cost $10 more than the other three colors), “orange creme” (which is basically orange) limited to 100 copies, blue/green mix limited to 140 copies and white limited to 200 copies. The second pressing is only on two colors; light blue swirl limited to 200 copies and green limited to 200 copies. According the the label the blue/green mix from the first press and light blue swirl from the second press look completely different from each other. The second pressing was announced pretty much right on the heels of the first press selling out online and started shipping about a week after being put up for order, even though the band took a good chunk of the first pressing to sell on tour. Obviously a calculated move on the label’s part. I’m all far the availability of records to everyone, but when a second pressing is announced and ships almost immediately after the first pressing selling out, well not even technically sold out or even out of print, you have to question the label’s motives. So even though the record currently has two pressings, you can still easily buy a copy from the first pressing, and there is still the possibility of leftover copies from the first pressing being put up online if they band doesn’t sell them all on tour.

Clifton Motel Records was issued the rights to press Avalanche United on vinyl from I Surrender Records, the label actually releasing the album. The way Clifton Motel does business really irks me, mainly due to what was mentioned above. Seemingly pulling a page out of the Mightier Than Sword playbook, (maybe not so coincidentally the two labels are Brooklyn based) Clifton Motel charges $10 more for the rarest variant, just because it’s the rarest variant. And this is not the only release they’ve done it with. They tried to spin that fact in their favor on  message boards, but there is no excuse or reason to charge $10 more for certain colors/variants. They argued that the reason for the price jump was a letterpress print and that the jackets are autographed, but said letterpress print was given away to the first 100 pre-orders regardless of color ordered. I know this because it said it in the item description and also because I received one of the prints, free of charge, even though I ordered a copy on orange. So apparently the band members’ autographs cost $10, when I could meet them before, during or after a show and have them sign anything for free. Especially considering how lame the prints are. Glad I got one for free and didn’t “pay the extra cost” for one.

Regardless of what my opinion is, which many other people felt the same way about, 50 people still coughed up more money just for the gold variant. Some are voicing their displeasure on message boards after realizing they paid $10 extra for basically nothing, while others are happy with it, so it’s a mixed bag of emotions with this first pressing and how it was done.

A new development is that multiple people claim their copies of this record skip in a few places, and it’s not limited to just one color. Usually skipping can be contributed to someone’s set up, mainly where the tone arm may not be adjusted properly or possibly another problem somewhere in the set up. The people claiming skipping issues have tried a few different things to see if the problem is on their end, but to no avail. While the label has not admitted there is a pressing flaw/error with first press copies, they are asking people who have skipping problems to contact them.


To mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind, the album was re-released with a ton of extra tracks. Enough bonus material consisting demos, studio/rehearsal sessions, b-sides, BBC sessions and an entire live concert that pushed the vinyl version of the re-issue onto four LP’s. This version of the album is also re-mastered. There are two variants/versions of the vinyl edition of this re-issue, one being available worldwide and one that is a Euro exclusive of sorts.

The main version has all the records pressed on 180 gram black vinyl and the Euro exclusive features four picture discs and is limited to 1,991 copies, an obvious tip of the cap to the year Nevermind was released. Each copy of the Euro version is individually numbered, which is found on the H-side of the records. While there is pressing info for the Euro version, there is no pressing info for the main version on 180 gram black vinyl. The picture discs feature photos from the Nevermind pool photo shoot, one of each band member at the time (Kurt, Dave and Krist) and the album artwork. Regardless of whether or not the Euro version is a true Euro exclusive release/variant, at least 500 of the 1,991 copies were available for purchase to U.S. residents online. Meaning there were 500 copies guaranteed/reserved for U.S. residents, and that is not counting people who tried to beat the system and bought this version of the record from the Euro order page and entered in a U.S. shipping address.

The price on this re-issue is pretty hefty, but considering what is including and the sheer amount of music on it, it is well worth it. The original retail price is $79.99 through Nirvana’s official webstore, but it can be found much cheaper through other outlets. There was even someone on ebay selling these essentially for half price, $45.


This 7″ was only available through a deluxe package deal pre-order for The Horrible Crowes debut full length Elsie through Side One Dummy Records. There were only 330 copies pressed, I believe all on blood red vinyl, the same as the Elsie LP. Since the color of this 7″ was never announced or made known, I am not sure if there are other colors out there, especially since my blog is one of the first, if not the first place to post photos of the record. I am not sure if there is an official title for this 7″ either. Also included in the deluxe package was a t-shirt and a screen-printed poster, both which turn out features the album artwork for this 7″.

If you are familiar with the Circa Survive b-sides 7″, this Horrible Crowes 7″ features the same packaging. This 7″ also features an exclusive track on b-side, “Joey,” which is a Concrete Blonde cover. Each copy of the record is individually numbered, which is printed underneath the flap on the bottom half of the jacket, and only becomes visible when the envelope type packaging is. opened.