Archive for February, 2013


The Fake Problems/You Blew It! split 7″ released by Topshelf Records sold way faster than I ever expected it to. As of late I’ve been holding off on pre-ordering records for a number of reasons, but mainly because there is no need to with many of them. Some bands have exceptions, but I never thought this split would be one of those exceptions. Pressed on three colors; coke bottle green limited to 200 copies, pink limited to 300 copies and coke bottle green with pink splatter limited to 500 copies, the coke bottle green copies sold out in a matter of hours. Topshelf also offered a 3-pack bundle for all the colors, which sold out in even less time. Though I’m not sure how many bundles were available. I originally planned on holding off on ordering this split as long as I could, but after seeing how quickly the /200 copies moved I felt I had to pull the trigger.

Dubbed “Florida Doesn’t Suck,” the split features two bands from, you guessed it, Florida. Each band contribute two songs; Fake Problems contributes “Small Devil Song” and Gone Before Dawn” and You Blew It! contributes “Batavia, NY” and “I’m A Kid, That’s My Job.” Download codes are not included with the 7″, but if you order directly from Topshelf you are sent a download via email. The 7″ comes with a fold out insert, which is a nice touch as most do not even come with an insert of any kind let alone a full color fold out one.

As far as pre-orders go Topshelf timed this one pretty well. Pre-orders went live only a few weeks before the release date and the records shipped out pretty much on time.


The Making Moves series is an odd pairing, having a well seasoned and accomplished like Motion City Soundtrack handle the musical side of things by “curating” the series and music business college students from Drexel University handle the business side of things through their Mad Dragon Records imprint. The later part really shines through in the finer details of this box set.

Featuring all six volumes of the Making Moves series, this box set also comes with a cheap promo poster and a USB drive that has a roughly two-hour documentary on the making of the series, liner notes for each volume and for good measure additional MP3’s of all the songs in the series. Going volume by volume (1-6) the bands featured are The Company We Keep, Brick + Mortar, A gret Big Pile Of Leaves, Goldrush, The Skies Revolt and Motion City Soundtrack. Volume 1 is on translucent red, volume 2 is on translucent yellow, volume 3 is on coke bottle clear, volume 4 is on translucent green, volume 5 is on translucent blue and volume 6 is on opaque purple. There were 200 copies of this box set made, which I;m assuming is just meant for the box itself, the poster and the USB drive. because the six 7″ records that come with this set are exactly the same as the ones you can buy separately, so there were probably thousands of the records pressed. The box set also comes with an obi strip as well.

Before getting into the many negative aspects of this box set I’ll mention some of the positive ones. The records sound great. That’s it. If you want to talk about a discombobulated mess look no further. There is next to no attention to detail and comes off as if there was an I don’t give a f*** attitude when putting everything together. I understand this is a college student thing, but how their advisors or whoever oversaw this project gave final approval of everything is sad. Maybe the merch company and/or pressing plants had a hand in it too, but having personally gone through college and having a thesis project that was scrutinized with a fine tooth comb, how some things slipped through is appalling.

First I’ll go into what is on the USB drive, which has the biggest downfalls.the liner notes and lyrics are plain word documents converted into a pdf. Only three of the six singles/bands have photos from the recording session on the USB drive. And the ones that do have photos, the quality of the photos varies from tiny 432×281 pixels to large 1281 x 853 pixels. The vibe I got from watching the documentary was another I don’t give a f*** moment. It’s like they filmed it and edited it together just so it made sense chronologically then called it a day. Content wise it’s great but the finer production details like lighting and sound are terrible. No regard for white balancing or setting up lights properly if at all and no adjusting of the sound levels to blend everything together. I watched it with headphones on and there were multiple, seemingly random moments where I had to rip my headphones off because it hurt my ears.

The MP3’s are all over the place when you use the download cards that come with each 7″. Song names wrong, band names and album title not entered for most of the downloads, quality varies from VBR to 320 kbps on up to 2116 kbps, for some only 1 song on a single has artwork while the other 2 songs don’t have artwork attached. Some singles don’t have artwork attached at all. For the artwork some singles have the cover of the respective 7″, which makes sense, while others have random artwork. Oddly enough the MP3’s on the USB drive are all at 320kbps but the issue with the artwork and song info are still there.

As for the physical portions of this box set, the box itself is barely big enough to hold all the records. You almost have to force them in. The lid for the box, which slides on and off, is a struggle to take off and put back on. It’s very tight. Also, to mimmick the die cut jackets for the records so the center labels show through, there is a just a giant white swath in the center of the box. I would have liked more creativity, or maybe an entirely unique box design rather than continuing a theme that doesn’t quite work. The poster isn’t folded properly, none of the folds are straight. Only one of the singles had a dust sleeve when the other five didn’t. nd when you add dust sleeves to them they no longer fit inside their sleeves. The stickers on the poly sleeves are slapped on in random spots; some are in the top left corner, some in the top right, one put in the middle along one of the sides. Lastly, why have the sixth volume being pressed as an opaque vinyl instead of translucent vinyl to match the rest of the set?

This box set cost $40 before shipping, and tack on another $10 for that and it comes out to $50. Each record costs about $6 if you bought them separatley. So a bunch of stuff that wound up being pointless garbage wound up costing $10. To add further insult to injury, the box set was delayed for two months because of Hurricane Sandy, something I had to deal with on a personal level as well. To sum things up this is one of the few releases I have in my collection I’m disappointed with.


A fabled record that was much talked about since 2011 but didn’t get legitimately released until January 2013, the Manchester Orchestra and Thrice split 12″ is one of the fastest selling records I’ve ever ordered. Originally supposed to be sold on the Manchester Orchestra and Thrice co-headlining tour in 2010, the records were not done in time, and once they were done Thrice abruptly dropped off the tour for personal reasons. However some copies were sold on that tour even though they weren’t supposed to be, about 100 copies according to Manchester Orchestra.

Fast forward three years and here we are. Manchester Orchestra started sending out pics of the cover of this split on Twitter and Facebook hinting that it would go up for sale soon. Eventually Andy Hull gave a specific date and time they would be put up for sale on the band’s webstore. Like most people wanting the split, I sat by my computer waiting for 3 pm EST. The records were put up a little early, and I refreshed at the perfect time and snagged a copy with zero lag, glitches, errors or any problem for tha matter. Most people, myself included, expecting a disaster as Manchester Orchestra’s store is hosted by Big Cartel, one of the worst web store hosts out there as anyone can add the entire stock of an item to their cart and hold it hostage for as long as they want (I know Big Cartel says items are held in their cart for only 10 minutes, but I know from personal experience that is not the case at all). Combine that with the vast amount of people who wanted a copy of the split, and you have utter maelstrom.

While I checked out with ease, probably hundreds of people missed out and began voicing the displeasure, frustrations and anger on Manchester Orchestra’s Facebook page and message boards. What they thought that would accomplish is beyond me. This split was also an obvious target for flippers, and Manchester Orchestra tried to limit how deep they could sink their claws in by placing a limit of one per person. Some flippers immediately put their copies up on ebay, well before shipping notifications even went out let alone the records were in their hands. The band was not at all happy about this and sought out to find said people and cancel their orders. How much progress was made on that front will never be known, but at least the band wanted and tried to do something about rather than not caring.

There were 500 copies pressed on clear vinyl, with all copies being hand numbered on the back of the jacket. The jackets are also silk screened. Both songs on the split are cover songs, one being a 14 minute version of No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” by Manchester Orchestra that also features O’Brother. The length of Manchester Orchestra’s contribution forced this split being done as a 12″ instead of a 7″. Thrice contributes of cover of the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

After people lucky enough to get a copy of the split started getting it in the mail, some people claimed to have inserts. Some people tried to draw a correlation between the number of the record and whether or not it had an insert, but the people who claimed to have an insert had numbered records all over the place. It didn’t help much that the people claiming to have inserts on a message board were not active members of said message board.  I was already skeptical about the existence of the insert, and since my copy did not come with one I emailed the band and got a response back almost immediately. According to the band there are about 10-20 legitimate copies with an insert and the only ones with inserts were a select few that made their way out around the record’s initial pressing back in 2010. The ones that were not supposed to be sold. They also made mention that the pictures of the insert circulating around were taken from an article in Alternative Press. I take the word of the band over what people post on a message board, especially ones who could very easily and very likely be trolls with photoshop skills.

Terrible Things – Pre-Transmission

Posted: February 10, 2013 in Vinyl
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In late 2012 Terrible Things release a new EP, Pre-Transmission. It’s the band’s first release with their new lineup following the departure of Andy Jackson of Hot Rod Circuit fame and Josh Eppard of Coheed And Cambria fame.  The EP was pressed as a 12″ with an etched b-side. The etching has the name of each song along the edge of the record. There were 500 copies pressed on 180 gram black vinyl. Some time in early 2013 an option was added to the band’s webstore where you could have the jacket signed by Fred Mascherino. Why only Fred when there are two other guys in the band is beyond me.

Steel Train – 7″ Of The Month Club

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Vinyl
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I’ll admit I’m hesitant to buy subscriptions or record of the month clubs based solely on the fact that a lot can go wrong with no recourse. Which is based from knowledge of other’s past experiences as well as my own where shady labels and/or distros never send everything they’re supposed to or a label flat-out steals money. I’m even weary of pre-ordering things now based on these horror stories. As a result I was not able to get the records from Steel Train’s 7″ Of The Month Club until recently, a few years after they were released and the club wrapped up. I played the odds and lost, expecting the band to have overrun or leftover copies they would put up for sale at some point in the future. To further my bad luck, a complete set never popped up for sale or trade anywhere. Sure some one of the four 7″s went up on ebay from time to time, but bidding on one record out of a set is counterintuitive.

Down to the nitty-gritty of the club; back in late 2010 Steel Train launched their 7″ Of The Month Club. Consisting of four 7″ records featuring exclusive, unreleased tracks. Subscriptions were only open for a month and a half (11/16/2010-12/31/2010), with special extras for the first 50 and 100 subscribers. The first 50 got a patch hand-made by the band, signed Polaroid of said patch being made and a copy of the Steel Train Is Here CD EP limited to 1,000 copies. The Steel Train Is Here EP was only available at live show prior to this club. Apparently people never received those early bird incentives however. At the time the club launched release dates were never announced, but the first record started shipping in March 2011 with the final record arriving in June 2011. The four covers of the records combine to form one large photo and one painting by Alia Shawkat, who played/plays Maebey Fünke on the short-lived but now reincarnated tv show Arrested Development.

The set was limited to 250 copies, and I don’t know if the band actually had 250 subscribers. Since subscriptions were closed after a set amount of time and did not sell out during that period we’ll never know. The band never responded to any of my emails over the years and since they are broken up now I doubt I’ll ever get a response at this point. The first 7″ is on baby blue/sky blue vinyl and features the songs “Shapesifter” and “Call It Off,” a Tegan & Sara cover. The second 7″ is on yellow vinyl and features the songs “You Are Dangerous (RAC remix)” and “Better Love.” the third 7″ is on pink vinyl and features the songs “Terrible Thrills” and “Sadie,” a Joanna Newsome cover. The fourth 7″ is on orange vinyl and features the songs “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” a cover of the opening song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show and “Angelica.” When received, the records went clockwise to form the combined larger photo on the cover of the jackets. So #1 starts in the top right and #4 finishes it in the top left.

Please do not leave comments asking if I will rip the songs from these records and send them to you, as I will not oblige such requests.

 


Easily one of the most embarrassing records in my collection, especially considering I don’t have any children, yet. But for the sake of completing my Weezer and Killers collection I bought this record. It’s a compilation featuring songs written for and performed on the Nickelodeon/Nick Jr. kids show, Yo Gabba Gabba!. Despite being geared towards children, the show gets a ton of great bands to perform, bands clearly geared towards the kids’ parents. Bands like Weezer, The Killers, Band Of Horses, The Flaming Lips, Of Montreal, MGMT, Devo, Taking Back Sunday, Jimmy Eat World (sadly the last two  aren’t featured on this comp). All those bands make appearances on the show thanks to one of its creators, lead singer of The Aquabats, Christian Jacobs. And as you might have guessed as a result, yes The Aquabats do perform on the show.

This comp was pressed as a double LP housed in a gatefold jacket. I have not seen official pressing info for this comp, but I have heard it was limited to 1,000 copies on random colored 180 gram vinyl. My copy is actually over 200 gram, since it felt heavier than any other record I have in my collection curiosity got the best of me and i weighed it on my postal scale. The known colors (first color mentioned is LP 1, second color is LP 2) so far are translucent red and translucent yellow, translucent red and translucent green, translucent orange and translucent green, baby blue and baby pink. I’m not sure if the baby blue and baby pink are translucent or not, odds are they are translucent since all the others colors are, but I’ve never seen baby colors done translucent before. This comp is also an Urban Outfitters exclusive, which can be bought both in physical stores and online. All copies come with a download card as well.

i don’t normally post track listings for albums or comps, but here it us:

1. All My Friends Are Insects – Weezer
2. Art Is Everywhere – MGMT
3. Fantastic Journey – Cut Copy
4. Say Thank You – Toro Y Moi
5. Out In Nature – Band Of Outsiders
6. It’s OK Try Again – The Shins
7. Dinosaur Party – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
8. Pancakes & Syrup – Biz Markie
9. Lovely Love My Family – The Roots
10. Spaceship Adventure – The Killers
11. Brush, Brush, Brush – Of Montreal
12. You Can Do It If You Try – Belle & Sebastian
13. I Can Be A Frog – The Flaming Lips
14. Goodbye – Yo Gabba Gabba! Featuing Jack Black