Archive for May, 2015


The true follow-up to Dustin Kensrue’s debut solo album was released in early 2015. Carry The Fire is actually his fourth solo album, but his two previous efforts were not original material. Released on Vagrant Records/Staple Records/Workhorse Music Group, the vinyl version was pressed on two different colors; red and orange. Each color has a sticker on the front of the jacket (on shrink) denoting which color it is. There are 1,500 copies pressed on each color, making 3,000 total copies pressed. Some sites are reporting red is limited to 1,000 copies, but that number is wrong and has never been officially announced nor posted anywhere like the pre-order page, Dustin’s website or any of the labels associated with this release’s websites. The pressing info I am reporting was obtained directly from Vagrant Records after less than an hour from sending an email. Staple Records/Workhorse Music Group responded to my inquiries about pressing info with a personal attack towards me rather than simply saying “We don’t want to release the pressing info.” And that was after one week of being ignored. It’s sad that one label is abrasive towards fans while the other is nothing but prompt, polite and helpful.

There also seems to be some confusion/misdirection with there actually being a second pressing of Carry The Fire. When the album first went up for pre-order only one color was available, red. Eventually Dustin and Staple Records/Workhorse Music claimed the red vinyl sold out, which was timed with the announcement of a new color, orange, which was billed as a “second pressing.” However, the red variant never truly sold out. You can still buy it at indie record stores, various online distros and even Vagrant’s official web store. My local store sold out of red copies by the time I went back to buy it. They had at least 30 copies but Dustin did an in store performance there a few days before I went back so that is likely how they disappeared so fast. I bought this record online from Amoeba Records last week during a sale and received a red copy. So red copies are still out there. The red variant only “sold out” via the official pre-order/order page for the album. The orange copies started shipping at the same time as the red copies; how convenient for a “second pressing” to be ready at the same time as the first pressing.

There were no delays with the records shipping, even with the release date the week after Record Store Day (RSD). As most people are aware RSD releases cause massive delays at pressing plants around the world, pushing non-RSD releases to the back burner so plants can devote all their attention to getting RSD releases out in time for RSD. Now with that fact in mind, how could any label get a second pressing of any record done during this time frame and have it be released at the same exact time as their first pressing? Easy, the answer is there never was a second pressing ordered, both colors were ordered at the same time and the label purposely held back that information until the “first pressing” on red vinyl was somewhat close to selling out. Given my interactions with Staple Records/Workhouse Music Group, it adds further evidence in my book of there not being a second pressing.

The red variant is somewhat translucent, or what some people would call clear. I think the orange variant has some marbling in it, but I have not seen photos of it so I can’t confirm how the orange looks. All copies come with a download code for high quality 320 kbps MP3’s as well as a huge fold out poster that doubles as the insert. The poster has the lyrics printed on one side and on the other is one of the lamest photos I’ve ever seen that never needed to be blown up to poster size. They should have chosen a better photo for one side of the poster, or just used some sort of artwork. The photo is 1/2 of Dustin’s face with his body being obscured by fire. To make matters worse that side of the poster is 3/4 blank white, with the remaining 1/4 having the awful picture of Dustin standing against a black backdrop where you can basically only see one of his eyes.

Thankfully that poster did not drive the price up too much on this record. I doubt the label would have charged less for the record if they included a traditional insert instead of the poster. This record cost around $17 from most places. The album is amazing though, which is the most important thing. The record sounds great and the music on it is, right now, my album of the year. It sounds much different from Dustin’s first album, Please Come Home, and I think Carry The Fire is the better of the two.

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Once this album came out Dustin Kensrue had released a traditional solo album, a Christmas album and a Christian worship album. An odd trifecta for a casual observer, but Dustin never hid the religious aspect of his life from the public. The Water & The Blood is Kensrue’s third solo studio album, released in 2013 on Mars Hill Music/BEC Recordings. BEC Recordings is a sub label of Tooth & Nail Records.

There were 1,000 copies pressed on clear vinyl. The vinyl version has alternate artwork than the CD version. The vinyl version artwork is blue, while the CD and MP3 cover art is white. The vinyl version also includes the iTunes bonus track, “Psalm 145,” which is the last track on the record, track number B6. The record comes with an insert, which has the lyrics printed on one side. A download code is not included, but if you ordered it directly from the label they emailed you a download link via email. Amazon was the only retailer to get copies of The Water & The Blood, but I’m not sure the album was released in time to coincide with Amazon’s autorip feature, which grants the buyer a free MP3 copy of the entire album they purchased.

The Water & The Blood took a while to sell out. It was likely due to the fact that album is worship music. It created a weird dilemma for some people, While drawing in more fans from the Christian/Worship music arena would not normally buy a Dustin Kensrue or Thrice album, it also alienated some Dustin Kensrue and Thrice fans at the same time. I know many people didn’t buy it because they didn’t like the music, I was one of them. But also a good number of people bought it keep their Dustin Kensrue and/or Thrice collections complete; I eventually became one of those people.

Eventually the record sold out, and once it did they were fetching hefty prices on the secondary market, up to $100, but averaging out at around $55. In late April 2015 the label put up about 100 copies for sale. This was likely not leftover copies, but overrun copies, as 10% of 1,000 is 100. They sold them for the original retail price. It was nice to see the label not resort to flipping them, either on ebay or themselves directly. These remaining copies of the album sold out in a few hours, which is when I decided to pull the trigger on buying the album to complete my Dustin Kensrue/Thrice collection.

311 – Hydroponic 10″

Posted: May 26, 2015 in Vinyl
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One of 311’s earliest releases, Hydroponic, was pressed on vinyl for the first time in 2015. At first, it was a very exclusive Record Store Day (RSD) exclusive. I say very exclusive because there were only 50 copies released in the entire world, and those 50 copies were only available from a record store in Omaha, Nebraska called Homer’s Music. Inevitably a good chunk of those 50 copies found their way onto Ebay, and were selling for triple digits. A release like this proves how stupid people can be, as it was well publicized that Hydroponic would see a wide release after RSD. But despite that people were not only bidding on copies, but bidding them up to triple digits.

311 put up the entire pressing of Hydroponic, which was pressed as a 10″, for sale in their web store for $22. The price is not horrible but it’s not a good price either. I understand 10″ records cost more to press, so they are generally more expensive than other size records, but over $20 for an EP is pushing it. The only reason I bought it was seeing how fast some other 311 releases sell out combined with the fact that they rarely lower the prices on their merch. The price is definitely not worth it, as this is as no frills a release as you can get. It comes in a thin single pocket jacket with no insert or download code.

Pressing info has not yet been released, and it likely never will. But all copies were pressed on black vinyl. The only pressing info we have is that there are more than 50 copies, which was a given anyway.311 - Hydroponic - Copy


There are usually zero UK Record Store Day (RSD) releases that I want during any given year, which is a good thing because importing them can get rather expensive. The international shipping costs combined with an exchange rate favoring the British Pound can turn 12″ EP’s into $25 ventures.

This year was the first time I wanted a UK RSD exclusive, the FrnkIero And The Cellabration 12″ titled Live At BBC Maida Vale. As he title suggest it’s a live EP recorded at Maida Vale for Daniel P. Carter’s Radio Show on BBC Radio 1, which was originally broadcast on November 30, 2014. The 12″ was released by Hassle Records. There are four songs in all, two on each side. I was fortunate to sneak in an order with Banquet Records before they sold out, and it wasn’t easy. I sat through error pages and forever loading times for nearly 45 minutes to get one of the last copies they had.

There were 500 copies pressed on mint pearl vinyl. It’s one of the oddest and unique variant colors I’ve heard in a long time, but that description fits the final product perfectly. The color of the vinyl is mint, and it has a pearl effect. A download code is included, and in another unique turn the code is placed on a sticker that is affixed to the full color printed dust sleeve. The record sounds good, not great.

Along with the mint pearl copies, there are also an unknown amount of copies pressed on black vinyl. I have heard that there were 1,000 total copies pressed, which would mean there are 500 copies on black vinyl. But I have not heard any official numbers for the black variant. The official UK RSD list says the colored copies are limited to 500, so I am going with that for the colored variant. However, the label’s website says there were “1,000 copies pressed for the entire world.” The official UK RSD list also said color to be determined, so until people started opening copies of this 12″ the color was unknown. So logic and simple math says there are 500 copies on mint pearl and 500 copies on black based on what has been officially announced.

Track listing:

A1 – Tragician

A2 – Smoke Rings

B1 – Joyriding

B2 – She’s The Prettiest Girl At The Party, And She Can Prove It With A Solid Right Hook


Record Store Day (RSD) 2015 was my worst yet. Typically I arrive about three hours before my local store opens and I’m usually no more than 20 people back, having no problems getting everything I want. This year, because of the Brand New – Deja Entendu re-press I decided to get to the store even earlier, anticipating a clusterf*ck because of the Deja release. Boy was I wrong in how early I should have gotten there. Even though I lined up five hours before opening, two hours earlier than I usually do, I was the 55th person in line, more than double where I usually am in line. How do I know where I was in line you ask? Simple; my local store is insanely organized when it comes to RSD. They keep all the RSD releases alphabetized and categorized by format (7″, 10″, LP, CD, tape, box set) behind a counter they set up just for RSD, have it set up menu style where you tell them what you want and they get it for you, only let a handful of people in the store (RSD area) at a time and they hand out numbered pieces of paper like a deli in a supermarket based on line order to make sure nobody further back in line gets RSD releases ahead of anyone because they have four or five different employees getting releases.

So to sum up, I got to the store earlier than ever before, was further back in line than ever before for my effort and didn’t get three releases that I wanted. Considering in the six previous RSD’s I’ve attended I only didn’t get one release over that entire span, not getting three in one year is a horrible swing. To be fair though, I bought one of the releases I missed online from Bull Moose. I found out from talking to people in the store and some employees that people started lining up at 5 pm on the day before (Friday) RSD, with the bulk of people getting the Deja RSD exclusive lining up by 11:30 pm the day before. No way will I ever line up that early for anything non-life essential.

In turns out though that I could have easily skipped RSD again this year seeing as the only thing I wanted that couldn’t be bought online as leftovers from the various stores was this release, the Foo Fighters – Songs From The Laundry Room 10″.

This 10″ features four demos recorded by Dave Grohl during time off from touring he had with Nirvana and the period after Nirvana disbanded but before the formation of Foo Fighters as a four-piece outfit. Two songs are early takes on songs that would appear on the band’s debut self-titled album and the other two are never before heard songs. Side A has “Alone + Easy Target” and “Big Me” with side B having a cover of Kim Wilde’s “Kids In America” and a never before heard Foo Fighters/Dave Grohl song entitled “Empty Handed.” The songs were recorded in the early 90’s at Laundry Room Studios in Seattle with producer Barrett Jones. An interesting tidbit about the song “Empty Handed,” if you watched the Seattle episode of Foo Fighters’ HBO docu-series Sonic Highways, Dave Grohl played a clip of the song when he is going through all the all analog tapes he recorded with Barrett Jones.

The 10″ was limited to 4,000 copies, all pressed on black vinyl. There are two separate pressings of this 10″, a U.S. and Euro pressing. The U.S. pressing is limited to 4,000 copies and the Euro pressing is limited to 1,500 copies. The only distinguishable difference are different stickers on the outer poly sleeve for each pressing. The US. pressing has a tiny, white square sticker that has the RSD logo and some sort of number, ‘1RAW10495S1,’ printed on it. I say some sort of number because the number printed on the sticker is not the bar code number, catalog number, matrix number, etc. The Euro pressing has a silver foil sunburst sticker that reads ‘Record Store Day Exclusive,’ which is the same sticker that has been used for RSD releases for the past few years.

The packaging of the release is one of the nicest of RSD this year. It mimics a cassette release, with an enlarged inlay similar to what would typically be included with a cassette from the 80’s. The record comes in a printed dust sleeve slid into a nice, sturdy jacket. One of the only knocking points of this release is a big one in this day and age; as far as I know no download code is included, unless my copy didn’t have one for whatever reason.

After reading some interviews Grohl gave regarding RSD and this release in particular, he said there are maybe 40 songs he recorded that no one has heard before. He narrowed the list down to about 20 to pick from for what would appear on the Songs From The Laundry Room 10″. So here’s hoping all those songs eventually see the light of day at some point, only not as a Record Store Day release.

This 10″ was likely re-pressed based on the fact the band is selling around 30 copies of it at each of their pop up shops in the various cities on their current tour. Some pop up shops are opened for several days leading up to the show in that respective city, while others are only open for one day. There have been four pop up shops so far and there will likely be more. I doubt there were this many copies leftover after RSD as this was one of the hardest releases to get, and I doubt the band would allow a ton of copies be held back to sell later on. Also, they are selling these for $30 at the pop up shops, which is close to double the price for it on RSD.


Record Store Day (RSD) 2015 was my worst yet. Typically I arrive about three hours before my local store opens and I’m usually no more than 20 people back, having no problems getting everything I want. This year, because of the Brand New – Deja Entendu re-press I decided to get to the store even earlier, anticipating a clusterf*ck because of the Deja release. Boy was I wrong in how early I should have gotten there. Even though I lined up five hours before opening, two hours earlier than I usually do, I was the 55th person in line, more than double where I usually am in line. How do I know where I was in line you ask? Simple; my local store is insanely organized when it comes to RSD. They keep all the RSD releases alphabetized and categorized by format (7″, 10″, LP, CD, tape, box set) behind a counter they set up just for RSD, have it set up menu style where you tell them what you want and they get it for you, only let a handful of people in the store (RSD area) at a time and they hand out numbered pieces of paper like a deli in a supermarket based on line order to make sure nobody further back in line gets RSD releases ahead of anyone because they have four or five different employees getting releases.

So to sum up, I got to the store earlier than ever before, was further back in line than ever before for my effort and didn’t get three releases that I wanted. Considering in the six previous RSD’s I’ve attended I only didn’t get one release over that entire span, not getting three in one year is a horrible swing. To be fair though, I bought one of the releases I missed online from Bull Moose. I found out from talking to people in the store and some employees that people started lining up at 5 pm on the day before (Friday) RSD, with the bulk of people getting the Deja RSD exclusive lining up by 11:30 pm the day before. No way will I ever line up that early for anything non-life essential.

This is one of the releases I missed out on, the Against Me! – Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ 7″. It turned out to be one of the most sought after releases (after Brand New and Foo Fighters) seeing as it was limited to only 700 copies and was one of the “regional focus” releases on RSD. To this day I have no idea what regional actually means in RSD terms. It can’t be literal, because stores across the country get it, so it’s not like only certain areas, or regions, are able to get it.

As stated above, this 7″ was limited to only 700 copies. The official RSD pressing info said 700 copies on pink, but once people got copies it became obvious the pressing info was wrong, at least in terms of color. It seems like they checked the random colors box when placing their order with the plant, as this 7″ comes in at least three different colors that I’m aware of. The colors are pink, green, grey/putty (some people are calling this light purple) and purple/maroon. The shades range in hue, and all of the colors have marbling in them as well. What is pictured with entry is the purple/maroon color. The RSD site has since edited the pressing info and release details on their site to reflect that this 7″ is not only on pink. They changed it from “pink vinyl” to simply “colored vinyl.”

This 7″ did not come sealed and does not come with a download code. This 7″ also features two, never before released exclusive (for the time being) songs. A live version of “Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ” on the a-side and “Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ (Extra Dysphoric Version) ” on the b-side. The live version from the a-side will apparently appear on the band’s forthcoming live album.

For a band like Against Me! 700 copies is not enough for a record that is not getting a wide release. Combine the size of Against Me!’s fanbase with the calamity that is RSD, and you get a perfect storm for a rare record. One of the good aspects of the 7″ being so limited though, is that is actually cuts back on the amount being flipped, as flippers have an equally tough time getting it. Do they math. There are around 1500 participating stores for RSD, and even if every store only ordered 1 copy of this 7″, less than half of the stores would actually get it. However, flippers did get some, it just wasn’t as widespread as it usually is for RSD release. Prices are ranging up to $41. Considering this 7″ cost as little as $5 from some stores, that is a huge profit, nearly 10x.

I somehow scored this 7″ during the Bull Moose RSD leftovers frenzy. Last Year (2014) I couldn’t even get Bull Moose’s site to load, but this year I was not only able to get the site to load, I was able to buy something exceedingly hard to come by.

Against Me! - Osama Bin Laden As The Crucified Christ - Copy


Record Store Day (RSD) 2015 was my worst yet. Typically I arrive about three hours before my local store opens and I’m usually no more than 20 people back, having no problems getting everything I want. This year, because of the Brand New – Deja Entendu re-press I decided to get to the store even earlier, anticipating a clusterf*ck because of the Deja release. Boy was I wrong in how early I should have gotten there. Even though I lined up five hours before opening, two hours earlier than I usually do, I was the 55th person in line, more than double where I usually am in line. How do I know where I was in line you ask? Simple; my local store is insanely organized when it comes to RSD. They keep all the RSD releases alphabetized and categorized by format (7″, 10″, LP, CD, tape, box set) behind a counter they set up just for RSD, have it set up menu style where you tell them what you want and they get it for you, only let a handful of people in the store (RSD area) at a time and they hand out numbered pieces of paper like a deli in a supermarket based on line order to make sure nobody further back in line gets RSD releases ahead of anyone because they have four or five different employees getting releases.

So to sum up, I got to the store earlier than ever before, was further back in line than ever before for my effort and didn’t get three releases that I wanted. Considering in the six previous RSD’s I’ve attended I only didn’t get one release over that entire span, not getting three in one year is a horrible swing. To be fair though, I bought one of the releases I missed online from Bull Moose. I found out from talking to people in the store and some employees that people started lining up at 5 pm on the day before (Friday) RSD, with the bulk of people getting the Deja RSD exclusive lining up by 11:30 pm the day before. No way will I ever line up that early for anything non-life essential.

One of the few unofficial RSD releases (RSD did a good job cutting back on the releases trying to piggy back) this year was another Nirvana tribute comp released by Robotic Empire. This year the label tackled Nirvana’s Nevermind.

Just like last year, they released a RSD variant and did a regular variant that was put up for sale in their web store a few days after RSD. This year however, there was a legit RSD variant, as the record was pressed on an exclusive color. The 2014 Nirvana Tribute RSD release only had a poster as the difference between the RSD and non-RSD “variants.”

The RSD variant is pressed on clear blue and comes with a fold out poster, and the regular, or “mail-order” variant is on opaque blue. The opaque blue is a darker blue than the clear blue. The clear blue is like a baby blue and the opaque blue is more like a royal blue. Pressing info for either variant has not yet been released.

Another change from last year is that a bonus 7″ was included, which slides into its own pocket inside the LP jacket. The 7″ is stored in the exact was as the 15th Anniversary pressing of Thursday’s Waiting. Which you can view here: The 7″ features two bonus songs that do not appear on the standard studio album of Nevermind. Both songs on the 7″ are performed by Thou, and they are “Endless Nameless” and “Even In His Youth.” The LP features the standard studio album Nevermind in its entirety.

Here is the track listing:

A1. Young Widows – Smells Like Teen Spirit

A2. Torche – In Bloom

A3. KYLESA – Come As You Are

A4. Cave In – Breed

A5. Boris – Lithium

A6. La Dispute – Polly

B1. White Reaper – Territorial Pissings

B2. Circa Survive – Drain You

B3. Touche Amore – Lunge Act

B4. Wrong – Stay Away

B5. Pygmy Lush – On A Plain

B6. Nothing – Something In The Way