Posts Tagged ‘Comedy’


With the popularity of vinyl you get some surprising releases. One such release is the Mitch Hedberg box set. His entire discography, even though it’s only three albums, is found in the box set, along with a “36 page” book and a USB drive containing both audio and video files that span his entire career.

Strategic Grill Locations, Mitch All Together and Do You Believe In Gosh are the three albums in the box set, which the title of is The Complete Vinyl Collection. They all feature alternate artwork than their respective original CD releases. Strategic Grill Locations is the only album in the box to be a double LP, and the only one to come in a gatefold jacket as well. The jackets for each record is very thick, probably the thickest in my collection and that I have ever seen. All the albums are on standard weight black vinyl, and none come with an insert. Which is not surprising because these are comedy albums, so what exactly would they put on an insert? Transcripts of the set?

The box itself is a slip case, which is made well. It’s sturdy and fits the records and book perfectly. There is little room for the records to jostle around, which is good because otherwise there is a risk of damaging the jackets. But after seeing the superior quality of the jackets, I think they could be put in the dryer and come out with no seam splits. I think the printing of the jackets is done reverse board style, but I’m not 100% sure. There is a long, vertical hype sticker on the front of the box, which almost stretches from top to bottom. And the spines of each jacket match, which brings a clean look to the box set as they face outward.

The book is on the large size, 13”x13”, but it’s not actually 36 pages. Unless of course you count the front and back covers, which are not actually pages. There are only 34 pages of actual content. It features full color photos, writings from Lynn Shawcroft, Mitch’s widow, and “essays” from fellow comics Mike Birbiglia, Margaret Cho and Doug Stanhope. I say “essays” because they’re literally a couple paragraphs long. This blog post is longer than those “essays.” Both the front and back covers are designed to look like one of Mitch’s notebooks, with the front being the front and the back being the back of the notebook.

The USB drive, meant to replicate a credit card, can be found inside one of the jacket pockets of Strategic Grill Locations. Apparently some people had some trouble finding it. How I don’t know. Maybe they expected it to be loose inside the box. It wouldn’t surprise me if these people don’t actually play their records. But had they actually explored the contents of the box completely the USB drive would’ve been easily found. I had more trouble figuring out how to open the drive. It looks like it might slide or pull out from the plastic, but it folds open. It’s an odd and flimsy design, and I strongly advise having something underneath it to support it when you go to plug it into your computer. Otherwise it might actually break off.

Along with MP3 files of the three albums in the box set, the USB drive features MP3 files of an additional performance, Opening For The Neville Brothers. This Neville Brothers set is actually two performances from 1995, an early and late show. It’s not broken down into separate tracks, just one long audio file for each set. Two video files are also included on the drive, Premium Blend from 1998 and Mitch’s 1999 Comedy Central Special. There are lots of complaints about the playback quality of the videos, ranging from lag, random artifacts during playback and that they never worked at all. One person chimed in saying he copied the video files to his desktop and they played fine. Other people tried that method, with one saying it worked while another said it didn’t solve the problem.

I tried both methods, playing them directly off the USB drive and copying them to my hard drive. First off, both videos do in fact work, not matter where you play them from. The first video, Premium Blend, has artifacts in the form of green bars and blobs, which only happens at the beginning of the video. That is the only place they appear. This happens whether you play them directly off the USB or off your hard drive. The second video, the Comedy Central Special, has no problems, no matter where you play the file from. Both videos are a bit grainy though, but it’s not out of the ordinary as these aren’t in HD. They weren’t filmed in HD and they were upscaled for this box set either. I suggest using VLC Player for playing videos, as it’s able to not only play a wide range of video file types (MP4, MPEG, etc.) but other files such as audio files as well.

The box set is advertised as “limited edition,” but the exact number of copies pressed has never been officially released. Discogs has a number, which I won’t post here because everything on there is not only user submitted, but edited as well. So any info found on there may not be accurate. Like I said, an official number has never been made public. I only post pressing info when I can substantiate it, as in from an official source like the label or band/artist.

Retail price when this box set first came out in November 2016 was $100. As time went on the price has dropped, but not by much. Amazon, the apparent official retailer of the box set based on the press release Comedy Central Records sent out, is now selling copies for $90, which is pretty much the cheapest you’ll find this. Most places selling this are between $90-100. I was able to nab this for $73 shipped after taking advantage of a $15 off coupon on ebay.


Despite Record Store Day (RSD) growing in size and notoriety, some releases don’t get on the official list for whatever reason. Yes, RSD does reject releases. And yes, RSD does prevent many an album from getting pressed in a timely manner. Often times those releases end up coming out on RSD despite those hurdles, they’re just no on the official list. One of those releases from 2015 was Kyle Kinane’s I Liked His Old Stuff Better. This record was not on the official list, in any of the subcategories. But with that said not every store got in copies for whatever reason, but it had nothing to do with RSD allotments.  My store did not get copies in, but it wasn’t limited to certain parts of the country, it was available at stores all  over the country.

I Liked His Old Stuff Better was pressed as double LP on clear vinyl, housed in a gatefold jacket. The jacket has a matte finish and its nice quality. The gatefold has an old photo of Kyle Kinane on one panel with liner notes on the other panel. There are unique center labels for each side of the record, though they are just different shades of the same color. Sides A/B are green an sides C/D are red. The records themselves are in thin glossy paper dust sleeves; they’re almost like wax paper. I’ve never seen any dust sleeves like this before.

All copies come with a download card too. There is a vinyl exclusive bonus track, “Sold Out, Suck It,” which is the only track on the d-side. Not sure if it’s available on the download card though, because when I entered the code I got an “expired code” error message. Apparently Drop Card codes expire after two years, which is an absurd policy. There is no expiration date printed on this Kyle Kinane download card (nor any Drop Card code for that matter), I only found out the expiration date by clicking on the help button on the download website. So buyer beware if you’re buying records that are two or more years old, as the download codes may not work. I’ve never had this problem before, no matter the download card host. And I’ve only ever actuallly seen an expiration date printed on one download card for a record I own, out of the thousands I own.

I did some digging and couldn’t find pressing info for this record. Had this been an official RSD release the amount would be published. When this originally came out the price was around $20. Prices have started to come down a bit, I got this for $15 shipped, but they’re not the easiest record to find. Though more and more copies have started popping up on eBay, that used to not be the case. Discogs has a handful of copies though. At this point you’d be hard pressed to find a brick and mortar store with copies.

 

 

Kyle Kinane – Whiskey Icarus

Posted: May 19, 2017 in Vinyl
Tags: ,

Kyle Kinane’s albums have steadily been released on vinyl, and his second album, Whiskey Icarus, was released on vinyl in 2014. The album was pressed as a double LP, and to my knowledge only comes on one variant; black with yellow splatter. I was surprised to see this come on colored vinyl. I fully expected it to be on black vinyl, especially since no color was mentioned anywhere. And I mean anywhere. No stores selling this, not the label releasing it (Comedy Central Records), not Discogs. Plus, I’ve never seen photos of this record prior to buying it. Since I wasn’t even aware it would come on colored vinyl, it should be no surprise that I don’t know how many copies were pressed.

All copies come in a gatefold jacket, and a download card/code is included as well. The gatefold is rather bland and pointless in terms of artwork/creative packaging. It’s a tiny picture of Kyle Kinane on each panel, set against an all black background. Rather than traditional paper dust sleeves, each record comes in card stock dust sleeves. And is there anything even printed on these more expensive dust sleeves? Nope. They’re completely blank. All they do is drive up the price of this release. Not that this record is expensive (around $20 retail), it just could have been cheaper. And should have without having the unnecessary gatefold jacket and cardstock dust sleeves. You’re not really getting a good bang for your buck here. Had there been nice artwork, or really anything better than what is actually printed inside the gatefold, and the same goes for the dust sleeves, the price would be more justified.


Kyle Kinane’s albums have steadily been released on vinyl, even releasing a split 7″ with a band. Which may seem like an odd pairing until you consider the standup comic was briefly in Masked Intruders. The split, part of the Under The Table series (#2 in series), was done with The Slow Death, was released by Silver Sprocket Bicycle Club and Rad Girlfriend Records in 2014, and has already gone through a second pressing. What is featured here is the first pressing.

The first pressing was pressed on three variants; “black death” limited to 220 copies and “skunk-piss” yellow limited to 330 copies. If it’s not obvious enough, “black death” is simply black vinyl, and “skunk-piss” yellow is yellow. Translucent yellow actually, in a golden hue. Didn’t know skunks pissed in that particular shade of yellow. But it’s good knowledge to have. Especially when those trivia nights at the bar come around and every other table is stumped when the “what shade of yellow is skunk piss” question comes up.

But in all seriousness, the name for the yellow variant is inspired by the lone track/joke Kyle Kinane contributes to this split; “Skunk.” The third variant is a 2014 Awesome Fest exclusive, with the only difference making it a separate variant is that is comes with a different cover. The covers are apparently black and yellow, and those covers came with random colors of vinyl. I’ve never seen a photo of this Awesome Fest exclusive, so I have no idea what those exclusive covers look like. I’m just going on info posted on Discogs, which can be a double edged sword.

An insert is also included with all copies from the first pressing. I’m not sure about the second pressing. The second pressing was done on only one variant, “skunk stink” green, limited to 500 copies. The green is translucent.

If you’re looking to buy a copy of the split after reading this, you’ll likely get a copy from the second pressing. But with that said, I bought a copy from a distro about one month after the second pressing was released (I bought this a long time ago, June 2016, but just got around to posting this now) and got a copy on black vinyl from the first pressing. Needless to say I was shocked. I didn’t care what color and/or pressing I got, because I was able to buy this for $5 shipped.


Patton Oswalt’s new album, Talking For Clapping, flew under a lot of people’s radar, but not the Recording Academy as at it won the 2017 Grammy for Best Comedy Album. This album is classic Patton Oswalt and anyone, from his diehard fans to the casual observer will enjoy this album full of new material. Standup comedy seems to be gaining in popularity again, thanks in part to Comedy Central’s celebrity roasts and Roast Battle, their latest venture into standup, which Patton coincidentally happened to judge.

Talking For Clapping was pressed on three different variants for the first pressing; 100 copies on blue splatter, 400 copies on white and 1,000 copies on black. I’m not sure of the pressing info for the second pressing, but all copies appear to be on “Halloween” orange. The splatter copies came autographed by Patton and cost $30 before shipping, double the cost of the other variants. But all proceeds went 826LA, a non-profit supporting students ages 6–18 with their creative and expository writing skills and helping teachers inspire their students to write. That is a cause near and dear to my heart. I will always support the arts, especially music and writing, as they were and still are an integral part of my life. This blog itself is an endeavor into writing. And I took many writing classes in college on my way to a journalism and public relations degree.

All the other variants cost $15, with white (along with the blue splatter) being exclusive to the label, Aspecialthing Records. Black was only available from distros and possibly indie record stores, it was not available via Aspecialthing’s web store. With the general retail price already being stated, I bought this from a distro for just $11 shipped.

All copies come with a download code, which is nice because I couldn’t find MP3’s of this album/special anywhere. Oh, with that being said, Talking For Clapping was originally a Netflix special recorded in San Francisco at the Fillmore Theater in 2015. Other than the download card, it’s just a record stuffed into a single pocket jacket.

Patton Oswalt - Talking For Clapping - Copy


Dane Cook went from being one of the most popular comics to falling into oblivion seemingly overnight. He burst onto the scene then just as quickly faded away. He has his fair share of critics, and he always had detractors who thought he was a Louis C.K. rip-off in more ways than one. Personally, I enjoy some of his earlier specials, albums and bits more than his latest efforts. But I will add that as I grow older and go back through his material I find it less funny.

With that said, when I saw the vinyl version of Harmful If Swallowed at my record store by the counter on Record Store Day with a sign that said ‘Please rid us of this plague – $1 OBO’ my interest was piqued. I’m in the store several times a month and never saw this record or the sign before. I asked what the deal was and the guy behind the counter said they bought a collection from a kid trying to get money for college like two or three years ago. It was mostly garbage (not the band) that we knew we would struggle selling but the kid was desperate and agreed to $100 for like 300 records. But this Dane Cook record never sold, and it was the last piece of that collection. He went on to say they even tried selling it on eBay several times with a 99 cent starting bid and there were no takers. They just wanted this record gone.

So I figured what the hell. For $1 I’ll buy a Dane Cook record with no regrets. I’ll add that this was brand new, still factory sealed. That kid who apparently took pennies on the dollar for his collection never even opened this record. At the time Harmful If Swallowed was first released back in 2013 retail price was $20. I remember that price because people on message boards were making fun of not just the fact this album was getting pressed on vinyl, but the price of it too. I wound up buying this for like what, like 95% off?

After doing some digging on this record, I discovered that there is in fact pressing info for it. There were 1,000 copies pressed, most likely all on black vinyl. There may be variants for this, but I highly doubt it. Alternate artwork is used for the vinyl version, but it’s tweaked ever so slightly. Instead of a white background like the CD version, the vinyl version has a black background meant to mimic a flag. There is also a 10th Anniversary logo slapped on the cover, because this was pressed for the album’s 10th Anniversary. Comedy Central Records wrote up a lengthy sell sheet/press release for this record too.

Dane Cook - Harumful If Swallowed - Copy

 


The second of Louis C.K.’s albums to get the vinyl treatment, Live At Madison Square Garden was released by Louis’ own company; Pig Newton, Inc., in conjunction with Comedy Dynamics. This record was only pressed as a picture disc, and it comes in a picture disc sleeve. A download card is included. The audio is taken from the last of three shows Louis C.K. did at Madison Square Garden in 2015. Pressing info has not been released, and likely never will be. Discogs erroneously has this listed as an Amazon exclusive, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Almost every distro has, or had copies for sale at one point, and many indie record stores got copies too. Even Wal-Mart and Target have copies for sale.

When this record first came out in late 2015 the retail price for it was on the expensive side; $25. I waited over a year to buy this, and got it on sale for $15. There was no way I was going to pay $25 for a single LP picture disc comedy album. The price is a bit more ridiculous when you consider Louis C.K. has been a staunch supporter of the ‘pay what you want’ model, and cornered the market on his material by exclusively offering up both audio and video on his website utilizing the pay what you want model. His suggested price for only the MP3 files of this audio from this album is $5. So let’s just go ahead and charge 5x that price for the physical version and maybe no one will notice! I understand a physical release will cost more than $5, but charging this much for a single LP is not the right approach either. Especially when the b-side of the picture disc is shamelessly your company’s logo.