Posts Tagged ‘Jonah Matranga’


Moral Mazes in yet another band in the long line of Jonah Matranga projects. This one harkens back to his Far days. The band also features Jeff Dean of All Eyes West and Dead Ending fame, Darren Zentek of Office Of Future Plans fame and J. Robbins of Jawbox and Government Issue fame.

The band’s debut release, a 7”, is entitled Magic Tommy Jackson, and features two songs. Bridge 9 Records released the 7”, pressing it on different colors; white limited to 200 copies and blue limited to 300 copies. The jacket, yes jacket, as it’s not a fold over sleeve for this 7”, is screen printed rather than going for a glossy or straight up matte finish. It’s a nice touch for this release that B9 doesn’t advertise, and they still charge a very reasonable $5 for it. The cover art is a collage type drawing of the faces of Magic Johnson, Tommy Lee Jones and Samuel L. Jackson, adding in a bit of hilarity to this 7”. If you don’t get it then nobody can help you.

An important note about this 7”; a download card/code is not included with the actual 7”. But all is not lost. Instead of the traditional slip of paper included with the actual 7”, B9 has it set up so you can redeem a download for the release on your order confirmation page after checking out in the B9 store. So don’t delete your order confirmation email, otherwise it will take some awkward emails where you come out looking stupid in order to gain access to the MP3’s.Moral Mazes - Magic Tommy Jackson - Copy


Jonah Matranga released another album this year, Me And You Are Two, under a new but slightly familiar moniker; Jonah’s Onelinedrawing. Once again he used crowd funding to get the project off the ground, offering plenty of awesome rewards for pledgers that he actually fulfilled in a timely manner let along at all. I’m not saying Jonah never comes through, he always does, I’m just comparing him to countless other people/bands who use crowd funding and scam people by never delivering on all the rewards they offer. It turns out that after the record was finished it would be released in a joint effort with Thunderbeard Records.

Me And You Are Two has two wildly different variants, with each being exclusive to certain outlets. Jonah has his own variant, which can only be bought directly from him minus a few copies Thunderbeard sold in bundle deals with their variant. Jonah’s variant comes in a white sleeve with black ink, which includes a copy of the record on “random split” colored vinyl, which is most likely all half brown/half grey. It seems most people assumed/speculated/thought that every copy would be different or unique based on the “random split” name choice. What I think was meant is that random colors were ordered from the plant so nobody involved in the release knew what would be received. The color of ink on the covers for Jonah’s variant was also described as unique, but I think what was meant by that was Jonah use a multi-color crayon to color in some copies for the people who pledged through Kickstarter. Every copy I’ve seen so far of Jonah’s variant looks exactly the same. Thunderbeard has their own variant, which comes in a black sleeve with silver ink, which includes of a copy of the record on blue vinyl. Inside the sleeve of Thunderbeard’s variant the ink is blue though.

Jonah’s variant (half/half split vinyl with white jacket) is limited to 250 copies andThunderbeard’s variant (blue vinyl with black jacket) is limited to 250 copies. Every copy is hand numbered, with the numbering done /500 rather than /250 for each of the variants. Jonah’s variant is the first 250 (1-250) with the Thunderbeard jacket being the second half of the 500 (251-500). The jackets are a half fold style printed on a decent thickness card stock. The lyrics and liner notes are printed on the inside of the sleeves, with the track listed printed on the back of the folded portion.


In late 2013 Enjoy The Ride Records announced one their releases, which was a joint effort with Fadeaway Records, a not defunct, but dormant label. It was a compilation on a grand scale. It wound up being a triple LP featuring unreleased songs from many popular indie scene bands. Profits from the comp went towards cancer research. Some of the bands on this comp included Brand New, Saves The Day, Motion City Soundtrack, Hot Rod Circuit, Nightmare Of You, Far , Fred Mascherino of Taking Back Sunday and Terrible Things fame, The Honorary Title, Vinnie Caruana of The Movielife and I Am The Avalanche fame, Andy Hull of Manchester Orchestra fame, Matt Pryor, Reggie And The Full Effect, Head Automatica, Frank Iero of My Chemical Romance fame, and Kevin Devine. It was comprised mostly of bands producer and head of Fadeaway Records, Michael Dubin, worked with or had some connection to over the years. The comp was simply entitled Friends.

The record is housed in a triple panel gatefold jacket and comes with an insert to boot. Each copy is also hand numbered out of the variant total, not the total amount of copies pressed. All copies were also pressed on colored vinyl, some sort of splatter was used for the several variants this comp has. There were some, what I feel were shady goings-on with the variants.

There is a “1st press” and a “2nd press” of this record. I use the quotes because they really are one combined pressing. The “1st press” sold out, rather slower than expected, and right on the heels of it selling out, before the “1st press” even shipped, a “2nd” pressing was announced and put up for pre-order. Anyone with common sense would say how can there be a second pressing when the records from the first pressing were not even done and pressed yet.

The nonsense with the variants continued even after all the “pressings” were announced, as the “1st press” had a friends press, limited to 100 copies. When the comp was first announced there was no mention that there would be a friends press, only that the comp would be limited to 500 copies. Since it took so long to sell out the actual 400 copies of the pressing that were available to the public didn’t matter. It continued still with the“2nd pressing, as it had a friends press of sorts, which was called an “extra special variant.” I’m not making that up for giggles, the two labels responsible for this comp actually called it that; “extra special variant.” This “extra special variant” was split into two groups; 50 copies were randomly given out in orders for the “2nd pressing” and 50 copies could only be pre-ordered at the compilations’ record release show. Yes, a compilation album comprised of unreleased songs had a release show, where I should point out none of the bands featured on the comp played.

So the pressing info for this comp is as follows: “1st press” – 400 copies on red/white/black splatter and 100 copies on red/clear/white splatter (friends press). “2nd press” – 500 copies on milky clear/red/blue/yellow splatter and 100 copies on black/blue/white splatter (“extra special variant”). Again, a triple panel gatefold jacket houses the records. An insert is also include.

The biggest issue I have with this comp is the price gouging and downright ripping off of people. The comp cost $40 before shipping, a bit outrageous but since it was a triple LP and came in a nice jacket with an insert it became a bit easier to swallow. My justifiable pricing, a price which I consider acceptable for multi-disc releases is $10 per LP. So in that train of thought this should be closer to $30 than $40. Again, the finer points of the release somewhat justify the price tag. After hearing how much it cost to produce this comp, which was stated publicly by the head of Fadeaway Records on a public message board (and which I took a screen shot of for posterity), each copy cost at most $20 to produce. I understand the business model of doubling your money or don’t bother, but in this case that markup is a bit drastic.

The shipping charges are where I have a major problem; I find them unacceptable. Fadeaway Records charged $9 for shipping, and they wound up shipping it media mail, which as well all known is the cheapest shipping method available for records. The actual cost on my mailer said $3.65; factor in material costs (guy who runs the labels packaged orders himself so no employee costs) and shipping shouldn’t have been more than $6, and that’s being generous.Fadeaway Records justified the price points as, direct quote; “The proceeds are going to charity. Any overages on shipping will be donated to charity.”

I have no problems with charitable donations, but customers, anyone really, shouldn’t be forced to pay more money so someone else can make a bigger donation to charity. If I wanted to donate more of my money to charity I would donate the money directly to the charity of my choosing myself. That decision shouldn’t be made by someone else and it definitely shouldn’t be made by a bias third party.

Far – Water & Solutions

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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Far’s classic album, Water & Solutions was pressed on vinyl by Sh!t Radio Cast’s ($RC) “label” srcvinyl and released at the same time of Far’s earlier album Tin Cans With Strings To You. Unlike a lot of vinyl releases these days, the album was re-mastered for vinyl using the original master analog tape rather than using a digital master. This vinyl mastering was down by Stan Ricker, who works on many Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases. That fact is a giant step in the right direction, but, unfortunately, since $RC was involved with releasing this, there were some problems.

Before delving into the problems, here are some more details about the release. It comes in a glossy finish jacket with a fold out insert. Each copy comes in its own out poly sleeve with a silver sticker on it that reads “SRC HiFi Audiophile mastering.” The record was pressed on three colors, with only two apparently being limited. There are 500 copies on clear with blue smoke and 500 copies on coke bottle clear. The clear with blue smoke copies were exclusive to $RC and the coke bottle clear copies were “retail” exclusive. The “retail” exclusive is a bit of a lie as $RC sold a good chunk of the copies rather than sending them out to, you know… retail. An unlimited 180 gram black variant is also available.

The same controversy that surrounds Tin Cans With Strings To You also swirls around Water & Solutions. All copies were supposed to be pressed on 180 gram vinyl, but once the records started shipping out to people who pre-ordered them, it became quite evident that the records were not pressed on 180 gram vinyl. I should note though that my copy on coke bottle clear is on 180 gram, even though there were some people complaining that their copy was not on 180 gram. Given the complaints I used my postal scale to weigh my copies of these two Far records, finding out that my copy of Water & Solutions is on 176 gram vinyl while Tin Cans With Strings To You I didn’t even bother weighing because it was quite obvious it’s not on 180 gram vinyl. This marked the first time that I ever weighed any of my records, or even felt compelled to do so. I know there is at least one person out there so anal about things that he weighs every single one of his records and takes note of it somewhere.

$RC played dumb about it until someone brought it up on a message board they run, and in typical $RC fashion they passed the blame on to the plant. They claimed they didn’t know about the records not being on 180 gram vinyl and upon going back to inspect some copies they still had on hand discovered it to be true. They went on to claim the plant screwed them and it’s entirely their fault. While partly true, $RC could have refused the shipment since it wasn’t what they ordered and paid for. Rather than go that route, $RC opted to just send out records that weren’t as advertised without so much as a word; until someone publicly complained about it. I’m actually surprised the complaint wasn’t brushed under the rug since it was posted on a message board they have complete ownership and operation of. They censor their Facebook page anytime anyone posts anything negative by deleting comments and blocking the people who leave said comments from leaving future comments. They went as far as to remove the capability of posting on their wall all together as they removed the wall feature from their page. For whatever it means, $RC changed their pressing info to reflect that the two colored vinyl variants are not on 180 gram vinyl.

There of course is another school of thought on the matter if you don’t prescribe to the “it was a mistake and not our fault” reasoning. You could call it the conspiracy side of it, but given $RC’s track record of shadiness, it’s a likely scenario. This could have all been an intentional move by $RC, as they make more money in the end by charging for 180 gram vinyl and only ordering standard weight vinyl. $RC charged $22 before shipping for Water & Solutions, a single LP. An outrageous price, but not unexpected because $RC loves to overcharge for all their releases. They overcharge to the point where they have to put some of their releases on clearance for $5 long after they are released, and even at that price they still can’t sell out of them.

There was also an issue when $RC first received the clear with blue smoke batch of records from the plant, as they were the wrong color. $RC did not mention how badly the color was off from what they ordered, but far enough off that they rejected them. Really makes me wonder why they didn’t do the same with the “purple” variant for Tin Cans With Strings To You. Or reject the records because they weren’t pressed on 180 gram vinyl, you know, because they already rejected a batch of records for this album. The mastering is also off as well despite it being mastered specifically for vinyl. A few seconds of the first song, “Bury White” are missing. The opening chords are cut off. How that got past $RC is beyond me. They claim they didn’t notice any of these major/subtle (depending on how you value things) errors, but I’m willing to bet with already having a delay caused by initially receiving the wrong color for one variant, $RC no longer cared and just wanted to get the records out the door and off their books.

Far – Tin Cans With Strings To You

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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Far’s third album, Tin Cans With String To You, was pressed on vinyl by Sh!t Radio Cast’s ($RC) “label” srcvinyl and was released at the same time as Far’s fourth album Water & Solutions. Unlike a lot of vinyl releases these days, the album was re-mastered for vinyl using the original master analog tape rather than using a digital master. This vinyl mastering was done by Stan Ricker, who works on many Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab releases. That fact is a giant step in the right direction, but, unfortunately, since $RC was involved with releasing this, there were some problems.

Before delving into the problems, here are some more details about the release. It comes in a matte finish jacket with a fold out insert. Each copy comes in an poly sleeve with a silver sticker on it that reads “SRC HiFi Audiophile mastering.” The record was pressed on three colors, with only two apparently being limited. There are 500 copies on yellow and 500 copies purple. The yellow copies were exclusive to $RC and the purple was “retail” exclusive. The “retail” exclusive is a bit of a lie as $RC sold a good chunk of the copies rather than sending them out to, you know… retail. An unlimited 180 gram black variant is also available.

The same controversy that surrounds Water & Solutions also swirls around Tin Cans With String To You. All copies were supposed to be pressed on 180 gram vinyl, but once the records started shipping out to people who pre-ordered them, it became quite evident that the records were not pressed on 180 gram vinyl. Given the complaints I used my postal scale to weigh my copies of these two Far records, finding out that my copy of Water & Solutions is on 176 gram vinyl while Tin Cans With Strings To You I didn’t even bother weighing because it was quite obvious it’s not on 180 gram vinyl. This marked the first time that I ever weighed any of my records, or even felt compelled to do so. I know there is at least one person out there so anal about things that he weighs every single one of his records and takes note of it somewhere.

The colors for Tin Cans With String To You are also way off from what was advertised. The “yellow” copies came out orange and the “purple” copies come out maroon and brown/orange/puke, as you can see by the photos of my copy below. The first disc is maroon and the second disc is brown/orange/puke, and both have marbling in them, something else that was not described or mentioned from $RC.

$RC played dumb about it until someone brought it up on a message board they run, and in typical $RC fashion they passed the blame on to someone else, this time the plant. They claimed they didn’t know about the records not being on 180 gram vinyl and upon going back to inspect some copies they still had on hand discovered it to be true. They went on to claim the plant screwed them and it’s entirely their fault. While partly true, $RC could have refused the shipment since it wasn’t what they ordered and paid for. Rather than go that route, $RC opted to just send out records that weren’t as advertised without so much as a word; until someone publicly complained about it. I’m actually surprised the complaint wasn’t brushed under the rug since it was posted on a message board they have complete ownership and operation of. They censor their Facebook page anytime anyone posts anything negative by deleting comments and blocking the people who leave said comments from leaving future comments. They went as far as to remove the capability of posting on their wall all together as they removed the wall feature from their page. For whatever it means, $RC changed their pressing info to reflect that the two colored vinyl variants are not on 180 gram vinyl.

There of course is another school of thought on the matter if you don’t prescribe to the “it was a mistake and not our fault” reasoning. You could call it the conspiracy side of it, but given $RC’s track record of shadiness, it’s a likely scenario. This could have all been an intentional move by $RC, as they make more money in the end by charging for 180 gram vinyl and only ordering standard weight vinyl.

There was also an issue when $RC first received some copies of Water & Solutions where they did not meet the expectations color wise from the plant, as they were the wrong color. $RC did not mention how badly the color was off from what they ordered, but far enough off that they rejected them. Really makes me wonder why they didn’t do the same with the “purple” and “yellow” variants for Tin Cans With Strings To You. Or reject the records because they weren’t pressed on 180 gram vinyl, you know, because they already rejected a batch of records for this album.

Far/Sea Pigs – Split 7″

Posted: February 24, 2014 in Vinyl
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This is an early Far release. It’s a split with another band from the Sacramento California scene, Sea Pigs. Far contributes one song; “Far Does Madonna.” No idea how many were pressed, but this is one of if not the rarest Far releases. I bought this directly from Jonah Matranga a few weeks ago. He is going through all his music related things ranging from stickers, shirts, hats, belts, rare CD’s, cassettes and vinyl, and is selling everything in one of his yard sales. The merch ranges from everything Jonah has been involved in, from Far, Gratitude, Onelinedrawing and his solo under  his own name Link for his yard sale can be found here: http://jonahmatranga.com/supahsale.Far - Sea Pigs Split Far Does Madonna - Copy


The Mascluine Makeover comp came out in 2003 and is one of the few comps to feature Onelinedrawing that was pressed on vinyl. It was done as a pictures disc limited to 1000 copies. All proceeds went to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

The Onelinedrawing song featured is a live version of “Swamp.” This comp also features a song from Sharks Keep Moving entitled “Time Green Cafe,” which is exclusive to this comp.