Posts Tagged ‘Weezer’

Weezer/Wavves – Split 7″

Posted: February 24, 2017 in Vinyl
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A release that came completely out of left field, Weezer did a split 7″ with Wavves in 2016, which was released on Wavves on label, Ghost Ramp. The split has a previously unreleased (on physical format) Weezer song on the a-side and a cover of a Weezer song, “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” by Wavves on the b-side. The artwork is also inspired by past Weezer releases, and each side of the split gets its own artwork. The Weezer side is inspired by Pinkerton and the Wavves side is inspired by The Blue Album. The Weezer song, “Fake Smiles And Nervous Laughter,” is a b-side from The White Album that was released as a Japanese bonus track on the initial digital release of the album and subsequent deluxe edition worldwide digital release.

The 7″ was put up for pre-order mid September 2016 with no release date given. These days I usually refrain from pre-ordering anything, especially something that doesn’t have a release date given, which is based off past nightmare pre-orders that were delayed several times and didn’t ship in some instances till almost one year after the pre-order. Another red flag for me was a label I never heard of before. But in the case of this split 7″ I’m glad I put my reservations aside because it sold out in six hours.

The 7″ was pressed on two colors, each limited to 1,000 copies for a total run of 2,000 copies. But that fact didn’t stop people from spending more money on the colored variant. The colors were blue and black. Ghost Ramp decided to charge $2 more for the blue variant, which drove the price tag up to $10 before shipping for a two song 7″, with one of the songs recorded by the band owning the label. The black variant cost $8. Shipping was $4.85, and the label decided to ship 7″s in cheap LP mailers. Which led to major problems.

Once the split started shipping in late November 2016, quite a few people reported that the package arrived with absolutely nothing inside. It wasn’t a widespread problem, but it was enough people so that it wasn’t just a fluke incident. Some people said their mailer wasn’t taped down properly, with enough room in the ends so the 7″ could have easily slid out or been stolen out of the package somewhere along the way. While other people said the mailer was taped properly but there still wasn’t anything inside the mailer. Ghost Ramp did send replacements to those affected. However, the shipping issues may or may not have been rectified by the label (red below). But it seems to have only affected the blue variant.

From my personal experience with this 7″, the mailer used, an LP mailer, was still cheap and thin. When it was delivered  the tape on one end of the mailer was completely undone. So my worst fears were bubbling up. The tape was only stuck to one side of the mailer, the other half sticking up in the air and completely dry. As if it came unstuck very early in the delivery process, likely almost immediately. It wasn’t shipped in the summer either, so it’s not like the heat loosened the adhesive on the tape. It just wasn’t applied properly to the mailer. Thankfully the 7″ was inside. But there was not support to speak of inside the oversized LP mailer used for a 7″, just a hastily cut piece of bubble wrap that didn’t even completely cover one side of the 7″ let alone wrap around it or be cut to fit the mailer.

Ghost Ramp did include freebies in most if not all of the packages, but that doesn’t make up for lapses in rudimentary packaging methods, like making sure the tape is actually stuck to the box before mailing it. I received an enamel pin and a CD of a Ghost Ramp release, while other people said they only received a pin.

On top of those issues, Ghost Ramp also started shipping out the 7″ in batches. They shipped out the color variants first because apparently the pressing plant had a delay pressing the black variant. So rather than wait for the entire pressing to be in hand before shipping orders, they opted to ship what they had in hand first. The black variant did not start shipping till a few weeks after the blue variant. It’s not a huge problem, it wasn’t like they never shipped them, it’s just a slight annoyance. This type of delay is not unheard of, but it is odd and despite that has happened with more frequency lately. Labels rarely shipped certain variants earlier than others, so you never heard of these types of delays with specific colors being backlogged at the plant. But more and more labels are starting to ship out releases in batches because of these types of delays with certain variants out of the whole pressing.

If those problems and issues weren’t enough, Ghost Ramp opted to use their stock label dust sleeve for this 7″, which is way too big for the jacket used for the 7″. I’m sure Ghost Ramp uses the same stock label dust sleeve for all their releases (obviously scaled accordingly for a 7″, 10″ 12′), but for this specific release it backfired. Because this black Ghost Ramp dust sleeve is too big, and makes it next to impossible to get the record out of the jacket. Combine that with how cheap and thin the jacket itself is, you may actually tear the jacket trying to get the record out. I know I was very afraid I was going to not just put a small tear in the jacket, but completely destroy it.

It got to the point of trying to get the record out that I was violently shaking the jacket in an attempt to jar it loose. This shaking was also done out of frustration. I’ve never had this much trouble getting a record out of a jacket or sleeve.  It also doesn’t help that this 7″ is shrink wrapped, and if you’re like me and want to keep the shrink on the jacket, the slipperiness caused by the shrink makes it even tougher to get the record out. When you pull on the dust sleeve the shrink wrap starts sliding off the jacket instead. That is how tight of a fit the dust sleeve is inside the jacket.

My advice on how to get this record out of the jacket is to hold the top and bottom of the jacket, holding it so the opening is facing down, then gently squeeze it make the opening a bit larger. But be careful doing this because if you apply too much pressure/force you may tear the jacket. That is how thin it is. Once you have the opening a bit larger, it should look like someone making a slight ‘o’ face, start jiggling the jacket. I know that sounds dirty, but get your minds out of the gutter. Essentially what you need to do it shake the dust sleeve out of the jacket, you need to jostle it free with the help of gravity. Eventually it will come out enough to where you can pull it the rest of the way. If it wasn’t obvious enough, DO NOT put the record back in the jacket. Leave it outside the jacket inside a protective poly sleeve. And if you are foolish enough to try let alone get the record back in the jacket, may you be judged kindly in the next life.

 

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V/A – Angus Soundtrack

Posted: July 12, 2016 in Vinyl
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One of the most talked about soundtracks wanting/needing to be pressed on vinyl was for the film Angus. People were clamoring for it for years to no avail. Eventually $hit Radio Cast ($RC) decided to license it and press it on their “label” SRCvinyl. I have no doubt $RC licensed this only because lots of people were talking about how it’s a shame it was never pressed on a message board they own and operate. They cared so much about the music on it and felt it was an injustice that the soundtrack hadn’t been pressed yet that they copy and pasted the Wikipedia page for the soundtrack in their store for the item description. Jokes on them though because it sold horribly because in typical $RC fashion they overpriced the soundtrack. And now they resorted to putting the remaining copies on clearance for $10.

The soundtrack features many great bands, with a few of the songs being written just for this soundtrack while many were previously released. none of the songs on it are exclusive to the soundtrack nor were they new at the time it was initially released. I think people love the soundtrack not only because it’s a cult film, but because it featured many punk bands, especially from the Bay Area scene when Lookout Records dominated that scene. Not many movies, especially big studio ones, used music like this. Some of the bands on the soundtrack include Green Day, Weezer, Smoking Popes, The Riverdales, Tilt, Pansy Division Dance Hall Crashers, Love Spit Love and Goo Goo Dolls.

I bought the soundtrack to keep my Green Day and Weezer collections complete. The Green Day song on the soundtrack is “J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva),” which was unreleased at the time and later appeared on their greatest album International Superhits! and b-sides album Shenanigans. The Weezer song is “You Gave Your Love To Me Softly” off Pinkerton. Weezer had actually written another song, “Wanda (You’re My Only Love)” specifically for this soundtrack but it was cut because it apparently was too close an interpretation of the movie. That song later appeared on Rivers Cuomo’s first album of demos, b-sides and unreleased material entitled Alone: The Home Recordings of Rivers Cuomo.

This soundtrack was pressed as a single LP on two variants; blue 180 gram limited to 500 copies and clear 180 gram limited to 1,000 copies. The blue is transparent when it should have been opaque at the very least if not simply a darker shade of blue. So it doesn’t match the blue from the artwork at all. I will say this about the pressing info, $RC listed different numbers for the clear variant. Initially they advertised it as being limited to 1,500 copies, They did that on social media. When pre-orders went up their store had the clear listed as limited to 1,000.

All copies come with a full color, fold out insert. The insert features stills from the movie on the outer panels and liner notes on the inside panels. The soundtrack was apparently mastered for vinyl by Kevin Gray at Coherent Studios, but it’s not the best sounding record despite that. Because of that mastering job this release get one of those now normal silver ‘$RC HiFi’ hype stickers on the poly sleeve.

As I mentioned earlier $RC severely overpriced this soundtrack. They initially charged $22 for it. And because of that ridiculous price tag other online distros and indie record stores who made the poor decision to carry this release are forced to mark up the soundtrack even further. If you look to buy this anywhere other than $RC for whatever reason you’ll see prices like $25 on up to $28. Other retailers are starting to mark down this soundtrack as well, but it’s still overpriced after their price cuts. Your best bet is to bite the bullet and buy this directly from $RC for $10 plus shipping, maybe even buy some of their other overpriced releases that are now on clearance spread out the shipping cost.

Weezer – The White Album

Posted: June 30, 2016 in Vinyl
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Weezer haven’t slowed down at all. They continue to churn out albums well into their 22nd year as a band. Their latest album, The White Album, is their 10th overall and continues their tradition of color coded self-titled albums. It’s the band’s first album in two years, and it’s another step in the right direction. It’s no Pinkerton or Blue Album, but it’s better than Hurley and Raditiude.

In an unusual move, there are actually variants for The White Album. Typically Weezer doesn’t have variants for their albums, and on top of that they’re usually all pressed on black vinyl, not even color vinyl for the most part. Yes there are exceptions, but when you dig deeper into them there are outlying circumstances. Hurley had variants, but that was released by Epitaph, who usually do variants for their releases. The Red Album and Pinkerton were re-pressed on color vinyl, but they were either re-issues in the case of The Red Album or in the case of Pinkerton, what amounts to a licensed re-press by yet another subscription service startup company trying to cash in on the vinyl trend and hipsters. And yes, The Green Album was pressed on green vinyl, but I think everyone can agree with that move. I’m sure The Blue Album will be re-pressed on blue vinyl at some point to further milk the vinyl trend.

The variants for The White Album are a bit complicated, but fairly straight forward to understand. The complications come in with how you are able to obtain certain variants. When the album was first put up for pre-order, it was announced that the first 400 orders would receive a limited tri-color variant. Every order after the first 400 would receive a copy of the album on white vinyl as long as supplies last. White vinyl supplies were limited 4,000 copies, so order 401 up to 4,000 would receive white vinyl. There is also a black variant as well, which will be available after white copies sell out.

Now with that said, the tri-color may not be limited to 400 copies. In fact, it’s likely not because the band sold copies of it at their album release show in New York City. How many copies were sold at that show is unknown. The same goes for white vinyl, it may not be limited to 4,000 copies. Pressing info has not been officially released for any variant. All that is known for sure is that there are at least 400 copies of the tri-color and at least 4,000 copies on white. The only variant to sell out so far is the tri-color.

As of posting this, white vinyl is still available from Weezer’s web store, which is the only place you can buy the white variant. Black vinyl is available everywhere other than Weezer’s web store at the moment. It’s likely the band will be selling copies of The White Album on tour with them this summer (2016), and it’s not known what color they will have. Could be white, could be black.

The tri-color is blue, green and white. Each color is opaque and takes up a third of the record in a triangle pattern. The blue is a hue between royal blue and sky blue and the green is between a kelly and mint green.

All copies of the record come with a download card for high quality 320 kbps MP3s. The record comes in a printed dust sleeve inside a single pocket jacket. There is a white hype sticker on the jacket. On top of the printed dust sleeve, which has the liner notes printed on it, an insert is also included, which has the lyrics on it.

Because of the somewhat limited nature of the tri-color, they were flipper gold. Many copies wound up on ebay and discogs, fetching upwards of $100. The lowest it sold for was $88. People were buying copies of the tri-color at the release show and immediately listing it on ebay while still at the venue. Completely ridiculous.

I had no interest in playing the games with this release. Not the fast finger contest of the tri-color variant, or trying to get tri-color at any point in time, nor ordering it from the Weezer store. First, I’m not going to order something without the guarantee of getting what I intended to order. Yes, the people handling Weezer’s web store did inform people of the cut off order number for the tri-color and offered to refund anyone who wanted to cancel their order. But that was unknown at the time of pre-ordering early enough to secure a tri-color. And even if I did want to roll the dice, the price Weezer’s store was charging made the decision even easier.

Weezer’s store is charging $20 for this album before shipping, then tack on another $11 and change for the cheapest shipping option, and there is no way I’m spending over $30 for a record I can get for literally half that price later on. In fact I did get it for well less than half Weezer’s price. I bought this for $13 shipped.

Weezer – Death To False Metal

Posted: June 30, 2016 in Vinyl
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In 2014 SRCvinyl (Sh!t Radio Cast’s “label”) released Weezer’s b-side album Death To False Metal. I bought this in 2016 for $12 from my local record store on Record Store Day. When this record first came out SRC charged $25 for it. They have since lowered the price to the must buy price of $23!

$RC is advertising this as “limited” but I highly doubt that, especially since they have not released pressing info for this record in the over two years since it has been released. Don’t even bother trying to contact them asking about pressing info because they don’t even respond to people who foolishly gave them money for records they don’t even have in stock but claim they do. Since pressing info has never been released, and likely never will, it’s impossible to say how many copies there are, but since all copies are hand numbered, we can get a rough idea of how many copies there are. What I can tell you is that there were at least 1,435 copies pressed based on photos of the highest numbered copy I’ve seen. If you want to guesstimate from there, it might be safe to say there are at least 1,500 copies considering that is a nice round number to order from the plant.

Speaking of that numbering, it’s done on one of $RC’s infamous silver hype stickers that they affix to the outer poly sleeves of all their releases since they don’t seal any of them. Only this hype sticker says “srcvinyl LIMITED EDITION” instead of “SRC HIFI.” Along with that silver hype sticker with the numbering, which is placed on the back of the jacket/poly sleeve, there is also a black rectangle hype sticker on the front. All copies come on 180 gram black vinyl.

More details about the vinyl release of Death To False Metal; it comes in a gatefold jacket with a fold out insert. The insert has the lyrics printed on the inside panels and inside the gatefold jacket the full album art is printed. The artwork for Death To False Metal has been very well received, and is a huge departure from most Weezer albums, who are notorious for not only simple, minimalistic artwork , but using a group shot on most of their albums. The cover art fro Death To False Metal was done by Robert Pitt.

The vinyl version of Death To False Metal includes the previously iTunes exclusive bonus track “Mykel & Carli,” which is tacked on to the end of the album as the final track on side B. The entire album is comprised of songs throughout Weezer’s career (up until Hurley) It even has a song that Rivers Cuomo wrote as part of a Youtube interactive series, which took suggestions from fans/commenters.

 


In 2015 Weezer released a handful of new songs but at the time they were released none of them had a physical release. “Everybody Needs Salvation” was the first of their “new” songs released and intended to be a fan club exclusive song. But leave it to the internet to have the song be somewhat leaked, as almost immediately after the song was sent out to fan club members it appeared on Youtube, where it’s still up as of posting this. Many people don’t like this song, but I enjoy it greatly. It was initially written for their latest album; Everything Will Be Alright In The End, but was omitted. So this song is an unreleased b-side and not a true new song.

The song did receive a physical release, but was a fan club exclusive. It’s pressed on red vinyl and comes with a download card. I do not know how many copies were pressed. It’s a single-sided 7″ so only the single is on it. The 7″ also came with a fan club t-shirt and patch. The back of the jacket has the lyrics to the song printed on it. The cover art was chosen by Rivers Cuomo himself and is a painting by Antonello da Messina titled Ecce Homo, which was painted in 1475.

Since I don’t join fan clubs anymore after The Gaslight Anthem debacle, and the fan club exclusive release was barely publicized, I had no idea this 7″ existed for a long time. I looked into the fan club and found out it cost $35 to join, plus $12 shipping, and because it was so long after the 7″ was sent out I emailed the fan club to find out if new members would receive the 7″ but never heard back. So I opted not to join the fan club and wait for one to pop up on ebay or discogs for cheaper than the $47 it would cost to join the fan club, because all I would join it for would this 7″. I won a sealed copy (felt it being sealed was important because the download card would be unused) of this 7″ for $16 ppd, well less than half the price of the fan club itself. Some people might consider that a lot for a 7″ with only one song, but I feel like I won and I obviously saved a decent chunk of change.

 

 


Weezer’s latest album, Everything Will Be Alright In The End, was pressed as single LP on 180 gram black vinyl. The record comes housed in a gatefold jacket, with the cover art expanding onto both panels. I held off on buying this record because of the price; it costs around $22 (before shipping if bought online) from pretty much anywhere selling this. Knowing they pressed thousands of these, I held off this the price was reduced or a good enough sale happened where I could save enough money on it to make it worth my while. I bought it for $16 shipped a few weeks ago.

Now I’m not sure if they actually went back and re-pressed this record. I doubt it, but it’s a possibility. It never went out of print or was hard to find for retail price by any means, but my interest was piqued by something as simple as a hype sticker. You see, when this record first came out there was a hype sticker on the cover with a review from NPR Music and advertising that the record is pressed on 180 gram vinyl. There is/was also the typical “MP3 Download Included” sticker on the cover as well. The copy I bought in June of 2015 did not have this hype sticker on it, but it did still have the “MP3 Download Included” sticker on it. So either they only pressed a certain amount with this NPR hype sticker and eventually ran out of them, leaving a certain amount of copies with the sticker and a certain amount of copies without the sticker. Or they went back and pressed more copies that didn’t have the hype sticker. I find the latter implausible. I’m just throwing it out there as a possibility only because I’ve never come across a situation like this with hype stickers before. I’ve seen legit second pressings not have a hype sticker that was on the first pressing or have a different hype sticker than what was on the first pressing. But since this record never went OOP I find it hard believe a new pressing was made.

I’m including a picture of the hype sticker below just for reference. As I stated the copy I have does not have this hype sticker on it.

The aforementioned MP3 download code gains you access to terrible quality MP3’s that come in at 192 kbps. All copies come with an insert, which is a nice touch considering the record comes in a gatefold jacket. Another nice touch, which is not necessarily speaking to this album, but there is a theme running through all vinyl releases from this album. If you look at the entry for the “Back To The Shack” 7″, which was released after the Everything Will Be Alright In The End LP, you’ll notice that the center labels match. The artwork for the 7″ is also inspired by the LP artwork, as the only difference between the two is that the monster/creature from the LP artwork is removed on the 7″ artwork.

Weezer – Back To The Shack 7″

Posted: June 17, 2015 in Vinyl
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For the holiday season of 2014 indie record stores in the UK ran a promotion called “The 12 Days Of Christmas” where one exclusive record was released each of the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Because I live in the U.S. I had no idea this was going on, I found out well after the fact when copies of a record from Weezer that I never heard of started popping up on ebay.

After doing some research, it turned out one of the days, Day 9, had a Weezer 7″ released. It’s a single-sided 7″ for the song “Back To The Shack.” All copies were pressed on black vinyl and it was limited to 500 copies. As aforementioned, it was a UK indie record store exclusive. Which results in paying more for a 7″ due to exchange rates and international shipping.