Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: February 2010

I wish I had a personal tailor so that he could make me a double-breasted suit coat with the pattern from this album sleeve. The suit coat would also have 3/4 sleeves and big, I mean freakin’ huge, shoulders and probably some gold buttons…maybe even with anchors on them. Then I’d go to the salon and purchase all of the Paul Mitchell hair products they had from this chick:

.

Then I’d hop into my all white 1985 Mercedes 500SL with the AMG Package:

.

.

Finally I’d pop the Pet Shop Boys into my Dolby Noise Reduction-enabled Becker Grand Prix tape deck:

.

.

And listen to the West End Girls Dance Mix as I cruised down a palm tree-lined boulevard:

.

.

And with that my 80’s summer day fantasy would be complete.

.

Click to Download West End Girls 12″ to MP3

.

*full download below*

The majority of this album was recorded in the mountainous regions around Vancouver in 1974. Since the XXI Winter Olympics are currently unfolding in the same terrain I figured it’s a perfect time to post A Royal Hudson.

With the exception of small tourist getups, I’ve never seen a steam train muscling its way through the countryside. I can only imagine, after listening to this album, that it must be a heavy spectacle. The way the steel beast roars and echoes through the mountain passes on A Royal Hudson can at times be terrifying.

While listening to this I kept imagining that I was an injured baby fawn, perhaps with a split hoof and a mother killed by an unlicensed hunter, trapped on the tracks over the Capilano River–unable to move or comprehend what strange, fire-breathing monster laid in wait around the bend. The fear was overwhelming but thankfully the end will be quick. I hope.

**Album Notes From the Back Liner

Side 1

(1) 5:52

Ferry boat horns,sea gulls, and other delightful park woods sounds abound in this early October 1974 morning, as No. 2860, a beautifully restored ex-Canadian Pacific Royal Hudson, departs the North Vancouver area, northbound forSquamish. Our quadraphonic microphone is located just west of the Capilano River bridge that separates North Vancouver from West Vancouver.

(2) 3:46

The breathtakingly beautiful mountains that surround Squamish, B.C., provide a unique echo chamber for the whistle of Royal Hudson No. 2860, as she heads southbound of North Vancouver.

(3) 4:25

Kew Road in West Vancouver, a very fashionable suburb of the greater Vancouver area, plays host to the 4-6-4 daily during the Summer months except Tuesdays. What fun!

(4) 1:38

North Britannia, deep rockwall cut, and a 2% grade provide the stage, Engineer Frank Smith coaxes the star, and the result? A stellar performance by the object of just about everybody’s affection.

(5) 2:52

Burkehill Road, West Vancouver, first No. 2860 works her way over the crossing and past our microphone location. But then do we detect second No. 2860, on another track perhaps? About the only way we can describe this entire band, “twice is nice.”

Side 2

A cab ride! Yep, almost as good as leaning out the right hand side of the cab window yourself, and waving to everybody who turned out to see a Royal Hudson steam and whistle by today.

Your very own right hand seat box trip will include–

The air test and time signal over two way radio at North Vancouver;

pulling out of North Vancouver Station;

crossing the Capilano River bridge entering West Vancouver;

on the northbound grade from milepost 6-7 and 8-10;

the North Britannia grade through two tunnels yet.

All of the sequences noted above, have been edited or otherwise condensed from over one hour of actual recorded time, into twenty-one minutes of pure joy.

Important Special Notice

The British Columbia Ry. Observes all rules and regulations prescribed in the Uniform Code of Railway Operating Rules for Canada. However, certain liberties were taken during the actual recording scenes, particularly with the whistle signals; which are meant solely as entertainment and does not imply improper adherence to the Uniform Code by the British Columbia Ry.

–Enjoy!–

Click to download the sounds of a Royal Hudson

Specifications of Royal Hudson 2860

Built:  June, 1940, Montreal Locomotive Works

Shop Number: 69292

Class: H-1e

Drivers: 75-inch

Cylinders: 22×30-inch

Boiler Pressure: 275 pounds per square inch

Tractive Effort: 42,250 (with booser: 57,250) pounds

Total Weight: 657,500 pounds

Water Capacity: 12,000 imperial gallons

Fuel Capacity: 4,100 imperial gallons

*vinyl download below*

If you take a look behind Mr. Triangular Turban, the one right there leaking digital flesh, you’ll notice the background resembles a Magic Eye poster. You remember, Magic Eye, the artwork you saw at mall kiosks during the 90’s. The first time you saw those curious technicolored splatters you didn’t really know what to make of them. The Kiosk Master sensed your bewilderment and explained, “Um they’re a hidden 3D picture, kind of. You sort of have to look through them or past them…or something. I think that one’s a dolphin jumping over a desert island. I think.” So you tried to stare through them. You also crossed your eyes, wiggled them, gouged them repeatedly because of your inability to see the hidden dolphin and his high-flying acrobatics.

Pleasures of the deep.

Then, just as you were about to kick the Kiosk Master in the nuts, the sea mammal and his sick air came into view. Oh, the beauty you beheld. Yes, it was just the outline of the dolphin and it wasn’t really the actual color of a dolphin and it gave you a terrible headache but it was AWESOME. It was like stepping into a whole ‘nother dimension where simply-shaped environments prevail  and taste accounts for nothing: A dimension called The Tri-County Mall Foodcourt. With this freeing feeling about your person you confidently worked down the gallery lineup. Pyramids at Giza, Statue of Liberty, Bald Eagle over Star-Spangled Banner, Confused Pug Puppy in Easter basket….each one outdoing its predecessor. It left you with terrifying anticipation. You thought, “If we’re making Magic Eyes now in ’93 there’s no telling what 3D beast we will unleash come 2k.”

Pleasures of the deepest.

… Well, 2000 only brought retinal tears and activated gag reflexes within the stereogram universe. Sorry.

*Side Note: This album is what would happen if The Moody Blues found themselves trapped in a Magic Eye poster. The scene would unfold as follows:

Narwhals, under the influence of Four Loko, would serve as the band’s transportation through a green-lightning sea. While navigating through a particularly spooky coral reef the fellows attempt to play “Tuesday Afternoon” to lift their spirits. However, just at that moment, the narwhals take a sharp dip into a grove of seafloor vents spewing Old Grand Dad Bourbon. “Tuesday Afternoon” Green-Ranger-morphs instantaneously into “Ambling Alp”.

The rest is history.

8)

8)

>>Click to download ODD BLOOD<<<<Get it while it’s hot.

8)

8)

Tracklist

A1 The Children
A2 Ambling Alp
A3 Madder Red
A4 I Remember
A5 O.N.E.
B1 Love Me Girl
B2 Rome
B3 Strange Reunions
B4 Mondegreen
B5 Grizelda

Remixes fantastique from the French getup Phoenix. I always anticipate their releases with great worry…always worrying they’re just one LP away from breaking my heart.

This is because I used to worry they were bitter that Cincinnati put a bad taste in their mouths after their performance at The Southgate House several years back. Because of this, I feared, they would only send us special Cincinnati Remixes with fart sounds replacing the vocals, similar to what Guster did with their album Keep It Together in 2003.

Back then Cincy was, even more so than  now, in this terrible hipster-concert-audience-funk where everyone would shift their weight to one leg, put their hands in their pockets and do their best Helen Keller impersonation. Phoenix kept doing their darndest to get the audience involved by addressing them directly in French accents, “Hello, this is our first time in Le Kentucky, we will play our guitars very best with strong hearts,” but the knit-capped, sleepy-eyed crowd weren’t having it. I don’t think I’ve ever been so embarassed by an anonymous rabble.

So, they’ll probably never come back. Cincy put on a poor performance but so far Phoenix hasn’t returned the favor. I’m seriously surprised they still send vinyl to this market. Maybe they saw me fainting over and over from audience-induced melancholy up in the balcony and took pity. Yeah, that must be it.

Click to Download Lisztomania Remixes

Tracks

A1 Lisztomania (Album Version) 4:02  
A2 Lisztomania (Alex Metric Rmx) 5:05  
B1 Lisztomania (Yuksek Rmx) 5:08  
B2 Lisztomania (A Fight For Love / 25 Hours A Day Rmx) 5:42  

*download below*

This is the album that shepherded me into the rolling knolls of Vinyl Hunters Valley. This is because it causes the most mysterious synaptic firings within my squishy grey matter. Makes my temples swell with a pleasing uneasiness. Causes mysterious pockets within my loins to quake and flutter.

It's my HEAD, Schwartz, it's MY HEAD!

OK, so basically I have no idea what it does to me but I’m certain it transmits some sort of ultrasonic frequency that says, “GO ON EBAY AND BUY A TURNTABLE RIGHT NOW. NOT LATER, NOW. TURN OFF COPS, YOU’VE SEEN THIS EPISODE, GUY, BUY ONE NOW.” So I did and never looked back.

Despite the fact that I love, love, love this album I’ve been avoiding reviewing it here because it’s difficult to capture the essence with letters. Most stereoponies love to saddle the “Trip Hop” label onto this album but that does it no justice whatsoever. That term conjures the visions of hippies listening to hip hop, smoking a big J and spouting, “whoa man this rap groove is, like, so trippy. It’s totally gnarring my buzz, man.” While this album will most likely multiply and sassify marijuana-induced intoxication it’s so unfair to tie it to pot culture. Endtroducing would never, EVER get caught dead in patchwork corduroy pants.

 

Our youth are under attack.

Other bucking vinylbroncos like to describe  the album by mentioning Endtroducing’s ingredients: hip hop, jazz, psychedelia, movie dialogue, television show trialogue, percussion samples etc. However none of these phonocowboys can ever really capture this wild one.  True, you get a flavor of each along the winding train ride through British Columbia that is Endtroducing but it’s so much more than bits and pieces. It’s like describing your favorite pizza to a friend and saying, “Yeah man I had this awesome food today it was, like, a bit of tomato, flour, a touch of salt and some, like, I think cheese.” Those ingredients are all fine and good but separately they wouldn’t do an Adriatico’s Bearcat Pizza justice just like calling this album a fusion of genres is a crime. The sum is much greater than the parts.

I think, maybe, this album is like watching the most beautiful little bubble you ever saw. You can watch it dance on the wings of an invisible wind but as soon as you try to capture the damn thing in your hands it’s gone. You’ve taken your dirty little paws and ruined such a magical, delicate thing. You should be ashamed of yourself. We were all having such a wonderful time watching that little orb. Next time chill out, stop trying to bottle it up and just behold its angelic splendor while the gettin’s good.

"From listening to records I just knew what to do...mainly I taught myself. And you know I did pretty well...there were a few mistakes that I have just recently cleared up. I'd just like to continue to be able to express myself as best as I can. I feel like I have a lot of work to do still. I'm a student of the drums and I'm also a teacher of the drums too. And I would like to be able to continue to let what is inside of me, which comes from all of the music that I hear, I'd like for that to come out, and it's like it's not really me...the music's coming through me."

What’s truly incredible about Endtroducing is how it was composed. You have to remember that this was created in 1996 and if anyone even had a laptop it could maybe hold a gigabyte of files, if you were lucky and rich. In addition, music manipulation software like AudioMulch or Adobe Audition hadn’t been invented yet. So, Shadow had to use an Akai MPC-60 music sampler/beat machine to cut, splice, and melt his tracks together. If you then take into consideration exactly how much trial and error of listening to thousands of big vinyl discs it took to find the necessary sounds for the album it becomes evident that either a miracle was performed in the making of Endtroducing or Shadow’s some sort of DJ genius. I prefer to believe the latter, especially after taking watching the following video.

So if you haven’t heard this album, regardless of what music you’re into, you need to get in the boat and get your float on. If you’re a fan you can always use a higher quality rip. And, if you really want to get deep, pick up the vinyl and take a voyage into the continental divide…of your mind!!!!

Click here to download Endtroducing

Tracklist

A1 Best Foot Forward 0:49
A2 Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt 6:40
A3 The Number Song 4:40
B1.a Changeling 7:51
B1.b **Transmission 1
B2 Stem/Long Stem 9:21
C1.a **Transmission 2
C1.b Mutual Slump 4:02
C2 Organ Donor 1:57
C3 Why Hip Hop Sucks In ’96 0:43
C4 Midnight In A Perfect World 4:57
D1 Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain 9:23
D2.a What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 – Blue Sky Revisit) 7:28
D2.b **Transmission 3