Another weekly video, a little late. The point of this feature is to add some focus and regularity to the site, as well as providing an outlet for some more up-to-date aspects of my musical taste - by providing a video of a band's music, rather than disseminating the mp3s of their work. As before, the video is at the end of the post...
My last post was about my first LP, and this is about my first 7". In the meantime, I have actually got a turntable: an Ion ITT USB05, which allows me to directly and easily record the vinyl onto my computer. It's pretty cool, even if it has no phono output, meaning that through my computer is the only way I can listen to the records, but that's not too much of a big deal.
Anyway, here's what I've bought so far:
Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (LP) [by far the best cover art of the lot, and very distinct from the CD version too]
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones (LP)
Dinosaur Jr. - 'Been There All The Time'/'Back to Your Heart' (UK 7" single)
Editors - 'Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors' (7" Single)
P.J. Harvey - White Chalk (LP) [her latest album, plays at 45 rpm for some unknown reason]
Patti Smith - Horses (LP) [partly for the Robert Mapplethorpe photography]
The Boom - Movin' Out (LP)
Shooting At Unarmed Men - 'Girls Music'/'Weapons of Mass Production' (promo 7" single) [ex-Mclusky]
Fight Like Apes - The Two EPs (LP) [in proper DIY fashion, the labels for each side are the wrong way round]
Slint - Spiderland (LP)
I'm also rocking Joe Lally's first solo album, There To Here, on loan from a friend (in return for the YYY's LP and a promise not to take off the sticker yet), and I have Radio Flyer's In Their Strange White Armour on order from Polyvinyl. Toying with the idea of getting the HWM compilation (finally out!) from No Idea... it's on coloured vinyl apparently. And if I get that, I'll have to get A Flight and A Crash, and perhaps Forever and Counting...
(My loyalty card from Road Records. I bought most of the new releases from Tower, and the Patti Smith from another independent store, but any shop that blasts Minor Threat on a weekday afternoon and has a sticker that says "No home should be without this album" on the cover of Spiderland, deserves especial patronage.)
Editors, if you haven't heard of them, are a pretty successful UK indie/post punk band. A little (or, perhaps, a lot) like a kind of British Interpol. I mainly like them for their particularly distinctive guitar sound which was succinctly explained by one Phantom DJ as:
"Play a high note, stick a lot of delay on it, and... uh... yeah, that's pretty much it"
I don't own anything else by them, neither their debut album The Back Room or their current release, An End Has A Start, so 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' is on its own for the moment. (It's also the only piece of vinyl I don't already have digital copies of, so I'll try out my recording/encoding software and probably post the result here).
Useless fact: 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' went to #39 on the Irish singles chart (#7 in the UK, and #18 in the UK download chart). Seriously, does anyone even care anymore?
Like I said before, a large part of the reason for going vinyl (or at least, one of the major advantages) is the quality of cover art. The Editors' design in general is very classy, but to get this graphic on a seven-inch plus wide sleeve of card is particularly cool. A bit like the Hoover/Regulator Watts industrial design aesthetic that started off my series of posts on art (and now, it's spread to Zen Face too), Editors' latest releases take a steely architectural theme - the album has a similarly styled picture of a gasometer ring. The monochrome, simultaneously soft- and hard-edged look I think really suits their sound. More than that, though, the text conveys their artistic message pretty well: clear, crisp, spacious, and sharply - and geometrically, but not unfeelingly - lined.
Personally, I think this photograph looks a lot like a dandelion head (and I have a photo of my own to prove it), but I don't find that gets in the way of my appreciation of it; in fact, it makes it quirky and even more interesting.
01 - Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors
02 - Some Kind of Spark
Kitchenware Records, 2007: SKX932
The video: young girl runs out of hospital, gets chased around various urban scenes, bloke from the band wanders out of rehearsal room and finds girl on rooftop... the usual story. Oh, and the girl walks on water at the end - very Jesus Christ/Zhang Yimou...