Recollections of the hunter and his prey

About this blog

This is a blog describing the descent into madness brought about by record collecting. It is primarily about the hunt, the smells, the disappointments, the excitement, and the random occurrences surrounding vinyl records. I listen to them too, a lot, but from my perspective the hunt is what makes collecting records an exciting hobby, although it may be maddeningly frustrating and incomprehensible to those around me.

On the hunt for:

  • Articles of Faith-Give Thanks LP
  • Bhopal Stiffs 10 song demo tape
  • Black Cat Bones-Barbed Wire Sandwich LP
  • Blues Creation - Live LP
  • Freddie Hubbard-Black Angel LP
  • Henry Franklin - The Skipper LP
  • Herbie Hancock-Flood LP
  • Mount Everest Trio - LP
  • Neu!-75 LP
  • Revenant - Prophecies of a Dying World LP
  • Sam Cooke-Ain't That Good News LP
  • Sam Cooke-Night Beat LP
  • Strike Under-Immediate Action 12" EP
  • The Effigies-Haunted Town 12" EP
  • The Virgil Lights - (anything else out there besides the 45?)
  • Watchtower-Energetic Disassembly LP
  • Witchcraft-s/t LP

Friday, March 20, 2009

Top 10 things I despise about records and record collecting

1. Colored Vinyl – Yeah, sometimes it looks cool, but I don’t buy records to stare at them, I buy them to listen to. I’m not totally convinced about the argument that colored vinyl sounds worse, I just don’t have a setup where I think I could tell, and there are so many other reasons why a record is going to sound shitty that are likely more important. I just think it looks cheap, and makes me think the band/label are more concerned about selling a cool looking collector’s item rather than a functional product. It costs labels more to press on colored vinyl, and serves absolutely no functional purpose, spend the damn money on the recording or the artwork. Thankfully I don’t buy a whole lot of new records where this is an issue, but I’m annoyed when I have to pick between 4 ugly colors, and none of them are black.


2. Picture Discs – I like to buy metal on vinyl, but it seems more prevalent among metal bands and labels to release picture discs. They tend to cost more, look like garbage, and don’t even have covers. What is the fucking deal? Of the few I have, they always come in already split plastic sleeves, so even if one wanted to buy these abominations, they are a pain in the ass to take care of and store with other records.


3. European Pressings – Talk about low quality knock offs, why does vinyl pressed in Europe always sound bad, come on paper thin vinyl, and come packed in the cheapest possible jackets? And this isn’t just ethno-centrism, the Japanese press great quality vinyl and use sturdy covers just as well as Americans.


4. Single LPs longer than 45 minutes – Hell, even 45 minutes is pushing it. Some examples might be the Cure’s Disintegration, Death’s Symbolic, and the new reissue of Sepultura’s Beneath the Remains. These records sound worse than cassettes soaked in water. Do the companies who press these even care about what their records sound like? Are they under the impression people don’t listen to records?


5. Bonus tracks – Some bands like to put extra tracks on either the vinyl version of their album, or the cd. Why? Can’t they decide on what the album should be? Are they trying to make their fans buy two copies? A bonus track is like a big kick in the face to a bands biggest fans. I also tend to appreciate an album as a cohesive whole. When there is an extra track unique to a particular format, it messes with that cohesiveness, or suggests the band doesn’t give a fuck.


6. Records that are anything other than 7”, 10”, or 12” – All those stupid punk and hardcore labels that think 8.5” records, and skull shaped discs are cool, just stop it. Anyone who has tried to play a 5” record knows what a joke this novelty crap is. Make good music, don’t hide it by putting out some crazy package trying to mask the garbage inside.


7. Double LPs where the 1st record has sides 1 and 4, and the second record has sides 2 and 3 – If I ever listen to these albums, I almost never listen to them in order. Off the top of my head, I can think of John Coltrane’s Live in Seattle and Miles Davis’ Live Evil that were pressed this way. What a pain in the ass. Someone once told me they used to make record players with two turntables, so that is why these double LPs were pressed with the sides out of order. Is that true? I have no idea, but if that was case, how many people could afford these?  I even have a Leadbelly triple LP box where the records have side 1 and 6 together, sides 2 and 5 together, and sides 3 and 4 together. Totally obnoxious.


8. Elaborate packaging – I don’t want to work to get the LP out of the jacket. It just makes me want to not listen to these records. I’d prefer to just slide the record in and out of the jacket, I don’t need some triple gatefold design where I have to open up the whole thing to get to the music (I’m thinking of the Black Angels Directions to See a Ghost), or some type of annoying clasp (like the original pressing of the Los Crudos/Spitboy split LP) that just leads to wear on the jacket over time from opening it.


9. People that don’t collect records telling me they have a bunch old Beatles records – I don’t care, and there is a 99% chance they either don’t play or are later worthless pressings. Just because it is the Beatles or it is old does not mean it is somehow valuable.


10. Mold and cat piss – I know record collectors are a weird bunch, but come on, don’t show up at a record show wearing a shirt your 10 cats sleep and piss on. Also, what is with storing records in dirty places? I’m not a freak for cleanliness, but having black and grimy hands after a good day of digging is just gross. Record collecting may be damaging to my financial and emotional health, I’m ok with that, but I don’t want to end up at the doctor because I caught some weird disease from touching a bunch of dirty ass records.


Honorable mentions:


The waiting period between record shows – Its like the day after the Super Bowl, knowing there is no football for another 8 months...


The credit card bill – This is my own fault, but its not quite so bad if I resist the urge to add up all the frivolous music purchases I make each month.


gobacktogo said...

Great post man! I can appreciate this more than some others for sure, I know exactly what your talking about on all of these points.

Keep it up here.

MoeLarryAndJesus said...

Followed your link here from Waxidermy. I can explain the deal with Side 1 and Side 4 being on one record of a 2LP set and 2 and 3 being on the other. A lot of stereo turntables used to have a long spindle with a mechanism that would allow you to stack a second LP a few inches above the one you were playing. When the 1st record ended and the tonearm cleared the second record would automatically drop and the tonearm would return to play the second record.

So you'd stack the records and Side 1 would play, the second record would drop and Side 2 would play. It makes no sense now since almost no one has those stereos anymore, but that's the explanation.

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