onsdag 4 mars 2015

A look in the rearview mirror. -February 2015

February was great in regards of vinyl releases. Three of my absolute favourite SONGWRITERS all released new albums last month.

Steve Earle - Terraplane
It's only in recent years that I've discovered this brilliant man. Actually his amazing 2011 album "I'll Never Get Out Of This World Alive" was the first album I really listened to and I was sold instantly. Since then I've aqcuired his entire discography and he's grown to be one of my favourites and he's probably the one I've spun the most in the last few years.
Terraplane is a blues album so it's a bit different from some of his albums, even though there has always been a hint of the blues. A great album and an interesting one.

Thåström - Den Morronen
The greatest Swedish artist ever? Playing in Ebba Grön in the 70s and Imperiet in the 80s he's a living legend in Swedish music. But the question is if he hasn't produce the best music of his career the last 10-15 years? I think so. What he's done since "Det är ni som är dom konstiga..." has been nothing short of amazing (although the last album "Beväpna Dig Med Vingar" doesn't really do it for me the same way as the others...). "Den Morronen" follows in the footsteps of the last couple of albums but it's a step forward compared to the last album for me. 

Bob Dylan - Shadows In The Night
Nothing needs to be said about his Bobness, right!? On this record he "uncover" (his words) songs that was made famous by the likes of Frank Sinatra. You wouldn't compare Dylan and Sinatra when it comes to vocals, would you? I really like the way Dylan approaches these songs and I think he makes great versions of them that really suits him. Great stuff!

tisdag 3 mars 2015

Two of my holy grails finally in my possession. Dungen!

I don't know if people who aren't collectors will understand this post...

Dungen is one of my favourite Swedish bands and has been so for quite some time! I've collected their stuff over the years and trying to get everything the band has released. At least all the vinyls...

There have been two releases that has been hard to find.

A few years ago they recorded a single together with Jack White for his single series on Thirdman Records. He always releases two versions.

One version is a "normal" 7" on black vinyl in X number of copies. This one was easliy aqcuired when it was released.

The other version however is a 7" and released as a "tri color" version on multi coloured vinyl. This version is released in only 150 copies, and I think it is only released to subscribers or something like that. I tried to get it early on but it was very expensive immediately.

And then there is of course Dungen's debut album...

Released in 2001 on Subliminal Records in Sweden in only 500 copies. This is the record that I've been looking for the most for a long long time. It's been available a couple of times to buy, but it's very expensive and I was never able to afford it...

Now I finally had the chance to get it through a trade, which cost me another great collectors item. But I had to trade a record that have been standing on my shelf eversince I bought it, never played, so I felt quite alright to trade it. It wasn't easy though...
The single and the debut. Finally in my hands!

söndag 22 juni 2014

Mastodon - Once More 'Round The Sun

Finally, one of my most anticipated albums of the year is here!

"Once More 'Round The Sun" is Mastodon's sixth album (seventh if you include "Call Of The Mastodon"). They have evolved little by little over each record since their debut "Remission" in 2002.

Brann Dailor, the drummer, has gotten more and more vocal space for each record as he is probably the best "clean singer" in the band, in the early days Brent Hinds, the guitarist, was the one doing the "melodic" singing. This has added a new dimension in Mastodon's music and you get almost pop-like choruses in a few times. We got a small taste of it on their 2009 masterpiece "Crack The Skye" in the song "Oblivion" where he sings the chorus. They took it one step further on 2011's "The Hunter". Whereas "Crack The Skye" was a concept album with a strong album structure, "The Hunter" felt more song based. Since "Crack The Skye" was such a success maybe they felt they had to work hard not to repeat themselves. For me they produced a great record in "The Hunter", perhaps just not as good as some of their other albums.

On "Once More 'Round The Sun" I feel they have nailed the dynamics between "the new and old Mastodon", so to speak. This album has equal parts "Leviathan", "The Hunter" and "Crack The Skye".

I was a little sceptical when I first heard the first single "High Road". That song has that kind of popish chorus but with some heavy riffs elsewhere in the song, not at all unlike the title track on "Crack The Skye". However the song grew on me and it was great live when I saw them a couple of weeks ago in Oslo. Sadly they only played a 30 minute set opening for Metallica...

The second single, "Chimes At Midnight", was also a song that didn't really do it for me immediately. After listening to the song a few times and now on the album I think it perfectly sums up what is so great about Mastodon and what I love about them. The psychedelic and dreamy intro, the stuttering riffs, just enough melody and raw punk like energy and the transmission from the heavy riff into the outro is just brilliant, goose-bumps every time!

All in all a great album and I can't wait for Mastodon to come to Scandinavia this winter!

tisdag 17 juni 2014

Led Zeppelin - II - Super Deluxe Box Set

I bought the second box set a few days ago. It's more or less the same concept as the first one that I wrote about the other day. I'll just explain and show you with a few pictures:

The sealed box set.

The cover of the hard cover book.

Lots of pictures, stories, newspaper features etc. in the book.

Two CDs. One is the remastered version of the original album, the other one is a collection of studio outtakes.

The vinyls. They include the same music as the CDs.

Also this album featured a numbered print of the artwork. Limited to 30 000.
The album on the record player. Sounds great of course!!

One and Two on the shelf together with Donald Duck. I'll probably have to move Donald once I get Three, which I'll hopefully get this weekend!

måndag 16 juni 2014

Jack White - Lazaretto - Ultra LP

I was never a big White Stripes fan, as a vinyl collector I regret that because all the vinyls go for big money! I was also a bit sceptical towards Jack White's solo debut "Blunderbuss" that was released two years ago. It took some time before I gave it an honest listen. I'm glad I did so! His first album was really good so the expectations were quite high for his new album.

The most remarkable about this album is probably the pressing of the vinyl. I'll let White himself explain the whole concept in this video:

Amazing stuff!

Mr. White is known for his vinyl interest and he was the ambassador for Record Store Day last year and for RSD this year he released the fastest produced record ever.

Luckily the music on this record isn't all that bad either. With such a special vinyl it would be sad if the music wasn't up to par but it definitely match the quality of the pressing!

söndag 15 juni 2014

Led Zeppelin - I - Super deluxe box set.

Led Zeppelin are finally re-issueing their old classics on vinyl! The first batch of releases includes their first three albums. They all get the same treatment. They are released as a single vinyl (with the original album remastered), a double vinyl (with some studio out takes never heard before) and as a super deluxe box set. I'm looking to get the box set of all of them!

I will by them in chronological order, they are a little pricey (understandably) so I can't afford to buy them all at once.

So I got number one a couple of weeks ago and the box set includes so much cool stuff that I'll just show you pictures of it:
The sealed box set. 

A replica of the original press kit from Atlantic Records.

A numbered art print of the cover (there is a total of 30 000 copies) 
The two records. The original album remastered on 180g by Jimmy Page. The second vinyl is filled with studio out takes previously unreleased.

The vinyl on the record player. It sounds great!

lördag 14 juni 2014

Rival Sons - Great Western Valkyrie LP

I wonder if the release of this album was planned to coincide with the re-issues of Led Zeppelin's first three albums? And if it was, is it a sign of brilliance or a sign of economic suicide?

It's almost impossible to write about Rival Sons without mentioning LZ. RS play an updated version of LZ's rock 'n' roll. I even started to listen to this new album with the intention of writing a post like "why buy/listen to this record when you have Zeppelin's first three albums available?". However, this is an impressive record and for me their best yet!

In a world where The Hellacopters doesn't excist anymore we need a straight up rock 'n' roll band that brings something else to the table than just being good, or to use the Swedish Word "lagom". With "Great Western Valkyrie" Rival Sons might be able to fill this spot.