Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vinyl Me Please - November 2014: Perfume Genius

The sleeve, white vinyl, and artwork

The November selection from Vinyl Me Please was Too Bright from Perfume Genus.  Perfume Genius is the moniker of Seattle solo-artist Mike Hadreas.  The pressing for  VMP was on white vinyl, the shipment also included a drink recipe, and an exclusive 12″ x 12″ art print by Young & Sick.

This is probably one of my favorite albums of the year.  I had originally heard about it on NPR's All Songs Considered.  Hadreas takes you on a bit of a roller coaster throughout this record.  You've got haunting vocals, erratic sounds, gritty guitars/electronics, and ballads.  A real beautiful album, I wish him many more.

Some of my favorite songs are Queen, Don't Let Them In,  and Too Bright

A1 I Decline
A2 Queen
A3 Fool
A4 No Good
A5 My Body
A6 Don't Let Them In
B1 Grid
B2 Longpig
B3 I'm A Mother
B4 Too Bright

B5 All Along

On The YouTubes

Perfume Genius - Grid

Perfume Genius - Fool


Perfume Genius - Queen


Monday, December 8, 2014

The Secret History - A Book Review

The Secret HistoryThe Secret History by Donna Tartt
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this inverted detective story we follow Richard Papen, a California transplant, as he lands in Vermont and settles into Hampden College. Richard wants to study Ancient Greek, but he must convince the eccentric professor Julian Morrow to allow him to study under him. Morrow accepts him with the condition that Richard drop most of his classes to exclusively study with him. He joins a small group of others already under Morrow's study, twins Charles and Camilla, Francis, Henry, and Bunny.

This is no secret, but the book explores the reason and story behind Bunny's murder. Donna Tart does a wonderful job with this story. There is so much going on between the characters before Richard become involved with the group. She explores their dark secrets from incest, alcoholism, controlling nature, homosexuality, and murder. It also looks at the relationships, trust, fear, and allegiances between them as Richard integrates in the group. I like how someone else explained this story, it's not really a who done it, but a why done it.

This is not necessarily the happiest thing I've read, but that doesn't matter. It reads like a Greek tragedy and didn't disappoint, it was beautifully written. I hope to read some of her other works, including the The Gold Finch soon.

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Shakey Graves - And The War Came - Vinyl Review

Since I've joined Vinyl Me Please I've had the chance to pick up additional records that have been curated by the VMP staff.  I decided to snag the Shakey Graves - And The War Came along with the October pick.

I listened to a few minutes of the songs online before I decided on this particular album.  I didn't want to get it and immediately regret my decision.

Shakey Graves is from Austin, TX.  He has a unique gravely voice.  This album incorporates a few different sounds, you get touches of Alternative, Country, and Rock.  They all fuse together very nicely.  There are three songs on the album that feature Esme Patterson on harmony vocals and it's a really nice sound.  The whole album is solid, but my favorite songs are Family and Genus, Pansy Waltz, and If Not For You.

Grade: B+

A1 This Is The Beginning
A2 Only Son
A3 Dearly Departed*
A4 The Perfect Parts
A5 Hard Wired
A6 Family And Genus
B1 Big Time Nashville Star*
B2 Pansy Waltz
B3 House Of Winston
B4 If Not For You
B5 Call It Heaven*
*Featuring Esme Patterson


Dearly Departed

Live at KEXP

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Fire Seekers - A Book Review

The Fire SeekersThe Fire Seekers by Richard Farr
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm an Amazon Prime member so I picked up The Fire Seekers as a part of the Kindle First program. This story is published by Skyscape which is Amazon's imprint for young adults and teen fiction.

This tale features Daniel Calder, a globetrotting teenager, who's a master chef, diver, emergency helicopter pilot, climber. Actually there really isn't anything this kid can't do, at least according to him. His father is the head of linguistics at University of Washington and his mother is the billionaire inventor of DNA based encryption. Daniel and his sudo sister Morag try to crack a mystery involving the Seraphim, a potential higher power how may or may not be out to doom us.

I like the description for two stars, It was ok, which is spot on. Daniel, the protagonist, is too good and too cool, he doesn't seem foul-able at all. [author: Richard Farr['s writing was fine, I just had issue with the characters, their perfection, and the ending. I guess this is going to be a trilogy, but I'll pass.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

2014 Black Friday Record Store Day

Some people scout for deals on Black Friday where as I scout for records.

I was able to look at the list of releases on Record Store Day's website.  I made a rather long list not knowing what I'd be able to find once I stepped foot into the stores I wanted to visit.  I first made my way to Indy CD and Vinyl and waited in line about 30 minutes.  I picked up Chvrches - Under the Tide which was pressed on yellow vinyl.  I also picked up TV On The Radio - Seed, which wasn't a RSD release.

Next, I made my way to Irvington Vinyl where I was able to walk in and get everything else I wanted.  Miles Davis - Blue XMax 7" on blue vinyl, Decemberists - Make You Better 7", Miles Davis - Enigma 10" Dave Matthews Band - Recently 10" and Billy Holiday - At Storyville.  The only non-RSD purchase I made at Irvington Vinyl was Ryan Adams - Ryan Adams.

I'm happy, I made out with a lot of good music and look forward to Record Store Day in the spring!

The AVANgers crushed the Bourbon Chase this weekend! #ragnarrelay #running

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