Category Archives: Records

records, vinyl, all sizes – realizing its truly an endless task to document all the vinyl i have, but sometimes happens i have record and camera and a notion all at the same time, esp when i score something and immediately have to put in storage so i can recall, maybe there’s even a story to go along

Vinyl: eclectic assortment – punk, wave, folk-pop etc – from UK, by post

Yes, I love to buy records… I don’t get hung up on the “collectibility” or the rarity, but I am partial to quality, variety, but mostly… I’ll admit it, nostalgia & i buy em to play em.

Sure, I’m always trying out new bands, but there’s a sweet spot from the 80s and 90s (hello Gen X) which has a tractor beam on me.

Although I live in a country with stellar record shops, I don’t get out much so often do my shopping by post. Problem is: while for years, I never was charged custom duty import fees, I’m getting hit every time a new batch comes in – coupled with weak yen, and generally challenging shipping fees – gotta quit this routine. Also, I have the proverbial stacks of wax but I’ve yet to break into, even since the BC trip, which was almost well… Creeping up on a year ago.

So, with this unnecessarily long preamble in mind:

I ordered some records from a fellow named Alan in the UK, including 7 inch singles (including unusual double single), 12 inch EP/singles, and LPs (some double, some gatefold). I opened the box, took quick lousy snapshots, and voila, for your amusement. Minimal annotations included.

Generally 7″ singles

Continue reading Vinyl: eclectic assortment – punk, wave, folk-pop etc – from UK, by post

Rice Field Records: 3x video vinyl stories + 1 more to spark joy

Background: Rolling back to March 2023 when Michael (txtr @mschool) – who i noticed online doing video tours of records shops in this minor provincial city of Okayama and then met at a used record fair in Ushimado (post coming) – came over for a visit to talk about records, records, and more more.

don’t click this, watch the vids below, but dang, what a pose :)

How it started: I met him at the parking lot near the Tsuchida cemetery and the camera was rolling from the hop. I don’t get to talk about *all of this stuff* much and he and i had so many common checkpoints (including Internet Service Providers in the modem days!) that our convo turned into a heavy jam session which was released as a 3 part’r – all shared below with his blurbs + a sorta”part 4″ i made while tidying up all the records pulled out during the frenzy.

So, hold onto your toques, sharp turns ahead! All the records, all the time, so much more to say but this will get you started. Many stories, digressions, non sequiturs, a few missteps, mistaken dates, changes in latitude, fogging out mid-sentence as I remember something else meant to tell you about another time.

nope, don’t click this either… just a little bit more then you an click and watch ≠ look at that mess of records eh

Really though, give all 3 a watch, ask me questions, tell me *I’m totally wrong*, tell me you were there, and do the whole click and subscribe for this affable gent Michael of Rice Field Records who let me ramble in my “show n tell” (PS vid from the great record fair in Ushimado where i met Michael).

Part 1: “a 150 year old Japanese barn, vintage audiophile gear, and a very eloquent and happy man”

We meet Dave Olson, an EXPAT who is a music lover and record collector. Dave lives in Higashi (East) Okayama, in a Japanese home which has a 150 year old Kura (barn) that Dave has restored and repurposed to be his art studio and listening room. Featured is a 1980’s rare vintage Yamaha “Gigantic & Tremendous” GT-2000 turntable as part of his listening system.

Part 2: “a fascinating entrepreneur with stories told through a vinyl journey, tales from around the world”

“A decades long vinyl collection journey that begins in Canada, Dave Olson moves to the Pacific NW. Then criss-crosses the USA. Goes to Japan, Bali, and Europe. Records recently shipped from various storage rooms abroad to this resident of Japan. A fascinating story of music with a first hand knowledge of many Seattle and Canadian, bands, promoters and independent labels beginning in the early 1990’s.”

Part 3: “a 1990’s dial-up Internet ISP, a world traveller, a fantastic record collection, a very happy man”

“Anyone who knows my work history has a big smile on their face the moment this video begins. While Dave was the engine behind OLYWA.NET, I was the the Internet Service Provider marketing manager for Ascend Communications, who was the market share leader of access technology for ISP’s. Dave and I were marketing some form of dial-up access, ISDN, frame relay, and T-1 lines at the same time. There was so much excitement in our first meeting. I don’t know if this video deserves any more introduction. You have to be smitten by this guy’s infectious enthusiasm in the first 30 seconds.”

Bonus

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to *spark joy*)

All these records bring me joy so i am tidying up in the wake of a super enjoyable visit from Rice Field Records  and a used record fair in nearby Ushimado. I putter along talking about how i organize the records into “neighbourhoods” so they have pals to hang out with, pull out some box sets, try to find where i put that “one thing” and where *exactly* this one fits best while wearing an moth-eaten cardigan and noticing my beard is compensating for my thinning noggin (still cute :)). Finishes with flipping through some 7 inches while playing a live clip recorded at Ubud Jazz festival. 

So many name checks for fave artists including: Courtney Barnett, Bill Janovitz / Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, David Bowie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, Lone Justice, Ramones, Pixies, Weakerthans, more more more… and extra affection for compilations and soundtracks from Nardwuar, Flipside, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urgh a Music War, Life in European Theatre, Easy Rider, Times Square (movie) etc infinity.

More: Vinyl specific goodness from my Kura barn doing arts and craft

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to spark joy

All these records bring me joy so i am tidying up in the wake of a super enjoyable visit from Rice Field Records and a used record fair in nearby Ushimado.

Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura

So, I putter along talking about how i organize the records into “neighbourhoods” so they have pals to hang out with, pull out some box sets, try to find where i put that “one thing” and where *exactly* this one fits best while wearing an moth-eaten cardigan and noticing my beard is compensating for my thinning noggin (still cute :)).

Finishes with flipping through some 7 inches while playing a live clip recorded at Ubud Jazz festival.

So name checks for fave artists including Courtney Barnett, Bill Janovitz / Buffalo Tom, Buffalo Springfield, David Bowie, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Joe Jackson, Talking Heads, Lone Justice, Ramones, Pixies, Weakerthans, more more more… and extra affection for compilations and soundtracks from Nardwuar, Flipside, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Urgh a Music War, Life in European Theatre, Easy Rider, Times Square (movie) etc infinity.

Continue reading Tidying Up Vinyl Records in the Kura (find the right neighbourhood to spark joy

Courtney Barnett xx Uncle Weed #vinyl #poster

A couple very special treats now in the kura barn studio from @courtneymelba & @Milk_Records / kind of over the moon so I looped Courtney’s 3 stellar LPs while working on arts and crafts today #swoon

The poster is from Primavera festival in Barcelona with art remixing the “lizards“ at Gaudi’s Park Güell which has a whole other backstory for me.

Seems to fit right in with Joe Strummer and Billy Bragg (reminds me of the fantastic performance of Billy and Courtney doing velvet underground “Sunday morning“ on RocKwiz in Australia.

Courtney Barnett hanging out with Billy Bragg, Joe Strummer and me in a barn studio in a provincial corner of Japan / thanks @milkrecords for the sweet sig

PS to you, yes you: “I’m thinking of you too” fondly

Records: things to say about these albums, but for now…

I have things to say about each of these albums.

Very different things in each case but important things.

Things about reinvention, transitions, kindness, confusion, discovery and comfort.

Stashing here for now to remind myself to tell you later.

shrine to help the passed along their way

rip Kim S & Paul J #peace

Vinyl: cultural curated bonanza pack & bard poets

An incredible act of kindness showed up at our door – dense and heavy, and maybe a little bit weary after a long journey across the Pacific – filled with this glorious assortment of records and CDs. So well selected and will be so savored in various circumstances.

Plus, loads of books for all of us, postcards, brochures, ephemera, artifacts, maple candies, fantastic hats… All of it. More to say about all of these, but for starters, got them taken out to the kura, snapshoted and will remark more thoroughly in video form at some point.

{Completely overwhelmed by the gesture. Truth is, quite struggling recently mentally so really appreciate this kindness // but I hardly know what to think I did to deserve this goodness.} Thanks N&J

Unrelated, but you know *related * are two other records by Canadian bard poets:

First, a special Leonard Cohen collection acquired in solidarity with others collectively humming Hallelujah in memory of a remarkable 18-year-old man who passed away under unwarranted circumstances. Peace to HT

The other is from my longtime acquaintance and occasional correspondent Dan Mangan, who just released a new album and with this completes my collection of his releases on vinyl – from his reissue debut “postcards and daydreams” and including the originals and 10 year anniversary additions of “nice nice very nice” and “oh Fortune” and several others in between.

Vinyl: Japan pressings of REM, D. Bowie, The Beatles, M. Tyner (and “collecting” notes)

Recently another batch of vinyl by post, with brief annotations:

First off: REM’s “Reckoning” & “Fables of The Reconstruction”, original Japanese pressings. Quite thrilled with this find, liner notes, art and all. {previously owned in other media but worn cassette in a lousy van stereo just isn’t the same}. I have original vinyl of “Life’s Rich Pageant” and “Dead Letter Office” stashed at brothers house in BC along with an incredible assortment (which was in a time capsule since 1991 in Utah). Eventually will make its way here. The trick now is scoring “Murmur“ on vinyl, maybe even Chronic Town.

Aside: A bit more about the “time capsule” crates of records: I left with a friend in SLC in 1991 heading out on Grateful Dead tour expecting to roll back through in a few months, 20+ years later, picked up at his dad’s house in perfect condition.

Also added to David Bowie collection: specifically more artifacts from the 1983 era “Serious Moonlight” tour (my first big show) by adding Japanese pressing of “Let’s Dance” and interesting assortment of European press conference interviews from Glass Spider tour, on yellow vinyl.

In process is a “dossier“ post of artifacts from that “Bowie summer” at BC Place and later at Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver shows which includes my original XS T-shirt, newspaper clippings, ticket stub. pin as well as photos by Steve Rapport from London show of the same tour + Japan Tour book, bi-lingual (my original was lost to time), as well as Let’s Dance pictodisc & Let’s Dance 7” ++

We’ll get that finished up one of these days maybe (then again I *always* say that :))

Also scored a sweet Japanese pressing of The Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper’s” with the 日本語 liner notes and also this great “cut out“ sheet of decorative accessories. I really wannnna cut it out and use and maybe i will.

Was so very pleased to open it up and see all the original liner notes and inserts and everything.

Finally rounded out this shipment with McCoy Tyner, one of my all-time fave jazz players.

Buying used mail order vinyl in Japan works out fantastic 99%+ of the time as the vendors tend to take a lot of pride in the condition and packaging. Hooray @discogs!

PS once I find a vendor with something I really want, often add on a few more discs as the postage amount doesn’t change :-) #LikeINeedAnExcuse In this case, also added “Beatles Rarities & Oddities“ / It’s a legit EMI pressing, not a bootleg but kinda looks like it.

I rarely spend more than 1500 or ¥2000 per each album for the record and i play all of them… don’t keep them locked away. Music is for enjoyment and i love a session of spreading them all over, looking at notes, details. etc.

As for the Japanese pressings, I mentioned this because the quality of the lacquers is historically of a higher quality and on higher weight vinyl with better attention to detail – especially compared to the vinyl you would see at the “tail end” in the 80s where the records were rather flimsy and inconsistent.

Plus, the packaging has all kinds of extra stuff including a usual “obi” wrapping around the front cover to show their name/information/etc in Japanese, plus oftentimes translated lyrics, additional liner notes and primers about the bands. And i find it interesting to figure the nuance of the record label imprints and distribution and whatnot. Plus, I live in Japan so often times the records are obv Japanese pressings by default.

Vinyl: lots of (mostly early) Bob Dylan + Syd Barret, Ornette Coleman

Oh no, oh yes! More vinyl arrived!

Somehow someway scored these beautiful copies of (mostly early) Bob Dylan albums…

A new stash of Japanese pressings of (mostly) early Bob Dylan, plus the obligatory “live at the Budokan” also Ornette Coleman, a Woody Guthrie tribute, Syd Barrett “wouldn’t you miss me?” CD & something called “Zion train presents Natural wonders of the world”.

Quick/lousy photos of exceptional albums, all in wonderful condition, beautifully packaged and all around $15 each, or less from Deadstock records who also included a very nice note and a link to his interview on Discogs.

Dylan stash includes an “live at the Budokan” because it seems it was a certain rite of passage for artists of a generation. I’m curious to look up how many recorded there (BTO, Cheap Trick are also in the collection) but I’m gonna leave that rabbit hole to someone else.

Dropping needle on the vintage Bob, hearing songs I’ve heard hundreds of times – but in completely different renditions/artist/jams/live (especially by The Byrds, The Band and Grateful Dead) – can imagine the excitement as his expressionalist poetics & choogling all-out-highway riffs burst through the speakers in an otherwise Perry Como world. In context, the words & music feels quite different than all the various compilations, box sets, “best ofs…”.

Note: have a load more new (used) vinyl recently but generally don’t bother to snap and report but eventually (maybe) will catch-up on that topic, in the meanwhile…

By Post: Jack tribute CDx2 & Bob’s Distortion LPx7

Recently by post:

Jack Kerouac “kicks joy darkness” double CD. All songs/spiels about/dedicated to Jack by various artists. ¥401 delivered.

An assortment of “popular music artists“ with songs inspired by, and about, Jack… Will give you a better rundown later.

And, Bob Mould seven (!) Vinyl box set… You may know him from Hüsker Dü and/or Sugar or his various solo/ Trio/DJ projects – from Minneapolis to San Francisco to Berlin.

Includes one which is a 12 inch disc but runs at 45 RPM and has three songs on one side and blank on the other, plus a booklet of credits, lyrics, annotations and a blurb by J Mascis. Really a fantastically crafted box, that even “wishes“ when you pull one of their records out.

Has been on my list but a bit *too expensive* for this hippie poet until it showed up for ¥5000 ish / $47 usd +/-, delivered.

There is also an earlier career box set as well as various Hüsker Dü compilations but as I say, “one revolution at a time”.