Submit Your Music
If you're an artist that would like me to check out your stuff or if you would just like to share some music with me, please feel free to send any files or links to waxramble AT gmail.com .
While I can't promise to write about everything I receive, I will definitely share my thoughts about any music that I am really enjoying a lot
Category Archives: Ramble
It’s been over a year since sharing my collection, figured it’s about time for an update here. As you can see from the photo above, a job can make a huge difference in the amount of records I buy… This was getting pretty crazy last year especially with a bunch of stops to record stores in Seattle. I’m living a lot closer to the city now and with some extra spending money it was hard to resist going over there and dropping a bit of cash. I’m still picking stuff up pretty regularly these days but not splurging as often as I had when first starting my job. Not only have I picked up a lot more records, but my turntable setup has seen a much needed improvement as well. What I have now is definitely a lot nicer than what I was rocking back in college.
I also really like my new way of storing records. The old plastic crates I was using back in the day were alright, but the Expedit shelve system from Ikea feels like it was designed specifically for record collections. After reorganizing some stuff a few nights ago I was surprised to notice I am starting to outgrow the 2×2 system I have right now. I will probably be getting another shelve (thinking 4×1 for next one) here pretty soon. The size of the shelve I have now is also perfect for handling my setup too as you can see in the photo.
Right now I have my records organized in a certain way. The top left is my Stones Throw vinyl and the bottom left are my newer records. The top right is a mix of older/used records and my newest records I’ve added to my collection. The bottom right is where I’m storing my box sets and larger gatefolds. I will probably sort these out alphabetically some day but for now the order of records on each shelve is pretty random (newer stuff or those I’m listening to more often are on the left basically).
Well that’s my collection right now! Since taking the photo I’ve already gotten a few more records in, so my collection is still continuing to grow. I might just make a yearly collection update to see just how much progress I’ve been making as time goes on. It’s interesting to me to look back at my post from last year and compare it to where I’m at now. Below is a nifty GIF with closer photos of each shelve I have.
For this year’s Record Store Day I decided I would get an early start over at Easy Street Records. This is the first time that I’ve done this, as in the past I have just come in at some point during the afternoon to pick up some random records. This time around I actually had my eye on some of the exclusives that were put out for the day including the 4LP Liquid Swords boxset which includes a full chess set, the colored vinyl reissue of Elephant, and the red colored reissue of Tame Impala’s EP.
Easy Street is the first shop to open in Seattle at 7AM, so I decided to get there around 5AM to wait in line. I was actually a little surprised by the amount of those ahead of me at this point, I was maybe the 15th to 20th person in line. I brought along my tablet to watch Shaun of the Dead which helped during the wait, but I made the mistake of bringing my lighter jacket which left me a little cold while in line. As the store got closer to opening, employees began giving out free coffee and bacon which was pretty awesome.
Easy Street Records owner Matt giving out some delicious bacon. This pile was MUCH bigger when he came out, this was left for seconds.
The post over on the Easy Street Records blog describes what it was like as the doors opened at 7AM:
Right on time, at 7am sharp, we opened the café door and customers were let loose while the DJ appropriately played Jimi Hendrix wailing “The Star Spangled Banner” from Woodstock, as customers ran upstairs and around the corner to find their prized releases! We had the 7” singles downstairs, while all the 10” and 12” releases were spread out upstairs. Within minutes, the store was filled to the brim with close to 300 anxious audiophiles, all searching for releases…
The real pandemonium was upstairs as customers tried to maneuver through the tight aisles to get to the RSD section. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Easy Street’s vinyl section so packed – we had 2-3 people upstairs all day, helping customers locate specific titles. Downstairs was just as crazy, as the checkout line began to form. We had to snake customers up and down the aisles, all the way back to the stairs and eventually back up into the vinyl section.
It was quite the experience coming in. I’ve been to a few early morning Black Fridays, but this was probably the craziest shopping experience I’ve ever had I think. Fortunately I was one of the first people in line so I got enough time to grab everything I wanted, but the crowd in front and behind me at the 12″ selection upstairs was quite hectic. I made it to the checkout line in the perfect amount of time as I only had to wait about 10-15 minutes (if I had waited about 10 mins longer to head back downstairs I probably would have waited 30+ minutes). Below is a picture of what it was like upstairs:
You can see me picking up the awesome GZA set before heading downstairs to pay for everything (the trip was spendy but worth it!). Overall I had a good amount of fun heading over for the opening of Record Store Day. Next year I might try checking out another store as the layout at Easy Street Records didn’t make it too comfortable to shop given the at least 100-200 other people surrounding you while trying to grab your picks. With that said though, the employees were very nice and keeping everything running smoothly while I was there so props to them.
Below is what I ended up picking up for myself. I did get every record that I wanted for the day so I was pretty happy.
Previous Record Store Day Posts:
Earlier today the Quasimoto Facebook page hinted at the following: “Now playing — Quasimoto “Yessir Whatever” LP test press”. Shortly after a post to Instagram showed a test pressing which you can see above.
Many around the internet have been incredibly excited about this, most thinking a new Quasimoto album is in the works. When I was at work I was getting excited about the idea myself. After coming home though I looked at the test pressing photo a little more closely and noticed that they already had a catalog number posted which is “STH 2326″. A quick search on Google has found that rather than a new album, Yessir Whatever will be a compilation of harder to find tracks from various sources and maybe some unreleased material (Here is the screenshot for evidence of this). The track list can be seen below and I’ve linked to where info can be found for each song (Stones Throw can be nazis about songs online so not all can be heard here):
1. Broad Factor
2. Seasons Change
3. The Front
6. Planned Attack
7. Brothers Can not See Me
8. Catchin ‘the Vibe
9. Am I Confused?
10. Sparkdala (Original Version)
11. Green Power (Original Version)
12. LAX to JFK
It’s too bad but I guess a new Quasimoto album was too good to be true. It will be nice to have a release with some of these tracks though since a lot of folks might not have heard this material before. The fact that this was said to be coming out in June 2013 makes a lot more sense given this new info. A thread over at STMB from back in November also mentioned the possible release of a Quasimoto compilation.
Screenshot with album info: Show ▼
It’s been months since posting over here, but I thought I’d write something up for an amazing present I got recently from someone very special to me. Back in November it was announced that Donuts would be re-released as a 7 inch box set and at the time I wasn’t really sure what to think about it. I’ve listened to the album a billion times and it’s probably one of my favorites albums ever made, but I was ready to sleep on it since I already have the original 2LP and was just going to buy the updated cover version of it. I also figured I’d be able to grab it pretty easily when it was released last month if I wanted to…
I am so happy that I have someone that was thinking with way more sense than I have (she’s never wrong!). I got a really cool Christmas card and inside she let me know what was on the way. I was very excited about this as even before receiving it I would put it right up there in top three presents I have ever received (and the first time I have ever gotten wax as a gift!). It arrived in the mail a few weeks ago and it’s incredible. It’s now sold out everywhere and on eBay for $100+, so I’m especially fortunate I have someone looking out for me!
As you can see in the photos above, the package they put together is really great. Better than that though, it sounds amazing. Jeff Jank mentioned over on STMB that this set sounds a little better than the LP version and after listening to the whole thing a few times I think I’d have to agree. It might also help that I’m using my new turntable setup which includes a nice Pro-Ject Debut Carbon + awesome Audio-Technica ATH-M50s (I will show this off eventually…). This is easily the best Donuts has ever sounded to me and this release just reinforces how truly important and amazing it was when it first came out. It definitely deserves every 10 it receives.
Thank you again Brooke! Every time I hear this album now I will think of you
Here’s a cool video they made using all the records from the set by the way:
It has been quite some time since I’ve posted anything over here, so I thought it would be nice to give a little update for any folks who are wondering what is going on. Between work, life, and other various things I’ve just been far too busy to focus on any of my writings here. I started this blog when I was looking for work as a means of keeping myself busy during the incredibly boring and depressing job hunt (which I’m sure many folks can relate to these days). This site helped me a lot during these times. I hope that some day I will be able to find some time to continue writing here as it has always been enjoyable. I may still post about things occasionally but the level of regularity will be far less in comparison to when I first started the site. I’ve been procrastinating about doing this post as I was hoping I might be able to start writing more again, but I figure I might as well just give it up for the time being anyway.
So with that said I suppose I should thank any of you who have visited my site. I’ve written what I think are a lot of cool posts that share some great music and I promise these will always be available to anyone that happens to come across this site somehow. You can always feel free to contact me at waxramble AT gmail.com or shoot me a message on Twitter @waxramble if you’d like to. I’m hoping that this will not be taken as my last post ever, but more of just my Jay-Z retirement for now. I’m looking forward to the time when I am able to work on this site more actively once more.
Thank you for reading!
Payday today! To celebrate the new gear I bought online tonight (some great stuff coming next week!), I decided to go look for the West Seattle Easy Street. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been around the West Seattle area, fortunately I was able to find the shop this time around. Got there around 6-7pm and the shop was pretty much empty. This location has vinyl upstairs, so I had that whole area to myself which was kinda nice. As I wrote a few weeks ago, I came in here tonight thinking the hip hop selection would be a little bigger. To my surprise, I think I would say that the Queen Anne shop had more! It’s disappointing to see the lack of hip hop in these shops, but maybe it is for the best. With the limited selection I was still able to burn through $140 quick. Can’t imagine how bad it would be if they had everything I wanted!
Still found some great stuff in the shop tonight. Picked up the last two Pixies albums I needed to complete my collection. They also had the Welcome 2 Detroit instrumentals which I was very happy about. Almost bought it online the other night, was pleasantly surprised to see a copy while shopping tonight. The RJD2 and Modest Mouse pickups are albums I played the crap out of back in the day, it’s nice to finally have them on wax. The A-Trak 12″ I mainly bought because of the cool colored vinyl but the tracks are also pretty good. Didn’t see that Danny Brown was on it, would have been enough right there to convince me to grab it.
After paying for my records tonight I was given a little stamp card that is part of their “LP Club”. I really like this, gives me incentive to come back again!
I only wish I had gotten credit when I went to the Queen Anne store a few weeks ago, I would have a free LP by now! Edit: Mentioned this when I picked up some records today, got a few bonus stamps! Appreciate it a lot, very cool of them to do that.
Overall I’m happy with my shopping experience at Easy Street. I appreciate the fact that they are not constantly bothering you, asking if you need help like at some other bigger stores. They just let you dig around and find what you are looking for. My only wish is that they would stock up on some more hip hop, though I suppose there isn’t a huge demand here in the Seattle area which is too bad. Completely understand why the pickings are slim. Like I said in my last post about Easy Street, I would recommend these shops to people looking for new vinyl. Just realize they stock far more Rock/Pop than anything else.
I completely forgot to mention that I could not find a copy of Brother Ali’s new album tonight!!! This was very disappointing, thought they would be carrying it here of all places considering Seattle native Jake One produced the entire album. Guess they might not have distribution with Rhymesayers or something, was too bad though since I really wanted to pick it up. Will have to buy this one online I guess. They had it at the Queen Anne store tonight, picked it up!
Couple of videos from Brother Ali’s Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color. I posted a new track that won’t be appearing on the release a few weeks ago, happy to see the Brother Ali/Jake One combo is still very solid on the tracks that are appearing on the album. The title track in particular can be seen as controversial to some considering how heavy the material he is covering here, particularly with lines such as “It’s a very thin line between a soldier and a terrorist”. Ali posted an insightful explanation of some of these lyrics and the song over on Rap Genius. If you do have a problem with the song on the first listen, I would strongly suggest listening to him explain what he is talking about. Brother Ali does not hate this country or our people, he is only critical to the way in which violence and corruption is consuming both our own society and the rest of the world. This is largely a result of our leaders failing us each and every day. In the spoiler below you can read another explanation of the song that can be found on the video’s description on Youtube.
Brother Ali on Mourning in America and Dreaming in Color: Show ▼
After watching the video I was curious as to what Brother Ali’s thoughts on Obama’s first term were. Back in 2008 Ali was happy to hear that Obama was going to be our President. Four years later and all the talk of hope and change seem to have faded away. We are still at war, continuing to kill innocent civilians in the Middle East. Gitmo is still open and can now lock up whoever they like, whether they are stolen away from their native country or the USA. The Patriot Act has not been removed, but instead extended. Our economy is still in the shitter. Many people, including myself fail to see the difference between Bush-era politics and those of President Obama.
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Brother Ali was recently interviewed by Vibe on this subject and he seems to be mixed on whether or not blame should be placed on Obama for the continued injustices by our government. I appreciate that he’s willing to at least see the point of view and consider it, but I feel that he should be more vocal on the subject if he wishes to remain consistent with the messages that he has continued to present to listeners in his music. I do agree with him that voting isn’t going to get it at this point, that there is no impact when both candidates will continue to give us the same exact thing. Going out there and making your own impact is a good thought from Ali.
The video for Only Life I Know also came out today. This one is a lot less heavy than the first video, but it’s still a great reflection of the times many Americans are going through these days. A video with an explanation for this song can be seen here.
Mourning in America and Dreaming of Color is sounding like it will be a fantastic release. The album drops on September 18th, this is one I think I’m going to have to grab day one.
This is a two parter! I’ve written some thoughts about my blog since reaching post #100 and have also decided to finally present my first volume of Good Stuff! Click the spoiler for which post you would like to see or click both if you want the full thing!
Post #100: Show ▼
Good Stuff Volume I: Show ▼
Haven’t written about an album for quite awhile, thought tonight would be good for a short ramble. I normally like to spend a lot of time writing about an album for these posts but I don’t have much free time since starting my job a few weeks ago. I will eventually write some more like I have in the past, but that won’t be for a bit anyway.
I figure Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express – Straight Ahead is a good one to write about since the record is only five tracks. That might sound short but as you can see from the Discogs page they are pretty long (and excellent!) jams. This is the type of album that I toss on the record player as I’m going to sleep, which is exactly what I have been doing almost every night this last week. The whole band is fantastic, but it’s ultimately Brian Auger’s smooth singing and fantastic keys (seriously, these keys are amazing) that give me that calming/relaxing listening experience. I hadn’t heard of this group before listening to Madlib’s Mind Fusion Volume 2 which I’d highly recommend finding if you can. I know by now it sounds like I get way too much of my music just from Madlib, but finding gems like this so often from his mixes is the reason why I’ll continue grabbing records from what he’s spinning.
Above you’ll find my two favorite songs from the album. Straight Ahead, the title track is the smoothest one on this in my opinion. The singing is nice, but when Auger gets into his groove on the keys this song gets seriously amazing. This is the one I keep playing over and over again, can’t get enough of it. The other track is Beginning Again which is the cut found on Mind Fusion and the reason why I had originally purchased the record (by the way, this one is super cheap! I think I paid around $5-6 shipped on eBay, def grab it if you see it). I think Madlib only plays the first couple minutes of the song, hadn’t realized until playing the whole thing how long of a jam this song is. Certainly happy about that fact, the congas and guitar really shine over Auger’s keys on this one.
That’s about all I have to say about this record. One other quick note, another reason why I would recommend grabbing this on wax is for the cover art, pretty sweet in my opinion. In the end I was actually surprised about how much I enjoyed the album, I’m definitely going to check out more of their work in the future.
Songs included above are Straight Ahead and Beginning Again.
This post is mainly in response to the article Alex Rodriguez wrote last month at his blog which can be found here. This post will make more sense after reading his thoughts on BBNG.
The following was originally going to be a short little response to a comment left on my last post about BADBADNOTGOOD, but it turned into a bit of an essay so I figured I would post it here. The comment was left by one of the writers I cited in my last post:
Am I really an old fart at 27? You might be misreading this as a generation gap — I think it’s more that most people who actually enjoy jazz (of all ages) think that these guys are kinda lame.
It is a very long post, so I will let you continue reading it after the link!
Read the rest of this entry