Heavy Buys – November/Black Friday Vinyl

Welcome back to Heavy Buys! We launched this feature a couple months ago to share some recent physical music purchases we’ve made, whether it’s a small-time purchase to round out one’s collection, or a debt-inducing splurge. Vinyl, CDs, and even cassettes are all possible topics here. As long as its physical media, it’s fair game. While Jimmy’s inaugural installment covered his autographed copy of John Zorn‘s Hemophiliac, I’m starting a monthly column covering all of the vinyl I’ve purchased in the past 30 days (give or take). This stack of records comes from several hours spent in four separate stores, including trips during a weekend visit with friends in Maine, my go-to hometown shop in New Hampshire, and a Black Friday binge while down in Connecticut with my girlfriend for Thanksgiving with her family. After you’ve gone through all of my picks, be sure to comment with any of your own finds!

heavybuys-nov16-summersfripp

Record Store: Enterprise Records (Portland, ME)

Packaging: SP-4913, Black

Music: While my friends checked out the comic shop next door, I made a point to stop by Enterprise Records to see what I could snag from their excellent selection, which included an original, gatefold pressing of Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman that I bought while I was in the city for New Years this past January. I’m actually not all that familiar with/interested in either The Police or King Crimson, so I had to nod politely and act knowledgeable when the owner started talking about Summers and Fripp’s back catalogs. Honestly, I only bought this album because it was in the ambient/electronic section and had an oddball cover, and given the personnel, I was surprised to hear the duo exploring a style of ambient, experimental rock. This ended up being a cheap, intriguing purchase, which are always the best kinds of blind buys. 

heavybuys-nov16-arielpink

Record Store: Bull Moose (Scarborough, ME)

Packaging: PAW 008, Black

Music: My girlfriend and I actually ended up at the Bull Moose in Scarborough by accident while trying to get to the one on the outskirts of Portland, but my annoyance with Google Maps faded after seeing the sizable clearance/used section. The bins contained a handful of solid, cheap albums that included House Arrest, and given how much I love Ariel Pink‘s latest album Pom Pom, it didn’t take much internal convincing to grab it. Though I can’t say I loved House Arrest as much, it’s still a solid collection of playful, hypnagogic pop tunes worth checking out, especially considering the price. 

heavybuys-nov16-aveytare

Record Store: Bull Moose (Scarborough, ME)

Packaging: PAW 015, Black

Music: As much as I love Animal Collective, their discographies as both a group and as solo artists are some of the most inconsistent of any artist I follow. While this was another cheap blind purchase based on name recognition, I can’t say I was left with a positive impression due to the way Avey Tare decided to release the album. You see, Pullhair Rubeye is a seemingly enjoyable art pop/folk album…which plays backward. The entire time. Even though the effect is somewhat charming and resembles the lightest sides of Sigur Rós, it’s hard to ignore the pure novelty of this approach, and the fact that listening to an album in reverse loses it’s appeal before Side A finishes playing (or would it technically be Side B, given the circumstances?). As interesting as this experiment might have been on paper, it just didn’t pan out on record. Oh well. 

heavybuys-nov16-battletrance

Record Store: Redscroll Records (Wallingford, CT)

Packaging: NNA073, Black

Music: I covered this saxophone quartet’s phenomenal 2016 album Blade of Love in our August Editors’ Picks, and while I wished I’d found that record on wax instead, I was still stoked to grab their debut and look forward to sitting down for a proper listen soon. Also, here’s a quick PSA inspired by this album: always check the clearance/used bin of any record store you go to. I found a barely touched used copy of Palace of Wind for $9 while holding a brand new copy for just under $20, a stroke of luck I gladly took advantage of. 

heavybuys-nov16-chippendale

Record Store: Redscroll Records (Wallingford, CT)

Packaging: TR 135, Black

Music: I’m kind of bummed they had to omit one of Melt‘s three tracks from the vinyl release, but to be fair, “Flesh. Transformed. Melted.” totally would have easily required a second LP with its 40+ minute run time. Thankfully, the album included a download code, though the trio’s ridiculous free improvisations are better suited for a turntable, with speakers turned up in a large room. Seriously, expect a weird listen if you ever give this album a try. 

heavybuys-nov16-destroyer

Record Store: Bull Moose (Portland, ME)

Packaging: MRG238, Black

Music: I don’t really have much to say about this one other than Destroyer is great and this album was on sale. I haven’t had a chance to spin this yet due to work and traveling, but this kind of luscious folk begs for a summer day and a steady breeze anyway. 

heavybuys-nov16-gore

Record Store: Redscroll Records (Wallingford, CT)

Packaging: RAVE 1, Black

Music: This copy of Mean Man’s Dream is truly from a bygone era. While CD promo copies are still sent to reviewers (my company does this often), it’s certainly not common due to the ease of digital promos. And if you think that’s outdated, imagine my surprise when I found this promo vinyl copy of one of Gore‘s few albums. It’s always ironic to buy an album with a blatant “not for re-sale” label, but with noise rock this good, it’s hard to feel bad. 

heavybuys-nov16-katiegately

Record Store: Bull Moose (Portland, ME)

Packaging: TRIANGLE38, Black

Music: If you blinked at the end of our October Editors’ Picks, you likely missed my quick blurb for Katie Gately‘s great new record Color. I’ll reiterate my recommendation here – imagine Fever Ray remixing the darker cuts in St.Vincent ‘s discography for a glimpse into Gately’s compositional portrait.

heavybuys-nov16-moonhoochlabels

Record Store: Bull Moose (Salem, NH)

Packaging: HBGR10, Gatefold, Black

Music: Stop reading this now and watch Moon Hooch‘s NPR performance here…insane, right? This video came to mind when I stumbled across Red Sky in the jazz section at Bull Moose, which was also the first time I learned that they’d dropped a new record (I guess the internet can’t tell you everything). While Red Sky is a bit more polished and electronic than their past output, expect just as much saxophone fuckery as you just witnessed. And on top of all that, the packaging has beautiful artwork with an awesome gatefold. 

heavybuys-nov16-owenpallett

Record Store: Bull Moose (Scarborough, ME)

Packaging: WIGLP304, Gatefold, Black

Music: Ever kick yourself for not listening to a record sooner? One of those moments where you’re…In Conflict with your own judgment? Well, Mr. Owen Pallett – with some help from none other than Brian Eno – made me feel just this as soon as I put the needle on the record. While I expected something a bit more electronic for whatever reason, In Conflict has a solid baroque pop core which is then elevated by some tasteful electronic tendencies. 

heavybuys-nov16-raspberrybulbs

Record Store: Redscroll Records (Wallingford, CT)

Packaging: BLACKEST018 LP, Black

Music: Like most other metal fans, Deafheaven‘s Sunbather dominated the black metal conversation for me back in 2013, for better or worse depending on the listener. There were other albums in the genre that caught my attention, obviously, like Altar of Plagues‘s swan song Teethed Glory & Injury and Yellow Eyes‘s Hammer of Night. Still, Raspberry Bulb‘s debut full-length always felt like the one that got away, until I saw it at Redscroll and realized I’m an adult who can buy things. My general knowledge of the record pegs it somewhere in between post punk, black metal and experimental rock, and I’m stoked to finally give it a listen. 

heavybuys-nov16-tortoise

Record Store: Redscroll Records (Wallingford, CT)

Packaging: THRILL 025, Black

Music: This was an extremely pleasant surprise – I’ve never seen this at a record store before, and it’s been on my wishlist forever. Tortoise aren’t mentioned as often as Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor when it comes to post rock, but they’re an unquestionable pioneer of the style with albums like Millions Now Living… easily backing up their legacy. 

heavybuys-nov16-wovenhand

Record Store: Bull Moose (Salem, NH)

Packaging: bang!-lp87, Black

Music: I admit that I must look like an idiot while sitting on the floor in Bull Moose and digging through the bottom clearance crates. But when I find great records like this for a fraction of the price, it proves why looking like an obsessive weirdo can pay off. Plus it’ll give me an excuse to finally listen to Wovenhand‘s gothic country, which Jimmy has been raving about for a while now


Below is a playlist with a song from each of the albums I mentioned:

"In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger - something better - pushing right back." - Albert Camus