Whre To Buy S!#t vol 3 (Blog rendition) – Newbury Comics

What do Wolverine, autographed CD covers and exclusive vinyl have in common?

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Newbury Comics

If you’re hunting for the perfect gift for the geek in your life and you don’t want to leave your comfy chair, this is the place to start. The home page of Newbury’s website opens to three major products: comics with limited edition (variant) covers, autographed CD booklets and limited edition coloured vinyl from an eclectic variety of artists.

For the comic lover, Newbury sells exclusive variant editions of the latest comics, with new products available every week. Arriving from every major comic company, some of the most recent material has covers created specifically for Newbury customers. For instance, the new Marvel comic X-Men ’92 with exclusive Newbury cover, is now available. On the left is the Newbury edition and on the right is the one you see at your local comic retailer.

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If you have an autograph seeking fan of say… Metric or Karen O, then Newbury can set you up with that. A quick click on their Autographed CD cover link reveals a large assortment of artists that have signed their work, ranging from Paul Anka to Spoon with many choices in-between.

However, the real treasure for me is the gift I keep playing on my turntable. A while back, in my quest to find cool vinyl, I found an offer for Nirvana’s Bleach in limited edition 180 gram maroon/black vinyl; I leapt at the chance to own it. Since then, I’ve found myself getting awesome variant wax releases on a fairly regular basis. This recent addiction has gone from Christmas gifts (Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas), to alt-rock (The Strokes – Room On Fire, Black Keys – Rubber Factory), classic-rock (The Velvet Underground – Velvet Underground & Nico, Lou Reed – Transformer ) musicals (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), jazz (Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue) and my personal holy-grail album: Big Star – #1 Record.

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For a couple of years now, Newbury has been offering music fans a chance to get “limited edition” vinyl. The prices are competitive with regular vinyl editions that sit on the shelves of most record stores and the shipping costs are quite reasonable. To date, I’ve never had problems with any of the vinyl shipped to me. As for sound quality, I’ve played Big Star’s #1 Record gold coloured variant against the recent 180 gram edition and I’ve found both items sounding great… in fact, I’d lean more towards the gold variant as it “seemed” to have more presence in the guitar and vocals.

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At Newbury, new items seem to hit the market every week (the Violent Femmes eponymous debut this week) and the choices, as mentioned earlier, are pretty eclectic; ranging from the Coltrane to The Clash and points in-between. Check them out, you might find yourself signing up to the old mailing list and buying something from time to time. Just don’t be too disappointed if it gets sold out before you get your shot. It’s happened, a couple of times, to me and caused a slight bit of teeth grinding and cursing. But then again, that’s all part of the fun of getting something unique.

 

Youth Anthem Gets Reissue or Supergrass – I Should Coco Twentieth Anniversary Edition (coming soon)

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Give three teenagers a bit of cash to make a record and what do they do? If they’re Gaz Coombes, Mick Quinn and Danny Goffey they record Parlophone’s biggest selling debut record since the frickin’ Beatles released Please Please Me. Now, twenty years after that monumental moment, Parlophone and Rhino records are releasing an anniversary edition of the Supergrass debut I Should Coco.

Supergrass originally appeared in 1994, as a part of the Brit-Pop scene, with a sound that differentiated them from other acts by following a collection of influences. While Oasis and Blur were mining a vein of Beatles inspired melodies, Coombes & co. threw a concoction of ingredients into a blender that included the Buzzcocks, The Jam and Kinks. The result was a band that rocked louder and looser than their peers.

Their collective ages played a large part in the success of I Should Coco. Without even trying, the band created a great collection of songs that spoke to the teenage experience. “Caught By The Fuzz” was about Coombes’ bust for pot possession at age 15 and “Alright” with its opening “We are young, we run green” has continued to be a youth anthem long since the band were youths themselves. The album itself is a touchstone of the 90’s alt-rock movement and this reissue is definitely overdue.

With that in mind, both the CD and vinyl twentieth anniversary editions include some great things for fans.

The 12” re-master will be pressed on 180 gram black vinyl with cover art that has been re-photographed in high resolution from the original artwork created by The Moody Painters. It will also include a bonus 7” of the bands’ cover of Jimi Hendrix’s classic “Stone Free” which had initially been released only with the first 40,000 copies of I Should Coco. The 7” will be printed on red vinyl with a vintage reworking of the classic Parlophone red/yellow 45 label.

Alternatively, the 3 CD set will be jam packed with extras. The first disc will have the re-mastered I Should Coco. The second will contain all the b-sides that were released with their debut singles; while the third CD will include live material. Also included will be a 20 page booklet featuring one very enthusiastic live review from a 1995 Glasgow show, unpublished photos of the band and all the cover art from the singles.

To summarize, it is going to be one very cool set that fans will be eagerly waiting to get their hands on.

The 20th Anniversary Edition of I Should Coco will be released on Sept 4.

So many choices… or The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold As Love

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The thing about Hendrix is that new fans are born every day. When I was at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame a few years back the Hendrix display was frequented by people of all ages, but especially those of the teenage persuasion. Like the Beatles, the star over Hendrix never dims.

However, when it comes to buying vinyl for Hendrix the choices are both vast and rather confusing. Axis: Bold as Love is a great case in point. Since its original 1967 release in the UK, there have been no less than 137 versions put out across multiple formats. Even its original release had variations from country to country whether it was mono vs. stereo or the cover art itself.

For some reason the French releases put out by Barclay’s all did different cover art for the official Hendrix releases. The French cover art is outstanding, but does add to a bit of confusion when you’re trying to find a definitive version. You need to do a bit of research if you are considering jumping into used copies as there are so many. Also, there have been a few colour vinyl releases of the Barclay cover version recently kicking around that are both unofficial and of questionable quality.

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As for the original cover, there have been a few recent options that would allow you to buy new quality vinyl. Sony had Axis: Bold as Love re-mastered in 2010 for re-release across multiple formats, and in 2013 they re-mastered the original mono version of the album. This 2013 release has been the basis for both 180 gram and 200 gram audiophile vinyl that is widely available now, with the original gatefold cover that opens up and unfolds as a big picture.

Even cooler, Newbury Comics has re-released the mono 200 gram vinyl edition in a limited (2500 foil numbered) translucent orange vinyl. It’s both great looking and great sounding.

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If you are looking to buy some Hendrix on vinyl this is a great way to start. Hit your local record store for the black 200 gram vinyl, or you can click here for Newbury Comics.

Playlist March 22/15

Here is this weeks playlist. I will update the song stuff as I go.

March 22/15 Playlist

1. “Bottle Of Fur” – Urge Overkill

Saturation is one of my all time favorite records, which I am really wanting to find on vinyl, at a reasonable price…

2. “Three Women” – Jack White

Yeah yeah, Lazaretto, great record… not much more you can say.

3. “Freak Scene” – Dinosaur Jr.

From Bug, because Spotify doesn’t have Bug Live, “Freak Scene would kinda be considered the hit, if such a thing really existed for a cult classic. You can pick this up at some of the better record stores out and about, but the special purple splatter vinyl is sold out.

4. “In The Clear” – Foo Fighters

Great record that keeps finding its way onto my turntable.

5. “Born To Run (Live) – Bruce Springsteen

Did a write up on this a while back. Still think “Born to Run” is the perfect classic rock tune.

6. “20th Century Man” – The Kinks

7. “Everybody Makes A Mistake” – Otis Redding

8. “Little Wing” – Jimi Hendrix

This arrived from Newbury Comics last week. Sounds frickin great and is still available here.

9. “Witchy Woman” – Eagles

10. “Can’t Feel My Soul” – Teenage Fanclub

11. “Do You” – Spoon

12. “Crestfallen” – Pernice Brothers

13. “Neither Here Nor There” – Sloan

14. “A Very Sorry Christmas” – The New Medicants

15. “Things” – Paul Westerberg

16. “Crazy For You” – The Dirtbombs

Such an awesome sound on this band, just had to get a couple of their records. Listen and you might agree. If you do click here.

17. “Wild Eyes” – Vivian Girls

Couple years ago I was listening to these guys and thinking how great they were. Finally picked some up on vinyl.

18. “I’m Shy” – The Juliana Hatfield Three

What I said just a few days ago.

19. “Willow” – Said The Whale

20. “Kitsch Trick” – The Seasons

 

Oh Gloria, where the hell did you come from? Jimi Hendrix : “Gloria”

My wife and I have been going through boxes of stuff lately. You know, the kind of boxes that traveled from one residence to another but never got opened. It just keeps getting shoved aside for one reason or another, and gets forgotten until a cold day comes along and you begin to dig.

Within a shoebox filled with pictures and letters from my teens is a single of Hendrix covering “Gloria.” It is marked as first time available in United States with a release date of 1979. Weird that I should have no idea how I got it and where it came from. Side ‘A’ plays great with barely a hint of buzz or crackle, while the B-side (the unedited side) starts with a bunch of ‘pop and hiss’ before settling down and letting Jimi ‘take over’. (OK, that wasn’t funny)

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I stare at it for a long time trying to see if it will stir a memory. I listen to it, and still nothing. In fact, I don’t recall even having heard Hendrix cover the old Them track. This lack of insight gets a little embarrassing as Hendrix starts taking extreme liberties with the lyrics while my kids are eating lunch.

It’s one thing to explain profanity in music and movies; I’ve gotten pretty good at explaining ’emphasis of anger’ or the decrease of IQ during moments of ‘jocularity’. BUT DAMN, I’m not ready to explain the sexual references and language of a 60’s rock god.

Fortunately, they miss the lyrics as they rock out to the grove being put down by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

So, is this worth owning? It is Hendix in his prime, although, that sounds redundant as Hendrix died in his prime. It’s just that, as a solo piece of work it doesn’t really add or subtract from his legacy. It’s three guys having fun playing a cover song that has ample room for Hendrix to do what Hendrix does.

You can still find it out on e-bay and Kijiji at all kinds of weird price points that start just under ten bucks and then sail to ten times that, but you know what. I’ll leave a youtube link below, you listen and decide. Me, I’ll file it under – “play only when the kids are at school.”