GET IT NOW or forever hold…! The case of Aimee Mann & Mobile Fidelity

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One of my favourite artists on this planet is Aimee Mann. Album for album there just hasn’t been a record she has put out that made me doubt where she is going. Even her latest effort with Ted Leo, The Both (which I wrote about a while ago), was an incredibly satisfying union that I hope happens over again and again. (Get it here)

The_Both_album_front_cover

However, Aimee has also provided me with perhaps the greatest example of ‘buy it’ or miss out that I can get.

Coming off an Academy Award nomination for the soundtrack to Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Magnolia, Mann released what is probably her most well known record Bachelor #2 or, The Last Remains of the Dodo. The album also included several songs from the Magnolia soundtrack and was incredibly well received by critics and fans alike.

A couple years later Mann released the phenomenal Lost In Space, which was really well received by British critics, and dumped on by North American ones. Regardless, she would appear in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV) performing two songs from it. The art work for the project was done by award winning cartoonist Seth, which just added to the cool factor on this record. It still remains one of my favourite.

Of course both of these albums were put out before the recent vinyl revival, so they appeared only on the compact disc format…

UNTIL

2006

Mobile Fidelity, which loves to re-release critically heralded records got together with Mann. Now I also wrote about MoFi a while back, but to briefly recap, they do awesome things with wax, and they do it all on audiophile grade vinyl (180 gram or higher), from original source tapes and in limited numbers. When the album is done right – it is a collector’s dream come true.

Bachelor #2 and Lost in Space were released at the same time and likely would have put you back anywhere between 30 and 45 dollars back in 2006.

Well, nine years later.

A vinyl copy of Bachelor #2 sells for $203.84 off of discogs, and between $226.38 and $320.69 on e-bay.

A vinyl copy of Lost In Space sells for $274.42 on discogs and also $226.38 + on e-bay.

I don’t know about you, but that is out of my price range. I mean maybe if I won the lottery, but, well, like so many other cool things – it’s a nice thought but reality is where I live.

So all I can say is this…

Hey Aimee, if you’re out there, maybe you could re-release these records on vinyl again, and maybe some others too. I promise to buy at least two or three copies of each as my sister is also a fan and they make great birthday and holiday gifts.

P.S. If I could also get ya to sign this poster I have for my kids; it was their first concert ever, and you know, that would be just kinda awesome and stuff, and maybe you know… well maybe bring your Christmas show north to Toronto once… and… well, thanks for considering, and putting out great music, and…

 

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Last weeks Playlist! March 1/ 2015

Of course I love vinyl more than any other form of music listening, but sharing music is also fun… so… if you’re doing that Spotify thing, each week I plan to publish a playlist with some tunes I’ve been playing around the house. I’ll be updating this with a bit of info as this post is a bit of a test to see how the playlist looks on the blog. Or you can friend DS Barrett on Facebook where the playlist will show up first. Anyway, here it goes – March 1/15 Playlist Hope you enjoy!

  1. “Cherry Bomb” – The Runaways

Was listening to a lot of Joan Jett this past week as I got her Greatest Hits on (cherry bomb red) vinyl a few days ago. I decided to put the Runaways version on simply because I really wish I had it on vinyl. Maybe some day… Still can’t believe that a sixteen year old kid (Cherie Currie) could pull off that much power and venom.

  1. “In The Street” – Big Star

What was it that Westerberg sang about Alex Chilton – “I never travel far without a little Big Star”. This is an alternate version of the song taken from the documentary Nothing Can Hurt Me.  By the way, loving this song has nothing to do with That 70’s Show, but then again, it doesn’t hurt it either.

  1. “Stutter” – Elastica

I love the female perspective on this song. Probably because every girl I ever dated had to pretty much smack me in the head to get me to figure out they were interested. “What… you’re actually talking to me (gasp, gulp) um… nice weather.”

  1. “Substitute” – The Ramones

Awesome rendition of the Who classic from their covers record Acid Eaters. I got it as a Christmas gift from my birth mother, which makes me love it all the more.

  1. “Stone Cold Crazy” – Queen

For some reason more people seem to be familiar with the Metallica version, which is funny because I thought Motley Crue had covered it… anyway – this is the original from Sheer Heart Attack, which I picked up used a few weeks back.

  1. “Kindergarten” – Zeus

The song that turned me on to this band. Frickin love these guys.

  1. “Bleed A Little While Tonight” – The Lowest Of The Low

Pretty much said it all when I wrote about them a little while back.

  1. “déjà vu” – Mo Kenney

My wife and I were talking one night and we had the TV satellite playing music for us when this came on. I think I might have actually ‘shssh-ed’ her while I scrambled for a pen and paper. Mo Kenney was a staple around the house for a few months after that.

  1. “Milwaukee” – The Both

Love Aimee Mann and Ted Leo and this song brings out the best in both. The music video is pretty funny as well.

  1. “I Am The Cosmos” – The Posies

Wish I could find the Beck cover of this song. I know he did it during the “Sound & Vision” session back in 2013. Anyway, this Posies cover of Chris Bell is quite awesome.

  1. “Daddy’s Gone” – Sparklehorse & Danger Mouse

Have tried writing about this song and album a few times. 2009-2010 was the worst year of my life. I spent a lot of time driving the two hours between my parent’s house and my home when both fell ill in 2009. Dark Night of the Soul was keeping me company a whole lot during those trips and “Daddy’s Gone” had me thinking about where I wasn’t.

  1. “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” – Victoria Williams

Funny story. I was at the concert when this was recorded. I yelled out a request for “This Moment”. After explaining that she had never played it live before – she did it anyway. The album it’s taken from is (drum roll) This Moment: Live In Toronto.

  1. “Hummingbird” – Imaginary Cities

In March of 2010 I went to see the Pixies at Massey Hall in Toronto. Imaginary Cities opened the show. They were phenomenal. I’m sure I’ll be writing about them soon.

  1. “All The Young Dudes” – David Bowie

It isn’t that the Mott The Hoople and Bowie versions are all that different… I just like how Bowie seems to perform songs rather than simply sing them… discuss if you must.

  1. “Nausea” – Beck

Some songs just make me and my kids rock out as we drive from point A to B. Beck has quite a few songs that get us doing the Wayne’s World head nod thing.

  1. “Bull in the Heather” – Sonic Youth

With Kim Gordon doing the publicity thing for her new book Girl In A Band, I’ve found myself pining for the 90’s version of Sonic Youth. Oddly enough, I always preferred her songs.

  1. “Pumping On Your Stereo” – Supergrass

Please don’t tell anyone, but I kinda liked Brit-Pop… and I really got into Supergrass for a while.

  1. “Spectacular” – Graham Coxon

Speaking of Brit-Pop… another song about a boy fantasizing over a picture in a magazine. Makes me yell at my stereo – “Dude – your lead guitarist for fuckin’ Blur… as if you couldn’t get her number and ask her out for coffee!”

  1. “Wave of Mutilation (Peel Sessions) – Pixies

Sooner or later I’ll get around to writing about Doolittle 25. This was the tour I caught back in 2010 and Kim Deal was still in the band. Not sure it would be a true Pixies concert without her.

  1. “Limitless” – Dust Galaxy

Heard this on a magazine compilation a few years ago, then I had to spend a few weeks tracking down the who, what, where and why and order the damn CD online. Dark and sinister rock…

Top Three New Vinyl Releases 2014 #1 – The Both by The Both

The Both

The Both

Superego

The_Both_album_front_cover

http://aimeemann.shop.musictoday.com/Product.aspx?cp=379&pc=AILP04

Back in the day and over time I’ve picked bands that have gone on to massive success and then others I’ve scratched my head at and wondered why they haven’t found “rock star status”.  Sometimes I’m just at a loss. Why aren’t people hearing what I hear?

This has always seemed the case for Aimee Mann and Ted Leo who I have been fans of for a number of years now. Mann has put out a consistent string of records that are perhaps too smart to be considered pop, and to soft to be considered rock, but have always stood out as great pieces of perfection. If you go back to her Oscar nominated work on the Magnolia soundtrack, she inspires emotions through song that come off as these awesome award winning short stories. She can twist a phrase to play irony, despair, or revenge in quick order… in fact, she can do that often in one line. She is just that damn good.

Ted Leo for his part is a former punk purveyor who turned his politicized lyrics toward a more power-pop sound. As a bonus, he is just as comfortable singing politics as he is singing 80’s pop hits while blasting it all from a nicely distorted electric guitar. Even his melancholy stuff can be emphasized with waves of amplified sound.

There was literally a point in the early 2000’s that I was listening to both of them in heavy rotation on the carousel of my CD player. So imagine my surprise when the two played a show together a couple years back – then to my absolute delight when I heard they were recording together.

Later, of course, came the worry. How would they sound together? Would this be chocolate and peanut-butter or chocolate and potatoes… I mean, I like both, but that doesn’t sound like a good combo at all. (see Minor Alps for a combo that didn’t work last year.)

Would Aimee surpress a bit of that Jon Brion sound in favor of Leo’s guitar, or would Leo turn down the volume enough for Mann sense of tongue-in-cheek wit to shine?

Well damn folks, it was like Belgian chocolate covering June picked strawberries. The best of both artists brought together. The songs are instantly catchy, driven by melodies, harmonies and powerful guitar. Leo has shortened his solos to emphasize emotion rather than guitar prowess. Mann has stepped back to let Leo’s political ramblings filter in without drawing attention away from the overall sound of the record. What we have is the best elements from their solo careers shining in. Mann is edgier and Leo is more ‘poppy.’

The result is that this record is perfection.

Then you have the vinyl in blue and an inner sleeve with animated cardboard cut outs of both artists with instruments and a change of clothing (AND YES, a download card). The record is fun and best of all, my kids sing along with it as it plays in the car, at the cottage, at home, at friends, at families, at…etc.