Vinyl love: Ride “Nowhere”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Ride
Album Title: Nowhere
Year released: 1990
Year reissued: 2010
Details: 180 gram

The skinny: A Facebook friend invited me to do one of those things where you post a picture a day for 10 days and then invite 10 of your own friends to do the same. Normally, I don’t go in for those things but in this case, I couldn’t resist choosing, revisiting, and sharing the pics of 10 albums in my vinyl collection that had a great impact on me and my musical tastes. So today was day ten and this album here is the final album cover I posted to my Facebook wall for this exercise: Ride’s “Nowhere”. It’s not very often that I agree with Pitchfork’s assessment of a song (see hype sticker above) and a band, but Ride”s debut and the single shared below are definitely amongst the greatest moments in the original shoegaze movement. This reissue was pressed by Rhino Records back on the album’s 20th anniversary and is of the original track list. Eight songs, all of them mighty.

Standout track: “Vapour trail”

Best tunes of 2002: #24 Neil Halstead “See you on rooftops”

<< 25    |    #23 >>

On a post that appeared a couple of years ago on these pages, I wrote about how I was introduced to Mojave 3 by my friend Tim when he convinced me to claim an extra ticket he had for their show at the Legendary Horseshoe. Just over a year and a half after that night, I was living in Ottawa, after having moved there from Toronto the previous fall, and reading the local entertainment weekly, Ottawa Xpress (sadly defunct), when I came across an article on Neil Halstead. I’m not sure why I started reading the piece because I didn’t yet readily connect the name with the lead vocalist of Mojave 3 (and Slowdive, for that matter). Perhaps the paper was thin that week and I still had some bus ride to go. Needless to say, the article made that particular connection clear for me within sentences and I read on to learn he was playing in Ottawa later that very week.

The fact that it had been months since I had seen any live music probably fed my sudden urge to see the show. One of the reasons I hadn’t seen one in so long, however, was our lack of funds so I needed to somehow convince Victoria, whose move to Ottawa precipitated mine, that the show was a ‘necessity’. In the end, we went, though don’t ask me what argument I used. I pre-purchased tickets at a local record shop (also now defunct) and we walked down to the Byward market on a Saturday night. We had never been to the Mercury Lounge before and haven’t been since (that one is still there) but it was a nice intimate space for an acoustic show, which is exactly what Halstead (and his opener, Sid Hillman) presented us with. All of the material during his set was new to both Victoria and me but I remember really enjoying it. We didn’t spring for any drinks that night but certainly bought the CD copy of Halstead’s solo debut, “Sleeping on roads”, on the way out the door.

“See you on rooftops” is track three on this very album and somewhat stands out from the rest. It takes the ball of string that was rolled up tightly with Halstead’s dreamy folk rock in Mojave 3 and launches it off into space. While out there amongst the constellations, the string unravels a bit, the loose beat, string synth line, and Atari sounds and lasers get the space boots tapping. Halstead picks out the stars and sings softly to each of them, childlike and hopeful, wooing any sort of life out there to come to take him away. The song ends in a blissed out cacophony that would make any of his counterparts from the original shoegaze movement green with envy. And all you need to do is lay back to bask in its glory.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2002 list, click here.

Vinyl love: Oasis “Don’t believe the truth”

(Vinyl Love is a series of posts that quite simply lists, describes, and displays the pieces in my growing vinyl collection. You can bet that each record was given a spin during the drafting of each corresponding post.)

Artist: Oasis
Album Title: Don’t believe the truth
Year released: 2005
Year reissued: 2016
Details: Gatefold, 180 gram

The skinny: Oasis’s sixth album is currently the final piece of theirs in my vinyl collection and is likely my favourite of their albums, outside of the first two of course. When it came out, I still hadn’t completely warmed to “Heathen chemistry” and upon hearing “Don’t believe the truth”, was immediately enamoured. It sounded to me like the band had been revitalized. There’s just so much energy in tracks like the one below, it felt like the boys were back. And not just in town.

Standout track: “Lyla”