Vinyl love: Stars “The five ghosts”

(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: Stars
Album Title: The five ghosts
Year released: 2010
Details: 6 x 7″ box set, coloured vinyl (pink, yellow, white, pink marbled, clear milky, light blue), wood box, 13 postcard photos (one of them signed)

The skinny: If “Set yourself on fire” was their best album, Stars’ fifth album “The five ghosts” is most definitely a close second, in my mind anyway. Two of its songs appeared in my Best tunes of 2010 list (at #20 and #7) and in one of those posts, I told the story about how I sent out a search party the night it was released to find a copy on CD. And as soon as I started collecting on vinyl, I knew I needed a copy on this format but they weren’t easy to come by. On a whim one day, I checked out the band’s website store and found they were clearing these 7” singles box set copies of the album. I jumped on it and though I don’t spin it very often, given the extra attention required for the listening of it, I’m very glad it’s part of my collection.

Standout track: “Wasted daylight”

Best tunes of 2011: #18 The Pains of Being Pure at Heart “Heart in your heartbreak”

<< #19    |    #17 >>

For a while in the early 2010s, I was completely enamoured with twee and indie pop. Something about the precious quirkiness and often upbeat sound really appealed to me at that time. In my attempts to track down everything I could and trace my way back through the genre, I found my way to the label Slumberland Records. And well, my mass consumption of all the bands on their roster led me to The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

The group was formed in 2007 by Kip Berman and a bunch of friends while living and working in New York after college. Their first two albums were released by the original lineup of Berman, Alex Naidus, Peggy Wang, and Kurt Feldman but after that, the band disintegrated some and nowadays, it is Berman’s solo project.

The second album released under the Pains moniker was 2011’s “Belong”, the final release on Slumberland, and was produced and mixed by Flood and Alan Moulder, two very well known names in the alt rock world. It was a critical darling, mixing the precious feelings of twee with reverb drenched shoegaze noise.

“Heart in your heartbreak” was one of the singles released in advance of said album. It’s got a peppy beat and and post-punk bassline. You can feel in the Eighties style, singalong chorus, a cheeriness covering up a high school sadness and teen angst that we can all identify with.

“She was the heart in your heartbreak
She was the miss in your mistake
And no matter what you take
You’re never going to forget”

It is a song for winter, for gathering yourself up in your coziest, heavy sweater with a hot mugga and remembering the warmth of summer, when love seemed possible and all dreams were alive, instead of sleeping under piles of snow. Yeah, “Heart in your heartbreak” is certainly the cause for wistful smiles and plenty of yearnings of yesterday.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2011 list, click here.

Vinyl love: Frank Turner “Be more kind”

(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: Frank Turner
Album Title: Be more kind
Year released: 2018
Details: Black vinyl, 180 gram

The skinny: Okay. So I haven’t posted one of these paeans to the artifacts in my vinyl collection since last month. But don’t you ever take that to mean I haven’t been spinning tunes on my turntable. In fact, this album here, Frank Turner’s “Be more kind” has gotten a bit of a workout over this past month. I played it for my wife Victoria a few weeks ago and she really enjoyed it so she asked me to spin it again, just this past week. (I think that may be the first time she sat through the same record twice with me since I got my player a few years ago!) Anyway, despite playing some Frank Turner for her before on other occasions, this particular album, Turner’s lyrics, and the message appears to have to have struck a different chord with her this time around. I can’t complain at all, now that she is replaying certain songs from it, over and over again on Spotify, especially since I ranked this particular album #2 on my end of the list for 2018 albums. If you haven’t given it a spin yourself, I recommend doing so… right now.

Standout track: “Be more kind”