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Tunes Vinyl

Best tunes of 2012: #11 Young Galaxy “Youth is wasted on the young”

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Happy Thursday everyone!

It’s doubly happy for me because today marks the first day of a two week vacation from work. And to truly recharge, I’ve decided to take a brief blogging break as well. But first, I’ve got something fun to send things off right. I have a song here that provides a unique opportunity to combine a post for my Best tunes of 2012 list with one for my ‘Vinyl love’ series. Let me explain.

In the spring of 2012, I had just started collecting vinyl. My wife had texted me from Greenwich village in New York City where she was visiting a friend. She had happened upon a street sale and one of the vendors happened to be selling used vinyl, some by bands that she knew I loved, and I remember her specifically asking if I wanted Oasis’s debut album on vinyl. When I responded that I didn’t have a turntable, she said that she planned on getting me one. She ended up coming home with “Definitely maybe”, as well as “Talking Heads: 77”, both of which are still on my shelves. Shortly after that, I ventured out on my very first Record Store Day and purchased my first exclusive. A vinyl addict was born.

If it wasn’t for those events, I may not have even flinched when I heard the news that Paper Bag Records was releasing a double a-side 7”, vinyl only release from Young Galaxy. It’s true that the Montreal-based dream pop band had just released their third album, “Shapeshifting”, on Paper Bag the previous year and though it was a departure for them, it was a welcome one and garnered them lots of new attention. It’s also a fact that I had contributed to the group’s Kickstarter campaign a few months earlier to help raised funds for them to travel to Sweden to work again with the producer of “Shapeshifting” for their next album, but this time in person. So I was already excited and on the lookout for news from one of my favourite Canadian bands in years and it didn’t hurt that they were working with my favourite indie label at the time, who I thought for a while, were turning to gold everything they touched. But it was the vinyl already sitting on my shelf that greased the wheel and I placed the online order.

The record arrived in the mail, wrapped in brown paper, a fun touch that the label was doing back then. I brought it home and admired it with plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” before putting it on the shelf with the rest of the small collection I had amassed thus far. I didn’t yet have a turntable so I had to listen to the two songs on my computer, care of the download rights that came with the purchase. I listened to both the a-side and the double-a-side, “Shoreless kid” and “Youth is wasted on the young”, and was struck by how different they sounded (and yet, at the same time similar in aesthetic) to the album they had released the previous year. I thought at the time that these two songs that were heavier on the guitar were either signalling a return to their earlier sound or a last kiss good bye as they soared off into the synthesized horizon. It turns out it was the latter.

“Youth is wasted on the young” starts off feeling a little construction time again with pipes spewing steam and rivets being pounded and then, the Johnny Marr guitars chime in with the jangles and everything kicks into highway driving roars. It sounds very much like 1983, dark and shiny leather jackets and all manner of sunglasses cool. And Catherine McCandless is channelling some Siouxsie Sioux, a strong woman, glamorous and iconic, against the world, keeping up with the frenetic pace of it all. It’s like a love song to both the music of the band’s youth and to the music of today that is just as fresh and fabulous.

I wouldn’t mind dying at all
If it weren’t for the songs I’d miss…
Youth is wasted on the young

See you all again soon.

For the rest of the Best tunes of 2012 list, click here.

Categories
Tunes

Best tunes of 2002: #7 Interpol “PDA”

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“You’re so cute when you’re frustrated, dear
Well, you’re so cute when you’re sedated, dear
I’m resting”

“PDA” is not the first track from Interpol’s debut album to grace this list. “Obstacle 1” came in earlier at number twenty-seven and yeah, I feel like there’s a few other songs from “Turn on the bright lights” that could just as easily belong here. Interpol really did burst into the indie world with this album, leading the charge, nay, almost singlehandedly restarting a post-punk revival, a revolution of sorts.

The quartet of Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, Carlos Dengler and Greg Drudy originally formed Interpol five years earlier in 1997, but Sam Fogarino replaced Drudy on drums shortly after the release of their first EP, “Fukd ID #3”, in 2000. They have since released six full-length albums and a bunch of EPs and still continue today as a trio (Dengler departed the group in 2010). And though I’ve found their latter day albums not quite as phenomenal as their first couple, I saw them live for the first time in 2015 and their energy, rather than growing tired over the years, was exactly for which you would have hoped when listening to their records.

“PDA”, is actually a re-recording of a re-recording from that aforementioned first EP and it was released as the very first single off “Turn on the bright lights”. The drums crash and explode and then, the guitars burst in, just as percussive and just as menacing. Banks is shaky and neurotic, invoking the haunting memory of Ian Curtis. Yeah, it’s been said before but I feel like the comparison is never more true than on this particular track. It is intense and dark and heartbreaking and exhilarating.

Just press play below and listen to the song.

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

Categories
Vinyl

Vinyl love: Joy Division “Substance”

(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: Joy Division
Album Title: Substance
Year released: 1988
Year reissued: 2015
Details: 2 x 180 gram

The skinny: It’s all hallow’s eve but with everything going on, the celebrations will be tempered and the amount of trick-or-treating children will likely be very, very low. We can still spin some dark and haunting tunes, though, in honour of all the ghosts and goblins that will be on the prowl tonight. For me, it’s going to be Joy Division, not necessarily a goth rock band but definitely a big influence on all of those that followed on the darker side of the alternative spectrum. “Substance” is a 1988 compilation that was released by their label, Factory Records, several years after Joy Division’s dissolution. (Interestingly,  it was a year after a compilation with the same name was released by Factory for New Order, the band that Joy Division’s remaining members would go on to form after the suicide of their frontman, Ian Curtis.) The original release of Joy Division’s “ Substance” collected the band’s four non-album singles and b-sides, as well as an early EP and this remastered reissue that was released and purchased in 2015, was not only pressed to two 180 gram slabs but included three additional tracks.

Most would’ve thought I would pick their classic “Love will tear us apart” for the standout but instead, I kept with today’s theme and shared the track Nine Inch Nails chose to cover for the soundtrack to the film “The crow”. Happy Halloween all!

Standout track: “Dead souls”