Vinyl love: Metric “Old world underground, where are you now?”

(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: Metric
Album Title: Old world underground, where are you now?
Year released: 2003
Year reissued: 2015
Details: Black vinyl

The skinny: So Metric is doing a show tonight at Ottawa’s TD Place with another Canadian indie rock success story, July Talk. I’m not going (though I’m sure it’ll be a great show). I’ve seen both bands live already and in the case of Metric, a couple of times. But it got me thinking about their humble beginnings during the hey day of Canadian indie rock and I thought I’d give their debut a spin. Metric is another band that I came across as a result of discussions with my friend Jez (whom I mentioned a few days ago in connection with Neutral Milk Hotel) and it’s with whom, I had a few chances to see the group live at some tiny, intimate clubs in Ottawa before they really hit it big. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of cash in those days and only finally got to see them live five or so years later at Bluesfest, circa 2009, with a larger crowd (though perhaps not as large as tonight). “Old world underground, where are you now?” is a very sturdy debut for an indie band with an ear for the past and hints for the future… And as my friend Mark might say, Emily Haines is a rock goddess.

Standout track: “Combat baby”

Vinyl love: The Charlatans “Us and us only”

(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: The Charlatans
Album Title: Us and us only
Year released: 1999
Year reissued: 2019
Details: Limited edition, limited to 1000 copies, Record Store Day exclusive, clear vinyl

The skinny: So perhaps my expectations were unreasonable, as were my hopes that our local stores would somehow manage to track down some of the US and UK exclusives, but I have to admit to a modicum of disappointment with this year’s Record Store Day. Unless you count the free disc I scored with one of my purchases, the only RSD exclusive I picked up today is this one, though I did take advantage of the sales to procure a few records I’ve had my eye on for a while. Still, rather than dwelling on what I didn’t find, let’s have a look at this excellent clear vinyl reissue of The Charlatans’ 1999 album, “Us and us only”, that I did find. One of the many great albums by one of my favourite bands, this release was one of the few bright spots for me in the year it was released. And it sure does sound sweet on vinyl.

Standout track: “My beautiful friend”

Vinyl love: Teenage Fanclub “Howdy!”

(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: Teenage Fanclub
Album Title: Howdy!
Year released: 2000
Year reissued: 2018
Details: Black vinyl, gatefold, 180 gram, reissue, remastered at Abbey Road Studios, included bonus 7″ single “Thaw me” b/w “One thousand lights”

The skinny: So here’s the final of the five reissues the Fannies released late this past summer. “Howdy!”, their sixth (or seventh, depending on how you count them) album, was their first since the debut not to be released on Creation and the first since the debut that I didn’t immediately rush out and purchase on CD. In fact, this repress is the first physical copy of the album I’ve ever listened to and for some reason, it sounds quite different than the digital version I have. Perhaps it’s the remastering? Nonetheless, another great and underrated offering by the band that followed very much in the same vein as “Songs from Northern Britain” and was the last proper album the band would release for five years.

Standout track: “I need direction”