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Posts tagged “Wooden Shjips

Top 20 of 2011 – Bill’s Picks

Well it’s that time of year again. Time to name my favorite albums of 2011. 2011 brought us a lot of good stuff by a lot of great bands. 2011 also brought on a lot of surprises from bands that were really unknown until their material was released or well afterwards. Bandcamp played a huge role in music discovery for me. It turned out hundreds of great albums not only released in 2011 but in years past as well. This list, my favorites as well as honorable mentions, is no way a complete list of what was released this year. There is just to much out there that I don’t either have time to get to, never heard of or won’t discover until well after this year is completely over. I know there’s going to be a few surprises. Let it be known that I listened to a LOT of new albums this year and picking my top 20 out of the hundreds was very hard to do.

20. The Sade – Damned Love – (review) I really didn’t know what to expect when this one came across my desk but I needed to check it out. And check it out I did. I was pretty damn impressed that I listened to the album at least 10 times in a row. In my review I stated “The majority of the album is all alchchol fueled hard rock. Throughout my listening of the album I couldn’t help but think that this is what Social Distortion may sound like if they were more rooted in 70′s hard rock as opposed to their punk roots.” Granted it’s been a few months since I’ve listened to it, it still has a strong spot in my top 20.

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Wooden Shjips Complete New Album

via Roadburn

The band’s third album to date, West was engineered by Phil Manley and mastered by Sonic Boom at Blanker Unsinn, Brooklyn, with additional mastering by Heba Kadry at The Lodge in New York. The record is their first to be released on new home Thrill Jockey following a stint on Holy Mountain.

The Shjips have also announced a European tour in support of the album, with the following confirmed dates in September: (more…)


Vinyl Shopping in the Big City

JJ over at The Obelisk does a great feature whenever he visits a record store that he write about it. I think it’s a cool idea. I don’t get out to record stores to often myself so there isn’t anything to write about unless you want to hear about my mouse clicks on Amazon or Ebay. I’m going to “borrow” JJ’s idea and write about my recent experience to one of the few record stores still left in the Chicago area.

Yesterday, Sunday October 17th was a special day for a few reasons. Not only was I able to visit Chicago’s own Reckless Records Madison Street location, a special guest was in town. Ripple-Effect’s own Racer X. After meeting up on North Michigan, Ave and having some great deep dish pizza, it was off vinyl hunting.

The store is located at 26 E. Maidson St in the heart of downtown Chicago. Nearly two hours were spent sifting through most of the vinyl racks and cd bins, some treasures walked away in our arms. The store is half the size of their North Broadway location but still packs a good amount of product. When you walk in, the cd section will be to your right, straight ahead on the far end of the store is the counter area as well as where they keep most of the product. The wall to your left has their jazz, country LPs and attached to the walls themselves are shelves filled with DVDs and VHS tapes (remember those?).  The center area is where they keep the rest of their vinyl. It’s divided up between rock, metal, garage, punk, space, Rap/R&B. Bigger groups/artists have their own section within their category. Individual members of those groups that have side project or solo albums get grouped in with their main band. An example would be Pete Townshend’s solo stuff being grouped in with The Who’s material. Then they have a small section of 45’s next to everything else. The bargain bin is underneath the main vinyl with every LP costing a reasonable $0.50. That’s where our adventure begins.

Racer X was all over the bargain LPs from the get go. I looked around a bit before I joined in. The first and only bargain find for me was Savoy Brown’s 1974 album, Boogie Brothers. Savoy Brown are a British blues rock band from London that are still around today. In what was started as a side project from Savoy Brown and quickly became a southern rock influenced band became a group known as Foghat. Best known for their hit “I Just Want To Make Love To You” off of their self titled debut was my next find for a reasonable $2. The next find, and I wasn’t expecting to come across it, was the 1972 album from a group called Cactus. I came across their final (until 2006) album ‘Ot ‘N’ Sweaty. Cactus was originally formed with Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck. Wikipedia can educate you more on them if interested.

Sticking with the southern rock theme I came across Molly Hatchet’s 1979 Flirtin’ With Disaster album. For an original pressing at a cost of $3, how can you pass that up? The visit wouldn’t be complete without a CD would it? Of course it could but today I had to walk out with a used but in mint condition Wooden Shjips’ 2007 self titled debut album for a reasonable $5. One last look around before checking out paid off for me when I discovered my highlight purchase that I somehow missed the first time through. I came across a 1973 LP called Sufficiently Breathless by a band called Captain Beyond. It was the most expensive priced item I bought at $9 but still reasonable.

Reckless Records has been around since 1989. It’s one of the few chains of record stores still around in the city. Their prices are reasonable for older and used stuff. New stuff is priced higher but it’s also on par with the prices you’d find for new elsewhere online. If you’re in or near Chicago, check out one of Reckless Records‘ locations and lose yourself in everything they have to offer.