Please excuse my extended absence. I’ve spent much of the past 6 months on the road and haven’t had time to document the records I’ve been picking up. So here’s a fitting post for the end of 2012 – a collection of my album of the year, Jack White’s Blunderbuss. Originally released back in April, the record has become a staple in my collection and popular culture.
Jack pressed a couple different variants of the record to satiate hungry Third Man Records collectors and eBay flippers alike. The Lightning Bolt edition was distributed via Third Man’s Rolling Record Store – a truck that followed Jack around the country on his tour this summer and sold popular and limited edition Third Man records and merchandise. A pressing number has not been disclosed, but the Rolling Record Store only distributed 20 copies at each stop. I was lucky enough to score one when Jack visited Portland back in August. The thrill of the hunt in addition to being lucky enough to score an early spot in line really made this a nice score for my collection.
The Inverted Lightning Bolt edition was announced in November to members of Third Man’s Vault fan club/subscription series. Copies were available publicly in Third Man’s web store for only a couple days before being listed as out of stock. Pressing numbers have not been disclosed, but fans were allowed to purchase up to 3 copies each. Copies started showing up the week before Christmas with mixed results. Some fans on various message boards are unhappy with the execution of the “lightning bolt” stripe that splits the record in half. Some copies look more spotty, while some are lacking the black portion all together.
The Inverted Lightning Bolt copies are a much lower weight and are riddled with surface noise. Both my regular and Lightning Bolt copies sound much cleaner. All three come housed in the beautiful tip-on style gatefold exhibited in the retail version.
A few weeks ago, Ryan Adams’ Facebook and Twitter accounts unveiled Live After Deaf, a live collection of songs, recorded during his solo European tour in the Summer of 2011, pressed on 15 records and available in “very limited” quantities. The 15LP boxset contained sets from each of the 15 shows on the tour. Pre-orders were scheduled for Friday June 15, but when the time came, Ryan’s website and webstore crashed for the entire day, due to the overwhelming demand. Pre-orders were rescheduled for Monday June 18 and lasted less than an hour. The actual number of copies pressed has yet to be unveiled. There’s been a lot of outcry from fans who weren’t able to pick up the boxset. Those of us that were couldn’t be happier.
Six years in the making, Right Away, Great Captain! has finally completed its trilogy of albums. The pet project of Andy Hull, of Manchester Orchestra, Right Away, Great Captain! tells the fictional story of a 17th century sailor who heads out to sea for 3 years only to return home and discover he’s been cuckolded by his own brother – and the vengeance that swiftly follows. The story comes to a close with the recent arrival of the final chapter, The Church of the Good Thief. To celebrate, RAGC released the complete set in this limited edition deluxe 4LP vinyl set, on Andy’s own vanity imprint, Favorite Gentlemen Recordings.
The soundtrack behind 2011’s cult-hit Drive commands a presence just as important as Ryan Gosling’s unnamed character in the film. Curated and composed by Cliff Martinez (drummer for Red Hot Chili Peppers in the 80’s, composer of TV and film soundtracks since the 90’s), the synth pop tunes don’t take a back seat like many movie scores. Cliff’s original, instrumental songs make up the bulk of the score, but it’s the guest appearances by electro pop/dance bands like Chromatics, Kavinsky, Desire, and College that really make the album shine.
My Dad keeps recommending me records that I end up playing on repeat for weeks on end. Last year it was The Civil Wars, earlier this year it was Lana Del Rey. And now: Grace Potter & The Nocturnals’ Live From The Legendary Sun Studio - released exclusively on limited CD and LP for this year’s Record Store Day. I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that all of these groups feature ridiculously attractive female vocalists. It’s probably just my Dad. I’m sure he’ll be quite proud once he reads this.