Record Store Crawl: Austin

recordsVices.  You have one.  I have one.  That guy over there by that busy intersection asking for change has one.  Your mom has one too.  Everyone you know or will ever meet has one.  Some of us have more than one.  We all have our vice, our thing, our crippling addiction to that which controls us.  Booze.  Cigarettes.  Sex.  Narcotics.  Mine’s records.  I get my kicks trolling through record shops, crate digging, treasure hunting, discovering, and I just can’t help myself.  Don’t even get me started on the colossal enabler that is Ebay.  But while this vice of mine may not wreak havoc on my health or my body, it certainly takes its toll on my wallet…and at times my mental state.  The search for that Holy Grail of record collecting can become an obsession, an all-consuming expenditure of time, money and energy.  It is everything.

Grez’ Top 10 Albums of 2013: Remember…regardless of Release Date

So last year, I reviewed my Top 12 albums of 2012. If you’ll remember it was my preferential form to disregard the release dates and aim for what moved me during that year, regardless of origin. What I ended up with was a collection of albums to which I first listened within that calendar year, and which defined that year for me. I’d like to keep that idea for this year but bolster the list to 10 albums, because I think I have a killer ten. Most choices this year are recent, perhaps even within ’13, but one is a bit of an outside throwback and another three (yes 3!) belong to one band. Although they are listed this way, there is no particular order to the albums. However, I do note my Album of The Year, as well as my Group of The Year (and again, for the Group nomination they may not have released anything this year).
2013 has been great for me musically for many reason that will come to fruition soon. I’d like to think these artists had a hand in influencing me. So without adieu, my Top Albums of 2013.

The Phenomenom of The 1975 & Concert Review @ The Rave, Milwaukee, WI

Preshow portal of The 1975 (photo: joe grez/sesame)

Preshow portal of The 1975 (photo: joe grez/sesame)

Joup Interview: Patrick Tape Fleming of ‘Gloom Balloon’.

My sneeze echoed off the funeral home, reminding me I was still alive on the night Lou Reed died. Recently I’ve been given to checking out the heavens. Kicking the tyres on the sky. Sometimes when I see that white-hot sun burning through fast moving cloud in a cold sky, I wonder what would happen if my life’s console was compromised, deleting all you NPCs and leaving just me.

Me and that accusative-looking cyclopic sun.

Remember the Monster: Saying Goodbye to Breaking Bad

image courtesy of goldderby.com

SCB: Last year Joe and I did a little article to talk about the end of the penultimate season of Breaking Bad. This year though there’s quite a bit more invested. This year we are here to say goodbye to what is, for my money, the greatest show in the history of shows. If you’ve not seen Breaking Bad all the way through I beg you, click off this article because SPOILERS.

Album Review: Polvo ‘Siberia’

Polvo_Siberia_LP_11183Of all the recently reunited 90s Alt Rock outfits, the lesser spotted Polvo stake a more valid claim than most to a second stab at existence, having not really been paid their dues the first time around. Unlike most reunions, Polvo’s wasn’t necessarily fuelled by a groundswell of born again devotees voting with their feet for reappraisal, and it might just be this lack of expectation that has them sounding like no time at all has passed between their demise in 1998 and their reformation a decade later. Despite some deceptively pedestrian Indie distortion slinging, the woozy cephalopodic tremolo and angle grinding of Ash Bowie and Dave Brylawski’s intermingling riffs fray at the ends with non sequiturs that distort the space and time signatures of Brian Quast’s beats and Steve Popson’s humming undercurrent.

Having Your Cake and Hating It: Nirvana ‘In Utero’ 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Unit Shifter

nirvanaA shotgun hole is so absolute. The vacuum a suicide leaves behind so engulfing, it’s the epitome of ambivalence in its dichotomy of grief and resentment. A disavowal. A denial. The crepuscular introduction of ‘Heart Shaped Box’ heralded summer’s decay on August 30th 1993, through the pregnant fluff-bubble of a cassette tape piped down wires that ran through the cobwebs, pipes, atrophying plaster and laths of the cellar ceiling, up into the kitchen speakers after school as the clouds bruised with the impending deluge. ‘In Utero’ would accompany me on a walkman through the rigor mortis of autumn, to the decidedly funerary flavour of ‘Unplugged in New York’, the snowy satellite TV-taped VHS of which us siblings watched on the bright, crisp, February 1994 morning we interned my mother in the furnace after cancer had turned her black.

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