I spent a few days in the hospital earlier this month after some pretty intense abdominal pain. Turns out, my gallbladder has been causing me issues for years. Something I chalked up to merely bad indigestion actually could have killed me. A quick trip to the ER early one morning led to a two-day stay and surgery to have it removed. During the visit, I pulled the trigger on a vinyl order, and today I’m going to share what I got in this Discogs Vinyl Haul post.
As always, this coverage coincides with a video I posted on YouTube. You can watch that below and listen to tracks from each record in the coverage that follows:
Ready? Let’s begin…
Blonde Redhead: Vague b/w Jet Stream (7-inch Single)
This is the record that got me started on the order. Within the past month or so, Blonde Redhead released a new single on Spotify. I’m not talking about the track “Snowman” off their forthcoming LP due out this fall — I’m talking about “Vague” backed with “Jet Star.”
At first, I thought this was a NEW recording. After all, it’s listed as 2023 on Spotify. Giving it a listen, I was shocked at how much it called out their early sound. In fact, I mentioned to a friend that it really had that artsy sound of the 90s era of indie rock.
Come to find out, there was a reason for that. Vague b/w Jet Stream predates Blonde Redhead’s debut self-titled LP from 1995. This 7-inch was released in 1994, and you don’t see too many of them floating around these days.
Despite Blonde Redhead being among my favorite bands, I’m just not familiar with many of those early singles. But I’m thrilled to add this one to my collection.
Current Discogs prices range from $12-33 USD, though I snagged mine for a penny under $10.
Crystal Antlers: Tentacles
Crystal Antlers came onto my radar circa 2008 or so when I stumbled upon their debut self-titled EP. I loved the neo-psychedelic noise rock that EP contained. Tentacles is their debut LP, which dropped in 2009.
While I don’t think it lives up to the power and noise of that debut EP, it’s still pretty solid. It’s more cohesive. More contained. The EP was a bit more loose and experimental, which gave it a quality I quite appreciated.
The song “Andrew” is a great blend of the earlier sound of their EP and what you get on Tentacles. And they gave it a music video!
The LP currently goes for about $10 USD on Discogs.
The Chambermaids: Down in the Berries
The Chambermaids is a shoegaze band out of Minneapolis that released their debut self-titled LP in 2006. Down in the Berries is from 2009, and it really calls back to the original shoegaze era of the early 1990s. Most notably, it has a likeness to the poppier more alt-rock side of shoegaze and finds welcome company among bands like Ride and Pale Saints.
Down in the Berries is surprisingly good, and I’d consider The Chambermaids to be an under-appreciated deep cut of the shoegaze resurgence of the late 00s and early 10s.
Here’s the title track from the EP, courtesy Bandcamp:
There were only 300 copies pressed to wax, and you can still snag it on The Chambermaids’ Bandcamp page.
Lockets: Camera Shy
In the same vein as The Chambermaids comes Lockets, a shoegaze resurgence band out of Philadelphia. They really only have two physical releases to their name: this debut LP Camera Shy and a maxi-single for Surrender. Though, a few digital singles are out there as well, including a cover of Miley Cirus’s “Wrecking Ball.”
Camera Shy has a strong My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive influences, finding a nice balance bewteen the former’s noisy distortion and the dreaminess of the latter. You can even hear a hint of contemporaries like Beach House here as well.
Listen to the title track and let me know if you agree:
This was just pressed to 500 copies across two variants, 250 on crystal white vinyl, and 250 on black cherry translucent wax. My copy is the latter.
Jason Molina: Pyramid Electric Co.
I used to have Pyramid Electric Co. by Jason Molina in my collection, but either sold it or traded it in a number of years ago. This was before I really became a fan of Molina’s work under his Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. projects. So I’m glad to have it back in my collection.
Pyramid Electric Co. isn’t the first release under Jason Monila’s own name, and it follows the 2003 LP The Magnolia Electric Co. by Songs: Ohia, which was a bit of a transition piece. After that LP, Molina donned the moniker Magnolia Electric Co. and let go of Songs: Ohia.
Pyramid Electric Co. follows the deep Americana stylings of pretty much everything by Molina. That’s to say it’s stripped back, folk-centric Americana.
Molina, under his own name, has a tendency to tuck the most poignant and powerful song as the album closer. He did it on Let Me Go Let Me Go Let Me Go and he does it here with “Long Desert Train.”
Mates of State: All Day EP
Mates of State can be hit or miss for me. Their quirky indie pop sounds can be a hard pill to swallow. Still, I am a fan, and the four-song All Day EP includes my all-time favorite song by them. It’s a cover of David Bowie’s “Starman” and it works surprisingly well with the signature harmony vocals meets synths and drums Mates of State employs.
Give it a listen below:
The rest of the EP is pretty damn solid as well. If you like it, the best prices are on Discogs with many around $8-10 USD.
Wooden Shjips: Vol. 2
Vol. 2 is the second compilation of early singles and rarities by the neo-psychedelic stoner rock band Wooden Shjips. Released in 2010, it follows their first two LPs, the self-titled debut and their follow up Dos, while preceding my favorite LP by the group by one year, 2011’s West.
There are some great tracks on here, and it’s nice to have them all compiled in a single release.
I’ve had the 7-inch for “Vampire Blues” for years, and it finds welcome home here as well:
The Wailers: The Fabulous Wailers
The final item from my Discogs vinyl haul is from 1960: the debut LP by influential Pacific Northwest garage rock band The Wailers.
This one is significant not only because it launched the career of one of the pioneers of garage rock, but the band heavily influenced many of their peers. One of these peers was fellow Tacoma, Washington band The Sonics, who covered The Wailers’ track “Dirty Robber” on their debut Here Are The Sonics!!! in 1965. And, of course, The Sonics went on to influence many of the bands that would pioneer punk rock in the United States.
“Dirty Robber” can be found on The Fabulous Wailers. This LP doesn’t quite have all the grit that garage rock would come to be known for, but there are hints of growls in the saxophone, guitars, and vocals within.
Like many early garage rock records from the PNW, this one is a bit beat to hell, but the sleeve is a solid VG+. While not the greatest visually, the scuffs and scratches don’t produce too much surface noise, so I’d grade the wax as a high G+ or low VG.
One of my favorites on the LP is “High Wall,” which seems radical for 1960: