Supernatural Charlatan Senses Free

The music purchases have slowed down a little recently, although I am only 11 purchases behind where I was in October last year. Still, I have four rather different releases to speak of.

Santana – Supernatural

I am not really a Santana fan, but I bought this anyway because I thought it would be good to have at least one of his albums, he is after all an excellent guitar player and his music is unique.

I have only listened to this once, and I liked what I heard, but I think it is more of a in-the-background album rather than something you crank up and groove out to.

This is his seventeenth album, and probably caused Carlos to have to buy another cabinet because it went platinum fifteen times, and it received eight Grammy’s including Album of the Year. It sold over 30 million copies, making it Santana’s best selling album.

Click on the album cover above to listen to a track from the album.

The Charlatans – The Charlatans v. The Chemical Brothers

I bought this while I was in Good Times buying The Stranglers record last week. Before going to the counter I had a quick look in the CD section and found this for only 100 yen. It is a remix EP which I usually don’t go for as I don’t like remixes for the most part, but I thought the combination of The Charlatans and The Chemical Brothers might make for good sounds.

Unfortunately it is not very good, my remix aversion is still quite justified. But, it is OK to have, I guess.

Click on the album cover.

Senses Fail – If There Is Light It Will Find You

Senses Fail are a band I discovered when playing a fave Sony PSP game many years ago, one of their songs was on the game soundtrack along with at least two other bands I got into. Since then I have been collecting all of the albums and this is their latest album, released this year. I bought it on Bandcamp.

Senses Fail never release a bad album, and this one is no exception. It is not their best album, but it is still a very good album.

Senses Fail are a post-hardcore band, and are also described as emo, screamo, and metalcore. I should probably be a lot younger to admit I like this band, but inside I still feel 25, so that’s OK.

Broke For Free – XXVII

I discovered Broke For Free on Free Music Archive some times ago and liked him (it is just one guy) so much I downloaded all of his releases.

This album is on Bandcamp, and was released in 2016. I thought I had better pay for his music for once so I just bought it this very evening.

A quick listen shows that it is yet another good release. Have a listen yourself here, then throw some money his way why don’t you?

Recently I have decided to pretty much stop buying CDs. I want to concentrate on vinyl for a while, and support bands by buying downloads mostly on Bandcamp. Also, with almost 1000 CDs just sitting on my bookshelf all day doing nothing I feel that it is a bit of a waste. Vinyl is cool to have, but I continue to buy them at a slow rate. Perhaps I will buy the odd CD if it is something unique, rare, or just plain cheapo.

Something I would like to see is a cross between a record and a download. If record companies were to make a really nice 7″-sized cardboard album sleeve with a high quality booklet inside that has the lyrics, pretty pictures, and a download coupon where you can get the music, I would be willing to pay a bit extra for it. That way you could have your music sorted in special sized bins that don’t take up too much space and you could flick through your collection as though you were in a record store. Dang, I would really like that!

A record I bought online from England is on the way and should arrive any day soon, and it is definitely going to be the most prized vinyl in my collection so far. So I will blog about that very soon hopefully.

Music count 2018: 101

The Stranglers – The Raven

This is an album I had my eye on for some time at Good Times, my fave used record shop, and by far the best place to browse for records in this fair city. I passed it over a few times in favour of other slightly more desirable records, but I finally bought it along with another record which I will write about soon. I also bought another record the same day at another shop, so I have even more writing to do.

I have heard this album before, and while it is a decent listen it is not one of The Stranglers’ better albums, but it is still decent enough. It is a strange mix of songs actually, some of it sounds like their first album, and other songs are more experimental.

The pressing I have is a Japanese one, and has the limited edition 3D cover. It is in excellent condition and has the nice inside sleeve too. And I didn’t pay much for it either, roughly the price of a Big Mac Meal (I haven’t had one of those for a while now).

Yet another welcome addition to the slowly expanding vinyl collection.

Click here for a video of The Stranglers performing a couple of songs from the album live back in 1981.

Music count 2018: 97

Frampton Comes Alive!

I dropped into Hard Off for a record deal and walked out with this classic seventies double album.

It was a huge album back in the day, it sold eight million copies in the U.S. alone, and the rest of the world bought 3 million. In fact, in 1976 when this came out it was the best-selling live album of all time. Some of the songs were recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (where the Sex Pistols played their last gig), and most of the others at an arena in New York. Peter and his band were an arena band in the day. On the Rolling Stones list of the top 50 live albums of all time this comes in at number 41.

Many of the songs are recognizable, a few of them get regular air play on classic rock radio stations. It is the crystal clear recording that really makes this record though. Each of the instruments and Peter’s voice comes through clearly, and even the crowd who “Whoo”, “Woot”, and “Yeeeeah” a lot come through almost down to each person.

This is not an essential album just for the music alone, it is pretty standard stuff, but I think it is a good album to have in the collection for it’s place in history and that great live sound. My copy of the album is absolutely pristine, just a little wear on the corners, but it looks though I bought from new and never played it. It is a Japanese pressing too.

Garth Brooks now has the record for highest live album sales with his 1998 double album selling 20 million copies. Peter had some success after this album, but he hit a rough period in 1978 after some bad choices and a near-fatal car accident. He worked with David Bowie by playing on the Never Let Me Down album, and sang and played on the subsequent Glass Spider Tour. According to Peter this helped revive his career. These days he is still playing music, and has appeared on The Simpsons and Family Guy.

Here is an old video. Part of the way through the song he does his talk-box bit, something he popularised in the day.

Music count 2018: 95

Five Sounds On The Cheap

I have five musical delights to speak of, and it all cost very little, always a bonus.

Mashed Youth Records – Red Collection Vol. 1

I was looking around Bandcamp for some free dubstep, drum and bass, or jungle music when I cam across this.

Even though it had a “name your price” I didn’t enter “zero” and instead paid the minimum 0.5 Euro so it would be included in my Bandcamp collection.

It is a collection of six songs from three artists I have never heard of. All six songs are upbeat and have plenty of BPM’s. The songs also have bit of a reggae vibe to them which makes them even more natty.

Here is the Bandcamp page.

Fanu – Polku EP


After buying the previous release, I was doing a little more drum ‘n’ bass searching and ended up buying this release as well. Again, it was free but I paid 0.50 Euro for it.

It is a drum and bass EP released by a fellow from Finland who calls himself “Fanu”, or “Fatgyver”. He has released quite a few EPs, singles, and some albums, but I chose this one because it was the first one of his I came across.

It is pretty good, quite relaxing to listen to. Have a listen here.

Kula Shaker – K

As I did the Saturday before, I raced off to Hard Off to buy music instead of wasting money on parking. The first disc I found in the bargain bins was this one.

I knew nothing of Kula Shaker before buying this, I had not even heard one single song. But, I knew the name, and a quick look on the internet showed that this, their first album, sold bucketloads back in 1996 when it was released. In fact it became the fastest selling debut album in the U.K. then (in the current decade One Direction hold that title).

The music itself is fine, but nothing that grabs me all that much. It is described as psychedelic rock, but it also has a very Brit-pop sound to it, and some songs mix in Indian music, mysticism, and lyrics.

Not an essential record, but worth a listen to again some day.

Pulp – This is Hardcore

Pulp are one of those bands that I am not all that fussed on, but I usually end up buying anyway, especially if it is cheap.

Not a bad album, but I am not all that fussed on it.

Propellerheads – Decksandrumsandrockandroll

Like Kula Shaker, I had heard of this band yet had not heard their music.

The music is fine, but nothing special. It is not one of those albums I will play very often, but it is good to have in the collection.

Here is one of their songs from the album. Actually, after listening to this song I realised that maybe a second listen of the album is in order, maybe I will warm to it a bit more.

This is their only album to date, and while they seem to have stopped in 2003 there is some talk of a second album.

Music count 2018: 94

Deaf Non-Plussed JPEG Kid Swims

I have one CD and four Bandcamp purchases to report on.

Die! Die! Die! – Swim

Die! Die! Die! is a Dunedin band I have been slowly collecting releases from. They are classed as a punk band, but that is not really accurate…more of a noise rock band, not that it really matters.

This album came out in 2014 and I remember at the time wanting to get it, but forgot about it. So finally I bought it on Bandcamp, and while it is nothing new from them it is still a very worthy album.

They released a new album last year, so I will get around to buying that some day.

Radiohead – Kid A

As I have mentioned before I am not a huge Radiohead fan, but I never pass up a chance to buy an album of theirs if it is a reasonable price. I paid 300 yen for this I think, which is a bargain for a used Radiohead CD. A sticker on the cover said it had scratches, but I just cannot see any damage whatsoever on the CD although the plastic case is a bit roughed up so perhaps that is it.

The music itself is good, but does not grab me any more than any other Radiohead album. No regrets though.

Deafheaven – Roads to Judah

My obsession with Deafheaven continues with this Bandcamp purchase, their first album.

Actually, I have not had a good listen, but what I have heard is pure aural bliss. You can decide for yourself by listening to them here.

JPEGMafia – Veteran

Earlier tonight I did a search on Googles for “best of Bandcamp” and found this experimental hip hop release. It was a “Name your price” release, so I paid a few dollars and gleefully downloaded it.

Again, I have not had a good listen, but I have been getting into experimental hip hop recently and this one seems like a pretty good one. Listen for yourself, that is the best thing to do.

NONPLUS 043 – Pre Dawn / Indoors by Burial

While I was on Bandcamp earlier I decided to see if Burial had any new releases, and on his page there was nothing. But, after following a few links I came across this two-track release.

NONPLUS is a record label in the U.K. and this appears to be the only Burial release they have.

It is pure Burial, so is Golden Gordon all the way. Listen here.

Music count 2018: 86

Abba Arrive on Vinyl

Today, while my daughter was at art class in the central city, I made a beeline for Hard Off as on a previous visit there I noticed this album for a paltry 540 yen, including tax.

Actually, there were three copies there for the same price, and all three are in minty condition. I chose this particular one because it came with the original obi (the sash type thing that is on the left side of the cover). Obis are funny things. They are the equivalent of the stickers that are stuck on the plastic wrap on CDs or records that say things like “With the hit single “Hammer Smashed Face” or whatever. Obis though are bigger and have a lot more information. But for reasons I don’t know people do not throw them away, they leave them there and when you buy a used CD you will find the original obi inside the jewel case. According to this site they can add value to the CD or record.

As I said earlier, this is in minty condition. The cover is basically spotless and not faded, the insert which has the lyrics in both English and Japanese is like new, and the vinyl itself looks as though it has never been played. This is typical for used records in Japan, people here just seem to take great care of their records, or they just don’t play them. Or this is old stock which never sold back in the day, and has spent all of it’s life in record bins. Who knows? But, it is in my possession now, and it will be taken care of, and proudly displayed somewhere.

One of the reasons I wanted this was because of the great album cover. Benny, Anni-Frid, Agnetha, and Björn are sitting in the Bell 47 chopper looking kind of pensive, and look splendid in their all-white jumpsuits. Björn has his hand on the control stick, and on the back of the cover we see the chopper flying, so I presume Björn took everyone up for a spin, perhaps explaining the pensiveness. It is an iconic cover.

This is Abba’s fourth album, and back in the day sold like hot cakes. In England alone it sold over 1.6 million records. Other countries where it sold well were Germany, Australia, and Poland. Here in Japan it sold 645,000 records, which beats the U.S. at only 500,000. And of all of their albums it seems to be the best selling one, although their best-of album “Gold” is one of the best selling albums of all-time at 30 million. If each member got one dollar from each album sold they could each buy thirty of those Bell 47 helicopters, and have a bit of change!

The music itself is pure Abba with the most well-known songs being “Dancing Queen”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, and “Money Money Money”. The other songs are decent, but almost feel like filler.

A very worthy addition to the vinyl collection.

Music count 2018: 81

To Tokyo And Beyond

The much anticipated trip to Tokyo is now over, but my mission to spend ten thousand yen on music was a bust. Tokyo was great though, although it was very hot and humid. A wicked thunderstorm on the last day was fun to drive in.

I had the funds, but unfortunately time, which is of the essence in Tokyo, was not managed well. I was hoping to get several records at used record shops, and I did visit three of them, but I had little time available to spend in each…life even for a tourist is hectic in Tokyo.

But, I did manage to get one record, and a few CDs.

Nirvana – Supercollosal Big Muff

In Shibuya I went to “Disk Union” which was on my list of places to visit. It turned out to be a bit disappointing though, not much of a selection and a little expensive. After that I wandered around a bit and stumbled on a most excellent place called “Recofan“. It was jam-packed with music, some in long and narrow aisles.

I didn’t have much time as I had to meet the family to go off and get dinner some where, but I was able to find this bootleg live album for only 300 yen, quite the bargain. It was recorded at the University of Washington in 1990, and is a very decent recording. It was released by a Japanese label called “Small Clone”, who seemed to only release bootleg live Nirvana albums.

A good start to my music shopping.

The B-52’s – The B-52’s

Also at Recofan I found this in excellent condition on vinyl, and for a pretty decent price.

I remember listening to this on vinyl a long time ago, and I remember getting it out from a library our family used to go to, so it is good to actually own it now. And it is in my opinion their best album, and the cover artwork in simple but very striking…I must display it somewhere.

Excellent stuff.

Cypress Hill – Skull & Bones

Later on the same day, after dinner at a BBQ restaurant near the hotel in Meguro, I went off by myself, intent on spending quality time in Shinjuku’s music shops (Shinjuku Station by the way is the world’s busiest train station). I planned on going to Book Off there, and hopefully a vinyl place. I did find a Disk Union, but it was already closed (at 8 pm which seems a bit early to me, even if it was a Sunday). So, I went to Book Off, but as it would turn out they were soon closing too, at 9 pm. So, I quickly rummaged through the 200 yen section and found this album.

This is Cypress Hill’s fifth album and it is pretty good. It is different to “Black Sunday” in that it mixes in some rock elements. Also included are two bonus discs with eight extra songs in total, all good tracks.

For 200 yen this was the bargain of the weekend.

Bob Mould – Bob Mould

As Book Off was closing I quickly went to the “B” section where I had noticed this earlier, grabbed it, then went straight to the counter.

Good stuff from Bob, a solid album.

The Cramps – Psychedelic Jungle/Gravest Hits

The next day we drove to a city called Mito, in Ibaragi Prefecture, which is a two-hour drive north from Tokyo. My mission whenever we visit a new place is to seek out the local Book Off, which we were able to do in Mito.

This CD was the first one I found, and I was most pleased as The Cramps are an old favourite. This is good stuff of course.

Therapy? – Troublegum

Next in Mito I found this in the 280 yen section.

I generally find Therapy? to be good but not great, and this album is no different. It is not a disappointment though.

Therapy? have been around since 1989, and have quite a few albums to their name. Their next album is due out next month.

Public Enemy – He Got Game

The last CD I got in Mito, and the last overall is this soundtrack to the film starring Denzel Washington, a film I have never seen.

I had to get it because it is Public Enemy, a band I have several releases from, and a band that always makes good music.

I put this in the car stereo to listen to on the long trip back home. Unfortunately though that is where the disc still remains as the stereo is refusing to spit it out. I have tried forcing it out, but it just won’t move…dang! So, I listened to it three times over in the car before turning the sound completely down as listening to any album too many times over can cause negative effects.

And this is another good P.E. album, and certainly one of the best original soundtracks for any film.

So, while my plan to spend ten grand did not work out, I am still quite pleased with what I got, not a dud in all of them. I will just have to figure out how to get Public Enemy out of the car.

Music count 2018: 80