Eleven Holiday Discs

Over the holiday period I was busy hunting around for music in both Tokyo and here in Nagano. Here is what I bought:

Manic Street Preachers – From Despair to Where EP
The Manics are one of my all-time fave bands, so I try to buy everything they have released when I come across something. The title song is from their second album, and I have the rest on a compilation of rarities and B-sides, but it is good to have the original disc too.

Rancid – Rancid
This Rancid’s second eponymously titled album, released in 2000, with their first being released in 1993. I have not listened to it yet, but Rancid’s sound does not change much.

Public Enemy – Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age
Public Enemy albums are hard to find used, so when I saw this in Book Off in Akihabara (an electronics and entertainment part of Tokyo) I immediately grabbed it before someone else saw it. You really can’t go wrong with Public Enemy.

Passion Pit – Manners
Also in Book Off I found this and thought it would be worth a try as I had heard they are good (actually it is basically only one guy). And indeed it is very good stuff. A nice find.

Voodoo Glow Skulls – Steady As She Goes
VGS are a ska-punk band that I have slowly been collecting albums from. Their sound, like Rancid, does not change much from album to album, which is fine as they make good sounds. Not listened to this yet.

Punk-O-Rama, Volume 4
My days of hunting for Punk-O-Rama CDs has now come to an end with this, the last one I needed to complete the collection of ten releases. In a way I am sad it is over as seeking them out was fun, kind of like going on an Easter Egg hunt, looking for them is more fun than actually consuming them. This one has the usual punky bands like Pennywise, Rancid, and Bad Religion, but for some reason Tom Waits’ “Big in Japan” is on it. No complaints though, I like Tom Waits a great deal…

Tom Waits – Real Gone
I like Tom Waits a great deal, so whenever I see his stuff I pounce on it and clutch onto it like a child holding a precious teddy bear. An added bonus is that the Book Off I got this at here in Nagano had half-price off all CDs that were 500 yen or under, so I got this for 250 yen…double bonus! Good stuff it is too.

R.E.M. – Up
R.E.M. are another band I am slowly collecting albums from. I have heard this album before, and it is decent.

Primal Scream – XTRMNTR
I found this yesterday in Book Off, and with 50% off I thought it would be more than worth buying. I have had a quick listen to a couple of songs, and it sounds good enough.

U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and October
Well, it looks like I am collecting U2 albums now, as today I bought both of these albums at Mandai (20% off today). I listened to Boy a couple of days ago and enjoyed listening to their early stuff again. So choosing October was easy. I dilly-dallied a bit before buying HTDAAB, but after looking it up online I found that it had favourable reviews, and twenty percent off certainly helped (both were dirt cheap anyway). So I am looking forward to listening to both.

Album count 2018: 11

Note: I actually bought 13 CDs but doubled-up on R.E.M.’s Out of Time album, and Broken Social Scenes’s Forgiveness Rock Record. I checked my spreadsheet on Google Drive to see if I already had the R.E.M. album while I was in the store, and thanks to not adding it I thought I did not have it. And I was convinced I did not have the Broken Social Scene album, so I did not bother to look it up, which if I did I would have seen it listed. Poop.

A Quintet of Unabated Aural Stimuli

The end of the year is rapidly approaching, meaning I have to buy as many CDs as I can to meet my quota of a whole lot of music. Last year I reached 148 CDs which I am just not going to be able to top this year. Dang.

U2 – Boy
I have been looking out for this album, so when I found it at Mandai for 220 yen I was most chuffed.

The cover though threw me off at first. I thought maybe it was some kind of bootleg CD or something. It turns out the cover is the U.S. version “due to the record company’s fears that the band would be accused of encouraging paedophilia” (Wikipedia). The boy on the genuine cover is now a photographer, quite a decent one too.

I have not listened to this yet, but a few of the songs are very well known U2 songs.

Looking through my Punk-O-Rama collection I realised I did not have the first one. This had to be remedied as soon as possible, so I found it used on Amazon, for 1 yen plus 350 yen postage, and ordered it.

All that remains is volume 4, then I will have the entire collection to brag about. I have also not listened to this yet, I have quite a backlog of music to get through.

Bad Religion – No Control
I found this at Book Off for 280 yen, and is pretty much what you would expect from Bad Religion. It is decent.

Punk-O-Rama, Vol. 7
Even more Punk-O-Rama, purchased at Book Off for 280 yen, which for me is a major score.

Rancid – Let’s Go
This one comes with a story.

Yesterday I dropped off at the local Book Off on the way back from somewhere. On my last visit to Book Off I saw a CD compilation called “Rock Against Bush, Volume 1” and considered buying it, but Punk-O-Rama Vol. 7 was given priority, so I thought I would buy it this time. When I got home I found that there should have been a music CD in the case as well as a DVD, but in place of the CD was a DVD from volume 2 of “Rock Against Bush”.

So, I took it back and they said I could get my money back or choose something else, so I quickly rummaged through the CDs and found this Rancid album for the same price (280 yen as usual). I also got several 50 yen discount coupons in the deal, so it worked out well in the end. I have not listened to this, but no hurry.

Album count 2017: 128

A Medley of Musical Glee and Felicity

Before James and I went to see Star Wars last week, we dropped off at a nearby Book Off Bazaar (a super-sized version of Book Off) to run around and buy stuff. James headed for the books, and I headed for the “280 yen or under” CD section. It didn’t take long to choose the following…

Snoop Dogg – R&G (Rhythm & Gangsta): The Masterpiece
One of Snoop’s better albums.

British Sea Power – Valhalla Dancehall
I had never heard of this band before, so after looking them up on my phone I decided to give them a go. From Wikipedia: The wide-ranging nature of their material has led critics to liken their sound to a variety of groups, from The Cure and Joy Division to the Pixies and Arcade Fire. Not bad, but not essential.

Punk-O-Rama, Volume 10
This is the last in the series of punk/hardcore compilations that I have been collecting over the years. There are 26 tracks on the CD, and there is also a DVD with 21 music videos. Unlistened to at the moment, but it will be the same-old.

Rancid – Indestructible
Rancid are a ska punk band that have been around since 1991, but I only got into them recently (they are on a few Punk-O-Rama CDs) and I find them to be quite decent.

Foo Fighters – Wasting Light
I like Dave and the rest, they are a warm-and-fuzzy kind of band who can do no wrong. And they make great videos.

Suede – The Drowners
There was a bargain bin at Book Off Bazaar and I found this in it for 108 yen, amongst a lot of crap. The title song is apparently considered to be the beginning of the Britpop movement, along with Blur’s Popscene song. A very decent buy.

The Kooks – Konk
And yesterday, I dropped off at a Book Off to have a quick recon. I have their first album, so I thought I would give this, their second album a go. I have not listened to this yet, and from what some reviews say, it might be a little disappointing. But, for 280 yen I am not complaining.

Album count 2017: 123

A Plethora of Piling-up Platters

The music is piling-up next to me at my desk, so much so that I am running out of space to put it all before it goes into the shelf of musical joys. So here is what there is in no particular order, some of it unlistened to at this point.

Bob Dylan, Billboard Hits U.S.A.
This is my latest purchase, just a few hours old actually. I found this in Book Off, el cheapo, and bought it because it is Bob, and because it was released by some obscure label who seemed to want to make a quick buck (really cheap looking cover). I looked it up online and it is not an official release. But, it has Bob’s early songs like “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, so it will be worth it in spades.

Green Day, 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours
My quest to get all of the major releases by Green Day is almost at an end with the purchase of this early album. It is pretty raw stuff, but it is Green Day through and through.

Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)
I have been a Slipknot fan for a while, but this is actually the first CD I have bought of theirs. I have yet to listen to it.

Punk-O-Rama, #5
My Punk-O-Rama buying-O-rama continues with this purchase from Amazon for 1 yen plus postage. Most of the artists on this are the usual suspects such as Pennywise, Refused, Rancid, and Voodoo Glow Skulls, all ace punkster bands.

Bad Religion, Tested
I have only got into Bad Religion recently, all due to the Punk-O-Rama series. They are awfully good. This is their “First official Bad Religion live album, featuring 3 brand new songs” according to the sticker on the cover. Before buying it at Mandai Shoten (one of my CD-hunting haunts) I checked it out online and one reviewer said it is an excellent live album, so that was good enough for me.

The Smashing Pumpkins, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness
This was dirt cheap because the sticker attached to the cover by the fine staff at Mandai Shoten said it was scratched. When I took this to the counter (along with Bad Religion, Foo Fighters, and Green Day) the staff guy showed me the disc so I could see the damage… I saw absolutely nothing. Looking at it just now I found a tiny spec which at first looked like dust, but it is indeed a defect, but nothing to worry about at all, and it ripped just fine. Anyway, this is Smashing Pumpkins so it may or may not be anything more than decent.

Foo Fighters, One By One
I am almost caught up with buying Foo Fighters releases. And did you know they have a new album coming out soon?

Green Day, International Superhits!
This was not an essential purchase at all as it is a kind of best-of album. But there are three unreleased tracks, and for only 108 yen it was more than worth it. Plus one song is called J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva) which is nifty.

Dinosaur Jr., Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
And lastly is this download from Bandcamp. It is queued up in my playlist, right after Green Day. Looking forward to it immensely.

Album count 2017: 64

A Few New Music Purchases

The CDs and downloads are piling up, so it is time to blog about them, then file them away in the CD shelf of goodness.

DJ Honda, HII – I have been wanting to check out DJ Honda for some time, so when I came across this CD at a very decent price of 280 yen (two and a bit cans of Coke) at Book Off recently I snapped it up. Not too shabby, but not as good as I was hoping. Might listen to it again some day. The cover is covered in an actual piece of metal.

Unsound – I was researching the Punk-O-Rama series and found that after the final CD was released (Punk-O-Rama Vol. 10) the record label released what was supposed to be a new series called “Unsound” in 2006. There are one or two bands that regularly featured in the Punk-O-Rama volumes, but most are new bands, and are a mixture of post-hardcore and rock bands. There is also a DVD with music videos on it (not watched it yet). Not bad, but Punk-O-Rama was better.

The Jam, Setting Sons – This is a 1979 release from the jammers, and jolly good stuff too.

Super Furry Animals, Rings Around The World – While I knew of their existence, I had never heard this band, so when I found it el cheapo at Book Off I had to purchase it straight away. Good stuff on first listen, but I will have to listen to it again before my final verdict.

The Divine Comedy, Regeneration – I got hooked onto this band a while ago, and have been slowly adding their albums to my collection. Good stuff, you just can’t go wrong with this band.

Fat Music Volume V, Live Fat Die Young – This is a compilation similar to Punk-O-Rama but released on a competing label. I have heard of some of the bands, but not all. Overall it is a good listen, but I think I prefer Punk-O-Rama.

Relapse Records, 25 Years Of Contamination – I downloaded a Relapse sampler release a while back and recently I decided to check out their Bandcamp page. I found this sampler with 194 songs for just US$5, so I thought that was pretty decent (0.025 cents per song). There is a lot of metal on it, but also some other stuff. A lot of it is good, but some not. Still, it was well worth the huge download, and five bucks.

Anaal Nathrakh, Desideratum – Another Bandcamp purchase here. Anaal Nathrakh are a British extremo-death-O-metal band that play jolly well fast. They are mostly a studio band, but do play live gigs on occasion. I haven’t listened to this, but their music doesn’t change much, so this will definitely be noisy and good.

I do have a few more to add, but it can wait for later.

Album count 2017: 55