Category Archives: vinyl

Bomarr: Exchanges Among Systems
(Fancy Mike remix)

Hard to believe, but it’s already been a year since I posted about the four-song Designed Entropy 7-inch put out by Hunter at Gold Robot Records. Where does the time go?

With tracks from Bomarr, Copy, Meanest Man Contest and Roman Ruins, Designed Entropy stands as a work of art, in both the music and packaging – a piece that Gold Robot says “explores the relationship between design, structure, and humanity.”

What better way to examine the structure of a song than by breaking it down and rebuilding it via remix? Hunter was kind enough to give me a first crack at posting the Fancy Mike remix of Bomarr’s Exchanges Among Systems, a reworking that isn’t shy about introducing some low end. Turn up the bass.

And What You Give Is What You Get
(Paul’s Boutique B-side)



Proof that patience and persistence pay off when it comes to record shopping, I was rewarded with a trip to Half Price Books earlier in the week, when I snagged two N.W.A. 12-inches and a six-song Beastie Boys 12-inch for Shadrach: An Exciting Evening at Home with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. All three are in damn near mint condition, too.

The Shadrach 12-inch contains two Paul’s Boutique tracks – Shadrach and Car Thief – and four non-LP goodies, including And What You Give Is What You Get. In the insanely thorough 33 1/3 book on Paul’s Boutique, author Dan LeRoy writes of the track:

The instrumental version of “Shadrach” boasts a laundry list of new samples, including the riff from Black Flag’s hardcore anthem “Rise Above,” soundbites from various dancehall records and an interjection from comedian George Carlin. Yet although it only appears at the tail end of this mix, the snippet of the Jam’s “Start!” that gives the track its title is the most intriguing lift.

It’s a classic Paul’s Boutique-era cut – just a wild orgy of samples and scratches pieced together perfectly. Makes me wanna revisit the album.

Below is a rip from the 12-inch:

(Images swiped from the late, great B-Side Wins Again.)

Pete Rock and CL Smooth: They Reminisce Over You (demo mix)


In the early to mid ’90s, buying the hip-hop I loved in any format – vinyl, cassette, CD, whatever – was a bit of an obsession … and an expensive one, at that. Still, all these years later, I’m pretty proud of the collection I’ve amassed, from cassingles to imports and everything in between.

I spent plenty of time and money at Swell Records back in the day, hoarding anything I could with those fancy dreams of being a DJ (haha … yeah, right). One vinyl gem I plucked – marked down to $10 from $18.99 (the price tag is still on it) – is a 1994 promo import from Pete Rock and CL Smooth, the Never Coming Out EP (1994).

It must have come out after the release of The Main Ingredient because it features one of the tracks from that album (In the House) and a remix of another (Take You There). Even better, it features a demo mix of the classic joint, They Reminisce Over You, from the 1992 debut Mecca and the Soul Brother.

Inspired by The Main Ingredient cafe/ale house in Phoenix, I finally got around to converting the EP to digital files. So check out the T.R.O.Y. demo mix below, and then head over to the Matador Records blog to hear a new Pete Rock remix of Yo La Tengo’s Here to Fall.

Designed Entropy I – Gold Robot Records


It’s always a thrill to get a package from our man Hunter at Gold Robot Records, a boutique vinyl label that deals mostly in limited-run 7-inch gems.

The latest is Designed Entropy I, a four-song compilation that features cuts from Bomarr, Copy, Meanest Man Contest and Roman Ruins.

The 7-inch – produced on brown/orange-colored vinyl – was created and designed as a full experience. Gold Robot details it:

“The first entry in the Designed Entropy series features exclusive tracks by 4 different artists inspired from a common starting point. As a cohesive unit, this EP explores the relationship between design, structure, and humanity. Suggested reading to accompany the listening experience: ‘Atlas of Novel Tectonics’ by Jesse Reiser.”

Stream the tracks below and pick up the vinyl for five bucks. You can also go the digital route at eMusic, iTunes, Amazon, etc.

[STREAM]: Various artists | Designed Entropy I

The National on Bandwidth podcast

Strong as the San Diego Street Scene lineup was, there was little doubt that seeing the National was my main event. (Side note: After Black Crowes canceled as the Saturday headliner, why not bump the National into that role instead of adding an old, withering Devo? Seriously, now. Devo?)

There’s really little doubt at this point — my fourth time seeing the National (though not once in my own home state) — that this is my favorite band, though I take some exception to the group all but abandoning pre-Alligator songs in its live set. At least give me Murder Me Rachael.

For what it’s worth, singer Matt Berninger looked like your college geology professor when they took the stage in San Diego — dark-rimmed glasses, navy blazer. It all looked very studious, until, of course, he became a tad unhinged during Abel.

For a more composed picture of Berninger, check out these performances from the Bandwidth podcast (via Stereogum). Here, Berninger remains calm — perhaps because he’s in a kitchen? — wearing dark glasses, like he’s singing himself out of a hangover.

Apartment Story:

Slow Show:

Paul Mawhinney and The Archive

Here’s a brief (seven minutes or so) but thoughtful look at Paul Mawhinney, who owns an astonishing record collection, allegedly the largest in the world. One million albums and 1.5 million singles? “Astonishing” doesn’t even do that justice.

This is inspiring and heartbreaking in its own way, a story that earned press earlier this year when a sale for the collection fell through. Mawhinney appears to break down a bit while listening to John Miles’ Music: “It’s my life’s song.”

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, I love the vinyl popping sound near the end when the credits are rolling. Nice touch.

The Archive from Sean Dunne on Vimeo.

Trunk Federation: Winnie 7-inch

Another record swap meet came and went on Saturday, which can only mean I spent far too much money adding to a vinyl collection whose weight I will curse if I ever have to move it.

Nevertheless, I’d call Saturday’s haul a success. Included in the bunch (list below) was a 7-inch by former Phoenix band Trunk Federation, whom I’ve written about before here and here. If I were you, I’d do my best to track down Trunk Federation’s 1998 record The Curse of Miss Kitty.

Anyway, this 7-inch (for low price of $3!) is called Winnie, and credits show it was recorded in the fall of 1994. Holy moses: That was 14 years ago. Doesn’t matter: Trunk Federation’s unorthodox pop probably would be better appreciated in these times than in the early ’90s.

Here’s the tracks converted from the vinyl:

  • Side A: Trunk Federation | Beanie’s Soft Toy Factory
  • Side B: Trunk Federation | Jello

Also purchased at the record swap meet (all 45s … Side A / Side B):

Salt-N-Pepa: Push It (remix) – same both sides; label says ‘Side A’ on both sides.
Fred Wesley and the JB’s: Doing it to Death / Everybody Got Soul
Harry Nilsson: Coconut / Down
The Turtles: You Showed Me / Buzz Saw (picture sleeve … Buzz Saw sampled awesomely/famously here)
Cat Stevens: Morning Has Broken / I Want to Live in a Wigwam
Ike and Tina Turner: Please, Please, Please Pt. 1 / Pt. 2
a-ha: Take On Me / Love is Reason (picture sleeve! with story board pages like the video!)

Sweetie: Saturdays (Gold Robot Records)

Without a doubt, when I get a record from Gold Robot Records in the mail, my mood enhances significantly. Vinyl + mp3 + good music. What’s not to love?

The latest Gold Robot 7-inch release, the fifth with more fast on the way, comes from Sweetie, a gem of a pop-rock band from San Francisco that I knew literally nothing about until this red-colored piece of wax showed up on my doorstep.

The four-song EP was recorded at John Vanderslice’s Tiny Telephone studio by Aaron Prellwitz.

That’s right: Four songs on a 7-inch. How is it done, you ask? Well, Sweetie’s longest song of the set (Saturdays) is 3:03. These are charming two-and-a-half-minute bursts of pop that have left my smudgy fingerprints all over the record as I constantly keep flipping it over to go from one song to the next.

Order the vinyl at Gold Robot Records, which includes a coupon for digital downloads of the record. Or, if you don’t have a turntable, you can get the four tracks at eMusic as well.

ALSO: Please join me in wishing good luck to Hunter, purveyor of Gold Robot and Macktronic, as he raises money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) in the Marin Metric Century bicycle race on Aug. 2.

Hunter’s brother recently passed away while undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Here’s part of an e-mail Hunter sent out:

“I’m hoping that the money I raise for the LLS will help find a cure for these diseases that affect so many families.

“Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. More than 823,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers. I am hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support. On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support. I greatly appreciate your generosity.”

Donate to the cause here.

Re-up: The Pharcyde – Pork

A reader/commenter asked for a repost of this Pharcyde B-side I posted in August. Normally, I would just e-mail these sorts of requests, but there wasn’t an address for which to send.

So please forgive a repeat post. But if you haven’t grabbed these tracks, get to it.

Check out a Wired Listening Post interview with Muxtape creator Justin Ouellete. Then go listen to my Muxtape (which is in need of updating).