Record Store Day 2019

It been a few weeks since Record Store Day took place, an event which I have been looking forward to for ages. But one part left a bitter impression on me, hence why I took a while longer to write this blog.

For RSD it is always good to be there before the store opens. Some releases have a limited print run and if it is of a popular band, you might have to compete to nab it first. Promised to meet up with a friend and arrived just in time to see the doors being opened. There was a line before the store, but once inside everybody just pressed on, swarming the releases. I had been to the same store the year before but now it seemed more chaotic. And maybe it was just my anxiety acting up again. I don’t do well in crowds.

Sadly the record I really wanted, Orbital limited print 1500 worldwide, was nabbed before my nose. Fair play to the guy beating me to it. Still I didn’t leave the store empty handed. The 20th anniversary record of Right Here Right Now by Fatboy Slim was a welcome addition to my collection. I ended up purchasing 10 records that day. A big haul compared to the year before. I was even lucky to find the 2016 RSD release of Hooverphonic that I missed.

The weather was nice, we hung out at the bookshop before we had one of the greatest lunches I had for a while. Something different than ramen. 😉
I’ve been not feeling that fantastic lately, which is why I was happy that the day was fun for me. Great company helps too.

The bitter part didn’t start until the day after RSD. I’ve always detested scalpers. People who buy limited releases and sell them at a higher price later. I had this discussion with a coworker before with him saying business is business but I refuse to take part in that crap. So the day after the Orbital record was offered for €30 while you could have bought it for €12.99 on RSD. At least I found out who did this at Discogs making sure I’d never ever buy something from them in the future. Eventually, I managed to get it for £10.99 even if I needed to pay more in shipping than I would have in the Netherlands.

Scalpers ruin the hobby for me at times. If it’s not in the BJD world, it is after RSD when you run into them. But I got it for a decent price after all.

RSD 2019
RSD 2019

Soundboy Rock – Groove Armada

I saw this album pop up on Velvet and was intrigued by the cover art. I love that it was designed by eBoy. But was the music going to be good?

I got to know Groove Armada back in the day when they released ‘My Friend’, which came out in 2001. It was quite a funky sound, but so were a lot of songs at that point in time. I was more into buying radio albums which had dozens of popular songs on them, instead of studio albums by a single artist or group.

But you know what they say, you can’t judge a record by it’s cover. YouTube and Spotify to the rescue for a deeper dive into the songs.

Groove Armada haven’t lost the funk in their music. To my surprise they collaborated with Candi Staton, one of my favourite singers. ‘You Got The Love’ is famous (mostly due to The Source’s remix). When I listen to this album it feels like running in to an old friend. The sound is familiar but you still you find refreshing elements.

All in all I am glad I bought this.

Soundboy Rock - Groove Armada
Soundboy Rock – Groove Armada

Birthday bash: day out with my boyfriend

This week my boyfriend celebrated his birthday and I planned a special day just for the two of us. Last year I was working but I think it’s better for us to spend our birthdays together, away from work doing fun stuff.

I read in the newspaper that the Philips Museum in Eindhoven has a special vinyl expo which made a great combo for our other plan which was to eat ramen at Xu Noodle Bar. YAY!

The day didn’t start out to great with the train broken down on the tracks which meant less trains were going to Eindhoven and we ended having to wait an hour before we could take a less crowded train. The waiting game was played at Star Bucks, where they never fail to misspell my name.

Arriving an hour later than planned we rushed towards Xu Noodle Bar. I just didn’t want to get caught between the lunch break of corporate peeps. Lucky for us it wasn’t crowded so we could have a nice lunch with Classic Pork Ramen (extra meat for the birthday boy) and some tasty snacks.

Itadakimasu!
Itadakimasu!

With our tummies filled up we went to the Philips Museum which is right around the corner. We had quite a different expectation on the vinyl expo. I thought it was showing us how the pressing of the vinyl’s works but nonetheless it was still interesting. Being from Brabant we all know the impact Philips had on the industry of the south. It was awesome to see how the light bulb factory started and through the years the company developed a lot of other electrical products and became important in the medical field.

I would have love to see more about the pressing of vinyl, the display contained a timeline when Philips produced vinyl’s until the development of the first CD. I must say I am happy technology kept developing and making the devices smaller because the first tape recorder and record players were massive.

Bulb factory
Bulb factory
My grandmother had a carpet like this
My grandmother had a carpet like this
Retro bedroom
Retro bedroom
classic turn table
Classic turn table
Queen Gloria
Queen Gloria

All in all it was a fun day with my love.

Listening to vinyl; the new way

I was itching to set up my old bedroom as a place where I could relax, read and listen to some good songs. A couple of years ago I bought a ‘Stir it Up’ turntable made by House of Marley. The company uses a production method that’s environmentally sound and made out recyclables. It’s always good to be aware how your stuff is produced and what a company does to help out the world a little.

I needed separate speakers as the turntable has no internal speakers. My boyfriend as a musician has a better ear for sound than I have, so I asked him for advise when I saw an affordable pair. My room is not big or ideal enough for the expensive ones. The 42W Edifier speakers were a great pick for my first set up, more than enough volume and good frequency response on the low and high end of the spectrum.

Finding a suitable cabinet for my vinyl collection and turntable was the hardest part. At the moment I have 79 records and the collection keeps growing, so I need to keep in mind to have room to spare for future purchases. It’s Record Store Day every year 😉

my turntable setup
my turntable setup

I’ve categorized my vinyl on genre. At the top left you see that my Electronic section is getting full. For now my dollies have a shelf of their own, in the future they might lose it.
And I need better cable management.

It’s set up quite nicely with some sweet sound coming from the speakers. A great place to relax and spin some records.

Shopping for vinyl – week 05

I’m blessed with three vinyl shops in my hometown but the one I visit pretty often is Maestro’s Records. With a nice selection of vinyls, new and second hand, together with a coffee corner it is a great place to waste your time on a dreary wet day. And if you are in the mood to hear some live music, they often have DJ’s spinning some tunes there.

Today I obtained Arcade Fire – The Suburbs and Ghost in the Shell – OST.

Arcade Fire - The Suburbs
Arcade Fire – The Suburbs

Arcade Fire – The Suburbs.
I haven’t heard a song yet from the 3rd studio album of Arcade Fire. Win Butler (frontman) intended it to be listened to in one sitting, an ode to life and looking back to the past. After reading a review about it in OOR magazine I believe I can relate to this album as I am also in my thirties and often tend to look back on my youth with a hint of melancholy. You can say that this album was bought on a whim.
I fell in love with Arcade Fire when I heard their song ‘Everything Now’ during my delivery rounds. I would just sit in my van for a couple of minutes with the song blasting from the shitty speakers.

Ghost in the Shell OST
Ghost in the Shell OST

Ghost in the Shell OST
Ghost in the Shell was one of the first anime’s I’ve seen in my life. The BBC would broadcast them on an ungodly hour because they had themes of violence and angst.
The story blew me away with subjects like cyber-terrorism, what is left of the human self when placed in a machine and does an AI have the right to live free when it becomes self-aware.
‘Making of Cyborg’ is the iconic opening of Ghost in the Shell and I have it on vinyl now. My neighbours are going to enjoy this, not!

Music was my first love

Music has always been a part of my life. It relaxes me, picks me up when I am down. But it will also enhance the negative feelings when listening to the wrong type at the wrong time.

Scientists say that you develop your music taste from when you are 14 until you are 24. During your puberty everything you experience is extremely important to you and you form an attachment to it.

I call this half true because if you follow this rule to the letter it means that you cannot love new types of music when you are beyond your puberty. Till this very day I keep accumulating new sounds onto my playlist. But then again they might be a new song following an old formula.

When I was young my dad would watch ‘Tour of Duty’, a heavily romanticized series about the Vietnam war. I know for sure the real war was a 1000 times more horrifying than depicted on TV. Songs like ‘I heard it through the grapevine’, ‘Paint it black’ and ‘Reach out I’ll be there’ bring me back to when I was watching the series with my dad. These songs also were added to my playlist for life.

Around the same time I discovered MTV. I was in awe with the cool music videos made by bands and artists. A few videos stuck with me like ‘Radio Gaga’ by Queen and ‘Jeanny’ by Falco. I discovered then that my taste in music was quite broad. And because I was glued to the TV during the 80’s and 90’s I still amaze my boyfriend when we play ‘Guess the song’ with my large mind catalog of songs. He also claims that I only love cheesy music.

When you go to high school you fall into the trap of boy bands. Even I wasn’t immune for it. My choice of poison at that time was Take That. My poor aunt and mother were dragged to a concert with me. Too bad you could barely hear them over the screaming girls. It was a phase that didn’t stick with me. I can’t enjoy Take That songs anymore while I do enjoy the current repertoire of Robbie Williams. He matured as did I.

Around 1995-1997 I discovered two completely different directions in music that are still with me now. Daft Punk and Rammstein. Electronic versus progressive metal. ‘Around the World’ had a pretty rhythmic video with a robotic voice. Enter my love for robots here. While Rammstein had this awesome video for ‘Du riechst so gut’ with wolves and gothic ballroom dancers. And that one for my love for the occult and supernatural.
I had the honor to see Daft Punk perform live in 2007, while I still need to see Rammstein one day. Let’s hope they don’t split up any time soon.

From that time, way beyond 24, I kept discovering old and new gems that fall in a lot of categories like Röyksopp (electronic music), Electric Six (rock, punk, new wave, garage), Bloody Beetroots (electronic dance music), 5 Seconds of Summer (pop rock), Macklemore (rap), Arcade Fire (indie rock), Nephew (rock), Stromae (hip hop, electronic music), Kraftwerk (electronic music), Major Lazer (electronic dance music), Mumford & Sons (folk rock), Simon and Garfunkel (folk rock), Four Tops (soul, r&b), Hot Chocolate (funk, soul) and many more.

Now that I look at this list I see a lot of the same categories pop up. So while I think it’s different and a broad taste in music, it often is the same genre with a new jacket. Who knew, the scientists did have a point.