Best On Vinyl 2008

Without further ado… Links take you to purchase sites. No link means that it is not available at the moment.

12″ Category

1. Thee Oh Sees

thee_oh_sees_the_masters_bedroom_is_worth_spending_a_night_in

thee_oh_sees-thee_hounds_of_foggy_notion_2thee_oh_sees_peanutmtn004ep

The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending the Night In /
Hounds of Foggy Notion / Peanut Butter Oven Ep / Split 12″ w. The
Intelligence

Qmass: The EPs sound like they are likely The Master’s bedroom outtakes, and all of it is just as good as anything on The Master’s Bedroom, so I’d  be doing Thee Oh Sees a disservice by choosing only one. No band captured my attention the way that John Dwyer’s OCS/The Ohsees etc did with their string of increasingly limited and difficult to acquire full lengths, 12″ eps, and the one 7″ that came out. So good. Even though I am not as big of a fan as Kallen on the Hounds of Foggy Notion album, it has certainly grown on me.

Kallen: As noted above, I’m actually more of a fan of Thee Hounds of Foggy Notion than anything else they’ve put out in this prolific year of theirs. I mean, I really have no qualms with the turn in direction they made with Master’s Bedroom (“Visit Colonel” is most definitely one of my favorite songs of the year) but Hounds is them at their most top-notch front to back – perhaps, due to the fact that it’s actually a live collection of their older, folkier material. Anyway, I think of this as a greatest hits collection (I guess this reveals which side I’m on in the neverending ‘greatest hits’ debate). They’ve managed to find all my favorite songs of theirs to date and put them in one collection (and don’t worry, you can’t have audience noise without an audience and also, these live versions don’t stray too far off from the originals at all). One last thing: if anything, Hounds gets my #1 pick for versatility alone. It’s great for actual listening but it also works as background music (napping, schooling, maybe even fucking?).

“Inquiry Perpetrated” from the Intelligence Split

2. Nobunny – Love Visions (Bubbledumb / 1 2 3 4 Go!)

nobunny-love-visions-front-cover

Qmass: Originally released this summer by Bubbledumb, but the guy who ran the label had a string of terrible things happen to him, which made this record impossible to find until it was re-issued last month by 1-2-3-4 Go! Records. Since I finally got my copy, it has rarely left the turntable, instant hooks, timeless melodies, a half naked dude in a bunny mask – its all here.

Kallen: I love Mr. Nobunny. Listening to Love Visions the 30 or so times I’ve done so far made me happier than anything else this year, musically or otherwise. May it grant me (and you) as much happiness the next 30 listens. This has ‘instant, modern classic’ written all over it, think Guitar Romantic. If we at Seven Ten Twelve weren’t giving you combined lists, this would get my #1 and I’m well aware of what I wrote above re: Thee Oh Sees.

“Chuck Berry Holiday”

3. Cheveu – S/T (S-S)

chev

Qmass: This record took two months to leave my turntable, and when I pick it up again, I get the same satisfaction. “Herman Choune” is one of my favourite songs of the year, and I even like “Happiness”, which many seem to hate. Primitive futurism.

Kallen: One of my most anticipated records of 2008? Yes. Expectations met? Absolutely. Exceeded? Don’t know. All I know is that this record is all over the map but it still sounds French as fuck. When this record stopped spinning on my turntable for the first time, I knew that this ‘weird punk’ thing had already hit its peak right here in 2008. Yeah, I feel as dirty for writing that as you are for reading it, okay?

“Dog”

4. Blank Dogs – On Two Sides (Troubleman Unlimited)

bdlpsmall

Qmass: Though of late I’ve been thinking that The Fields is an improvement on this, every release seems to be an improvement on the one before. As a debut LP, this has historic qualities, and this album has enough of Blank Dogs weird nostalgia to go around. Blank Dogs singular vision alone makes this a worthwhile endeavor.

Kallen: While I’m not nearly as big of a Blank Dogs super-fan as my cohort Paul is, sure I enjoyed On Two Sides a hell of a lot. I really likes the more guitar, less synths approach he took with this one. Here’s to hoping his In The Red debut is as good as this.

5. Thomas Function – Celebration (Alive)

thomasfunctionlp


Kallen: I’m actually in the video above, very briefly. Guess which member of the audience I am and win the prize of the warm fuzzy feeling I’ll send out to you for knowing that a complete stranger (most likely) took the time out to try to spot me in a 3-minute YouTube video.

Qmass: “A Long Walk” is as unrelenting as “Can’t Say No” is catchy. A shame you would never hear songs this good on the radio – they should sell “Can’t Say No” to Miley Cirus or the Jonas Bros. Like everything in this top 5 so far, this album got a great deal of play from me.

6. Wax Museums – S/T (Douchemaster)
waxreadyfront

Qmass: HEY! I GOT LOCKED IN THE MALL! Wax Museums finally release their debut, and it does not disappoint – so many instant classics. Looking forward to the Fan Club Florida’s Dying is doing next year.

Kallen:  I bought this on a whim and at first, like a few other records on this list, I wasn’t so hot on it but I soon realized the key to enjoying the Wax Museums’ S/T is to really put yourself in the mindset of a 10 year-old. If that is too much of a stretch for you, get drunk and then listen to this. Same effect. Simply put, this is the most juvenile record I’ve heard in 2008. God, I still don’t know if “Cowboys & Indians” is offensive as hell or just plain hilarious.

7. Vivian Girls –  S/T (In the Red/Mauled By Tigers)
vivian

Qmass: There were a few bands working with similar material as the Vivian Girls (such as Crystal Stilts, some of the Sic Alps material on this years Stltbreeze release), though none were as successfull. The songs on this album are short and sweet, well worth any percieved hype (though next time you find yourself ranting about how “big” Vivian Girls are, ask your Mom or your little sister who they are).

Kallen: Man, the backlash sure came quick with these gals, didn’t it? Fuck ’em, their band will never write a song that’s as powerful of a mission statement as “Tell The World”.

8. Cheap Time – S/T (In the Red)

cheap-time

Kallen: And to think, I didn’t like this record so much the first time I heard it (I think it was the vocals or something)! I thank my agnostic god every day that they clicked just in time for me to witness them live at Gonerfest. Anyway, I listen to this record once or twice a week now. Their cover of The End’s “People Talk” is another one of my favorite songs of the year. Has anyone else noticed how bitter the lyrics are? Dude is pissed off.

Qmass: Yes! “People Talk” is so good. So good. Every time I listen to this record, I have a new favourite song, which says something. Like Kallen, this one is a grower, not a show-er.

9. Wavves – S/T (Woodsist)

wavveslpsmall

Kallen: Assuming the rumors are true, congratulations for signing to Sub Pop! May you get even a tenth of the expanded budget that Fleet Foxes undoubtedly has now!

Qmass: A late year addition! For being a debut album for a solo album, this album has a tonne of ideas, hooks, melodies. Lo-fi, but sounds are fairly varried. The song “Wavves” (by Wavves, on the album Wavves) is impossibly good.

10. TV Ghost – S/T (Die Stasi)

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Kallen: Call it no-wave, noise-rock, post-punk. Whatever. I couldn’t care less. This is unsettling music for unsettling times and shit, it’s fronted by a dead-ringer for Ian Svenonius as well!

7″

1. Hunx and His Punx – You Don’t Like Rock and Roll 7″ (Rob’s House)

hunx

Qmass: The catchiest gay pop songs you will hear this year. I love everything about this record – the sleeve, the songs, the video, Nobunny’s riffs.

Kallen: Gets #1 for the packaging alone (scratch-and-win style covering of his dong) and hey, the music is pretty fantastic as well. As catchy (and gay) as anything you’ve heard this year and Nobunny proves he has the magic touch with his guitar stylings. Did I mention the handclaps, oh the handclaps!!! I still can’t believe this guy is/was a member of Gravy Train. I mean, yeah, I actually can but they were never this good.

2. The Wicked Awesomes – Information Entropy 7″ (Almost Ready)

wicked

Qmass: The video is from the tour my band went on with The Wicked Awesomes in support of this 7″, so needless to say I have some bias here. I can honestly say that The Wicked Awesomes have songs that will stick in your brain for weeks and weeks, and no matter how many times I have seen them, I cannot get sick of them. Friend rock!

Kallen: Undoubtedly for me, the best band going in Alberta right now. They take some left-of-the-beaten-path influences and turn it all into something that’s oddly enough, very singular. “Wizard Ship Star Destroyer” makes me feel like I’m at the best bar mitzvah ever… and with that one, I’ll quit while I’m behind.

3. Catatonic Youth – Piss Scene 7″ (Hozac)

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Qmass: You must have a sense of how stoked I am on the Hozac label, right? They realeased a heafty stack of 7″s this year, and the only one I don’t like is the Subtle Turnhips one. The Catatonic Youth “Piss Scene” EP from this summer is my favourite Hozac release of the year – the songs are great (its a shame that only 500 copies of this exist – more people need to hear this, though the same could be said with much on this list), and the packaging is top notch.

4. Dead Luke – Box Set (Sacred Bones)

dead-luke-box

Kallen: You listened to “Jumping Jack Flash Drive”, right?

Qmass: Kallen likes Record 2, I like Record 1 (“I Want You” kills).

5. Eric & The Happy Thoughts – Never Gonna Do It (Bubbledumb)

eric-and-the-happy

Kallen: Eric and the Happy Thoughts have this classic sound that I bet parents and children could really bond to while listening. I wouldn’t know for sure though because my father doesn’t listen to music and my mother only listens to classical exclusively. Anyway, this Romance Novels spin-off reminds me of a band I’d have formed in junior/senior high school but the difference between us and EATHT is that while they’re making AM-friendly pop hits effortlessly and perfectly, we’re selling our souls at menial day jobs.

5. The Barbaras – Summertime Road (Goner)

barbaras

Kallen: These days, I enjoy Jay Reatard’s backing band (read: the Barbaras) a lot more than Reatard himself. I’m sure I violated some code saying that but I really can’t get enough of these guys. They’re not the first to combine pop and Memphis soul (e.g. doo-wop) but they combine it with a quick-fire energy that I’ve never heard. Also, I probably had the most fun at Gonerfest watching them. I think I said on Twitter at the time (yeah yeah) that they’re a “pure musical distillation of fun and joy”. I still stand by that 100%.

6. Eat Skull – Dead Families (Skulltones)

deadfamilies

Qmass: I’ve come back to this a great deal over the year – and for this list it came down to this vs. Meth Teeth’s “Bus Rides” 7″, which lives in the same grungy basement, with the same Fisher Price cassette deck/recording studio. The 7″ works better for me than their LP, which is good, but hard to get through. Maybe if the LP had these songs? “Dead Familes” rulz, “No Intelligence” rulz.

7. The Ostrich – Mt Fuji in Red 7″ (Self Released)

ostrich1

Qmass: The Ostrich were in my top 10 last year, and here they are again. If they were from Memphis or Brooklyn, they would be on everyones year end lists (though I guess that isn’t totally fair – Calgary’s Women have been doing great business this year).  When I randomly bought the first 7″ and fell in love, I said that they were a fitting soundtrack to Calgary’s progress-gone-haywire, and I still think it is true for this release, though they capture the claustrophobia and menace a lot better on this one. Sad to see them break up. I have great hopes for Chris Zaijko (Ostrich’s wild man vocalist) and Mike Bressanutti (Ostrich’s drummer) and their new band Sharp Ends, who are working in the same vein as The Ostrich. The Sharp Ends debut show in November was my favourite show of the year. Go Calgary!

Kallen: A more than worthy exit to one of the best bands Calgary has ever shat out.

8. The Dutchess and the Duke – Never Had a Chance 7″ (Hozac)

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Qmass: B-Side “Scorpio” is one of my favourite songs this year

9. Blank Dogs – Setting Fire To Your House 7″ (4:2:2)

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Qmass: Yes! More Blank Dogs awesome-ness. His best 7″ until the next one comes out.

10. Sex/Vid – Nests (Dom America)

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Kallen: If you made me choose between Tania and Nests, I’d kill you. Actually, I’d let Sex/Vid’s music do it for me. This stuff’ll suffocate you. Now that Fucked Up has chosen to be… something else, Sex/Vid is my pick for best hardcore band going right now. I could be wrong though, hardcore is one of the last genres I’d claim to be anything of an expert on.

New Blank Dogs – Daggerman 7″ out now (+The Pizzas 7″)

Blank Dogs Daggerman

Out now on Daggerman Records is this new 7″ from SevenTenTwelve favourite Blank Dogs. Feels like I’ve been waiting for this one for an eternity, though apparently there was a holdup with the sleeves being printed. More lofi weirdness for your collection, and I would expect this single to be gone pretty quickly. 500 press with the first 100 in red vinyl, which is already almost sold out. Still waiting on the full length on Troubleman…

a1: Freezing Lights
a2: Message One
a3: Sight Under
b1: Freezing Styles
b2: Message Two
Blank Dogs Mirrored Cassette

Got my Blank Dogs Mirrored Lights cassette in the mail the other day, which just might be my favourite set of songs (seriously), specifically the song “Freezing Styles,” which is currently my favourite Blank Dogs song. Reminds me of Joy Division sung by an alien. So good.  What is awesome is that you can download mp3’s of every single Blank Dog’s release so far (including the Daggerman release above) at the Blank Dogs Blog (where Mr. Blank Dogs uploads obscure shit from his private stas Just scroll all the way to the bottom. Also, if you need to have this cassette in your collection (150 made, most of those went to the Blank Box that already sold out last year), there is one on Ebay (not mine).

The Pizzas 7″ Daggerman

Also out on Daggerman Records is this new 7″ from The Pizzas, a band I otherwise unfamiliar with, though I have been spending a lot of time at their MySpace lately. Punk rock that often reminds me The Descendants (perhaps only when they do their subtle melody shifts), but with some more hardcore influences thrown in to give it more of a rough edge . Either way, I am stoked on this, and you should be too. 500 press with the first 100 on orange vinyl

Why not order the new Dan Melchior Und Das Menace – Christmas for the Crows LP from Daggerman while you are at it?

USA
one 7″ – $6.00 ppd
two 7″ – $10.75 ppd
three 7″ – $14.00 ppd
four 7″ – $17.50 ppd
five 7″ – $21.00 ppd
six 7″ – $23.99 ppd

CANADA/MEX/South America
one 7″ – $6.95 ppd
two 7″ – $12.75 ppd
three 7″ – $16.75 ppd
four 7″ – $20.25 ppd
five 7″ – $23.25 ppd
six 7″ – $26.25 ppd

EUROPE/rest of WORLD
one 7″ – $9.25 ppd
two 7″ – $14.50 ppd
three 7″ – $19.95 ppd
four 7″ – $24.50 ppd
five 7″ – $28.25 ppd
six 7″ – $32.50 ppd

Paypal to daggermanrec@yahoo.com

Dan Melchior Und Das Menace LP – $12.00 plus $2.00 shipping USA, $5.00 Canada/Mexico, $7.00 Europe/World

Meth Teeth 7″ + Blank Dogs Reissue Available

Meth Teeth Sweet Rot SingleBlack Dogs Sweet Rot Single

These two SevenTenTwelve favourites are available (as of now) for ordering, directly from Sweet Rot. I believe that this warrants yet another post because these things are scarce and will go fast fast fast: 100 copies of the Meth Teeth on White vinyl / 250 of the Blank dogs 7″ with an inverse colours on the cover (and because the original is in greater supply, this one should end up being the “collectors item” if you are into that kind of shit).

This is from Sweet Rot’s description:
SRR-05 – METH TEETH 7”
Debut record from Meth Teeth, a Portland, Oregon three piece featuring members of Leper Print, Night Wounds, and Artificial Limbs. The A-side (both songs are on the band’s page) aims straight for the throat with a lo-fi, blown out approach that doesn’t sacrifice any catchiness. Side B softens things up a bit with two haunting and infectious folk songs. “Shimmery melodies caked in scuzz,” says DJ Rick. For fans of Bob Dylan, Hunches, Donovan, Ohsees, Sic Alps, etc. Later this year, Sweet Rot will be releasing the Meth Teeth debut LP.

Side A: Bus Rides + Unemployment Forever
Side B: To My Good Friend + Boring Artifacts

100 copies on white vinyl (available through mailorder only…ONE copy per order)
400 copies on black vinyl

SRR-04 – BLANK DOGS 7”
The first 700 copies of these flew out the door. Available one last time in a final pressing of 250 copies. Colours on the sleeve have been reversed.

Side A: The Doorbell Fire
Side B: Outside Alarmer + It Was

Blank Dogs – Diana (The Herald) Repress

Blank Dogs Diana The Herald

I just saw that there is a second (or third? not sure…) pressing of SevenTenTwelve favourite Blank Dogs available from Sacred Bones. I am listening to Blank Dogs practically every day – everything just feels so original and effortless.

Also available for what (I assume) is a very short time today was the Mirrored Cassette, released by this guy. The Blank Dogs site has it listed as “Sold Out” – so I think that is that. I got lucky and managed to secure one for myself, which is pretty sweet, though he was pretty adamant that he “only had a few” (the majority being promised as part of the”Blank Box”).

I also understand that we are two weeks away from the release of the Troubleman Unlimited LP “On Both Sides” – from what I have heard of this LP (which is the stuff playing on his MySpace page) is the best Blank Dogs musics yet.

Also: this video for the song “Poison Ivy” (off the 7″ on Florida’s Dying)

Meth Teeth – Sweet Rot 7″ Preview

Bus Rides (?)
Unemployment Forever (?)
Listen at Myspace
Purchase (soon) from Sweet Rot Records
Meth Teeth Sweet Rot Single

One of the singles I am most looking forward to. I found out about Meth Teeth when I went on my Blank Dogs trip a month ago, namely that Sweet Rot records, who put out the Blank Dogs Doorbell Fire single is also putting out a 7″ any day now from Meth Teeth. In fact, I keep going back every other day to check if it is available or not. It isn’t… yet.

Which doesn’t stop me from listening to the songs they have up on their Myspace, two of which are going to be on the upcoming single. Trading on the same oddities and obscurro production that I have been really keen on lately (see: Blank Dogs obsession), Meth Teeth add just the right amount of melody to keep shit interesting – there are songs here, but not the kind of songs you want to listen to alone in your apartment in the middle of the night after watching that movie “Fire in the Sky.” Something completely unnerving about these tunes.

Blank Dogs – 2007 Releases

1. “First Two Weeks” 12″ EP-Freedom School Records-Sold Out. Repress soon.

First Two Weeks 12″

2. 7″-Hozac Records-1st Press Sold Out, 2nd Press still available (try Tic Tac Totally Mailorder)

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3. 7″-Sweet Rot Records-1st Press Sold Out, 2nd Press soon available. (Try Black Mountain Distro)

Black Dogs Sweet Rot Single

4. “Diana (The Herald)” 12″ EP-Sacred Bones Records-Sold Out. Repress soon (Try Tic Tac Totally Mailorder)

Blank Dogs Diana the Herald

5. 7″ EP-Florida’s Dying Records-Sold Out (Try Bistro-Distro)

Blank Dogs Florida is Dying.

So there is this guy working under the name of Blank Dogs that was uber prolific last year, and I had managed to avoid hearing anything from him, or reading any thing about him, until he started popping up on all of these year end best-of lists. And by “all these” I am referring to one or two, though one top ten of 2007 included four of these releases. So by the time I catch the scent – it is too late, and all of these are sold out. This causes great concern for me (I’m slipping!), but I managed to track down all of these via various distro’s (linked where still available). It just takes a long time.

What someone who knows how to code or whatnot needs to do is set up some kind of Amazon-style website of “If you liked this, try this!”, but with links to all of these various boutique labels. Kind of like a dumping ground of links to various small scale labels (as opposed to another Insound or something). Or not. I’ve just spent so much time searching google for short run seven inches and the like, and keep thinking that there has to be a better way.

For example, this came to my attention today – HoZac records just released a new Blank Dogs 7″ (ltd to 200 green), which you can get that right from their MySpace page. Crazy, I am eager to hear this one (though it says US only, so maybe I am going to have to ask someone in the US to order it for me).

If you like Blank Dogs, keep your eyes peeled in 2008 as they are putting out 12 – yes 12 (!!) releases this year…

1. 7″ EP-Daggerman Records-Coming Soon

2. “Mirror Lights” Cassette-Coming Soon

3. Blank Box (all 2007 Releases+inserts+1&2 from 2008, SOLD OUT, Coming Soon)*

4. “On Two Sides” LP-Troubleman Records (February?), cassette version on Fuck it Tapes-Coming Soon

5. Ltd. 7″ on Troubleman

6. 7″ on 4:2:2 Records (Denmark)

7. Untitled LP/CD-In The Red Records

8. Singles Anthology Cassette on Heavy Tapes-Coming Soon

9. Singles Anthology CD on Sacred Bones-March(?)

10. 7″ on Woodsist

11. Cassette on Bum Tapes

12. 7″ on Slowboy (Germany)