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Showing posts from April, 2011

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 7

Last week I received the seventh pair of exclusive vinyl items offered to platinum members of Third Man Records’ Vault service. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (one full-length album and one 7” single) to its platinum members every three months. According to the postmark, my package was sent on April 15th. I received it on the 18th.

This seventh set of items consists of a 2-LP compilation of all Third Man Records singles released in 2010, and two 7” singles. One of the singles features two cover songs from the 5.6.7.8’s. The other single contains three covers by the White Stripes of Captain Beefheart songs, recorded in 2000.

The 5.6.7.8’s are the Japanese girl group who are best known to American audiences for their appearance in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1. The A-side of the single contains a co…

Radiohead "Supercollider" and "The Butcher"

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Those of us who purchased the Radiohead album The King Of Limbs as a digital download before April 18th received a pleasant surprise this week. The band thanked us by offering free downloads of two additional tracks, titled “Supercollider” and “The Butcher”.

These tracks were released on a limited edition 12-inch vinyl single as a Record Store Day item. The song on the B-side, “The Butcher”, was recorded during the King Of Limbs sessions. The A-side, “Supercollider”, was begun during those sessions but was finished this past March. Although both songs use the same basic ingredients – jittery beats, languid soundscapes, low-volume falsetto vocals – as the songs on The King Of Limbs, both of these tracks would probably stand apart (and stand out) if they had been included on the album. “Supercollider” is a seven-minute song with a fuller sound than most of the tracks on The King Of Limbs. Its use of keyboards makes it somewhat reminiscent of the more laid-back entries in the ‘80’s synth-…

Liz Phair “Juvenilia” EP (1995)

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Depending on your reference point, Liz Phair is either a daring alternative artist from the ‘90’s, or a commercial-minded one-hit-wonder from the ‘00’s. Phair made a name for herself with her 1993 debut album Exile In Guyville, an amazingly confident set of 18 lo-fi songs (some of which had very explicit sexual lyrics) which opened the door for similar female alternative artists that followed. She continued to push the envelope with her next two albums: the polished Whip-Smart (1994) and the sophisticated whitechocolatespaceegg (1998). But Phair’s next course of action was unexpected: after a five-year hiatus, she returned in 2003 with the self-titled Liz Phair album, a slickly produced set that was evidently designed to appeal to the Avril Lavigne crowd. That album yielded a Top 40 single called “Why Can’t I?”, but it also prompted a backlash from her older fans who felt she had sold out. She tried even harder to sell out on her 2005 album Somebody’s Miracle, an unabashed collection …