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Twenty One Pilots "Location Sessions" (2021 Record Store Day EP)

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For Record Store Day 2021, the indie-pop duo Twenty One Pilots issued a four-song EP titled Location Sessions . This EP was pressed in grey vinyl and limited to 16,000 copies. It was released on June 12th of 2021, the first of two Record Store Day "drop dates" during that year. The EP contained live versions of three songs from the duo's 2018 Trench album, as well as a "live from outside" version of the 2020 single "Level Of Concern". These Location Sessions tracks aren't half bad. The live version of "Chlorine" is preferable to the higher-tech studio version, with Tyler Joseph's vocals sounding nearer and natural as he voices the bizarre metaphors in the lyrics, with a more organic piano sound, and with the song's length being wisely shortened. The live version of "Cut My Lip" is no less technology-based than the studio version, though it does have a slightly warmer sound here even with the AutoTune effects; it

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 47: Jack White “Live at the Masonic Temple: Detroit 7/30/14” (2021)

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The 47th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in March and April of 2021. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its members every three months. The 47th Vault package contained a 4-LP live album from Jack White recorded in 2014, and a 7-inch single featuring the songs White performed on Saturday Night Live in October 2020. The mammoth 4-LP set Live At The Masonic Temple: Detroit 7/30/14 documents White’s mammoth three-hour-plus concert at that place and date. The four discs were pressed in colored 180-gram vinyl, the first one white, the second one dark blue, the third one black, and the fourth one in swirled light-blue. The LP’s were housed i

Robert Plant “Live At Knebworth 1990” (2021 Record Store Day EP)

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For the first Drop Date of Record Store Day 2021, scheduled for June 12th, a live EP by Robert Plant will be issued, featuring four songs performed by the legendary Led Zeppelin frontman at the 1990 Knebworth Festival. The Live At Knebworth 1990 EP will be limited to 4,700 colored vinyl copies. It contains the same four songs that were included on the Knebworth various artists compilation album from the event. The Knebworth Festival was a recurring summer event in Knebworth, England during many of the years between 1974 and 2014, but the 1990 festival (which was broadcast worldwide on MTV) is remembered for its particularly stellar lineup of performers, which included Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Phil Collins and Genesis, Dire Straits, Cliff Richard, Status Quo, and Tears For Fears. Robert Plant’s rocking set during this festival featured a surprise appearance by Jimmy Page, and the reunited Led Zeppelin legends were heard to better effect than they were du

The Gun Club "The Birth, The Death, The Ghost" (1983)

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For the second Drop Date of Record Store Day 2021, scheduled for July 17th, an obscure live album from the Gun Club – the early punk rock band led by the late Jeffrey Lee Pierce – will be reissued in a limited run of 1,800 red-colored vinyl copies. The Birth, The Death, The Ghost was previously released in 1983 and 1989 in the U.K. only. This album was recorded in 1980, before the recording of the Gun Club’s 1981 debut album Fire Of Love . The early lineup included guitarist Kid Congo Powers (aka Brian Tristan), who later played with the Cramps and with Nick Cave. Bass player Rob Ritter and drummer Terry Graham, who both played on Fire Of Love , had previously played with the notorious Los Angeles punk band The Bags (aka The Alice Bag Band). The 13 live tracks were recorded at four different L.A. club shows during that year. These early recordings were sourced from tapes recorded by Graham’s sister Lois, so the sound has a consistently muddy bootleg-like quality. Still, it’s fortuna

"Never Enough": Baby Grand vs. Patty Smyth

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The Philadelphia band known as the Hooters achieved their widest fame in 1985, when they opened the Live Aid benefit concert in their hometown, and when their double-platinum major-label debut album Nervous Night spawned three Top 40 hit singles (“Day By Day”, “And We Danced”, “Where Do The Children Go”). The band’s founders, Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian, have also had a hand in writing hit songs for others. Most notably, Hyman co-wrote Cyndi Lauper’s 1984 #1 hit “Time After Time” (on which he also sang the harmony vocal), and Bazilian penned Joan Osborne’s 1995 #4 hit “One Of Us”. Another common thread that runs through all of the songs mentioned above is their producer, Rick Chertoff. The long friendship between Chertoff and the Hooters founders dates back to the ‘70’s, when Hyman and Bazilian formed an earlier band with vocalist Dave Kagan called Baby Grand. (Hyman, Chertoff, and Kagan also had previously played together in an unsigned early-‘70’s Philly band called Wax). The self

Third Man Records vinyl exclusives, Part 46: White Stripes “Greatest Hits” Expanded Edition (2020)

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The 46th set of exclusive vinyl items offered to members of Third Man Records’ Vault service was mailed out to the members in December of 2020. For those who are unaware, Third Man Records is the label owned by Jack White, who is the leader of the White Stripes, the Raconteurs, and the Dead Weather, and is now a solo artist. The Vault service promises to deliver exclusive vinyl-only records (usually one full-length album and one 7” single) to its members every three months. The 46th Vault package contained an expanded version of the White Stripes’ Greatest Hits album released in late 2020. While the regular vinyl issue of the compilation album was a double-LP set titled My Sister Thanks You And I Thank You , the Vault variation was a 3-LP set titled Aside From That And Besides This , featuring a third disc filled with bonus B-sides and rarities. The first disc was pressed in white vinyl, the second in red vinyl, and the third (the B-sides disc) in splattered red-white-and-black &qu

David Lee Roth's DLR Band (1998)

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It was good to see Van Halen reunite with their original frontman David Lee Roth while Eddie Van Halen was still alive, because it was a reunion that I once thought would never happen . Why? Because a failed attempt was made at such a reunion back in 1996. Roth briefly rejoined the band at that point, recording two new VH studio tracks for the compilation album Best Of – Volume 1 , and appearing on camera with the rest of the band on MTV . But the sham reunion ran aground after Roth and Eddie Van Halen clashed, and the VH frontman slot was then ephemerally held by former Extreme singer Gary Cherone – with whom the band recorded the ill-fated Van Halen III album in 1998. For his part, Roth went ahead and recorded his own surprisingly hard-rocking album with an outfit called the DLR Band, or David Lee Roth Band. This album was distributed on Roth's own indie label called Wawazat!!. The self-titled DLR Band CD sounded quite similar to early Van Halen, but was rawer in nature. One of

Brian May & Friends "Star Fleet Project" (1983 mini-LP)

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Brian May & Friends were a one-off supergroup which paired the Queen guitarist with the late Edward Van Halen. The other “friends” in the band were drummer Alan Gratzer of REO Speedwagon, bassist Phil Chen (who had played with Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck), and session keyboardist Fred Mandel (who had recently worked with Queen and Alice Cooper). The group’s 1983 album Star Fleet Project was a spontaneous work completed in about two days, inspired by the music score for a science fiction television series. The three-song mini-album has long been out of print, but has attracted new attention since the death of Eddie Van Halen, and Brian May has discussed the possibility of an eventual reissue. Star Fleet was the British title of the early-‘80’s animated marionette sci-fi series which originated in Japan as X Bomber . The end-credits theme music for the show’s U.K. version was composed by British keyboardist Paul Bliss, who played with later incarnations of the Moody Blues and the