In the unpredictable wake of music's digital rebirth, vinyl has experienced a modest boom in popularity, seen by many (with delicious irony) as a replacement for the awkward middleman that is the compact disc. INCHES seeks not only to review the output of L.A.'s healthy vinyl community (artists and labels, indie or otherwise), but to pay dap to those who continue to tend the flame, believing that good music deserves much more than a handful of ones and zeros.
Label: Eenie Meenie (West Hollywood)
Title: Doodoo Face
Format: LP (+ download card), "fireworks glasses," 500 pressed
They've soundtracked our most viral fast food inclinations. They've repudiated Jay-Z's "Death Of Autotune" by pitch-shifting Hova himself. They've declared "booty tweet" the "new booty call." After a rich few months of Internet exploitation and four years of slowly building before that, Oakland's satire-loving Wallpaper duo has dropped its debut LP via Eenie Meenie. Noobs may be surprised to find that while an off-kilter humor courses throughout -- and Ricky Reed's lyrics surely exemplify an exaggerated love of wealth/women/wine -- Doodoo Face is a stylish set of bona fide bangers with more than a few dark corners to explore. It's gritty and glitzy, high concept and lowbrow -- sentiment echoed perfectly by the album art, which is indisputably at its best in 12-inch format. Included is a set of prismatic paper glasses to enhance the viewing experience.
Wondering how Wallpaper captured that hi-fi sound?
Purchase now via the Eenie Meenie web store.
Artist: The Doors
Label: Rhino (Burbank)
Title: all of 'em
Format: 180-gram vinyl, individually or as a limited (12,500 produced) box set
It's hard to imagine L.A. without The Doors, and harder still to find quality copies of that band's seminal but small discography on LP. Naturally, the reissue specialists at Rhino have got a solution to this problem: 180-gram represses of each album (the Morrison years only, of course) in its original stereo mix from The Doors ('67), to Strange Days ('67), to Waiting For The Sun ('68), to The Soft Parade ('69), to Morrison Hotel ('70), to L.A. Woman ('71). Those remarkably fruitful five years did a lot to shape this city's musical landscape, and turns out The Doors' music came in some pretty shapely packaging, recreated faithfully here and most impressively with L.A. Woman's see-thru photo slide mock-up. Last year's faux lizard skin-clad box set (pictured) is still available and includes all of the albums released individually last week, along with an exclusive mono mix of the group's debut. Heavy, to say the least.
Purchase now via the Rhino web store.
Label: Circle Star Records (Mt. Washington)
Title: "It's My Life!"
Format: 7-inch, under 500 pressed
As the good ship Dâm-Funk climbs higher into the stratosphere in advance of the man's 5LP debut album, Toeachizown, it only makes sense that we ground ourselves to look at the past. Stones Throw CEO Peanut Butter Wolf has taken upon himself to start a new (and perhaps one-off) imprint, Circle Star Records, in order to release some of Dâm's earliest work, which as it turns out, is over two decades old. A-side "It's My Life" bears a 1988 vintage and finds a high-voiced young Funk running down the list of rebellious things he'd like to do over a spare, kinda Princey electro track. The B-side, "I Like Your Big Azz (Girl)," hails from '92 and features an era-appropriate New Jack R&B/funk hybrid with lyrics that respectfully (for real) celebrate the titular object of affection. We'd say "get it while it's hot," but Dâm's sizzle don't fade.
Purchase now via the Stones Throw web store.
Label: Anticon (Downtown)
Title: Eskimo Snow
Format: LP (+ bonus download), gatefold poster
The image of a celebratory mummy (pictured on the cover with flowers, and on the poster with balloons) goes a long way to summing up the grinning morbidity of any good WHY? album. This latest represents the best context for such strange musings yet: frontman Yoni Wolf sings straight-faced (no raps) over unfolding psych pop and Americana played by the Cincinnati (via Oakland, via Cincinnati) band's usual players with assistance from Fog's Andrew Broder and Mark Erickson. In fact, it was not only the same group but the same Minneapolis recording session that birthed WHY?'s more sarcastic and rhythmically inclined 2008 album, Alopecia. Nevertheless, the two are completely different creatures, and Eskimo Snow excels at a sober sincerity backed up by some stunning arrangements.
Purchase now via the Anticon web store.
Origami Vinyl's Top Ten Best-Sellers: September 5 - 18
Says Origami manger Sean Stentz, "These are slightly skewed due to our FYF Fest booth."
01. HEALTH - Get Color LP (Lovepump United)
02. Nobunny - Love Visions LP (1-2-3-4 Go!)
03. Times New Viking - "Move To California" 7-inch (Matador)
04. Sunny Day Real Estate - Diary LP reissue (Sub Pop)
05. Sunny Day Real Estate - LP2 LP reissue (Sub Pop)
06. Yo La Tengo - Popular Songs LP (Matador)
07. Black Lips - Let It Bloom LP (In The Red)
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08. Peanut Butter Wolf - My Vinyl Weighs A Ton LP (Stones Throw)
09. Fucked Up - "No Epiphany" 7-inch (Matador)
10. Woods - Songs Of Shame LP (Woodsist)
Origami Vinyl is located at 1816 W. Sunset Blvd., 90026 (213.413.3030).