I had no cares in the 1990s, I knew of no downfalls

I’m gathering packages at the post office now–practically hording the damned things. The hazard, I suppose, of working the hours and living in the place I do. Three more just got shipped (yay AmRep!), and of course tomorrow is board game night so I STILL won’t be picking them up.¹²

Anyway, I’d intended to include a variety of things in my RSD post, including my passed-over purchases, one of which was accidental (The Zombies’ Odesssey and Oracle), and one deliberate (Pinback’s self-titled–limited, but black vinyl, and as low as..$21.99?! Utterly unjustified. Might’ve been coloured I now read, but still just too damned much for a domestic pressing, or at least domestic distro).

One thing I’d intended to add and just failed to was my much more skewed award for unexpectedly good find (that I actually got to listen to): Onelinedrawing’s The Volunteers. But as I was driving home from work today, I found myself itching for an album I’d listened to a lot on the way out, that I picked up in Oklahoma a few months back: The Wombats’ This Modern Glitch.

I know the band because I randomly watched The Inbetweeners and their track “Moving to New York” appeared in it, and really caught my ear. I’ve yet to run into the album from which it comes, but I shrugged and picked up this (later) album when I saw it. Immediately, it’s clear that there’s a shine on the group as of this album. “Moving to New York” was like a sardonic Cribs, but this had an electronic sheen on it, from the opener (“Our Perfect Disease”) onward, and openly acknowledged on “Techno Fan”.

It’s something peculiar–not quite the darkness or weight of the Faint’s Danse Macabre, but along those lines, sound-wise, a rock band infused with dance-oriented electronics. And I can only advocate their choice of singles: “1996” is dark, catchy, and pushes that weaving synthline with bassy counterpoint perfectly. Murphy’s an interesting mix of the absurd, the naïve, the nostalgic, and more sardonics. It’s, in its way, quintessentially British–not in the Kinks sense, though, more in the sense of someone from my generation (and Murphy is that: I’ve got almost exactly a month on him). He phrases the accomplishments of the decade against the minor but personally huge moments of his life, noting this directly, even. The video’s a dark, blue-tinted contrast to the catchiness, married instead to the song’s darker undercurrents. Murphy still looks like Robert Smith bred with Paul Reubens, which I don’t mean as any kind of insult, so much as a wild grab at the sense of familiarity he breeds–maybe it’s hints of ol’ Ian McCulloch, too, or that may just be the Liverpudlian connection. I dunno.

The album’s wormed its way into my head pretty thoroughly now, though, as it just nestles itself warmly into the strange mid-ground of the only-slightly-off indie stuff I listen to and the dance-y pop sound of the modern era that was brought upon me by obvious sources (“1996” is, then, a sickeningly bittersweet cross-section of the difficult to explain pangs of day-to-day life for me, tonally my ever-pursued simplistic nostalgia, and aurally a reminder of the person I miss far more than those days).

Check the stuff out, in any case. It’s good. Seriously.

¹Dammit, WordPress. I want my fucking italics!

²I went to check on my Slint box (oh great! another to arrive tomorrow!), and discovered that Hickman is a fucking doofus and has further marred Starlin’s Thanos, and I really, really need to read what Starlin’s doing next month and later this year. So fucking frustrating reading other people fuck up the character, on really basic, obvious points. The Titan worshipped death. CHILDREN? Are you fucking STUPID?

Briefly, though, on the (RS)day:

So, after work Friday, I headed all the way out to Cary (it’s ~3hrs, for the unfamiliar) to hang out with Kyle and sleep on his couch to go out for Record Store Day in an area that actually has record stores in quantity. I stopped at the Winston-Salem FYE (no, I’m not kidding) on the way and picked up a few odd CDs. And stopped at a Chipotle because it’s basically in the mall parking lot (woohoo!).

When I got to Cary, we spent the night talking about work (which is funny, because we’re both under NDAs so it was a lot of not-all-that-much-talking. “There’s this person..and they did this thing…and it was funny,” basically. Obviously, “I talked to this coworker about this not-work-related thing” is allowable, and there was plenty of that.)

We developed another (extremely) questionable commercial idea (this time for a non-existent product, though). Briefly touched upon his current workings on gaming stuff in his spare time, that kind of thing.

So, in the morning, he discovered how early I was up and we headed out for breakfast at Waffle House, after which we headed to Schoolkids out in Raleigh. We waited outside for ~an hour (seriously.) and overheard a mind-numbingly inane conversation that I kept interrupting with extra information (“I have a lesbian friend that’s obsessed with that band,” one of the strangers says, looking at a Tegan and Sara shirt, “They’re lesbians, or sisters, or something.” “Both!” I say cheerfully, from a few rows of records over, said stranger’s companion and Kyle between the two of us). Sadly, Dessa’s Castor, the Twin was not to be found (and it was the only store alleging it would have copies in, well, the state), but I did pick up a few other titles. I set a few down after reconsidering, and missed yet more that I had in mind. It became a curious adventure as the day wore on, to see what was present, missing, or seemingly never present at some stores.

We moved on to Nice Price (Raleigh) next, who were almost completely picked over. I found one of my few used records for the day, but mostly one set of things that was totally wrong for what the day was allegedly about (next post, promise!). I dropped Kyle back off after that, and continued on the rest of my journey solo. Durham meant Offbeat, Nice Price (the other one!), Hunky Dory, and Bull City.

Offbeat continued the standing theme for Offbeat of being kinda weird about what’s present–best possible place to pick up fancy pants reissues (saw the Wings over America set for the first time, the only McCartney “ultra ridiculous” edition I’ve never bought, because it’s a live album, though if I see it again, I cannot promise my will will hold). Nice Price was not participating here (and I confirmed they’ve officially “split” from each other), but had some cool stuff on CD as always (really weird used sellers at that place, I’ve got to say–that’s where I bought my first Tractor Sex Fatality release). Hunky Dory was focused more on the used stuff, and he tends to get in the usual with intermittent treasures, or at least did when I went there regularly a few years back. I didn’t take too much time, as I was there a few weeks ago, and hit upon the chunk of stuff I’d already seen soon. Bull City was kinda packed and brought some surprises of various kinds, including a few records I didn’t realize got released, which was cool. Talked to Chaz–beginning my pattern for the day–about my AmRep discoveries I’ve mentioned, since I knew he’d appreciate it (and he did).

I headed out to Chapel Hill, finally–CD Alley and All Day. CD Alley was frighteningly empty of RSD stuff, but full of people. I caught up with Alison and Brian, and picked up some non-RSD stuff, then skedaddled down to All Day, from whom I naturally purchased nothing but used stuff (it was after noon, significantly: I was not finding any RSD stuff I wanted anymore, though I continued to look, kind of half-heartedly).

Having completed my in-Triangle search, I began to head home–I stopped at the Greensboro FYE (seriously, I’m not kidding) and found a few gems, then moved back to Winston. I hadn’t had a chance to hit up their Ed McKay or Earshot, so I did so. Earshot was a pleasant experience as always–I don’t know them by name like I do at some places, but they’re good people. I’ll be running into them again in early May for that Whigs in-store (hell yes). Ed McKay was odd–I wish they’d settle on a layout for the music. And I couldn’t find where they’d stick “weird shit” to see if I could find some more Negativland (sad!), but such is life, I suppose.

I got home relatively late, but definitely exhausted. I stayed up long enough to catch up on a lot of shows I’d missed then passed out. And now here we are! Hooray!