Prepare your turntable for heavy rotation spinners vinyl fans, ’cause Bandbox is out to bring the record store to your own front door.
Groove is in the Bandbox
That’s right music fans, Bandbox is now a premiere online record store offering you the chance to fill your box with albums from artists spanning every genre. As their slogan goes, it’s pretty much like having the record store delivered to your front door. And Bandbox is indeed boasting a record store style variety of artists and albums, with a treasure trove of exclusive pressings you do not want to sleep on.
Having it your way is the Bandbox mantra. With a storefront offering exclusive color pressings of albums from an artist you adore, and a fresh edition of Bandbox’s artist-specific fan zine, the B-Box crew has effectively made it possible to do a little legit bin-diving from the comfort your very own home.
As for my latest Bandbox delivery, I snagged their immaculate pressing of a seminal indie rock classic from Yo La Tengo. Check it out.
As noted, Bandbox is no longer subscription service, having recently gone the way of full-blown online marketplace. And all that really means is shopping with Bandbox has never been a more “you get out exactly what you put in” sort of deal.
Let the Great World Spin
Picking up a fresh press of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out indeed proved too tempting to pass up for me this month, despite the fact that I actually already own the album on vinyl. Nonetheless, my first copy has seen better days, so when I was poking around the store, pulling the trigger on an upgrade was a no-brainer. And I’m happy to report Bandbox’s version is nothing short of marvelous.
If you’ve been following my unboxings, you know Bandbox has been on a bit of a role lately in terms of color variants. They delivered another beauty with And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, which I’ll be happy to display for you shortly. For now, let’s have a gander at the packaging, ’cause the eerie suburban scene adorning the gatefold ranks among my all-time favorites in terms of cover art.
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000)
Now almost four decades into their rock & roll tenure, Yo La Tengo are the very definition of indie rock royalty. And if their 2023 release This Stupid World is any indication, the band is not looking to put a cap on their venerated career anytime soon. Some might even argue the album ranks among the best Yo La Tengo have ever released.
If you’re at all familiar with their 17-album oeuvre, you know that’s a particularly strong statement, because there really isn’t a bad album in the bunch. There are, of course, a few that stand just a little bit taller than the rest. And among that batch of releases, many a Yo La Tengo fan might agree 2000’s hauntingly titled And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out stands out in all the best ways.
Viewed as a bit of a departure from the band’s rollicking, noise-rocking ways, the album takes its title form a Sun-Ra quote, and proves every bit as adventurous as one of the jazz legends own spiritual works over its epic 77-minute runtime. Glacially paced, and largely comprised of meditative tracks that teeter ever on the edge of ambient, the 13 songs comprising the album are among the tightest the trio have ever recorded with Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew taking their fans on an eerie sonic journey that plays like a work of weird fiction backed with dense layers of reverb, subtle electronic flourishes, and contemplative lyricism.
It’s almost impossible to describe how And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out feels without listening to the album in its entirety. But it’s clear from one track to the next that the feel of the songs are the band’s primary concern throughout as they cast their signature sound into the sonic void and giddily try record the noise created therein. Sometimes the return is a work of ominous beauty as in album opener “Everyday.” Other times the approach conjures a stirring work of low-key balladry (see “Our Way to Fall”), or crunchy, noise-laden rock (a la “Cherry Lipstick”).
Rocking highlights aside, the album makes its greatest impact when Yo La Tengo strip things back to pure ambient mood-making as with the sprawling 17-minute album closer “Night Falls on Hoboken.” Like much of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, as that song slowly unfurls, it almost encourages you forget its playing before pulling you back in with some jangly percussive flourish, or off-beat chord progression. But once you snap back in, you quickly understand that you were never really out, and that the music has taken root so deep within you’ll struggle to let it go long after the album ends.
And to anyone just getting their toes wet in the wild ways of Yo La Tengo, you’ll find no better entry into the band’s wondrous musical wizardry than Bandbox Issue #97. Here’s a tease.
As for the vinyl, Bandbox continues its streak of first-rate color ways with this “From Blue to Black” pressing of And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, which happens to be the first time the album’s ever been pressed on colored wax. And yes, there’s two of those beauties in the sleeve.
Though the stark blue marble looks particularly lovely on red, they’re sure to spruce up any other deck on the planet.
It’s the Bandbox You Want and the Bandbox You Need
I’ll be the first to admit to being bummed Bandbox is no longer a strict subscription service. But given the way supply chain delays have been affecting them in recent months, it’s not hard to understand why the change was necessary.
Changes aside, I’m happy to report Bandbox product is as solid as it’s ever been. If you’re hot to get your hands on this pressing of Yo La Tengo’s masterpiece And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, it’s still very much available the ole Bandbox store. So head on over and claim your copy. Happy spinning, friends!
A thousand THANK Yous to the folks at Bandbox for sponsoring this subscription. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can head over to the Bandbox website and sign up to have a sexy new Bandbox delivered to your own front door every single month. While you’re there, feel free to check out their podcast and merch section too! And be sure to check back soon to see what goodies we find in our next Bandbox!