Vinyl Me, Please October 2021 Unboxing: Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest
Good things comes in 12 inch packages. Delivering limited edition vinyl pressings of new and classic albums directly to your doorstep, VMP operates under a simple philosophy: The Album Lives! With a carefully curated catalog of new and hard to find releases, the subscription service is more than just a record club, it’s a lifestyle choice for folks who wish Record Store Day could happen every month … in their living room.
Here’s how it works. You send Vinyl Me, Please some of your hard-earned money (a 3-month membership will set you back about $119) and they send you one carefully selected album they feel is Essential to any record collection. Yes, it really is as easy as it sounds. You even get FREE SHIPPING. Each custom pressing (often on colored vinyl!) also comes with killer extras like original artwork and informative listening companion booklet.
You’ll have membership privileges in the VMP store too, which means you can grab a copy of previous VMP selections from the archives – like September’s immaculate reissue of Lee Morgan’s hard-bop diamond Take Twelve – not to mention a slate of super-limited releases pressed exclusively for Vinyl Me, Please. The store is open, and Team VMP are dropping fresh new selections to their stock every single week. Do not miss out.
Word to the wise, while the store is open to the public, most of the more covet-worthy stock is only available to subscribers. Members are privy to reduced “Members Pricing” as well, so joining the club definitely has its rewards. If you’re peckish about relinquishing control of your record collection to complete strangers, know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any VMP pick you’re not interested in for a past featured album from any track (including Essentials, Country, Classics, and Rap/Hip Hop). My advice? Don’t overthink it. Do yourself a favor and sign up today.
And if you do sub up soon, you’ll still have the chance to grab VMP’s latest Essentials pick, Grizzly Bear’s minor indie masterpiece Veckatimest… which is exactly what was in my box for October.
For The Love Of Music, Please DO NOT BEND (or, how I learned to stop worrying and groove to Grizzly Bear’s blissed-out indie jams)
Oh man, it feels like forever since I stuck it out with VMP’s Essentials track. And in fact, it’s been a three month stretch of swapping for me. That’s not because those Essentials picks were less than intriguing, but more because there were some albums in the Classics track I just couldn’t live without. Anyway, the Vinyl Me, Please crew got me back on the Essentials trip for October with a sexy re-issue Grizzly Bear’s landmark ’09 offering Veckatimest. And no, I couldn’t live without it.
Like lots folks, I was a very big fan of Veckatimest when it was released back in 2009. And yes, I’ve revisited it often in the ensuing decade-plus. What I’ve learned over the years is that Veckatimest is one of those rare albums that not only never gets old, but actually offers something different with every new listen… meaning that as many times as I’ve heard the songs on this album, I don’t think I’ve ever heard them same way twice.
Those songs find Grizzly Bear (then Pete Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor, and Christopher Bear) delivering 12 tracks of ethereal, psych-tinged chamber rock. And as Veckatimest unfolds, they change speeds, tones, shapes, and colors at a steady clip that feels meticulously structured, yet spontaneous enough to make one think each song was captured in impromptu fashion via the cozy confines of a bedroom, or the vast expanse of an open field.
They weren’t, of course, with the Brooklyn-based band convening at the famed Allaire Studios in upstate New York to record their third full length under the moniker. It’s worth noting, however, that many of the songs on Veckatimest were conceived during the group’s brief sojourn to the tiny Cape Cod island that ultimately gave the album its name. As such, the songs the band laid to tape during that studio trip indeed elicit the sort of emotional introspection and grandiose innervation one might experience traversing parts unspoiled by the savages of the modern world.
If you’re already a fan of Veckatimest, you know listening to the full album front to back is the only way to full immerse yourself in the album’s aching emotional architecture. The good news is there’s not a song worth skipping in this collection. But if you’re knew to the Grizzly Bear fray, know listening tho this album all the way through is to embark on singular sonic journey full of as many euphoric peaks and valleys as a great novel, or a classic movie. And just in case there were any question, I can confirm beyond doubt vinyl is the truest way to experience the highs, the lows, and the everything in between of this indie rock marvel.
Though it was released in the Spring of ’09, Veckatimest is rife with songs that feel very much of the Fall. And yes, the color patterns spotting the album’s cover mosaic more than capture that vibe.
While you’re checking the back cover out, take note of the foil stamp down in the corner there as it forever denotes Veckatimest a legit VMP Essentials pick. And if you want to know what qualifies it as such, I’ll kindly refer you to the album’s hype sticker.
Sadly, there was no fan-made VMP sticker included in this month’s box, but I’ve been assured the sticker contest will be back in full effect for November. All the other usual VMP swag was very much in order for Veckatimest, however, including the OBI-strip marking the release’s catalogue number.
And on the flip side of that OBI, you’ll find an excerpt from this month’s listening booklet.
As for the booklet itself, it’s a well-written study of what makes Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest such a worthy Essentials pick from Brooklyn-based culture critic Sophie Frances Kemp… though I do think it overstates a touch the album’s importance in the pop culture landscape.
As with every Vinyl Me, Please Essentials pick, Veckatimest comes with album inspired artwork. And this beauty from Chicago’s own William J. O’Brien lovingly nods to the album’s sub-iconic artwork while still doing its own thing.
Now, raise your hand if you want me to dig that wax out of the dust jacket already. Happy to oblige, so long as you pause a moment to dig the inner sleeves, ’cause they’re loaded with info from full lyric breakdowns to full album credits.
Anyway, they’re also protecting these pink and orange discs, whose colors are obviously inspired by the cover of Veckatimest.
While they’ll both bring some serious indie rock chill to your deck, I’m a bit partial to the orange myself.
How do they sound? Look, I’d usually take a moment wax poetic on the album’s general vibes here, but VMP has had a bit of a rough run with their vinyl pressings in recent months. While their customer service team is doing a bang-up job in sorting the issues out, those worried that Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest suffered the same problems can take heart in knowing this release sounds every bit as great as it looks. And man, does it look great.
Give VMP a Spin
I’ll go ahead and cop to being an avid indie rock fan with a penchant for stuff released between the late-90s and early 2010s. As such, Grizzly Bear’s Veckatimest is about as much in my wheel house as any album Vinyl Me, Please has ever released. And I was, in fact, a great fan of the album has remained in heavy rotation on my old iPod, and these days on my phone.
If you’re a fan of the indie scene of that era, you’ll likely say the same. Oddly enough, though I’ve come close on a handful of occasions over the years, Veckatimest is also an album I never picked up on vinyl. To be honest, prior to my October VMP box showing up, I’d never heard even a second of it on that format. As it is, I’d like to thank the folks at Vinyl Me, Please for finally correcting both of those oversights… and particularly for doing so with a vinyl pressing that sounds as warm and rich as Veckatimest deserves.
A big THANK YOU to our friends at Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring this subscription. Don’t forget to check out the Vinyl Me, Please website and sign up to get some choice wax delivered right to your door each and every month! Be sure to check back next month to see what vinyl treasure Team VMP sends our way!