Vinyl Me, What? Vinyl Me, Please!!
Good things come in 12 inch packages. Delivering limited edition pressings of new and classic albums directly to your doorstep, Vinyl Me, Please 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 (plans start at $25/month) and they send you one meticulously selected album worthy of your time and attention. Easy, right? Each custom pressing (often on colored vinyl!) also comes with special features like original artwork and even a recipe for a companion cocktail. Best of all, you get access to the VMP online store. That means you’ll have a chance to grab a copy of previous VMP selections from the archives – including June’s marvelous pressing of City Music from Kevin Morby – plus additional rare and exclusive releases.
The store is now open, and it’s stocked with another killer slate of releases that’ll liven up turntables for even the most discriminating music lovers. That includes new releases from Waxahatchee (Out in the Storm on red/clear vinyl, ltd to 500 copies) and Haim (Something oo Tell You on yellow/gold marbled wax, ltd to 2,500 copies). Not to mention Avey Tare’s (Animal Collective) latest release Eucalyptis, BadBadNotGood’s contribution to the mix tape series Late Night Tales and Hug Of Thunder – the first new Broken Social Scene album in a decade. Just FYI – the title track from Hug Of Thunder is one of the best songs you’re going to hear all year, so don’t miss out on this release.
Björk fans are gonna flip for a shiny new re-press of Homogenic – this month’s Selector Series pick from Pitchfork founder Ryan Schreiber – and jazz aficionados new and old will want to snatch up a copy of Oscar Peterson’s Night Train. At $16, there’s no excuse not to add this forgotten classic to your collection. And for all the soundtrack divas out there, you can cop a pressing of Clint Mansell’s synth-tastic score from the San Junipero episode of Black Mirror in this month’s store. If you hadn’t heard, this soundtrack is already sold out at the Lakeshore Records website. Make sure you scoop a copy up for yourself so you can make heaven a place on your turntable.
There’s more. A lot more. While the store is now open to the public, many of VMP’s more exciting selections are only available to members. So you’ll have to sign up if you wanna get your mits on them. If you’re peckish about relinquishing control of your record collection over to complete strangers, know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any VMP pick you don’t like for a past AOM that’s a little more your speed. My advice? Don’t overthink it. Do yourself a favor and sign up today.
So, what’s in this month’s box? Prepare to get down, ’cause VMP is bringin’ the funk with July’s pick of Betty Davis’ self-titled debut Betty Davis.
So, the folks at Vinyl Me, Please had a big ass ‘garage sale’ last month … which means I finally had an excuse to snag a copy of this limited pressing of Kaleidoscope World by The Chills. That ‘garage sale’ has come and gone, but there are still a ton of great titles in the store’s sale section. Check it out for yourself.
For the Love of Music, Please DO NOT BEND
Now, on to the business at hand. And make no mistake, listening to Betty Davis is serious business. Unfolding over a brisk 30 minutes, the eight tracks that make up Davis’ debut are fueled by wild guitar riffs, thumping bass lines, and flamboyantly flirty lyrics. Written and sung with ferocious fervor by the first lady of funk herself, those songs are fierce and funny, spirited and soulful, woeful and witty. They tell stories about love lost, love shared and everything in between. And they come with the raw, unapologetic sexual energy of a woman who knows what she wants and accepts nothing less. Like I said, serious business … seriously funky that is.
Betty’s brash, blush-worthy intensity is what you’ll respond to most upon first listen to Betty Davis. You’ll hear it in the predatory howl and driving bass of ‘If I’m Lucky I Might Get Picked Up.’ You’ll feel it in the sultry swagger of ‘Anti Love Song’ and the carnal clamor of ‘Your Man My Man’. Most of all you’ll hear it in the raucous, rambling instrumentation that surrounds Davis’ voice. For most albums, that primal energy alone would be enough to call it a classic. One that’s more than worthy of a second or third listen.
But Betty Davis is an album you’ll likely want to put on repeat as each additional listen will further unlock a collection of songs unshackled from conventional songwriting, but extraordinarily tight in their execution. Songs that blend elements of guttural guitar rock, cosmic psychedelia, freestyle funk, jazz fusion, and stone cold soul. In that mix you’ll find the sound of a woman who often found herself surrounded by great musicians (Miles Davis, Sly Stone, Jimi Hendrix), but a woman capable of owning her style, her music, and her voice in ways that many of the greats never could. To put it simply, Betty Davis was a true original. Betty Davis is more than proof of that fact. It’s an album of raging emotion, relentless energy, and rare integrity. And you’d better believe it’s funky as all hell.
Betty Davis is an album drenched in soul and sex and unbridled feminine energy. In a word, it’s fabulous. So is this cover. Make sure you flip it over too, ’cause there’s a full list of the album’s guest musicians back there. And it’s … impressive.
But What’s in the Box!?
Let’s get inside that box already. But first, take note of the important information on this little sticker.
Once you start digging, you’ll find a little bit of poetic rambling from VMP co-founder Tyler Barstow about this month’s release.
Make sure you check the corner of that slip so you can personally thank the VMP staffer who packed your disc. Thanks for the love, DL!
Don’t forget to check the back of that slip too. ‘Cause that’s where you’ll find the recipe for this month’s companion cocktail, the aptly named ‘Southern Psychedelia’. Please enjoy responsibly.
Dig a little deeper and you’ll uncover this funky ass 12″ X 12″ print inspired by the album.
If you like what you see, you can learn a little about its designers from Extra Vitamins design studio on the back.
And whatever you do, be sure to give this handy little insert featuring a few of the albums coming to this month’s VMP Store a good once over. New music from Washed Out and Gillian Welch is coming to the store, and you don’t want to miss either release.
Now, before you sort through that sleeve, take a look at this little stamp on the back corner. Another. Exclusive. Pressing. And on a personal note, it’s really nice to see Vinyl Me, Please teaming up with the folks over at Light In The Attic Records. ‘Cause pretty much everything they put out is worth hearing. Most of it’s worth owning too.
Let’s get into that sleeve already, shall we? No. Not until we check the full album lyrics printed inside the gatefold. Trust me, Betty Davis is an album you’ll want to sing along with, so start learning those lyrics now.
Ok, get into that sleeve already and dig out this full color booklet with liner notes about the album and a brief history of Betty Davis from NPR’s own Oliver Wang.
And feel free to get crazy with this VMP exclusive coloring sheet. I believe Mrs. Davis would encourage you to color outside the lines on this one … and to make it as funky as possible.
So, how about that disc? You’re gonna dig this silver with blue splatter.
And it’s gonna look like a star exploded on your deck.
How’s it sound? Like a star is exploding on your deck. Obviously.
Give It a Spin
I’d be lying if I told you I knew who Betty Davis was prior to this record showing up at my door. After listening to Betty Davis, I’m almost ashamed of that fact. But the chance for discovery is part of what makes listening to music so much fun. That the folks at Vinyl Me, Please are so great at finding new and overlooked albums to send our way month after month is what makes the service so essential. I’d like to thank Team VMP for giving me the chance to discover Betty Davis. And for making every month another memorable, musical adventure.
A big THANK YOU to our friends at Vinyl Me, Please for sponsoring this subscription. Don’t forget to check out the official Vinyl Me, Please website and sign up to get some choice wax delivered right to your door each month! Can’t wait to see what sizzling treat they pick for August!