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 supply Vinyl Me, Please with $23 a month and they supply you with one meticulously selected album worthy of your time and attention. Stupid easy, right? Each custom pressing (often in color!) 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 September’s stellar release of ‘How To Be A Human Being’ by Glass Animals – plus additional rare and exclusive releases. And there are goodies galore coming to this month’s store.
Those goodies include a VMP exclusive pressing of the Stranger Things Original Soundtrack Vol. 1 from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein. It comes in marbled, dark red vinyl. And it’s limited to 511 copies. It will sell out. So get your ass out of the upside down and into the VMP Store the second they open if you want a copy of your own. While you’re there, you may want to check out Big Smoke’s Time Is Golden. If you’ve been keeping up with VMP over the last month or so, then you know why this is such a special release. And if you’ve heard any of the songs, you know why should want a copy of it in your collection. It’s limited to 600 copies. And it comes in lovely woodgrain vinyl. So don’t miss out.
This month will also feature Running Out of Love, the long overdue new release from indie dream-poppers The Radio Dept. as well as reissues of classic albums from Beastie Boys (License to Ill) and Björk (Debut on beige wax). Not to mention a marvelous new Late Night Tales release featuring selections from Irish electro-maestro David Holmes and that oh-so sexy neon pink, five-year anniversary edition of the Drive Original Soundtrack. Oh, there’s also a massive Bright Eyes box set collecting every release from Conor Oberst & Co. from 2000 – 2011. Just make sure you’ve got a box of tissues handy for this one, ’cause the tears will flow.
Trust me, there’s more. And if you’re still on the fence about signing up, just know that VMP’s Swaps Program is in full effect. That means you can flip any record you don’t like for something a little more your speed. And if you want to discuss the matter face to face with fellow VMPers, keep an eye out for VMP’s road-show, The Spins. They may be coming to a bar near you in the very near future. But don’t overthink it. Do yourself a favor and sign up today.
Before you do, let’s see what’s inside this month’s box. And yes, there’s another sexy release in there for October.
For the Love of Music, Please DO NOT BEND
Beck! Odelay! Vinyl! Oh. My. God. Not to sound like a lunatic, but I’ve been waiting a long time to own a copy of this album on wax. Something like two decades to be exact. My jaw hit the floor when Vinyl Me, Please announced they’d be putting Beck’s iconic 1996 release in the box for October. And I didn’t actually believe it was happening until that box showed up at my door. Now that it’s here, I don’t quite know how I got on without it. Not that I’ve never owned Odelay. I’ve actually bought it on four separate occasions over the years. I’ve never once regretted it. Odelay is just that good. And at the ripe old age of 20, it’s better than ever.
It’s easy to forget now, but 20 years ago the booming power chord that kicks off Odelay‘s opening track ‘Devil’s Haircut’ was a bit of a shock. There was simply nothing that loud on Beck’s folky, lo-fi debut Mellow Gold. And there was certainly nothing as wild or energetic as the punky beats and free-flow rhymes that followed. It took Beck just over three minutes to completely re-invent himself. And over the 12 songs that followed, he altered the face of pop music.
That was no easy feat. When Odelay was released in the summer of 1996, the music world was witnessing the death of the “grunge” scene, the rise of hip-hop culture, and the birth of boy-band pop. In all that chaos, there was a veritable vacuum of cool. It needed to be filled. And nobody knew who would do it. But that booming power chord from ‘Devil’s Haircut’ struck like a lightning bolt. Those slick ass beats from ‘Where It’s At’ lit a fire under dance floors across the nation. Would be hipsters found their souls reflected in the irreverent, introspective folk of ‘Jackass’ and the psychedelic sax of ‘The New Pollution’ redefined what sexy sounded like.
Almost overnight, Beck changed the definition of cool. And cool became DIY beats and screeching guitars. It became thrift store style and an untamed lyrical flow. And it became musical samples from artists as varied as Rory Gallagher to Lee Dorsey to Franz Schubert. It became knowing exactly when to bring the noise and when to bring the chill. And it became Odelay. And Odelay is an album that’s all about reveling in the good times, getting through the bad times and maybe breakdancing in between. It’s the album where the burgeoning disco freak-folk gypsy barely glimpsed on Mellow Gold fully embraced the genre-shifting style that has come to define him … both as an artist and a cultural icon. Odelay is the album that made a skinny nerd the new ambassador of cool. It’s the album that made Beck, well, Beck. And the music world hasn’t been the same since.
But What’s in the Box?!
While Beck buries pearls of wisdom and whimsy throughout the 13 tracks on this album, I try not to attach too much meaning to them. I find it best to sit back and enjoy the wild, irreverent ride that is Odelay. Since there’s nothing more irreverent than a shaggy dog jumping an obstacle, it makes total sense that the cover should feature a shaggy dog jumping an obstacle. Right? But if you really need some meaning … just imagine that Beck is the shaggy dog. And that the obstacle is life itself. And try not to worry about whatever clandestine shit Humpty Dumpty is up to on the back cover.
Before you rip open that shrink-wrap and start digging through the sleeve, take note of this all important sticker. Nothing says Vinyl Me, Please better than a shiny Exclusive Pressing.
Don’t forget to check that outer half-sleeve, ’cause it’s full of really important info. Like the artist’s name, the album’s title, and even the initials of the VMP Staffer who personally packaged your disc. Thanks, LA. At least I think that’s an A? Not sure if that’s an L either. But thanks all the same.
Make sure you check out Odelay‘s companion cocktail too. It’s called the Vesper. You’ll need gin. And vodka. And a splash Green Chartreuse. Did I mention you’ll need gin? ‘Cause you do. That pretty much guarantees that this is going to be a tasty beverage. And there’s no reason to doubt the fine folks at Bar Faust out in Denver.
There’s a couple of hidden gems in the box too – like these insightful words from VMP’s own Tyler Barstow explaining why Odelay made the cut for album of the month. You’ll also find a 12″x 12″ print from Chicago based artist Scott Allen Hill. It might be the loveliest piece of work the VMP team has included with one of their releases. So have a look for yourself.
You’ll also find a little teaser for what’s coming to the VMP Members Store this month. Yes, there’s new music from J Dilla and Hiss Golden Messenger hitting the store this month too. Like I said, goodies galore.
Now, let’s have a gander inside that sleeve already, ’cause there’s a sick little booklet in there with a bit of psychedelic collage work, sketch work from Mr. Hansen himself, and some liner notes to boot.
And make sure you dig deep, ’cause this killer ‘Jackass’ decal is buried in there too.
But what about that wax, you ask?
They’re calling that marbled bourbon. To be honest, I don’t care what they call it. I call it fucking lovely. And it looks great with that old Geffen Records label. Though it does clash a bit with my deck. Ask me if I care?
How’s it sound? Like you dropped acid with a morally questionable wizard and stepped out for a night out on the town. But he keeps trying to impress girls by changing you into a kangaroo rat. So you ditch him and catch the nearest bus. But that bus runs right through a rip in space-time and you find yourself at the door to a dance club in Southern California circa 1980. You walk in to find the place full of sparkling disco cowboys and you regret not wearing your sequined blazer. But you buy yourself a sarsaparilla juice and mosey into a private room where a couple of cow-pokes are strumming a six string and singing sad songs. You stare at the fire. Dance floor beats blend with the somber strumming. A little green fairy flutters before your eyes. And you start to sing along.
Give It a Spin
What else can I say? It’s fucking Odelay, man. There are only a couple of albums in the history of modern music that have had a bigger influence on pop culture. Even fewer of those albums have held up so well. But odds are you already know that. And that you’ve had a non-vinyl copy of Beck’s anti-pop masterpiece in your collection at some point. If not, then welcome to the new world my friend. You’re going to like it here amongst the freaks and the beats. And you’re going to wonder how you ever got along without Odelay bumping and brooding at 33 rpm. Thanks Vinyl Me, Please for finally making that happen. And thanks for making every new selection an adventure … ’cause that’s the whole point of music.
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 crunchy treat they send our way for November.