Spin the Black Circle

Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.
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My most recent trip to the record store

July 8th, 2008 by travis hay

I was in Seattle yesterday and whenever I make a trip west of the mountains I always try to drop in to an indie record store. You wouldn’t believe how frustrating it is being a music journalist living in a city where there aren’t any decent record stores within 100 miles or so. All I can say is thank goodness for iTune and Amazon. But for every Amazon or iTunes purchase I try to balance out the negative effect it may have on local record shops by picking up music from a Sonic Boom, Easy Street, Everyday Music or other brick and mortar indie shop.

Anyway, I dropped into Sonic Boom in Ballard Monday and snagged myself some tunes. Here’s what I picked up:

Green River “Dry As A Bone/Rehab Doll”
I am a pretty big Pearl Jam fan and I enjoy Mudhoney, but surprisingly I had never heard Green River prior to picking up this album. I bought in celebration of Sub Pop’s 20th birthday, but I would have likely bought this one some time down the road regardless. After giving this album about a half a dozen spins all I can say is that if my future child ever asks me “Daddy, what was grunge?” I will play this album cranked to 11. I won’t go as far to say that this is the best Sub Pop release ever or anything like that, but I will say I think “Dry As A Bone/Rehab Doll” embodies all that is grunge a whole lot better than any other Seattle band has released.

Mudhoney “The Lucky Ones”
Yep, another grunge band. Perhaps the last grunge band standing really, considering Pearl Jam fell out of the grunge genre after releasing “Vitalogy.” This is the fourth Mudhoney record in my collection (March to Fuzz, Touch Me I’m Sick and Every Boy Deserves Fudge are the other three). I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but from what I’ve heard this record is typical Mudhoney with loud guitars and kickin grooves.

Stevie Wonder “Inner Visions”
I’m going to see Stevie Friday night and I don’t own this album so I jumped at the chance to add this classic to my collection. Even though I know all the songs and I have heard the album dozens of times during my childhood, it just seemed like a record I needed to have in my collection.

Common Market “Black Patch War”
A seven-song EP that is a concept record by one of my favorite Seattle hip hop groups. The duo of MC Ra Scion ad DJ Sabzi won me over at Sasquatch! 2006 during the hailstorm when thier set was canceled. Instead of not performing, Sabzi pulled his car up to the exit of the Gorge and bumped a CD of beats while Ra Scion rapped over them without a microphone IN THE HAIL. It was awesome. This EP is ambitious and is a good gap filler before the duo’s second full-length “Tobacco Road” is released in September.

Grynch “My Second Wind”
I caught this young rapper’s set at ReverbFEST last year and thought there was lots of potential in his rhyme-slinging abilities. I met him a few weeks back during Dyme Def’s mixtape release show and got to talk with him for a bit. He’s a very bright fellow and I think that when (this is not an “if” situation) Seattle hip hop blows up, or at least makes it to the proverbial next level, Grynch will be one of the MCs on top of the game. This record, his second, puts his potential on display and has plenty of great guest appearances by local hip hop fixtures, making it a great example of just how cool it is to be experiencing local hip hop right now.

So that was my trip to the record store. I try to make one at least every other trip to Seattle that I take. I feel like I bought some great albums and I’ll fill you in on my future purchases when they are made.

Now that you know how satisfied I am with my record-shopping experience, I want to know about your last visit to the record store. What was the last good album you bought?

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5 Responses to “My most recent trip to the record store”

  1. Ian Says:

    I lost my copy of Temple of the Dog (again) after lending it to a friend who had never heard that particular album, but is a fan of Soundgarden & Pearl Jam. This is not the first time it’s happened, so I picked up a new copy and have been listening to it. One of my favorites.

  2. Ian Says:

    And I can’t believe I forgot The Mars Volta. Just picked up “Frances the Mute” on a recommendation from a friend. What a great album! The song “L’via L’Viaquez” in particular is really infectious.

  3. Derek Sheppard Says:

    Okkervil River – “The Stage Names”

  4. Michael Says:

    I haven’t read the Sun blogs in a while – good to see you posting here on music! I try to get up to Sonic Boom on 15th whenever I’m in Seattle (not to mention a martini @ Liberty across the sreet!)

    What I’ve been listening to lately –

    The Ting Tings – great summer music
    Foals — Amazing live band
    Helio Sequence
    My Morning Jacket – another great live band

    I’ll be reading the blogs more often!

  5. travis hay Says:

    Foals were great live at SP 20 but I’m not sure if I would like them on record. Helio Sequence is a great band. The MMJ record is fantastic. Okkervil River just doesn’t do it for me live but they are agreeable with me on record. And Temple of the Dog is classic.

    As for TMV, well … they are a band you either love or hate, very polarizing, and I have a big love/hate relationship with them. I enjoy the new album, They put on a great live show (although the antics at Sasquatch! were completely unacceptable imo) but sometimes I just cant get past theh spazzy, prog-rockiness of it all to enjoy their music. I’m never sure if I really like what they are doing because it is different and challenging or if I can’t stand it for those same reasons. I guess I’ll just have to wait for their next record to find out.

    -th

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Music journalist Travis Hay drops some knowledge and insight about local and national music news, offers reviews and offers a place for conversation on all things music.