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falsepriest Murder, Abduction, The Devil Himself: Twisted Tales From The Music World

With all the greats, myths sprout and grow around them, often becoming so entwined with the truth that the line between fact and fiction starts to blur. Some of these stories are so compelling and have become so pervasive they’re inseparable from the musicians themselves. Below you’ll find a good mix of you-couldn’t-make-this-shit-up stories, a fantastical encounters, a classic example of wires crossed, and a fair share of theatrical interpretation and exaggeration.

If none of these stories from the music world give you the creeps – at least a little – well, you’re more unflappable than me. Happy Friday 13th!

Robert Johnson’s deal with the devil

Despite having only recorded 29 songs between 1936 and ‘37, Robert Johnson is a hugely reverred blues musician. His influence on later blues, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll music and the generation of musicians, like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards who brought it to the forefront of pop culture is incalculable.

The young Johnson started out with a decided lack of skill with the guitar in the early ’30s and was “torturing audiences” in Yazoo City and Beulah. He was run out of town by his fellow musicians wanting to be taken more seriously. When Johnson returned with a newfound, near prodigious talent for guitar-playing and unique style that shocked his peers and former critics, it gave rise to a rumour they claimed could be the only logical explanation: that Johnson had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his gift.

The (well embellished) tale goes that Johnson was walking towards Rosedale in October, stopping at a crossroads at midnight where he met the devil. The devil’s dog appeared to be mad, making a low, rhythmic, soulful howl unlike anything Johnson had heard before. The devil told Johnson that he couldn’t have the dog, but he could have the sound, naming it the Delta Blues. Johnson didn’t hesitate, agreeing to sign over whatever he had. The devil said there was no need for paperwork, just the understanding that by continuing on to Rosedale he agreed to the terms that Johnson’s soul would no longer be his, but his music would possess all who heard it. “Step back, Devil-Man, I’m going to Rosedale. I am the blues.” And the deal was done.

While the deal with the devil story is undoubtedly more exciting, Johnson himself claimed he’d simply been studying with a teacher while he was away. He liked practicing in graveyards because it’s quiet. It wasn’t just that he had mastered playing; to everyone’s surprise he had a seventh string on his guitar – something not previously seen in the blues scene. He had seemingly pioneered a whole new sound and way of playing, including unusual techniques like strumming a series of rapid-fire chords that made the guitar sound more like a piano.

Barry Lee Pearson, folklorist, professors, and co-author of the book Robert Johnson: Lost and Found, explains the popular myth in a conversation with NPR. He says that because there was so little biographical information about Johnson available, and because a deal with the devil is more interesting than the truth – blues writers at the time were working harder to find details to corroborate the story than disprove it.

 

Burzum, Black Metal spats, murder, arson and Neo-Nazism

The legend of Burzum and Varg Vikernes the man behind the influential black metal project, is more like the plot of a dark Scandinavian crime drama than real life.

Vikernes served 15 years in prison for the murder of fellow black metal musician, Mayhem guitarist Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth in 1993, as well as for the arson of three churches. Vikernes was signed to Euronymous’ label, Deathlike Silence Productions in the early ’90s. Euronymous had been impressed with Vikernes’ demos and the two had become friends. However, tensions between the two of them had been mounting after Vikernes had published an article in one of Norway’s biggest newspapers, Bergens Tidende, under the pseudonym “Count Grishnackh”. In the article, “We Lit The Fires”, he claimed responsibility for a spate of church burnings and for killing a man in Lillehammer. He said the attacks would continue, carried out by himself and a group of devil worshippers intent on spreading fear and devilry. Euronymous felt he was forced to shutter his record shop, Helvete due to the increasing police and media attention following the article’s appearance.

A heated argument occurred between the two musicians in August 1993, which some have speculated was the result of a power struggle, financial dispute (royalties owed to Vikernes for Burzum records), or a “one-upping” on a stabbing in Lillehammer committed by Emperor drummer, Faust. The argument turned physical and Euronymous body was found with 23 stab wounds.

Vikernes pleaded self-defense, claiming that Euronymous was plotting to stun him with an electroshock weapon, tie him up, and torture him to death while videotaping the whole thing. Turns out Vikernes wasn’t the only one on the warpath for Euronymous. Mayhem’s Necrobutcher recently told Consequence Of Sound that he was also on his way to kill Euronymous as he was pissed off about him using images of their bandmate, Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin) after his suicide in 1991 as an album cover for Dawn Of The Black Hearts.

Vikernes was released from prison in 2009. While serving time, he became affiliated with the Neo-Nazi Norwegian Heathen Front and started a neo-Nazi blog from behind bars. He was also one of the recipients of Norwegian terrorist,Anders Breivik’s manifesto, however he’s condemned Breivik’s christianity and said he should kill himself.

In 2013 he and his wife were arrested in France on suspicion of planning acts of terrorism after his wife bought four rifles. They were released due to lack of evidence, but Vikernes was convicted of inciting racial hatred against Muslims and Jews a few months later and sentenced to six months probation and a fine.

Burzum 1992 debut CD sold on Discogs earlier this year for $1500. A guy called Nathan won it in a jeep race with Vikernes, after they got into an argument over the internet about whether jeeps built in capitalist or socialist countries were better. This particular copy of the CD was given to Vikernes by Euronymous.

Debbie Harry near-miss abduction by Ted Bundy

In her new memoir, Face It, Debbie Harry tells a story from the early days of Blondie about how she narrowly avoided a potentially very fraught situation with a man she believes was Ted Bundy. It was a hot New York night in the summer of 1972 and was having trouble hailing a cab to get across town. A dude who was circling the neighbourhood in a white car stopped at the curb and offered her a ride. She thought about walking but was wearing big platforms and didn’t fancy the trek, so she got in out of desperation, and soon realised her mistake. The inside of the car was “totally stripped out” and she immediately felt in danger. Despite it being unbearably hot inside the car, the windows were wound all the way to the top. There were no door handles or window crank. Harry has said when he saw her trying to open the door he tried turning a corner really fast, which worked to her favour, helping to propel her out of the car and land her in the middle of the street.

Face It isn’t the first time this story has surfaced, Harry has recounted the event in many earlier interviews, always insisting that it was Ted Bundy, although the evidence that it was Bundy doesn’t work in her favor. Fact checking site, Snopes gets into the details on why the dude in Harry’s account probably wasn’t the most famous serial killer of all time. Bundy lived in the Pacific Northwest – also where most of his crimes were committed – Harry’s is also the only account of Bundy in NYC. Harry’s description of the car doesn’t match any profiles of Bundy’s cars: he would remove the passenger seat of his light brown VW Beetle to lie victims’ bodies flat in the car, but wouldn’t strip anything else out of the car. Harry’s story takes place in 1972, but Bundy wasn’t known to be abducting women until at least 1974. Ann Rule, author of Bundy study, The Stranger Beside Me says many women have erroneously ID’d Bundy in their tales of near abduction.

Sadly, psychopaths are not short in supply in this world, so while it’s impossible to rule out Bundy in this story, it’s more likely that it was an anonymous creep.

 

Harry Nilsson’s cursed flat

Both Mama Cass and Keith Moon died in Harry Nilsson’s inner-London flat within a few years of each other, both at the age of 32. Rumours started circulating that the 9 Curzon Place flat was cursed – one that Nilsson himself subscribed to – he sold the flat to Pete Townsend soon after Moon’s death. In all likelihood, it was probably less to do with a curse and more the fact that both Cass Elliot and Moon were both hard partiers, not shy of their drink and drugs.

Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas died on July 30 1974 . She’d just finished a successful two week solo run at the London Palladium, which had garnered glowing reviews, and was celebrating following the end of her run. The night her engagement wrapped, she went to Mick Jagger‘s birthday party in Chelsea, then straight to a brunch the following morning organised by Georgia Brown. From the brunch she went on to a cocktail party, finally heading home around 8pm after telling fellow revellers she was feeling tired. After a long night (and day) of partying, she finally went to bed, and was left undisturbed most of the following day, as was normal for her. Her secretary, Dot McLeod went in to check on her later in the day and found Elliot had passed away in her sleep.

Despite the unfortunate persistent myth that she died choking on a ham sandwich, the sad truth is that Elliot died of a very untimely heart attack. Doctors claimed her heart was fatally weakened due to two years of crash dieting. While the reviews for her London Palladium shows were overwhelmingly positive, almost all of them had mentioned her weight. She’d told Daily Express reporter, David Wigg, “I’d like to lose more because I’m getting older. These days when you approach your mid-thirties, you think about heart disease.”

Four years after Elliot’s tragic passing, Keith Moon was staying over in Nilsson’s flat. According to some, Nilsson had been reluctant to let Moon stay in the apartment as he already thought it was cursed after Eliot’s death. Moon had been going through a tough time – he had been struggling with alcohol addiction following the breakdown of his marriage, and the accidental death of his chauffeur, Neil Boland. On the night that he died, he’d been to party with his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, hosted by Paul McCartney. The pair left the party early and headed back to the flat. That night he took several Heminervrin sedatives he’d been prescribed to help ease the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. He was discovered face-down and unresponsive on the bed the next afternoon on September 6 1978. Some say he took 32 pills – I wasn’t able to verify that, but I also hate to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

People were shocked to learn of Moon’s death, as everyone had thought he was indestructible. He once told a doctor about his typical diet: bangers and eggs at 6am washed down with a bottle of Dom Perignon and half a bottle of brandy, followed with a couple of downers. Then he would take a well-earned nap between 10am to 5pm. Heading in to the evening he’d get started again by popping a few Black Beauties (a combo of speed and dextroamphetamine), along with more brandy and champagne, then a night on the town, wrapping up around 4am.

The post Murder, Abduction, The Devil Himself: Twisted Tales From The Music World appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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via IFTTT

falsepriest Murder, Abduction, The Devil Himself: Twisted Tales From The Music World

With all the greats, myths sprout and grow around them, often becoming so entwined with the truth that the line between fact and fiction starts to blur. Some of these stories are so compelling and have become so pervasive they’re inseparable from the musicians themselves. Below you’ll find a good mix of you-couldn’t-make-this-shit-up stories, a fantastical encounters, a classic example of wires crossed, and a fair share of theatrical interpretation and exaggeration.

If none of these stories from the music world give you the creeps – at least a little – well, you’re more unflappable than me. Happy Friday 13th!

Robert Johnson’s deal with the devil

Despite having only recorded 29 songs between 1936 and ‘37, Robert Johnson is a hugely reverred blues musician. His influence on later blues, R&B, rock ‘n’ roll music and the generation of musicians, like Eric Clapton and Keith Richards who brought it to the forefront of pop culture is incalculable.

The young Johnson started out with a decided lack of skill with the guitar in the early ’30s and was “torturing audiences” in Yazoo City and Beulah. He was run out of town by his fellow musicians wanting to be taken more seriously. When Johnson returned with a newfound, near prodigious talent for guitar-playing and unique style that shocked his peers and former critics, it gave rise to a rumour they claimed could be the only logical explanation: that Johnson had sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his gift.

The (well embellished) tale goes that Johnson was walking towards Rosedale in October, stopping at a crossroads at midnight where he met the devil. The devil’s dog appeared to be mad, making a low, rhythmic, soulful howl unlike anything Johnson had heard before. The devil told Johnson that he couldn’t have the dog, but he could have the sound, naming it the Delta Blues. Johnson didn’t hesitate, agreeing to sign over whatever he had. The devil said there was no need for paperwork, just the understanding that by continuing on to Rosedale he agreed to the terms that Johnson’s soul would no longer be his, but his music would possess all who heard it. “Step back, Devil-Man, I’m going to Rosedale. I am the blues.” And the deal was done.

While the deal with the devil story is undoubtedly more exciting, Johnson himself claimed he’d simply been studying with a teacher while he was away. He liked practicing in graveyards because it’s quiet. It wasn’t just that he had mastered playing; to everyone’s surprise he had a seventh string on his guitar – something not previously seen in the blues scene. He had seemingly pioneered a whole new sound and way of playing, including unusual techniques like strumming a series of rapid-fire chords that made the guitar sound more like a piano.

Barry Lee Pearson, folklorist, professors, and co-author of the book Robert Johnson: Lost and Found, explains the popular myth in a conversation with NPR. He says that because there was so little biographical information about Johnson available, and because a deal with the devil is more interesting than the truth – blues writers at the time were working harder to find details to corroborate the story than disprove it.

 

Burzum, Black Metal spats, murder, arson and Neo-Nazism

The legend of Burzum and Varg Vikernes the man behind the influential black metal project, is more like the plot of a dark Scandinavian crime drama than real life.

Vikernes served 15 years in prison for the murder of fellow black metal musician, Mayhem guitarist Øystein “Euronymous” Aarseth in 1993, as well as for the arson of three churches. Vikernes was signed to Euronymous’ label, Deathlike Silence Productions in the early ’90s. Euronymous had been impressed with Vikernes’ demos and the two had become friends. However, tensions between the two of them had been mounting after Vikernes had published an article in one of Norway’s biggest newspapers, Bergens Tidende, under the pseudonym “Count Grishnackh”. In the article, “We Lit The Fires”, he claimed responsibility for a spate of church burnings and for killing a man in Lillehammer. He said the attacks would continue, carried out by himself and a group of devil worshippers intent on spreading fear and devilry. Euronymous felt he was forced to shutter his record shop, Helvete due to the increasing police and media attention following the article’s appearance.

A heated argument occurred between the two musicians in August 1993, which some have speculated was the result of a power struggle, financial dispute (royalties owed to Vikernes for Burzum records), or a “one-upping” on a stabbing in Lillehammer committed by Emperor drummer, Faust. The argument turned physical and Euronymous body was found with 23 stab wounds.

Vikernes pleaded self-defense, claiming that Euronymous was plotting to stun him with an electroshock weapon, tie him up, and torture him to death while videotaping the whole thing. Turns out Vikernes wasn’t the only one on the warpath for Euronymous. Mayhem’s Necrobutcher recently told Consequence Of Sound that he was also on his way to kill Euronymous as he was pissed off about him using images of their bandmate, Dead (Per Yngve Ohlin) after his suicide in 1991 as an album cover for Dawn Of The Black Hearts.

Vikernes was released from prison in 2009. While serving time, he became affiliated with the Neo-Nazi Norwegian Heathen Front and started a neo-Nazi blog from behind bars. He was also one of the recipients of Norwegian terrorist,Anders Breivik’s manifesto, however he’s condemned Breivik’s christianity and said he should kill himself.

In 2013 he and his wife were arrested in France on suspicion of planning acts of terrorism after his wife bought four rifles. They were released due to lack of evidence, but Vikernes was convicted of inciting racial hatred against Muslims and Jews a few months later and sentenced to six months probation and a fine.

Burzum 1992 debut CD sold on Discogs earlier this year for $1500. A guy called Nathan won it in a jeep race with Vikernes, after they got into an argument over the internet about whether jeeps built in capitalist or socialist countries were better. This particular copy of the CD was given to Vikernes by Euronymous.

Debbie Harry near-miss abduction by Ted Bundy

In her new memoir, Face It, Debbie Harry tells a story from the early days of Blondie about how she narrowly avoided a potentially very fraught situation with a man she believes was Ted Bundy. It was a hot New York night in the summer of 1972 and was having trouble hailing a cab to get across town. A dude who was circling the neighbourhood in a white car stopped at the curb and offered her a ride. She thought about walking but was wearing big platforms and didn’t fancy the trek, so she got in out of desperation, and soon realised her mistake. The inside of the car was “totally stripped out” and she immediately felt in danger. Despite it being unbearably hot inside the car, the windows were wound all the way to the top. There were no door handles or window crank. Harry has said when he saw her trying to open the door he tried turning a corner really fast, which worked to her favour, helping to propel her out of the car and land her in the middle of the street.

Face It isn’t the first time this story has surfaced, Harry has recounted the event in many earlier interviews, always insisting that it was Ted Bundy, although the evidence that it was Bundy doesn’t work in her favor. Fact checking site, Snopes gets into the details on why the dude in Harry’s account probably wasn’t the most famous serial killer of all time. Bundy lived in the Pacific Northwest – also where most of his crimes were committed – Harry’s is also the only account of Bundy in NYC. Harry’s description of the car doesn’t match any profiles of Bundy’s cars: he would remove the passenger seat of his light brown VW Beetle to lie victims’ bodies flat in the car, but wouldn’t strip anything else out of the car. Harry’s story takes place in 1972, but Bundy wasn’t known to be abducting women until at least 1974. Ann Rule, author of Bundy study, The Stranger Beside Me says many women have erroneously ID’d Bundy in their tales of near abduction.

Sadly, psychopaths are not short in supply in this world, so while it’s impossible to rule out Bundy in this story, it’s more likely that it was an anonymous creep.

 

Harry Nilsson’s cursed flat

Both Mama Cass and Keith Moon died in Harry Nilsson’s inner-London flat within a few years of each other, both at the age of 32. Rumours started circulating that the 9 Curzon Place flat was cursed – one that Nilsson himself subscribed to – he sold the flat to Pete Townsend soon after Moon’s death. In all likelihood, it was probably less to do with a curse and more the fact that both Cass Elliot and Moon were both hard partiers, not shy of their drink and drugs.

Cass Elliot of The Mamas & The Papas died on July 30 1974 . She’d just finished a successful two week solo run at the London Palladium, which had garnered glowing reviews, and was celebrating following the end of her run. The night her engagement wrapped, she went to Mick Jagger‘s birthday party in Chelsea, then straight to a brunch the following morning organised by Georgia Brown. From the brunch she went on to a cocktail party, finally heading home around 8pm after telling fellow revellers she was feeling tired. After a long night (and day) of partying, she finally went to bed, and was left undisturbed most of the following day, as was normal for her. Her secretary, Dot McLeod went in to check on her later in the day and found Elliot had passed away in her sleep.

Despite the unfortunate persistent myth that she died choking on a ham sandwich, the sad truth is that Elliot died of a very untimely heart attack. Doctors claimed her heart was fatally weakened due to two years of crash dieting. While the reviews for her London Palladium shows were overwhelmingly positive, almost all of them had mentioned her weight. She’d told Daily Express reporter, David Wigg, “I’d like to lose more because I’m getting older. These days when you approach your mid-thirties, you think about heart disease.”

Four years after Elliot’s tragic passing, Keith Moon was staying over in Nilsson’s flat. According to some, Nilsson had been reluctant to let Moon stay in the apartment as he already thought it was cursed after Eliot’s death. Moon had been going through a tough time – he had been struggling with alcohol addiction following the breakdown of his marriage, and the accidental death of his chauffeur, Neil Boland. On the night that he died, he’d been to party with his girlfriend, Annette Walter-Lax, hosted by Paul McCartney. The pair left the party early and headed back to the flat. That night he took several Heminervrin sedatives he’d been prescribed to help ease the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. He was discovered face-down and unresponsive on the bed the next afternoon on September 6 1978. Some say he took 32 pills – I wasn’t able to verify that, but I also hate to let the truth get in the way of a good story.

People were shocked to learn of Moon’s death, as everyone had thought he was indestructible. He once told a doctor about his typical diet: bangers and eggs at 6am washed down with a bottle of Dom Perignon and half a bottle of brandy, followed with a couple of downers. Then he would take a well-earned nap between 10am to 5pm. Heading in to the evening he’d get started again by popping a few Black Beauties (a combo of speed and dextroamphetamine), along with more brandy and champagne, then a night on the town, wrapping up around 4am.

The post Murder, Abduction, The Devil Himself: Twisted Tales From The Music World appeared first on Discogs Blog.

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Kat Bein Best Of The Decade: Run The Jewels

Editor’s Note: Shining a light on the more prominent artists of the passing decade; we’ll be taking a look at the artists who made a monumental impact on the 2010s and landed several albums in our 200 Best Albums Of The 2010s list in a series of pieces through the end of 2019. Today we’re taking a look at Run The Jewels with Kat Bein. The Discogs Community spoke loud and clear, placing the Killer Mike and El-P brotherhood’s entire 2010’s run of LPs in the top half of our list. The evolution of RTJ over these three albums is especially exciting, and we can’t wait to see what the 2020s bring from the duo!

In times of political upheaval, poets, storytellers, and musicians become barometers of society.  The 2010s were a decade of commercial excess and greed. It started high on the hope that things could change only to end in bitter darkness and confusion. All the while, popular culture sold stories of endless youth, fabulous drug addiction and egotistical overindulgence, but the success of underground rap super-duo Run The Jewels dares to tell another, more honest story.

Brooklyn-born rapper-producer El-P made his name on daring beats and unrelenting lyrics via four solo records in the 2000s. Killer Mike is an Atlanta rapper of the Dungeon Family set with activism in his blood. The pair were introduced by an executive of the Cartoon Network, whose Adult Swim programming championed experimental musicians. After some studio collaborations and a co-headlining stint on the road, the pair decided to make their relationship official, naming their team project “Run The Jewels” after a line in an LL Cool J song.

RTJ introduced itself as the anti-hero antidote to “go dumb” radio rappers. The project’s willingness to innovate, attention to detail, diabolical storyline and raw style made RTJ instantly exciting to fans and impossible to imitate. El-P’s frenetic and futuristic beats made from retro synths sounds lit the stage for aggressive bars spit in twisted flows.

RTJ takes its cues from the godfathers of gangsta rap, takes no prisoners and leaves no survivors in its wake, but the real lesson at the heart of the project is to let love rule. It’s an east coast assault on anyone who uses fear to intimidate and dishonesty to distract the masses. Inspired by the world around it, RTJ grew more political over time, creating one of the most important voices in the fabric of 2010 popular music.

Some critics and fans might not see RTJ albums as the best of either MCs catalogs, but the group made each of its members bigger stars than they ever were apart. The Discogs Community speaks loudly with all three Run The Jewels albums on the list of the decade’s best by their record collections. Let’s take a closer look at each below.

 

Run The Jewels

(2013)

Released in June of 2013 on Fool’s Gold Records, RTJ’s debut self-titled LP is savage, witty, wicked and wise. With sparse features from Outkast icon Big Boi and old school rap guru Prince Paul, Run The Jewels sent the message that the duo only hangs with heavy hitters but doesn’t need their help to make an impression. It’s an aggressive pitbull of a record that starts big and bossy with a self-titled track full of classic rap braggadocio and lines to let you know Run The Jewels doesn’t play. The devilish duo came to steal the crown from the kings of the game and leave smoking holes in the heads of non-believers. They are the ganja-smoking saviors of real rap, taking shots at commercial giants (like Kanye and Jay Z) who only worship at the feet of classics (Method Man, Run DMC, N.W.A.). It’s ten original tracks (and three bonus tunes) mostly serve to create the RTJ legend, though “DDFH,” meaning Do Dope Fuck Hope, points at an underlying desire for cultural commentary. From cannibalism to cock-slapping, nothing is lyrically off-limits, but it’s all laced with harmless hilarity. No one is really in danger except for posers and capitalists.

The album was a successful start, reaching No. 60 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and voted by Discogs’ users as the 49th best album of the decade. All hail the new rulers of the underground.

Run The Jewels 2

(2014)

Fueled by the success of their debut and inspired by the changing world around them, El-P and Killer Mike returned quickly and with a spit-spewing menace on 2014’s sophomore cut Run The Jewels II. Here, the tracks are louder featuring lusher, more layered production. It’s a raucous rabble-rouser with a keen eye and an educated tongue honed on a growing political crisis. Mike became a voice of the Black Lives Matter movement, speaking to news outlets about the violence in Ferguson, MI., and he waves that flag proudly on “Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck” featuring Rage Against the Machine frontman Zack de la Rocha. RTJ takes on violence against minorities, corrupt politicians, CEOs, and religious pedophiles while uplifting the impoverished masses punished by the system for dealing drugs or doing whatever they have to meet their ends. “Lie, Cheat, Steal” is a stand-out that calls out the shady figures who run the world while encouraging the people to find their power. The record moves in thoughtful ebbs and flows, serving maniacal beats on “Oh My Darling Don’t Cry,” emotive beauty on “Early” feat. BOOTS, and naughty swagger on XXX favorite “Love Again” with Gangsta Boo. The LP also features drums by Blink-182 icon Travis Barker on “All Due Respect,” and indie artist Diane Coffee on “Crown.”

It’s a musical pinnacle wherein RTJ accepts its social purpose and finds an ultimate, experimental groove. It jumped to No. 9 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart and cracked the overall albums chart at No. 50. It’s the highest on Discogs’ fan-voted list, landing at No. 33 of the best albums of the decade.

Run The Jewels 3

(2016)

RTJ creates its grand epic with a 14-track soundscape. Run The Jewels III is an interesting beast that finds the former underdogs proud kings of radioresistance. El-P and Killer Mike are not household names, but having played the stage at Madison Square Garden (as an opening act for Jack White), they can’t pretend to be underground unknowns any longer. Instead of cash in on successful tropes, the band pushes itself toward grandeur without dreaded bloat. The group told reporters it is their favorite album, although a downturn in general energy may explain why it polls lower on Discogs’ list.

It opens not with a smashing scream but with the soft intro “Down.” It takes stock of where its members have been, the heights they’ve reached and where they’ve yet to go. El-P’s production is often half-tempo and ethereally cinematic. Killer Mike once said, “I see this album, I don’t hear this album,” making a note of its theatricality. Each song plays evenly into the next, with a healthy mix of the group’s boisterous brags and political messaging. The true power of this dynamic duo is felt during the live performance, and this third self-titled installment captures this spirit on early tracks “Legend Has It” and “Call Ticketron.”  Those are highlights among an otherwise more downtrodden mood, perhaps caused by Trump’s divisive presidency. The duo continues to preach power-to-the-people on “Bumaye,” “Don’t Get Captured,” “Thieves! (Screamed The Ghosts” and “2100” feat. BOOTS, while spreading a message of love over true evil on “Stay Gold” and the very-personal “Thursday In The Danger Room.” RTJIII sees more features than ever, with Danny Brown, Joi, Trina, Tunde Adebimpe, Kamasi Washington and returning cast members BOOTS and Zack de la Roche. The album charted higher than its predecessors at No. 13 on the Billboard 200.

In just less than seven years, Run The Jewels emerged as one of the most unique and important rap groups in the genre’s history, making a huge impression on this past decade. All the proof you need is in the music, which speaks for itself, but we’d be remiss not to mention the thoughtful artwork on each record sleeve. In an interview with Spin around RTJIII‘s release, the group explained the iconic zombie hands motif as follows:

“For us, the RTJ1 hands were about “taking what’s yours” – your world, your life, your attitude. The RTJ2 hands were wrapped in bandages, signifying injury and healing, which for us represented the growth in ideas and tone of that album. For RTJ3 the bandages are off, the chain is gone and the hands have been transformed into gold. For us, this represents the idea that there is nothing to take that exists outside of yourself. You are the jewel.”

Run The Jewels IV has been confirmed in the works. What new mountains of truth and justice will Run The Jewels climb in the 2020s? With no shortage of political unrest and corporate greed in sight, it will be unrelenting and unforgettable, to be sure.

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Kat Bein Best Of The Decade: Arctic Monkeys

Editor’s Note: Shining a light on the more prominent artists of the passing decade; we’ll be taking a look at the artists who made a monumental impact on the 2010s and landed several albums in our 200 Best Albums Of The 2010s list in a series of pieces through the end of 2019. Today we’re taking a look at one of the first bands to be birthed via the Internet, the Arctic Monkeys. Kat Bein takes us through the band’s three LPs from the 2010s that made our 200 Best.

Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not

Arctic Monkeys make whatever music they want on their terms. As a start-up band in the early 2000s of Sheffield, England, the band found surprise popularity when their handed-out CD demo was uploaded to the internet. Labels begged to sign the strapping young lads with a sneering punk style and thoughtful lyrics, but when executives demanded changes to their original tunes, Arctic Monkeys began denying label scouts access to their concerts as well.

The band did eventually sign to Domino for its DIY ethos, and their 2006 debut, Whatever People Say I am, That’s What I’m Not outsold all previous British debut albums ever released (it has since been surpassed).

That debut album title is key to understanding the Arctic Monkeys, especially the band, as it exists today. Their the kind of nonlinear band that plays with Dizzee Rascal and Simian Mobile Disco in the same headlining Glastonbury set that it covers Shirley Bassey‘s “Diamonds Are Forever.” Originally die-hard hip-hop fans, the band members – who’ve known each other since they were 7 – became rock’n’roll enthusiasts after seeing The Strokes, The Libertines, and Queens of the Stone Age in concert. Those diverse interests and influences all make a show on their last three albums, all of this made Discogs’ fan-voted list for best albums of the decade. We now take a closer look at them below.

Suck It And See

(2011)

Produced by James Ford, the record followed the band’s dark, brooding psychedelia trip Humbug. It was described by Ford and drummer Matt Helders as a more “instant,” “poppy,” and “vintage” than its predecessor, a noticeable fact from the start. It’s 12 tracks weave cheeky through ’60s doo-wop swings and trippy ’70s cool, taking inspiration from the simple cool of Iggy Pop on “Brick by Brick” (a song that uses less than 30 words in total), early Beatles ease on the metaphorical “Black Treacle,” and Beach Boys sweetness on the LP title-track “Suck It And See.” It’s a vibrant collection of love songs from the perspective of a man who dares to love a dangerous woman, though the story is told in cute lyrical quips and playful nonsense. Singer Alex Turner takes turns between straightforward storyteller and vague symbolism, the latter of which shines on “Black Treacle,” The Hellcat Spangled Shalalala,” and “Library Pictures.” A cool stand-out is “Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair,” which lists dangerous things you know you shouldn’t do but are hypothetically less dangerous than if this person suddenly, sans chair, were to just sit down. The song and the record are tongue-in-cheek, slightly mindless, and just-plain-fun rock’n’roll.

The album’s “dog shit rock’n’roll” style stood in sharp contrast to its contemporaries. In the early 2010s, every band was adding a synthesizer or getting a DJ to remix their tunes. EDM was just about to control global commercial airwaves, but instead of buckle under the pressure of the crowd, Arctic Monkeys looked to the past and made a record that stood out. Suck It And See knocked Lady Gaga‘s Born This Way off the No. 1 spot in the UK and reached No. 14 in the states. It’s the lowest polling of the band’s records on this list at No. 105, but its classic style proves one more time that rock’n’roll will never die.

AM

(2013)

Picasso once said that good artists copy and great artists steal, and AM is a pitch-perfect example. Almost as if in reaction to its predecessor’s simple and straightforward presentation, AM blends a cacophonous range of influences into a delightful distillation that’s become the band’s most successful album to date. The title of the record is an acronym of the band’s name, at once acknowledging the group’s in-the-pocket performance while also lovingly ripping off the Velvet Underground‘s VU-titled Greatest Hits collection, with the song “Mad Sounds” adopting a very Lou Reed-sound as well. The album ranges in great strides, from the Black Sabbath interpolation of “Arabella” to the Bowie-esque ballad “No. 1 Party Anthem,” while “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” kicking deep into modern R&B tropes a la Timbaland. The band mixes doo-wop with desert rock on “Fireside,” and singer Turner has cited Drake and Lil Wayne as influence on the playful lyrics of “R U Mine?”

It’s dark and brooding on “R U Mine?,” heavy on “One For The Road” and absolutely soul-gripping on intro tune “Do I Wanna Know?” It’s a hard-hitting album that synthesizes all the greatest bits of what came before it and sat beside it in our modern times. You can sing-along to these sad love songs, get lost in the innovative production, or just go about your day with the driving rhythms playing in your ear. It stands out among the band’s catalog with its frequent use of falsetto and head-turning rhythms, and it once again proves that the Arctic Monkeys can not and will not be contained. 

Recorded in Joshua Tree, with guest appearances from Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme, Elvis Costello’s drummer Pete Thomas and Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral. It’s the band’s highest-charting album and with a ranking of fifth-best record of the decade, clearly stands out as a creative opus among fans. It’s surprising for a band to hit a new high on its fifth studio release, but then again, Arctic Monkeys have never been predictable.

Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino

(2018)

After the wild success of AM, the band took a short hiatus, focusing on solo efforts and other projects. The international fame made the band and frontman Turner into international stars, and the new fame weighed on Turner, bringing with it a sense of confusion, jadedness, and a case of writer’s block. Sick of writing love songs, he began writing about “anything else” at the suggestion of a friend. The result is Tranquility Base Hotel + Casino, the Arctic Monkeys’ first concept album, and complete stylistic departure. Turner was finally inspired by Federico Fellini‘s 1962 film and the way it depicted writer’s block and childhood memories. He wrote the album’s 11 songs mostly by himself on a Steinway Vertegrand piano in his new Los Angeles home. The process reminded him of piano lessons his father gave him when he was eight, and many of the melodies simple, plucky tunes are inspired by his father’s rudimentary style. Many of the vocal takes are originals recorded in Turner’s spare room affectionately dubbed “Lunar Surface.”

The album takes its name from the real landing site of the 1969 manned mission to the Moon. It’s a sad record that pulls sonic styles from ’70s prog rock, space rock, and most notable lounge and blues. Turner sings in a very Bowie-esque voice about consumerism, social ills, isolation, technological advancement, political turmoil, and the vast difference between what we wish to become as children and what fantasy turns out to mean. The album was produced by Ford and, for the first time, Turner, featuring performances by many session musicians, all of whom played together in a room, inspired by the Beach Boys’ process on Pet Sounds and Phil Spector‘s Wall of Sound techniques.

With much less guitar, downtrodden piano, and sci-fi themes, the stark contrast between previous albums was divisive among long-time fans. Nevertheless, the LP was the band’s sixth-straight No. 1 debut in the UK and became the country’s fastest-selling vinyl record in 25 years. It’s a smart, fresh and relatable work for anyone trying to make a life in strange modern times. It’s unique and artistic perspective brings it to No. 86 on the fan-voted list of best albums this decade.

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Javi Gómez Martínez 10 Weird Formats That You Can Find On The Discogs Database

Exploring the Discogs Database is like going down a rabbit hole. While the content of the biggest database of recorded music on Earth might be a little bit intimidating, there are ways around it that make it really fun to explore. I’m not going to try to depict myself as some sort of content mastermind. If you want to explore weird music niches, you just have to go to the menu on the left side of the Explore page and look for releases that belong to obscure formats, genres, or even countries whose presence in the Database is hard to spot. You can explore releases in styles such as Azonto, Filk, or Motswako. Or discover what’s already in the Database from countries like Southern Sudan, Nauru, or Chad.

What’s really special about the Discogs Database is how the Discogs Community keeps growing it year after year. Most likely we can come back to the same styles and countries and find more releases in there. Which is, if you ask me, magic. But let’s focus on a subject I’ve already been trying to cover for a while: weird formats. As you might know, for each successful format out there (vinyl, for example) there are a lot that didn’t succeed, leaving them as a curiosity for collectors or, sometimes, as impossible relics to find. It’s wonderful how the Discogs Community has been cataloging such a vast amount of these rare formats in our Database. If I’m honest with you, we hope to keep seeing more of these pop up in the Database in the coming years. It’s great to know that none of the information about these releases will ever get lost.

It’s been quite an adventure to select only 10 formats since we have a total of 199 formats in the Discogs Database.

10 Rare Audio Formats Found on Discogs

Wire recording

Releases in the Discogs Database: 2

Year of invention: 1898

I was very surprised to find this format in the Discogs Marketplace. This is the first early magnetic recording technology. To add surprise to this finding, the release you will find in the Database is not from the 19th century. I apologize for the word-for-word from Wikipedia, but I don’t think I’ll be able to explain how this format works better than someone else already did:

“The wire is pulled rapidly across a recording head which magnetizes each point along the wire in accordance with the intensity and polarity of the electrical audio signal being supplied to the recording head at that instant. By later drawing the wire across the same or a similar head while the head is not being supplied with an electrical signal, the varying magnetic field presented by the passing wire induces a similarly varying electric current in the head, recreating the original signal at a reduced level.”

For example: Aleksi Perälä ‎– The Colundi Sequence Level 8

RCA tape cartridge

Releases in the Discogs Database: 13

Year of invention: 1958

Even though this is an early version of the successful cassette, apparently 1958 wasn’t exactly ready to allow this format to succeed. The size of it is much bigger than its common successor and was not as easily portable.

For example: Marty Gold And His Orchestra ‎– Sticks And Bones

Elcaset

Releases in the Discogs Database: 3

Year of invention: 1976

This format is considered an evolution of the RCA tape cartridge. Still bigger than the modern cassettes, this format was aroud for a brief period of time. Evidence of its brevity is that you will only find three releases in this format in the Discogs Database. Perhaps there are more out there?

For example: Mordant Music ‎– Martinique Or Mauritius

Sabamobil

Releases in the Discogs Database: 4

Year of invention: 1964

Excuse my ignorance, but as I write this piece I’m realizing of how many failed attempts several companies had to develop before creating the cassette, one of the top-3 most popular formats of the last few decades. The attempt of Saba to create a portable format was the Sabamobil, another short-lived format that fell quickly into oblivion.

For example: Various ‎– Die Große Starparade

Betacam

Releases in the Discogs Database: 9

Year of invention: 1982

Oh, poor Betacam. Meant to compete back in the day with VHS, we all know how this story ends. Surprisingly, there are a bunch of music releases commercialized in this format and, you know it, the information about some of those is on Discogs.

For example: J. Viewz ‎– Your Country

Video 2000

Releases in the Discogs Database: 13

Year of invention: 1979

I wasn’t aware of this other victim of the VHS, but here you go: Video 2000 (aka V2000) was developed by Philips and Grundig to try to compete in the arena of home video. It obviously didn’t do well.

For example: Various ‎– High Life – Original Top Hits International Auf Video

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DC-International

Releases in the Discogs Database: 1

Year of invention: 1965

DC stood for double cassette, this big ancestor of the modern cassette lived only two years before being discontinued. Curiously, only one release has ever been added in this format to the Database, but I’m confident there were more releases than that back in the day.

For example: The Rolling Stones ‎– The Fantastic Rolling Stones –>

Tefifon

Releases in the Discogs Database: 40

Year of invention: 1936

Oh wow! Oh. Wow. I didn’t know what I was signing for when I started writing this piece, but there’s been so many forgotten formats invented during the past century. Because it’s easier for Wikipedia to explain it to all of us: “The Tefifon is a German-developed and manufactured audio playback format that utilizes cartridges loaded with an endlessly looped reel of plastic tape.” There you go.

For example: Various ‎– Frei Weg (Stunden Revue)

Pocket Rockers

Releases in the Discogs Database: 42

Year of invention: 1988

This is too cute to be true. Fisher-Price released this format in the late 1980s to clearly market to the kids. I mean… If a kid wanted to listen to Boston and Phil Collins when Nirvana was already around, then let them!

For example: Bon JoviLivin’ On A Prayer / Runaway

MiniDV

Mariah Carrey - Don't Stop on MiniDV audio format

Releases in the Discogs Database: 114

Year of invention: 1995

I am puzzled about this format. So it’s actually more modern than cassettes and it can store about 13 GB for one hour of video. Alright, I’m still puzzled. Whatever.

For example: Mariah CareyDon’t Stop

PlayTapes

Releases in the Discogs Database: 157

Year of invention: 1966

After this whole gallery of failures (sorry, not sorry), actually the PlayTape was a success (yay!) back in 1966. Sorry for the copy/pasting from Wikipedia but I don’t know if I feel like I could explain it any better:
“PlayTape is a two-track system, and was launched to compete with existing 4-track cartridge technology. The cartridges play anywhere from eight to 24 minutes, and are continuous. Because of its portability, PlayTape was an almost instant success, and over 3,000 artists had published in this format by 1968. White cases usually meant about eight songs were on the tape.”

Good for the PlayTape.

For example (I couldn’t let this one go): Leonard Nimoy ‎– The Two Sides Of Leonard Nimoy

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Raine Cardinaels-Baird 6 Digging Spots You Can’t Miss In Melbourne



Melbourne (population 5 million), known for its amazing selection of food and coffee, AFL (a strange game where people in the smallest shorts imaginable kick an egg-shaped ball around a giant egg-shaped park) and general quality of life, may not be the capital city of Australia, it isn’t even the biggest… but when it comes to music, Melbourne holds the crown for the best scene in Australia.

From non-stop gigs in every corner of the city to the sheer abundance of record stores. From the dirtiest punk 45s to blues, techno, dub, opera and beyond, if it’s on wax you are bound to find it in one of the city’s legendary stores.

Even if your not sure what you are looking for drop-in and have a chat with your local record hustler… they have a magical knack of knowing what you want before you do!

Let us take a short peek at what the city has to offer!

Dutch Vinyl Record Store

269 Johnston St, Abbotsford
Discogs Facebook

Dutch Vinyl Record Store started up in 1996 and is still going strong to this day. Offering a wide selection of genres while focusing on European and Australian pressings. Plenty of $5 gems and new imports alike! Located right near Abbotsford’s main transport hub, getting from the CBD to this store is a breeze… It’s also conveniently located right next to one of my favorite spots to grab a bite – Kelso’s Sandwich Shoppe (amazing sandwiches and homemade pickles!).

Northside Records

236 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
DiscogsFacebook

Who’s got the Funk? Northside’s got the funk. Northside is an institution. When a store is run by someone who lives, breathes and sweats funk… you know the digging is going to be good. From left field Afrobeat to way-out space Jazz, obscure Hip-Hop, Funk anthems of yesteryear all the way up to the funkiest offerings that local artists have released- you are always going to walk out with a stack of gems. Not sure where to start in-store? Ask Chris for his picks… he’ll always dig up something that gets that head bobbing!

Wax Museum Records

Shop 2, Campbell Arcade, Degraves St Melbourne CBD
DiscogsFacebook

A hidden diggers paradise. Holding an amazing collection of new release Hip-Hop, Soul, Jazz, Funk, and Reggae along with a stellar selection of hard to find classic hip-hop, new Techno, and Future Jazz pressings this store is always a must-visit for DJs and collectors with their finger on the pulse. Also being home to the Wax Museum record label, you’re bound to find some fresh heat for your record box! Located in the heart of Melbournes CBD, it couldn’t be easier to get to!

Rocksteady Records

Level 1, Mitchell House 358 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Facebook

Upon entering Rocksteady Records, the first thing that catches you is how beautiful the space is. The layout and fittings of the shop really do make this a very peaceful place to dig. Specializing in Reggae and Carribean music, you are bound to find something to keep those hips moving! With over 30 years in the game, the store’s owner Pat Monaghan definitely knows his records, and it shows in the deep selections they have in store. Even if Reggae and Caribbean music isn’t your thing, they also have some very deep crates of Soul, Funk, and Disco to take home! Located in Melbournes CBD it’s very easy to get to and surrounded by fantastic spots to grab a bite and refuel for the next shop on the digging list.

Greville Records

Level 1, Mitchell House 358 Lonsdale St,  Melbourne
Facebook

The go-to digging spot for touring musicians. The names that have come through this door looking for wax is almost as impressive as the records on selection… Since opening in 1978 the collection has grown into a stash of the most epic proportions, there are now upwards of 30,000 records for sale on any given day. From rare Blues pressings from the 1920s all the way through to the hottest import Electronica, you will always find something pleasing to your ears to take home. Who knows who you might run into instore…

 

Vicious Sloth Collectables

1309 High St, Malvern
DiscogsFacebook

How could we miss this name among the weirdest record store names worldwide? Shame on us! Another Melbourne institute is known for attracting some of the biggest musicians in the world. Henry Rollins and the Metallica crew are just some of the names that have popped through in the past, and with good reason. Vicious Sloth is known as the go-to for 60s and 70s Australian RockPunk, Psych and whatever other generally rockin’ music they can get their hands on. Specializing in second-hand stock carefully curated by owners Peter and Terry who have been trading Vinyl since the mid-80s.
Even if it’s just to tell your friends that you have visited this wonderful store, make it a must-do on your next Melbourne trip!

We could talk about the vinyl scene in Melbourne all day… but its definitely a place you should get familiar with! A good starting point would be checking out all the other amazing stores in the area that can be found on Vinylhub. Happy digging! 

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MrRussRyan Mr Thing’s Top 5 (9!) Record Shops

Your favourite DJ’s favourite DJ, the UK’s self-proclaimed Champion Nerd and Cake Connoisseur Mr Thing took some time out this week to lift the lid on some of his favourite record shops.

From early DMC Champion years, Mr Thing has gone on to put together killer compilations alongside DJ Spinna & DJ Premier for BBE, produce great records for First Word Records & beyond whilst playing cuts on various projects, most recently on Rockit as part of Herbie Hancock’s live band.

We originally asked for a top-five, but thankfully we were given a top-nine, so fill your boots, drop into the shops if you’re in the areas, or browse their Discogs Crates if you’re further afield!

 

discogs-crazybeat

Crazy Beat, Essex

A special place for me and not just because of the racks and racks of records and treats to be found in here (also worth looking in the cheap boxes in the street outside too), but also because I met two of my closest friends the first time I ever went. I’m also really glad they bought back the bargain bins as well!

 

discogs-kingbee

King Bee, Manchester

A Manchester digging institution – very fair prices and awesome selection across the board. Really friendly and helpful staff and masses of records crammed into this quite small shop. Love it!

 

discogs-realgroovy

Real Groovy, Auckland

The very opposite of King Bee – a huge basement space now after it moved a few years back, there are so many records in here it’s pretty insane. I’ve been twice and both times filled pretty big bags, and it’s got great prices as well.

 

discogs-superfly

Superfly Records, Paris

One of the first places I make a point of going to if I go to Paris, amazing selection and the stuff on the wall will make you stretch your finances to breaking point. But also has amazing cheap boxes underneath the main racks and plenty of bargains all round.

 

discogs-rarekind

Rarekind Records, Brighton

Since I moved down to the coast this has become one of my favourite places to come to, usually for the day. Ewan and crew here are great – brilliant stock that moves quickly so you rarely see the same stuff when you visit, prices are really good and you never know what you’ll turn up in one of the 3 floors!

 

discogs-reckless

Reckless Records, London

Been coming here since the late 80s and one of the few shops that’s still here from that time (my uncle took me here on my first ever trip to London and I’ve been going ever since!). Gone through a lot of changes over the years (the old basement room they had was amazing) but great staff and excellent selection that again moves all the time.

 

discogs-rollin

Rollin’ Records, West Wickham

Tucked away in between Orpington and Beckenham in Kent is this glorious little shop, mainly a rock and roll spot but always great and interesting jazz/prog/soul records in here too. I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this but in the summer they put a load of cheap records out in the street outside and it’s always good!

 

discogs-mrthing-2

Vinyl Tap, Huddersfield

A two-level shop with new stuff upstairs and an entire lower floor of secondhand underneath. Bring a flask and sandwiches and plant up for the day – I’ve seen people do it! The prices and selection are great and it’s mad what turns up in here. Plus – lovely people.

 

discogs-humanhead

Human Head, NYC

Don’t get to NYC too often but now I’ve been here a few times I always make a point of it when I do! This place is brilliant and packed with everything – they have fantastic cheap & full price soul/ jazz/Latin and serious Brazilian records, excellent selection – I’ve crossed a lot of my wants list from them when I’ve been in. Lovely people and also – a lovely dog.

If that wasn’t enough, we’re lucky to have Mr Thing selling directly with us on Discogs, and if you’re ever in the Hastings area, go and check his and Adam’s shop linked here. Enjoy!

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Morgan Enos Best Of The Decade: Beach House

Editor’s Note: Shining a light on the more prominent artists of the passing decade; we’ll be taking a look at the artists who made a monumental impact on the 2010s and landed several albums in our 200 Best Albums Of The 2010s list in a series of pieces through the end of 2019. Today we’re taking a look at one of the more pliable artists in the series, Beach House. Morgan Enos takes a look at their entire run of records over the decade, three of which landed on our Best 200!

Mirrors and Smoke and Ballet Shoes: Beach House in the 2010s

Beach House refuses to seize your attention with parlor tricks; they’re in it for the long game. “We’re late bloomers,” frontwoman Victoria Legrand told The Fader in 2018 while promoting their album 7.The Flaming Lips, how many records do they have? Wasn’t R.E.M.‘s eighth or ninth record the one? Not that I’m comparing ourselves to those bands, but sometimes it takes a long time to… find deep layers of creativity.”

Much like those lifer bands, Beach House develops slowly and sometimes not at all, even locking in one groove for albums on end. On 2010’s Teen Dream, Legrand and guitarist Alex Scally suddenly evolved from a bedroom aesthetic and made full-blooded dream pop like Mazzy Star or Fleetwood Mac. But beyond that leap, each new Beach House record is like turning a prism and reflecting light anew; if you need constant innovation from an artist, consider looking elsewhere.

Beach House thrives in the space where words fail and emotion rules; the chorus to their best song goes “It is happening again.” (Whatever you’re going through, fill in the blanks.) When asked how they do what they do, the band, fittingly, stays vague. Speaking to The Fader, Scally described a “dual energy field that exists between joy and sorrow,” and in a 2018 interview with Stereogum, Legrand called some 7 songs “mirrors and smoke and ballet shoes” — as good a summation of her band as any.

With the 2010s coming to a close, we’re revisiting Beach House’s run of albums this decade, from Teen Dream to 7.

Teen Dream

(2010)

Beach House’s first album for Sub Pop is hot-blooded and fully formed, a mild-mannered indie band tapping into a deep vein of feeling. On Teen Dream, they dialed back the reverb and homed in on their strongest components: Scally’s swooping slide guitar and Legrand’s impassioned wail. These two sounds together can lay you flat; Teen Dream’s highlights, like “Silver Soul,” “Walk in the Park” and “10 Mile Stereo,” are all light and shadow, sunbeams flaring through heavy cloudbanks.

Bloom

(2012)

“As you get older, you realize that nothing lasts forever,” Legrand told The Guardian in 2012 about their fourth album, Bloom. “It’s not depressing, but it does make moments more intense.” Through that lens, Bloom doesn’t expand on Teen Dream, but it explores its shadow; on “Myth,” “New Year” and “On the Sea,” the guitars lean more Cocteau Twins and the vocals flirt with despondency. “It’s many colors, just a little [darker] than before,” Legrand said in the same interview, which explains “Other People,” a sing-along pop song that’s brighter than anything on Teen Dream.

Depression Cherry

(2015)

Instead of going more ambitious on Depression Cherry, the band dug deeper into their original formula and found more treasures. “We’re deep in the dirt now [after 10 years],” Scally told Fact Magazine in 2015. “Something can be repeated but it’s never the same,” Legrand said in the same interview. But because Depression Cherry doesn’t veer into new territory, it ends up being one of the band’s most straightforward and easiest-to-like albums: “Space Song,” “10:37” and “PPP” are pretty, unadorned ballads that stand among their best.

Thank Your Lucky Stars

(2015)

Almost to provoke the “they never change!” naysayers, Beach House released Thank Your Lucky Stars only two months after Depression Cherry — and if you can identify any wild leaps between the two, I’d wager you’re reaching. Where Legrand described Cherry as about “love, pain, getting older, dealing with loss, letting go,” Stars feels a touch more lighthearted, particularly on “All Your Yeahs,” “One Thing” and “Rough Song.” Then again, we’re talking a Beach House album — it is what you bring to it.

7

(2018)

After settling into an immutable approach for pretty much everything post-Teen Dream, Beach House pulled a surprising maneuver with their seventh album, 7. They parted ways with their longtime producer Chris Coady and teamed up with Peter “Sonic Boom” Kember of Spacemen 3, who sharpened and modernized their sound at a point where it could use it. On “Dark Spring,” “Drunk in LA” and “Girl of the Year,” the band dive fully-fledged studio production to make their dismal vision more immersive than ever.

With more sounds, more shades, more everything, Beach House sound more confident and committal than ever. They may have used nonspecificity to plumb emotional depths in the past, but 7 shows they can work their magic without the mirrors and smoke.

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MrRussRyan Discogs Presents: ADE Hangover Record Fair 2019

This October was our third collaborative Record Fair with the mighty Amsterdam Dance Event and Into The Woods, which saw over one thousand attendees pass through NDSM-werf to dig & dance!

Alongside the cross-section of fantastic records & sellers, this year’s event had a slightly different “spin”- we asked each DJ to play their set from records they’d bought from the event, whilst host Aron Friedman interviewed them throughout their set about what those records meant to each DJ! We also had a TV behind the DJ booth, displaying each record’s Discogs page whilst it was being spun!

Joost van Bellen

David Junk

Dave Clark

Bufiman

Tijana T

We want to extend a huge thank you to every Record Seller who represented, every DJ who played for us and most importantly every one of you who passed through, making the event so memorable! Some of our favourite photos are below, and if you missed the event, you can find links to each seller’s shops at the bottom!

 

Record Sellers who were with us:

Sarton Records Amsterdam
Moovmnt
Tech Records
Sounds LP
Count Vinyl
Hauz Of Wax
Deep Trax Records
Tunesville
Soapy1
Vinyl Vibe
Green Vinyl
Sappho1
Vinylism
Concerto Records
Seawolf Records
Digthecrate
Spacejunkie

Browse some of our sellers’ digital crates above, with news inbound on our future events (hopefully coming to a town near you) dropping shortly!

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