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#JulyVinylChallenge 25. A Karaoke Favorite: Kurtis Blow - The Breaks. I've never done karaoke, so I don't have a favorite, but since I named my company after this song and I always loved that they called the instrumental side the "do it yourself version" I thought it was appropriate

#julyvinylchallenge day 4. A record with a story or memory. Mineral - Endsererenading. In 1997 or so, I played in my first band. Band was called Hometown. I played bass and vocals , Jordan Beede on drums, and Robby Anderson on guitar. We used to practice in the downstairs bedroom of Jordan's parents house. Jordan's older brother Nate was in a band called Visitor 3. Nice spaced out shoegaze songs. He introduced me to Starflyer 59 and this band. Neither Visitor 3 or Hometown went anywhere but this band stayed with me. #vinyl #mineralband

K I N G O F L E O N • Only By The Night
Day 15 | Makes you think of your spouse
Regardless of what other people say, this to me is the best @kingsofleon album. I love every song on here. Me and my wife will have been married 8 years in November, and I am nothing without her. We danced to 'Use Somebody' at our wedding. Love ya @adrielslife.

This was a @deependhtx hookup.

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 27: Favorite album from a solo artist

Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises (2010, Caldo Verde Records)

Went with my gut on this one. Not only is it my favorite Kozelek record ever, but it's one of the only ones that features solely Mark. Ever the fan of classical guitar, Mark's actually a better player than most people think. These songs are quiet, contemplative and achingly beautiful. This is his triumph.

Day 15 - #julyvinylchallenge - Album that makes you think of your spouse -
The Strokes - Is this it [2001]
This was one of the cutting points in our musical history when we first met and talked about music.
#vinylcollection #vinyl #vinylporn

Day 30: A record with an alternate cover. Off With Their Heads - Hospitals. This reissue released last year, screen printed and hand cut by Ryan himself. No two are exactly the same. This mint green was limited to 200. It must be said that I am very fond of this record. #offwiththeirheads #julyvinylchallenge #vinyl

#julyvinylchallenge Day 26: A picture of your setup.
With one kid out of the house and one in the basement I have taken over one of their rooms as my own. It's quite the little sanctum. That turntable is over 34 years old. It's been with me since high school. Still works great, but it is time for an upgrade. I love my little room. (I hate the term mancave, but that's kind of what it is.) 😎😎

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 21: The Most You Spent
Native-Wrestling Moves
I think I spent like $40 on this.


Homogenic - Bjork

31. AOTY contender

Kendrick Lamar | “DAMN.” [2017]

Had one last post for last month's vinyl challenge that I, again, could not skip. I don't know how he manages to do it again and again. And what's left to say that about this album that hasn't been said already? One of, if not *the* greatest rapper alive has given the world yet another rap masterpiece and obvious contender for album of the year. Anticipation for this one began with Kendrick’s out-of-nowhere release of ‘The Heart Part 4’ - a nearly 5 minute signature KL track that begins with Lamar channelling James Brown over a laid back, soulful beat, reminiscent of something we’d hear on his previous record. But only for the first minute thirty, until he raps over an instrumental we now know as ‘FEAR.’ for all of 12 seconds, before switching up the production and flow again to a colder, minimalist, almost trap-like beat he absolutely TEARS up. At his most wrathful since ‘Control’, Kendrick sounds like he's been doing a lot of thinking and is ready to preach, showing us how and why he's the greatest. Not just via clever brags and boasts, but by effortlessly switching and chopping up his flow over distant, minor keys, rapping to and calling out idols, peers, followers and leaders; a call to take action or get out of the way. The track’s transition from warm soul samples to a colder, more straightforward 808s sound in the latter half actually serves as a bit of an indication of the musical shift to come with DAMN. But before it dropped, came ‘HUMBLE.’ - one of the more accessible standouts on an album literally filled with standouts. Clocking in at 3 minutes, featuring a timeless Mike WiLL beat reminiscent 90s west coast rap a la Dre or Daz, paired to a strong, visually stunning, and an equally timeless music video in which Kendrick, again addresses, challenges and checks *everybody*. Then came the reveal of the album title, cover art, track listing, and mentions of Riri and U2 (?!!?) features. The hype was real. But to be honest, once it dropped, I was a little disappointed. But almost entirely due to the production - Kendrick himself sounds better than ever... (scroll down for more)

29. a band you discovered opening

Moneen | “Are We Really Happy with Who We Are Right Now?” [2003]

Red with black blob
Limited edition
First press

In highschool, when I was first getting into louder, heavier music, one band I loved and was able to see pretty often was Alexisonfire. Via relentless touring and frequent stops in Ottawa, two bands they introduced me to early on were the Full Blast and Moneen. At the time, I was more for fast, high tempo punk or hardcore, making the Full Blast more my cup of tea. Moneen’s early sound focused more on melody and had alotta longer, slower instrumental bridges. I didn't ‘get it’ at the time. But it was actually a Full Blast tune I loved that convinced me to give Moneen serious listen, with a song appropriately titled, “It's Cool, But Moneen Already Did It”. So, I dove into their most recent release at the time – this one, during a long drive to a hockey tournament. Pretty sure I listened to it twice back to back. I still remember being blown away the first time I heard the title track to open the record, and then being floored by follow-up, “Start Angry...End Mad”. That gentle piano intro, them pounding drums and dueling guitars, culminating in an big, angsty, triumphant “screw you and die! I hope you burnnnn!”. Still gives me chills. This record is teeming with energy, but also at times it's so serene, tender, and vulnerable - sometimes all within the same one song. There are so many changes within these 10 tracks. All but 2 songs are over 4 minutes in length, so it can be a lot to absorb on first listen. It's another one of those records that grows on you with repeat spins as you get accustomed to everything going on; the great guitar licks, hooks, gang chants, and little nuances throughout. When Dine Alone announced they were pressing this album for the first time two years ago in a bundle that includes a first and only press of Alexisonfire’s final show Live at Copps for their farewell tour ((a tour I caught) w Moneen as support) over 4xLPs as well as The Switcheroo EP in a new colour to boot! A no brainer


30. alternate cover art

Brand New | “Your Favorite Weapon” [2001]

Embossed cover
2011 Repress

We're all familiar with the original artwork to Brand New’s pop punk / emo standout and debut release Your Favourite Weapon - the split colour cover featuring a chess clock, the knight standing over the fallen king, tracklisting visible on the front. It was so beautifully amateur. And while I can understand why the band might want to change, or at least update it after growing up some, it was THE cover! It’s what me and so, so many others saw when we spun, scrolled, and flipped through our iPods and CD jackets countless times growing up. And to just…  change it?! I wouldn't hesitate to call myself a lifelong Brand New fan boy. And although there's stark contrast in sound and style from the rest of the band’s catalogue, YFW is loaded with poppy hooks and clever, albeit over the top ‘emo’ lyricism that set them above their peers at the time. My younger self couldn't help but love it. Personally, I consider the debut from the Long Island natives a must own, so I guess I just have to deal with the updated cover! And since it falls into ‘must have’ territory for me, I’m content with owning it in any affordable variant. Although I'm a fanboy, I'm not about to spend $200+ on a different colour variant when it isn’t even sporting the sleeve I wanna see it in! Although I suppose the embossed title on the front is a nice touch


28. black vinyl

Jungle | “Jungle” [2014]

Again, I know July has come and gone, but this is one of those records that just CAN'T go unrecognized or unmentioned. Initially stumbled upon online, when it first leaked 3 years ago, I went into my first listen blind. But what I discovered, may have very well become one of my most listened records of the past few years, certainly one of my favourites summertime, and forced me to seek out a copy for myself as soon as I could. (Bonus that it looks as good as it sounds!) Comprised of two lifelong friends and neighbours in the studio, “J” and “T” of the UK the duo create high energy, mid-tempo, ultra danceable, neo-soul, 70s style funk and disco music for the new age. Present are the odd synth parts, vocals that both float and haunt, drops reminiscent of James Blake, but also kick ass throwback bass grooves, old school kick drums, handclaps, horns, and plenty of clever, subtle sampling. Honestly? It's nothing groundbreaking or earth shattering, but the duo pull off what they're trying to accomplish so brilliantly, it'd be an injustice for anyone to sleep on this record once you know of it. It's an addictively funky, infinitely replayable listen that reveals its layers to you with each listen, only getting better with time. It’s great on the first go and even better once you’ve become familiar with all it’s little nuances. And I especially love this about the pair; they explained once that Jungle stemmed from “a desire for honesty…true connection and friendship. It’s about being in a collective and collective energy…[a] team spirit.” So in order to appropriately recreate their music live, J and T expanded Jungle into a seven-piece band to challenge themselves and resist the temptation to simply re-produce their songs from laptops, instead create an organic, full band live experience. The result is pretty amazing. Not that I’ve been able to catch it live yet. By the time I’d discovered these guys, I missed the only show the band played within a 6hr drive of me, so here’s hoping I get another chance. Check out their performance of “Time” at the 2014 Pitchfork Festival w the link in the bio


27. favourite album by a solo artist

John Mayer | “Continuum” [2006]

Due to a naturally outdoorsy lifestyle in the summer, coupled with the wait for new a new stylus / receiver to arrive, I haven’t given my records (or instagram) any love in a while! So I’ma spam your feeds real quick in order to complete last month’s vinyl challenge. So apologies in advance

A number of solo artists in the collection have released very noteworthy records, but I had to give Continuum the respect it deserves. John Mayer has never released anything as complete as this record. Typically, you can count on him to give us at least 3 or 4 REALLY great songs on every release, but nothing he’s released has been as consistent. The flow to this record is superb, his songwriting is undoubtedly his finest (and least cheesy or pretentious), but what really puts this record over the top has got to be the instrumentation and music itself. We know John can play the guitar with the best of em, but it’s his help in the form of the ‘Trio’ that really brings out the best in him here. Written and recorded with the eclectic Pino Palladino on bass as well as co-produced with drummer Steve Jordan, the trio influenced a stylistic change for Mayer; transitioning from a pop-rock sound to more matured, smooth and groovy bluesy, borderline r&b sound. While the album generally is a bit slower in pace and tempo than previous records, it works magnificently. Many songs are lyrically moving, the production is precise and polished, the solos are on point, and the grooves are ageless. There’s only one song that sounds a little out of place, and it’s a cover of Hendrix’s “Bold as Love”, but only because it’s an uptempo rocker. But the Trio do Jimi justice, pulling it off about as well as anyone could, making it easily one of John Mayer’s best covers to date. Though it is kind of a shocking it made the cut considering another upbeat rocker, “Can’t Take That Plane” from those sessions didn’t, simply because John felt ‘it didn’t fit the feel’ of the record. But the truth is, love him or hate him, there isn’t a single weak track on here. #Bless @6ali6sin6 for gifting me this fantastic pressing


We Lost The Sea - Crimera (Dunk! Records, ltd. #/125, 2010/2017)

So, I failed at the #julyvinylchallenge.. Vacation happened!
Here is one of my recent acquisitions. Great compositions, terrifyingly heavy and incredibly beautiful!
#welostthesea #crimera #dunkrecords #postrock #postmetal #sludgemetal #doommetal

Day 31 - #julyvinylchallenge - AOTY Contender - Japandroids / Slowdive / Fleet Foxes / Rolling Blackout C.F.
#japandroids #fleetfoxes #rollingsblackoutscf #slowdive
#vinyl #vinylporn #vinylcollection

-:newest:- Teenage Bottlerocket ▪ Goin' Back To Wyo 7"

Last 7" i got in the mail. Great artwork, great vinyl color, great return to FAT. All around great package.

#teenagebottlerocket #fatwreckchords #julyvinylchallenge #july7inchvinylchallenge #july7inchchallenge

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 31: AOTY Contender
Mura Masa - S/T (2017, Polydor)

Been waiting for this one since 2015. It may not be the concept record he intended to make when he started but I cannot deny the tunes on this one. They're all so good. Simultaneously vintage and forward-thinking, Mura Masa's genre defying music occupies that same niche as Jamie xx and SBTRKT. But at the same time, I can't think of anyone else who mixes garage, IDM, hip-hop and pop together like this. I love it.

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 30: A record with alternate artwork

King Krule - 6 Feet Beneath the Moon (True Panther Sounds)

I should explain this one. Back in 2013, while touring for this album, Archy and Co. were selling vinyl copies that the band had personally stylized with crayons. I got the very last copy available at the DC show. I think this one was personally done by Archy himself (McDonald's arches = Archy?)

Day 31 of the #julyvinylchallenge - "Album of the Year contender" - Grails, "Chalice Hymnal". Grails have never disappointed with any of their albums, so this was pretty much a no-brainer for me. Also, it was yet another vinyl gift from @33__rpm . Yep, I have the best girlfriend in the world.
Huge thanks to @ambient_hum for putting this challenge together, as well as to everyone who participated. It was a blast.

@grails_band @holy_sons #vinyl #vinylcommunity

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 29: A band you discovered opening for another band

The Album Leaf - There Is A Wind EP (2010, Sub Pop)

I mentioned on Day 2 that I was introduced to The Album Leaf when they opened for Tycho, then a new band for me too. I loved their set, so I bought their EP at the merch table and got the entire touring band to sign it. One of my favorite post rock bands.

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 28: Something on black vinyl

George Russell - The Essence of George Russell (1983, Soul Note)

New acquisition that I wanted to show off. This is a monster.

#JulyVinylChallenge Day 27: Favorite album from a solo artist

Sun Kil Moon - Admiral Fell Promises (2010, Caldo Verde Records)

Went with my gut on this one. Not only is it my favorite Kozelek record ever, but it's one of the only ones that features solely Mark. Ever the fan of classical guitar, Mark's actually a better player than most people think. These songs are quiet, contemplative and achingly beautiful. This is his triumph.

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