There’s a few things a like to do at the start of autumn.
- I buy myself a new coat (I don’t always get to wear them here)
- I rewatch the TV series Twin Peaks
- I reorganise my record collection.
It’s this third thing that I find most comforting. A glass of red and a trip down memory lane sounds like a perfect Friday night in to me! Over the next few editions of Off the Record I’m going to share with you some of the records I have rediscovered in this process.
New release | Beck
Now, before I get all nostalgic and start revealing far more about my teenage years than I probably should I wanted to bring your attention to the present. Many of us have been waiting in anticipation for some six years now for a new album from Beck and thankfully, that wait is finally over.
I first heard word of a new album from Los Angeles born artist Beck in October last year. I read an article saying that the album was going to be reminiscent of Beck’s 2002 release Sea Change and that gave me butterflies in my stomach. On first listening to Morning Phase the similarities in production and musicality are there, smack bang in the face however after many, many (MANY) listens, the lyrics and emotion of Morning Phase bring a different, more mature outlook on similar themes explored on Sea Change. Although I love the honesty and vulnerability of Sea Change and it remains one of my favourite breakup albums of all time, Morning Phase brings new perspective and light; there’s not as much bitterness anymore. As time goes by I think critics will stop comparing Morning Phase to Sea Change and both of these albums will be recognised for their strength and individuality as well as being complimentary to each other.
While I was reorganising my collection I stumbled on a single I had bought from the merch tent at Harvest Festival 2012. It was Beck’s Looking for a Sign. When I picked it up the whole day came rushing back. The hailstorm and the evacuation, and the sense of community and belonging I felt walking back into the festival grounds with all the other punters. That single is priceless to me now and it will always remind me of the day I saw Beck live after an entire festival was evacuated.
Blast from the past | Crosby, Stills & Nash
I would have been about 16 when my dad took me to my first record fair. It was a year or so after my uncle had given me his record collection and I had been introduced to a whole other world of musical delights. There was so much I didn’t know about music (and there still is), but I had my favourite records at that time and when I told dad I loved ‘that Crosby, Stills & Nash album where they’re all sitting on the couch on the cover’ he bought me just about every Crosby, Stills & Nash (and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) album we came across.
David Crosby, Steven Stills and Graham Nash had musical chemistry from the start and their vocal harmonies are beautiful and unique. Releasing the debut album Crosby, Stills & Nash in 1969 to commercial success, the group began to tour and Neil Young was soon added as a fourth member. The folk rock group are widely recognised for their influence and place in rock music history and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young are all deserving of their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductions (twice each).
When I play this album, I am instantly transported to when I was a teenager, living in the garage with posters all over my walls. My records and turntable were in hand’s reach from my bed and the folky tunes of CSN filled up every sunny Saturday morning spent lazing around, enjoying my youth.
Oddball | Nirvana
Oh how I wish this record were mine! I borrowed this from a friend who got it for Christmas last year. I am so jealous but also thankful that someone I know has this on vinyl! I was a huge Nirvana fan in high school and still love them today. I used to wear my Nirvana shirt to school under my uniform and listen to Incesticide incessantly. Ah, the glory days.
Hormoaning is an exclusive Australian tour EP released during Nirvana’s visit here in 1992. The vinyl is red with this blue storm going on in the middle (it’s freaking awesome) and features an image of the band hanging out in a small bathroom on the front cover. The back cover is part of the Australian Flag and has all of the tour dates at the bottom. The tour began in January at Sydney, passed through Fishermans Wharf on the Gold Coast on Australia in and ended up back in Sydney in early February. I can’t believe Nirvana played at Fishermans Wharf!
Hormoaning was actually the first second hand CD I ever bought. I had never heard it before but I saw the words ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Australian Tour’ and nabbed it for $4 from a market in Tweed. A few years ago I lost a bunch of my CDs and this is now the only Nirvana one remaining in my collection. The EP has no downtime, it’s high energy from start to finish and like any Nirvana album, must be enjoyed LOUD.