Friday, June 19, 2015

Shifty Dual Month Annual Album Reviews™- April & May: Shifty Returns With a Vengeance Part 2.A.iii of 4

I didn't make a list thing in April because I didn't have the time to make one. I'm gonna put that right here. Cool. There was a lot of good music that came out the past two months.

Due to the fact that I featured two months of music in this Rundown Overview, I separated the music by month. The same prison rules apply to these Monthly Rundown Overviews. If I like a music it goes under the #thingsiliked section and it also gets one Shifty Seal of Approval™. If I really liked a music, then it goes under the #thingsilikedliked section, and OH MY GOD!!!!!!!! IT GETS TWO SHIFTY SEALS OF APPROVAL™!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU BASED SHIFTY AND THANK YOU BASED SEALS!!!!!!!! This is what a Shifty Seal of Approval™ looks like:

It is cute and you want one

April Music


Speedy Ortiz- Foil Dear
Very fierce. Sadie Dupuis is a great lyricist and this album features some of her best to date. Only a genius would be in a Pavement cover band called Babement. The only reason why I didn't love this album is because I felt like the the guitars weren't as dynamic on this album.

Toro y Moi- What For?
Toro y Moi is trying to go back to the simpler times. It's kind of a return to his roots simply because this album sounds the most similar to the music that was on June 2009. And I love it because that's a damn good album, and so is this. I wouldn't call this Chill Wave though..... it's more complicated than that.

Waxahatchee-Ivy Tripp
Katie Crutchfield has been making some sweet DIY music for a while now. She just signed to Merge and her new album features her at her most confident. She is not one to be triffled with and Ivy Tripp is her loudest battle cry yet. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

My Pal Jens (Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Jens)

Oh, You're So Dreamy Jens
In the past year, I have fallen deeply and madly in love with my pal Jens. Oh Jens, who has been there for me when I have needed him most. Jens, who has held me in my weaker times and cheered me on in my better times. I am writing of course about the delightful Swedish singer, Jens Lekman.

At first, our relationship was tumultuous. He sang to me about not being able to love enough. I recoiled, as I had been burned before. He portrayed himself as flighty and impetuous. He couldn't promise love. He couldn't help himself. And I can't help myself when it comes to the sensitive emotional types. Sure he sang about Julie. And Lisa. And Nina...and Kirsten, Jennifer, Erica, and even Immanuel. Jens has a complicated past, but we can move past that.

Jens brings more than just heartache and indecision, his ballads bring adventure. He takes the dangerous black cabs in Sweden. He's politically active. Jens spends time with his little sister, even if it is to teach her about unstoppable sorrow. He knows how to turn a girl down and move on.  He writes me postcards every week. If I ever have a moral quandary, all I have to do is ask What Would Jens Do?  And if I ever need a stranger to sing at my wedding, Jens will have to pull double duty as stranger and groom. Basically, Jens is the complete package with a heart full of fire.

I must confess a slight ruse here. My passionate confession of my love for Jens is not entirely pure and honest. My feelings are of course, I mean who wouldn't feel this way about him? But I tell you these thoughts not just to get them off my chest but to persuade you. Jens is a native of Gothenberg. Sweden, and most of his performances take place in his home country, or elsewhere in Europe. Every few years he makes it over to America to share his gift with the New World. What I ask of you is to give him a little encouragement to visit stateside. Buy his cd's, his lp's, his ep's, and even his 7''. Buy a copy of  I Don't Know What Love Is or Night Falls Over Kortedala, or be riskier with his early material When I Said I Wanted To Be Your Dog or the Maple Leaves EP.  Luckily enough for you we have a wide selection here at Von's Records, and a staff that has mostly accepted his love. So come on down to Von's and return the favor to the Swedish dreamboat you surely now have a burning desire for.

Bonus Footage of Jens Actually Singing at a Wedding

Sunday, April 26, 2015

This Isn't Your Average Clearance Bin -Record Store Day 2015 Aftermath

This isn't even a clearance bin at all!
Another year, another Record Store Day come to pass. We all thank our patron saint Dave Grohl for a blessed holiday of vinyl nerd-dom and we at Von's personally want to thank each and every one of you who came out to celebrate with us. Even more thanks to the maniacs lined up around the building to get in as early as possible. Especially the crazy bastards who reportedly started camping out at 2am. I salute you. Like years before, we had people driving from out of town, even one or two from out of state, just to get their hands on their favorite vinyl, and hopefully, to support a local independent record store. But I couldn't blame them the least if it was just for those sweet, sweet records. I mean, we got in heart-shaped Father John Misty's, an Alabama-shaped St. Paul and the Broken Bones, holographic cover reissues of Get Behind Me Satan by the White Stripes, box sets by Phish, the Grateful Dead, Jurassic 5, MF Doom, and I would type more but I have to go get a new keyboard because this one is shorting out from my uncontrolled drooling.

Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for you, a lot of those items sold out fairly quickly as they were very limited, and no matter how much we asked for, companies can only allot us so many copies. BUT that doesn't mean that we're sold out of all of our Record Store Day items. Everything that you see at the top of this post is still here from Record Store Day. They are consolidated considerably from what we had, but we still have plenty left. When I say it isn't you average clearance bin, I'm not kidding. These are the Record Store Day bins. And we still have a lot left. That includes multiple copies of both the 200g Pink and 180 gram bootleg black copies of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes, The Animals 10'' and full LP, Flaming Lips 10'' from the Clouds Taste Metallic, Guided by Voices reissues, Half Japanese box sets, the Grateful Dead box set, Immortal Techniques, plenty of Lord Sitar, two copies of the Phish Madison Square Garden NYE 1995, plenty of the Bruce Springsteen catalog reissues, soundtracks from the LEGO Movie, Hedwig and the Angry Inch staring Neil Patrick Harris, and goddamnit I just ruined another keyboard.

So to all those who spent to much on Record Store Day, but now have another paycheck coming; to those who didn't want wait through the long lines; to those who missed it altogether; and to all who love vinyl, we'd love to see you back. So come browse the bins and maybe chat with employees a bit. Doctor McNinja promises to hold the drool this time. My keyboard budget is out of control.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Shifty's Annual Monthly Album Rundown: Shifty's March Madness-Shifty Forever!!!!!

Wowza this was a good month guys!!!!!!
 A lot of good music came out this month and it made everyone at Von's really happy.
This is a very long list.

The same rules apply. Good musics (#thingsiliked) get seals of approval. Double good musics (#thingsilikedliked) get two seals of approval. If your album is on this list, you can come in and get a pat on the back. I am 100% serious. This is what a seal of approval looks like. It's very cute and it is probably really good at cuddling. 


-Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
This album is about this girl who likes chairs. Therefore, she probably likes rocking chairs. Therefore, she probably likes rocking. That's some good detective work right there. Great job team. Actually, she really likes rocking. Like I mean a lot. She just tells stories and they just turn into rock n roll songs. It's some kind of Australian magic or something. 

-Earl Sweatshirt: I Don't Like Shit, I Don't Go Outside
Earl has been making some sweet sad raps ever since he came back. He did most of the production on this album too. Gather round kids cause Earl's got some shit to say, even though he apparently doesn't like shit.

-Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
I'm a sucker for post rock. It's hard to believe that this is only their 5th album. I like it when they do that one thing when they make one song last for like two songs. 

-Lightning Bolt: Fantasy Empire
This is about as hardcore as it gets. If you aren't familiar with Lightning Bolt, they kinda sounds like they play their music through a megaphone. It's very very loud. Their drummer is a fan of very frantic and primal drumming. The drummer is also the singer and he wears a mask with a microphone attached so that he can sing whilst he goes hard in the paint when he drums. Very bassy bass. They make about as much noise as two people can possibly make. But it's the good kind of noise, it's not just noise for the sake of noise. Ya boys know what's up.

-Modest Mouse: Strangers to Ourselves
Modest Mouse came through guys. This album had a lot going against it. It took a long time to make and there were a lot of shenanigans going on (Apparently they were very busy being strangers to themselves???), but the important thing is that they made a good album. It's got some real sweet tunes on it.

-Pile: You're Better Than This
Pile makes some wild ass music. These dudes are getting really good at making music that is like the soundtrack to a panic attack. They made an nice instrumental song called "Fuck the Police", and it's really lovely. Besides laying down lovely NWA homages they like to make weird guitar noises and take short walks on the beach. Their songs make some people uncomfortable, and their singer makes me uncomfortable for different reasons.
#spoileralerts #heisababe #googleit

-The Soft Moon: Deeper
If Trent Reznor and Depeche Mode had a baby, it would probably sound like this. Apparently the songs on this make people want to groove or something. Kids these days will groove to anything. He even throws in some ambient stuff at the end too just for good measure. Did someone say dark wave revival?


-Death Grips: The Powers That B
This is raw as shit. They threw in some guitar and some Bjork mouth noises. The second half of the double album is a lot more interesting to me. The vocals are back to being aggressively aggressive. Everything is kinda all over the place, and it's beautiful. Hopefully we hear some more tunes from them in some form, cause this album made a lot of kids on the internet very happy. Death Grips 2.0? Yes please!!!!!!

-Jimmy Whispers: Summer in Pain
Jimmy Whispers is all about honesty. He makes some of the most honest and earnest music that I've heard in a while. The only thing that matters in music is honesty. He only records his music on his phone and that's about as lofi as it gets. He writes about real things that he truly cares about. He sings about apocalyptic love sickness and how he thinks the fucking kids outside are all idiots. I mean who doesn't care about those things right? He's definitely the best bedroom popper popper in the tri-state area.

-Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp a Butterfly 
This is a great album. I still like Good Kid Maad City better, but that doesn't take anything away from To Pimp a Butterfly. Kendrick really put a lot more thought into this album than most people put into most things. I really hope he does more poetry in the future. The buildup to the poem on the last track is just phenomenal and Kendrick is just on another level. Speaking of that last track, "Mortal Man" is one of the most bizarre songs that I have ever heard. This album has a great message, and people are still gonna be talking about it years from now. There's really not much left to say cause everyone else already said it. Great Job Kendrick!!!

This is a song from that Pile album

This is a song from that Death Grips album.

This took forever to write. Thanks for reading.  :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Best $7 You'll Spend This Week

That's right, you heard me. Seven dollars. Well, $6.99 plus a 7% sales tax which comes out to $7.48, but stop it with all the damn semantics. Anyway, before you rudely interrupted me with a rant about tax brackets and income inequality, I was telling you that Courtney Barnett has a new album this week and Doctor McNinja (Or Alex when you're looking for his employee pick box in the store) himself recommends it. It's called Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit, which may describe Doctor McNinja's work ethic a little too well.

"But hey, who the hell is Courtney Barnett anyway?" Well, other than being an overly charming Australian goddess and a person of undetermined age according to wikipedia, Courtney Barnett is what would occur if Lou Reed and Mitch Hedberg had a child that then mated with Patti Smith. And that bizarre love affair produces sloppy guitar blending with clever spiraling lyrics and moods ranging from sarcastic shouting to sentimental shoegazing. She's put out three EPs through her company, Milk! Records. Sometimes I Sit serves as her debut album.

"And why should I care?"  
Did Bjork put out a video like that this week? Nope.

Can Toto's new album turn a mundane house hunt into social commentary about a dilapidated suburb of Melbourne? Didn't think so.

Did Modest Mouwait never mind, that one did kind of rock. But it is $3 dollars more expensive and it's in Rabbit's pick box so you should definitely pick up Courtney Barnett instead, Indie Australian music is depending on you.