Tag Archives: Vinyl

7-Inch Reviews: Jonathan Richman – “O Sun” & “Keith”

Sometimes a review is tough to start.  I find myself sitting here trying to think of how I am going to select the right words to create an introduction to the musician or band that I would like to share with the world.

I find this blog entry particularly a little more difficult to start out with not only because I am a huge fan of the musician of the EPs I am about to talk about, but I am equally a huge fan of the label that has put them out.

Blue Arrow Records is not only a brick and mortar staple in Cleveland thanks to their amazing selection of vinyl, music memorabilia, and other vintage goodies, but they are now a record label.

Makes complete sense to me.

I have been a fan of Blue Arrow since they first set up shop in 2009 and think the world of owners Pete and Debbie.  Not only do they run one of my favorite stores in my neck of the woods, but they are also quality humans.  I am lucky to know them and was floored when they told me they were going to start their own record label and first on the roster was none other than Jonathan Richman.

Jonathan Richman

I adore all things Richman.  Chances are if you are reading this, you might too.  If you do not, I highly encourage you to check out anything Modern Lovers or just jump into Richman’s solo material.  His style is unforgettable and almost always is in the most upbeat approach.  Richman always has seemed to put me in a good mood.

This month, Blue Arrow Records is releasing two 7-inch singles by Jonathan Richman including four songs: “O Sun”, Wait Wait”, “Keith” and “They Showed Me the Door to Bohemia”.  These are the first releases by Richman in five years.

I need to pause for a second and let you all know that I have been holding off on reviewing these 7-inches until I could literally just down and spin them endlessly next to me.  With luck on my side this past Friday, I was able to set up a listening station of sorts by my desktop with the full intention of listening to these releases and reviewing them.

Moving along…

The 7-inches are both beautifully pressed with “Keith”/”They Showed me the Road to Bohemia” in white (33rpm) and “O Sun”/”Wait Wait” in turquoise with light hints of red (45rpm).

“Keith” paid tribute to the one and only Keith Richards.  I loved the line Richman said regarding Keith’s style was “not exactly the blues cause it’s sorta European too.”  “The Showed me the Road to Bohemia” was a spoken word jam by Richman that was relaxed yet joyless.  Richmond can’t always be a ray of sunshine folks.  He is human after all.

“O Sun” carried a more vintage beachfront island sound that I really was not expecting but completely loved.  It was nothing too technical and quite repetitive, but mysterious like something you would hear in an old school James Bond movie soundtrack.  “Wait Wait” really reminded me of the young Richman post-Modern Lovers I had adored for so many years.  Plenty of clapping and good times were thrown in this jam with thanks to Juanramon Jimenez, a poet who Richman claimed “helped me express a feeling.”

I know I tend to tell everyone what I like and honestly, that is the whole premise of this little blog I have been holding onto for a while. If  can find just one person out there who has not heard of Richman yet and they turn into a fan, then my job is done.  I do this because I want to and there is no other reason.

Both 7-inches only have me excited even more for the full length that Blue Arrow Records aims to release this fall.  Until then, you can stop in the shop and pick up both copies or click on the album covers below to place your order today at Blue Arrow Records ($10 each + shipping):

O Sun 7-Inch Single  Keith 7-Inch Single


I find my posting of this appropriate with the statement that Pete released about Blue Arrow Records and their involvement with Record Store Day.  If you have not read it yet, please do.  It is a highly well-written discussion about his somber decision to not partake in perhaps the most popular retail event for independently owned record stores.

My thoughts about RSD are not as strong as they once were and I blame the greedy (the labels and the flippers).  Where I love to see people standing in line to buy limited pressed releases, I feel it has gone too far and has turned into just another way for big business to make their money as well as shady flippers who throw them up on eBay and make a killing (sometimes even before RSD).

There are too many releases to even count this year and honestly, there were only maybe two that I might have raised an eyebrow about.  What I am trying to get at was that I wasn’t excited about this year’s RSD offerings.  Hopefully not everyone agrees with me and still will be lining up at their favorite local shop next week.

There may not be new pressings coming out that I give a crap about, but there are stores like Blue Arrow Records with tons of old and previously loved releases that I will happily flip through with hopes of finding a gem.

Don’t dismiss RSD.  Remember it is about records, not just the new re-re-re-repressings on an 138 gram glitter-gold pressing with hologram download cards.  Go out and support your local record store and find something that you can call your own.

Cleveland’s Blue Arrow Records To Release Jonathan Richman Singles

JoJo_17-hr_photo_credit_Rory_EarnshawI am so stoked to be able to share this:

Cleveland’s Blue Arrow Records have started their own record label with the same name and first on their roster is the amazing Jonathan Richman.

Seeing that I am huge fan of them both, I could not help but stop what I was doing tonight to share the good news.

Jonathan Richman is easily one of my favorite singer-songwriters out there.  His career reaches all the way back to the 70s with the Modern Lovers and has continued over the years with him turning more into a solo artist.  I have always appreciated his upbeat outlook on life as well as got a kick out of seeing him in There’s Something About Mary and Kingpin.

Blue Arrow Records is a brick and mortar record store staple on Waterloo in the East Cleveland neighborhood of Collinwood. Owned by the good folk Pete and Debbie Gulyas, the store has been selling vinyl and other music related formats/memorabilia since 2009.  I adore that store (and the owners) and have found some incredible gems there over the years including a lot of Richman’s catalog.

The Gulyas’s actually used to own a shop on Coventry in Cleveland Hts. and met Richman in the area some 18 years ago.

Over the years, a friendship was formed between the Gulyas’s and Richman.  Just a few years back, Richman asked the Gulyas’s to help sell merch on an East coast tour.  It just makes sense that this is happening.

On March 1st, Blue Arrow will release 7-inch singles by Richman, “O Sun” and “Keith”.  There are plans for a full length to drop in the Fall as well as extending the label to other acts in due time.

Click on the album covers below to place your pre-order today at Blue Arrow Records ($10 each – Ships in April):

O Sun 7-Inch Single  Keith 7-Inch Single

Richman is actually playing the Euclid Tavern on March 8th with Tommy Larkins on drums.  If you know what is good for you, you will make it and see him perform.  It is a show not to be missed.

Iron Chic/Low Culture – Split 7″ – Color Variant Pre-Orders Up Now

This is a friendly heads up to all of you Low Culture and Iron Chic fans out there.   Pre-orders are up today for the upcoming Iron Chic / Low Culture split.

Low Culture / Iron Chic Split

(anyone recognize that location????)

This is not your typical split.  This is a label/split 7? between Mike from Iron Chic’s Dead Broke Records and Chris from Low Culture’s Dirt Cult Records.

Brilliant.

At this time this split is set to drop in November.  The color variants will sell the hell out.  I guarantee it.

Where To Pre-Order:
Dirt Cult Records
Dead Broke Rekerds

Pressing info:
-200 on orange vinyl (Dirt Cult exclusive)
-200 on blue vinyl (Dead Broke exclusive)
-400 on green
-100 FEST test pressings
-700 on black

Remainders/Barons – Split 7″

This may be the best cover art I’ve seen in a while…

REMAINDERS BARONS

I know Jason Lubrano (vocalist of Iron Chic) artwork when I see it.  Well done Sir.

So, how did this come about?

Well, two Pittsburgh punk acts, Remainders and BARONS, decided to join forces and drop a sweet punk rock split for what I would hope was for extra beer money.  The result is an infectious 4-track 7″ that really showcases the talent of each act.  At $5, you’d be a fool not to purchase it.

The good folk over at For The Love Of Punk are actually steaming this split today for your listening pleasure.  Check it out by clicking HERE.

You can also check it out below as it is streaming and available for purchase over at the BARONS BandCamp page.

With only a limited number of pressings, make sure you snag one today.

7″ Review: Old Man Markley – Stupid Today

Old Man Markley - Stupid TodayI am sure I am not the first to say how much I enjoy it when Old Man Markley (OMM) decides to cover a song.

There’s just something so great about OMM throwing down their own bluegrass/punk rock style into a song.

Case in point, the OMM is dropping a 7″ next week called Stupid Today and the B side is a cover of NOFX’s “Reeko”, a track on the infamous Punk In Drublic.  Can I tell y’all how awesome this cover is?

It’s awesome folks.

I especially appreciated the cover that was hidden inside the cover with a quick spoken word-type  rendition of “Perfect Government”.  That is correct, I said a cover within a cover.   OMM is clearly a bigger fan of NOFX than you think.

The title track on side A, “Stupid Today”, revolves all around the ups and downs of being in love.  It’s a punk rock ho down with plenty of opportunity to swing your partner or knock them down.  I loved the harmonies throughout as much as the quick-plucking of the banjo and fiddle playing.  It’s safe to say this song just adds further proof why they are so damn amazing.

Head on over to the Fat Wreck site and pre-order yourself a copy of Stupid Today.

Old Man Markley