Thursday, November 18, 2010

Brown and Brown Present: Terry Skytte

I had the pleasure of meeting Terry two summers ago in downtown Vancouver as my wife and I were traveling to the west coast. I had been trading with Terry via mail for several years at this point and it was great to put a face to this mysterious metal collector I had been in contact with. He was kind enough to show me around to several great record spots

Terry is a regular on both TMCC.SE as well as the International Record Collectors Guild ( - arguably the best forum on collecting out there) Enjoy!

Terry's LP Collection: Quality, not quantity as he says! (Though it's still pretty big!)

Q. What Do You Collect and Why?

A. Mainly, I consider myself a listener more than a collector, so I collect because I listen. However, admittedly there is a little more to this hobby than listening to me, as it does not explain why I must have multiple presses of a certain album in some cases. The genres I tend to focus on the most are Heavy Metal, 70’s rock, blues and punk. With metal, I am attempting to complete the entire Banzai discography (A Canadian Heavy Metal label) because many record on that label were important to me growing up and they all represent that time perfectly for me. In general, records were just part of growing up in my house as a kid. My mom was always playing Elvis and Hank Williams records and my brother had a fairly large record collection made up mostly of 70’s rock. Music was a pretty dominant feature growing up in my household.

Metallica Coloured discs, including numerous 'Creeping Death' EP's.

An unbelievable collection of Banzai LP's

Q. How big is your collection?

A. I estimate I have about 2000 records.

Q. Explain Storage /Display techniques

A. I just display them in bags on an Ikea expedit shelf. When I buy them, I clean them, play them and bag them. I am not the kind of guy to leave them sealed and box them safe from light and never to be seen again. They have to be easily accessible as I spend a lot of time playing them. They are organized by genre and alphabetical by genre. In addition, metal and punk is organized by region as well. It starts with the blues and ends with soundtracks.

Terry's not so modest CD collection
Q. What elusive gem are you still looking for?

A. There are a few, but lets just say I would love to walk into a store tomorrow and see a nice near mint copy of Rush’s self titled debut on Moon records.

Q. How do you keep track of what you have/need

A. No specific system, it is all pretty much all in my head. Sometimes I do forget about upgrades I would like, so might start making a list eventually. For record shows I usually go with a specific focus as I find it is better than running around not really knowing exactly what you are looking for.

Q. Discuss your stance using the internet for collecting? Are you only using ebay, or a combination of stores only.

A I think it would be foolish to limit oneself to just one source. I use all resources available. I’ll dig, I’ll surf the net, I’ll place wanted adds on craigslist or whatever it takes to find what I am looking for if necessary.

Q. Do you have any routines surrounding listening.

A. Aside from turning the stereo on and selecting a record no not really. Though I try to inspect a record for cleanliness before playing it. Whenever I'm bummed or having a bad day, I always listen to Rory Gallagher, Robert Johnson or Leadbelly as that music always makes puts me in a good mood.

Q. Are there any types of covers you look for, or is it all in the grooves.

A. It is mainly all about the grooves for me, but I could not resist buying Uncle Sam’s Heaven or Hollywood lp for the cover because it is a pretty risque and over the top cover. One might think the soft core porn approach might be a slightly hazardous way of trying to get your lp in stores, but they went for it. The music turned out decent on this one. However, despite this one exception, I don’t really buy albums based just on covers.

Q. Do you have a long term plan for your collection?

A. Just for it to continue to grow with interesting music! Also, maintaining it by weeding the garden once in awhile. I enjoy trading records in once in awhile if something doesn’t really get listened to or grab me long term

Q. What is the longest you looked for a record before getting it? How did you feel once it was in your hands?

A. I looked for Subhumans (Canada) Incorrect Thoughts lp for about 15 years before I finally found it in near mint condition. Like many records, before ebay it was pretty hard to find, and when I did see it, it was usually either beat up or quite expensive. Since it was local to my area I figured if I kept looking around, I would find it cheaper in person than on ebay and get the added benefit of looking it over before purchasing. I finally found it a few years ago in near mint condition and once it was in my hands, I nervously paid for it afraid someone was going to pry it from my hands. I think I must have looked like a junky scoring some smack when I walked up to the counter with it!

Q. What’s your all time favorite record, regardless of value or rarity?

A. That is a very hard question to answer, but I would probably say Metallica’s Ride the Lightning on Banzai. It was one of my first records and I have so many great memories associated with that record and even though it may not seem as extreme today as it seemed in 1984, it is still a great record and I never get sick of it. I never get tired of any of the first 4 Metallica albums actually.

Both Banzai Variations of Ride The Lightning. The black label is much more rare- quite jealous of Terry's set!
Q. What is the saddest record story you know?

A. The saddest story I know is regarding the stupid kid who had Nirvana Love Buzz in their hands shortly after it was released and put it back down because he figured $10.00 was way to expensive for a 7” and thought that maybe it will turn up again cheaper since no one likes Nirvana anyway. That stupid kid was unfortunately, me.

Though he never got the 45, Terry has quite the impressive Nirvana collection!

Q. What is the last record you bought?

A. The last record I bought was George Harrison Electronic Sound. It is a great avant garde abstract electronic record that is quite ahead of its time. Amazing that one of the Beatles was actually a pioneer in electronic sound. Also picked up Chinga Chavin’s Country Porn, ZZ Top’s First Album and Waylon Jennings Singer of Sad Songs the same day.

Q. What was the first record you bought.

A. The first record I bought was Iron Maiden’s self-titled debut. It was 1984, the summer going into grade 5. I remember I bought it at a rental video store that also sold tapes. I usually bought tapes because I did not yet have my own turntable and would need to ask permission to use my parents or brother’s system, which was a bit of a hassle. Anyway, I decided to buy it and when I got home, I was blown away by the music and Derek Rigg’s cover art. I got my own turntable shortly after and was able to play it whenever I wanted. It is still one of my favorite records and I still have it.

The Record that started it all!

Pink Floyd's first two lp's on CDN Capital 6000 series with original rainbow capital labels

Some Rare/Classic Vancouver Punk!

Thank you, Terry. A wonderful interview and I know the readers will appreciate you insight into the world of collecting!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Brown and Brown Present: Anthony Brown

UK collector Anthony Brown approached me about a month ago interested in doing a feature on different collectors and their collections. Being a fellow 'Brown', 'Brown and Brown Present' was born and will be a consistent feature on this blog. Email in if you are interested in being featured. Deathbydigital

Let's start with Anthony Brown. I've known Ant through the digital collecting world for almost 5 years now. We both post on TMCC.SE (The Metallica Collectors Club) and, as you will see, we have one thing in common, our love for Metallica collectibles.

What Do You Collect & Why?

I collect a wide variety of music, but it all comes under the Rock umbrella, mostly at the heavier end. Within my collection, there are certain bands, styles and labels that I focus on, the main ones of which are:

Metallica - all time favourite band and probably the only one that I did go nuts on when it comes to collecting. The first album I got of theirs was Master Of Puppets which, to start with, I didn't like at all! It had a scratch on Leper Messiah so I tried to take it back to HMV for a refund. Inexplicably, when the guy behind the counter asked me why I was bringing it back, I said I didn't like the music rather than tell him it was faulty and, needless to say, I didn't get my money back and came home with the LP. It is now arguably my favourite record of all time. Funny how life goes. Anyway, for a while I collected everything by Metallica and at one point had amassed 60-odd versions of Puppets on CD, LP and tape and overall their section of my collection amounted to around 1800 items. Credit crunch came along and so I decided it was a good time to trim it down, so I kept really cool versions of the vinyl (promo's Japanese releases, coloured vinyls), as well as all UK released vinyl (how patriotic!), promo CD's and signed stuff and sold the rest. At the time, it was a very difficult decision to make, but I don't regret it now! I also sold all my bootleg CD's, but I did keep the 220-odd vinyl boots I have. Nowadays, I do still buy the odd new Metallica release, and pick up a few bits here and there, but I have slowed right down on them. Probably because the stuff on my wants list for them is damn expensive shit!!! Mind you, I am still a sucker for anything signed by them, or an official box set, or coloured vinyl.......!!

Metallica 'Fan Cans'- Fan club only release, quite rare!

Black Sabbath - I have always loved Sabbath, but only recently started collecting some of their stuff. Although Dio was a fine vocalist, I love the mighty Ozzy so I only buy vinyl from his era. The 7" singles from the 1970's have fantastic cover artwork and I adore the different country variations. I don't have many (about 25-30), but whenever I find affordable ones, I have to buy them!

Scott Weinrich - the man is a legend and someone who has truly earnt the accolade of being referred to as a "lifer". Every band and project he has been involved with is awesome - The Obsessed, Saint Vitus, The Hidden Hand, Spirit Caravan, Wino, Shrinebuilder - I love it all. Despite his prolific output, there is not a huge amount of variations to collect, but I do have about a dozen or so signed items by him and the various bands he has played in. I have only seen him live once, which was with Saint Vitus on their second reunion tour and it was the closet thing I have had to a religious experience!!!

Earache Records - the finest purveyors of death and grind in the late 80's and early 90's. This labels output really was the soundtrack to my youth, with bands like Carcass, Napalm Death, Entombed and Cathedral leaving a lasting impression. In recent years, they have followed trends that are not my cup of tea, and there have been far too many re-issues in my humble opinion but the first 100 releases deserve the title "groundbreaking". I have a fair bit of their vinyl, but still need 28 of the original first 100 releases. For some reason their test pressings in company sleeves are the dogs bollocks to me and I have about 30 now (just got Nocturnus' Thresholds!). What I also loved about Earache was the thought that went in to their stuff - there were always cool limited editions of practically every release - embossed covers, splatter vinyl, box sets, free live lp's or 7"s with albums.

Other bands that I collect to a lesser degree (ie I will buy promo stuff from them, signed shit, box sets etc) include Down, Cathedral, Napalm Death, Carcass, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Spiritual Beggars, Exodus, Iron Maiden (UK official vinyl releases only, otherwise I'll bankrupt myself!), AC/DC, Mayhem, Darkthrone, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Immortal, Obituary, Ornage Goblin, Pantera, Sepultura & Venom.

How big is your collection?

About 2,500 bits of vinyl and 1,500 CD's. Not big by any means, but I'd like to think you could say "quality, not quantity" would apply to what I have!! I do have periodic clear-out's, expecially of CD's to keep the collection in shape and to generate a bit of cash to spend on more vinyl!

Whole lotta grooves!

Explain Your Storage/Display Techniques

I did have it all stored in some Ikea units which were perfect for the job, when I finally filled them. After we moved house 3 years ago, I converted my garage and had 2 walls racked out to hold 12", 7" and CD's. This should give me space for a further 1500 LP's and another 1000 or so CD's on top of what I already have. I found these fantastic little clear plastic easle's on ebay which are perfect to sit a signed CD on, so I have some of those out. On the walls, I have some framed signed stuff and these really cool frames specifically for 12" vinyl's. You just slot in whatever you want into an opening at the top so I have a couple of thse up too and change whatever's inside from time to time...then there are the box sets on the top shelves which, as I buy more vinyl, are gradually being relegated to the loft as I run out of space. I can't bring myself to part with them though....!

Odd Record In My Collection

I don't have much odd stuff to be honest. Most of it is a variation on a theme....but I do have the soundtrack to Flash Gordon by Queen! You gotta love Brian Blessed as the king of the Vulcans screaming "Dive!" over the top of some great work by Brian May!!! Also, another odd one would be the "banana" album by The Velvet Underground & Nico. That stands out from the rest of my stuff, but it was always playing a 3 in the morning when I was at University and it reminds me of those care-free days of being a stoned student! There might be the odd Abba CD floating about too, but I am sure it is my daughters..........
Doesn't get much more metal than this.

Elusive Gems

Mayhem's original, individually numbered Deathcrush mini-LP with inserts. I bought it when it first came out and foolishly sold it about 7 years ago to buy more Metallica vinyl bootlegs! Since then, the price of it has trebled. Bugger. One day....

How Do You Keep Track Of What You Have/Need

You gotta love excel spreadsheets!! I have all of my vinyl and all of my Metallica stuff on them, as well as a wants list (currently about 300 items, but growing daily!). I still need to catalogue my CD's but I keep putting it off - there's always something better to do!!! I also have an online photo account that I keep shots of all my signed stuff, rare promo shit and Black Sabbath singles - this is mostly to remind me of what I have when I am searching ebay at work! The amount of times I have bought shit, only to realise I already have a copy at home is ridiculous!

Here lies some very tough to find Metallica boxed sets. The white one to the top left is the Japanese pressing of their '...and justice for all' Fan Can. To the right is one of my most wanted items: A CD longbox for the Metallica single 'One' - on a 3 Inch CD!

Online Collecting versus record Shops

Although we have two record shops in the town where I live and I am close enough to London to visit record fairs, a hectic job and a wife and two young children mean that I do almost all of my buying via the internet. As much fun as it is in a record shop, with that lovely old smell lingering in your nostrils of ancient vinyl, I've lost count of the amount of times I have spent an hour in one, only to return home with yet another ZZ Top LP that I didn't really want, but felt obliged to buy, all in the name of supporting your old fashioned dealer. The daft thing is, most of these guys will sell their really cool stuff online anyway...and why wouldn't they? Ebay gives you a global set of buyers. Some dusty record shop in a back street of a provincial town is hardly going to ensure you get top dollar for your rare Venom Black Metal coloured vinyl is it???!! Everyones lives are busy and time is precious, but unlike your local store, ebay is open 24/7 and invariably you will find exactly what you are looking for sooner or later.

Routines Surrounding Listening

Not really. New stuff always gets played almost as soon as I have it, but there is nothing better than leafing through your collection every so often and finding sometihng that you have not listened to in months to stick on.

Are there types of covers you look for, or is it all in the grooves?

It's all in the grooves...

Do you have a long-term plan for your collection?

I am hoping that one, or both, of my children would like to take it on and add to it as they grow older. At the moment, Black Sabbath, AC/DC and Airbourne appeal to them but who knows! I'll probably end up selling it in my old age, and giving the cash to the kids to go towards first houses or cars or something!!

What is the longest you looked for a record before getting it? How did you feel once it was in your hands?

I have been after a signed copy of Spirit Caravans first CD, "Jug Fulla Sun" for about 4 years and finally one popped up last week. It should arrive any day now, so I'll come back to you on this one!!!!

What’s your all-time favourite record, regardless of value or rarity?

I have 3 - Metallica's Master Of Puppets, Black Sabbath - Vol 4 and The Obsessed's The Church Within. I couldn't choose just one of them. However my favourite song of all time is Paranoid by Sabbath. I want that played at my funeral!

What is the saddest record story you know.

I remember seeing photo's of some poor sod's Metallica collection after a fire in his house. These fantastic and rare items were burnt, charred and smoke-blackened. You had to feel for him. It did make me finally add my collection to my house insurance though - it pushes the premiums right up, but worth doing.

First album you bought?

Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet. I wish it was something cooler, but there you go!

Last album bought?

Wino - Adrift. New acoustic release from Scott Weinrich. Moving, uplifting, soaring. I can't stop playing it.

Ant with 4 KILLER Metallica items. Signed Jump In the Fire 12" (inc Cliff Burton), Signed 10" test press of One single and two variations of the glow in the dark Fade to Black 12" Promos.

Anthony Brown resides in the UK and is a mighty fine bloke. I have done numerous trades with the guy and look forward to many more. Thanks to Ant for being the first. Up next: Vancouver Terry.

Monday, October 11, 2010

As it heals...

On a Philosophical note:

I have been spending a lot of time listening to music. This doesn't imply that I don't normally find time for music; I'm speaking on 'active' listening. When sound becomes your only sense.

I find that when I have a series of deadlines at work or a slew of time consuming commitments ahead of me I procrastinate using what I love, Music. Saying 'music is my escape' is on the boundary of being cliche and arrogant, though it might have to suffice as it bares many truths. A friend from university would wait until he had 6 hours to write and submit a paper only to procrastinate further by cleaning his entire washroom. Yes, he had OCD. And yes, I do this with records. He later admitted his hated for cleaning, though I'm sure when an essay is in the works it's the lesser of the two evils. Part of my recent listening craze is based in circumstance. I recently got a rather large set of tattoos on my back and have been 'sitting out' the pain. Three days of relaxing has shown my speakers close to 20 hours of listening.

The conclusion: Music works. You can hide in music. Music can hide in you when you exist during the day light. A live band can spruce up a mediocre night for average people in an ordinary restaurant in a middle-of-the-road town. Music is a path for the blind and a voice for the mute. Admittingly I have listened to some far out stuff including a Goblin and a King Crimson binge this afternoon. When you dedicate large passages of time to music, unconventional listenings at that, you gain a great understanding of how it can effect your mood- I'm never sad when listening to music. That's one effective drug!

Coming Next: Brown and Brown present:

featured from around the globe.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Welcome to the darkside of the boot...

Welcome to the darkside of the boot…

Continuing with the bootleg theme, Pink Floyd is a difficult band to collect. Fortunately there is a an incredible amount of documentation of their live performance throughout the years. Unfortunately some of the great performances can cost quite a bit. Drummer Nick Mason has always been strictly appose to bootlegging and his mission to abolish them have made many of the floyd recordings go underground.

I am currently trying to get one full tour from each of their major tour legs. With 14 studio albums, and their liking for being on the road, you can imagine how daunting this task can be.

Bootleg feature one

Title: Crackers

Label: Oscar Records (though it has been issued by several labels)

Date and Location: Sept 22nd, 1972

This is an early show from the Dark Side tour that commences with the whole album. This is one of my favourite live recordings of the album, as it is both flawless and clear sounding. This boot is a triple album and features the full versions of Echoes, A Saucerful of Secrets, as well as a unique extended version of ‘Set the Controls for the Sun”. Crackers is an expensive recording- sometimes catching upwards of 200 dollars for the set, though you should be able to find it for 100 if you check eBay regularly.

Bootleg feature two

Title: Take Linda Surfin'

Label: Wizardo

Date and Location:Early 1970, London England

This show is a monster. Containing full interpretations of A Saucerful of Secrets and Atom Heart Mother this boot showcases a nice balance of early Floyd creativity with later Floyd 'Tightness'. Wizardo is a great label to lookout for;They released many of the early Floyd shows. Uber Rare!

Bootleg feature three

Title: Germersheim

Label: GLC (Great Live Concerts)

Date and Location: 1972 Germany

This double live show was recorded just before the band put out Dark Side. Though fans often lambaste me for saying it, this is the end of their psychedelic sound. Great Live Concerts were known for the psych/prog releases so keep your eyes open for their Hendrix, King Crimson and Yes boots.

Endless doesn't begin to describe the obscurity of collecting Pink Floyd bootlegs. In the past 2 years a dozen new bootleggers have successfully pressed quality boots that have become both readily available and modestly priced. Though these rare items are my gems in terms of sound quality- Rarity doesn't always mean quality!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Grateful Live

Writing about The Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia, Kingfish, RatDog or any other related spinoffs is a daunting task. With a ‘Dead’ career spanning 30 years, and another 15 for the surviving members, the momentum of the Grateful Dead and their devoted ‘Deadhead’ fan base have continued to release and catalogue almost a half decade of live material. The Grateful Dead were notorious for allowing bootleggers to tap right into the soundboard to create next to perfect recordings. They were always on tour. Though this leaves an endless supply of material for the obsessed fan to collect, many piss-poor recordings have surfaced throughout the years. Hopefully this will act as a ‘primer’ for the fans of live Dead material.

There are 3 rules to collecting live Grateful Dead:

1. CHOOSE YOUR TOUR WISELY: Like any band with a long career, The Grateful Dead underwent some musical changes despite their commitment to the classic ‘Psych’ sound. I would stay away from most of their shows from the late 70’s if you are just getting into the band. Don’t get me wrong, they definitely produced fantastic performances then, but their disco sound didn’t live up to the free acid jams that were present in the early 70’s.

I would suggest: 1969 in Central Park, 1970 at the ‘Action House’, and May 1970 at the Fillmore East. Fantastic shows with UNREAL sound. Shows from 64-66 were under the name ‘Warlock’, and definitely possess a more ‘Psychedelic’ sound to their later jam-based set.

2. CHOOSE THE RECORD LABEL WISELY: Many Grateful Dead bootlegs were pressed under nameless labels. Encouraging fans to bootleg dropped the value of many bootlegs, so beware of poor quality recordings. If possible, give them a listen. Many of the covers possess a two-tone photocopied cover, often referred to as a ‘insert cover’. Beware of the run-off groove! Some poorly made bootlegs have run-off grooves spilling onto the label- which would DESTROY your stilus.

Bootleg labels I recommend (not just for Dead shows): Takrl, TMOQ (Trade Mark of Quality), Smilin Ears Records, K&S Records, Edgard Kuabande…

3. USE YOUR EARS: Listen to a few shows from different years and make up your mind. When I was getting into the dead a friend made me a cassette with a few clips from a few different shows. It gave the a wide spread of Dead to choose from and I’m thankful for it.

Happy Digging, Deadheads!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My First 'Wall'

I've been collecting for 7 years. That said, I collected a few LP's in high school, but it wasn't until I was part way through university when I realized the difference of sound in vinyl. I became particular about pressings and began digging day and night. Here's to 7 years of obsessive digging- My first wall of records! I'm sure when I move in a few years this will locate to a larger wall which will only need more records to make it feel 'adequate'.

I should mention that I have several hundred more, but they are doubles in the closet. Not to mention my Metallica shelf and my 45's. Oh boy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Label Feature - Relapse Records Pt. 1

Relapse Galore is right; I just got back from picking up a lot of about 40 Metal records shipped by one of my favourite traders -Qua1l.

The Majority of these LP's I already owned in one incarnation or another, but relapse records are known for doing many limited runs as well as several different back to back pressings of the exact same album. I will admit that this post is going to be picture heavy, but by the looks of these albums I doubt you will mind.
This post kicks off a new section for my blog titled 'Label Feature' where I feature a particular label in some form or another. By the looks of starting with Relapse, I assume this may end up showcasing a band at a time.

I am going to throw in several pressings I already owned so you can see some of the down right beautiful pieces that have been available from their catalogue. Mastodon have been around for 10 years-though you may only just heard of them (or maybe this is your introduction). Regardless, they are talented and creative enough for me to dedicate a post to their albums. Relapse Records (a leading metal label) have been producing some of the most stunning coloured, clear, and splatter LP's for years. Though my Mastodon collection isn't the largest, it gives a basic understanding of the appeal of collecting relapse LP's.

Here are 3 copies of Grammy nominated 'Blood Mountain'. The Red and Blue copies were released this year on 'Record Store Day' (limited to 1350 each) and the White (limited to 1000) is the second pressing from 2006 when they sold out the first pressing immediately.
Their latest album 'Crack the Skye' is fantastic. The splatter to the left is a limited run of only 650 that sold out online in a few days. To the far right you see a red/yellow/gold splatter which was sold on tour (along side a green splatter, equally as hard to get).
The Gold, Green, and Black 'Laviathan' are all part of the latest reissue series, which are housed in a beautiful gatefold with a very thick spine. The Blue/White marbled LP is a second press, limited to 500 copies (Very Rare!)
Both of these copies of 'Remission' are double LP's and early pressings. Which pressing they are is unknown, though I believe the blue is a second and the green is the third pressing.
Divinations Picture disc, Original Call of the Mastodon Blue LP and the Crystal Skull 45(Rad clear pressing).

If you have any comments- Please post them! I am confused on a few of the pressings, so please fill me in if I have them wrong. The next Relapse feature will likely be on Baroness, though the next label feature will be on....CTI!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's just an autograph...

I'll be the first to admit that I've never been star struck. My mind always wanders to 'I wish I could have met' (Fill in the blank with a dead musician here), but rarely wanting to meet a high profile band.

When people come to visit me and peruse through my collection, they are always shocked at just how many signed LP's and CD's I have. Some of them I have purchased this way, though many have been from striking up a conversation with a band, often months if not years before they 'made it big'. To me an autographed album is another notch on the items history. The autograph may bring the value up quite a bit, it is the story associated with the autograph that is exciting. Below are some of my autographs for you to peruse at your leisure. Though I have many more signed albums, hopefully the stories associated with these items will show why I have selected them.

The Dears will never make it big. With music that's too avant-garde for the average radio station, not avant garde enough for Zappa or Bungle fans, they have never found an audience. I adore their arrangements. I have seen them 13 times, and here are a few fully autographed items from their tours (6 members can be tough to track down after a show!) They are from Montreal, Canada, and their performances are legendary in the Canadian alt-rock scene.

I own 17 items autographed by Metallica. Having been a Metallica completest for as long as I have been collecting, having a slew of autographed items from each of their line-ups is a must. Though I am not going to post each and every item I have autographed of theres, here are a few that excite me to no end. The first is the Greek pressing of ...And Justice For All. It is a tough pressing to find, let alone fully autographed by the Jason line up.

This is a 7" single from ...And Justice titled Eye of the Beholder. This was when they started using legendary punk artist PUSHEAD to do their t-shirts and merchandise. This cover features mock-ups of each of their eyes, and each member of Metallica signed their own eye! The final signature is my ticket stub from when I briefly met Lars after my third time seeing them in 2004. It was my first Metallica autograph, and it means the world to me. Check out my Sister site:

Anthrax joins Metallica is my collection of Thrash Metal autographs. Anthrax, Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer collectively comprise what fans and critiques have coined as 'the big four'; The originators of Thrash. 'Persistence of Time' and 'Among the Living' are my two favourite Anthrax albums, and though I did not get these signed personally, finding them signed by the original line-up is tough. Joey Belladonna is the original signer for Anthrax, and is widely considered more creative than many Thrash front men who have since lead the genre. Josh Bush replaced Joey in the 90's and performed on their semi alternative album 'Volume 8: The Threat is Real'. Though this was a departure from their classic sound, it's still worth checking out.

When it comes to Electronica I have always been drawn to the originators of the field(Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Claus Shultz,). The 90's saw a slew of electronic-oriented bands arriving as household names, and artists like Fat Boy Slim, The Chemical Brothers and The Crystal Method earned their due credit. Seen is a fully autographed double 12" single by The Crystal Method titled 'Community Service II'. I was originally drawn to this single because of their unique interpretation of New Order's 'Bizarre Love Triangle'. Though The Crystal Method only has two members, this album features 3 autographs! Ken Jordan signed it twice, as the first signing didn't turn out the way he liked. You would be shocked to find out how often an artist does this.

Flo Mournier from Cryptopsy comes in as one of the few CD's you will find on this blog. For those interested in Death, Tech-Death, or Early Grind, Canadian Cryptopsy were early pioneers of these genres, mainly thanks to Flo. Flo is the fastest drummer I have ever seen, and I got this cover and insert autographed by him at a clinic he delivered in Kingston, Ontario of all places. 'Once Was Not' was the last album with their singer 'Lord Worm', and many consider this to mark the end of Cryptopsy's career (Subsequent releases got, well, 'New Metal'). On this album Flo plays so fast that his double bass notes blend together to sound like wind. A must have, even for the novelty!

Nothing says Hardcore like EARTH CRISIS! As bands began experimenting with the crossover genre 'hardcore' (A mixture of Metal and Punk), few have lasted as long as Earth Crisis. This Vegan, Strait Edge band from Syracuse just reunited 2 years back to release a LP and tour extensively. Here are three 45's I got them to sign when I met them this past March. The band were extremely friendly, and their willingness to speak to fans speaks volumes on their character. Earth Crisis' dedication to their music and lifestyle is inspiring, and any fan of this genre should at least give them a listen.

I have a love/hate relationship with Dream Theater. I love them because they are talented. Graduates from both Berkeley and Juliard, Dream Theater have risen to the top of Progressive Metal's field by creating a new breed of accessible, yet technically brilliant music. Though their latest album (Black Clouds and Silver Linings) was a huge let down, Train of Thought, Scene from a memory, and Awake still remain some of my favourite albums from this Genre. My main qualm with D.T. is their lack of ability to demonstrate a point in less then 10 minutes. This fully autographed CD comes from the their tour of 'Train of Thought' and contains plenty of variations of classic studio tracks. I got this signed before a Toronto show 3 years back; still one of my favourite sets of sigs. Very nice guys as well!

I hate Weezer. I have never liked their music, their image, nor their spastic bat with popularity. I do love the look of these sigs on this LP, though! If anyone has their Blue Album, the only Weezer LP I like, I would gladly trade this fully autographed LP for an original Blue (autographed, or not).

This fully signed album by The Tea Party was luckily found at a local CD shop in Toronto for 7 bucks! The signatures look so good they might have mistaken them for a print (Hence the price!) I have always wondered how at item like this ends up in a CD store. Obviously it was sold to the store for less than $7, or the store wouldn't have made a profit on it. At one point a fan was so enthralled by the band that they decided to stick around after a show for a set of autographs. A few years later this album was worth less that $5 bucks to them.

Mike Patton is a musician that deserves the respect that he never received. Ex-singer of alt Metal band Faith No More, Patton has continued to wow his fans by his vast array of vocal stylings, by fronting Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, 3 Solo albums, Peeping Tom, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Tomahawk, The Executioners, as well as guest sang on over 100 albums from bands ranging from Jazz to Death Metal, or from Punk to Noise-core. Here is a ticket stub including Patton and Buzz Osborne's(of the Melvin's) autograph, both as they were in Fantomas. Slayer Drummer Dave Lombardo was around, but wasn't really in the signing mood so I settled for a quick chat about his drumming. Mike Patton is a singer that anyone interested in music should be keen on checking out.

Perhaps if there is enough interest I will do a part two to this post in time, as I do have plenty more items to showcase. Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Back from the moon

Howdy readers,

I recognize it has been some time since my last post. The stress surrounding the weeks leading up to a wedding, and a fantastic trip to Costa Rica afterwards prevented me from getting to writing much.

Luckily I have continued to purchase records; like that was going to slow down!

Today I purchased my first two LP's as a married man. The first is 'Sextant', Herbie Hancock's electo-influenced fusion effort from 73. I do enjoy it, but it isn't 'Thrust' or 'Headhunters' by any stretch of the imagination. The album kicks off with Rain Dance, a repetitive track which sounds like something off a Jon Hassel or Tangerine Dream album. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this better if I hadn't heard any of his previous efforts, but I found that his experimentation was without focus. 'Hornets' on the other hand is a full side of fusion glory. For fans of Benny Maupin, this track just slays. Is full of groove, courtesy of drummer Billy Hart, and the various synths provide unique layers of sound. Overall a very good album, but if you are looking for classic Herbie, this ain't it!

The second LP is quite the find. 'The Elephant's Child' features Jack Nicholson (Jack Nicholson!) reciting Rudyards Kipling's beautiful story of how an elephant got its trunk. Though fronted as a spoken word album, it's accompanied by a beautiful score by Bobby McFerrin. Several catchy themes are repeated throughout in typical McFerrin fashion, and the whole second side contains instrumental versions of these themes. 'The Elephant's Child' epitomizes why I go to record shopping regularly. The album is nothing shy of fantastic. The music is poignant and clever, Nicholson speaks with a confidence that brings you into the story, and the production is perfect (It’s a Windham Hill release from 1987. Their albums always sound fantastic.) This album is a reminder that the obscurity of records is endless. Every time I think I have seen it all, I find another LP to challenge the previous. ’The Elephant`s Child’ maybe a tough one to find; BEST OF LUCK!