I was dreadfully sad to find out that Tommy Ramone died. Sadder still that I had thought he was dead already. I’d lost track of The Ramones drummers. Elvis Ramone anyone?!
To me, the core of the Ramones has always been the quartet of Joey, Tommy, Dee Dee, Johnny, Podsy, Ralph, Ritchie, Fonzie, Dozy, Beaky, Noddy, Grumpy, Doc, Sid and Marky.
Sadly, with Tommy gone, the original Ramones have all had premature deaths and I find this especially sad; as they were a band with a real-cool-time whaddayougot young energy! Say wha? Whaddayoumean energy… These slacker long haired leather jacketed glue sniffers? Those funny shaped leaning sneering dicks with the indoor sunglasses who, by their own admission, want to be sedated? Hey you! Would you let your daughter marry a Stoned Ramone?
Punk was invented with the dead pan delivery of “Hey ho, Let’s go!” That and with the awkward, leaning a bit and the so what sneering a bit and by the looking a bit awkward while still screw you sneering a bit and sitting on some steps and stuff and by being aware that they are all the wrong heights to be even seen together, god it’s so unfair … and wearing sunglasses and long black hair and leaning with T-shirt, Jeans and leaning with leather jacket and all in glorious and expressive black and white.
Seriously though, there aren’t any pics of the Ramones looking comfortable or even nearly content when outside or inside unless they are sitting down or leaning on something. Even then, it’s a tense and odd affair. Every time I see a photo of a Ramones publicity shoot and look at their legs, I’m reminded that I need to buy a new comb and toothbrush. And just maybe a pair of skinny jeans and a leather jacket. Four awkward oddballs. Four oddward heroes.
Legs like broken toothbrush bristles.
All that is true until you put them on the fricking stage! Then they move! What legs! What energy! The songs are so young. Like the Beach Boys cars and girls ditties but amplified and moved into downtown New York. They are Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys and every 1960s New York girl group condensed into 2 minutes of T shirt shaped band guitar stance knee bending hair humping energy.
Phil Spector bumped into the teenage lyrics too and moved to produce the Ramones. It might have seemed a superficially odd pairing but it was absolute sense. It seemed right, the subject matter was kinda the same, right? Well, yeah, and no but, whatever, *shrugs*. Mr Spector wasn’t quite right for the Ramones. The tunes came out fine in the end I think, but there was a real delinquent rebel here and his name was Phil… The story goes that Spector pulled a (zipadeedodah) gun and made Joey Ramone play the opening chord to Rock and Roll High School 100s of times and kidnapped Dee Dee a bit in his house and also wouldn’t let Dee Dee play his pinball machine!? Wha? Crikey, what a weird and horrible place to be. But afterwards, they are then so darn NICE about it after putting up with the bad craziness. Couldn’t you just cuddle them?
This is such an innocent and nice and to be honest, a bit of a long (for them) strange interview about that:
Anyway this blog bit could go on and on. It is just meant as a wee wayhey send off to the Ramones. So goodbye and Wahey Ho to the Ramones! Equal parts America’s Slade and The Clash, with a bit of the Who, and a bit of Dangermouse, as well as Captain Caveman with a wee touch of The Archies and all via The Stooges, they were the perfect band and always, always, wholesome and perfect role models. If I had a kid and they aspired to be a Ramone, marry a Ramone or just wear jeans like a Ramone [except Bros], I’d be as chuffed as hell. Perfect, rough hi-energy energy drinks of skinny-jeaned music. It’s perfect little symphonies for the kids aged from 5 to 95. A mumbled shout of a rallying call to all of those who feel a bit oddward to shuffle to the front and lean in.
One of the drawbacks of Record Store Day is that shops have often tied up all of their money on RSD stock and most of their energy on ordering, organising the day and then the online selling of the leftovers. This is a shame if you’re a band releasing something in April or early May and I would like to make up for some of that now and highlight some of the non-RSD justin new releases that came in-just before RSD and over the past 6 weeks.
There’s an awful lot to hear here. In fact the shop is so full to bursting with lovely new and used records that I often daydream about having a larger shop… Ahh daydream! For lazy minded fools with nothing else to do!?*
We have an open shelf policy for music that is made by Edinburgh bands or put out on labels based here. In practice, this extends to bands and labels throughout Scotland too.
VoxBox is also stocking more new releases than ever and I try to keep up to date with what’s coming out as best I can when it fits with the feel of the shop. Generally, Classic Rock, Blues, Jazz, Electronica and Independent music. I’m about to get some new headers made up so certain titles can be neatly filed in the racks as “Alternative Rock”. Euwggh. A load of great music. Dull term. Not to worry, I’ll see if I can think of a better header.
Our most popular section is actually Justin. Not Bieber or Timberlake or JUSTIN the obscure cowboy, but the new stuff. the boxes of Pre-owned and brand spanking new records that have just arrived. There are loads of records in the Justin boxes. Please don’t groan… Read on!
If you have been in recently you’ll have seen lots of boxes of Justin records. So much so that we are not unlike this handsome and enigmatic chap, a carefully curated island of rock and roll that is quickly running out of space.
We’re also stocked up with new back catalogue titles where the originals are hard to come by. However, as always, the main focus of the shop will always be vintage, rare and collectable vinyl but please let us know if there’s a new record that you are after. You can pre-order some new releases from us too if you fancy. Just drop us a line. email@example.com
And if that’s not enough to keep your ears busy…
PAWS, Youth Culture Forever
Honeyblood, Self-titled debut
Broken Records -Weights and Pulleys
The Phantom Band (Chemikal Underground)
Jack White, Lazaretto
Remember Remember (Rock Action –Mogwai’s label)
Led Zeppelin I-III
James Yorkston (August -just announced)
Now that I have this lot off my chest, I’ll try to update the Justin part of the blog every fortnight or so to let you know what’s new.
*Ah daydream… a song with nowt to do with Justin.
Disclaimer Justin case: Photo of Justin Hawkins. He doesn’t know VoxBox exists and certainly doesn’t endorse the shop or have a VoxBox tattoo (yet). Photo used as illustration of a carefully curated island of rock and roll that is quickly running out of space. I wasn’t able to find the copyright holder.
Bad news: The St Stephen Street pavement is rvined for a month of mini-tram work madness.
Nae many people are walking along St Stephen Street jvst now. If yov’ve been down yov will maybe have seen the damage.
“The work starts on the 5th May doing vp your pavement. 3 weeks of work and it’s done!” Says they.
“Thanks, that’s lovely!” Says we.
They dvg vp the pavement on the Monday and on the Tvesday, they got the hot tarmac and the wee stones that bvlk ovt the hot tarmac and pvt down the first layer of the black tar and stone mix and then povnded it flat. The shop filled with fvmes and I had to shvt up early. No problem thovgh.
Then, that was it.
The work stopped.
The Saturday Night Fever sign!
After some complaints – we are in a listed area, the work was stopped and we are now to have the more traditional Sandstone paving. (££). The company involved in the laying the tarmac is now bidding for the job of taking vp the tarmac they laid and then putting down the lovely new paving. (£££). Meanwhile The City of Edinbvrgh Council have to apply to, ahem… The City of Edinbvrgh Council for planning permission to lay the slabs. This will all take about 3 weeks. Then another 3 weeks to dig vp the tarmac and lay the bloody (lovely new) paving. I hope this isn’t wishful covncil thinking.
It has still all been a little bizarre and a waste of money already and I think this might drag on a bit. Please come down to St Stephen’s Street anyway and pop into the shops for a wee visit. We are all friendly and will need locals and tovrists prepared to tvrn a blind eye to the mess to continvue to come down.
And if you can’t beat them…
Ignore the roadworks and pretend that you are in a nice roadwork free sidestreet of Paris. If you like, imagine you are miles away in a massive intergalactic non branded chocolate aero-style spaceship having just landed in a distant leafy spot on a nice tarmac free planet. If you do while in the shop on the weekend, please let me know and I’ll sit in with you looking out the VoxBox door at the lvsh and edible jvngle vegetation outside, swatting and sometimes eating the imaginary haribo-ish flying insects that come by.
I’ll knock gently on a lifesize hollow chocolate sqvirrel with the cat-hammer I use at home. It’ll break the shell a bit and we can eat some of the fovr and five sided segments that fall from it. I find they are best savovred with a nice cvp of tea.
Paul Weller is no longer sanctioning any releases for Record Store Day. Statement. This is a welcome move as there have been grumblings for some time. It’s a complicated issue though. Here are some figures.
A normal 7″ single costs a shop £3-£4. It will retail in a shop for £4-£6. No one makes much on a regular single as they cost £2-£3 to make in a small run. **
A Record Store Day single probably averages £5-£6 for the shop to buy. The shop wants a margin and will sell for £7-£10. Eyewatering prices tend to mean the shops have had to pay quite a bit for the records. In fact the amount a shop pays is often a decent RRP. This is a picture of me finding out the cost of one particular RSD release.
How Much for the Notorious BIG?!
The Paul Weller single was incredibly limited. Only 500 for all of his fans in the UK. That equates roughly to 2 per RSD shop. Not all shops deal with his distributor though and they are free to sell none to some and a fair few to others depending on the regular business they do.
We deal with the distributor a handful of times a year so getting one copy is understandable. Mind you, we deal with them more than some larger shops. I’m nae sure how many were allocated to Scottish shops. Allocating 2 per RSD shop would give Scotland about 32 out of the 500.
With 1/10 of the UK population we’d expect 50 copies assuming our Weller fan ratio is the same as the UK. Enough of this speculation though, RSD allocation should not be the main reason for wanting Scottish Independence. Mind you, I didn’t see anything about “RSD Scotland” in the White Paper… Write to your MP.
So, VoxBox was allocated 1 copy.
We opened at 0930 and took orders before opening. We asked the front 10 people to write in order their 3 preferences. One person in the first 3 had written.
I don’t remember if he was first in the queue, but he was in the queue only to get that record.
He bought the record and I hope was then a happy customer. As the saying goes; Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man first in the queue.
No-one, Paul Weller included has made much money on the Weller single other than the folk selling on ebay. That is their right though and Paul and VoxBox have enjoyed the free publicity. Shops getting caught not putting it on the shelf at all? I’d like to think they’ll be punished appropriately by the RSD organiser, not by the artists themselves but Paul has highlighted something that has been causing increasing cynicism every year…
That is, the touting and the overpricing of things to take advantage of fans. It is a very complex issue and Record Store Day is not the problem per se. I love Record Store Day and if I had my way, the day would be about REALLY cheap releases readily available. Everyone likes a bargain. He’s right about the problems with RSD. I’d prefer if Paul and other artists spoke out first about overpriced gig tickets, the legal touts (Get Me In and Seatwave) and the likely corruption there, as well as RSD’s problems that others have documented.
This photo was taken by me sitting in Row BB at Paul Weller’s Edinburgh Castle gig last year. I paid about £45 for a (non tout) ticket but refused to pay £30 for the T Shirt. Like I said, it’s complicated.
** For a few weeks I’d been pondering how much to charge for ‘The Weller Single’. Cost £6. Resale value £100+. (Normal sale price for a single £4-£6). Normal margin on a single 25-50%. It should have been £9. I inflated the price to £15 as there is no RRP on RSD stock and I simply felt that £9 is too little for something so rare. What if the early riser was a known ebay chancer? Can I increase the price on the spot? Can I refuse to sell it? That’d look really bad. Should I make the buyer dance like Billy Elliot to a Town Called Malice? Or start naming JAM B-sides? I have my thinking hat on for next year.
The adrenalin has worn off and I’ve been collapsed in a heap since Monday. Record Store Day was a tremendous success. More people than ever came down to the shop. There were loads of new faces and the Sun was shining. I couldn’t have asked for more. The VoxBox team would like to thank everyone who came down. Both the regulars customers and newbies. And heck, everyone that couldn’t make it down but wanted to. And why not, everyone who couldn’t make it down are are quitehappyaboutthisthankyouverymuch as well. Record shops need customers.
When I was thinking about who to thank for the day it became apparent that record shops need much more than customers. There was quite a large team of people involved in putting on the day.
Best book launch: Thanks to Simon Goddard and Ian Rankin for kicking off the afternoon with the Q&A on The History of Postcard Records. A book currently sitting on my bedside table. We sold out of books.
Best bands in Scotland on RSD: Thanks to the musicians. Yusuf Azak, Book Group, Broken Records, LAW, Stanley Odd, Pictish Trail and Tuff Love. I think that’s what RSD is really about: Showing off the amount of talent on our doorstep. More on this later.
Best behind the scenes team: Thank you to Andy and Paddy at Gerry Loves Records for all the help organising the day and looking after the crazy M&M demands of the bands above.
Best merch stall: Thanks to Charlotte!
Best PA hire company: Matthew Toad
Best venue: Thanks to the Antiquary down the road for letting us take over the bar all day.
Best record shop staff: Chiquita and Andy for their hard work and my Freshair Radio co-presenter, Dom for joining in.
Thanks to Matthew for helping with filming at short notice and Niall for taking care of the sound for the bands. I’m really looking forward to seeing the footage.
Best after party: The Electric Circus (and full band Stanley Odd and The Cairn String Quartet)
Best Street: erm St Stephen Street obviously
Best family: Thanks to Helen for putting up with all the cardboard boxes at home and all of the family that came down.
Thanks also to VoxBox George and co. and all the friends that offered help.
The shop is still a mess and there’s still a full drum kit in the backroom.
The Preposterous Story of Postcard Records. We have lots of books for sale. These come with limited edition poster (only available in Scottish shops). We have 5 copies of the RSD reissue of Edwyn Collins’ Gorgeous George and some of the Orange Juice albums that were reissued last year. Original copies are getting much harder to find.
Roddy Frame’s RSD release Western Skies
The new Jesus and Mary Chain book Barbed Wire Kisses -prerelease!
New Edition of Last Shop Standing (We’re in it)
Stanley Odd have an official RSD release out. The EP Chase Yirsel with artwork by Scott Hutchison from Frightened Rabbit. They play LoveMusic in Glasgow then come to us. Then play the afterparty at the Electric Circus. Hardworking folk.
LAW Holt will make a limited number of her new EP available on the day before the official release.
Tuff Love have their debut EP coming out soon. We’ll have pre-release 10 copies. As featured on BBC Radio 6 recommends this Thursday.
Yusuf Azak’s Debut LP Peace In The Underworld will be available in limited quantities ahead of the official release date.
12.00-12.30 Goddard & Rankin Q&A
12.35-1.05 Yusuf Azak
1.30-2.00 Broken Records
2.30-3.00 Book Group
4.00-4.20 Pictish Trail
4.40-5.10 Stanley Odd
5.30-6 Tuff Love
Dewars have given us 10 copies of a truly wonderful record by King Creosote et al. This is really special. There are 20 copies in Edinburgh. We have 10 copies. (OK the others are in CODA)
Scottish related RSD RELEASES:
BIS New LP and single.
CAMERA OBSCURA x5
DJANGO DJANGO x2
FRIGHTENED RABBIT release was US only. (Too dear to get the import, sorry)
THE TWILIGHT SAD -We have 25 copies.
EDWYN COLLINS Gorgeous George x5
RODDY FRAME x5
STEVE MASON x20
Please remember, we’re a tiny shop. There will not be a queue to the counter system as we prefer that everyone can come in a and browse. To avoid a crush though, we’ll have to limit the amount of people in the shop to 25 or so. I promise to have nicest bouncers you have ever met.
Richer Sounds are offering a 10% off voucher.
The lovely people at Universal have created a boy band of the Busted ilk that swear a lot. 5SOS! 10 cassette tapes arrived to be given away free to people that know the password.
A handful of promo CDs.
10″, 12″ and LPs only
5 Seconds Of Summer
Albert Ammons x2
Aerosmith -3x all of them
Africa Express Maison Des Jeunes
Barclay James Harvest
Brian Jonestown Massacre
The Black Angels
The Black Heart Procession
David Bowie Rock and Roll Suicide x15 copies
Brown Brogues (This box is missing just now. Should find it for tomorrow)
Built TO Spill
Creedence Clearwater Revivial
Davy and Bert
Echo and the Bunnymen
Everything but the girl
Fear of Men
Robert Glasper Experiment
Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – Mexican wrestler mask and d/l code. (Brilliant!)
The Glitch Mob
The Grateful Dead
Jon Spencer BLues Explosion
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings
Stephen John Kalinich
Al Kooper CD
Kode 9 and the Space Ape
James Vincent McMorrow
Melt Yourself Down
The Mor Paranoids
Pussy Gold 5000
Pet Shop Boys
Lee Scratch Perry
Gil Scott Heron
STANLEY ODD EP Chase Yirsel (artwork by Scott Hutchison)
String Driven Thing
Teenage Film Stars
The Twilight Sad
We Have Band
Xiu Xiu x2
The Last Mimsy
The Last House on the Left
Medical Records ECT
The Good the Bad and the Ugly
The Heavy Soundz
The Sun Records Comp
Rough Guide the Psychedelic Bollywood
Rough Guide To Latin Rare Groove
Battle Recordings Curates
Non Violent Femmes
Earache Presents Masters of Misery
The Far Out Monster Disco Orchestra
Psychedelic Rock from Singapore and Malaysia
In The Wall
The Bronx Warriors
The Perfume of the lady in black
The Degredation of Emanuelle
Wall of Dolls
The Space Project
Ed Banger Records
Xtra Mile Recordings
Musically Yours Pressure Sounds Presents
Bolan at the BBC
AND LOADS MORE
We don’t have the One Direction single, The Boss or the Ghostbusters single. Everything else we should have we have.
There’s also a box that hasn’t arrived yet. -The box from this company arrived at midday last year.
See you tomorrow!
Oh these won’t make it to shops in time:
Asgeir – Here It Comes – 7″
The Exit – The Exit EP – 7″
Poison Idea – Getting The Fear – 7″
Otis Clay – I Can’t Take It – LP
Cuz (Mike Watt & Sam From Go Team) – Tametebako – LP
Roddy Frame – Surf – LP
Hawkwind – Church Of Hawkwind – 2LP
Motorhead – Motorhead – 2LP
Neil Young – Cow Palace 1986 – 3LP
Various Artists – Bad Vibrations Presents: Live At Bad Vibes #1 – LP
It’s that time of year again. It’s the run up to Record Store Day!
The list has been out for a wee while and there are more releases than ever before. A staggering 600 or so, ranging from the terribly exciting to the wow, that’s crazy! The VoxBox orders are finally in and I’m pleased to say we’ll have more different titles than in our past two record Store Days combined. That’s a whole lotta of stuff!
The shop will open at 9.30am and we will be crowded with RSD releases, as well as our usual selection of the best new and used records. A real vinyl paradise.
At 12 noon at a venue very close by we have Simon Goddard in a Q&A with Ian Rankin about Simon’s new book, Simply Thrilled: The Preposterous Story of Postcard Records which is released to record shops exclusively that day (before being released to Waterstones etc).
From 12.30 till 6pm we’re bringing you some of the very best bands from Edinburgh and beyond:
STANLEY ODD (have an official RSD release)
TUFF LOVE (have new EP out on Lost Map Records)
LAW (is simply fantastic)
BOOK GROUP (have some vinyl out)
THE PICTISH TRAIL (is always out and about)
BROKEN RECORDS (are back!)
YUSUF AZAK (New album out soon)
Our Born To Be Honey exhibition continues and features photos of Stanley Odd, Tuff Love and LAW.
This is all free entry and also open to children (accompanied by an adult).
Last year was a fantastic celebration and we are going bigger and better this year as we approach our 3rd anniversary in the music business.
We are celebrating what we love. A wide selection of music, the vinyl format, the grass roots record industry, the local bands and record labels as well as our fantastic regular customers that give our shop such a positive feel and of course our wonderful street.
SIMON GODDARD & IAN RANKIN Q&A
Simon’s new book is released by Random House on Record Store Day. Come down and hear them discuss all things Postcard, arguably Scotland’s favourite and the original modern indie record label. (featuring Josef K, Orange Juice and Aztec Camera). You’ll be able to pick up a book and have it signed by the author.
So there you go. I’m looking forward to this! A list of RSD records will be provided on the day and posted on the blog as soon as I find out what has been allocated to us. (hopefully soon). It’s not about the records really though. Right?
Before we opened VoxBox, we had thought seriously about being a music and art shop. Graphic designer Kate George designed the VoxBox logo and we wanted to be able to sell her other work in the shop; but alas, we decided against it in the end. That was about 3 years ago now and we’re now revisiting the music and artwork idea.
Something about music and visual art makes them simply belong together. The 2 forms are as deeply entwined in our heids as synesthesia. Many musicians are artists and vice versa. All album sleeves are works of art, aren’t they? A square foot of art free with every lovely record.
I love being in the shop with iconic album covers around about. Deep breath… Ah sweet heaven… and exhale, calmly.
Back here on earth, the new and exciting news is that VoxBox is hosting an exhibition. Not of album art as such, but the next best thing; the art of great band photography. The press shot, live action guitar stances, gravity-defying-rock-and-roll-sun-god-hair-action, behind the scenes intimacy and plain old bouncing around super-fun.
eagleowl’s Bart is a Golden God
Jannica Honey is a professional photographer, originally from Sweden, who now lives in Edinburgh. -Not that far from the shop in fact. Her pictures are great. She’s been photographer to Edinburgh and Glasgow based bands as well as those passing through town for several years now as well as pursuing her other creative photography themes. From family based portraits to full on, warts and all, nudity. A snapshot of real people, well combed and prim or tussled and tangled, but with no airbrushing or fakery at all. You can check them out via her website. Did you have a look? Aren’t they just “Crikey!” Did I mention that she is great fun too?
The event is called Born To Be Honey and it ties in with the Born To Be Wide 10th anniversary celebrations on the 9th and 10th April. The exhibition focuses on musicians who have played Born To Be Wide’s annual Edinburgh Night – which features ten acts performing ten-minute sets – and several bands who have showcased at the Wide Days convention. They include Honeyblood, Stanley Odd, Withered Hand, Roman Nose, Plum, eagleowl and more.
Dan (Withered Hand) Willson will be playing a short set on the opening evening on Thursday the 27th March so keep the evening free. His fantastic new album, New Gods, just came out on Monday and he’s now hot stuff and off to play SXSW in Austin Texas. This is him, hot stuff, intimate, in his kitchen, almost just got up and daring you to volunteer to do the washing up.
Barney’s Beer have contributed some of their lovely beer and there will be some food and so on. It’ll be a Smörgåsbord of fun, so do pop along!
The exhibition proper, will grace our walls for the month of April. Facebook event.
At the end of the year, I like to look back, and as the John Lennon lyric goes, “So this is Christmas, and what have you done?”
What have you done? Hmm, what have you done… A check to see if you have been squeezing as much orange juice out of being alive as you can. E v e r y l a s t
d r o p.
The Edwyn Collins guide to life.
We’ve had a really good year. Each year I think that the VoxBox shop is building and getting a wee bit better. The music industry is in a state of flux and I’ve been actually surprised that records are being made in such big numbers again. Every new release is getting a run of vinyl apart from the X Factor stuff. It is a strange place to be on the periphery of this as a wee shop open just twenty-five and a half hours per week.
It has meant that we have to work more. Heaven forbid! By work I mean we need to order more of the new stuff in order to keep our shelves topped up and stay relevant. The vinyl revival does also mean that pre-owned records get a little harder to source. Don’t worry though, we have some contacts. Wink wink. We can now sell back catalogue items that you never see originals of. This pleases both George, who now can sell his favourite album (Forever Changes) and me (probably The Stooges) quite a bit.
Some of the re-issues do seem crazy as they are often plentiful on the pre-owned market (eg Paul Simon’s Graceland) and the quality of some of the new pressings is a bit dubious (The 4 Men With Beards label) but it would be churlish of me to complain. Edinburgh sold out of turntables in the run up to Christmas! This is great news for our record shops.
The year highlight of 2013 was celebrating our 2nd Record Store Day back in April. Wounded Knee singing his Anti Fascist Rant on our steps was a joy.
“BNP Feck off” (pic by Matthew Toad)
All of the bands were incredible and St Stephen Street was buzzing all day. In fact I was buzzing so much, I couldn’t sleep for three days afterwards. An incredible experience! Other things we have been proud of are starting our open turntable DJ night and our new Fresh Air Radio show, both of which will return in the new year. In-stores from SuperMarioNation’s Steve (for the hell of it) and Black International on Cassette Store Day was great fun. Oh, and the Phillip Taylor (PAWS) new album preview in-store was pretty special too.
The biggest musical disappointment for me was that Iggy and the Stooges new album Ready to Die was so ordinary. Iggy redeemed himself a bit last week with his superb Christmas Day radio show on Radio 6. He’s on again with a new show on New Year’s Day at 1300. I won’t be tuning in live though as it clashes with this Scot:Lands thing which looks too good to miss. Local and Scottish music, Dance & Theatre and it’s FREE. You should come too.
So, at the end of this fine year, what would be the VoxBox album of the year?
Erm, as usual, I haven’t done a list. The MOJO magazine tends to write for the record collector market. Their top 50 albums are here and it’d be hard for me to argue as I’ve not heard anywhere near them all.
There have been some notable albums by big Scottish bands too. Primal Scream, Mogwai, Nina Nesbitt, Texas, Boards of Canada, Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit, Chvrches and indeed one by Edwyn Collins.
I would have added in some of our local bands too although it’s hard to be objective as I’m either friends or on friendly nodding terms with many of the folk below who all released albums this year.
Song by Toad label: Adam Stafford, The Leg, Sparrow and the Workshop
Fence/Lost Map: Kid Canaveral, The Pictish Trail, eagleowl, Monoganon
Chemikal Underground: RM Hubbert, Rick Redbeard
Olive Grove: Randolph’s Leap
Comets and Cartwheels: Quickbeam, There Will Be Fireworks
Soft Power: The Rosy Crucifiction
Other folk that brought their albums/EPs in include: Spook School, The Little Kicks, Delta Mainline, Ziggy Campbell, Book Group.
And there are loads more! So I’d say Scottish music is thriving the noo.
My favourite of those? All are really solid. I’ll try to make up my mind for sure before the Scottish Album of the Year Award next year where we might even get a vote…
So I’ll keep my powder dry until then. I will say that the favourite things I’ve heard this year and have been listening to a lot weren’t even released this year. Glorified Demons by (the mysterious) Siobhan Wilson and Weald by Rob St John. You should check them out.
For what it’s worth, the biggest sellers in the shop over the past year, I think can be broken down like this:
Out of 2013 albums, it’s the Les Revenants soundtrack by Mogwai which is also a contender for VoxBox George’s favourite.
The best-selling new re-issues? That’ll be Love’s Forever Changes.
Out of local stuff, eagleowl’s debut album, This Silent Year I think has sold most. Well done Bart and co.
As to pre-owned stuff, selling by the landslide, it has been and will probably forever be, Rumours, by Fleetwood Mac.
Who’s counting anyway? It’s not a competition. I hope you’ve found something old or new that you really love and listen to it without fear of music snobbery. Make up your own mind and go yer own way.
VoxBox George and I would like to thank all of our customers for coming in and making the work such fun and we wish you all a Happy New Year!
I moved to Craigentinny a year and a half ago and have been plinking around with DIY in my spare time. DIY tends to be dusty business and dust as we know is the enemy of records.
While mosying around my new neighbourhood I came across a giant tomb. There is no other way to describe it except to use capital letters and the bold function; A MASSIVE old monument with carved marble panels on the sides. In among the 1930s bungalows this was a gigantic thing. A giant thing with a plaque attached.
I love living in Edinburgh, there are lots of plaques everywhere. Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) stayed up the road from us on George Street after he eloped. There’s a wee plaque next to a hairdressers that says ‘Percy woz ere’ or words to that effect. I was sure that this monolith in Craigentinny was a monument to war dead. But which war? That was the question. So I went and had a read…
…and found out that it’s not a war monument to our pro patrium mori at all; it’s a family tomb!! A bizarrely huge gravestone.
This is the last resting place for William Henry Miller (1789-1848). And he’s not going anywhere soon.
I recognised the name because there is a song about this very man by Edinburgh’s very own Meursault and after a wee bit of research, (a really interesting piece) the lyrics all start to make sense.
From the internet: “William Henry Miller was an Eighteenth Century politician, possibly a hermaphrodite, who asked to be buried face down, 40 feet beneath the Earth, under a gigantic mausoleum.”
The Neil Pennycook banjo plinking still doesn’t make sense.*
Bury me face-down…
The joke finishes with “…so the world can kiss my arse!”
A scurrilous rumour began after William Henry Miller’s death that he was a hermaphrodite, partly because of the 6 week period between his death and eventual interment and the odd request to be buried so deep and to be covered with a massive slab. But, no wonder it took 6 weeks, they had to dig a 40 foot hole first!
He was maybe afraid of grave robbers or simply fond of the Pharaohs. I think he wanted buried face down so he could look down on the world when he was ascending, Felix Baumgartner–like to heaven. Cometh the resurrection, I think he’ll be left be, Mr God would need a winch to get the lump of stone off of him and probably wouldn’t approve of his spending of £20,000 on his funeral arrangements back in 1848.
If you like, you can watch this ancient video of Meursault and friends playing their masterpiece at the monument itself and looking strangely coy.
Shop favourites, PAWS have been covering this song live too and there’s a video where Josh on drums looks like a thrashy Ringo. I’ll let you find it yourself. (At the spotty dog.)
However, PAWS front man, Phillip played an acoustic cover of the song at our place earlier in the year too.
And with that, I can tie in a plug for the PAWSault gig on Saturday 21st. Yes it’s a hybrid group never before seen, performing at the Song by, Toad label’s Christmas Party (and celebration of 5 years in the business) at Henry’s Cellar Bar. You can be pretty sure this will be the LOUDEST version yet. Somehow, I don’t think William Henry Miller would have approved. Luckily, it’ll be peaceful and quiet where he is…
The real William Henry Miller. Immortalised in song and stone.
*A gentleman is someone who can play the banjo…. but doesn’t. Copyright, Mark Twain (1835-1910).
VoxBox Music became the newest record shop in the world on May 21st 2011. We buy and sell vinyl and other formats of music. We are independent and sell mostly pre-owned records although we are slowly branching into new vinyl too.