Tell us a little bit about yourself!: I'm Chris, an RN in the emergency department at a local hospital. It's not my favorite thing in the world but I do it. I like to dream of being a pilot at some point. Or, more realistically, get into the OR. Outside of work I enjoy everything music - going to as many shows as possible (humblebrag - I've seen M. Ward 21 times in 10 different states now), taking photos at them when possible, playing guitar, hosting my radio show on 88.1 FM WESU, cooking, building LEGO, hanging out with my girlfriend and dogs, and working on my condo. One time I did something especially cool and put out a record for a couple of my friends' bands, City Streets Country Roads and Breakthrough Frequencies. Tyler from Take One Car did the artwork (see photo).
Favorite album: I have to give a few here, because it's too difficult to pick just one. M. Ward's Transfiguration of Vincent is definitely at the top, with Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy by mum up there as well. Brand New's TDAG has a permanent place amongst the top and AFIs Sing The Sorrow was a pretty defining record as far as setting up my cult-like attachment to many albums/bands I'd come to love in the future. As far as recent releases, Alvvays' Antisocialites is nearly perfect.
First album: So the first CD I remember buying was actually a Blink-182 single at a K-Mart type store that doesn't exist anymore called Bradlee's. I just thought it would be cool to own a piece of physical music (this was in 4th-5th grade). My first LP was something I probably only listed to like 0.5 times. I bought it at the same time I bought my first turntable (Sony PS-LX430) from a local Goodwill. It was a copy of Bob Seger's 'Against the Wind'. I probably got it just because my dad was into Bob Seger but it didn't do anything for me. I might have also picked up a Fiddler on the Roof soundtrack...?
Favorite Enjoy The Ride or Enjoy The Toons release: I really like the first one I got - The Best Of Nicktoons 12" compilation. I don't have a lot of friends that are into owning/collecting music, so this is one of my go-tos for interesting pieces. Who doesn't love a little 90s nostalgia?
Favorite album artwork: mum's 'Go Go Smear the Poison Ivy'. mum are an Icelandic band that I can't describe. I was flipping through records at Redscroll and saw the cover. I thought it was bizarre and cool, so I bought it and it was the best blind buy I ever made. I listened to the album three times that night and started seeking out more of their stuff. Because of that record, I got to go to Germany for a week to see their shows, experience some of Oktoberfest, see areas of venues I wouldn't otherwise see and get to collaborate with them on something eventually. It also made me want to visit Iceland, which I was finally able to do last Spring. So much good came from just looking at that album cover!
What are your favorite record shops in your area, in case any readers are traveling through your town? There are a number of shops around including a regional chain, but I refuse to name/endorse that one because they're really taking advantage of the vinyl resurgence and prices have gotten ridiculous. But I've been shopping at Redscroll Records in Wallingford, CT since not too long after they opened. When I was in college, a friend and I would go almost weekly and blow what little cash we had there. They have a massive selection and are great about doing special orders and setting things aside for you.
What have you been listening to more frequently lately? The Essex Green just put out an album 'Hardly Electronic', so a lot of them. It's been 12 long years since their last LP and I'm writing this now after having just seen them - great show! Aside from that, the latest Calexico album 'The Thread That Keeps Us', both Alvvays LPs, the new M. Ward album ' What a Wonderful Industry', and then Brand New has made it's way back to being regularly listened to.
What are some of your favorite albums you have in your collection? Johnny Cash's 'Ride the Train'. I listened to this a lot as a kid working with my dad and grandad. My dad was in the tree business so Lumberjack is a favorite. All around neat concept album though.
Metric's 'Grow Up & Blow Away'. This album is interesting as fuck. Back in the early 2000s when limewire and all that were big, this thing made it's way all over the world but the band never really acknowledged it (allegedly beceause of label issues). It never even got a legitimate release until 2007 when it kind of quietly got a CD release. Then it would be another few years until it was pressed on vinyl, quietly again. This is one of 3 good Metric albums. Fantasies was alright and it went real downhill after that.
The Softies' 'Holiday in Rhode Island'. Rose Melberg has the voice of an angel. I discovered her sitting in my sister's living room when I was in high school, listening to/watching music videos on Yahoo! Music (what a time to be alive). I fell in love with her voice, went back and listened to nearly everything she recorded, then hunted for years for a copy of this record. I was so ecstatic to get it and I still smile when I come across it on the shelf.
Any specific albums you wish you had on vinyl?
I'd really like a copy of 'Finally We Are No One' by mum, but every copy is a lot more than I want to pay. The same goes for Colour Revolt's 'Plunder, Beg, and Curse'. I've been lazily hunting for the first two Rosebuds LPs, but I don't think those will be too hard to get any time soon. Also Andrew Bird's 'The Mysterious Production of Eggs'. I don't know how why I still haven't picked it up yet.
What album would you like to be pressed on vinyl?
The first one that comes to mind is 'Thrills' by Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire. Listen to any one song on there and you'll understand why. The only other one I can think of is Gregory & The Hawk's 'In Your Dreams.' There are some wonderfully depressing songs on that album. Oh! If Rilo Kiley could put out the RK/Initial Friend EP on vinyl, that'd be great.
Which album was your favorite purchase of the summer? I haven't bought much lately due to recently buying a home, so my favorites are the only ones that I've purchased, The 3 Essex Green LPs - the new one and then first-time pressings of Cannibal Sea and The Long Goodbye.
Any albums coming out in the fall that you're excited about? Interpol are putting out another record, so I'm excited for that. They're such a tight band and they took a different approach to 'Marauder' so I'm looking forward to hearing it. Giant Sand also just put out a re-recording of Valley of Sand, so I'm looking forward to listening when I can pick it up.
If you were on a desert island and you could only fit three records safely in your suitcase which ones would you take with you?
The Beatles White Album, because it's crazy long and covers a lot of different sounds.
At least one M. Ward album, probably Transfiguration of Vincent
And the Hero of Time (Music From "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time") 2xLP. They did such a good job recording this and every piece is thrilling to listen to.