The Vinyl District Showcase Week: Sockets Records’ Buildings

This Saturday (1/28), Sockets Records holds its 2012 Showcase at the Black Cat, featuring performances by Protect-U, Imperial China, Buildings, and Cigarette.

The prodigious local indie label, specializing in “experimental, incidental, minimal and arranged sounds” since 2004 (anyone ever heard of those Bluebrain fellas?), will be joining us all week at The Vinyl District. Artists from Sockets will be sharing their love of vinyl and music as a preview to Saturday’s blowout.

Today, Buildings guitarist Collin Crowe shares his first and favorite vinyl buys. Buildings release their new LP Everything In Parallel the same day as the showcase. Come by and pick up a copy, and it could be your first and favorite vinyl buy.

The first record player I bought as an adult was a really crappy standalone player with built-in speakers. I got it at Rite-Aid for about $30. It was around the holidays when I bought it. Presumably, it was Rite-Aid’s idea as a gift for old people. (“Grandpa’s old, he likes these ol’ record players.”) It had a really crappy generic red plastic stylus, and the motor generally played the records faster than it was supposed to. I was very curious, and I bought some really stupid $1 LPs at thrift stores and yard sales just to see what they would sound like. The first LP that really hit me, I bought when I was 19 from some odd yard sale in Fairfax, Virginia.

The Pyramids – Queen of the Spirits

It was this really excellent original pressing of The Pyramids’ King of Kings. I had no idea what it was at the time—it was a buck or two and was wedged between a bunch of Elvis and Barbara Streisand records. I was listening to a lot of afrobeat and free jazz, but on a very elementary level. The cover stuck out to me as something that might be interesting. And I had very little experience buying weird records and had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I took it home I couldn’t believe my ears!

It’s some of the heaviest and most expressive music I’ve ever heard and still to this date, this has to be one of the coolest records I own. It has since been reissued, but the original pressings like mine are pretty hard to come by and are pretty valuable. I really wish I had more info about that yard sale and (whether or not it still exists). I’m sure I could have found other great albums out there if I’d known better…

Yoko Ono – Never Say Goodbye

That same month, I was at an antique store and bought a copy of Yoko Ono’s It’s Alright for a dollar—another early one that still remains one of my favorites. This was her experiment with new wave production, and probably the only Yoko album I am nuts about. I’m surprised people don’t talk about this as much. It’s very happy and cheesy, yet very deep and dissonant. I don’t know what it is about this one.

Perhaps the photo of John Lennon’s ghost hanging out with her and a young Sean Lennon in Central Park or the really cerebral drone-y vocal ending to “Never Say Goodbye.” Even though being a very early find, I still count this record to be one of my favorites.
—Collin Crowe

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