Tag Archives: Wreckless Eric

Celebrate National Record Store Day!

Once a year is not enough, but it will do.

It’s that time again – today is National Record Store Day. 

As one who has grown up both hanging out in and working for record stores, it warms my heart that there’s a day set aside for the collective appreciation of the independent record store. I’ve spent most of my life living in Upstate New York and have been blessed with some of the great ones. Three of my favorites are within fifteen minutes of my house: Record Archive, House of Guitars, and The Bop Shop

Record Archive is my favorite haunt, ane everyone from owners Richard and Alayna to the crew are first-rate people. Besides a huge selection at their new central location they host artists, musicians, photographers and other creative types for gallery shows and in-stores. They boast one of the largest vinyl collections anywhere and there’s no better place to spend a rainy day (of which there are many up here). Great commercials with The Dancing Record Man (Richard); my daughter even got to be in one. 

The House of Guitars has to be seen to be believed and is a landmark stop for any musician coming through New York. When I first moved to town they were my salvation, and although they’ll never get everything properly filed in a lifetime, chances are if you need something, it’s somewhere in there. First met Greg and Andy from The Chesterfield Kings when they worked the counter many moons ago. They made their own TV commercials long before it became hip – some of them were hallucinatory

The Bop Shop is a quintessential indie store, a labor of love for Tom, its owner; also a cultural mecca especially if you’re looking for that blues or jazz record you’re having trouble finding. In recent times they have been extremely active in concert promotion, bringing people like Ian McLagan, Neil Innes and Wreckless Eric to town. They have survived in a tough industry and a bad economy because of their passion and commitment. 

And I’m sure you have stores like these near you. Check here

Quotes from artists about the day itself. Use the drop-down menu for more. 

Some quotes from store owners (including Bop Shop Tom). 

RSD-TV

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Under The Radar – The Melloncollies

Jack and Milk. Who knew?

Jack and Milk. Who knew?

Onomatopoeia [on‐ŏ‐mat‐ŏ‐pee‐ă], noun: he use of words that seem to imitate the sounds they refer to (whack, fizz, crackle, hiss); or any combination of words in which the sound gives the impression of echoing the sense.

Musically, The Melloncollies are anything but that. This debut is an exciting, emotional, explosive pop album that is as spirit-lifting as it is well-crafted. Musically, I said.

Lyrically, however…well, that’s another story entirely. “I’d do anything for you / get my ass kicked for you / what the hell did you ever do for me?” Simon Erani wails in “You You Yeah Yeah”, and that’s one of the more docile song titles. “Loneliest Boy”, “Misery”, “So Unhappy”, “Bullet in my Sunday”…these are not your classic love songs. I guess I should have been tipped off by the album’s title (Goodbye Cruel World) but I admit I was caught off-guard.

The Smiths could make despair sound almost ambivalent, but The Melloncollies want to rip their hearts out in full view and wave their sorrow flag under a floodlight. As Jeffrey Braha’s kick drum counts off the album opener “Misery” in Springsteen-arena fashion,  we’re momentarily fooled by the promise of “I’ll be good to you” in the chorus, because the hook is huge and Erani’s vocal so…positive. But that’s before we get to the second verse and realize the poor sap is on his knees and for the wrong reason. The second track (“Bullet In My Sunday”) is equally catchy with an 80s-ish intro reminiscent of Gene Loves Jezebel, so maybe there’s some hope here….except now the guy has seen the girl with someone else and it’s starting to look hopeless. Great – now  what?

Is this the great artistic statement about the angst of unrequited love? Of course not. Nor is it delicate adult poetry about the frailty of the human heart. But it is an infectious, bombastic joyride about getting your heart broken, getting depressed and then scraping every emotion out in overblown, dramatic fashion. If you’re drinking off a break-up, this could be your soundtrack. If you’re angry about a break-up…well, this could be your soundtrack, too.

Some will say it’s sophomoric, pedestrian and adolescent. Sure, it’s over the top (“whore” seems to be a favorite lyrical term) and there’s a wee bit of whining and pity going on. So?  Was “Beat On The Brat” mature? In other words, don’t take it so seriously, because The Melloncollies aren’t. They’re peppering the album with pop-punk DNA lifted from the last three decades; sometimes subtly, sometimes overtly. Enjoy the ride.

Ballads  like “Maybe Someday”, “All I Want” and “So Unhappy” could easily stand on their own outside the context of the album, but when every track in the song cycle is so overtly dramatic they tend to get lost in the shuffle. Instead, attention will likely lean more towards the infectious pop chestnuts like “Why Oh Why” and  “Simple Naive Someone”, where Erani’s pleading vocals – well above average for the genre – will appeal to any power-pop fan.

Besides “You You Yeah Yeah”, the real asskicker is “Money Money Money” which sounds like Wreckless Eric mocking Bob Dylan (“could you bee-leeeve the aud-a-ci-teeeee“), a huge guitar and organ driven rave-up with a sing-along chorus…well, about that bitch who only wants your money. And although it took fifteen years, bonus points for someone finally reclaiming “melloncollies” from that overrated concept album that clogged the airwaves for an entire year – “Let It Rain” takes the  Smashing Pumpkins formula and rips it a new one. (Even more bonus points for “Spin The Tail On The Donkey“. ..you’re going to have to pick up the CD for that one, folks).

With great production by Erani and guitarist Peter Claro, it’s an album that will justifiably get more than several spins at high volume. I count on this one resurfacing when I compile my favorites from 2009. Now excuse me while I overreact to something…and take that, Billy Corgan.

The Melloncollies on MySpace.

Listen/buy at Amazon or CD Baby.

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