Free Basin’ Friday | Arthur’s ‘Dreams & Images’!

January 30th, 2015

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For this week’s Free Basin’ Friday giveaway, we want to hear your dreamiest dream. The dreamiest of all wins a Valentine Grey wax copy of Arthur’s Dreams & Images. Comment on this post before next Friday with your weirdest, wonderfullest dream to date for a chance to win! Thanks for playin’!

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Meet Your Maker: A Trip to Stoughton Printing Co.

January 29th, 2015
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Photo courtesy of Stoughton Printing Co.

Light In The Attic products are handmade. Each LITA LP that you hold in your hands has been touched by at least three other sets of hands. At the Stoughton Printing Co. open house last week, we got to shake a few of those hands, from the founders and project managers to the employees who operate the press and glue art to cardboard. Stoughton makes almost all of the tip-on jackets for our LPs, CDs, and cassettes and we think they do a damn fine job.

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Led Zeppelin Display

The Stoughton office feels like a mini Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, only instead of Patti Smith and Buddy Guy, the LP jackets themselves are the main attraction. When you walk in, there’s a wall of  LP covers printed at Stoughton (can you spot the LITA titles?). And all around the office are displays organized by artist– a display of every Led Zeppelin or Neil Young product printed at Stoughton, for example.

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We also got to meet the good people of Spicers Paper, who provide the high-quality paper that Stoughton prints on. Spicers had two whole tables set up with samples of every kind of paper you could imagine, including ‘the Rolls Royce’ of paper– McCoy. Who knew? “This ain’t Dunder Mifflin,” I joked to the affable Spicers rep, who laughed uncomfortbaly and replied, “Well, we don’t usually go there… but yeah. Although we do also sell copy paper, if that’s what you’re looking for. ” Did I just commit a paper faux pas?

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Rob, one of the head project managers at Stoughton, has a collection of records in his office that would make even the most jaded collector green with envy. A true vinyl head, Rob recalled a recent climb he did on Mt. Whitney, during which he listened to Lee Hazlewood for a solid eight hours. Can you imagine hearing ‘Trouble is a Lonesome Town‘ with a view of the snow-capped Sierra Nevadas at 14,000ft?

When we’re browsing through the stacks at a record store and we see the gnarly cover of some unholy metal album, we rarely think of the printing press employee who had to see that ghastly image a thousand times in a day. It’s someone’s job to place the album art by hand onto the glued cardboard with perfect precision. And apparently some of these employees at Stoughton have been “bothered” by past album art. “They talk about it…” said our tour guide. Think of that man or woman the next time you purchase some blood-soaked horror soundtrack. *Cough* One Way Static *cough.* These people are the real MVPs!

Rock Out With Thin Lizzy!!

January 28th, 2015

Hey Buffalo Gal,
Hey Baby Face,
Hey Teddy Boy,

Do you love Lizzy?

Hard and heavy, good-vibes Irish rocker lads Thin Lizzy hold good-time memories for so many of us. This is why we are so pleased to announce the official vinyl reissues of Thin Lizzy’s second and third albums, Shades Of A Blue Orphanage and Vagabonds Of The Western World.

Originally released in 1972, Shades Of A Blue Orphanage ranges from uninhibited and fuzzy to soft and tender. It’s an early psych-folk rendering of this sonic force that would come to rule the jukebox. Vagabonds Of The Western World (1973) is a confident and somewhat dangerous mix of blues, folk, psych, and Celtic music.

Two LP Bundle

3 LP bundle

These two new albums are available for preorder today as either single LPs, a two-LP bundle, or a three-LP bundle along with the first eponymous Lizzy album we reissued in 2012. Each LP comes with deluxe gatefold “Tip-On” jackets, 180-gram vinyl, book-deep liner notes, and rare archive photos.

Whenever a Thin Lizzy song comes on, all of us here at LITA can’t help but smile big Christmas morning smiles. We love Lizzy. And now you can bring the boys home in their Sunday best, and sing along, Molly-o.

Welcome to the family, MONDO!

January 27th, 2015

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You’re eating your morning cereal when you realize that from behind the cereal box you’re being watched. Blank, glowing eyes stare out of an iron visage. You raise your head, milk dripping from the forgotten spoon in your hand, and see that this iron man is… smiling.

Who left the Iron Giant action figure in the kitchen??

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You’re part of an elite police squad, standing in the stairwell of a tenement building in Indonesia in the middle of a violent raid, when a vicious crime boss, whose headquarters is on the upper floors, shuts off all the lights. In the pitch black darkness, he announces over the PA system that the first tenants to kill the police in the stairwell will be granted permanent free residency. All is silent.

You’re back in your living room. Time to switch to the b-side of The Raid soundtrack. 

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These are the kind of super badass, nerd-your-heart-out, kid-in-a-candy-shop experiences you can fill your every day life with thanks to Mondo, the newest addition to the Light In The Attic distribution family.

An extremely established vinyl movie soundtrack, screen printed poster, VHS re-issue, toy and apparel label from Austin, Mondo has recently joined forces with beloved UK horror soundtrack label Death Waltz Recording Co. The two labels remain autonomous, but Death Waltz now operates under the Mondo banner. Together they are killing the soundtrack game. Their first two drool-worthy joint releases were the original Indonesian score to action film The Raid and a 7” of Frankie Vinci’s songs from the slasher film Sleepaway Camp.

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‘Angela’s Theme’ and other songs by Frankie Vinci from Sleepaway Camp

On their site, Mondo says, “It’s our passion to introduce fellow enthusiasts to an eclectic mix of products and experiences from the coolest properties, brands and creators. We bring like-minded people together to celebrate, discuss and discover art and music curated just for them. Mondo fans aren’t interested in the obvious, they want to be impressed – it’s our job to make that happen.”

Never a dull moment with MONDO in the house.

Stay tuned!

Michael Chapman – “Window” | Pre-order!

January 14th, 2015

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Every artist has a piece of work that niggles them–something that they wish they could redo, given the chance. It’s why Paul McCartney once reproduced Let It Be and why Kate Bush re-recorded Wuthering Heights for her best-of album. For the prolificMichael Chapman, that album is Window, the missing link in our series of Chapman’s early albums. Window sits just after the previously released Fully Qualified Survivor and Rainmaker, right before Wrecked Again.

When Chapman recorded the album in 1970, while signed to the hip Harvest label (home to Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett, among others), the singer-songwriter and prodigious guitarist was in transition from his folkier origins to his heavier future and heading for a whole mess of trouble. Immediately after recording finished, Michael took the band back out on the road with the understanding that as soon as he got back, he’d put the final acoustic guitar tracks down to replace what he’s always said were only guide tracks. Unfortunately, Harvest’s parent label decided the album was finished and pressed it up anyway. And Chapman, as a result, hates it.

Indeed, 34 years later he even set out to right the wrong, re-recording parts of the LP and noting it was a strange experience listening to “dead people on the between-track studio chatter” (Dudgeon, engineer Robin Cable, and drummer Richie Dharma have all since passed).

As part of our revival of Chapman’s early career, however, the album is presented as was originally released, with Michael’s blessing and albeit with two CD-only bonus tracks. Andru [Chapman] notes, “Warts and all, it is an important part of the Michael Chapman: The Early Years story.” Michael has been less diplomatic in talking about the album. “It is a piece of my history for those interested in that, even though I think it sounds like a piece of crap,” he says.

We’re loathe to disagree with him, but, well, why don’t you take a listen and decide for yourselves?

Pre-order now!

The Supreme Jubilees – It’ll All Be Over | Pre-order!

January 7th, 2015

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If God had a disco, the DJ would be playing California gospel-soul group The Supreme Jubilees. A band of brothers and cousins, the group was founded from two families: brothers Joe and Dave Kingsby plus Dave’s son David Kingsby Jr., and keyboardist Leonard Sanders plus his brothers Phillips (drummer), Tim (bassist), and Melvin (tenor). The Sanders clan grew up singing together in the Witness of Jesus Christ church in Fresno, CA where dad Marion was pastor. Guitarist Larry Price-who belonged to neither family-completed the line-up that recorded the group’s first-and prophetically only-album, It’ll All Be Over.

Released in 1980 on the group’s own S&K (Sanders & Kingsby) label, It’ll All Be Over pinpoints a fatalistic mood exemplified by the title, its lyrics drawn from the Old Testament, its sound from the church by way of the disco, and its feel captured by the album cover-a low, orange sun setting over the Pacific Ocean.

Making the album was not easy. Sessions began in Trac Record Co., a country and western studio in Fresno, CA where the engineer was so put out by the group’s requests for heavier bass in the mix, he stopped the session and kicked them out. They left with four songs-one side of the album-and the record was completed at Sierra Recording Studio in Visalia, CA. Leonard Sanders reported having a spiritual encounter in his sleep while in Visalia; the next day he recorded his part of the album’s title track in a single take.

After the LP was pressed, the group took their music on tour but soon became disillusioned by the hardship of the road. Eventually, a copy of the album that sold to a fan on that tour made its way to a San Antonio record store where it was discovered nearly three decades later by collector David Haffner (Friends of Sound). He managed to track down the Kingsby-Sanders clan at a Fourth Of July barbeque in Fresno in 2004, and he eventually introduced the group to us here at Light In The Attic. This is the first time the album has been restored, remastered, and made available to the public.

Pre-order now!

 

Free Basin’ Friday | Lewis – L’Amour Test Pressing!

December 19th, 2014

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Happy Friday! Christmas and the new year is right around the corner, so this will be our last Free Basin’ Friday of 2014!  Since we’re taking a hiatus until the year, we’re offering up a very special prize this week, a rare edition Lewis – L’Amour test pressing!

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All you have to do to win is tell us your New Years resolution. The best/funniest resolution wins! Leave your comment below, and be sure to include your name and email address (kept private). A winner will be chosen next Friday and notified via email.

Distro Town, USA

December 18th, 2014

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Happy holidays, you shopaholic freakz! That’s right – here at Club LITA, we remember the REAL reason for the season. We’re not necessarily saying you WON’T catch us in the street blowing a briefcase of Benjamins – but we’ll be getting twiiiissted on the way! So grab a flask, grab a triple peppermint mocha, grab your unspeakables, and get out there! Do your part to keep this surreal party barge we call the American economy jamming! In fact, why not start right now with these little stagflation squashers?!

 

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J. Rider – No Longer Anonymous (Machu Picchu)

Home for the holidays? Grip this pair before you sneak down to your parent’s basement, light the yuletide spliff, and hide from the world. J. Rider is the follow-up to the phenomenal Anonymous record (reissued last year), and the same band in all but name. All the ingredients that made that record such a heavy burn remain in place here – perfect harmonies, sophisticated arrangements, and a dare-we-say, more musky delivery. McKay’s “Into You” emerged from the same ’76/’77 Indiana corridor that birthed the Anonymous lineage of bands, and reps the looser, earthier side of the ’70′s West Coast sound as interpreted by landlocked heshers. One to keep around for the come down.

 

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McKay – Into You (Lion Productions)

Ray “McKay” Pierle and his musically-adept brothers and friends partied, jammed and partied some more on Indy’s south side throughout the 70’s. This 300-press 1978 album was given to friends and family and consigned in nearby record shoppes at the time. And only a mere 15 years had to pass before the collecting world discovered the highly-personal songwriting, tight playing, and not-so-well-hidden West-Coast stylistic touches. Here’s a new all analogue, master tape edition for a new generation to savor.

 

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R. Stevie Moore – Ariel Pink’s Picks Vol. 1 (Personal Injury)

Talk about flax almond butter and jelly! Who better to curate a guided tour through the delerium-inducing land of R. Stevie Moore than the current king of irreverent, screwball pop, Ariel Pink. Cracking into Moore’s intimidatingly vast and convoluted catalog can be a foreboding errand, making this collection a welcome contribution for anyone wanting to begin unravelling R. Stevie. Even non-newbs may need to cop this, since most of these tracks have never been collected OR on vinyl before. Flex your head!

 

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Hartley C. White – This Is Not What You Expect (OSR Tapes)

Don’t do it! Don’t even try! Because whatever it is you THINK you expect, this is definitely NOT IT. Even after hearing this, it’s hard to say what we heard. Alternately compared to Ariel Pink, Sly Stone, and 10CC, these cues only hint at the true oddball singularity of Hartley C. White. At as much of a loss as anyone, Hartley coined his style “Whopazootic”, or “a non-classical music utilizing a broken rhythm”. What if Captain Beefheart was black and started his career in the ’80′s? Discuss. Or buy this record!

Twelve Days of LITA

December 14th, 2014

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Listen, y’all… We were diggin’ around up in the attic looking for our Christmas ornaments, but we couldn’t even find them beneath all the amazing vinyl we have hoarded up there! Help us clean it out so we can have our ornaments up by Christmas Day!

This year, give your loved ones what they really want, Rodriguez’s Cold Fact.

Remember all LPs are 20% off AND we now have them nifty gift cards!

Happy Ho-LITA-days!

Free Basin’ Friday | Sin 34 LP, Shirt & Hat!

December 12th, 2014

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The holidays are a time for giving. Some people donate money to charities, give toys to needy children, or volunteer their time at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Here at Light In The Attic, we’re taking that extra step by giving away what’s really important to us all: vinyl and cool merch! So, for this special holiday edition of Free Basin’ Friday, we’re offering up a free colored LP of Sin 34 – Do You Feel Safe? from Sinister Torch Records, as well as a Sin 34 T-shirt (sizes S – XL) and Sinister Torch trucker hat!!

SIN 34 TRANS ORANGE

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All you have to do to win is tell us your funniest/most memorable holiday story. Leave your comment below, and be sure to include your name and email address (kept private). A winner will be chosen next Friday and notified via email.