I think everyone knows of my vinyl addiction and rather than keep it behind a glass enclosed case I am going to try and dig out of my stacks of some of my favorite records to talk about them and what they mean to me.
With Jealous Butcher Records about to reissue the Califone classic record Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People in a few days I thought I’d dig into one of the records I truly enjoy the Califone self titled EP Califone. The original release of the vinyl was in 1998 on Flydaddy Records. The album jacket is screenprinted and embossed and generally kick ass. The release was extremely limited and to find one of these for under $100 is pretty hard. I own one of course and I rarely play it. I dug it out of the stacks of vinyl this morning to give it a spin. The album artwork is minimal. The photo attached is of the CD, the vinyl looks nothing like that. It is the color of a worn manila folder, with CALIFONE on the bottom and the goat you see in the photo is embossed into the sleeve without ink. The embossing was done by Fireproof Press and artwork by Tim Rutili and Screwgail. What I am saying is the packaging is awesome and you truly have to see this to appreciate it.
On this self titled EP Califone’s Tim Rutili and Tim Hurley immerse themselves deeply in song texture. Everything is approached with a great attention to detail. The duo’s working of production and arranging techniques into the songs actually adds dimensions to them. In fact, at times the lyrics are in danger of getting lost, delivered as they are in a near unintelligible style (Think Michael Stipe old REM, slowed down), like a man singing to himself. The EP clocks in at 25 minutes or so but contains great tracks that were picked up on the later released Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People.
- On the Steeple With the Shakes (X-Mas TIgers)
- Silvermine Pictures
- Pastry Sharp
- To Hush a Stick Transmission
- Dime Fangs
- Red Food Old Heart
- Down Eisenhower Sun Up W/Mule
I came to find out about Califone when they opened for Wilco while they were touring the classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. It was October 24th 2002, and Califone completely blew me away with their live set. I have seen them I think 4 times since that concert and each time minus one at the Beachland Tavern were pretty cool. It wasn’t that it was a bad show, it was just that the opening band and their friends talked through the whole damn thing. I left the show a little early pretty frustrated because you couldn’t hear shit. I guess in closing if you ever see this one pick it up. If you can’t afford the price tag check out the reissue of Sometimes Good Weather Follows Bad People. The first 300 copies preordered come on blue vinyl, and all the tracks from the self titled EP can be found on this one.