Trip #1: Caution to the Breeze
Record Store Day must haves, upcoming vinyl releases, best new music, 2022 Hall of Fame playlist, the Battle of Kruger, and a Harlem Shakes exhibit.
Welcome to the The Wax Museum, a free gallery filled wall to wall with vinyl, music, and culture discovery and celebration.
The mission statement of this museum and the Vinyl on Sale deal Twitter is to not just up the quantity, but the quality of your vinyl collection, and the best way to do that is through music discovery.
There’s endless rabbit holes to dive into, and at least two playlists each week. New trips every Wednesday. Let’s go!
The Vinyl Exhibit
Discover what’s happening in the world of vinyl.
Record Store Day is April 22nd, a day where we support this wonderful community and shop at our local record store. It’s also an opportunity to buy exclusive vinyl from the biggest names in music. The full list has dropped and all your favs are here: Taylor Swift, Peppa Pig, Macho Man Randy Savage, Crispin Glover.
With 300+ items up for grabs, I’ll highlight a few I have my eye on and possibly worth elbowing people out of the way for.
London Grammar - If You Wait (10th Anniversary) | Since its release a decade ago, If You Wait established itself as a classic within mainstream music circles and independent scenes alike. Four bonafide classics on this one with “Wasting My Younger Years”, “Hey Now”, “Strong”, and “Nightcall” (Kavinsky cover).
This is the first time on colored vinyl (gold and black splatter); only 1500 will be pressed, so this may be a tough one to snag.
Larry Lovestein and The Velvet Revival - You | One of Mac Miller's alter egos, Larry Lovestein, dropped his one and only jazz-infused EP You a few months after Macadelic in 2012 and now we have it on vinyl for the first time thanks to the Mac Miller estate, who has done a great job celebrating and releasing new physical material. The gold plated 10 inch will have a pressing of 7500, so should be plenty to go around.
Broken Social Scene - You Forgot it in People (20th Anniversary) | Broken Social Scene’s iconic 2003 album You Forgot it in People will be pressed on black/blue marbled double vinyl with a new album cover, show poster, and new liner notes. Strangely this is one of the few that has an unknown quantity. All colored vinyl of this album fetch a pretty penny, so I’m hopeful to get this at listing price.
Various Artists - Jazz Dispensary: Hotel Jolie Dame | Rounding out the list is the latest installment of the sought-after Jazz Dispensary series, Hotel Jolie Dame, limited to 5000 copies pressed on psych-sunset orange marble vinyl. Jazz Dispensary are sound sommeliers who curate high grade selections into groovy mixes. Thankfully someone on Spotify has made a playlist of this psychedelic compilation, featuring funky cuts from Dizzy Gillespie, Dorothy Ashby, The Blackbyrds, and more.
Upcoming Vinyl Releases
This Friday March 10
Andy Shauf - Norm
The Beths - Jump Rope Gazers (Marbled Red Apple Vinyl)
Bush - The Art Of Survival (White Vinyl)
Cake - Prolonging The Magic (1998 Cake album, first time on vinyl)
Cut Copy - January Tape
Fever Ray - Radical Romantics
Laufey - Everything I Know About Love
Lonnie Holley - Oh Me Oh My (Clear Blue Vinyl)
The Mars Volta - Landscape Tantrums
Miley Cyrus - Endless Summer Vacation
Rilo Kiley - Take Offs and Landings (reissue)
Sleaford Mods – UK Grim
Thrice - The Illusion of Safety (20th Anniversary Blue Vinyl)
Eight colored vinyl variants
Various Artists - The Devil Wears Prada Soundtrack (Black & White Marble Vinyl)
Various Artists - Superbad Soundtrack (Red & Black Swirl Vinyl)
The Best New Albums Exhibit
Lil Yachty - Let’s Start Here | For me, the biggest surprise of the year thus far is the direction of Lil Yachty’s music. All the hanging out with Kevin Parker has rubbed off, as Let’s Start Here is heavy with the Tame Impala-style psych-rock. Opening track “the BLACK seminole.” might as well be called Dark Side of the Yachty with its Pink Floyd homage. Now I have a new 2023 resolution and that’s seeing Yachty touring this album live.
Tennis - POLLEN | Quietly prolific husband and wife duo Tennis are back with POLLEN, their sixth album and catchiest to date. Spring is officially here with these 35 tight minutes of all killer no filler.
Parannoul - After the Magic | The last I heard from Parannoul, the anonymous South Korean artist, he creatively mashed up Car Seat Headrest and LCD Soundsystem. In January, he released his major label debut After the Magic, which throws everything at the wall and most of it sticks. The album highlight for me is “Arrival”, an eight minute track that makes you feel like you’re ascending to a higher plane with its explosion of keys, strings, and chords.
Buy Vinyl: Parannoul’s label Top Shelf Records has the insomnia green double vinyl for $30, shipping out in mid July. All other variants are sold out.
The Essential Records Exhibit
Ten inductees from a previous year enter The Wax Museum’s Hall of Fame; this week features instant classics from 2022, next week will be 2021, and so on as we go all the way back to the 1960s! Complete Hall of Fame Playlist: Spotify / Apple
Alvvays - “After the Earthquake” | Blue Rev - I’d argue that Alvvays has yet to put out a bad song. They are 33 for 33; even their B-sides are sublime. Their new album Blue Rev opens at breakneck speed with “Pharmacist” and “Easy On Your Own” and doesn’t slow down until the back half of “After the Earthquake” when you impulsively want to crank it to 10 after Molly Rankin’s vocal bridge; my favorite stretch of music from last year.
Scroll down to The Wax Museum Gift Shop to win an AUTOGRAPHED copy of Blue Rev.
Arctic Monkeys - “Body Paint” | The Car - “Body Paint” is the second single from the band’s seventh LP and this slow burner is my personal favorite.
Nilüfer Yanya - “stabilise” | PAINLESS - Nilüfer don’t miss; “stabilise” runs out the gate with broken chords and speedy percussion, then around 45 seconds in we get the Silent Alarm Bloc Party-era guitars that flood your brain with dopamine.
Horsegirl - “Anti-glory” | Versions of Modern Performance - “Anti-glory” is the opening track off Horsegirl’s debut album and what a statement it is. The Chicago trio deals in ‘80s post-punk and 90’s grunge while still sounding modern. The layered guitar breakdowns sprinkled throughout the album demands repeat spins on the turntable.
Kendrick Lamar - “The Heart Part 5” | Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers - After a five year absence, Kendrick surprise released “The Heart Part 5”, accompanied by a eyeopening deepfake video featuring O.J. Simpson, Kanye West, Jussie Smollett, Will Smith, Kobe Bryant and Nipsey Hussle.
The chorus is from Marvin Gaye’s “I Want You”, a banger in its own right, and it’s apropos since Kung-Fu Kenny could be considered our generation’s Gaye in terms of social conscience concept albums.
Buy Vinyl: “The Heart Part 5” is digital only. The Mr. Morale vinyl came out at a ridiculous $45+ MSRP. Then it showed up for $15 in the last Walmart holiday sale. You can find it for $25ish on Discogs.
Gang of Youths - “in the wake of your leave” | angel in realtime. - David Le'aupepe’s introspective track about coming to grips with the grief of his dad’s passing ends up being a surprisingly sunny stadium rock banger.
Oso Oso - “computer exploder” | sore thumb - Oso Oso is Jade Lilitri and Tavish Maloney, who went into the studio for a month messing around and recording early demos, with the intention to go back into the studio to record it for real. Tragically, Tavish passed away a month later. Jade decided to release those recordings as-is. You’d never guess these were demos; great call putting this out and excited to see what Jade comes up with next.
Father John Misty - “Q4” | Chloë and the Next 20th Century - Josh Tillman’s new album is filled with deaths, six or seven at least, with the saddest being a cat from a previous relationship in “Goodbye Mr. Blue”, and the most sardonic occurring in “Q4”. Both songs are worth a watch from his album release concert backed by live orchestra The Britten Sinfonia. This album is meant to be played on wax, with its jazz age nostalgia, and luckily it’s available on the cheap.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs feat Perfume Genius - “Spitting Off the Edge of the World” | Cool It Down - Karen O shows she still has her fastball.
Black Country, New Road - “Basketball Shoes” | Ants From Down There - Album and playlist closer “Basketball Shoes” is a melody of the whole album, starting slow until it wallops you until exhaustion. Definitely the best song about a wet dream (that I know of). This may be co-founder Isaac Wood’s swan song, who left the band days before release. Watch him pour his heart and soul into this live version performed during the pandemic.
The Video Hall of Fame Exhibit
Video intermission! Each week a new video enters The Wax Museum’s Video Hall of Fame.
The Battle at Kruger is a viral video that was uploaded to YouTube in 2007, and has become one of the most viewed videos of all time.
A lucky safari witnesses a showdown between a herd of buffalo, a pride of lions, and two crocodiles in South Africa's Kruger National Park.
The footage captures the tenacity and strength of each animal as they fight for their share of food. The incredible display of nature, plus a few M. Night Shyamalan worthy twists make this a first ballot Hall of Fame video.
The Harlem Shakes Exhibit
Rotating exhibit highlighting moments of musical greatness.
I first saw the Harlem Shakes open for Vampire Weekend in June 2008 at the now defunct Firestone in Orlando; they were touring Burning Birthdays, their self-released 5 song EP. After that show, I told anyone who’d listen that they’d be the next big thing… I could not have been more wrong.
The Harlem Shakes’ debut album Technicolor Health dropped in March 2009 and they were broken up by September. Listening to this album makes you think “Oh what could have been.”
I guess we should appreciate what we have. Technicolor Health is 37 minutes and 37 seconds of exuberant indie rock gems by the Brooklyn quintet, with grand choruses and catchy hooks hitting your ears a mile a minute. Everyone in this band sings, as evident by the harmony-filled vocals.
Highlights include the infectious “Sunlight”, the folksy “Natural Man”, and the genre-shifting single “Strictly Game”, which also boasts a clever music video.
I also want to shout out the album producer Chris Zane, who was NBA Jam HEATING UP during this time, as he helped create classics like The Walkmen’s You & Me, Passion Pit’s Manners, and Tokyo Police Club’s Elephant Shell, all in the span of a year. Those albums and Technicolor Health remain just as addictive 15 years later.
Technicolor Health is begging for a vinyl repress; the only LP available is a 220 gram picture disc, which should be an oxymoron. Only 87 people have this in their Discogs collection (I’m one of the lucky ones), so they didn’t press many originally. I will Go Fund any attempt to bring this to more turntables.
The Rabbit Hole Exhibit
Get sucked down the pop culture rabbit hole with new recommendations each week.
📺 Videos from all trips can be found here. Shuffle for optimal enjoyment. 🔀
MOVIE: Finally watched Gimme Shelter, the 1970 doc of The Rolling Stones’ tour that ends in tragedy with the fatal stabbing by a Hells Angel. The tour was captured by the renown Maysles brothers of Grey Gardens and Salesman fame. While the music is expectedly great, the movie is filled with bad vibes. Here’s the last seven minutes, where Mick Jagger watches a replay of the death in horror, while Maysels behind him can’t help but smile knowing he’s struck gold. Stream on HBO Max.
PARTY GAME: You’ve Got Crabs, by the creator of Exploding Kittens, was a hit at a recent game night and can be played with even groups of four to ten. Think of it like Go Fish, but with secret signals to your teammate. When you have four of a kind, pass the signal to your teammate. If your partner sees your signal and yells, "you've got crabs”, you gain a point. If an opponent sees your signal and yells, "you've got crabs", you lose a point. For full game rules, I’ll hand the mic over to Survivor host Jeff Probst.
ALCOHOL: Singani is a spirit created in Bolivia from Muscat of Alexandria grapes at an average altitude of 6,000 feet. Luckily we can buy this in the states now thanks to director Steven Soderbergh (Oceans 11, Contagion) who first tried it while filming Che in 2007 and eventually created his Singani 63 brand. Soderbergh then spearheaded a campaign with the US government to get singani recognized as an official spirit, which got approval last month. To celebrate this achievement, pour some singani on the rocks, or do what I do and make a “chuflay”, which mixes equal parts singani with Sprite or ginger ale with a lime.
TV SHOW: Starz canceled their hilarious comedy Party Down in 2010 due to low ratings, losing Jane Lynch to Glee, and Adam Scott to Parks and Recreation. 13 years later, Starz has righted their wrong and we’re back with six new episodes! Get caught up with this special offer of Starz for $3 a month for 3 months.
SHIRTS: Every month or so, t-shirt maker Double Wonderful creates sweet designs available to purchase for one day only. I treated myself to this Steely Dan logo shirt during February’s drop. Follow the private Instagram for drop details.
Exit Through the Gift Shop
Vinyl giveaway from my personal collection to a paid subscriber.
Thank you for visiting The Wax Museum. Before you go, if you thought this trip was worth $1.25 a week, become a donator! As an added bonus, you’ll be put in the running for a new vinyl giveaway each month. A private Discord, DJ room, and WhatNot auctions are also coming soon to paid subscribers.
🤖 For $1.25 a week, you ensure I will not be replaced by a ChatGPT robot and entered into the grail vinyl giveaway. 🤖
The winner will be picked in the first week of April, and will chose one of four vinyl from my collection. These vinyl are all autographed, sealed, and have long sold out.
Alvvays - Blue Rev | This Newbury Comics exclusive was limited to /300 and signed by the whole band.
Alex G - God Save The Animals | The album that landed on plenty of Best Of 2022 lists, signed by Alex G.
Soccer Mommy - Sometimes, Forever | Limited edition pink splatter vinyl with a signed postcard by Sophie Allison.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for visiting on opening day! Fill out a comment card on the way out and we’ll see ya next Wax Wednesday!
*Wax Museum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon.com. As an Amazon Associate, Wax Museum may earn money from qualifying purchases made by users that were directed to Amazon.com via one of our affiliate links at no cost to you. These affiliate links are only visible on web properties. Amazon Associates forbids sending affiliate links over email. As such, when Wax Museum publishes a new post on Substack, the post's webpage may have affiliate links to Amazon, but Substack converts these links to non-affiliate Amazon links when sending posts over email.