As we told you the other day, the Cream will be hosting a Winter of Dreamz show this Friday at Mercy Lounge. In addition to performances by JEFF, Ghostfinger and Chris Crofton we will have some pretty sweet giveaways. Among which are two $50 gift certificates to the Groove in East Nashville. Good news for you, bad news for me, being that my contributor status disqualifies me from winning either of them. So I've decided to make up a shopping list for whichever of you happens to win these. I do this in hopes that you'll burn some of this shit for me. So, in no particular order, I present to you a list of pretty sweet reissues and collector sets from 2008 that I want you to have and in turn me to have as well:
Pavement, Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Ed.
Pavement's fourth record and foray into classic rock has always been one of my favorites, and given their history of kick-ass deluxe editions I have no doubt that this one, featuring 32 bonus tracks, will be any exception.
The Nerves, One Way Ticket
This mid- '70s L.A. power pop trio's existence was far too brief, yielding only one EP, One Way Ticket on which they laid their claim to fame with "Hanging on the Telephone," later immortalized when it was covered by Blondie on Parallel Lines. I've always loved this little EP and can't wait to hear the 11 cuts and demos that accompany its re-release.
Mission of Burma, Matador Reissues
If Boston's Mission of Burma were a dick I'd suck it. This band was so ahead of their time. An early-'80s precursor to indie-rock of Da Vinci proportions in their foresight. This year Matador reissued their first three records Signals, Calls & Marches, Vs. and The Horrible Truth About Burma. Included with these releases are a live album culled from their final Beantown performance and a host of bonus tracks. In sum, pretty much everything you'd want from Burma's first tenure.
Cheap Trick, Budokan!: 30th Anniversary Edition
Do you ever listen to Kiss Alive! and wish that it were actually good? That's where Cheap Trick's Budokan comes in. As authoritative as any other live album in history, it is the definitive statement of '70s power pop. Robin Zander has one of the most soulful voices ever bequeathed to a white man and the Budokan concert was captured at a time when the band's output was still nothing but solid gold. Seriously, you'd have to either be deaf or stupid to not dig on this. Even if you don't like it, get it for your dad and pretend you already have one so he doesn't feel like an abject failure for a raising a kid who isn't a Cheap Trick fan. The reissue includes the Budokan concert in its entirety along with other live cuts--maxing out at 50 tracks, an interview and a live DVD.
Buzzcocks, first three records reissues
You might think to yourself "Hey, I already have Singles Going Steady, isn't that all the Buzzcocks I need?" No. EMI UK just released double-disc deluxe editions of Another Music in a Different Kitchen, Love Bites and A Different Kind of Tension. Each one of these will be filled to the brim with enough demos, live tracks, and Peel sessions to satisfy any fan of poppy punky limeyness.
U2, Under a Blood Red Sky 180-gram vinyl & Live at Red Rocks DVD
OK, so I'm an avowedly un-apologetic U2 fan who, being a veteran of 16 shows, did indeed buy their last album, will indeed buy their next album No Line on the Horizon when it drops in 2009 (in hopes that the return of Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois will save them as much embarrassment as possible) and will probably buy this release as well. That might make me a little biased here but please, save me the rigamarole on how lame you think Bono's grandstanding is, how the Edge is going bald and how to dismantle an atomic bomb--and just remember that if this band had broken up after the conclusion of the War tour in 1983 that hipster fucks the world over would talk about them like they do Joy Division and Echo and the Bunnymen. U2's Red Rocks show trumps any one of over-stylized '80s retro post-punk Williamsburg poseurs that you might be thinking about putting on the iPod shuffle that the Cream is also giving away on Friday.
Otis Redding, Otis Blue (Collector's Edition)
This one pretty much speaks for itself. There are times that I listen to this and feel utterly shafted by God for not making me a me a badass soul singer. I think about that and how much much it sucks that Otis Redding died at the age of 26 before getting to record his version of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman." My tears of lament will only become that much more real when I get my hands on this Rhino reissue that features a re-mastered copy of the album along with mono mixes, cuts off the Live at the Whisky a Go-Go LP, and other bonus tracks. I'm on depending on you for this one.
Love, Love Story DVD
I love Love. This documentary is gonna tell me the whole story with interviews and I'm sure whatever footage has been languishing in the vaults for the last 30 years. Let's get stoned and throw this bitch on.
The Merge Records 20th Anniversary Box
This one sounds like a quite a behemoth. It will include 14 compilations culled from the Merge back catalogue with each volume being curated by cred majority share holders like David Byrne, Peter Buck, and Amy Poehler. A pretty interesting approach to the box-set thing if you ask me.
The Kinks, Picture Book box-set
It's pretty inexplicable that a band as well-endowed with great material as the Kinks have managed to go this long without releasing a proper box-set. Picture Book is a 6-disc, 130-track tour de force that--depite not having "Mindless Child of Motherhood" on it--looks to be a pretty definitive retrospective.
Factory Records, A Factory Box Set
For some people Christmas is time of warmth, love and yuletide cheer. For others it's a time of cold bleak braying loneliness, disconnect and misery. This box is for them. Over the course of 4 discs it'll tell the Factory story and whisk you back in time to late -'70s Manchester. Fun stuff!
So you if remember to bring this shopping list with you to the Groove after you win a gift certificate courtesy of the Cream, don't forget about me. I'll even supply the blanks on which to make the copies. Also, if they don't have some of this stuff in stock I'm sure they can order it. Don't worry, patience is one of my virtues.
(Note: If you're looking to just get these albums and don't feel the need of going the geek route with all the bells and whistles, January is the perfect time to snatch up cheap used copies of the original CDs, as people tend to trade them in when they buy the deluxe editions. Also, I'm sure I left out tons of great stuff, so let me know what I may have over-looked in the collections world this year.)