Paul Weller Blasts Record Store Day Racketeers

Paul Weller

Paul Weller

 

The Modfather says it’s his last RSD, shames touts. Plus, the video for Brand New Toy.

TAKEN FROM IMPENDING NEW solo hits collection More Modern Classics and released as a 500-copy 7″ for last Saturday’s Record Store Day, Brand New Toy sees Paul Weller entering the music hall-adjacent neighbourhood of Cockney Rebel and Supertramp before veering into more bluffly soulful areas. The video’s striking as well, taking place within a perspective-deluding giant kaleidoscope.

But there’s resentment simmering around the RSD release, with fans unable to buy one from their local vinyl outlet finding numerous copies at inflated prices on auction sites. Writing on his website, Weller has commiserated with those disappointed and expressed his distaste for the speculators, explaining, “Apart from making the record, the rest has very little to do with me but I am disheartened by the whole thing and unfortunately I won’t be taking part in Record Store Day again… the greedy touts making a fast buck off genuine fans is disgusting and goes against the whole philosophy of RSD.” His wife Hannah Weller has joined the fray, and has been pursuing those seeking to flog the limited edition vinyls on auction sites on her Twitter feed.

The Record Store Day organisers have responded, sympathising with Weller’s stance and adding, “We clearly cannot control the activities of members of the public, but the Record Store Day Code Of Conduct makes it clear that any store found to be complicit in unauthorised sales on eBay faces being banned from future events.”

Until then, how about a repress of the RSD single to satisfy demand?

 

The Space Project: Listen to Individual Tracks from the Album

The Space Project comes out on Record Store Day, which takes place April 19.

The Space Project comes out on Record Store Day, which takes place April 19.

 

As of last September — some 36 years after their launch on Sept. 5, 1977 — NASA’s Voyager 1 & 2 space probes were some 12 billion miles from home, easily the farthest man-made objects from Earth. Voyager’s primary mission ended back in 1980, when both satellites provided the closest, most detailed pictures taken of the gaseous planets of Jupiter and Saturn and their moons before continuing outward into space.

But in addition to their planet-photographing abilities, both Voyagers also contain instruments able to record the electromagnetic radiation fluctuations of those heavenly bodies — which means they can pick up what truly is the harmony of the spheres. And since each body — be it an asteroid, Saturn or any of Jupiter’s numerous moons — has a unique mass and elemental make-up, each emits a different “sound.” Spread across seven seven-inch singles to be released on Record Store Day (along with a CD, digital and regular vinyl release), Lefse Records’ The Space Project compilation features 14 modern bands and electronic-music producers who imbibe and ground such cosmic noise into an earthly delight.

For some acts, adding actual “space” to their space-rock is a given. Chilean duo The Holydrug Couple deploys leisurely drums and heavily reverbed guitars and organ in “Amphitrites Lost,” then has the song dilate midway through to allow in the noise of Neptune herself. Former Lungfish member Asa Osbourne’s spare project Zomes embraces the transmissions of Saturn for the haunting and hushed ambient drift of “Moonlet.”

The lineage of artists and composers imagining the sounds of our solar system — think the exotic bachelor-pad swing of Esquivel, the outré transmissions of Sun Ra or the “New World” weirdness of — is vast, and not every conjuring of the cosmos is so reverent. DFA’s Larry Gus pays tribute to the moon Io and fills in all that space with Henry Mancini hi-hats, caffeinated piano lines, krautrock bass and garbled transmissions. And Blues Control weaves and floats in “Blues Danube” like a UFO operator about to get a DUI.

Curiously, The Space Project’s finest moments are its most terrestrial. Beach House suggests not so much the weightlessness of space as the sensation of floating in a warm pond in “Saturn Song.” And space-rock master Jason Pierce and Spiritualized’s “Always Together With You (The Bridge Song)” meanders about before swan-diving into the interplanetary noise of its source. Ever so subtly, it announces: “Ladies and gentlemen, we are floating on earth.”