One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is making a list of record stores, and make an effort to visit them… all of them, if possible. I’ve been able to travel to a few cities more than once. New York City is on top of that list with at least six or seven visits, Las Vegas with two visits, and last but not least Washington DC with two visits. This record was found in Washington DC.
By the end of 2012, one of my all time favorite bands The Breeders announced that they were reuniting with the Last Splash line up and touring for the 20th anniversary of that album, performing that album beginning to end. Without hesitation, I declared that I was going no matter where they were playing. Dates weren’t released yet for The Breeders, and other bands started releasing tour dates. Early on, my brother and I declared to head to NYC to catch Quicksand in January, I started to set money aside for releases and trips, and I also started to save and ask for time off for my birthday. Conveniently enough, my birthday plans fell through but around that time The Breeders announced a show at the 9:30 club on May 4th. Of course I had already asked for that time off, asked around on who wold like to join me and my friend Tony said he’d go. Tony was just finishing his semester and needed a break.
So we’re now in Washington DC. Staying in a Motel 6 in the middle of the meatpacking district, where no taxis would dare to cross to pick us up, with a vegetarian and the smell of fresh meat is floating in the air. We weren’t scared but people were scared for us. The Breeders show was fantastic; Last Splash live (my dream come true), front of stage dead center, getting my record signed by Kim Deal on stage, meeting the band afterwards. Anyway, our weekend was great – walking through town, museums, monuments, Cinco de Mayo celebrations, the food. We decided to visit the record stores on Monday, which most of them were closed and then we stumbled onto Som Records.
Som Records is quite unique in that it is small, well organized, but loaded with all sorts of styles. One of my favorite things to do is just simply browse and pick up something that gets a reaction from whomever is working there. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with 10″ records. Trying to grow my collection, gravitating to that section first, I came across this record that had no writing in the front. Just a glittery silver Dia de los Muertos type of skull. Tracklisting and credits in the back, same glittery silver paint. “Do you know anything about this?”, I asked. The guy at the counter looked up and said, “Nope. But you can sample it over there.” He points at a DJ set up, and my attention quickly turned to hear what it is that I’m holding. And from the first notes, I was hooked.
The band, Ttotals, is from Nashville, TN. They released this EP, Silver on Black, on their own in August of 2012. They describe themselves as “Outer Blues”, which is quite accurate. Outer as in completely ambient, psychedelic, and quite hypnotic approach with the blues concept of dark and emotional vibes. Ttotals is a duo, Brian Miles (vocals and guitars) and Marty Linville (drums and samples), that creates a wall of sound that would convince you that you’re hearing a group of people all at the same time.
Silver on Black is a three song EP, giving you enough without overwhelming your senses. Personally, I think that EPs and 45s are the way to go. Especially when albums are constantly over looked due to only having a few good songs with a lot of filler. My favorite song, Special A, is a perfect choice for the EPs opening. Dark, moody, and spacious… this song could be used in horror movies, western movies, long road trips through any visually dull areas. The music helps create the overall vibe, instead of shaping the attitude. It’s a ride, with quiet moments and loud moments perfectly combined.
If you’re a fan of ambient nearly instrumental songs, with a sense of garage rock danger, I suggest picking this record up. I don’t think it’s easy to find everywhere, only 300 copies were printed. But it never hurts to hunt it down or do the easy thing of purchasing it online. Ttotals have a new 45 released on Twin Lakes Records called Spectrums of Light which is another great set of songs that compliment Silver on Black.
PAIR THIS ALBUM WITH
Woodford Reserve Double Oaked [Kentucky]
This EPs vibe is tough yet bold. Woodford’s Double Oaked Bourbon is just that. It has a nice, robust tone with a smooth body. Possibly one of the best bourbons that can be enjoyed neat from beginning to end and can be enjoyed by anyone who is a fan of bourbon. Although Woodford Reserve Straight is also a nice and affordable bottle, the Double Oaked is a wonderful step up from the normal style.
Being Double Oaked, it packs more of the smooth caramel tone – disguising the alcohol burn that most bourbons have. A great present for any bourbon drinker, and most importantly, a great introduction to higher rated styles of bourbons. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the sounds with a nice, neat glass!
Vinyl & Vino rating: 4 out of 5
TOP 3 FAVORITE TRACKS
Over the Years