todd magnuson | spin sessions | feb. 2019
Editor's Note: To kick off our first installment of Spin Sessions we wanted a guest reviewer that knew their vinyl. We had to look no further than Rock N' Roll Land's Todd Magnuson who was kind enough to share three late-2018 albums that still have him deeply impressed. Without further ado, we give you Spin Sessions.
Shiny and Oh So Bright, Vol. I
I can't remember the last time Smashing Pumpkins put a record out but this one reminds me of the 1990s; it's got that old sound that's reminiscent of old Smashing Pumpkins, in my opinion. It's a good rockin' record, every song is fantastic. If you liked Smashing Pumpkins in the '90s you'll be pleasantly surprised, you'll dig this record a lot. They did a couple of weird things (with the vinyl editions) where they had unmarked weird pressings, whether that be weird colored vinyl or autographed inserts. The record comes with a really cool booklet with some artwork. Their really making new records collectible. They did a picture disc version, too, if you're into picture discs.
Alejandro Escovedo with Don Antonio
I've been a huge fan of his forever – great pioneer, roots-Americana. As he gets older I swear it gets better and better and this one stayed on the turntable for a month straight; I just kept flipping and flipping and flipping. Again, super nice packaging with the vinyl – gatefold, double-LP. He's a great singer-songwriter with that Americana style. He had a little punkier phase earlier in his career where he did some things with some punk bands but he's a great songwriter with a great voice. If you're into roots-ier Americana stuff or if you've never heard of him, you should check him out. And if you ever see his older records, grab 'em because he's just one of those iconic songwriters – great Texas guy.
Live from the Ryman
This guy cannot write a bad song, I swear. He is beyond unbelievable. This is a live record but it was recorded at the Ryman, so it's Live from the Ryman. Again, incredible picture on the front with the stained glass from the Ryman Auditorium and colored vinyl – mine is a real pretty green. He is outstanding. Incredible songwriter and if you've never seen him live you have to. A lot of these albums come with a digital download so you can put them in your iPod, phones or however you do that nowadays. Again, outstanding. It's a double-LP. It's recorded well for a live record. Some people aren't huge fans of live recordings but this is done really well. This is one of those albums that you can keep spinning again and again. It never gets old.
When he's not behind the counter slinging records at Rock N' Roll Land you can catch Magnuson spinning records at the Lyric Room during Open Mic and Vinyl Nights every Thursday at the Lyric Room.