"Our deal [with U.K.-based Inka Records] started out as a CD," says Greaser, guitarist for garage/surf-rock trio Thee Corsairs. "We said we wanted vinyl. They came back and suggested a picture disc. They only made 500 copies [of Tales of Rum and Whiskey]....
"The A-side is a custom art piece with a pirate skeleton with rotting flesh and ripped clothes. He's holding a gun and a huge bloody sword. The B-side has our skull-and-crossbones logo....
"A lot of people used to shy away from picture discs because they had really bad audio quality. Picture discs nowadays sound really, really good.... Once you put out a CD, everyone can [copy] that same CD. It takes more effort to [digitally] copy vinyl."
Thee Corsairs provided a finished master recording that included 11 tracks recorded at Earthling Studios and 4 tracks recorded live at the Casbah. Inka covered the cost of pressing the vinyl (which was done at Pirates Press, a company based in San Francisco), kept 250 copies, and gave the band 250.
"Inka is selling them for, like, $30 including shipping. We are selling ours for $10."
Eight local fans can win a copy by finding a message in a bottle. The band posts clues on its website (theecorsairs.com). The first winner figured out that the bottle could be found at the Live Wire on El Cajon Boulevard.
Greaser says his band settled on the Thee Corsairs name in 2001, "...long before there was a pirate bandwagon. I just always thought pirates were pretty rad. Corsairs sounded pretty menacing. We threw in 'Thee' to make it a little more noble."
Tales of Rum and Whiskey is also available through the band's website, Lou's Records in Encinitas, and Thirsty Moon in Hillcrest.