I’ve got a bit of a query, chaps. Do I repurchase the UK reissue of Kinks on beautiful, ruby red vinyl, or upgrade my turntable? She skips like a ruthless gang of 2nd graders in afternoon recess. I recently replaced the needle, so that ain’t it. No earthquakes as of late, though we’re still eagerly anticipating “the big one.” Hmmm. Time to save up for some 1200s? Then there’s the issue of space! WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO PUT THEM? I’ve already got a mountain of records squatting on the floor. (The International Voice of Reason voice: “SIGH!” Sounds more like “UHHHHHHH!”) Well anyway, if you own this release and it skips, hit me up, otherwise, it’s time for some new hardware.
Stick the Hype
So, as I’m sure a lot of you know, the TRON: Legacy soundtrack got a Target exclusive release late last year. This is the hype sticker for it. Sexxy. This double LP, one on clear vinyl and the other transparent blue, is a great addition to any collection, and can be had over at Discogs for around $20 (not including shipping). Sure, you have the black vinyl version, but k’mon! You can’t have too many Daft Punk color variants, am I right?
The Time Will Sweep Us Sinners By, By, By
There’s just something, a sense of freedom perhaps that comes with the final spin from the last side of a record from the “have to listen to” pile. I’ve been longing for Revco, Motor, The Clash, you name it for close to a year. Sure, these “rules” are self-imposed, and upheld with militant strictness, but the power that comes with the flexibility to spin whatever you want vs. what you NEED to listen to is something that has been lost as of late. (I blame no one but myself, and maybe Hardwick.) Sandinista! by The Clash is a jem of a sleeper, and I’d (almost) forgotten how funk overpowered punk on this epic, three LP release. Usually when I spin this album, which is typically a three week excursion, and this usually happens right before bedtime, I’ll lock onto side two of record one, perhaps two, maybe three times. Gimme ‘dem Clash! You d’wan get ‘it!
Happy Lagwagon Day, 2022!
Crack open a cold one and treat your ears to the majestic tones of Goleta’s grandfathers of punk. Today is, in fact, Lagwagon Day, so be it Trashed, Let’s Talk About Feelings, one of their newer releases, or even their more metal self-titled debut, spin some Lag, man! Oh, and don’t spill that beer on the cover.
(In my humble opinion, it doesn’t get any better than Trashed. So many bangers in there!)
Red With Rage
It’s never a bad day for a little industrial prayer and this 2003 rocker from Ministry. Animositisomina was the last Ministry collab (to date) between the reverends of noise, Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker. The opening track, Animosity is by far the best (as is the case with most Ministry albums), but this is a solid release from cover to cover. Want to annoy the hell out of your neighbors? Look no further.
It’s Gonna Blow
Excited to watch this doc by Bill Perrine about the onslaught of imperative hardcore rock to come out of San Diego between 86 and 96. Sticker reads, “THE STORY OF SAN DIEGO’S LEGENDARY 90S MUSIC SCENE FEATURING DRIVE LIKE JEHU, ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT, THE LOCUST, ROB CROW, HEROIN, BOILERMAKER, TRUMANS WATER, THREE MILE PILOT, NO KNIFE, CRASH WORSHIP & MANY MORE” Thanks to whoever sent it to me!
The Young and the Stickless
Questioning the legitimacy of this The Young and the Useless release on powder blue vinyl (think Otho’s suit in Beetlejuice), but a boot is better than $150 out of the wallet, amiright? I’d had my eye on the original for quite a few years, desperately waiting for the price to drop… to no avail, but just couldn’t bring myself to pull the trigger for obvious, financial reasons. As of the time of this typing, this blue vinyl version hasn’t appeared on Discogs, so, I guess, time will tell on this early Ad-Rock jem (deliberate misspelling, as a child of the 80s). RIP Dave Scilken.
Congress of the Mouth
In honour of The Kids in the Hall coming back (tomorrow! Amazon!), let’s quickly focus on a short-lived side-hustle from Kid Scott Thompson and Kid-friendly Paul Bellini with their first 7″ Mouth Congress release, Ahhhh. The Pollution. A RSD offering, this, and their double LP comp is much better ear candy than it should be, especially since this band has been so widely ignored until fairly recently. Saving this, and the comp for tomorrow, as the unofficial Kids Day, but please, do check out this obscurely flamboyant, and aggressive combination of ear noise as soon as you possibly can. Not only can you dream about touching Paul Bellini, but you can now hear him.
Encyclopedias have been written about Licensed to Ill, so I won’t bother you with what you already know, suffice to say that while this Walmart exclusive certainly looks pretty, the sound quality leaves something to be desired, or in this case demanded. If you stuck Q-Tips in either ear and turned the volume up to 11, it may sound passable for a modern day reissue, so be sure to keep your original or numbered 2000 release handy (shit, that was 22 years ago already). The decision to own Ill on smokey-clear vinyl was obviously a no-brainer, and although this release is more a display piece than a quality go-to jammer, I’d still recommend picking one up.
If hard-pressed, I’d still have to say the highlight to this blockbuster debut is Girls, in all its misogynistic glory. It’s crazy to imagine that just three short years after Ill‘s release, the world was introduced to quite possibly the best album ever produced in Paul’s.
Don’t Call it a Comeback
Comas are no fun. I don’t recommend them. So, what’s been going on for the past three plus years? Oh… really? OH, YOU’RE FUGGIN’ KIDDING ME! That sounds… pleasant…
While the recovery process checks all its much-needed boxes, let’s dig into some prudently groovy ear candy, shall we? Have you heard the PLOSIVS record? Swami John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes, The Night Marchers, Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu) and Rob Crow (Pinback) collude on 10 tracks of easy listening anarchy. Something your ol’ lady might actually dig, if she’s the Jose Gonzalez or Jesca Hoop type. Let’s see, what else is there? Lovage reissued their groundbreaking album (we’ll explore that later), and They Might Be Giants have been busy issuing colored vinyl versions of their back catalogue. Hope you’ve saved up your money, kids! The International Voice of Reason is dead, or quit, which is as good as dead (RIP Nightmare Fridays), and as per usual, there’s a hefty stack of “need to listen to” records on the floor. SIGH! Well, (says, in the attempt to convince himself) let’s do it to it!
Long After Dark
Heartbreaking, on many levels, 1982’s record-hugging insert to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers release on Backstreet Records, Long After Dark. I was slow to warm to the Tom Petty sound, being into industrial and hardcore at the time, but a corner was turned (some several years back), and this prominent, historical American sound has slowly, yet consistently become a go-to staple. RIP, Mr. Petty, and thank you for your prestigious endeavors.
SP 1200 Remixes
Newly acquired, and half ingested, presented here is the recently released Moosebumps: An Exploration into Modern Day Horripilation [the SP 1200 Remixes]. As a sucker for any and everything DTA (Dan the Automator), and akin to the crass and ingenious lyrics of the masterful Kool Keith, this rather rare remix album was a (rather embarrassing) cat and mouse game to pursue, and finally seize. Saucers of milk for everyone who’s in prime ownership of this necessity. Really quickly, the resurgence of Dr. Octagon has been something of primal bliss, and I’ll offer as much support as I’m afforded, so long as the medium will allow.
Show your Southern California hardcore punk pride with these classy and ageless band stickers, direct from SST Records (circa: 1986). Need a groovy We Jam Econo sticker from San Pedro-based three piece, Minutemen for your late 90’s Saab? Or how about a serpent-style Saccharine Trust sticky for your kid’s school lunchbox? I’d settle for the streamlined SST bumper myself, but whatever you fancy, SST Records via means of this 30+ year old insert has you covered.
Is That a Panatrope in Your Living Room, or Are You Just Happy to See Me?
Yet another vintage collection of phonographs, this time courtesy of Brunswick (remember, number three of “the big three.”). Panatropes, a term Brunswick coined, were even offered with the newly discovered invention of the time (a fathomable thought), the Radiola. Options were plentiful during the heyday of the 78rpm revolution (and it was certainly nothing short of that), so pick your poison, and your favored label, and throw down some borrowed dough for the finest cabinetry the early 1900s could buy.
Awaiting Your Command…
Victor strikes again with its overly simplified clip art cover for a vintage 78 sleeve. Every instrument of music, and famous Victor artist awaiting your command to play… ok, like, I’m in control, yeah? I “command” my string section to perform strictly for me, whenever, and for however long I’m willing to operate the crank. Actually, yeah… that sounds nice. Kind of consumerist royalty. Shut up, Victor, and take my money!
Double up on doubling down. This reissued copy of Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1958 self-titled debut is, in fact, an oversight, and a double. Such aggravating instances occur when you’re paying rent for 3800+ records. I’m whittling down the names of local collectors who might benefit from a new, unannounced record, but in the meantime, I’m going to chuckle at the creatively placed “don’t steal me” barcode.
Famous selections by some of the world’s greatest artists, or so this Camden, NJ-based monster of a label would have you believe (Victor Talking Machine Company… yeah, they knew their shit). If you’re in the market for a brief history on available Victrola needles circa: the 1930s, the right column in the photo above is your best friend. There are several tone-options to choose from, so choose wisely, and choose often.
Shelving shame, I loved (mainly) one track from Blink 182’s sophomore effort in 1997’s Dude Ranch, and that was track two, Voyeur. Presented here is a 2010 reissue on transparent orange wax. Little known fact, Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino produced this album, so for what it’s worth, Dude is deserving of a spin if only for that nugget of data, dude.
Ok, getting near the end of my newly acquired 78 sleeves (I halfheartedly promise). Conqueror Records, in association with Sears, Roebuck and Co. (The World’s Largest Store… RIP Sears) was a label with strict distribution through Sears, Roebuck and Co., and oddly enough played best at 80rpm. Hmmm, odd… The label operated between 1928 and 1942, and issued released by acts like Harry James, Cab Calloway, Fred Hall (no, not Fred Hill), and even Duke Ellington. I wouldn’t necessarily call a 14 year life anything of conquering definition, but the logo sure is something worth noting.