It. Has. Arrived. Still avail, FYI, and sounding amazing! One of the best hip hop albums I’ve ever spun. It’s machine versus man, man versus woman, woman versus your mother.
It’s hard not to get into the delightful goofiness of Dr. Demento’s 1975 comp, Dr. Demento’s Delights. Though missing the insta-classic Fish Heads (by Barnes & Barnes, 1980), this 12-track soundtrack to extreme lunacy features a few essentials in They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! (Napoleon XIV), Friendly Neighborhood Narco Agent (Jef Jaisun), and Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Allan Sherman). It’s pretty solid smirk-music, and perfect for a day like this.
Oh, man. The BoDeans. I distinctly remember hearing them blasting from top 40 radio in the mid 80s, likely from the portable Walkman I’d borrow from my father on bicycle trips across town. Love & Hope & Sex & Dreams (featured here) is the band’s debut album, and although not their most successful, is considered by many critics to be their greatest achievement. I fall somewhere in the middle, taking a fancy to 1987’s Outside Looking In, but they’re both solid pieces of 80s pop.
I am just a poor boy, through my story’s seldom… wait… wrong Boxer. I’m excited for this month’s Vinyl Me, Please release (vol. 56) in The National’s 2007 effort, Boxer. I’m not familiar with The National, but if VMP is distributing this album’s 10th anniversary release, it MUST be worth spinning. I will say, as an aside, that the Betty Davis debut rerelease (last month’s selection) was by far one of the best VMP releases yet. Keep it up, Vinyl Me, Please!
So, about 13 (or so) years ago, I made a full time job out of thrift store record hunting. Among my varied excavations were a nifty handful of Smurf records. I don’t recall ever listening to them, nor can I tell you how (loosely) they’re affixed to the classic 80s cartoon, but one thing I CAN tell you, is that I own five (5) Smurfs records. Again, not sure what the hell I’m going to do with them, but there was a time in my life (not too terribly long ago, I’m afraid) when I felt the need to own them.
Moonlight Becomes You by Paul Weston and His Music From Hollywood isn’t just a kitchy cover featuring some no-name model and a hammock. By no means. Moonlight Becomes You is mid-century baby-making music with a kitchy cover featuring some no-name model and a hammock. I Remember You from Somewhere, Almost Like Being in Love, and I Should Care carry this wistful collection of moods through “360” hemispheric sound. It’s a perfect circle of moods for any and every occasion. Check it out.
Minimalist industrial (the best kind), in all its Wax Trax! Records glory (though, it did not need said label’s social nuances to successfully flourish). 1988’s three-track EP, Idiot is an adventurous (and repetitive) introduction into Paul Barker’s debut (Ministry / Blackouts) side project, Lead into Gold. Only releasing one LP (1990’s Age of Reason), Lead into Gold was a short-lived, heavily weighted shadow, worthy of your next vacation from the scowling reality that is 2017 “America.” I’d suggest you listen with caution, but such a warning would fall upon deaf and ignorant ears.
I severely need to up my Buddy Holly game. Tucked inside on of my Stones records was a Coral Records insert featuring, among others, the late, great, Buddy Holly. After a quick scan on Discogs for these Coral releases, I’m quickly finding out that Buddy can be had for relatively cheap. A bit of a surprise to me, but to be honest, I’ve never really looked. Anyway, new obsession starts in three… two… one…
The Rolling Stones’ 1966 album, Aftermath (the band’s fourth studio effort in the UK, and their sixth in the US… figure that one out) is the first Stones album to 1) be recorded entirely in the United States, 2) consists of all Jagger-Richards compositions, and 3) was the band’s first “true stereo” release (thank you Wikipedia.org). Though the covers differ depending on your side of the pond, the flip side features (generally) the same layout. None of this matters, of course, because Aftermath features the following, early Stones classics: Under My Thumb, I am Waiting, Lady Jane, and a personal favorite, Paint it Black. (The UK version also includes Mothers Little Helper… the bastards...). If you don’t already own this essential piece of rock history, put it at the top of your list.
A shameful reveal here… I didn’t realize that when I purchased Dan the Automator’s 2002 comp, Wanna Buy A Monkey? that it was, in fact, actually, “selections” from the full CD version of this catch-all release. I mean, honestly, we’re only talking about like, four tracks, but still… I should be happy for the vinyl opportunity, but still feel a bit short-changed. Anyway, ignore me. You have your own problems to worry about.
Though I’ll admit that Tom Jones isn’t necessarily a consistent go-to, Green, Green Grass of Home was certainly a no-brainer for a cool $1. Released in 1967, G,GGoH features some relatively obscure Tom Jones in Georgia on My Mind and That Old Black Magic. I wouldn’t suggest you run out and find this album, but if you stumble across it, give it solid consideration.
Santa Ana kicked some solid ass and brought out some heavy, legendary hitters. Featured here is (insane / genius / crazy person) Jello Biafra with his Guantanamo School of Medicine. For only $20, we witnessed not only the best live band of our generation (Rocket from the Crypt), but also a few Dead Kennedys classics. I wasn’t expecting, or remotely prepared for the latter. Good day, indeed.
One doesn’t need to dig very deep to find the fabulous in Dick Hyman’s 1963 classic, Fabulous (RS33-862 Command Records). Billed as Dick Hyman at the Lowrey Organ and His Orchestra, this 12-track organ-tastic ensemble covers Danke Schoen to The Best is Yet to Come, and a wide sprinkle of early 60s pop radio in between. Originated and Produced by Enoch Light (owner of said Command Records), Fabulous is yet another phenomenal Dick Hyman release sandwiched between 1960’s Provocative Piano, and 1963’s Electrodynamics, both also on Command Records. If you’ve ever thought to yourself, or out loud, that the organ couldn’t be sexy, get yourself some Fabulous, and you’ll be changing your tune.
Unexpected gifts in the form of records that accompany online purchases are, for some reason, happening more and more frequently. As I scour Discogs for random-ass one-offs and obscure Wax Trax! releases, more frequently now are sellers throwing in additional, random records with my purchases. This has happened a handful of times now, and I’m pleasantly surprised by the results. The Sound and their 1984 EP Shock of Daylight is the newest freebie to cross our threshold. Thank you, random Discogs seller. We’ll now enjoy six tracks of pure, new wave bliss. Free music just, somehow, tastes better, don’tcha think?
Leave it to Mondo to release not one, but two colored vinyl versions of the NES classic, Contra. Side one features the NES version, while side two promotes the arcade version. Both sides at glorious 45rpm (for that maximum quality sound), this split red / blue colored vinyl version is the more easily accessible of the two releases (the other being a 2017 Comic Con exclusive). Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start. Never forget.