Clearly Spun

ClearI don’t have much to offer tonight except for this half-assedly composed (that’s the industry term) action photo of my all-time favorite flavor-shade (read: color) of polyvinyl chloride. One would think that the absence of normality (in this case, white), would tickly my ear’s fancy, but I rather find myself a gullible sucker for the opacity of clear records. My exhaustion has taken its toll, and the Groove is taking the blow.

Teamwork Tuesday

ZepIIStuck at work and running on minimal sleep, I opted for a few extra moments of shut-eye and neglected to photograph an album for today’s post. Teamwork being tonight’s theme, I enlisted the help of my SO to pick any record in the collection, take a picture of it, and send it my way. Having free reign of nearly 3000 records, she (my SO) sent over the picture to the left, and with it, a little story. Much to the dismay of my loving and beautiful SO, I’ll share that story with you now…

(Sent via text) “This was the first Zeppelin album (read: cassette tape) I listened to. I think it was 7th grade. Some of the boys had a “band” and were going to play Stairway to Heaven at a gathering of some sort and they asked me to sing. I realize that’s not on this album, but it’s a little trivia for you :). I ended up not singing :(.”

(Then, asking her why she didn’t sing, I thanked her for writing today’s post. She added) “It’s not even on the record! I don’t remember why. I didn’t have a lot of rehearsal time with them and we didn’t plan it out well… being 12 and all. I think they ended up playing Kashmir instead? Or else they tried Stairway but the guitar solo was less than fabulous? I forget. It’s been, like, 20-some years! Uhggggg I can’t believe it’s been that long.”

And this has concluded, the first ever… Teamwork Tuesday.

From London With Love

London InsertLondon Recordings, with all her lofty divisions, offered a red, white and blue window into the mid-60s English Assault, and was home to some pretty significant acts producing some pretty extraordinary cuts. Their mainstay, and supplier of the label’s flowing honey, were, as you’ve probably guessed, the Rolling Stones, but what I didn’t recognize until earlier today was how many other British Invasion favorites, or in this case Teen Beat favorites, also strolled under the London Recordings umbrella. Unit 4+2, the Moody Blues, the Zombies, and Them all saw early offerings on London, or one of her sisters, and in such a short amount of time, helped propel this label into the upper, heavily coveted realms of rock n’ roll history.

From Youtube to iPod in 10 Easy Steps

Photo 1

Photo 1

Let me hip you all to a nifty little trick. Rocket science and intergalactic space travel this is not, but in a pinch, it could serve beneficial. If you’re like me, you’re a whore for digital media as well as good ol’ fashioned analog. On the bus, in the car, to clear the mind on a long walk; it’s comforting, to the point of necessity, knowing that at least 160 GB of music is available at literally any point of any day. This leads us to that nifty little trick previously mentioned.

Photo 2

Photo 2

Say you’re at work on a Sunday, and while eating lunch at your desk, you start to rummage around Wikipedia for info on Daft Punk singles. Now say, you head on over to Discogs and a particular singe, let’s say Indo Silver Club (Part One) catches your eye (mainly because you’ve never heard of it, and the words “Daft” and “Punk” don’t appear anywhere on the record, credits, sleeve or otherwise). Discogs offers a handy little videos section which plays fan-uploaded YouTube clips. More time than not, you can find a video for every song, including some of the more rare releases. What I’m jivin’ at is this… without any additional software, purchased, borrowed, etc., you can turn these free videos into mp3 files, and bump them to the portable digital listening device of your choosing.

So, I’m going to hammer through this because I’ve got to continue making dinner before the SO gets home, so pay attention!

Step 1: Go to YouTube and find the video of the song you’d like. I’m using Indo Silver Club (Part One) and Indo Silver Club (Part Two) as my examples.

Step 2: Copy the URL.

Step 3: Go to

Step 4: Paste the YouTube URL into the input field and hit the big yellow DOWNLOAD button. (Photo 2

Step 5: Click one of the provided download links on the right. I grab the highest quality mp4, just in case I want to keep the video as well. (Photo 2)

Step 6: Go to

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 8.22.04 PM

Step 7: Click the BROWSE button and locate the file you just saved from (from step 5). I save everything to my desktop so I know where it is, then blow off any unnecessary files when finished.

Step 8: Select mp3 from the Output Format, then click the CONVERT button. You’ll see a little progress bar indicating, well, the progress of the conversion.

Step 9: Once the conversion is completed, click the download button (the blue globe with a green down arrow), and save your new mp3.

Screen shot 2014-04-27 at 8.31.25 PM

Step 10: Open iTunes (or whatever music listening software you prefer) and add your new mp3.

Donesville. Once in iTunes, you can change the metadata and bump the track to your device. You’re welcome.

Death by Trolley

PJ'sBand name: Death by Trolley aka DBT. Does it exist? No, but it should. Do any of you remember the Twilight Zone episode, Judgment Night? For those that don’t, it’s a microscope peak into the looping, déjà vu hell of a German U-boat captain forever reliving the victim’s side of his own, malicious, and blood spilling attacks. For me, a death by trolley, accompanied by Eddie Cano’s version of The Trolley Song, is my own personal night of judgment.

The hit and run victim to this proposed, personal death loop, I picture myself merrily strolling along with a carefree heart, and a suspicious smile. All this is abruptly interrupted at around the 30 second mark when, WHAM! out of nowhere I’m violently struck by the Death Trolley. Able to force out a few, labored breaths, I accept my fate, and proceed to give in to the sweet, calming void of death… only for the entire trip to loop and begin its eternal cycle, that which has no end.

Eddie Cano plays my end song, a duet with the booming, forceful abruptness of the Death Trolley.

The Trolley Song


3x MC + 1x DJ

Front16hr work days call for lazy posts… and right now the lot of you are thinking, “Man, this guy must work 16hr days ALL THE TIME!” To that I say, “Well aren’t you just a little slice of something.” By now the majority of you know my adolescent obsession with the Beastie Boys, and if you don’t know this little tidbit of useless information, I have an adolescent obsession with the Beastie Boys.

BAck1998 was a bittersweet year for the B-Boy fan, a year that brought with it borderline anxiety-ridden anticipation, and (the almost inevitable) heartbreaking disappointment. We received a Grammy for Best Alternative Performance with Hello Nasty, if you’re into such materialistic badges of mundane stature, but with it we had to suffer through, well, Hello Nasty. My echoing opposition of this album has dwindled as I’ve aged, but my early disliking to it certainly didn’t prevented me from owning it (a necessary) three times (1x CD, 1x yellow vinyl, 1x black), in addition to all the singles that accompanied it (Intergalactic, Body Movin’, The Negotiation Limerick File, and Remote Control / Three MC’s and One DJ). Don’t ask “why” of people who obsess. You certainly do not want to see how the sausage is made. Moving along, Three MC’s and One DJ showcased the awe-inspiring talents of the band’s newly acquired DJ, Mix Master Mike. I dug / dig the new DJ (you can’t knock his skills), but I’ve always preferred the traditional cuts of DJ Hurricane, the band’s mainstay DJ since their Licensed to Ill days.

Anyway, this video is 3 parts goofy, 1 part technically fascinating, and all parts good time. When we’re tired, and lazy, the Beastie Boys always seem like the logical excuse. Enjoy!


Capitol’s “Songs Without Words” Contest

Songs Without WordsEither Capitol Records was exceptionally hard up for decent songwriters in 1961, or their “Songs Without Words” contest was one of the most dream-fulfilling opportunities ever to hit the record-hoarding public. American Idol for songwriters, and some 41 years prior, Capitol’s “Songs Without Words” contest was an unprecedented marketing ploy that boasted a $500 advance against royalties for publication rights to the Better Homes & Gardens reading, fuel pump-changing, plastic hat-wearing, Leave it to Beaver-style, June and Ward Cleaver-minded entrepreneur with aspirations for stardom, and a little free time on their hands.

The skinny, in a sleeve-shaped nutshell is this… all the enthusiastic, future Paul Simon had to do was acquire the “Songs Without Words” contest album (Capitol Records T-1601 and ST-1601, mono and stereo respectively), listen to the ten, instrumental tracks of varying genres (6x popular, 2x Country & Western, and 2x Rock ‘n’ Roll), isolate the one, don’t mess this up or your future is doomed track that spoke to the lyric-writing demon inside of them, and print or type their lyrics in the space provided on the entry blank located on the back of this sleeve (sleeve desecration was required, and scissors were necessary for cutting along the printed, dotted lines).

BackEntries were, quite stylishly, judged against three separate categories, each based on a 33 1/3 point system (all totaling 99.9 possible points… I see what you did there, 1961 Capitol Records. Kudos to you!) based on the following:

– Appropriateness and suitability (the manner in which the structure and content of the lyrics fits the melody)

– Composition, distinctive style and poetic flair

– Commercial appeal (suitability for presentation to today’s listening audiences)

Apparently nobody (on the internet) knows who any of the 10 winners with executive-pleasing lyrics were, but little forgotten moments in record publishing history like this are certainly entertaining to discover on an otherwise, calamitous Thursday morning.

Around the World at 33 1/3 Revolutions per Minute

Guad BrassApart from the overpriced exclusives, Record Store Day (aka this past Saturday) affords the lucrative opportunity for local brick and mortars to unload their less popular inventory at ridiculous prices. Take for example, this copy of Around the World by Guadalajara Brass. Already a steal at $0.92, she was welcomed into the (family) collection for a cool $0.31, along with a slew of other lesser known, bottom of the crate gems.

BackSpace age instrumental pop launched from the capital of the Free and Sovereign State of Jalisco, Guadalajara Brass offers that unimposing and subtly cheerful sensation, much like you’d find after the bottom of your second rye Manhattan. Tackling internationally fashionable music from Italy to Israel, and from Africa to Japan, Guadalajara Brass proposes a quiet, soothing soundtrack perfect for your next bachelor pad-themed casual dinner party. I’m a sucker for hip-shaking, foot-tapping, international grooves of the instrumental nature. Around the World comes highly recommended.

That’s My Story and I’m Sticking to It

Stick It!Q: What’s more annoying than seeing a yippy dog saunter down the sidewalk wearing a bandana? A: Peeling off price stickers on album covers.

Good morning, and happy Tuesday. There are but a handful of things more mind-numbingly tedious than putting your fingernails to the test while attempting to maintain the integrity of a prized album cover in beautiful condition. This annoying practice of removing a temporary sticker, something that, by itself is not too attention demanding, is baked in the oven of frustration when a lucky day on the hunt is had (you really start to second guess that 3rd Jim Nabors record when it comes time to remove that stubborn sticker). I’ve stayed away from certain record stores due to their price sticker practices, and I’ve outright complained at more than a few thrift stores that insisted on writing their prices on album covers in ink. Although an acceptable tax for the fervent record collector, this tradition of adhesive pricing is something that need not stick around.

First You Love Me, Then You Get on Down the Line

FleetwoodMonday mornings are about as celebratory as striking a 10d x 3in nail through your foot, but that didn’t stop the newly formed supergroup (circa: 1975), Fleetwood Mac, from churning out a righteous soundtrack that pairs perfectly with a stiff cup of joe on this, the beginnings of another working week.

Written by Lindsey Buckingham, Monday Morning launches the 1975 self-titled album (the band’s second… self-titled that is), and features, for the first time, the inclusion of the now defunct, but once romantic pair, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks.

Monday MorningMonday morning you look so fine… so long as Mick Fleetwood and crew are pumping groove-juiced energy through the speakers, Monday mornings look a’okay.

Remembering the Classics

BeethovenDon’t forget to appreciate the classics… set aside the hip-hoppery of N.E.R.D., Dre, the Fat Boys, and Lords of the Underground… extinguish the fiery rags of Rocket from the Crypt, Todd Terge, and MOTOR… cast away the modern indecency of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Richard Pryor, and Lard… and carve out some well deserved time to remember the classics. For me, it gets no better than Beethoven… or Brahms… or Wagner… or Stravinsky… or Prokofiev… or ONYX… or Bartók. Remember the classics, and allow all other seeping improprieties to pass you by, if only for the length of four, alleviating movements.

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

GhostGlow in the dark vinyl… is it a necessity? Well… no, but what music-infused medium is ever necessary? Generations of record collectors are turning in their graves as I type this. Today, was (is still in Hawaii) Record Store Day, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest supernatural-comedy films of all time, Legacy, a sister company of Sony, released a ghostly 10” on this, the 7th annual holiday for record collectors.

Ray Parker Jr. is the real winner today, as his timeless anthem became immortalized in metaphysical glory for all record collectors from here until the end of time. The novelty that it is, was (I’m telling myself) well worth the $17.82 price tag Record Surplus (Santa Monica, CA’s finest) slapped upon it, and most importantly, resembles the first light-defying (natural or otherwise) slab of vinyl I’ve had the pleasure of owning. If anything, I can convince my SO that this record will help us maneuver through the blinding darkness that is scheduled to blanket our next, panic-inducing blackout. Functional, ghost-repelling mediums of music… well, all right.

Post #450 aka Dust it Off and Jerk It

Jerk ItComfort answers to no fashion Queen, and raunchy, sex-minded, worked-tongue-wiping, paid-lap-dance-dirty, baby-makin’ pelvic beats answer to no, conventional, receptive ear. Thunderheist, the Toronto based, globally minded, five-year international outbreak, very much like the cheese, stands alone. None match their sex = sex + more sex-resolved, blood-churning, infectious rhythms, and none do it so devilishly glamorous.

Words… that these are, do absolutely no justice to the concrete weight that, Grahmzilla and Isis effortlessly exhale with every gasping, rhythmic beat present in every one of these five, remixed (save for one) tempting trax.

If it ain’t dirty, it ain’t Thunderheist.

Editor’s note: For this, my 450th post, I’d like to thank global warming, overly-sensitive neighbors, and hangover victims, but seriously, I’ll thank the unspoken will that fuels so many able, and socially alienated victims… affordable whisky. Dust it off, dear frequenters of PG nonsense… dust it off and jerk it.

WMAD Welcomes Weezer

WeezerWeezer > Tenacious D in just about every conceivable equation, except for live performances. Pinkerton, the Blue Album, and to some extent the Green Album, are examples of some of the best pop-rock to hit the 90s and early 2000s. The D’s debut is flawless, but 2006’s The Pick of Destiny is virtually unlistenable. I was primped and properly anticipating one of the best nights of music entertainment I’d ever witnessed, that dreary day back in late 2001, but I left feeling unfulfilled by the mighty kings of Weez. Not knowing what to expect, and marginally perplexed by the unconventional pairings of these two seemingly unlinkable bands, I walked away, past a sea of parked, vacant cars, wishing the D had been the headliner. Subdued, shoe-gazing, stand-still rock certainly has its place, but the 22-year-old version of yours truly wanted no part of it.

Love American Style

Love“Anything you can pat your foot to is good music.” – Louis Armstrong

Love American Style, the 1998 reissue of the 1989 accompaniment to the legendary Paul’s Boutique record is not only the 64th release from Grand Royal Records (Guaranteed Every Time), but also one that was released on black, white, and of course this, red vinyl. Produced by both The Dust Brothers and the Beastie Boys, Love American Style includes the Hey Ladies singles in its entirety (b-side Shake Your Rump), while including Dust Brothers jams, 33% God and Dis Yourself in ’89 (Just Do It). Fans of Paul’s Boutique and the Beastie Boys alike will instantly recognize 33% God and Dis Yourself in ’89 (Just Do It) as rehashed instrumentals of the record’s a-side, which stand as monumental achievements of pre-Beastie Boys, all-Dust Brothers party-jams. Are the b-side’s two tracks worth seeking out this four-track 12”? You tell me.

Milwaukee Nightlife

20140415-201801.jpg Gone are the leisure-filled days of stopping off at the local record shop on the way home from school to snatch, if no necessary deals were found, free mock-ticket ads for upcoming Milwaukee area shows. This particular night in May of 2000 featured a masked gimp stage diving and picking fights with select, drunk patrons (Dwarves), a wall-echoing, room-filled chant of East Coast pride (“East Coast F— You” by Bouncing Souls), and an eager and overly-excited pop-punk-loving Milwaukee crowd rushing the stage to share the mic for a final encore (Dropkick Murphys). All-in-all, it was a rather memorable, aggression exhausting evening some 14 years ago.

I’d also like to add how atrocious it is to post from the WordPress app via iPhone. A hiccup in the Cal Ripkin-like post streak was in jeopardy more than a few times these past few days…

The Time I Almost Missed Bob Dylan

Bob DylanBob Dylan, for me, has never been the pedestal-placing monarch that many people view him as. I’ve always respected Robert Zimmerman, the Minnesota native, and have conveniently dodged his raspy snarls when hand-selecting my life’s playlist. I certainly have nothing against his revolutionary impact on pop music, or his distinctive brand of folk-rock, I guess I just never really got around to it. With the (more than) understood philosophy of “too little music, not enough time,” the bellowing observations of Mr. Dylan never made the cut. He’d been Chopped before ever entering my personal music kitchen, for those of you who are fans of The Food Network.

An opportunity presented itself back in (date) that would have been unbelievably stupid to pass up. My mom scored free tickets to a Bob Dylan performance in Madison, WI, and kindly offered them to me. Using the term scored as a drug reference when referring to my mother is humorous to me, and kind of appropriate for ol’ Bob’s transcendent vibe. Anyway, to make a short story even longer, my show-going companion and I got the time of the show mixed up (by a good couple hours) and we arrived just as ol’ Times They Are A Changin’ had started his 2nd encore. He played All Along the Watchtower, something else I didn’t recognize, and then he was gone.

Perhaps if I’d been more of a fan (or one at all), I’d have made sure of the correct time, but never the less, I can truthfully say, I’ve seen Bob Dylan.

The Genesis of an Obsession

20140413-153512.jpg Lifelong treasures seldom unveil themselves without fervent mining. This seemingly innocent moment marks the newest, documented genesis of my uncontrollable record obsession. Captured some 32 years ago, an astute observer may assume my DJ skills would have matured with age… unfortunately, I peaked at the age of two, and the extent of my record spinning abilities is limited to the dropping and lifting of the tone arm, aka the raising and lowering of a mechanical lever. I may not have been able to tie my own shoes, adequately feed myself, or speak without a lisp, but I damn well knew a good groove when I heard one.

When There is No Internet

20140412-233346.jpg When the internet goes down at the family B&B under the bellowing roars of a violent, Midwestern thunderstorm, The Groove takes an unscheduled backseat. Completed, but no way to transfer (without retyping from my phone), is a write up about the mishap surrounding my Bob Dylan experience, but instead, all I can offer is a poorly phone-o-shopped fanning of my ticket stubs. Don’t take your wifi for granted, kids.

Was Lou Rawls a Fan of Lasagna?

The slight discoloration in the top right is Goo Gone, not lasagna grease.

The slight discoloration in the top right is Goo Gone, not lasagna grease.

Q: What do lasagna-eating cats, the annual, festive day in which children of all ages celebrate and remember the dead, and soul legend Lou Rawls have in common? A: The 1985 animated television special, and Primetime Emmy winner, Garfield’s Halloween Adventure. I grew up on this 30-minute opus, and watching it on, or around Halloween has become a yearly tradition. It’s hard to believe this special is almost 30 years old, but anyway, the connection lives within the iconic voice of Mr. Rawls.

GarfieldDuring the special’s opener, This is the Night (Trick or Treat), and again on the sing-along classic, Scaredy Cat, Garfield’s cool, sleek voice is provided by Lou Rawls, and therefore solidifies the unexpected pairings of great soul music, and mischievous, lazy, cartoon cats. On Halloween, Garfield = Lou Rawls, aka Lou-Halloween-Field.