A Halfhearted (Politician’s) Promise for Tomorrow

FourJust like how function trumps fashion, so too shall quality (eventually) trump quantity here at The Prudent Groove. For too long I’ve been lacksadaisically (it’s a word… I think) thumbing my procrastination button and parading through an inferior product (since day one). So, as a mission statement (if only to myself), I, out-of-turnly proclaim, that tomorrow’s focus will showcase a much more thought out analysis (read: sarcastic observation).

What you see here (obviously), is an 8-track cassette of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. Acquired today for a cool $1.99, this lil’ jammer will squat within the vacant garage currently residing in our living room in the shape of an empty (wood-paneled) 8-track player. Gone (and thoroughly missed), is my red cassette copy of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and in its place, and abridged version of Zeppelin’s most commercially proclaimed outing.

“Do you own an 8-track player?’ – Record story Guy

“Have you read The Groove?” – Me (to myself, and several hours later)

This is… in Stereo

This is StereoI was able to find a stereo copy of This is Tim Hardin today at a thrifty little (unorganized) shop down in Long Beach. Already having been the owner of the original mono version, I couldn’t turn my back on this artificial (only because it was electronically re-recorded to simulate STEREO) stereo version for a cool $6. Possibly the best record I’ve ever laid ears on, I managed to acquire both copies the guy had (stereo for me, mono for a fellow Hardin-admiring buddy).

I am currently in possession of three This is Tim Hardin albums, and something tells me, it’s not enough.

“Are you ready to check out? You want both copies?!” – Guy

“Yes, guy! I have cash… why do you question the willing?” – Me, in my head

Beats, a Birthday, and a Boat

20140627-234422-85462240.jpg Combining a portable turntable, the annual spinning of the Earth revolving around the Sun, and luxuries of 1930’s, high-class travel, yields a few, important last-minute notions: 1) None of us, especially me, are getting any younger and, 2) Holding a record over an open porthole is, I guess, something I thought I’d never do.

If there is a will, there is a time for anything.

Op Klompen

ClogsI can’t say I’ve ever owned a pair of clogs, or op klompen, but I doubt I could rock the boisterous, and seemingly uncomfortable, style quite like the German King, James Last. Acquired maybe 8 or so years ago, I’d just gotten around to listening to the fascinating record the other day, and let me start by saying it wasn’t at all what I’d expected. I’d half expected some cartoon clown banging a trash can, a screaming eel tap dancing atop a tin roof, or some other such sort of unthinkable nonsense, but what I got was a lighthearted, easy listening, and slightly somber, orchestral odyssey through various, and at times very similar, instrumental interpretations celebrating the clog.

Now that I know this title’s meaning, I’ll have to go back and try and detect any actual musical use of the clog, but as it stands, Op Klompen exists as one of those albums with a necessary cover, which far outreaches the music within.

Big Band Sounds

Big BandThere’s nothing small about the Big Band Sounds of Earle Spencer and Other Great Bands, mischievously offered by Golden Tone Hi-Fidelity Records. Delight in the bewitching atmosphere of Lisbon Antigua, or romanticize about a much more celebratory time with an instrumental version of Auld Lang Syne (preferably, NOT out of tune), or even snuggle up close to an intimate loved one while toe-tapping to Bolero in Boogie. Whatever your poison, Big Band Sounds blows the cure, in harmonious, brass-bellied rhythm.

Stereophonic Eiffel Towers

StereophonicWhile scouring youtube for acoustic Minutemen tracks, I’m 1) reminded of how upset I am that my Beats ear buds broke, 2) how imperative it is that I get a good night’s sleep and, 3) the difficulties of identifying this non-French, Eiffel Tower-featuring record label. The fact that this record is Mantovani is trivial, since the unnerving focus lies within the deep orange and purple color combo, which only extenuates the Stereophonic foundation to a record supporting the Eiffel Tower. TWL-1103 may be a bootleg Mantovani Manhattan record, but its mysteries exist far beyond simple, easy listening comprehension.

Pickin’ N’ Puttin’

Chip-ShotChip Williams is known the world over for many dominant characteristics, but none beat his vivid-sport-coat-wearing, six-string-pickin’, chip-shot-masterin’ exploits quite like this 9-track opus, Pickin’ N’ Puttin’.

Forget for a moment that Al Gore engineered this magnificent heirloom (and he actually did… just probably not the Al Gore you’re thinking of), and forget for yet, another moment, if you can, that people actually used to dress like this… bright red-orange (Crayon) slacks, with a swooping comb over, a fiendish grin, and an 11 o’clock tee time. Throw in the trusty, rural-music-maker, and, well, sir, you’ve got yourself the makings for a pickin’ good time.

Send For Free Catalog From Crescendo Records

Crescendo InsertThe GNP is alive and well, and seemingly held-up on Sunset Blvd, at the nat’l headquarters in Hollywood, CA under the guise of Crescendo Records.

Formed in 1954, this design-conscious label was home to many a sci-fi adventurer’s audible ecstasy. With such heavy-hitters as Godzilla, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Forbidden Planet, those in the know, know this label’s credence.

The Treasury of Immortal Performances “45” rpm

Mr. MillerIt’s difficult not to get excited about Glenn Miller. There’s something about the profound purity of a child’s smile behind a raging trombone, and, of course, the eternal Jimmy Stewart icon-association that makes this, or any Glenn Miller recording, an endless treasure.

This 4x 7” (45 rpm, naturally) set has yet to make its legendary entrance into the prolific discogs database, but if the winds of fate blow favorably, this weekend will truly unveil the Treasury of Immortal Performances.

A (Short) Evening with Belafonte

EveningDerived from the LP of the same name, this 4-track EP 7″ is perfect for those hurried evenings when a little romantic nudge is required, but the depth of a fully hammered out album is the LAST thing on your mind. As far as I’m concerned, any Belafonte is better than no Belafonte, and after a quick, 2-track flip, your planned, erotic evening will be swiftly underway, thanks to the nimble, intoxicating seduction of this unforgettable evening, with Belafonte.

In a Relaxation Como

In a ComoRelax… you’ve earned it. But even if you haven’t, disguise your bourbon in a dainty tea cup, bathe yourself in the lavish frills of your favorite evening gown, close your rose-markered book and enjoy the provocative exclamations of the one, the only, Perry Como.

Better make it quick, as this is just a violent tease of Como-inspired relaxation. With only four tracks, your momentary break from the chaotic endeavors of everyday life will swiftly blow away, like the cool, lamenting breeze from the relaxation King, Mr. Perry Como.

French, Level One

FrenchLearn to speak fluid French the laborious way with this 14x 7″ collection from 1961 by Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc. Housed inside a tenacious and stable cardboard box, these flip-tastic records are guaranteed to survive for legions of future French-lovers eager to learn an outdated approach to a beautiful, and alluring language.

Offered on only 28 sides, French Level One will have you screaming, “Mon amour pour les retournements de dossiers ne connaît pas de limites” until you lose your voice.

Warum zum Teufel nicht?

Gabi_FredAllowing Gabi Spiegl and Fred Trauner (of Gabi & Fred fame) to blissfully whisk away your heart is nothing an eager ear is willing to fight. This scantily clad German duo (or, spärlich bekleideten deutsche Duo) harness the open-air jodler, or yodel, with ear-piercing precision, and for reasons unknown leave the listener longing for a Ricola herb drop.

German pride with a classic cover leaves willing buyers (this guy here) shrugging shoulders and saying, “why the hell not?”

Optional Center 45 rpm Records

Optional_CenterTucked inside a 7” box set boasting the phrase, An Album from THE TREASURY OF IMMORTAL PERFORMANCES “45” rpm, this Capitol Records insert informs the 1940s (possibly 1950s) buyer of the intricate do’s and don’ts of optional center record care. This clear-cut informative guide urges the following, with extreme, underlined importance: If you will be using this album on a large spindle 45 rpm player, Ask Your Dealer To Punch Out The Centers… I don’t know about you, but my dealer doesn’t know jack about anything record related, but lucky for all involved, these “optional” inserts have long since been removed, so any sort of option has been swiftly eradicated.

Man, Thank Decca for World Saving Ninjas

Man, thank Decca Records for their lifelong, globally-conscious contribution to the safety of all of us, and let’s, universally, thank them for enlisting a giant, intergalactic ninja that unrelentingly keeps our planet safe from outside planet handlers. A New World of Sound equates to a New World of Ninja Protection. Thank you, Decca Records!

An Impromptu Bermuda Calypso Party

Talbot BrosLiven up your Friday evening festivities with an impromptu Calypso party by Bermuda’s finest, The Talbot Brothers. Volume 3, featured here, is fierce, hip-swaying lightning, neatly packed inside an LP shaped bottle of rum.

Ingest a swell of this Calypso cocktail in your ear’s mouth and watch the room come to life right before your eyes. Released in 1956 on Audio Fidelity (AFLP 1807), Bermuda Calypso Party Vol. 3 leaves little to be desired, except perhaps the first two volumes. This is an outstanding album from start to finish, and comes highly recommended. Transform any social scene into an impromptu Bermuda Calypso party, with the Talbot Brothers, and please remember to listen responsibly.

“Guaranteed Every Time”

GR_PromoFun promo letters inside promo EPs are fun! (Especially when they’re only $1.98!) Have a read. I personally recommend all five of these releases (including the Great Five Lakes 12” keeping this little sheet of paper safe for over 16 years). Many thanks to Stephanie for the late 90’s love.