Black cats and delicious fish tacos aside, the 19-year in-the-making Drive Like Jehu reunion went off without a hitch, and I’m thankful for the opportunity. If you’ve not heard this brand of early 90s post-hardcore, you should Mos Def check it out. Black kittah approves.
Back in 2011, two gents (Andrew & Matthew) ventured into the vinyl-unknown, and desecrated (but in a good, magnificent-type way) the listening medium. In their own words:
We laser cut vinyl records to become pieces of monster art. We ship cut records that you can break apart and build. (2011)
Using Kickstarter as their platform, Record Monsters conjured up 303 backers (myself and 302 others), and proceeded to kickout a series of various insects, dinosaurs, and creepy-crawlers, all laser cut out of upcycled vinyl. Ingenius… until some unknown, safety-conscious cloud rushed in. Again, from the lion’s mouth:
No on vinyl, yes that is final. Don’t cut vinyl with a laser cutter kids. We had a way to do this in a safe way, but we will never match the two again. Don’t do it, for real. (2012)
Please accept, ignore, or shrug off my apologies, but I’ve got to make it a quick one tonight. Consider tonight’s outing a trailer of sorts… a bit of an open window into tomorrow’s matinee. Do you remember Record Monsters? No? Well, it involved 4-million year old beasts, records, and, oh yeah, lasers.
Primarily active from ’50 to ’77, Tennessee-based Dot Records showcased, alongside its colorful logo, the following spectrum of artists: Billy Vaughn, Mitch Ryder, Jimmy Dorsey, Jack Kerouac, Luis Armstrong, Lawrence Welk, Pat Boone, The Four Lads, Leonard Nimoy, Roy Clark, and Louis Prima… to name a short few.
Owned and operated by (not Sony, surprise-surprise) the monopolizing Universal Music Group, the light from this once beaming label is, and will forever be, eclipsed by the heavy-pocketed, greed-tailored conglomerates.
When connecting the dots always spells out Universal, you know it’s time to continue on down the line.
The logic of record-labeling business-practices fades in and out like a mid-western thunderstorm… at least within the county of my bordered headspace (i.e. the extent of my knowledge); this blathered statement seems to be true. Somerset Records, as far as I can gather, was the brainchild of one, Mr. Dave Miller, and his ambitions to offer overpriced records at a budgeted prices. Standard North American gluttonous business practices certainly applied.
Likely a 101 String release, this Somerset Records logo is something of an eye-catcher, and unfortunately lives in the obscurity of modern day record collector’s mental vocabulary… the logo is pretty, though, don’t you think?
Founded in 1901 (only 113 years ago… no joke), The Victor Talking Machine Company manufactured 78s at an astounding rate, and became one of the leading producers of recorded, audio material. Basing itself in Camden, New Jersey (I know, right?!), “His Master’s Voice” (the historic and legendary logo with Nipper, the dog) has become as synonymous with record listening as its been with the history of record recording.
She may have died in 1929, but Victor Records still exists today under the umbrella of those Sony kids. Passion for the yesteryears need not be forgotten.
It’s without proper and respectful merit that Har Mar Superstar’s 2nd full length, You Can Feel Me, doesn’t have a proper vinyl release. Power Lunch and EZ Pass did, however, graduate to the respectful spin, but the full-length has yet to rear its prominent head. I demand this album on vinyl… others… make it so!
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead didn’t release their fifth album, So Divided, on vinyl, so we’re left with this 7” single. Wasted State of Mind b/w Eight Days of Hell is an insufficient representative of this band’s (in my opinion) greatest achievement. So Divided needs a proper vinyl release… their previous four albums each had one. So Divided, what gives?!
Blooming Hits is a wispy collection of elaborate, late 60s pop tunes done in orchestral, easy listening-type, party-elevator music-style compositions with a racy, flower-lovers cover (phew). If ever you wanted to turn your listening area into a jazzy, hipster doctor’s office waiting room, Blooming Hits would be at the ready. It’s solid, but exceptionally tame… a bit deceiving from its attention-stealing cover.
So, we’re going a bit old school here with Miami Sound Machine’s Primitive Love, and let me say, this 10-track-jam is two-parts nostalgia, and one-part “where did the functional direction of music go?” Time is a mystery best explored sans bourbon… and allow me to speak with a margin of experience.
In 1985, I was six. Now, I’m 35, and there is little in means of audible time machine exploration than coveted music… and Conga, this 1985 hit, is certainly no exception.
Do that MSM (Miami Sound Machine) thing, and never look back… for this subtle suggestion, you are welcome.
Thank you in advance for allowing me to present this respectful homage (read: blatant ripoff) by the lovely (yet, unfortunately bankrupt) folks at Grand Royal Records, of Ronco Teleproducts, Inc.’s 1974 “as seen on TV” comp, Get It On! (If you look closely, you can see my father playing guitar above a couple adventure-types maneuvering a raging river in a tippy canoe.)
I’ve got to admit, as a collector of all things Grand Royal, I had no idea of this Ronco release, cover design or otherwise, until about a week ago. I’d ordered Super Hits online some time ago and had always admired its depiction of 70’s glowing sunshine, but, and I’m a bit bashful to admit, I had no idea it wasn’t anything shy of 100% original. I’m happy to report, that both comps are outstanding, in their own rights, of course. One has Also Sprach Zarathustra by Deodato, and the other has Mullet Head by the Beastie Boys, so really, what’s not to fall in love with?
Tonight’s installment was all set and scheduled for Still Bill, the 2nd studio album by the rug-tappin’ soul-funk master, Bill Withers… that was, until I found out that Drive Like Jehu was reuniting for a free, outdoor show in their hometown of San Diego after a 19-year hiatus. Needless to say, I’m beside myself with childlike excitement (to put it mildly). San Diego road trip in little over a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As the kickoff to your working week comes to lethargic, sluggish conclusion, allow the angel whispers of Richard “I Hope I’m Funny” Pryor lull you into a comedic coma. Richard Pryor released well over 20 albums in his famed stand-up career, and each of them is, without hesitation, absolutely perfect. 1975’s …Is it Something I Said? is certainly no exception.
Standouts (and there are a ton) include, but are not limited to When Your Woman Leaves You, Cocaine, Shortage of White People, Mudbone – Little Feets, and Our Text for Today. Between 1971 and 1975, Rich released three back-to-back-to-back works (the holy trinity of recorded stand-up) that stand unmatched, some 40+ years later. If you ask me, and you didn’t, every fan of the laugh needs to own 1971’s “Craps” – After Hours, 1974’s That Nigger’s Crazy (that is a wild one), and this, 1975’s ...Is it Something I said? Treat yourself to the finer things in life, and enjoy yourself (yore-sell) some Richard Pryor.
We just got back from picking up our international friends from their international flight at the international airport, so please forgive the lateness of this evening’s post.
Originally released on February 1, 1995, For God and Country, the first studio album by angry punks from Santa Cruz, saw a recent (within the last five or so years) reissue on limited colored vinyl. This version, described from the Fat website as “Navy Blue” is more of a transparent midnight blue than a straight navy, but whatever. Limited to only 653 colored copies, this classic album gets the proper Fat respect that it greatly deserves.
Dead only a month after his final album’s release, Elvis Presley, and his insert to Moody Blue, serves as a bullet-pointed checklist of entertainment tombstones celebrating this legendary performer’s luxurious career. Not a fan per se, I acknowledge his esteemed importance throughout recorded music history, and although his music has never connected with me, appreciation and respect must be given.
Songs that fan anything, are worth a healthy listen. Song fanning the flames of discontent… well, that’s a horse of a different color. White, in this case, and a European RSD (Record Store Day) exclusive, Refused’s 3rd full-length offering, Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent saw both a red vinyl 2010 reissue, as well as a 2012 white vinyl reissue after the initial bomb-dropping 1996 release.
Colors shouldn’t dictate a quality listen, but in this case, pure white (or anti-black), fits like a glove.
In 1996, Tool released Ænima, their 2nd and most prolific album to date. In (roughly) 2012, various colored, and reportedly unofficial reissues began hitting the record racks. With originals going for $200 – $400, logic told me that $30 for a double translucent orange, high quality bootleg (“unofficial,” likely not a bootleg) of Tool’s masterpiece wasn’t necessarily a bad idea, but that was back in 2012.
They go for close to $60 now (still not a bad deal), and the unofficial, roughly 2012 version came in the following, furious flavors: Orange (featured here), Red, Green, Blue, and Yellow Marble.
Ok, so file this under “why the hell haven’t you digitized this yet?!”
Although I’m not a fan of about half of this amalgam, the boisterous pairing of the other half of this comp / soundtrack is what gets me excited. Have a look at a few of these team-ups:
Prodigy & Tom Morello
Metallica & DJ Spooky
Butthole Surfers & Moby
Slayer & Atari Teenage Riot
It’s this last one that sets the adrenaline dial way past 11. A UK release of only (lol, “only”) 5,000 copies on triple translucent red 10″, Spawn the Album was released in 1997 in support of the New Line Cinema film, Spawn or, Spawn the Movie.
It’s difficult not to mention a similar (and far superior) superstar-filled comp / soundtrack, 1993’s Judgment Night (Music from the Motion Picture). In both cases, the accompanied soundtrack greatly outweighs the films in which they support.
2002, and the 365 days inhabiting its sultry innards showcased, for me, a laughable “everyday” but, managed to offer an extraordinary, and fulfilling foundation for, what’s turned out to be, a lifelong appreciation for Rocket from the Crypt. Why was 2002, some seven years after having seen them live, a turning point for me and this prolific band? Well, as a Wisconsinite, lamenting over a San Diegan band, 2002’s Live from Camp X-Ray, represented a short, but welcomed, fresh breath.
The inevitable soundtrack to that Fall’s pizza delivering extravaganza, Live from Camp X-Ray scarred me with the maturity I didn’t necessarily know I was ready, but eagerly waiting for.
This jobber is a reissue on “Ltd. Edition Colored Splatter Vinyl.” I can’t sing the endless RFTC praises enough… if they can help me through my questionable adolescence… they can help you through anything.