This sealed copy of Ec8or’s 1997 comp has been on my “to digitize and enjoy on the company iPod” for the past 4-6 years. It’s now 2015, and I’ve still not broken the musical seal. Did I set her aside as a reminder for a weekend project? Nope… and back into the cavernous stack she goes. Perhaps in another 4-6 years, I’ll think of her again, and maybe this time, her seal will be broken.
Any way you want Journey, that’s the way you need Journey… any way you want them. Released as the band’s sixth studio album in the dawn of the new, yet uncertain 1980s, Departure features 12 slam-bang journeys (see what I did there?) into arena-rock’s mysterious and flowing void. Although not as successful as 1981’s Escape or 1983’s Frontiers, Departure scratches that annoying and repetitive Journey-itch both efficiently and successfully. Although you can’t slow dance to Any Way You Want It at Jr. High dances, it deserves a proper spin.
Take a journey atop the gay-friendly, multicolored beetle-bug of yesteryear, any way you want it.
With its jaw-breaking (and previously unreleased) b-side (Ciao Patsy), 1995’s unforgettable 7” single from RFTC’s flame-thrower, Scream Dracula Scream was, unfortunately for us Yanks, released only to the luxurious fields of the UK market. One of the band’s more prevalent tracks (mainly regarded by part-time Rocket fans as their pinnacle achievement*), Born in ’69 is as perfect as it is bewildering, and as rawkus as it is musically delicious.
* Lack of evidence supporting this juvenile claim.
You’ve got to love Bernard Herrmann. Yes, that was an overly simplistic statement. Consider what this, exceptionally short list of films would have been like without the brilliant Herrmann touch: Vertigo (1958), Citizen Kane (1941), Psycho (1960), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), and his final score, Taxi Driver (1976). I want not to imagine an inhumane and colorless world such as that. Do you? I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… ad nauseam. Give credit where credit is due, kids.
Lo(unge)-Fi keyboard extraordinaire Mark Ramos Nishita, aka Money Mark released his debut, Mark’s Keyboard Repair on UK staple Mo’ Wax Records back in 1995. Mr. Money is, of course, best known for his artificial ivory works with the Beastie Boys from 1992’s Check Your Head through the band’s final offering with 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. Releasing seven full-length studio albums throughout his solo career, Mark’s music follows the lackadaisical-lazy-groove style of Luscious Jackson, Buffalo Daughter, and other lesser-known Grand Royal virtuosos.
The photo above is an artsy little number featured on the insert record jacket to Mark’s Keyboard Repair. The more you know…
Simplistic? Like, totally!
The cover to Frank Zappa’s 1982 album, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch holds a prominent place on the back cover to its 7″ single, Valley Girl, and has been, until this morning, looked over and ignored by yours truly. I mean, the totally bitchen LP should be on the “must have” list, like, that would be so awesome, I’m sure! Respect the music your elders dug, kids.
We touched upon the unauthorized “collateral” vinyl version a few years back, but I just got my grubby mitts on an 8-track copy of the 1973 lawsuit-inspiring classic comp, The Great Lost Kinks Album. Featured here are both the cartridge and the original sleeve (which is essentially the same sticker used for the tape, covering a generic black cardboard sleeve). I need to get an 8-track cleaner to fully enjoy this historic little gem, but my 8-track obsessed mind can gleefully cross off yet another Kinks Stereo 8. Next on the coveted list of “must haves” is 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies, arguably my favorite Kinks package. The Prudent Groove… collecting obsolete and sub-par music formats since 2013, and not second guessing a minute of it.
If you like Herb Alpert, Lucille Starr, The Baja Marimba Band, and overall great music in general, have a look-see at the biggest little catalog insert by A&M Records. Issued in 1965, this esthetically pleasing record jacket features the clever inclusion of Herb Alpert’s trumpet integrated within its logo, and is a reminder that functionality can also offer top-notch design. A&M Records, and it’s oxymoron catalog come highly recommended for easy listening brass background music. Cheers, kids.
Back to back sticker posts?! Well, yeah… no shame on this, here end. This one, from my latest addition, comes with a radiant review from Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo. Not that I needed any coaxing when it comes to The Budos Band, but ANYTHING that comes with a Slayer-related stamp of approval is fair game as far as I’m concerned. More on The Budos Band to come… unless I forget, or lose interest.
Stickers promoting albums that showcase no signifying identification on their covers intrigue me a bit. I’m not entirely sure why, but it may have something to do with the idea that these stickers are meant to be discarded along with the plastic factory seal on which they live. With that humble thought in mind, stickers like this, found on Tool’s 2005 vinyl release of the 2001 album, Lateralus, would, by 2015, be all but extinct from the social conscious. It’s stupid, I know, but I treat these little additives as bonus time capsules that need preserving with the same amount of care as the records themselves. Just another thing to keep, save, hoard, and appreciate, I suppose.
Few things capture the 90’s indie scene quite like the combination of words, Luscious and Jackson. The all-girl trip hop quartet landed a colorful full-length with their 1994 release, Natural Ingredients. Nothing abrasive or threatening, NI makes for a perfect soundtrack to long drives during the sun-sweltering summer with the volume up and the windows down. It’s positive groove music for kids looking for quality schtick without all the bullshit. Shirt-clinging humidity, a soft, cooling breeze, and this frosty blue record are the Natural Ingredients for an exceptionally luscious evening.
I speak of this only because I happen to notice it today, a day in which busywork afforded me the opportunity to listen to stereo recordings with a single ear bud (not ideal, but embraceable), while performing my spreadsheet-happy daily chores in a swift and efficient fashion.
Here, for those who’ve never asked, is a sprint through the progression of a normal, 9-5 (10-7) day (in regards to my organic music consumption).
9:31am: Feeling a bit homesick and decide to mentally frolic through the painted walls of my feverish memory as a youngen at my Grandparent’s farmhouse and cue up 50 Number One Country Hits.
9:56am: Arrive at work and continue the 50-track playlist and wonder, countless times, why I haven’t ordered 1975’s Red Headed Stranger by the great Willie Nelson on vinyl ($5.85 off Discogs.com… I mean, k’mon!).
2:11pm: Finish the epic 50-track memory-machine-gun and dry the reality from my eyes.
2:12pm: Cue up The Pharcyde’s Bizarre Ride II and remember that this album was once, and for a very long time, my favorite album.
5:36pm: Finish BRII and feverishly, and without music, complete my daily objectives.
7:56pm: With a quasi-clear head, and the freedom of the evening, I drive home and enjoy the lamenting screams from Refused’s The Shape of Punk to Come and think to myself, in an empty car, I should have been a musician.
For what it’s worth, I’m going to make it a point, today, at least, to finish these waking hours exactly where I started… with Jack Greene’s There Goes My Everything. Happy trails, and pleasant evening, kids.
In 1964, the greatest film the world has ever known exploded onto the pale faces of Western civilization. Today, I obtained the closest thing to an officially released soundtrack from this, my all-time favorite film, Dr. Strangelove. Dropping the same year as the film, this various artist comp features a total of 13 tracks, with only one of them being featured in the aforementioned film. But that’s certainly ok, and completely without contention, for you see, this album, with all its 1964-infused Dr. Strangelove poster art, is for visual stimulation, instead of those more pleasing to the ear. I’m elated to welcome the most recent addition to my billowing record collection, Dr. Strangelove and Other Great Movie Themes.
I am in no way ashamed to admit that I went through a Ministry phase. I’m also not apologetic to concede that said phase lasted the good part of 14 years. I’ve witnessed their bone-crushing live act more than a few times, and was even fortunate enough to walk away from one show with a (purchased) autograph, and a “game used” drumstick. Ministry was, at one time, my favorite rage band. Now, she serves as a nostalgic milestone, whose chapter I’ll reread from time to angry time.
Burning Inside, the band’s 1989 single off their ass-kicking masterpiece, The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Taste, features 12″ remixes to both the title track, as well as fan-favorite Thieves, and offers a live cover of Skinny Puppy’s Smothered Hope. For a cool $6.99 from (what I remember to be) Second Spin back in Madison, WI, this copy of Burning Inside joined its industrial brothers and sisters in my then blossoming collection.
A classic track by a classic band in the throes of their heyday, Burning Inside is essential Monday afternoon listening material, and as with all Ministry records featured here, comes highly recommended.
The offices of The Prudent Groove are taking a vinyl-less weekend trip to Newport Beach, but in our passing, we suggest a spin (or three) of the flawless country / bluegrass soundtrack to the grand and goofy motion picture, O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Have a great weekend, listening friends, and stay cool and fully hydrated (for those of you in Southern California’s current heat wave).
Nothing says “I love and appreciate you, happy birthday” quite like NOFX’s 2007 live album, They’ve Actually Gotten Worse Live!. In the celebratory mood, the Prudent Groove wishes a heartwarming happy birthday to its favorite fan, and its number one supporter…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIDDO!
With love, the PG.
Do yourself a blood-thirsty-flavor and catch-on to 2006’s Nightmerica by Love Equals Death released on Fat Mike’s own Fat Wreck Chords label. Released on only 220 blood red records, this unknown spectacle remains one of the rarest of the collection. Think big, be big, I suppose.