Happy Floyd Friday!

PairI was first introduced to, but didn’t foresee the longevity of, Floyd Friday by my acclaimed Art teacher back in High School. The Wall (the film, not the album), Division Bell, and sometimes the occasional P-U-L-S-E (with its eternal blinking red light nestled atop the compact disc player in a neat row with the remainder of Floyd’s catalog) were always anticipated week-ending ear-treats throughout my Junior and Senior years.
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PlaylistIt wasn’t until many years later that I unearthed the “real” essence of Floyd’s work… their early albums. Featured here is a poor man’s comp of their first two albums Piper at the Gates of Dawn and A Saucerful of Secrets. Gone are the wistful guitar-driven soundscapes and jazz-influenced saxophones found in Division Bell, and pleasingly pleasant are layer upon ominous layer of experimental, carnal, and brilliant psychedelic drug-rock. The appropriately titled A Nice Pair is an affordable option for someone looking to bath themselves in the radiant dawn of Floyd, and is, in my humble opinion, by far the band’s best recorded work. Happy Floyd Friday, everyone!

Wet Lovin’

HMSSMy history with the famed prodigy of sensual sleaze is both long and enduring. Having accidentally stumbled across his sexual shtick back in 2000 at a sold out Alkaline Trio / Hot Water Music show at a now unknown Chicago club, my 21-year-old self couldn’t quite comprehend exactly what the hell this beefy, golden-voiced Midwesterner was doing up on stage between sets. His passion and talent eclipsed the belly laughs and sneers from the late winter crowd, and I was instantly struck with a rush of awe and morbid curiosity. I believe he played two songs that night, one of them being an early favorite (thanks to this “show”) Baby Do You Like My Clothes?

HarMarSuperStickerThis album, Har Mar Superstar’s first, features the two bonus tracks, Wet Lovin’ and Sexual Contractor, and was acquired at the now defunct Atomic Records in Milwaukee. I distinctly remember a brief conversation with the store clerk and his overt disdain for my purchase. To each their own.

Underneath the wet and slippery layer of erotic bravado is an imaginative and intelligent songwriter with a beautiful voice, and the zeal of a thousand burning suns. Go in for the laugh, come out with overwhelming appreciation.

2014 Hillbillies

MuswellIt doesn’t take much for an avid Kinks fan to purchase an album (for the third time), when a bonus disc is involved. If you’re smart, you already own The Kinks’ 1971 masterpiece, Muswell Hillbillies. If you’re late to the game, do yourself a favor and pick up 2014’s remastered double LP with a vinyl pressing of this amazing “bonus disc” chock full of alt takes and BBC session what-have-yous. It’s a great way to experience a classic album with new, stereophonic ears, and that’s all I’m willing to say on the matter.

Broken Boutique

PB_SkipAside from owning this album twice on vinyl, (I’m going to want to say) twice on cassette with reissue clear, and original blue plastic), I felt obligated to purchase her twice on compact disc. If you’re one to notice subtle, yet striking detail, you’ll notice that compact disc on the far left has a bit of an unplayable crack. I don’t recall exactly HOW this crack occurred, but I distinctly remember WHERE it happened. It was my turn to cue up the boombox in the back kitchen at the Madison, WI Westside Dominoes back in, well, let’s say 1998. For years after, I’d suffered through the subpar digital rip (center disc), until finally breaking down (read: coming to my senses) and purchasing another, brand new copy. These were the end days leading up to the digital revolution, and now, all portable traveling music is consumed by the trusty, yet still too small, 160gb iPod. Why this shit story? If you’re an avid reader of the Groove, you’ll know that I’m a staunch fan of giving respect where respect is due. My original copy of Paul’s Boutique got the shit played out of her, and went out serving me, and my cohorts well. Of course, I had to keep it.

…of the Year

PBJLotYIn 1962 (from what I can gather), Stan Kenton was Playboy’s Jazz Leader of the Year. What does this mean you ask? It means that his 1962 Capitol Records album, Adventures in Time, A Concerto for Orchestra got a blaze orange sticker (with now 53 year old adhesive) slapped prominently across this album’s minimal cover. 53 year old stickers on album covers, man! K’mon!