Monthly Archives: May 2015
The elegant mysticism that surrounds the ethereal journey that is Days of Future Passed is as inviting as it is comforting, and is, for this blue-skied Saturday afternoon, the perfect melodic mate. The Moody Blues and I are forever intertwined, as they were the first live band I’ve ever seen. I used to scoff at that fact, but now embrace it with humbled pride. Thanks, Big Guy for introducing us.
Happy Saturday, kids! Please drink / consume responsibly.
Live in Concert
Robert Gerard Goulet is many thing to many, many people. Vegas crooner, housewife heart-throb, and of course, uncompromising supernatural connoisseur à la Beetlejuice. But before his mustache-swaggered role in Tim Burton’s 1988 classic, Mr. Goulet released his first live album, 1963’s Robert Goulet in Person: Recorded Live in Concert. Jam packed with a medley per side, Mr. Goulet’s sugar sweet wails covers, including the medleys, 17 poppy jazz favorites, and is perfect mood setting music for dress-up play dates with your cocktail wielding significant other. Mr. Goulet comes highly recommended from the Groove. Happy Friday!
2000’s Pump Up the Valuum was just about the time I started to “respectfully” lose interest in NOFX. As one who is prominent in giving respect where (crass) respect is due, I’ll always hold the NOFX hand close to the chest, but at a certain point, abandonment seems a worthy option.
I doubt I’ve heard this album in over 15 years… that, is my cross to “badger.”
Back in 1985, and well before Mama Said Knock You Out, Ladies Love Cool James, aka LL Cool J released his full-length debut on Def Jam Records titled simply, Radio. The man was still in high school at the time, kids! Which when you listen to this raw, early hip-hop classic, is kind of overwhelming to fathom, to say the least. Produced by Mr. Def Jam, Rick Rubin, Radio helped launch the lucrative career of James Todd Smith (also LL Cool J) which, among many other things, helped to secure a recurring (title) role on NCIS: Los Angeles. Why the hell didn’t I rap in High School?! I could have had a cop show by now! (Thinks to himself) Oh yeah, J had talent! Nurture the young, kids!
So this guy hosted a dinner party that ran a little late and now has no photo with which to post about… so, after digging through the abandoned photo library, here is a photo from Saturday’s 1993 session in which I enjoyed the Canadian cries of Propagandhi’s How to Clean Everything at top volume while my flag-sniffing neighbors pawed at my front door. Remember the things that matter, kids.
With CCR, Hendrix, Dylan, and original compositions by Neil Young, the 1980 soundtrack to the Hunter S. Thompson laugh-riot, Where the Buffalo Roam, is classic, classic rock. Bill Murray, aka Mr. Thompson even does a goofy-ass version of Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds. Needless to say, this comp is worthy of any and every Gonzo out there.
Stuck in ‘93
This, I will say, is the face of sadness. Me? I’m a glass half empty kind of guy; always have been, likely always will be. So when the mood strikes, 1993 comes up. (Cut to three hours later…) Been stuck in ’93 today… Slapstick, The Smashing Pumpkins, Propagandhi… So, the daily pedestal need not be vacant for long. In other words, make it happen sooner, rather than later, or, like, whatever, man. Also, tomorrow is Punk Rock BBQ at Liquid Kitty, so, the Groove will like, you know, see you fools there!
… for Automotion
Snapcase’s third full-length, 1999’s Designs for Automotion, yields the coveted #100 mark in the Victory Records catalog (VR100), and was released on black, white, orange (this), blue, red, and yellow vinyl. If you aren’t into Snapcase, but are a fan of Nation of Ulysses and Refused’s Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent, you’ll love their melodic approach to the Hardcore genre. I had the pleasure (I think) of seeing them open for someone (The Bouncing Souls?) back in Milwaukee, and they blew my feeble mind. Snap to it and check out this band!
Yippee Kai, Motown Records!
Do you know what time it is? Don’t look at your clock, or if you’re one of those book-reading types, don’t look at the sun, this is a rhetorical question here. What time is it?! It’s Fun Time, dammit! And what’s better than Fun Time when it’s performed by the great and almighty Bruce Willis? Well, there’s actually quite a bit better than the great and almighty Bruce Willis performing Fun Time, but we’ll ignore that for now.
Don’t Bogart that Tape, My Friend
Released in 1966, or so I’m told, The Yardbirds Greatest Hits captures many of the band’s early British Invasion, blues rock chart toppers into one, neat, cohesive package. But we’re not focusing on this Epic Records release today for its global importance, but instead, for its previous owner’s lamenting admiration for the band.
As can be clearly seen from the five, strategically placed abnormalities on the back cover, this record’s original owner had this, and likely other albums displayed on a wall somewhere, likely in some dingy, smoke-soaked den of excess and euphoria (I like to think somewhere off the Fox River in rural Wisconsin). Five individually places strips of tape were all that was needed to hoist up this audio treasure, which was likely a decent conversation starter for 1966 hoods to drop out and over analyze over. Don’t Bogart that tape, my friend!
Another Day, Another Town, Another Post
Same album, different covers, same track listing, same catalog number, 2x art options, because with Jim and Ingrid Croce, options are a-plenty. Likely the Croce-head cover is a reissue of the train track melodies original, but with the same cat. number and zero indication of an identifying year, it’s really anybody’s guess.
Not that any of this matters, because at the end of the day, it all comes down to the music, and beneath both covers is a substantial collection of riveting folk-rock full of country themes, hard time, and beautiful lyrics. Ingrid gets as much, if not more mic time than Jim, (and she kills it), but that’s not to say James Joseph Croce ever takes a backseat, or really, that he ever could. From Vespers to Big Wheel to the emotionally cleansing closer, Spin, Spin, Spin, Another Day, Another Town is a monumental collection for anyone looking to tap square into late 60’s Americana, and with anything Croce related, she comes HIGHLY recommended.
The Big Bay Band (one that I’d not previously hear of) released a tribute album, of sorts, to the great Count Basie with their 1958 party pleaser, Rock-A-Bye Basie. Release on translucent red vinyl, as you can clearly see, this 10-track “covers” release includes works by George Gershwin, Benny Goodman, J. Mayo Williams, Lester Young, and the great Count Basie.
In you’re in the big band mood on a little band budget, Rock-A-Bye Basie is that swingin’ jazz medley you’ve been searching for.
Let’s do this. For day #843, in my exhausted and lethargic state, and also because I’ve just about had it with humanity, here is a list of “in the mail” records that have yet to hit our doorstep; Some for obvious reasons (they haven’t been released yet), and others because they’re apparently being couriered by the Pony Express. Happy Saturday, kids:
Refused – Freedom (2x color versions)
Goldfinger – Goldfinger
Pygmy Lush – Bitter River (brown vinyl)
Where the Buffalo Roam (The Original Movie Soundtrack)
Tomahawk – Oddfellows
Damaged Bug – Cold Hot Plumbs
Faith No More – Sol Invictus (clear vinyl, I think)
Long Live the King!
Was a defocused Adam Ant ever a sex symbol? This 1983 cover of Strip certainly suggests that over 30 years ago, he was. I was busy acting out my favorite scenes from Return of the Jedi with my Jedi Luke Skywalker (with green lightsaber) and Jabba the Hutt playset (with snub-nosed Salacious Crumb) at the time, so this obvious monument of male sexual prowess escaped me.
I’ll admit that I went through an “80s” phase about a decade ago, and managed to gobble up any and every early 80s pop album I could find. I’d been the proud owner of Adam Ant’s B-Side Babies back in High School, and figured that expanding my Adam Ant collection was a logical endeavor. Strip, with its chart-climbing single, Puss ‘n Boots (which was co-produced by Phil Collins, I’ll have you know) was Mr. Ant’s 2nd solo effort after ditching the Ants in ’82.
Sex symbol or not, Stuart Leslie Goddard (aka Adam Ant) made some pretty damn good pop music throughout his career, and although B-Side Babies never received a proper vinyl release, it comes HIGHLY recommended.
North by North, Alex
Alex North led a profoundly prolific career, this much is obvious. His work on the original 2001: A Space Odyssey score alone sets him a head above the cinematic competition, but here are a few other Alex North projects you may have overlooked (if you’re anything like me): A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Spartacus (1960), The Misfits (1961), Cleopatra (1963), and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), to name only a short few. This Spartacus soundtrack is a 1980 reissue of the original 1960 release, but a quick look on Discogs yields a fairly reasonable price for both versions (in the $6 range). Although soundtracks aren’t my immediate go to, they are a nifty little orchestral oasis once in a while.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Is the “Extra” in Extra Terrestrial similar to the “Extra” in Extra Strength Tylenol? Like, there is there a Regular Terrestrial (R.T.), or even a Maximum Terrestrial (M.T.)? Anyway, 1982’s blockbuster cultivated a whopping $792,910,554 in worldwide box office sales during its tenure in theaters, which calculates to $1,940,116,550.26 with inflation (source: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/). But don’t worry your pretty little sky-searching head, because this epic film’s original motion picture soundtrack can be had at a fraction of a fraction of a fraction (of a fraction) of the price. $2.73 over at Discogs, and this essential otherworldly soundtrack can be yours.