Q: What do James Bond, Captain Kirk, Bruce from Jaws, and the team from The Rockford Files all have in common? A: Billy Strange’s thematic interpretation found throughout the party-favorite, Dyn-O-Mite Guitar. When drama, science fiction, and scantly clad axe-wielders collide, there’s Billy Strange.
The Prudent Groove (among several other members of his abundant family) welcome into this conscious, baby Leif (last name undisclosed to protect the congratulatory). The Who, you ask? Great companions and their adorable newborn. With all the extended family (read: friends) and their bulging, baby bellies, we pose the inevitable, Who’s Next?
For some wholesome, gut-busting, brilliant hilarity, it really doesn’t get much better than the Smothers Brothers. If you don’t believe me, or are on the fence concerning legitimate blood-brother comedy duos, have a listen to Swiss Christmas. If I had prepared, I’d have had the mp3 ready… but I didn’t, so you’ll have to seek it out yourself. I’m sure I’m sorry. “Excitement!”
Everybody can use a little lifelong camaraderie, and as far as I’m concerned, nobody is too old for some of our first, cherished companions. I’m in no way ashamed of my love for Sesame Street, not that I should be, and spending an amazing week with some amazing kids, the Street Sesame seemed wholeheartedly appropriate. Happy Sunday, kids!
If ever there was the perfect collection of songs ripe for a transparent blue vinyl release, it’s Weezer’s debut album, 1994’s Weezer. So, one would think that said album would have several, slight variations of blue vinyl releases… 10th anniversary, 15th anniversary, the original Croatian release, but instead, there are exactly zero blue vinyl releases of this astounding, and necessary album. This is something that needs rectifying, people. Please file.
Records will sound better and last longer when tiny Dis-Charger, Fig. A, is clipped to record-player tone arm. Unit draws off static charge as record is played, releasing injurious and noise-producing dust clinging to record grooves. – Popular Mechanics, December, 1956 (page 157)
(photo courtesy of Popular Mechanics, and is used entirely without permission)
Music to Drink Bubble Up By! was a fantastic find for $0.92. We listened to her the other night and she’s filled with early 60’s radio jingles ranging from Cha-cha-chá, to rock, to easy listening, to seductive sleaze. If the cover doesn’t grab ya, the clever and well-written jingles will certainly have you reaching for cool, refreshing, lemon lime bottle of classic Bubble Up. I’ve certainly never had it, but it’s now on my radar.
This 1967 psych-rock album is the first from Long Island’s Vanilla Fudge, and would serve as the band’s most successful offering, peaking at #6 on the Billboard charts. With only three originals on the album Illusions of My Childhood, Pts. 1-3 (all instrumentals), Vanilla Fudge contains far-out and refreshing covers by The Zombies (She’s Not There), The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby and Ticket to Ride), The Supremes (You Keep Me Hangin’ On), and Cher (Bang Bang). For a refreshing take on classic 60’s flare, try some Vanilla Fudge in your groove diet.
I about choked on my peanut butter and pastrami sandwich when I discovered that Boys Noize was just one guy, Germany’s Alexander Ridha. The enormous amount of heard-hitting wealth found on this double LP is the stuff of pure genius. It’s raw, heavy, and filthy Euro-dance music… the very best kind in my opinion. Although released in 2007 (8 years ago already), these deep grooves have lost none of their profound impact, and if you’ve got an ear for sensual sleaze, it doesn’t get much better than Oi Oi Oi.
So, when the decision to purchase an album is based on the 50+ year old advertisement stuck to the cover of an unheard album, you know there is a problem. Jose Jimenez, and the 1960? promo sticker that surrounds Jose Jimenez at Hungry and I starring Bill Dana, is the culprit here, and I am the helpless victim.
Oh, Bonnie Tyler… how you will forever be synonymous with the summer of 1996. I think it was the constant radio play of Nicki French’s 1993 cover of Total Eclipse of the Heart that ruined it for me, that or a friend’s sister had Faster Than the Speed of Night on cassette. Either way, I absolutely despised both versions… with a raging passion, but with anything that’s repeatedly shoved into your skull without your control, usually at full volume, you begin to find pleasure in the agony. I’ve grown to admire the original, now that I’m older and own the album, but I can’t shake the adventurous happenings of the warm, humid summer of 1996 every damn time I hear that song, or see this album cover. Also, hair.
I very rarely purchase full priced albums solely on their cover art having not heard a lick of the music, but with Damaged Bug’s Cold Hot Plumbs, I had to take chance. The music is good, falling under the stoned-out-experiment-electro umbrella, but with this release, my eyes are much happier than my ears. Frame worthy for sure, yet a little unnerving, and I like that.
While prepping for a trip to the East Coast, let’s once again focus on the West Coast magistrates, Seattle’s The Murder City Devils. Rereleased in 2009, the band’s debut self-titled album struggled to stretch its indie wings, something that would over-abundantly come with their sophomore follow-up, 1998’s Empty Bottles Broken Hearts. Although certainly not the band’s most prolific moment, The Murder City Devils cements its deserving place in the collections of those who like their ear candy rough around the edges, yet melodically substantial.
When anger and rage are your evening companions, a little Maniacal Laughter is certainly in order. Falling under the ever-growing nostalgia umbrella, East Coast pop-punkers The Bouncing Souls returned to the mid-90s middle class punk scene with their sophomore effort, 1996’s nearly perfect Maniacal Laughter. One of my early introductions to the band was this and their first, 1994’s The Good, the Bad & the Argyle, but for me, Maniacal Laughter is much more sophisticated than its predecessor, while still managing to embrace the slick, lighthearted, bratty aura that made them fan favorites all across the world. If you haven’t seen The Bouncing Souls live, you most certainly should. They’re a hell-of-a lot of fun… or, at least they were 20 years ago. We all may be getting older, but we’re never too old for some hearty Maniacal Laughter.
Bernard Herrmann (double N), and the Hitchcock extravaganza… get this masterful record, after all, it’s a Varese Sarabande release, and those in the know, know. Released in 1980, a solid year after my manifestation, Vol. 1 in the Soundtrack Series, this is certainly one to seek out. On a day of SEVERE disappointments, North By Northwest is a comforting chap.