Finally, a reasonably priced vinyl version of the Original Soundtrack to High Fidelity. It only took 15 years, but this Record Store Day Black Friday exclusive was well worth the wait. The Kinks, The Velvet Underground, The Beta Band, and The Thirteenth Floor Elevators to name only a few rampant cuts covering four sides of wax make for a damn good compilation album. This album is best enjoyed while accompanied by Johnny Cash’s autobiography, Cash By Johnny Cash.
What can one say when it comes to The Kinks? $14 for a 4-track reissue with virtually no resell value (not that one, a true fan, would resale any Kinks album anyway)? Well, yes, that seems viable. It’s The Kinks, and it’s (kind-of) new, so, yeah, you know, let’s do this thing. For arguably the only equitable band to rival The Beatles, any new release by The Kinks warrants consumerist activity.
One wonders what Joe Strummer would think of his first Clash record being released on blue / white split vinyl for Black Friday… My interjections of Joe’s disdain for this release aside, she does make for a perfectly viable reason to fork over $29 for an album one already owns three times over. One never, ever goes wrong with The Clash, and this was, most certainly, $29 very well spent.
Today’s haul from the 2015 Record Store Day sponsored Black Friday event. Only four of these were actual RSD exclusives, but we certainly couldn’t turn down $0.33.3 clearance lounge records. The Sun Records picture disc was an impulse buy, and certainly justified. We hope you’re enjoying your holiday, if in fact you actually get a holiday, and we hope said holiday involves many a spun record.
Hyper-frenzied J-ska’ers, Pot Shot released their first LP by ways of Asian Man Records wayyyyyy back in 1997. Titled Pots and Shots (clever enough), she was released once on vinyl, limited to 2000 copies worldwide, and has yet to be reissued. I had to order this puppy from Japan as domestic sales were either nonexistent or hugely overpriced. Their hit, Radio was featured on the 1998 comp, Mailorder is Fun! and as it turns out, was my first introduction to this exciting band. They’re aggressively upbeat, ferociously frenetic, and unmistakably catchy. Shove them in your ear this holiday season.
All hail a complete discography! Save for the 7 inches, that is. Paying full price these days for a new record is something of a scarcity among my close-knit community, but when it comes to The Budos band and their shadowy brand of afro-funk, price is no object. So far The Budos Band (their first) gets the most spins, but The Budos Band III is not too far behind. For deep, dirty, diabolical grooves, one could argue, it doesn’t get much better than The Budos Band.
A quick (very, very quick) fact check places this Capitol Records insert in, or around the year 1959. Meredith Wilson’s Original Broadway Cast of The Music Man was released in ’57, Louis Prima’s Las Vegas Prima Style was ’58, and Sinatra’s 1959 Come Dance With Me! all help make this claim. Regardless, these vibrant colors coupled with this elegant and straight-forward layout make for compelling and eye-catching contemporary art. My local record store has STACKS of these random inserts, and I’m 15 minutes shy of heading down there and asking how much they want for the lot. I’m sure my SO would be thrilled to beat the band about me acquiring even more record paraphernalia. Let the convincing commence…
Jabba the Hutt’s taste in women derives from the Red Sea shores of this north-eastern Egyptian city, or so it would appear from the cover to 101 String’s 1959 space-age pop-jazz compilation, East of Suez. Perhaps slave women apparel is globally standard and I’m just catching on, or, per chance, it’s that Mr. The Hutt has a very distinct taste in his slaves’ swimwear. If you’re in the market for orchestral mood music with a provocative, Egyptian undertone, look no further than East of Suez.
Truth & Honesty 101 here, kids. I know nothing of Mr. Jackie Gleason outside his reference in Robert Zemeckis’ 1985 time traveling classic, Back to the Future. Shame on me, for sure, don’t’cha know? So how better to dive into this pool-playing hustler’s repertoire than a single LP of his first two albums? I can think of no better way to begin the Gleason journey, than at the very beginning. On a side note… what, exactly, are we referring to when we use the term “misty” here? Inquiring minds want to know…
Like something straight out of the opening credits to North by Northwest, this, the original cover to Henry Mancini’s 1959 The Music From “Peter Gunn” aptly packages the swiftly-infused late 50’s power jazz within. Spy Hunter has nothing on Peter Gunn, clearly, and this original sleeve runs high-speed laps around its reissue, which was (im)perfectly showcased here. Word on the street (via Internet Ave) is that John Williams was part of Henry Mancini’s orchestra during this time, so hit your local brick and mortar first thing tomorrow and track this down this jazzy jamboree.
I implore you to indulge in some alluring autumnal rock. ‘Tis the season, after all. This mix was hand curated by yours truly while on holiday (no, NOT in Waikiki) a few years back, and was just rediscovered upon a thorough cleaning of the office just this morning. Tracklist below for those of you populating the playlist public. It’s captivating fall music, perfect for any fan of the mighty Kinks.
The Kinks – Folks’ Van Mix (misspelled, of course)
1. The Moneygoround (1970)
2. Mr. Pleasant (1966)
3. Autumn Almanac (1968)
4. Holiday in Waikiki (1966)
5. Acute Schizophrenia Paranoia Blues (1971)
6. Skin and Bone (1971)
7. Sitting By the Riverside (1968)
8. Animal Farm (1968)
9. Village Green (1968)
10. Starstruck (1968)
11. The Contenders (1970)
12. Last of the Steam Powered Trains (1968)
13. Arthur (1969)
14. Lincoln County (1968)
15. Rats (1970)
16. 20th Century Man (1971)
17. Susannah’s Still Alive (1967)
18. Harry Rag (1967)
19. David Watts (1967)
20. Apeman (1970)
21. A Well Respected Man (1965)
22. All of My Friends Were There (1968)
23. Waterloo Sunset (1967)
24. Strangers (1970)
25. People Take Pictures of Each Other (1968)
Modern contemporary conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra, Mr. Arthur Fiedler tackles The Beatles with his 1969 album, Play the Beatles. This is EXACTLY what you’d think it would be from the master composer at age 75. 12 classical-pop interpretations of Penny Lane, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby, With a Little Help from My Friends, among others, done the only way Mr. Fiedler and the Boston Pops knew how… straight fucking forward. The only provocative part about this record is the album cover, which in no way represents the contents within. That certainly does not, however, make for a tedious listen. If your expectations are high, and I’m not exactly sure why they would be, pass this one up, but if you’re in the mood for a middle of the road take on British pop songs you’ve heard a thousand times, check out Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play the Beatles.
Music to Live By… if you’re rich, Caucasian, and generally backwards-thinking. This Mercury Records “Demonstration” record offers a Werther’s Original to the mind’s creative sweet tooth. Mother curled up on the couch next to her older brother’s high school track & field buddy, now her husband of 19 years. Father, a successful plastics distributor fresh off a 3% annual salary increase for convincing his supervisors that Fred Hamlin’s work just wasn’t up to snuff. Fred was Mother’s suitor back in secondary school… poor Fred. Daughter, poised like a brazen hussy on the floor (apparently the kids weren’t allowed on the furniture), pretending to give a shit about the family photo album from their long-winded trip to Old Faithful. Son nervously watches a motionless fireplace, silently praying his overbearing parents don’t find out about his recent school expulsion.
Music to Live By, solving each and every family’s upper middle class problems one record spin at a time. Thank you, consumerism.
Always looking out for my fellow record obsessed, this photo was sent to a Tull-lover, with the simple text of, “Have? Need?” This is not a rare exchange that goes out among our local collecting comrades, and in this case, the $3 needed not be spent. I was however strictly instructed to acquire 1974’s War Child, but in lieu of time, I had to pass it up. (Raises glass), here’s to those to act before asking. Happy Sunday, kids!
The cover to the 1994 reissue of RFTC’s Boychucker captures the short-lived fad of mid-90s youths with custom, RFTC cutout Pogs. Remember Pogs? Nah, neither do we. The back cover comically spotlights Speedo (Swami) furiously destroying a couple of grade school infants at this forgotten and aggressive activity. Get the original, but checkout this reissue. LONG LIVE POGS!
Walter (or Wendy) Carlos performing Moog interpretations from of The Beatles, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Burt Bacharach, and Johann Sebastian Bach? Hell yes! Sign me up! Released in 1975 on Columbia Masterworks (and this truly is a masterwork), By Request is a great little novelty album perfect for lazy Friday afternoons with little-to-nothing to do. Enjoy your records responsibly, kids, and happy Friday!
Winston Smith, surrealist master of the collage has some deep rooted connections to Dead Kennedys and Alternative Tentacles Records (since before both their inceptions). In addition to having designed both the iconic Dead Kennedy’s “DK” logo AND the AT Records logo, Mr. Smith’s art has also been showcased throughout many, various DK inserts, as well as a handful of Jello Biafra-related album releases. His art for the back of Jello Biafra with D.O.A.’s 1989 Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors was featured on the cover of The New Yorker back in 2000. Guess what just made my “want” list. This piece is another ocular gem found in the lengthy insert for 1982’s Plastic Surgery Disasters. TONS of amazing pieces in this insert which is, of course, definitely worth seeking out.
Official Winston Smith page can be found here.
Released 7 years after his first solo effort (1965’s The Paul Simon Songbook), 1972’s Paul Simon dropped almost two years after the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel, and features the infamous, Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard (one of my personal favorite Paul Simon solo tracks). A video was released for this song 16 years after its release (1988) and featured a surprising cast of unlikely characters: Biz Markie, Spud Webb, John Madden, Bid Daddy Kane, and Mickey Mantle… yes, Mickey Mantle. One doesn’t hear too much about Paul Simon these days, and that’s a shame. Take a few minutes out of your Wednesday and enjoy a catchy little tune from one of the best singer-songwriters of the 20th century. Here. Watch this.