Let’s roll out of 2016 in blazing style, aboard S&M Airlines. I won’t get into the plethora of ways 2016 was one of the worst years of my existence, I’ll only hold one, desperate match in the attempts at keeping the flame of hope alive. 2016, you are dead, and I couldn’t be happier. 2017, I look at you with hesitant optimism. Don’t let us down. Happy New Year, kids.
Arguably Madison, Wisconsin’s most prolific achievement, punkers Naked Aggression barked socialist ideals over light speed rhythms for audiences of couch protesters and pro-choice supporters alike. Though their idea of state smashing and organized religion bashing weren’t new as of the early 1990s, their collective voice has withstood the test of time (a rigged, almost impossible test to pass), and are greatly deserving of a solid, and focused listen.
1995 called and they want their thing back. We’re so happy to finally own this amazing Love Jones album, their 2nd studio album (depending on who you ask). The Thing was, simply put, the thing back in the summer of 1995, and it continues to fill that cocktail lounge niche that never really seemed to go away… something I’m forever grateful for.
… it could be worse!
Not necessarily the most festive of selections for this eve of celebration, but a worthwhile and recommended album nonetheless. Boston area hardcore punkers Negative FX were a short-lived, yet historically inspiring group of angry, melodic youths. They’re credited in the NOFX book, The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories as being the inspiration for the famous NOFX name (Negative FX / NO F-X…), which, in and of itself was enough of a reason to check out this 2005 release of NEG F-X’s 1982 demos. Get rowdy this holiday season, kids, and as always, please spin responsibly.
It’s always an exciting and rewarding adventure to go record shopping with the wife for a variety of newly discoverable reasons. Our tastes vary, quite differently, for starters, but that’s all part of the charm. Case in point, this all-star jazz live recording of CTI veterans performing at the Hollywood Bowl from 1977. I’d never think to look for this, but couldn’t be happier with my wife’s decision. Discovering new music through the eyes, and ears, of others. Happy Thursday, kids.
First and foremost, RIP Alan Thicke. Anyone remember My Sister Sam? I don’t, but I bet Steve Dorff & Friends do! Along side the unforgettable (depending on who you ask) Growing Pains theme, Dorff and crew are responsible for themes to Just the Ten of Us, the aforementioned My Sister Sam, and of course, Murphy Brown. Also on this comp is the theme to The Oldest Rookie (never heard of it), Whattley by the Bay (again, no clue), and the Spenser: For Hire theme.
Squeeze out another indispensable new wave experience with 1981’s East Side Story. Though not as electrifying as their 1978 debut (Squeeze), or as pop-friendly as their second album (1979’s Cool for Cats), East Side Story shows, I believe, the greatest jump in maturity between their early, and essential albums. Whether you’re in the mood for a very well-written, new wave classic, or if you’re longing for the chorus to Tempted, East Side Story is just a 33 1/3 revolution away.
It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for Fugazi (really, any day is a good day for Fugazi, let’s be honest). Once a topic of disdain and much, much anger is now the comfort of a warm and snug blanket or sweater… meaning it’s been wholly embraced and absorbed, because at one time in my life, I was an idiot. Repeater, the band’s first full length, was released many a moon ago, in April of 1990. I was ten. Carry on.
One can never turn down a Motown presentation, especially when its offered up by Diana Ross. 1969 saw a lot of things, and among them was the first studio release from The Jackson 5, Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5. I won’t got into details so much as to say, this is essential listening material for both historical, and pleasure purposes.
Another day, another Jackie Gleason reissue. This time, Music, Martinis, and Memories. Oh, how wayward evenings must have been in the chilly Decembers of the mid 1950s. As heavy on the piano as it is on the strings, Music, Martinis, and Memories sprinkles in a cool layer of lustful trumpeting, while never grooving faster than a slow, lovers walk… or a prowler’s strut. Music, Martinis, and Memories is, quite simply put, all you and your lover need for a successful, Jackie Gleason-inspired evening.
I’ll reluctantly admit that my knowledge of Andrew Jackson Jihad is virtually nonexistent outside their 2007 masterpiece People Who Can Eat People are the Luckiest People in the World. Upon its release, that damn record was the only thing I spun for nearly two months. At that time, the fresh, emotionally-fueled marrying of folk and punk was all I would listen to, which makes the fact that I never really ventured off into other nuggets of their discography all that much more questionable. Can’t Maintain is the 2009 follow up to PWCEPatLPitW, and while it keeps the same self-destructing lyrics and high-energy acoustic back beat, there’s an underlining layer of hope and optimism not found from PWCEPatLPitW. It’s well worth checking out, just the same. A little tidbit of info, Andrew Jackson Jihad is now only called AJJ. Not sure when this happened, but there you have it. The more you know.
This reissue of Jackie Gleason’s debut album (from 1952) jumped into my hands today for a cool $1.95. Labeled as “easy listening,” Music for Lovers Only is classic mood music, perfect when looking for non-assuming elevator music, with a bit of a suggestive twist. Now we can listen to Jackie Gleason while we eat!