Back in October of 2004, Rancid Records (a subsidiary of Hellcat Records… I think) released Operation Ivy’s Energy on “limited edition” picture disc. These were all the rage (in my head) back in the mid 2000’s. Hot Topic, yes, THAT Hot Topic, had just about every classic punk album in picture disc form, so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for yet another copy of this seminal album. I believe that makes four different copies in the collection… and there’s always room for more!
I’ll admit that I didn’t think much of Beach House’s Devotion when I first heard it back in ’07, but I will say, without any hesitation, that I strongly stand behind their choice of colored wax. Featured here is the Vinyl Me, Please 10th anniversary edition. I’m hopeful that time has been kind to this album, but I guess we’ll see.
Roger Miller is a goofy cat. Aside from voicing the narrative rooster in the famed Robin Hood animated feature from 1973, Mr. Miller championed fans and critics alike with his flavor for the funny. Do-Wacka-Do and You Can’t Roller Skate In A Buffalo Herd come to mind, but until the other day, I’d never heard of My Uncle Used to Love Me But She Died. This king of the road country funnyman is well worth keeping tabs on, and even if you’re not too keen on that whole country thing, you should definitely give Roger Miller a shot. (Smash Records cat. no. MGS 27075)
Oh, what wondrous adventures await within the mysterious and elegant Fire & Spice by Los Chavales de Espana. I picked up this amazing piece of Hi-Fi Fiesta for a cool $1 over the weekend, and am eagerly anticipating the marvelous exploits that lay within this striking cover. If you’ve ever wondered what a visual interpretation of fire and spice could be, look no further.
I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase Yma Sumac’s Voice of the Xtabay, as a 12″ nonetheless! What the hell would have stopped ya’? You may ask. Well, Nosey Neil, I’d already been the proud owner of the original 10″, so my inner money-saver began prodding with “reasonable” questions… that was until I discovered that the 12″ not only contained all 8 tracks from the original 10″, but also all 8 tracks from 1953’s Inca Taqui. Pimped as A Capitol Records Value (sticker in top right corner), the clear and correct decision to obtain was swiftly and promptly applied. Let’s not forget that legendary Space Age Pop-per Les Baxter composed and produced Voices, so you pretty much know you’re getting quality music. The 12″ is a steal at any price, and comes highly recommended.
While I sit here, eagerly listening to Jericho Sirens, you know, the new Hot Snakes album, I feel an urgent need to mentally frolic over this goofy-ass Bing Crosby cover from 1957 titled, New Tricks… I mean, just look at that dog’s disapproving glare! And the characteristic hat and pipe?! It’s just too much! Well, after you’ve had a good laugh, just think… that dog is dead now. What, you think dogs can live to be 60 years old?! What world do you live in, and how do I get there? But in all seriousness, New Tricks… is a pretty straightforward Bing Crosby record. Nothing too flashy, and a lot more of the same shtick that made Mr. Crosby the household name that he is. Buy it for the cover, but that’s about it. RIP funny dog.
The Beatles Christmas Album, bootleg or otherwise, is more of an historical artifact than a single, cohesive “album.” Originally released on 7″ flexi-discs to fan club members from 1963 – 1969, this 7-track collage of voice and (minor) song should be taken with a grain of salt, and although it rightfully deserves an assigned slot between Abbey Road and Hey Jude (Let it Be is organized by recorded date, not release date), it comes across as more of a contractual obligation record, but is still well worth the price of admission. Spin with an open mind… a practice you should always adhere to.
Since we were recently talking about it, have a look as the showcased albums from the Time Records Series 2000 collection, and count the number of percussion-based titles: Percussion on Stage, Percussion Espanol, Gypsy Strings and Percussion, and Concert Percussion for Orchestra. Four. I count four. Command Records knew it had a revolutionary and timeless release with Persuasive Percussion, which is further evidenced by its competitors, in this case Time Records and their Series 2000 team, trying at great lengths to cash in.
Time Records and their Series 2000 collection is a great partner (or competitor) to the early Command Record albums. This self-proclaimed “demonstration record” is a perfect introduction to the series and contains choice selects from Jim Tyler, Hugo Montenegro, Maury Laws, Al Caiola, and Kermit Leslie (among others). If you’re looking to expand your Space Age Pop chops (and who among you isn’t?), check out Music with Sound.
1961’s Ping Pong Percussion by Chuck Sagle and His Orchestra is branded as a jazzy, Space Age Pop-like competitor to the famed Persuasive Percussion series. I’ve found it to be a bit too dixieland, and less percussion-savvy as the glowing cover suggests. Still not a bad listen for $4, just two pennies over the original retail price.
We went in looking for a receiver, and came out with a bootleg copy of The Beatles Christmas Album. It was, in fact, on sale, so there’s that, but the Sherwood S-7100A receiver had been sold earlier in the day. The search continues for the perfect, vintage receiver.
When spending three nights within the confines of a rented studio apartment on wheels, a proper entertainment set-up isn’t just key, it’s borderline survival basics. The PG clan (consisting solely of my wife and me) each hand-picked 10 albums for our excursion… of which we’re down to about 12 after just one half day. But wait! Grady’s Record Refuge is just a quick Uber / Lyft ride away, so after the Tim Hardins and the Les Baxters are laid to rest, unknown gems from Ventura’s finest will get their spinning debut… inside a studio apartment on wheels.
Back in 1980, Jerry Reed released a 10-track collection of classic Jim Croce songs titled, Jerry Reed Sings Jim Croce. Staying fairly close to the original inceptions of Croce’s compositions, Reed pays well-deserving respect to one of the best pop songwriters of the 1970’s (or otherwise). Reed’s twang and grit offer only a tinge of dirt-riddled flair to Croce’s already rough-around-the-edges approach, but all-in-all, Reed Sings Croce is a delightfully pleasant spin, and should be heard by any fan of either prestigious artist. From The Avalanches to Jerry Reed… that’s how we do it here at The Groove.
As a follow-up to “yesterday’s” post, Wildflower is the second (of two) albums by sample-maniacs The Avalanches. Receiving its worldwide birth in July of 2016, singles from the album include Frank Sinatra, Colours, and Subways. This isn’t your mother’s electro hip-hop, but if you’ve had any eyes, ears, fingers, or tongues outside of standard radio garbage for the past (nearly) two decades, you’re already well aware of this group’s global influence, and can easily understand how essential this good-time Charlie band has been.
Oh, the subtle luxury of the limited colored vinyl reissue. This time around it’s the “legendary” debut album by Australia’s The Avalanches. Since I Left You was originally released, mainly in Australia, back in 2000 (with copies going for well over the $350 mark), so the frugal side of me held out for this 2017 translucent blue double LP reissue. Hype sticker on the front quotes Pitchfork as saying, “Quite possibly the best sample record ever made” and though I’m partial to Paul’s Boutique, they may not be wrong.
Latin, jazz, pop, space-age, and easy listening are just a few terms to describe Les Baxter and His Chorus and Orchestra’s 1955 classic, Tamboo!. If songs like Cuchibamba, Zambezi, Mozambique, and Oasis of Dakhla aren’t enough for you, the mid-century exotic cover should do the trick. A deal at $2.99, a steal as a free gift. Thanks, choch.
SLOWLY beginning the much anticipated digitizing process of our Space Age Pop collection. The plan was to ingest all four volumes of Persuasive Percussion… I managed to gather only the first. This painstaking process will yield countless hours of road trip entertainment. I encourage all of you to digitize your collection. A 160gb iPod comes in handy.