Mixtape

Urban Outfitters… not necessarily my cup of tea, or coffee, or any type of cocktail of any sort, but for reasons beyond my comprehension, I kept this Record Store Day freebie. I can’t say that I’ve ever listened to it, and as there appears to be a minor following for Urban Outfitters Mixtapes online, I may attempt to “trade this in” for something say, more my speed. I’m thinking of FINALLY finishing my Kinks discography, and a store where I’ll never set foot may be helping me out with that.

Zep on a Shelf

My long life of thrift store shopping can (kinda) be traced back to this album… It was found, rather discarded, among brick-a-brack drivel in rural Wisconsin at a converted thrift store where I used to hunt down vintage Star Wars figures (it was called the Value Village, but I called it the Ewok Village, because, well, I was a kid). Having known the heavy hitting songs, but not the cover, I inquisitively searched the item for any semblance of tagging, which I found only on the record labels. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I was so old (16) before I understood this album (a bit of self-loathing here). I’ve since acquired a copy in much better condition, but I keep this version around as a reminder. A sort of symbol of much-needed things yet to be discovered.

Plays Pretty

God, I love this band. One of the most unappreciated and exceptionally underrated bands in recent memory. I’m not too familiar with Plays Pretty for Baby, the band’s second album, but their debut, 13-Point Program to Destroy America is so explosive, I’m a subscriber for any and everything this short-lived gang spit out. Hardcore punk fans, it doesn’t get much better than The Nation of Ulysses.

Columbia Insert

Haven’t done an insert in a while, so, here’s an insert! Straight from the crooked minds over at Columbia Records, promptly found within our copy of Blood, Sweat & Tears’ self-titled monster. A handful on this list can be found within our collection (Super Session, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison, Cheap Thrills, The Graduate), but something I’m now just noticing is that I don’t have any Paul Revere & The Raiders in my collection. Hmm. Something to consider.

Pseudo Pseudo

Everybody wants to get funky, let’s face it, but an entire TOWN of funk without even a mention of P-Funk? Well, that’s just a horse of a different color all together! Don’t blame Melbourne’s own Psuedo Echo, they were only covering Lipps Inc. with their charting version of Funkytown. One of my first “favorite” tracks, I knew Pseudo Echo before I knew Pseudo Echo, you know?

B, S & T

Man, I haven’t heard this Grammy winning “jazz-rock” album in what seems like three lifetimes. Released in December of 1968, the band’s self-titled sophomore effort carried with it three singles with And When I Die, Happy, and Spinning Wheel (which I just heard on AM radio this very morning), and was a commercially successful monster (quadruple platinum… that’s a shit-ton of records). Though the musicianship behind leader Al Kooper is, without question, on point (Kooper, you’ll remember, was part of the Super Sessions record, together with Mike Bloomfield and Steven Stills, released July of the same year) the album as a whole requires a certain mindset that isn’t necessarily anywhere close to default. A fun and insanely well-pieced collection, I’m happy to put BS&T back on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

Lard Lad

Oh, the power of Lard. 1997’s Pure Chewing Satisfaction was a burrowing larva harassing my ears on a rather routine basis some 20-odd years ago (picture a screaming Chekhov in Star Trek 2… you remember the scene). I. Simply. Couldn’t. Get. Enough. Sadly, releases by this industrial supergroup can only be counted on one hand (with an angry finger to spare), but Pure will always be the gateway drug to a heavily explorable universe of side projects, one-offs, and wasted anticipation. (Cocks head and wonders to self), maybe I should unearth my old mix tapes. Lard was a frequent flier on my sides (laughs to self), much to the dismay of my less-than-understanding friends.

Quick Pics

Presented here is a brief representation of last night’s spins. You can see how the evening progressed into an outright cacophony of carnal violence with the first Revolting Cocks release (1985’s No Devotion, as good of a nightcap as there ever was), but what isn’t instantly apparent is the decision making that tied these releases together. James Booker’s The Lost Paramount Tapes followed by Thee Midniters’ debut self-titled, then finally the grandfathers of Wax Trax! Records, RevCo. I can’t for the life of me remember the motivation, not that it matters, so I guess this telling was little more than a mundane tail of unrelated entertainment, if that is in fact how what we’re calling it.

Lost and Paramount

This album has brought me close to tears, multiple times. Not only is this “New Orleans Jazz” release a perfect standalone, it bridges the geographic gap between my previous chapter in Wisconsin, and my current stint in Los Angeles. James Booker and his iconic Junco Partner happened to be the last melody of any significance I had giddily immersed myself into days leading to my permanent departure from the rural Midwest. What turned out to be rather serendipitous was that The Lost Paramount Tapes was, in fact, the first album of any format (compact disc) I was able to acquire upon my arrival to sunny, congested, southern California (September of 2003 with thanks to Grady’s Record Refuge in Ventura, CA). The first soundtrack to my new life has, today finally joined the fold. Thank you Vinyl Me, Please (a damn good record of the month club that I only recently discontinued) for seeing the unspoken greatness of this absolutely and profoundly perfect record, and for FINALLY providing it a much deserved, and greatly anticipated vinyl release. James Booker was most certainly a character, both sides of the coin, and his efforts on The Lost Paramount Tapes not only resonate on a deeply personal level, they make for one of the best (expletive) albums I’ve ever had the pleasure of spinning. Top 3 records of all time. Hands down.

Viva! La Sealed?

So admittedly, it’s been a while, but I went to pull out Viva! La Woman, Cibo Matto’s debut album on Warner Bros. Records from 1996, and to my dismay, I noticed that my copy is sealed! All those years listening to Viva! and Stereo Type A must have been digitally, come to think of it now. I have zero recollection of any hint of reasoning why I would have kept this classic record sealed, but here it lives, suffocating in time. Now, the question is, obviously, whether to keep this virgin record cocooned, or to free it for the celebratory maiden voyage… Where’s my knife?

Mariachis and Tortillas

We made tortillas and salsa over the weekend, so it was, of course, fitting to spin some Mariachi El Bronx. Turns out, this copy of their first album, self-titled, fetches a hefty sum online. As of right now, only 390 people on the Discogs community “Have,” while 338 people “Want.” Oh, yeah! The fruit beer! It was a first for me, and was equal parts “interesting” and quite tasty. As an aside, both the tortillas and the salsa turned out near perfectly, so that’s something.

Chuck

One of my wife’s latest brick & mortar selections, Chuck Mangione’s 1976 album, Main Squeeze. My wife (adorably) confused Mr. Mangione with Herb Alpert, but we’re both more than happy to welcome this modern jazz (well, mid-70’s modern jazz) album to the collection. I’d definitely welcome more spins by Mangione in the near future, and it just hit me that I should probably be listening to a lot more from the A&M Records library. Baja Marimba Band, anyone?

Armed Forces

So happy to finally get this stellar Elvis Costello and the Attractions album from ’79 titled, Armed Forces. Presented here is the US variant cover (UK cover showcases elephants, for those with inquisitive minds). Obviously a much-needed classic, this copy was purchased by my nephews at a South Jersey record shop as a holiday gift. Thanks again, buddies!!

Pay the Man

Skyscraper Records released this 5-track EP back in 1992, and I can’t for the life of me remember the circumstances surrounding its acquisition. It’s probably one of the first, say, 100 records I’ve obtained, and aside from maybe a Half Price Books deal, it was probably found on one of my many, many, early hunting days, likely at a Goodwill or a St. Vinnie’s. Come to think of it, I haven’t hunted the thrift stores in close to a lifetime (a few years at least), something certainly worth reconsidering, as is relistening to the transparent blue record found beneath Clown Martin, here.

Hooked on Phonic

Full frequency stereophonic sound, like you’ve never heard it reproduced before. Though there’s certainly something nostalgic and simple about the grandfather mono sound, something cleaner, it goes without saying that the technological advances of stereophonic sound changed the audio recording game for the better. Whatever your preference per individually pressed records, we’re all kings and queens of our own destinies, in large part to stereophonic sound.

8 Book

1977’s Book of Dreams was The Steve Miller Band’s 10th studio album, and arguably their most prolific release. 7 of the tracks would appear on the band’s Greatest Hits 1974 – 1978 album, which appeared just a year after Book hit record store shelves. The classic Jet Airliner is the obvious standout (or Jed & Lina, depending on who you ask), but Book also contains the party-favorite Jungle Love. In all, it’s no question, given the outrageous success, that this album would appear on multiple formats. Presented here is a newly acquired 8-track. Same track order as the vinyl release, save for Swingtown which is broken into two parts. No joke, The Steve Miller band hit it huge with Book of Dreams.

Elvis Model 8

Another find from the recent online hunt is (yet) another Elvis Costello release. This time, This Year’s Model on 8-track. Now, I know we’d “recently” touched upon the vinyl version of this seminal album, but let’s be honest, is $12 too much to pay for an essential, recent obsession on an obsolete format? Well, clearly, the answer is an astounding no! Happy New Year, kids!