Special Beat Service.

A band by any other Beat, is still The Beat. Known in Australia as The British Beat, in North America as The English Beat, and in their own territory as simply, The Beat, this late 70s – early 80s ska revival group released some unforgettable earworms throughout their tenure, a few of which would be focal points to classic cult films. I mentioned earlier (four or so years ago) about their inclusion in the 1997 film Gross Pointe Blank, but it was 1982’s Rotating Head (instrumental version titled March of the Swivelheads) by means of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that introduced me with this prolific and continent-jumping band. The music? Well, it still holds up, and shows no signs of fading away into irrelevant obscurity. The (insert location here) Beat’s discography is relatively small, and definitely work seeking out.

Words Included

So, about 13 (or so) years ago, I made a full time job out of thrift store record hunting. Among my varied excavations were a nifty handful of Smurf records. I don’t recall ever listening to them, nor can I tell you how (loosely) they’re affixed to the classic 80s cartoon, but one thing I CAN tell you, is that I own five (5) Smurfs records. Again, not sure what the hell I’m going to do with them, but there was a time in my life (not too terribly long ago, I’m afraid) when I felt the need to own them.

Further Charges

It’s a Punk and Disorderly kind of morning (he writes while listening to Gershwin). Variety is the spice of life, or something like that. Actually, this version is Punk and Disorderly volume 2, Further Charges. Already own vol. 3, and just put vol. 1 up on the ol’ Discogs Wantlist (does Wantlist get caps? It does here). Enjoy your spinning Saturday, kids. Take note of the sax-shirt-wearing Virgin Records shopper. Classic.

Plastic Surgery Revisited

Oh, man. I can say, with an honest tongue, that the Dead Kennedys were my favorite band for about six months one year back in the early 2000’s. This copy was purchased at a little book store in Madison, WI (I believe it was Frugal Muse) while on my way back to the pizza shop on a delivery. One takes luxuries now and again, and for only $10 which, at the time was high, but seems like tip money now. I think my move to California and my new found love for James Booker knocked me out of my DK cloud, but their first two albums are still in my top 20 of all time (1980’s Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables and this, 1982’s Plastic Surgery Disasters). Cheers.

NEG F-X

fxNot 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.

SSINGLES

ssinglesI was a little surprised to discover that I’d not touched upon arguably one of the greatest singles compilations ever to emerge from the early 1980s… Singles – 45’s and Under by Squeeze. She was my first introduction to the band, and I thought little to nothing about it upon first spin. Now, she’s one of my top 20 all-time releases. Copies are cheap, so if you find one, snatch it up!

The Inevitable, Yet Regrettable Pair

NebrNot… I repeat, NOT, a good combination. When drinking whiskey, leave Nebraska alone. Subsequently, when listening to Nebraska, put down the bottle.

This is a rule, not unlike a heart, in the process, that I annually break.

If “misery loves company” is the phrase, Nebraska is the exclamation point that immediately follows.

WWIII

WWIIIWelcome to 1984. Are you ready for the third world war?! So go the lyrics spewed forth by Jello (Wahoo) Biafra in 1981’s We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now (not featured on the album in which this insert was showcased). The Crass-like art featured within the multi-page booklet from 1982’s Plastic Surgery Disasters by Bay-area social norm killers, Dead Kennedys, acts as a sort of a pictorial accompaniment to this amazing, yet sobering album. Pulling little to no stops, Mr. Biafra and team eject a string of disturbingly accurate observations on every day life back in Cold War 1982. Oh, how strikingly little things have changed some 33 years later. Anyway, enjoy the art!

B-Boy Bouillabaisse

GoThis 1982 live bootleg from the inaugural Beastie Boys years is the most recent addition to the family’s B-Boy Bouillabaisse (Paul’s Boutique… check it out). It was acquired at an LA punk shop off Melrose, and although the quality is less than perfect, it captures a pivotal point in the band’s lucrative history. For what it’s worth, sacred memories need to be celebrated, regardless of how unsocial and mundane they may seem.

RIP MCA.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T.Is the “Extra” in Extra Terrestrial similar to the “Extra” in Extra Strength Tylenol? Like, there is there a Regular Terrestrial (R.T.), or even a Maximum Terrestrial (M.T.)? Anyway, 1982’s blockbuster cultivated a whopping $792,910,554 in worldwide box office sales during its tenure in theaters, which calculates to $1,940,116,550.26 with inflation (source: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/). But don’t worry your pretty little sky-searching head, because this epic film’s original motion picture soundtrack can be had at a fraction of a fraction of a fraction (of a fraction) of the price. $2.73 over at Discogs, and this essential otherworldly soundtrack can be yours.