Album ass: TMBG style. I was beside myself when news of They Might Be Giants’ 1996 album, Factory Showroom would (finally) be released on vinyl. Quickly snatching one up, I fell into my chair looking at a 12″ display of what was, to my experience at the time, the CD’s back cover. Countless pizza deliveries were made listening to this album, and many a red light were spent matching the artfully displayed tracklist to the appropriate track number. Metal Detector, James K. Polk, and the personal favorite, Till My Head Falls Off were, and are classic, late 90s jams. (Takes a deep breath.) Thank you, Asbestos Records!
Though I’ve been in (clenched) possession of this amazing Lagwagon box set for 6 years (Putting Music in its Place… the 10 LP box set… you remember…), I hadn’t, until today, noticed this stellar insert for the double Hoss LP. The photo is of high enough quality for you to zoom in and have a laugh to the bottom left corner’s brief history of the album. The center band photo was used in 1994’s Fat Wreck Chords comp, Survival of the Fattest (I remember it from my high school days), but to my knowledge, the photos on either side are exclusive to this release. Anyway, I found this particular story to be quite humorous.
As far as new music goes, Surplus 1980 is very likely my newest, latest discovery. And by discovery, I mean I heard it on the radio (my 19-year-old self is cringing and balling his fists right now). Of course, I heard it on KXLU, well, The International Voice of Reason to be exact (my new muse). What got me was 2011’s Let’s Put Another One There. It’s a circus nightmare of overpopulated self-awareness, and it’s quite possibly one of the best songs I’ve ever heard. To pigeonhole Surplus 1980 (oh, why do we feel the need?), one would have to mix Devo, Blue Meanies, Polysics, some elements of Primus, Captain Beefheart, and Damaged Bug into an adult beverage sippy cup. To consume, plug your nose, remove the lid, and pour contents over your head. Rinse, repeat, enjoy.