Oh, dear Lord. The deluxe, 50th anniversary release of the coveted, and rarely eclipsed The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society. I’ve been hesitant in posting my excitement about this long-awaited box set for dreadful fear of not properly providing it with the much-needed justice and attention it deserves. So with that, I’ll (with a shameful heart) postpone this journey for another, more appropriate date, safe to say, this box set was well worth the wait, and is well worth the price of admission.
My 18-year-old self is pissed to high heaven for ordering the limited, color vinyl version of Mad Caddies’ Punk Rocksteady and receiving the standard black vinyl version instead. My 39-year-old self is only mildly annoyed. Classic pop-punk tracks by Snuff, Green Day, Lagwagon, Bad Religion, NOFX, Descendents… covered with a fine sheath of reggae-punk makes for a thoroughly entertaining listen, regardless of the medium’s color. For those of you lucky ones with the green vinyl version, kudos, and an 18-year-old me would like to have some words with you outside.
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.
Let me just simply say this… I love Mondo. Their hassle-free, quick shipping and superb packing make for worry-free ordering. This, coupled with their almost frequent limited pressings makes any release a complete no-brainer. Case in point, this White Russian vinyl colored 20th anniversary release of The Big Lebowski (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). A pro tip for those not already doing this: get on their mailing list, and set calendar reminders for online sale times, because when they’re gone, they’re gone, and third party sales over at Discogs will make you wish you did.
FINALLY! The Burbs, the late 80s classic summer blockbuster (more like cul-de-sac-buster, am I right?!) gets a deserving vinyl pressing on this double, 180 gram “suburban sky” colored wax by Waxwork Records. This extended score by Jerry Goldsmith is flawless from start to finish, both in its superior audio quality, and its newly-imagined packaging. Some might scoff at he $36 price tag, but all things considered, this essential score, for the first time, of this quality, well, that’s something worth chanting about, right Ray?
A few days ago (he chuckles to himself) we touched upon the recently acquired 8-track of Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies, and today we’re showcasing their most recent vinyl release with this Record Store Day Black Friday picture disc exclusive. Virgin picture discs, in fact, do not skip, at least this one doesn’t, and the backside features artwork closer to the US reissue (close up of the little blue guy at 6 o’clock… reference here). The vote? Oh yeah, vote! The Zombies are up for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Voting closes on December 9th, so don’t forget to show your support to this (and four other) seminal bands!
Sun Ra has done a fantastic job of eluding me for much of my “listening career.” I caught wind of this intergalactic wizard only a few short years ago (when I’d bring my portable turntable into the office… you know, the day job…), and somebody from the Lighting team brought in an original, though severely damaged, copy of Sun Ra and His Arkestra’s debut LP, Super-Sonic Jazz. Since then, and rather recently, I’ve acquired the “space age pop” compilation Exotica, and this RSD Black Friday exclusive, Crystal Spears. If you’re in the riveting mood for avant jazz with little-to-no boundaries and a whimsical, yet rhythmic drive, take a deep, lasting breath, and give Crystal Spears a spin. Not one for the faint of heart, this record cuts deep, and should be spun quite regularly.
50 years in the making (not really, but sort of), this recent (as of late last month) behemoth of a celebration to The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society comes with everything you see here, and if you were one of the lucky first 1000 to preorder, you received a limited 7″ for Time Song, b/w The Village Green Preservation Society (Preservation Version). If you’ve got the space, this fully-loaded box of essential goodies is a Kinks lover’s dream.
So, I’m not a fan of social media, for a slew of reasons, but once in a while, my casual strolls through the Instagram and Facebook walls pay dividends. Case in point, this Riot Fest flexi pack from Fat Wreck Chords. See, I didn’t go to this year’s Riot Fest (or any of the prior years), but one of the punk dudes I follow posted a quick heads up that Fat was selling leftover flexi packs on their website for a cool $15. Included is a split between Mad Caddies and Face to Face, Snuff and Swingin’ Utters, and finally, Night Birds and NOFX. Flexis, as a rule, don’t contain a whole lot of quality, but this pack was a fun surprise. Thanks, Instagram dude!
Rage’s second album, 1996’s Evil Empire was a (bit) more refined outing when compared to their debut album (that which was released four years earlier), 1992’s Rage Against the Machine. A classic, though not as highly regarded as their debut, Evil Empire recently received the Newbury Comics treatment, with this red colored vinyl pressing of 1200 copies. In any color or limited run, this album is a no-brainer.
Another day, another The Shape of Punk to Come pressing. I believe this brings the personal total to 7 different pressings of this essential album. This one just dropped from Newbury Comics and is limited to only 500 copies. $29.99 is certainly not a bad asking price for this double LP, and as of the time of this writing, they are still available from Newbury. Yes, 7 copies of the same record may seem a bit excessive, but as long as they keep pressing variants of this seminal album, I’ll keep buying them.
I’d been holding out for an original pressing of Digable Planet’s debut, 1993’s Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space), that was, until I discovered this limited gold vinyl 25th anniversary reissue from February of this year. As the first official vinyl reissue, this double LP is limited to 1000 copies worldwide, and doubles as an “Indie Record Store Exclusive” which is exactly where I found it. The Planets released a total of two studio albums (spanning 1993 – 1994), both of which are essential owns. Next up is 1994’s Blowout Comb, which I’m hoping will get the same 25th anniversary treatment next year.
Daptone Records released this two-track 7″ on random colored vinyl last month. It features Mr. Charles Bradley & The Inversions performing Whatcha Doing (To Me), b/w just The Inversions performing Strike Three. Some yahoo is selling this 7″ on Discogs for $74.99, and it was just released some 12 days ago. Some people… am I right?! Regardless, RIP Charles Bradley.
I botched the color vinyl version (green) of the most recent Mad Caddies album, Punk Rocksteady, but after spinning this yesterday, I’ve concluded that it just doesn’t matter. This album is PERFECT in any shade of polyvinyl chloride. One simply cannot go wrong with Solvang’s brand of reggae set to classic punk tunes. Buy. This. Record.
Leave it to Mondo. Am I right?! At the end of May they reissued the 2 LP soundtrack to John Williams’ Jurassic Park. This 180g yellow and red swirl with black splatter color variant showed up on their site for about a day, and is now no longer available. Preowned copies are up on Discogs for $79 to $199.99, so I’m glad I ignored my hesitation and nabbed this gem when I did. Nobody beats John Williams. Nobody.
It surprises and kinda weirds me out that this double LP of Deltron 3030 Instrumantals is still available from Newbury Comics. Limited to a staggering 300 copies, this 12-track giant strips out Deltron while preserving Dan the Automator and Kid Koala’s legendary foundation. If you have half a mind, are in to amazing conscious hip hop, and have $24 in your pocket or bank account… GET THIS ALBUM!
Well, if you’ve been taking care of yourself and happen to find yourself in a small or medium size shirt range, head over here for an exclusive May 16 t-shirt. My lazy ass just missed out on the large, but hopefully some of you will have more luck. Happy Lagwagon Day! (Photo courtesy of lagwagon.limitedrun.com)
We lucked out in finding New Worlds (Bill Murray, Jon Vogler and Friends) for about half off the (slightly overpriced) retail sticker of $25.99. This 2018 Record Store Day exclusive release of the 2017 compact disc was sold out at our local brick and mortar back in April, so I was pleased to see the discounted online price for this classic, double LP. Current copies on Discogs go for only $11.99, so order up, kids!
Man, I need to catch up on my spins. For their 24th studio album, The Kinks released Phobia. A 17-track diddy that would prove to be the band’s last studio effort. For Record Store Day this year, a double LP of Phobia was released on this fancy orange swirl colored wax. What’s better than The Kinks participating in RSD is that Phobia was only previously released on vinyl in Spain upon its original release back in 1993, and with copies going in the $800 range, this beautiful reissue was a no-brainer.