Though not as well received as either 2003’s Animositisomina or 2006’s Rio Grande Blood (a play on ZZ Top’s 1972 album, Rio Grande Mud), 2004’s Houses of the Molé proved that 1) Ministry could sustain without Paul Barker, and 2) there would be, in fact, new Ministry music. Good, but not great, I’m just happy I can start filling in the much-needed Ministry discography gaps.
Minneapolis’ Dillinger Four recorded and released their debut masterpiece back in 1998. Titled Midwestern Songs of the Americas, this 13-track attack received a limited rerelease on, notice the quotes, “Doublewhiskeycokenoice” colored vinyl. Limited to only 300 copies, this subtle touch makes an already feverish listen all the more enjoyable, if you’re into that sort of thing. Great mood music for any mood, so long as that mood is on the spectrum of anger.
The soundtrack to Jeffrey Lebowski’s one hour and 57 minute life (aka the 1998 Coen Brothers’ film, The Big Lebowski) received a few color variants when it was finally release on vinyl back in 2014. There’s the “red bowling ball finish” the “gold translucent and black split” (presumably to match the tone of the cover art), and this, the “White Russian” version. Whatever your flavor, this soundtrack is an absolute must, as is the movie. If you haven’t already, check it out.
It’s been raining Ministry here lately. First was Animositisomina (originally released on compact disc in ’03), followed by this, 2002’s Sphinctour (getting the first-ever vinyl treatment earlier this year… like three weeks ago…), and finally, another first-ever-on-vinyl-blah-blah, 2004’s Houses of the Molé. All three were necessary acquisitions, and I’m now in possession of every studio Ministry album from 1983’s With Sympathy to 2006’s Rio Grande Blood (12 albums in total). Its the simple things, really.
Ministry’s 2003 studio album, Animositisomina FINALLY gets a vinyl release courtesy of UK’s Let Them Eat Vinyl. This 14-year-old album would be the last collaboration between industrial icons Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker, also known as Hypo Luxa and Hermes Pan. This was my go-to album whilst delivering pizza to the west side of Madison, WI before I moved back to California, and I am, without a doubt, ecstatic about its first-ever vinyl release.
Yet another fantastic Live From Camp X-Ray reissue from Vagrant Records. What was once the last word from the world’s best live band, is now a casual weekend listen. The band recently posted Instagram photos of the team back in the studio, so HOPEFULLY, Camp won’t be the last after all. Fingers, toes, laces, and everything else is crossed.
Kool Keith side projects are hit or miss (Nogatco Rd., Black Elvis, Tashan Dorrsett). But one thing is certain with each and every one of them, they’re all adventurous bursts of psychotic observations over (often) cool, baby-makin’ beats. Time? Astonishing! isn’t Dr. Octagonecolgyst (Dr. Octagon), First Come, First Served (Dr. Dooom), or even Project Polaroid, but it’s (very) laid back, classic Kool Keith, and worthy of a spin and a purchase. Keeping up with all of Mr. Keith’s aliases is exhausting, something I’m sure this legendary MC gets a maniacal chuckle over.
I’ll admit a few things today. 1) My experience with The Notorious B.I.G. is very limited, and 2) I’m more excited for this month’s Vinyl Me, Please release than I probably should be. Ready to Die was Biggie’s debut album, and was originally released in September of 1994 by Bad Boy Records. That is, unfortunately, just about all I know about this classic East Coast hip hop album. Drop the needle, fool.
Wait, so Dogfish Head Brewery teamed up with Deltron 3030 and released a 4-track 10″ on white vinyl?! What’s more, the cover is littered with Deltron 3030-inspired recipes for you and your friends to enjoy over a cool, craft Dogfish Head beer. Check it out, but only on an empty stomach. (Recipes include: Momofuku Fried Chicken, Frittelle di Zucchini and Ricotta, Grilled Oysters with Charred Onions in Brown Butter and Pink Peppercorns, Civet de Homard au Cidre, and Positive Contact Trifle, among others.) Enjoy.
I’m excited to start my collection of reissue debut classics from the seminal four from Sun Records. First acquired is Roy Orbison’s At the Rock House (originally released in 1961). Somewhere in transit is Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1958 debut of the same name, and down the pike will be Dance Album of Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash’s With His Hot and Blue Guitar. As you can plainly see, Roy’s reissue is on rockin’ red vinyl, where Mr. Lewis’ is on sleek silver. Carl’s is on blue suede, and Cash’s on fire orange. A great (and cheap) way to acquire these rock n’ roll classics.
Though I’m not blown away by the first spin of Surplus 1980’s 2013 mini album Arterial End Here, I will say that I’m willing to put in the overtime to properly ingest its contents. Maybe I was having a bad day, or maybe this collection of 7 songs seem half-baked, but there’s something unsettling about how unsettling this (mini) album is. Give it time… my new mantra.
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.
It. Has. Arrived. Still avail, FYI, and sounding amazing! One of the best hip hop albums I’ve ever spun. It’s machine versus man, man versus woman, woman versus your mother.
I am just a poor boy, through my story’s seldom… wait… wrong Boxer. I’m excited for this month’s Vinyl Me, Please release (vol. 56) in The National’s 2007 effort, Boxer. I’m not familiar with The National, but if VMP is distributing this album’s 10th anniversary release, it MUST be worth spinning. I will say, as an aside, that the Betty Davis debut rerelease (last month’s selection) was by far one of the best VMP releases yet. Keep it up, Vinyl Me, Please!
Leave it to Mondo to release not one, but two colored vinyl versions of the NES classic, Contra. Side one features the NES version, while side two promotes the arcade version. Both sides at glorious 45rpm (for that maximum quality sound), this split red / blue colored vinyl version is the more easily accessible of the two releases (the other being a 2017 Comic Con exclusive). Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, start. Never forget.
I broke down and got the newly released Ok Computer OKNOTOK triple blue vinyl reissue. As the hype sticker details about OKNOTOK 1997 2017 (still a bit unsure on the proper title), “LIMITED EDITION BLUE VINYL Triple 180g LP containing the original album, three unreleased tracks and eight B-sides, all newly remastered from original analogue tapes. Includes a download code”. So, there you have it. If a triple blue vinyl release of Radiohead’s most sought after album isn’t worth your $40, I’m not sure what would be.
The only other album that I’ve ever heard to legitimately rival The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968, The Kinks) is, of course, Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies (1968). Newbury Comics did an exclusive run back in 2015 of 1000 on… let me look it up because, you know, accuracy… “Red, Blue & Yellow Haze” vinyl. It’s no longer available on Newbury’s site (though I highly recommend their limited run exclusives), but as with most anything, it can be found over at Discogs. If you’ve got the green for some red, blue and yellow, we suggest this amazing and limited reissue.
I was beside myself with excitement back in 2015 for this Record Store Day release of Rainbow Ffolly’s 1968 debut, Sallies Fforth… that was until I realized that it skipped on all three of my turntables. Brand new, extracted from beneath the cellophane coffin myself, and she skips… multiple times. This led me to believe, or at least consider, that it may be time to up the quality of my “everyday” turntable. So, once the fog of damage that is my car repair bill finally settles, it’ll be turntable hunting time. I guess it would be cheaper just to buy another copy of this classic psychedelic album, but I’m not one for taking chances.