The Music Machine vs. Rocket from the Crypt

Versus carries with it a strong connotation… perhaps it should be more like, The Music Machine as respectfully interpreted by Rocket from the Crypt, or The Music Machine who you’ve never heard of because you suck and don’t know shit about good music, but we do because we’re Rocket from the Crypt. However you label it, if labels are your thing, both The Music Machine’s debut LP, 1966’s (Turn On) The Music Machine and Rocket’s 1995 5″, Plays The Music Machine are a perfect pair of connecting puzzle pieces that help to line the interwoven fabric of the great rock n’ roll battlefield. This particular copy of Turn On is a RSD exclusive from last year, where both the Rocket 5″s were released by Sympathy for the Record Industry (original releases, both of them). If you’re into garage rock, own a garage, or hell, can SPELL garage, you need to check out both The Music Machine and (damn near) anything by Rocket from the Crypt. Happy Friday, kids.

Mondo “The Dude” – Sold Out

So, Mondo made available their 20th anniversary vinyl pressing of The Big Lebowski on White Russian colored vinyl, and just as you’d expect, if you weren’t one of the lucky few to set your 10am work alarm today (12noon CT), you’d find yourself clear out of luck. Both the cocktail and black vinyl versions are now sold out, and although I remembered to set an alarm and nabbed a sweet cocktail for myself, a work buddy, and accidentally I might add, managed to nab a pair of cocktails before they ascended to that great Mondo shaped cloud in the sky. I hope you were one of the lucky ones, if, you know, you’re into great music and flawless movies. (Photo courtesy of Mondo Tees.)

Exotica at 20%

I can’t tell you how I discovered this, but I recently found out that Modern Harmonic is offering the colored vinyl pressing of Sun Ra’s otherworldly comp, Exotica at a dirt-cheap retail price (20% off now, for some strange reason). I received my copy just yesterday, so ignore the $65+ price tags for used copies on Discogs, and get yours straight from the source!

Crown Records

Crown Records was a short-lived label (1953 – 1969), with embarrassingly cheap production. From sleeves that fell apart, to poor pressings, Crown appeared to be a smash-and-grab label, doing whatever it could to turn a buck, even if it meant tarnishing itself, and the knock-off artists it employed. For a rather hilarious background on Crown, head on over to Discogs. It’s a quick read, and you may surprise yourself with a chuckle or two.

Vito’s

We have recently fallen in love with a local pizza joint that spins actual vinyl on Technics 1200s. Not only are the vibes groovy and handpicked by the staff, the pizza is New Jersey-style, and absolutely delicious. Might I suggest a little Jackie Wilson with a side of Garibaldi (red sauce, cheese, meatball, jalapeno, tomato). Delicious Pizza, you’ve got a valid competitor.

Cabin Spins Round 1

Gathering albums for a two night cabin excursion is always an exciting undertaking. My wife and I pick a handful each, with no real rhyme or reason behind our collective decisions. No themes, per se. I’ll usually take the remaining stack from the “unlistened” pile, which this time included the double LP Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) by Digable Planets, and what my wife picks is both a mystery, and a welcoming adventure. See that Dismemberment Plan record over there, that was her pick. 😉

22 Years of Fat

I vaguely (not at all) remember writing to Fat Wreck Chords back in high school, asking for some semblance of life outside the tiny, rural Wisconsin town I called home. What I received was this scrapbook photocopy of touring bands, lackluster anecdotes, and vulgar responses to questions I was unaware were asked. As a 16-year-old seeker, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Presented here is one side of the folded, post card-like continental representation of the Fat label I’d received. From San Francisco to rural Wisconsin… this was printed hope that life existed outside of Varsity pep rallies and isolated weekend shifts at the local Subway. To say I’ve been loyal to the label would be an understatement. This would have been sent some 22 years ago, and I just stumbled across it last night. To be completely honest, I’d completely forgotten this little piece of personal history even existed.

Crass-tastic

Though I haven’t spun Crass, of any sort, in quite some time, I’ll never stop fawning over their politically-charged, yet minimalist cover and label art. Crass was, as you well know, an art collective where their brash-brand of music played only a small roll in their onslaught of knock-you-over-the-head opinions. Today is a good day for Crass, but then again, so is tomorrow.

Slip It

What I assumed was a t-shirt depicting Boba Fett holding up a boombox (Star Wars meets Say Anything) turned out to be a Beastie Boys Helly Nasty-inspired slipmat I’d forgotten I’d ordered. Since the now defunct Grand Royal Records slipmats go for insane amounts (well over $100), I figured it smart to jump into ordering any slipmat the Beasties are associated with. I encourage you to do the same. One can’t have too many slipmats, in my humble opinion.

Big Trouble in Little Charleston

I WAS going to speak to The Charleston City All Stars and their 1955 release from Grand Award Records (Enoch Light) titled, The Roaring 20’s Vol. 2, but it dawned on me that Mondo is offering up a double LP to John Carpenter’s legendary classic, the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack to Big Trouble in Little China tomorrow at noon CST. My alarm(s) are already set, so I recommend you find your way over to Mondo tomorrow and nab this essential classic (that is, of course, after I’ve nabbed mine).

Jaws in Concert

For those in the know, Jaws is a bit of a big deal for us. What can I say? I married into it, so to speak. Anyway, the Hollywood Bowl is hosting a two-night orchestra and film pairing in late July. No, unfortunately it’s not John Williams conducting (it’s David Newman), but this opportunity is certainly not one to be missed. My wife (and working Editor of The Groove) has never been to The Bowl, and as Jaws is her favorite movie (she’s a keeper, am I right?!), this Hollywood Bowl Orchestra accompanying the original Summer Blockbuster duo was a no-brainer. Tix are still avail, so if you’re in the area, do yourself a solid.

The Principle of Changing Your Mind

Let’s take a quick moment and talk about Robert Plant and his 1983 album, The Principle of Moments… in fact, let’s not. Let’s save that for another day when I can re-spin in the attempts to uncover this fine and meaningful Principle. INSTEAD, let’s drastically shift gears to the forthcoming Mad Caddies reggae covers album due out on June 15th. A few sneaky digital tracks have surfaced, including a stellar version of NOFX’s She’s Gone from their 1992 classic, White Trash, Two Heebs and a Bean. Please do yourself a favor and follow the link over to Spotify and check it out. You’re going to want a copy of this 12-track album of classic punk songs with a Mad Caddies-infused reggae twist. I can’t wait for this album to arrive.

RIP Touch Vinyl

Well, this comes as a bit of a surprise to me and my wife, but there was an electrical fire at one of our neighboring brick & mortars back in November. Touch Vinyl was affected, and hasn’t been open since. We stopped by, without knowledge of the fire, which prompted an immediate internet scouring for “answers.” RIP Touch Vinyl. May the next stage in your evolution be a sound one.