Back to Life, Back to Reality

Unsure how to start the new year, I’ll give a quick shout out to our trusty portable, the Numark PT-01 USB. If ever you’re looking for a rugged portable that plays 33 1/3s, 45s, and 78s, this is your machine. She runs on 6x D batteries, and if you’re serious, I suggest investing in EBL rechargeable batteries and the EBL Universal Charger. Well worth the money, on all accounts.

Wolves

NOFX’s 2006 flop, Wolves in Wolves’ Clothing, came packaged as both black and yellow splatter vinyl. The latter with a pressing total of 1032. Back in ought six, I was able to procure 6x copies of this splatter nightmare. I’ve sold all but 3x copies, and only spin the black vinyl version when I’m feeling particularly randy. Anyway, Wolves isn’t as bad as people tell you, and you should give it a spin.

Gold

Gold is a single-sided 7″ released by Drunken Fish Records (Santa Monica, CA) back in the summer of 1992. It contains one song, Gold, and was limited to 500 copies. The name of the band is Rocket from the Crypt, and although the color in the photo is a bit misleading, the sleeve is actually red, while the record is actually a yellow-ish, gold-like color. This copy, just obtained, came with Mardi Gras-esque beads, as it did upon its initial release some 25 years ago, though I have reason to question the legitimacy of these beads. No matter, as we’re now one step closer to completing the (never-ending) Rocket from the Crypt discography!

Jaws, Like You’ve Never Heard it Before

The long-awaited double LP soundtrack to (arguably) the greatest film of all time, Jaws, arrived just in time for some much-needed holiday cheer. Presented for the first time on wax, this “double vinyl set presents the entire Academy Award-winning score as composed and recorded for the actual film” (the Grammy-winning 1975 MCA Records release was simply a re-recording, mind you). Offered on majestic, ocean blue vinyl, and released by the greatest soundtrack distributors known to man, Mondo, this jaw(s)-dropping release ranks up there as one of the most anticipated of the year… especially since preorders went live back in early July, on Jaws’ Day, actually (7/3). Save up your holiday gift money if you’ve missed out, because this one is bar none, the definition of essential.

When the 45s Make an Appearance

The 45s made a rare, yet loud appearance last night. With heroes generally living within the O to T range, it was fleeting fun to reremember what 7″ records we’d accumulated over the years. The great thing about not having a good short term memory is that you get to rediscover old things from time to time. Hurray for my previous, record collecting self! Nicely done on that White Riot 45.

Ginsberg

Howl, one of the only poems I’d read aloud to my wife, was just rereleased on vinyl by Modern Silence. Limited to 500 numbered copies (this is #297), I had to challenge international shipping (and timing) to secure this essential Allen Ginsberg release. With originals from 1959 going for well over $100, this red vinyl record was a steal for $30. Last week was Burroughs, and today it’s Ginsberg. Closing out this God-awful 2017 in epic style!

Stereo Now!

Give the benevolent gift of stereo this holiday season with Capitol Records’ New Improved Full Dimensional Stereo. It “sounds better than stereo has ever sounded before,” and it’s available “on all new capitol stereo discs.” With new “bite” to the brass, “impact” in the percussion, and crisp clarity you’d find only in a thrilling live performance, Capitol’s stereo recordings are a heavenly gift, perfect for any and every collector. Ask your dealer for more information, or write your congressperson.

The Sound of Tomorrow Today! (Well, Sort Of)

Though yesterday’s sound of tomorrow sounds more like yesterday’s sound of yesterday, Ferrante and Teicher’s 1956 out-of-this-world classic, Soundproof,  is pure, space-age jazz, complete with 50’s sci-fi, invaders from other planets cover. Actually, the cover photo is taken from MGM Pictures’ 1956 staple, Forbidden Planet, for those keeping score. What gets me scratching my head is that Ferrante and Teicher also release an album the same year on the same label with the same tracks as SoundBlast – The Sound of Tomorrow, but with a different, non-Forbidden Planet cover. Those cats in the 50s, am I right?!

Shake

Shake It Up is The Cars’ fourth studio album and contains the band’s first Billboard top ten hit with the title track. Released in 1981, Shake It Up sees the band continuing their unprecedented string of unquestionable classics (1978’s The Cars, 1979’s Candy-O, and 1980’s Panorama). Though I’m partial to their self-titled debut, Shake it Up, in addition to the band’s other early releases, are strikingly inexpensive to obtain. One could obtain their first five albums for roughly $2 a pop. Definitely worth the charge of admission.

Jingle Bell Jazz

This copy of Jingle Bell Jazz was sought out by my better half, and contains jazz-tastic renditions of holiday favorites by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Lionel Hampton, Duke Ellington, Chico Hamilton, among others. Recorded between 1959 and 1969, Jingle Bell Jazz was originally released by Columbia Records in 1962 (Frosty the Snowman by the Dukes of Dixieland was replaced by Herbie Hancock’s Deck the Halls on this 1980 reissue). Solid holiday music from start to finish, and a great find by my wife.

Let’s Listen

If you’re in the mood for a legs-up causal evening, alone, with loved ones, or even those you’d like to begin loving, try a few halves of Harry Arnold and his Orchestra as they elegantly and seductively jam through 12-tracks of Cole Porter and Richard Rodgers favorites on Let’s Listen, released by Mercury Records. Though the year is unknown, I’d guess and say this is a 1956 release, give or take a few years. Check it out if you can find it.

Miles and Miles of Decisions aka Help Me Make a Decision

So I’m contemplating, debating really, about discontinuing my Vinyl Me, Please subscription. For a few reasons, really, but mainly because my personal wantlist is so vast and varied, I feel the $30 / month price tag can be better suited on other, needed releases. That being said, I just received Miles Davis’ 1967 Sorcerer last night, this month’s Vinyl Me, Please release, and I instantly fell in love with the minimalist art by Santiago Carrasquilla (an art print and drink pairing come with each month’s record, for those of you unfamiliar with VMP). The debate to stay a subscriber was predominantly one-sided, until I saw this print. Most exceedingly frame-worthy, this print is single-handedly forcing another thoughtful evaluation of this monthly service. To be continued, I suppose…

One Nation, Under Ian

Nation of Ulysses, my latest audio crush, arrived twofold yesterday in the shape of 7″ 45s (they may not have been 45s now that I think about it, but really, who’s keeping score?). The first, pictured here, was 1990’s self-titled, three tracker (Sound of Young America, Channel 1 Ulysses, and Atom Bomb), while the second was of the 1991 persuasion with The Birth of the Ulysses Aesthetic (The Synthesis of Speed and Transformation). Tracks contained therein are The Sound of Jazz to Come, N.O.U.S.P.T.D.A, and Presidents of Vice. For you hardcore-garage-art-rock-types, these are exceptional, and surprisingly inexpensive finds. Raise the flag and drop the needle. Tell ’em The Groove sent ‘ya.