I Like My Percussion Provocative (Vol. 3)

Ahhh (sigh of relief). Another day, another early 60’s Space Age Pop album. Enoch Light? Check! High quality gatefold cover? Check! Command Records quality? Check! Groovy, minimalist album art? You bet’cha! Provocative Percussion Vol. III is probably my favorite so far, of those I own. Still missing Vol. II, then we’ll have all 8 volumes of both the Provocative and Persuasive Percussion series. Volume IV of Provocative currently rests on the wall of our kitchen after the wife knocked over the previous framed accent. She’s a fan of these volumes as well, so secretly, I think she wanted to display the album art. Who can blame her?!

Bottoms Up

1967 Dean Martin is solid, reliable, and adequate cocktail-chaser music. Gin and tonic, rye and vermouth with a dash of bitters, or a tart vodka martini are all outstanding pregame options to Deano Martino’s You Can’t Love ’em All. Though originally recorded for the original Ocean’s 11 in 1960, Ain’t That A Kick in the Head made its first LP appearance on this record, or so I could gather by my research companions (Discogs.com and Wikipedia.org). Whether your drink of choice is a Harry Headbanger, black coffee, or simply lemon water, Dean Martin is at the ready with a thirst-quenching soundtrack for you. Bottoms up.

Steal the Necklace

I’ll admit a few things, though I recognize this isn’t a wise attempt before my first cup of coffee. I was not immediately blown away by Run the Jewels’ Junior effort, RTJ3. Ok, that’s the first thing. The second thing is, as highly recommended as this album comes, I’m banking on the idea that this album is a slow-grower, and will eventually become one of my favorite spins. The same blanket statement can be said (because it happened) for the entire Dead Kennedys library. So, here’s hoping RTJ can channel some Jello Biafra, at least within these reverberating walls.

Solid Gold

In all my Wax Trax! Records collecting days, I’ve never seen a gold version of the iconic logo. Not sure why it’s taken me so long to secure WAX005, A Popular History of Songs’ 1984 effort, Ladder Jack, but neatly affixed to the back cover of said EP is this glittering gem. I’m a sucker for logos, if you haven’t figured that out, and beside the Grand Royal Records logo, this one may take the cake.

Music to be Murdered By

Well kids, it finally happened. I finally nabbed a copy of Dan the Automator’s 1989 EP, Music to be Murdered By. Needless to say, I’m beside myself with excitement to spin this 7-track dinosaur for the first time. I’m not really sure what to expect from a 1989 Dan Nakamura, but I can’t wait to find out. In regards to timeline, it would be another 10 years from the time of this release before I’d even hear of the man (1999’s So… How’s Your Girl? by Handsome Boy Modeling School), so let’s just say this is gonna be a fun spin.

Please take special note of the cheeky details in the album art. Classic Automator.

Newly Remastered for Vinyl

What was, a short week ago, just entering my conscious via casual coffee conversation, is now a welcomed member of our record library. The 20th anniversary of the From Dusk Till Dawn soundtrack is featured on double blood-red splattered vinyl, comes with a foil-stamped number of 5500, and was officially approved for release by Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Not sure what that says, but it says something.

Puka Shells

I can’t rightfully imagine that many sealed copies of Arthur Lyman’s 1975 album, Puka Shells exist these days. Apart from it being the legend’s last studio album, Puka Shells also serves as an introduction to his talented daughter, Kapiolani Lyman. I’m torn between removing this virgin gem from its 42 year old crypt and keeping it preserved while I hunt down another to spin. The weight of this decision is a taxing one, and will take some time to figure out.

Music: Response

Limited to 1000 copies, this 3x LP, 6 track maxi-single has a few things going for it. It was released in 2000 in the UK, it was distributed by Freestyle Dust, a Chemical Brothers’ sub-label of Virgin Records (set up in 1995 specifically for the band), and it was nabbed for only $6 from our local brick and mortar. Spinning these very soon! My apologies to the neighbors in advance.

Equinox

There’s something striking, and a bit unnerving about the cover of Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66’s 1967 album Equinox. First of all, since their debut album dropped in 1966, and this is their sophomore effort, shouldn’t they have referred to themselves as Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’67? But more importantly, the angle of the cover photo, and the pensive looks across the faces of this great Latin jazz band suggest some hidden, otherworldly connection. When taking the photo for this record, I nonchalantly framed the album on my desk and through my camera saw six, 1967 musicians staring back at me. It was a moment I couldn’t shake, hence the subject of this post. Anyway, the music is great, like I said, Latin jazz, and you should check it out, if you can get past the chilling cover.

Hysteria

It’s been an Hysteria type of week, to say the least. Lucky for me, I’m able to revert to my 7-year-old self with this award winning, childhood favorite collection of (hard and / or arena) rock pop songs. Not only is this iconic (and at the time VERY futuristic) album cover branded into my brain, it’s also a staple of what shit was hot back in summer of 1987. If you’re one of those living-under-a-rock types, then you’ve likely not heard this monumental and critically acclaimed album… and you certainly should. For the rest of us, I pose a question: When was the last time you rocked out in your P-Jams to Pour Some Sugar On Me? Well, it’s about damn time.

Dokken Bay 94

Under Lock and Key, Dokken’s third studio album, is a certified Gold and Platinum heavy metal / big hair 80s rock record. Nifty. It was released in 1985 on Elektra Records and contained two charted singles. Track two’s The Hunter, and track three’s In My Dreams. Back-to-back punch, there. The band would, well, disband in 1989, then returned to the fold after a brief, four year hiatus. Now, you’re (briefly) up to speed on Dokken and their award winning album, Under Lock and Key. Cheers.

35 Mil

So, I’ll admit that I had to look this up, and from what I retained, here goes. (Clears throat) 35mm, when referring to audio / sound recording, was a technique championed (in the music recording world) by Enoch Light and Command Records (Mr. Light’s label). Feature films of the time were using 35mm for their film prints, and when stereophonic and widescreen advances became the popular buzz around Hollywood, Mr. Light utilized this technique to record his Space Age Pop, which, if I’m understanding this correctly, allowed for more instruments / artists to be recorded individually due to the wider, 35mm film. Magnetic sound recording had been the norm at the time, but 35mm offered much more range, which Mr. Light wisely capitalized upon. Anyway, pretty much any Command Record release from the time will diligently detail this unique and groundbreaking recording process, and I encourage you to discover the magnificent (and magnetic) wonders of 35mm sound.