Neo Geo

Ryuichi Sakamoto’s 1987 album, Neo Geo is a synth-pop whirlwind of epic proportions. For those of you part-time fans of easy-listening synth, Iggy Pop makes an appearance on side A’s Risky. This is definitely just a once-in-a-while spin, but certainly worth checking out if and when the mood strikes. As an aside, the gaming system of the same name wouldn’t be released until 1990, so one wonders if Sakamoto’s album had any influence in some way.

Gordon

It only took them 25 damn years, but the debut album by Barenaked Ladies now has a much-deserved plot of real estate on the library wall. Gordon, which was released in compact disc and cassette form way back in 1992, finally received its first vinyl pressing late last year. I’m a bit surprised that there weren’t any color variants for this monumental release, but the fact that it exists on vinyl at all is something worth celebrating, and deserving of my $17. It’s just a bit of a bummer that they didn’t use the original cover.

Jaws in Concert

Hats off to David Newman and the entire Hollywood Bowl Orchestra for an unforgettable and Jawsome performance at the Hollywood Bowl last night. Witnessing a live orchestra play this quintessential score (which also happens to be Academy Award-winning, mind you) in accompaniment to the film, with 17,000+ of my Angelino neighbors, was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. Hollywood Bowl people of power, PLEASE DO THIS EVERY YEAR!

Fat Music Vol. III

This classic, $4 comp was an absolute staple during my “pizza delivery days” back in the early 2000s. Released by Fat Wreck Chords, Physical Fatness – Fat Music Vol. III was released in November of 1997, and became an annoying, can’t-put-down album of (somewhat) pop-punk greatest hits. Good Riddance, Snuff, Goober Patrol, Hi-Standard, and of course, Propagandhi, Me First, NOFX, and Lagwagon are all present, and aside from 1996’s Survival of the Fattest (Fat Music Vol. II), this is (arguably) the best comp Fat ever put out.

Vive

1985’s Vive Le Rock was Adam Ant’s last album before the English star (and 80’s sex icon) turned his focus to acting (stage, television, and the silver screen). New Wave pop rock lovers wouldn’t get the opportunity to spin another Ant record until 1990’s Manners & Physique, but if you’ve got a hunger for the flamboyant flash of Stuart Leslie Goddard, Vive can be had for under a Lincoln.

Quarter of a Century…

If my (faded) memory serves me right, and it very well (likely) may not, I didn’t get around to Porno for Pyros’ debut album until after diving head-first into their sophomore masterpiece, Good God’s Urge. Porno for Pyros (the album, not the band) is much more primal and resentful than their second album, so its absorption, in comparison to the more intimate and ethereal GGU, took a bit more time. I will say, that this album certainly does hold up (some 25 years later, or quarter of a century, if you REALLY want to feel old), and in any form, is quite deserving of a lifelong place in any collection.

Live!

Did a bit of a greatest hits over the weekend, spinning several personal classics, including Cattle Grind off Revolting Cock’s 1988 classic live album, Live! You Goddamned Son of a Bitch. This 10-track double LP is certainly not for the faint of heart, but is well worth the listen for those with an experimental disposition, and a general willingness to enjoy the art of noise.

World

Hats off to Tomato, the London-based art collective, for not only the otherworldly cover design to Underworld’s dubnobasswithmyheadman, but also the four-sided insert sleeves. dubnobasswithmyheadman is certainly a work of art, judging by the progressive house music alone, but the overall experience is exemplified by this gorgeous artwork. dubnobasswithmyheadman is, without question, an absolute must-have.

Stampede

Think Southern Rock bluesiness of Brothers and Sisters (The Allman Brothers Band) coupled with that classic masterpiece of imaginative longing for a Southern-American lifestyle not experienced (Muswell Hillbillies by The Kinks), and you sort of get the gist of Stampede by The Doobie Brothers. The Doobies have (seemingly) always showcased the more up-beat, driving side of classic rock (like many, many others), while maintaining a funk not expected from a handful of country-based good ol’ boys. Stampede is undeniable Doobies… heartfelt lyrics, unquestionable harmonies, stellar electric guitar, and it also happens to be the band’s last album with Tom Johnston on lead vocals. He would later be replaced by Michael McDonald on 1976’s Takin’ It to the Streets. However you break it down, Stampede is a worthy spin.

Hearty Country Style

Leave it to good ol’ boy Roy Clark to team up with Pringle’s (circa: 1978) to righteously promote “Hearty Country Style” flavored tube-chips on the back of his 11-track classic, Roy Clark Sings Country Style. Remember back in June when I inquired about what other prominent country legend was associated with a delicious, rural delicacy? Well, Mr. Clark, I stand corrected.

Midnight in 1962

This beautifully designed, mid-century insert (from 1962) accompanied Harry Belafonte’s The Midnight Special album, and could be used (with $2) to redeem The Midnight Special Songbook. This special offer provided fans and purchasers of this album with information on where to send their $2 (Belafonte Enterprises, Inc.), and boasts about the amazing advantages of owning this great songbook: “Now you can sing… play… dance to these songs at parties, at informal gatherings, in the privacy of your own home.” So what’s stopping you? Put down that Two Buck Chuck (which is now no longer two bucks) and take advantage of this exclusive offer!

Banned

Though they’re currently banned from playing any major venue in the United States, NOFX was (and still pretty much is) a big event, especially at the (now defunct) Hollywood House of Blues. Can’t remember which date I attended, but I had to go solo for this one (2007). Bonus points for the inclusion of Pennywise on the same flyer.

Greatest

Though not usually a fan of Greatest Hits albums (I only own about 50 of them), decently priced Yardbirds albums are strictly difficult to come by, even those in almost unplayable condition. So, though I do own a few additional Yardbirds records, this one, their Greatest Hits from 1967, was for years my only taste of this (ever revolving) all-star band. Just for shits I priced 1964’s Five Live Yardbirds (the band’s debut), and VG+ copies are fetching for over $200. Kudos to those in possession of that gem.

Care

Well, a very, very bad mistake can now be put to rest, thanks to my wife (thank you!). You see, I’d stupidly passed up a chance to acquire the limited, aqua blue double vinyl release of Old 97’s classic, Too Far to Care. Little did I know that the next opportunity, and the only other opportunity (for nearly 5 years) would price this album 3x – 4x higher than that copy I’d originally put back on the shelf (for shame!). Missed opportunities die a slow and painful death in the life of a record collector, as you well know, so I’m grateful to finally put this one into the ground.

Warped

Ok, so yesterday was showcasing an event from 2000, so let’s wiggle ourselves up just a year for the 2001 Vans Warped Tour. Featured (in Milwaukee) at this event were The Ataris, Pinhead, Guttermouth, The Vandals, The Misfits, Kool Keith (yes, THAT Kool Keith), Hank Williams III, Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, AFI, 311, and of course, no early 2000’s riot event is complete without Less Than Jake. It was a-hell-of-a-lot-of-fun, as you can imagine, and I’m happy to have held on to this little piece of personal, entertainment history.