Official Winston Smith page can be found here.
Welcome to 1984. Are you ready for the third world war?! So go the lyrics spewed forth by Jello (Wahoo) Biafra in 1981’s We’ve Got a Bigger Problem Now (not featured on the album in which this insert was showcased). The Crass-like art featured within the multi-page booklet from 1982’s Plastic Surgery Disasters by Bay-area social norm killers, Dead Kennedys, acts as a sort of a pictorial accompaniment to this amazing, yet sobering album. Pulling little to no stops, Mr. Biafra and team eject a string of disturbingly accurate observations on every day life back in Cold War 1982. Oh, how strikingly little things have changed some 33 years later. Anyway, enjoy the art!
This 1982 live bootleg from the inaugural Beastie Boys years is the most recent addition to the family’s B-Boy Bouillabaisse (Paul’s Boutique… check it out). It was acquired at an LA punk shop off Melrose, and although the quality is less than perfect, it captures a pivotal point in the band’s lucrative history. For what it’s worth, sacred memories need to be celebrated, regardless of how unsocial and mundane they may seem.
Everybody can use a little lifelong camaraderie, and as far as I’m concerned, nobody is too old for some of our first, cherished companions. I’m in no way ashamed of my love for Sesame Street, not that I should be, and spending an amazing week with some amazing kids, the Street Sesame seemed wholeheartedly appropriate. Happy Sunday, kids!
Is the “Extra” in Extra Terrestrial similar to the “Extra” in Extra Strength Tylenol? Like, there is there a Regular Terrestrial (R.T.), or even a Maximum Terrestrial (M.T.)? Anyway, 1982’s blockbuster cultivated a whopping $792,910,554 in worldwide box office sales during its tenure in theaters, which calculates to $1,940,116,550.26 with inflation (source: http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/). But don’t worry your pretty little sky-searching head, because this epic film’s original motion picture soundtrack can be had at a fraction of a fraction of a fraction (of a fraction) of the price. $2.73 over at Discogs, and this essential otherworldly soundtrack can be yours.
Simplistic? Like, totally!
The cover to Frank Zappa’s 1982 album, Ship Arriving Too Late to Save a Drowning Witch holds a prominent place on the back cover to its 7″ single, Valley Girl, and has been, until this morning, looked over and ignored by yours truly. I mean, the totally bitchen LP should be on the “must have” list, like, that would be so awesome, I’m sure! Respect the music your elders dug, kids.
1982 was a good year for several, obvious reasons. The Dukes of Hazzard saw a bit of a ruckus when Warner Bros. refused to pay actors Tom Wopat and John Schneider their due royalties. This resulted in the Duke brothers’ 17-episode hiatus / protest. Warner Bros. finally struck a deal which finally ended the Vance and Coy era (“cousins” filling the lead rolls left vacant by two smart actors speaking up when they weren’t being paid what was contractually theirs).
Let’s see, what else happened… Tron, E.T., Tootsie and Blade Runner were released… The stupid-ass St. Louis Cardinals beat the Milwaukee Brewers in game 7 of the World Series… Grace Kelly, John Belushi and Ingrid Bergman died… I moved from sunny Southern California to the frigid tundra of Wisconsin… OH! And the Beastie Boys released their first record, a hardcore EP titled Polly Wog Stew.
8 tracks released on both 7” and 12” formats, the Polly Wog Stew E.P. would be the first, last, and only official release from the band as a hardcore unit, next releasing Cookie Puss which saw the Boys Beastie bow more towards a new form of hip hop (well, at the time).
Yeah, ’82 was decent, and oh so long ago.
Another Laff Records rush-to-get-it-out, recycled-without-a-hint-of-shame, X-Rated, listen-after-your-parents-have-long-gone-to-bed release, The Very Best of Richard Pryor embezzles from “Craps” After Hours (1971), Are You Serious??? (1976), Who Me? I’m Not Him (1977), Black Ben the Blacksmith (1978), Outrageous (1979), and what sounds like a Scotch tape merging of cutting room floor excerpts. This is all, of course, certainly not to say that The Very Best of Richard Pryor is without merit, and shouldn’t be owned by everyone who enjoys the idea of laughing until you cry.
RIP Richard Pryor.
The biggest, brightest marquee names in TV / movie pop culture, according to Alvin and the Chipmunks circa: 1982 are as follows: 9 to 5, Grease, The Greatest American Hero, Fame, Annie, The Dukes of Hazzard, Chariots of Fire, ET, Arthur, and Rocky.
It’s comforting to acknowledge how prolific and timeless The Chipmunks Go Hollywood still remains, given the immortal impact of these groundbreaking examples of visual brilliance. Why, just the other day while shopping for Boston Baked Beans at the corner 7-Eleven (the ‘Sev), I overheard a youth (a shaggy-haired runt in knee-high tube socks) exclaim to his dopey-eyed, sugar-pack-hoarding cohort, “You know Sly, I’ve been thinking, The Greatest American Hero is, in my humble opinion, the greatest American television show of all time. Wouldn’t you agree, good chap?” To which the sweaty wingman replied something inaudible, just before knocking over a wicker basket full of week old fruit.
The youth, like the Chipped Munks of 1982, got it, and The Chipmunks Go Hollywood still remains one of the most important works of modern day artistic expression, but that, of course, goes without saying.
Would Rocky III still be considered the single greatest motion picture achievement had it not featured Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger? This seemingly innocent question has been the catalyst for civil wars throughout many Philly-loving cliques since this song’s release back in 1982. Did Robert “Rocky” Balboa have enough momentum going for him with the victorious releases of Rocky and Rocky II (1976 and 1979), or can the silver-screen-crowning-victory-belt be awarded to the Chicago-based arena rockers? A solid case for both parties can be made, but what matters most here is Rocky III. For without Rocky III, the world would not be blessed with Rocky IV, Rocky V, or even the 2006 rehash, Rocky Balboa. Is that the kind of world you’d like to live in? It certainly isn’t one I’d want to live in. Thank you, Rocky III, for all that’s right with the world.
Thick, molasses-like sick has infected the otherwise healthy offices of the Prudent Groove this morning. So as not to spread my unhealthy funk, my frail and nauseated digits will shuffle out today’s post in rather brisk fashion (so that I may return to the couch with my tea and abhorrent daytime television). Chronic Sick, the New Jersey hardcore band from the early 80’s struck me by surprise when I discovered them some four or so years back. If there were such a genre as pop-hardcore punk, Chronic Sick would be its chain-smoking grandfathers.
Certainly not something for the whole family (to put it lightly), Chronic Sick are tight, agile, crunchy, hilarious, catchy, and tend to never overstay their welcome. Comprised of the 1982 LP, Cutest Band in Hardcore, the 1983 7”, Chronic Sick, and three unreleased tracks, this 2009 reissue is a perfect discography for those looking to acquire this band’s catalog on the cheap (their 7” sold on discogs for a whopping $892.94!). This particular version happens to be a bootleg, limited to 100 pressings, or so the internet is telling me.
Give the gift of 30-year-old sullen music, and allow Dr. Chronic Sick to cure your senseless ailments.
New Wave has always been a savory and integral source of audio protein. As a child of the 80s, the synth-lead, bass-droning enormity of some of my New Wave Favs (Bangles’, Walk Like an Egyptian, Animotion’s Obsession, and Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) to name only a few) still offer a wealth of fascinating childhood memories that seem not to go away with sequential spins; for this, I am ecstatically appreciative.
So, leave it to ol’ K-Tel to put together a 1982 comp (featuring none of the above mentioned personal favs), with a cover that’s two-parts Take on Me, and one part opening credits to Saved By the Bell. Overall this comp is a fairly decent representation of New Wave up to 1982. Personally, Squeeze should at least have had Cool for Cats on here, if not their more excitable, Slap and Tickle, but they didn’t ask me to contribute to this compilation… no sir they did not. I’m not entirely sure what I could have offered at the ripe age of three, but personal preferences aside, The Beat by K-Tel is a welcoming trip down (I Want) Candy Cane Lane, even if the sum of its parts comes a bit short of the high water mark.
Yesterday was a good day in terms of record pecking. I was able to find the following four albums (two firsts and two comps) for relatively cheap (it’s not only about the find… it’s also about the deal, as you all well know).
First up is The Rolling Stones’ self-titled debut, The Rolling Stones. Now, there were two copies of this album over at Record Surplus, and both sleeves were in pretty good shape. The copy I left behind was priced at $35, but the version I brought home was only $5. Record Surplus is thoughtful enough to provide listening stations (available, albeit restrictive, in five minute intervals). The record looked a bit choppy, but after a test spin, it proved to be only visually perverted. Score one for The Groove!
Second is Tim Hardin’s first album, Tim Hardin 1. I’m absolutely loony over Tim Hardin’s brand of white boy blues (after discovering his 1967 released, 1963-1964 recorded album, This is Tim Hardin). If you don’t know Tim Hardin, you don’t know anguish. It’s as simple as that.
Third and fourth are two of the three part series of early 80s UK punk comps titled, Punk and Disorderly. I’d first heard of these comps via NOFX lyrics in the song, Punk Guy that go “He should’ve been on the cover of Punk and Disorderly.” With 16 tracks apiece, I eagerly look forward to angry meditations in UK punk.
So, there you have it. British Invasion, White Boy Blues, and early UK Punk. Not bad for a stroll down to the corner shop.
No. 2) You have the right to food money, providing of course, you don’t mind a little investigation, humiliation and if you cross your fingers, rehabilitation.
No. 3) You have the right to free speech (as long as you’re not dumb enough to actually try it).
These rights, as described by the late, the prolific, the prophet, Mr. Joe Strummer, are your responsibility to learn and digest. It is of the utmost importance that you educate (and mentally set free) your immediate family, coworkers, daycare professionals, gas station attendants, hot air balloon operators, garbage disposal fixers, and sad children with orange-tinted hair. These rights need to be understood, as I imagine Mr. Strummer would have wanted it that way.
For good measure, I’ve offered a little insight into my obsessive-compulsive nature. Apparently, on Thursday evening in late July, back in 1997, I felt it was a good idea to preserve the receipt to my purchased copy of Combat Rock. $3.98! The Clash were the soundtrack to that, the first summer out of 1) high school and 2) my parents’ home. The Clash were, and will always be, at least for me, a monumental symbol of freedom. It sounds just as gigantic and paradisiacal today as it did over 16 years ago.
Know your rights.
Manufactured, packaged, distributed, displayed and purchased in 1982, this Stylus Care System includes a retractable critical density brush and magnifying mirror extension that lives inside a bold, wooden handle. This system also includes 10ml (.34 fl oz) of the “not safe for children” SC-2 Stylus Cleaning Fluid. Both elements that make up this Care System are essential for the longevity of your phonograph records, your stylus, and your hopes of getting lucky this Saturday night.
You must be asking yourself, “With a system so advanced, surely I must obtain a PhD in Record Care in order to operate this complex invention.” Au contraire, my fellow-filthy-fidelity (FFF) owner! Just adhere to the following three, easy steps below, and your days of sub-par audio quality will be as forgettable as Bruce Willis’ singing career.
1. Empty the entire 10ml bottle of SC-2 Stylus Cleaning Fluid onto the dime-sized, critical density brush. Don’t worry if you spill. Think of this procedure as brushing the teeth of your turntable. Except, your turntable has been neglecting proper oral care and is only down to one, groove-hungry tooth.
Warning: Do not brush your own teeth with SC-2 Stylus Cleaning Fluid.
2. Using the critical density brush, gently brush the turntable tooth (stylus) using “rear to front action only.” You don’t want to brush from side to side. Doing so will result in a broken turntable, no audio pleasure, and a lonely Saturday night. The Prudent Groove will not be held responsible if these words of warning go ignored.
Warning: Do not use your tooth brush to clean your stylus.
3. Using the magnifying mirror (conveniently located on the reverse side of the critical density brush), inspect the gleaming smile of your freshly cleaned turntable tooth (stylus). If there remains any “fuzz,” simply throw your turntable into the garbage and purchase another.
Leaps and bounds above the primitive SC-1 (not sure if this exists), the SC-2 Stylus Care System will help to ensure long, lasting, neighbor-disturbing music for years to come.
(A special thanks to Pat & Dennis for this amazing gift.)
This is the Bruce Springsteen you WISH your father had listened to… except, then your father probably would have been too damned depressed and self-indulged to gather enough strength to nurture you as a child so, maybe Born in the U.S.A. WAS better “father” material.
Man turns his back on his family
Well he just ain’t no good
Some urban legends are created to help sell a less than interesting story. I don’t feel this is the case with Bruce Springsteen and his approach to Nebraska. Furthermore, I’ll refuse to feed any notion to this legend’s contrary. Legend has it that Mr. ‘Steen locked himself inside a hotel room and recorded this album to 4-track tape. The story continues with “The Boss” presenting the results to his mates, the E Street Band, which resulting in them all recording the songs, all studio-like. The legend concludes that the versions recorded with the band were too polished, and too produced, so Bruce mixed his demo hotel session and, well, that’s what we’re hearing. Nebraska is, without esteemed hesitation, the best work Bruce Springsteen ever produced… and I’ll fight anyone who says otherwise (only to buy them a drink after the inevitable scuffle while listening to, well, this album).
When shifted 45 degrees clockwise, the lyric sheet, with its red text cascading down a black canvas, somewhat resembles trickling blood catered by the destitute victims offered by the deviant characters residing throughout Nebraska (Nebraska, Johnny 99, Highway Patrolman). Everything, eventually, returns to the Earth. Blood, epithelial tissue, and sorrow are no exception.
My friend, who introduced me to this album, presented it with a caveat: Don’t listen to this album while drinking alone. Sound advice; that which I would repeat to new listeners as well as to the frequent Springsteen flyer.
Maybe you got a kid
Maybe you got a pretty wife
The only that I got’s
Been botherin’ me my whole life
Nebraska is the answer to the question you’ve yet to realize the need to ask. It exists so that you may see the light of tomorrow, it offers a chance for you to accept your weathered self, and it strengthens the muscles in your neck that help to lift your head from your pillow each morning. It exists, so that you can too. Thanks, Boss.