I know not much of Underworld outside of dubnobasswithmyheadman, and when I passed on, just the other day, a 2014 double vinyl reissue (for $30! you would have passed too!), I was bombarded, often at random times of the day, with the inevitable cloud of regret. Save for a DNBWMHM single, the only other Underworld album I own is, unfortunately, their sophomore effort, 1989’s Change the Weather…. blah blah blah. If you don’t already, acquire dubnobasswithmyheadman. Your self-loathing conscious will thank you.
Released in June of 1989, Faith No More’s third studio album, The Real Thing, is chiefly known for its funk metal classic, Epic, as well as being the first album from the band to feature newly crowned frontman, Michael Allan Patton. Although not as complete a Patton-led Faith No More album as their 1992 follow-up, The Real Thing remains one of the most successful funk metal albums ever released.
“You want it all but you can’t have it,” exclaims Mr. Patton. Fans would only have to wait three years for the opportunity to have what they wanted: 1992’s Angel Dust.
As far as Lard is concerned, it really doesn’t get much better than 1989’s The Power of Lard. “Pity the poor trainer, in the stable when the racehorse farts,” “It’s ok to run out of butter in Zambia, just smear squashed caterpillars on your toast,” and “Poison Oak really is the aphrodisiac of the Gods” are just the red hot tip of the frozen iceberg found within the band’s debut track.
Fast forward to 2000 with the release of the band’s 2nd EP (three tracks). Their fourth and final release, 70’s Rock Must Die unfortunately features more tongue than cheek, and is by far the band’s ill-fated gift. For you see, there really is no bad Lard album, track, phrase, loop, what-have-you, there’s just spitfire Industrial brilliance, and their other stuff.
So goes the chorus to this luxurious alt rock staple from 1989. The behemoths of the quirky clever, They Might Be Giants solidified their firm stance in the conscious of modern day audio entrepreneurs with Ana Ng, the first single off their 2nd album, Lincoln.
It’s understandable that TMBG are an acquired taste, but respect must be given to the longevity of their determined, recorded output. With 16 studio albums under their belt, and absolutely no sign of slowing down, the two Johns will, in my opinion, and when the final dust has calmly settled, be revered as pioneers within the global scope of modern day recorded sound. AKA, I dig ’em.
Blank pages are the worst, especially when the minutes leading up to the end of the day feel as comfortable as an unnerving shiv under the index finger. Everyday is a balancing act of necessity vs. self-fulfillment, and that, which is regurgitated equal, to the contents of the Prudent Groove.
Featured today, momentarily and briefly, is a sticker on a soundtrack sleeve pimping the overzealous byproduct of 1989’s most accepting hero-film. Batman. Prince, the world love him, offers his brand of mainstream-funk that, for reasons far beyond my feeble comprehension, never reached the heights of artists 1/3 his stature.
1989 was a wacky year, and one that embraced a Prince-infiltrated DC comic was certainly one for the ages, and without question, necessitates a thoughtful listen.
Love American Style, the 1998 reissue of the 1989 accompaniment to the legendary Paul’s Boutique record is not only the 64th release from Grand Royal Records (Guaranteed Every Time), but also one that was released on black, white, and of course this, red vinyl. Produced by both The Dust Brothers and the Beastie Boys, Love American Style includes the Hey Ladies singles in its entirety (b-side Shake Your Rump), while including Dust Brothers jams, 33% God and Dis Yourself in ’89 (Just Do It). Fans of Paul’s Boutique and the Beastie Boys alike will instantly recognize 33% God and Dis Yourself in ’89 (Just Do It) as rehashed instrumentals of the record’s a-side, which stand as monumental achievements of pre-Beastie Boys, all-Dust Brothers party-jams. Are the b-side’s two tracks worth seeking out this four-track 12”? You tell me.
The obnoxiously soothing b-side to the Olivia Newton John cover of (Let’s Get) Physical by the Revolting Cocks is a marathon listen. Clocking in at 10:08, this monster of a patience builder is little more than an irate, mechanical loop set off to offend everyone, up to and including the most devoted RevCo fans… at a seemingly endless coil of 10, nauseating, industrial minutes…
I’m in love with this song. It offers somewhat of a calming experience, not unlike the way Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach provides its monotonous, brilliant beauty. I’ve included the track for you (to struggle through) to enjoy, so you can get a sense of what Chicago’s industrial scene was like in 1989.
Not unlike drinking straight vinegar, or putting hot sauce on your morning toast, (Let’s Talk) Physical, and the Revolting Cocks as a whole, are certainly acquired tastes. This isn’t a song I’d spin as often as let’s say, The Kinks’ Animal Farm, but its function of knocking me out of any given dry, laborious day, at 10-minute intervals, is a rare and welcoming treat.
Jordan, Jonathan, Joey, Donnie & Danny want to wish your 1989 self a money cow-milking merry Christmas. Apparently “dedicated to the children of the world,” Merry, Merry Christmas is a Christmas star-shining example of late 1980s awesomeness and features five white mimes with questionable talent and poor fashion sense cascading down a blanket of fake snow atop a wooden toboggan on some back lot at CBS Studios in Studio City, California. If the now 40-somethings ever made it to the bottom of We Need to Hurry Up and Release a Christmas Album Hill, the world may never know, but one thing is for sure, they certainly made their way into Heartthrob Base with little to no trouble.
With such profound lyrics as, He said you left the fire burning and I burnt my butt, and It’s going I’m showin’ fresh rhymes I’m throwin’, it’s snowin’ outside but we Ho Ho Hoin’, it’s no question that this album is ripe with the unmistakable scent of Christmas class.
So, don’t forget to include NKOTB on your Christmas card list. Here is their address in case you lost it: New Kids, P.O. Box 7080 Quincy, MA 02269.
Oh, the power of LARD… three tracks, clocking in at just over 37 minutes, and the feeble-minded, tight-rolled pant leg sporting, baseball card collecting, 9-year-old version of myself would never be the same.
Now, keep in mind that it wasn’t until my college years that I was exposed to the all-star match-up between the repetitious poundings of industrial metal Godfathers, Al Jourgensen and Paul Barker, and the politically motivated snarls of Dead Kennedys’ frontman, Jello Biafra. I chuckle to myself in wondering what my 9-year-old self would have thought of this album upon hearing it back in 1989 when it was first released. I probably would have had a nervous breakdown and gone missing for three or four days. Oh, what could have been?
Please excuse the lateness of today’s post. It was for a legitimate, and vinyl related cause, I assure you. Here’s the skinny: So yesterday, on our way back from our 6th year at Comic-Con (in San Diego), my vinyl collecting doppelganger and I hit up Lou’s Records in Encinitas, CA. We’d read a few reviews and decided to check it out. We were less than impressed with the selection, as it was really kind of picked through. Apparently Lou’s is a famous little joint. My doppelganger informed me that Pearl Jam used to play there, but I didn’t pay it much mind, since I don’t care for PJ and/or much that comes from this guy’s face. So, after only about five minutes, and upon quick realization that all the grooves we were looking for could not be found, we decided to bounce. On our swift escape, something caught my eye. It was… a clear vinyl version of Pitchfork’s first EP, Saturn Outhouse. Limited to only 100 copies on clear vinyl, this little 7” also happens to be hand numbered. This copy reads: 6/100.
So, like the intelligent and forward thinking chap that I am, I passed it up. I left it there, got back into the car, and headed back to Los Angeles. Late last night, an itch started, and it wouldn’t let up no matter how much I attempted to ignore it. I began searching for any info on this clear vinyl release on the inter-webs, but couldn’t find much of anything on it. The black vinyl version can be found just about anywhere, including amongst the 45s in my collection, but I’d never heard of this version, and since it was the first ANYTHING released by Rocket from the Crypt mastermind, John Reis, I’d felt I’d made a HUGE mistake by not picking it up.
Fast-forward to this morning. After reading a thoughtful post about this clear vinyl release, I started to feel bad for this guy. He’d been hunting all over for this particular record, up to and including contacting the band, and he ended up finding one for a hefty $250. I thought, hmmm. It took this poor guy 18 years to track this record down… and I know where I can get one for a cool $25. So I called Lou’s to make sure they still had it, hopped in my rocket ship and drove an hour and a half to Encinitas. I just got back (traffic was a bastard on the northbound 405), so, yeah. Today’s post is late. But look at what I have!!!
Beginning around 1962, the flexi disc, or phonosheet, has been a low cost, low quality audio option for anything from Beatles Christmas “thank you’s” to fan club members, to a message from Biz Markie wedged inside issue #2 of Grand Royal Magazine that I need to dig out of the closet, to information on The New Ghostbusters Movie Mystery Sweepstakes found on specially marked cereal boxes back in 1989.
Only slightly thicker than a piece of paper, the flexi disc was a reasonable medium for offering audio, be it songs or clues on how to meet a REAL Ghostbuster, from unconventional sources. I imagine few of you to equate a box of breakfast with a vinyl record, but who knows. I’ve been surprised before. Once… he turns 9 this October. I joke.
This particular flexi disc boasts a chance for a very lucky participant to become an honorary member of the Ghostbuster’s team. (Really, it was just a cheap ploy to get people into theaters to see Ghostbusters 2.) All the groggy-eyed, little elementary school twerp needed to do was answer the following questions on a 3×5 card (apparently any other sized card would result in immediate disqualification from the mystery sweepstakes) and mail the answers along with their name, age and address, including zip code, and telephone number to the following address:
The New Ghostbusters Movie Mystery Sweepstakes
PO Box 4029
Beverly Hills, CA 90213-4029
Question 1: Name the woman who works in the art museum, who is Peter Venkman’s girlfriend.
Question 2: At what holiday does the big bust happen at the end of the movie?
Question 3: What US monument do the Ghostbusters work from to save the city?
Cheap ploy or not, I miss the days when I could stroll into a Piggly Wiggly and walk out with a record. For those of you dying to hear (what sounds like) the voice actor of Egon Spengler from The Real Ghostbusters cartoon show, a video of the record can be found here.
Before breaking Lou Brock’s coveted career Major League stolen base record of 938, a very young Rickey Henderson had to steal his first base. Before The Beatles could release the immeasurable Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, they had to play backup to Tony Sheridan. All legacies have a beginning, and before the Hot Snakes, the Obits, Drive Like Jehu, the Sultans, The Night Marchers and the crème de la crème, Rocket from the Crypt, before modern day rock ‘n’ roll emerged from the heavens and established itself as “the majestic sound from the Gods,” there was Pitchfork.
Rick Froberg, meet John Reis. Get through your handshakes and your pleasant introductions quickly, because over the next 25 years you’ve got four singles, one EP and seven albums to write, record, produce and release under the heading of three different bands: Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes. Get busy boys… the world is waiting.
The first recorded ANYTHING by both Froberg and Reis (their musical rookie card), Saturn Outhouse contains the same melodic, in your face, sky-high level of energy found in Drive Like Jehu and Hot Snakes, and like those bands, sees Froberg on vocals and Reis on lead guitar. It’s evident, as seen from Reis’ more recent work, how much he is influenced by mid-60’s obscure garage rock, but Saturn Outhouse sounds more like an Ian MacKaye-headed Fugazi than anything released by the Seeds.
To the causal listener, Pitchfork can easily, and understandably, be confused for Drive Like Jehu, and vise versa. The two bands have striking similarities (scratching vocals by Froberg, piercing guitar by Reis, melodic, drawn-out landscapes), but the difference lies in the level of maturity exuded by both Froberg and Reis between Pitchfork’s demise (1990) and the birth of Drive Like Jehu (later in 1990). I haven’t matured that much in 33 years, and these guys crossed that mark in their early twenties! Quiet simply put, Froberg and Reis were adolescents, yes, but they were also music legends in the making.
Containing the tracks, Thin Ice, Goat and Sinking, this little necessity of music history can be had for a surprisingly cheap amount. Starting at only $6.54 over at Discogs, this gem can, and should, be sought after by any, and every fan of the majestic, modern day rock ‘n’ roll sound.
There are few things in life more difficult than writing about something you love. There is the inherent fear of not doing it enough justice, the pressure of saying enough without overdoing it, and the heartbreaking reality that once submitted, it can never come back. Such thoughts currently swim within my brain-melon as I enjoy the masterpiece that Slut Rock heroes, Guns N’ Roses, blissfully exude from their 1989 single, Patience.
Oh, to be back in 1989.
An interesting duo of songs does this 45 pair. Patience, the first track on GN’R’s 1988, and 2nd album, G N’R Lies (which I always thought was an EP), serves as this 45’s A-Side while its counterpart is Rocket Queen, the last track lifted from their penetrating debut album, Appetite for Destruction.
Coupling two random tracks from two separate albums released in two different years, Geffen Records, what I assume, capitalized on the Zeppelin-like popularity of Axel and the boys and pretty much repurposed as much as they possibly could to turn a quick buck. Kudos to you, Mr. Geffen, sir. I’m a victim of your selfish marketing ploy. I could understand, and forgive, if the two tracks on this single were alternate takes, live versions, or acoustic/rock versions of their respected rock/acoustic originals. But… no. Same ol’ music packaged with a new cover. (Oh! Navy Seals!)
Patience is one of those songs that I’ve been able to play in my head at anytime I thought it up. I’m working on a philosophy loosely based on the idea that if you listen to any song a number of times, it’ll be added to your mind’s “permanent playlist” and anytime you think up that song, you can “hear” it in its entirety within the personal stereo system in your head. I haven’t named it yet, but I’m leaning towards Mind JAMZ 2K-Infinity… just kidding.
Rocket Queen, to me, always seemed like a last minute addition to an album already peaking into the red of perfection. It’s a solid, straight forward hard rocker… little aggression, little in-your-face provocation, but your trusty run-of-the-mill, not-terrible-but definitely skippable rock n’ roll jam. I’ve got a buddy who is a diehard GN’R fan who actually saw them during their Use Your Illusion tour back in ’91. He claims Rocket Queen is the best track off Appetite, and therefore GN’R’s best. Although I’ll disagree with him, often violently, I respect his opinion and therefore the existence of Rocket Queen.
The Patience single is definitely not a necessity, but it paints an interesting two-song landscape with its bizarre pairing. It may be blasphemous to some, but Guns N’ Roses never came close to matching the brilliant achievements of Appetite for Destruction. I will however stand by my claim that whenever you hear GN’R on the radio, you are listening to the best possible song playing on any radio station at that moment.