Off to Never Never Land

SandmanMetallica’s 1991 self titled album stands out for me, or the Junior High me, as one of the first, popular, bootleg albums to circulate my clique (nearly our entire 7th grade class). I received a 3rd generation cassette which I borrowed for a few days to make a 4th generation (my 1st generation), then proceeded to Enter Sandman for the next 24 years. This non-cassette, double vinyl copy is a 2008 remastered reissue, and in a pinch, gets the occasional, late evening spin. If you’re looking for a copy, and believe me, you most certainly should, I’d suggest shying away from the original (fetching $143.38 currently on Discogs.com), and instead, dig around for this remastered version ($34.39, also on Discogs.com). That is, of course, if you don’t already own a 5th generation bootleg cassette.

Lead Into Vinyl

GoldLead Into Gold, wait for it… on gold vinyl! Finally, an official vinyl release of Lead Into Gold’s (Paul Barker) Low and Slow 12″! Previously only existing as a test pressing (roughly only five copies), this gold vinyl release of the now 24 year old record is limited to 500 copies and is sold directly through the label, Wax Trax! Records. Sure, $16 is a bit much to pay for four tracks, but new Lead Into Gold certainly warrants excessive spending.

“Jesus Built My Car”

HotrodIt’s a love affair. Mainly Jesus, and my hotrod. So end the lethargic rants of Butthole Surfers’ frontman Gibby Haynes on this massive, mechanical incision on early 90s pop radio, 1991’s Jesus Built My Hotrod by Industrial deities, Ministry. The single includes a kickass remix on side A, dubbed the Redline/Whiteline Version which far outweighs the original. JBMH is classic Ministry and wasn’t featured on a proper studio album until 1992’s ΚΕΦΑΛΗΞΘ, or Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed and the Way to Suck Eggs. Not for the faint of heart, or for respectable people in general, JBMH encapsulates a bygone era of soul-crushing melodies Ministry hasn’t been able to match in over two decades. A classic to say the least.

Rocket from the Insert aka Circa: 1991

RocketFromtheInsertHaven’t done an insert post in a while, and I’m nowhere near out of my (lifelong) RFTC phase, so here is side two to the Paint as a Fragrance insert from 1991, aka RFTC’s debut studio album.

The artist’s signature looks to be either a forgery, or an afterthought, but really what the hell do I know. Likely some child relation to Speedo based on the last name. Anyway, on a completely unrelated note, binge-watch your shows responsibly!

Thrifties

ThriftiesAn unexpected find during an unexpected trip to the thrifty on my way home from the office, Cypress Hill’s 1991 debut and a sealed, bootleg, double LP of the Beastie Boys’ Hip Hop Sampler comp were a surprise upon these weary eyes, to say the very least. Having already owned copies of each (two-times over, in the case of Cypress Hill), I didn’t once hesitate to question the overpriced $3 Records sign above the frail shelf. Yoink, and yoink.

Gotta’ love the thrifties. Also, RIP Joe Cocker.

Introducing Simply Samples

Simply SamplesIn my continuous efforts to keep from boring myself to death by scouring the internet for new and lavish ways to describe awesome, or amazing, or simply, I really dig this album, man, and I like, think you would too, I’ve decided to start a new category tentatively titled, Simply Samples. Simply Samples will NOT satisfy your mid-afternoon appetite while on your weekend trip to the local Piggly Wiggly (or Trader Joe’s if you live in LA… they’re grocery stores), instead, it will act as a strong, bold line connecting two seemingly unrelated dots. For example (and I should really think about starting a new paragraph soon), my SO (significant other) and I were watching Silence of the Lambs last night when a very familiar phrase flew out of our living room stereo. It was spoken by Senator Ruth Martin, the mother of Buffalo Bill’s current victim in the film, while pleading for her daughter’s life at a television news conference. The words, you have the power struck my head like a blow from Sugar Ray Robinson (RIP Richard Pryor), and I had to pause the movie (my SO LOVES it when I do that) to figure out where I’d heard that exact phrase a thousand times before (is a THOUSAND enough?). Surprise, surprise, the Revolting Cocks sampled that phrase on their 1993 album, Linger Ficken’ Good in their opening track Gila Copter. Sporting a playful smile, I took a moment to quickly scan over all the samples from songs I’d ever heard whose sources I actually knew, and Simply Samples was born.

This new dot-connecting category may not be of interest to the lot of you, but those of you who are into programmed beats and / or concept albums with samples to obscure films or television shows, Simply Samples may be that white, yippy dog in the bottom of the well you’ve been looking for. That’s a Silence of the Lambs reference… have a nice day.

Here is the track. The sample comes in at 1:16 if you’re interested.

Sons of Senators’ Sons of Senators’ Sons of Senators’ Sons

Blow Minds CoverWe could all use a little Jello in our diets. Be it the “from concentrate” blend found in the Dead Kennedys, or the 100%, all-natural, organic pickings from Jello Biafra’s spoken word albums, this political-protein based truth-nutrition is part of a healthy, balanced diet, and it’ll help you shed those conservative love handles with little-to-no effort.

This anti-war, pro-lower & middle/working class, pro-education, pro-environment, pro-urban renewal, anti-mainstream media, anti-racism, promotional works of undivided freedom will be written off by some as terrorist propaganda, but that certainly doesn’t make it wrong, or worse, truthful. An exceptionally dense piece of work, this double LP is Jello’s third spoken word album, and requires repeat listens in order to absorb the steady waves of detailed and cited research that, for reasons that are all too obvious, make him a threat to a system set-up to keep the poor, the mute, and fearful at bay.

Blow Minds BackThis should be required listening material for 6th graders across the nation. Black and white are not the only colors in this uniform spectrum we are all a part of, and what’s frustrating, is that so many will blindly say that black and white aren’t really colors at all. Distraction, the oldest and most powerful guise in maintaining power the world has ever known.

1991: Cypress Hill

Cypress CoverCypress Hill was my single-handed introduction into the vast, unremitting world of Hip Hop music. I was a fair, Junior High student at a tiny school when introduced to this abstract genre (my graduating class was 63 kids… it sucked). Hip Hop as a whole is certainly not abstract, but when you grow up in a tiny town with tiny ideals and little room for any sort of outside thinking, it really didn’t get more abstract than Hip Hop (that was until I discovered AC, but that’s a post for another time).

Cypress RedCypress Hill boasts of bongs, fat-jammy-blasts and brotherhood (a nice way of saying “gang”), while set to a Funk backbeat and fanatical lyrics. LA’s finest scored a fat sack with these 16 tracks, so much so that it was remastered and released on blood-shot-eye-red vinyl (this version) in 2011 for its 20th anniversary.

You see, cassettes were big in my day, and I’m now spending the bulk of my “adult” life acquiring my trophy albums on vinyl. It was while listening to this album in the school library, via Walkman (and split ear buds hidden inside the sleeve of my shirt), that a buddy and I got busted for listening to music in school. Not busted so much as yelled at, but it scared us from ever doing it again. It was at that moment when I realized that Cypress Hill were a troublemakers, and at the age of 12, that was a welcoming ally.

The music is straightforward, early 90’s, social-class-bending Hip Hop. There emerged a slew of outstanding Hip Hop albums during the few years spanning 1989-1993, and the tongue-in-cheek approach mastered by Cypress Hill on this debut set the high-bong-water mark.

Cypress BackCypress Hill isn’t considered Old School Hip Hop, but for me, and my friends who dove headfirst into this genre, there is no school older than the music produced during the early 90s. Cypress Hill would hit another homerun with their 1993 release, Black Sunday. After that they’d release six more albums, but they never matched the perfect blend of ENORMOUS beats, witty lyrics, and catchy one-liners.

Lala la la lala la laaa!