Sometimes when you’re piecing together the rooted discography of your favorite band, you opt for, “the works.” 1993’s Ghetto-Box Rock found its release within issue #4 of Speed Kills Magazine. This virgin copy has yet to be extracted from its source, and currently lives like a cocoon of motor music history.
So this guy hosted a dinner party that ran a little late and now has no photo with which to post about… so, after digging through the abandoned photo library, here is a photo from Saturday’s 1993 session in which I enjoyed the Canadian cries of Propagandhi’s How to Clean Everything at top volume while my flag-sniffing neighbors pawed at my front door. Remember the things that matter, kids.
Nothing says Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus like the appropriately titled rock n’ roll comp, Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus. Released in 1993 on Sympathy for the Record Industry, a Washington-based, one-man-operated punk and garage rock label, HB, BJ captures that glorified sleaziness found within the smoke-filled, brawl-inducing dive bars scattered across this giant, rotating rock, but you know, with that perfect amount of stocking stuffed sincerity.
Featured on this, borderline anti-Christmas rager are The New Bomb Turks, Rocket from the Crypt, Jackknife, The Humpers, Shitbirds, The Devil Dogs a many more! Act now and receive a free… or, wait… I’m not actually selling this album, but if you’re in the market for quality garage rock with a pinch of Christmas cheer, Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus is just the right amount of straight bourbon guzzling, tree decorating, sibling-shoving mess of holiday overindulgence.
1993 was a good year for a lot of good reasons. Mainly, it saw this two-track holiday offering by the two Johns (Flansburgh and Linell) of They Might Be Giants. Featuring O Tannenbaum and the b-side Christmas Cards, this nifty little stocking stuffer comes on mistletoe green vinyl, and bridges that perfect gap between early 90s college rock and classic holiday warm and fuzzy music.
Although released in 1993 (wow, that’s now 20 years ago!), both songs harbor that “timeless Christmas” vibe, and if you’re like me and enjoy the cheese-filled, gluttonous, help me forget about my everyday life kind of distraction, They Might Be Giants have a neatly wrapped 45 with your name on it. It’s under the tree next to the zeppelin and the Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle.
In 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.
1993 was an interesting year. I was 14, and back then, New Jack Swing was alive and violently flowing from the radio waves like a raging river of hip hop and dance-pop fusion, but you know, with tight-rolled Z Cavaricci’s and LA Gear footwear.
Shifting away from spoon-fed radio, for me, was a slow burn. We only had two radio stations that played anything other than Western or Country, and the closest record store was something like 40 miles away. A bit too far for me and my trusty BMX, as it turned out.
If I Had No Loot was a recent purchase, a $1 thrift store find actually, and serves as one of those “throwback” records that I’ll frequent when the thoughts of my younger years slowly begin to seep through the thin layer of 2013 reality. Other bands that fit this category include Animotion, Tone-Lōc, Paula Abdul, R.E.M., Prince, Jane’s Addiction, Faith No More and Pet Shop Boys (I was a confused kid).
For all its amazing shortcomings, If I Had No Loot still manages to stand its ground, and is as catchy and enjoyable as when I heard it for the first time screaming from Z-104 (104 FM) out of Madison, WI. People say music is timeless. I say, music is a time casket, emerging from yesteryear like a Pepe jean, Hypercolor shirt wearing zombie.
By the time Porno for Pyros hit the streets in 1993, the world was still mourning the loss of Jane’s Addiction. Frontman, Perry Ferrell, assured the masses that his brash-brand of sleazy-slut-rock would continue on unabated, but would henceforth inherit a new title, Porno for Pyros.
Trying to figure out the meaning behind the title, Porno for Pyros, is like trying to tie your shoes with oven mitts on your hands. You can see the end result in your head, but damned if it’s not impossible to get to. People attribute too much meaning to things anyway, so I’m going to skip the meaningless meaning behind PfP, and continue on with my daily ramblings.
The music, not unlike a cloud of sadness, is loud, funky, rhythmically driven, and unmistakably awesome! There is a certain amount of solace that can be found in sadness, and it’s evident that Perry and crew tapped into that power for Porno for Pyros, because quiet frankly, it’s a pretty bleak album. Like a warm pair of socks on a cold, dreary day, or a calming breeze during those hot August nights, Porno for Pyros can abate your less-than-optimal mood, whenever it rears its ugly, yet familiar noggin.
A beautiful tie-dyed vinyl version was released just this past Saturday for Record Store Day. Limited to 1000 copies, this gorgeous record is going for up to $100 over at Discogs, so I hope you were able to brave the goofballs in line for a copy, because, it really is quite something.
Sprouting from a household of three (my parents being the other two), we assumed the old “divide and conquer” strategy and cleaned the entire, two-story house. Now, as an adult shaped boy-child, Saturdays are STILL synonymous with cleaning. So, as my beautiful counterpart and I clean our pad, I suggest Propagandhi’s 1993 major label debut (if you consider Fat Wreck Chords a major label), How to Clean Everything.
It’s political pop punk from Canada, and it’s proven to make you clean faster. It’s also available on transparent gold vinyl, as you can clearly see (see what I did there?).