MoA-M?

PurpleFuturistic, intergalactic surf rockers Man or Astro-Man? sally forth with another (inter) stellar collection of twangy tunes with their 5th studio album, 1995’s Intravenous Television Continuum. Also released on clear vinyl, this collection of far-out follies builds upon an already sizable and entertaining library of instrumental jams, yet remains fresh and engaging throughout its 17 audio explosions. Think Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet completely hammered and going through a rough break-up, or better yet, Lawndale trying to piss off everyone within a 3-mile radius. It’s raw. It’s elegant. It’s viciously delicious.

‘69

69With its jaw-breaking (and previously unreleased) b-side (Ciao Patsy), 1995’s unforgettable 7” single from RFTC’s flame-thrower, Scream Dracula Scream was, unfortunately for us Yanks, released only to the luxurious fields of the UK market. One of the band’s more prevalent tracks (mainly regarded by part-time Rocket fans as their pinnacle achievement*), Born in ’69 is as perfect as it is bewildering, and as rawkus as it is musically delicious.

* Lack of evidence supporting this juvenile claim.

MW034 LP

MW034 LPLo(unge)-Fi keyboard extraordinaire Mark Ramos Nishita, aka Money Mark released his debut, Mark’s Keyboard Repair on UK staple Mo’ Wax Records back in 1995. Mr. Money is, of course, best known for his artificial ivory works with the Beastie Boys from 1992’s Check Your Head through the band’s final offering with 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. Releasing seven full-length studio albums throughout his solo career, Mark’s music follows the lackadaisical-lazy-groove style of Luscious Jackson, Buffalo Daughter, and other lesser-known Grand Royal virtuosos.

The photo above is an artsy little number featured on the insert record jacket to Mark’s Keyboard Repair. The more you know…

653 on Navy Blue Vinyl. No Longer Available.

GRWe just got back from picking up our international friends from their international flight at the international airport, so please forgive the lateness of this evening’s post.

Originally released on February 1, 1995, For God and Country, the first studio album by angry punks from Santa Cruz, saw a recent (within the last five or so years) reissue on limited colored vinyl. This version, described from the Fat website as “Navy Blue” is more of a transparent midnight blue than a straight navy, but whatever. Limited to only 653 colored copies, this classic album gets the proper Fat respect that it greatly deserves.

Comin’ O-F-F

OFFDJ Hurricane… The Hurra… sportin’ a Shaq jersey… circa ’95… what’s NOT to love? The longtime disc jockey for the Beastie Boys… branching out, lingering past the point of comfortability, knifing the vocal chord of his (then) creative mainstay, in lucrative, amiable fashion. Wise men need not step to The Hurra.

Released on Grand Royal, surprise, surprise, the Comin’ Off single (encompassing a total of 9 tracks), allows the sheltered talents of this functionally entertaining DJ to step into the darkened spotlight of the ever-looming B-Boy sun, and allows for personal, creative, hip-hop repression to manifest itself into a advantageous 9-track single-EP, with NBA-minded art-a-plenty.

The Hurra, certainly not favored amongst the masses, as far as hip-hop history goes, needs to be recognized as a menacing stone that need not be overturned.

About Time for Smoke

About TimeOwning a hard copy of an album more than twice is usually an indication of some pretty stellar grooves, but my (excuse) rationale behind owning three copies of Pennywise’s 1995 effort, About Time, is purely for nostalgic purposes. Dubbed to tape more than a few times, About Time was one of the 8 or so cassettes sliding around the pickup (a 1989 Ford Ranger) for much of my Junior year of high school. I distinctly remember driving to and from work, and to the occasional bonfire, blasting Perfect People while hollering along to the lyrics (usually at full roar, and much to the dismay of my frequent, punk-deaf passengers).

Southern California pop-punk at its finest, About Time recently (as of a few months ago, I believe) saw a limited run (500 copies) on smoke colored vinyl. Seeing frisky releases such as this that incorporate the album cover into the vinyl color get me excited for upcoming reissues that will undoubtedly acquire my money (the smoke colored record ties in nicely to the timebomb on the cover, don’t you think?). For nostalgia’s sake, owning an album more than twice makes perfect sense to me.

Square Wave in Unison

AglioFeelin’ pretty simple today, so here’s the lyrics sheet / insert to Aglio E Olio (pronounced: AH-lyoh ay AW-lyoh), the 8 song, 11 minute EP by the Beastie Boys. Pretty, isn’t it? I think it is, or at least I thought it was… enough to tape it to whatever rented wall I happened to occupy during the time of purchase (tape residue, evidence of my murky past, can be found on the back in all four corners). It’s still crazy to me that this album was released only three years after Check Your Head. That’s a little dose of reality I guess I’m just gonna’ have to swallow.

A Subtle Trip Down Nostalgia Ave

Root DownThrough rose-colored ear goggles, 1995 was a fantastic year. In the throes of high school juvenility, I found repeated comfort in the hunting and gathering of rare and out of print Beastie Boys singles and EPs. Although manly on compact disc at the time, I was able to nab a few 12” singles that, for years, would act as the crowning pillars of my now, nearly completed, Beastie Boys discography.

Beastie Boys TowerThe 1995 Root Down EP got heavy play in those days, and although it would take me well into the 2000s to track down this blue vinyl version, each transparent, cool spin brings with it aging thoughts and specificities of that fabled summer of 1995. Much has changed in the past 19 years (like it does), but it’s refreshing to travel down Nostalgia Ave from time to time, and for me, it’s important to recognize the vehicles that carry you back.

First Artists Presents: 311 with No Doubt (Saturday, September 16, 1995)

311 Stub311 catches a ton of flack. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve thrown my fair share of insulting tongues towards this Omaha band… but before I wrote off this relax-happy, genre-bending five-piece musical act (for reasons I’m not willing to explain at the moment), they acted as a brief, three year favorite for me and a few of my close, rural Wisconsin friends.

1995 seems like a dream being quietly suffocated by a nightmare these days. I guess I was a sophomore in high school, but I really can’t remember. All I can remember from this show is 1) Gwen Stefani was nearly booed off the stage (what the hell was No Doubt doing opening for 311 in the first place?), 2) an avid fan attempted to pass a jay past a security guard to frontman Nick Hexum. Nick dropped it, then politely ordered the security guard to fetch the fallen, illegal substance, which the portly guard did. Nick took a deep drag, and then gave the doob back to the ecstatic fan. Oh, and I also remember catching 37 types of hell from a judgmental girlfriend for attending a concert where such “barbaric” things took place.

Rural Wisconsin can be a bit of a drag sometimes, know what I mean?

Your Eyes Deceive You, Don’t Trust Them

AglioDo you own Aglio E Olio (pronounced ahl-yo ay ohl-yo) by the Beastie Boys on wax? If you don’t, discontinue reading and go here. If you do, have you ever noticed the subtle misconception with the record? It’s not a wrong impression so much as a blatant deception. Allow me to briefly explain.

EHere is the record, right? Nothing out of the ordinary, at least at first glance. It plays, doesn’t skip, everyone is happy. With me? Ok, good. So, for years I thought this was an ordinary record. I’d purchased it new, kept good care of it, saw that it wasn’t colored, only the basic black, would play it from time to time, and that was it. It wasn’t until about 10 or so years later that I discovered (thanks to Beastiemania.com) that the record wasn’t black, but instead an excellently executed bit of trickery by the band.

Olio 2If you hold the “black” record up to the light, you’ll discover that it’s actually very dark translucent brown, made to look black. Needless to say, this blew my feeble mind upon immediate discovery.

I’m 99.9% sure every Aglio E Olio record is translucent brown, so if you own this album, and you haven’t heard of this before, check it out. While you’re at it, Check Your Head.

1995: The State of Art is On Fire

ArtRock ‘N’ Roll gets kicked in the teeth with this fire-themed gauntlet of raging energy. Led by Speedo’s spitting vocals and Petey X’s stabbing bass work, the glorious Rocket from the Crypt, over just six songs, show everyone within shouting distance why they’re helmed as the best Rock ‘N’ Roll group ever to walk the Earth. The State of Art is On Fire, and Rocket from the Crypt lit the match.

The State of Art is on Fire was the first in a trilogy from RFTC (Rocket from the Crypt) in 1995, followed by August’s Hot Charity and October’s Scream, Dracula, Scream!. This particular release is, well, a bit peculiar since side A plays at 33rpms and side B plays at 45rpms. It should also be noted that this EP was the first to feature JC 2000, the band’s trumpeter, and also included a lyrics sheet, which was rarely included in releases by this band.

InsertThe hair-raising back-to-back shots from Rid or Ride and Human Torch are arguably the best one-two punch by any band on any album ever. I know this statement is subjective, but you’re wrong if you think otherwise.  Like a violent flame, this album starts to burn your ears, your neighbor’s dog’s ears, your feet, the pear on your kitchen table, your memories of Senior Prom, and the blood flowing through your veins, and it doesn’t let up until the needle breaks on the final groove.  The State of Art is on Fire is an experience. One that is not quickly, or let’s face it, EVER forgotten.

RecordOnly 300 copies exist of this blue marbled staple of Rock ‘N’ Roll awesomeness. Currently none are for sale of either this or the pink marbled version, but the black version can be had for only $8 at Discogs.

Art has been burning now for 18 years. Sit back and enjoy the flames.

The Prudent Groove Goes AWOL

STI don’t know why I get so self-conscious when posting about the Beastie Boys. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the better part of 20 years finding out as much as I could about the band, and that blather, although new to some, makes me fearful that it could overtake the halls of The Prudent Groove until it becomes just another Beastie Boys fan site. I would like for that not to happen.

Today’s groove is nothing more than a simple tie; a connection between bands; a common denominator of musical excellence… two bands and their percussion-based similarities. The bands: Suicidal Tendencies and the Beastie Boys. The connection: drummer Amery Smith (AWOL).

1983 saw two bands that wouldn’t find their connection for another 10 or so years. Venice, CA’s Suicidal Tendencies released their eponymous self-titled debut while the Beastie Boys (then made up of 4 members, one of them being a woman and without Adam Ad-Rock Horovitz) took their first leap into the hip-hop world with their Cookie Puss EP. Like Galileo peering up towards the orchestra of stars amongst the musical universe, this constellation had yet to be discovered. So at the same time as ST was screaming for a Pepsi, the BB were prank-calling Carvel. Somehow it all makes sense now.

AglioCut to the 1995 release, Aglio E Olio by the Beastie Boys which combines the hardcore musical talents of the 2 Adams (RIP MCA), Mike and AWOL. This 8 song/11 minute album features the band once again as a 4 piece, but this time includes original Suicidal Tendency drummer Amery AWOL Smith. A frequent contributor throughout their 1990’s tours, AWOL’s presence relinquished Mike Diamond’s role on drums and allowed him to solely man the mic.

I can go into how Adam Horovitz and AWOL formed the band BS 2000 and that the Beasties toured small venues under the name Quasar, which also included AWOL on drums, but I won’t. My coffee is almost out and I’ve got to scoot on over to the “real” job.

ST AWOLAglio AWOL