I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the end of 2015 than with the beginning of arguably the most prolific force of all British Invasion bands. 30 years of Kinky blues-driven hard rock (1964 – 1994) all started with this album (this copy, an obvious reissue), and as we look forward to a fruitful 2016, let’s not forget the lucrative paths that brought us to today. Goodbye, 2015. You were no 1964.
Modern Surf Classics by Swami John Reis & The Blind Shake is both a presumptuous title, and spot effin’ on. (Insert broken record comment here), anything John Reis puts out is an unquestionable classic. This incarnation of instrumental grandiose surf rock was classic in the minds of the artists, classic during this album’s recording, classic upon its release, and classic some near 9 months later. The closing hymn is my fav (Sets of Fire), but the album as a whole breeds water-loving twang-rock with plenty of energy to spare. Summer may be over (finally), but with Modern Surf Classics, the waves are always honest.
Treading thin ice here, so as not to bite the hand that feeds, or some type idiom that some deem appropriate here, but the first day of Los Angeles’ record fair dubbed, Wax The Los Angeles Record Fair, was, although wholeheartedly welcomed (obviously), a severe letdown. Yeah, well, what the shit could you have done better, you POS nobody, nothing head! Fair enough, I’d respond. Crosley Records, for one, would have no presence at said event whatsoever. As far as I’m concerned, and usability backs me up, anything sold at Urban Outfitters need not exist within the meticulous and clinically obsessed lives of record collectors, and anywhere they would frequent. I made a point to walk past that (Crosley) booth with a fierce and cool stride not seen in the great county of Los Angeles (Ventura County, well, that’s a horse of another color, altogether). $1200 priced Elvis Presley 45s baking in the Los Angeles heat, bubbling in the shadows of the (outdated) Capitol Records building, to me, does not make any lick of sense. As an aside, where the organization (WAX) and vendor shirt prices are fixed at an already outrageous $20, why, Capitol Records of Los Angeles, CA, are you charging an astronomical $27 for your damn logo on a solid color? The take away from this event was, at least for me: STEAL YOUR MUSIC! Thanks, but you’re fooling no one. If you’re not going to do it right, then please God, almighty… DON’T DO IT AT ALL!
Lead 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.
Although the “have yet to listen to” pile is dwindling, there still rests a bevy of killer albums waiting to join the fold, and Faith No More’s Sol Invictus sits atop them all. I pre-ordered this band site clear vinyl edition back in May, then it went on backorder. Presumably an issue with the pressing plant, or that’s what the email said. Whatever the reason for the delay, be it manufacturing or the lack of free time, Sol Invictus spins its virgin voyage tonight!
In Los Angeles and craving some badass pizza with a little local hip hop flair (and let’s be honest, aren’t we all in one way or another)? Then why not make the most of your cheat day with some of the best pizza the area has to offer with the Delicious Vinyl influenced Delicious Pizza? From a Soulflower to a Rick Ross, your LA-based beat-palate will be satisfied with enough room for some Funky Cold Sangria. Seriously, this is the best place on Earth!
Secured atop the cellophane sheath to Faith No More’s Sol Invictus, their latest, is this color-printed marketing sticker promoting this release’s colored vinyl (or lack there of) goodness that lives within. In about 5 or so years this sticker will be dropped from social consciousness (if it hasn’t already), as do most, if not all throw away marketing stickers, so let’s take a moment today and pay a little attention to the subtle, short-lived details that surround a modern album’s release… or don’t. I’ll have no way of knowing what the hell you do. Happy hump day!
Finally, the birth of my lifelong Kinks obsession gets a proper vinyl release. As with so many other groundbreaking introductions to inspirational and root-forming suggestions, this film, Wes Anderson’s 1998 released Rushmore, was a lifelong suggestion, introduced to me by a friend we’ll call MM. We’d seen The Royal Tenenbaums in the theater together, and shared a wall where Rushmore’s official movie poster hung prominently. Rushmore, the soundtrack, much (Rush) more than the film, garnishes so much historical weight, it’s at some times difficult to acknowledge that this day, a day in which the soundtrack to Rushmore on vinyl, is finally a reality.
File under: Too Good to Be True.
I very rarely purchase full priced albums solely on their cover art having not heard a lick of the music, but with Damaged Bug’s Cold Hot Plumbs, I had to take chance. The music is good, falling under the stoned-out-experiment-electro umbrella, but with this release, my eyes are much happier than my ears. Frame worthy for sure, yet a little unnerving, and I like that.
So, I made a mistake with this purchase, mainly for two separate, but strikingly similar reasons. Reason #1: I’m an idiot. Reason #2: I’m an idiot. When I initially saw this release pop up on the RSD checklist, I stupidly thought it was a reissue of one of their early singles or EPs, and not a 2-track nub of material released after I’d already disowned the band. That, in a nutshell, is Reason #1. I didn’t do my homework, and now I’m $10 poorer. Reason #2 is a bit more complicated, but just as foolhardy. Because I exhibit obsessive-compulsive behavior and want to maintain the stupid-ass Record Store Day sticker on the plastic shrink wrap, I can’t tell with a degree of certainty which way the sealed sleeve opens. All other RSD 7″‘s purchased open on the right like a standard LP, but I’m not so sure with 311’s release. The only other option would be the top, but I’m not seeing a definitive opening with which to start my blade. So, here it sits.. unwanted, and unopened. 311 for sale.
No, you’re not still dreaming, and yes, as it seems, Refused are not fucking dead. Pitchfork has the brand new track, Elektra, streaming right now, and you can pre-order Refused’s first album in 18 years directly from the Epitaph store. With an expected release date of 6.30.15, it’s without question that this summer is going to be imperative.
So, as each and every one of you poor, sorry, socially conscious chaps know, tomorrow is Record Store Day. Below, to nobody’s inquiry, is my ideal checklist… we’ll see, tomorrow around noon, how well the Groove netted out…
311 – Grifter / Who’s Got the Herb? 7” – MAYBE
101ers – Elgin Avenue Breakdown – double LP – MAYBE
International Noise Conspiracy – Live at Oslo Jazz Festival LP – MAYBE
The Kinks – Kinksize Hits 7” – YeAH!
The Kinks – Kinksize Sessions 7” – YeAH!
The Kinks – You Really Got Me 7” – YeAH!
Paul McCartney – Family Way OST LP – FaF (For a Friend)
Pizza Underground – PU Demo 7” – MAYBE
Rainbow Ffolly – Sallies Fforth – FUGG YeAH!!
Various Artists – Darjeeling Limited OST LP – YeAH!
Here’s hoping tomorrow is a grand day for everyone… so long as we all get our shit!
A few beers and a couple of bruises later, the aftermath of an adrenaline-fueled, lightning-charged date with the World’s best rock n’ roll band leaves this humble fan grinning ear to ringing ear. Friday, January 30th, 2015 came, went, and brought with it one of most enjoyable concert going experiences I have, and will ever experience. Last night was the 7th time I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Rocket from the Crypt, and unlike this aging and pit-riddled walking corpse, it never gets old. Let’s do it all again tonight!
Although I’d love to hitch my wagon to tomorrow’s neighborhood festivities with the circus-punks of yesteryear’s pizza-driving soundtrack, (the Mad Caddies), mid-week shows are a bit of a luxury these, head-down days. If you’re in the LA area, and know the Troub, you should mos def check out the Mad Caddies tomorrow night.