What can be said about Todd Terje that hasn’t been overstated already? Perhaps only this: better to get into this album, knowing absolutely nothing about it. Sub-classic electro-fun-zone… for those of you keeping score, that’s a solid 100%. No need to check your watch, because, It’s Album Time. Enjoy!
Much like the LP itself, there are two sides to this conundrum. On one hand, listening to nothing but the Kinks can be, and often is, some of the best consecutive series of days one could ever live, given the enormity of their monumentally successful catalog of perfect grooves. Let’s call this the A-side. On the other hand, there is an entire universe of juicy, wet ear candy that needs inspecting and overly sarcastic analyzing, that, because of the Kinks and their erotic time-sucking, mouth-watering tunes, gets neglected. We’ll label this the B-side.
If you find yourself locked into a Kinks bender, and there’s no end in sight, do what I do. WALK THE HELL AWAY! Try as hard as you can to ignore the luscious songwriting and blood-pumping beats. I assure you, it won’t be easy, but I believe in you. Have no fear, however, because the great thing about the Kinks, is that you can’t go too long without listening to them. Just be extremely cautious… those Kinks are dangerous.
On exhibit today is another fantabulous record sleeve design. This pleasing little eye-catcher consisting of a simplistic, yet instantly recognizable repetition of logos (and essentially horizontal and vertical lines… for which I am a sucker) would make for great wallpaper (in your living room as well as your computer’s desktop).
Finding beautiful inserts like this has forced me to reevaluate my thrift store rummaging. Before, I’d skim through the often bruised and battered stack of LPs until something grabbed my eye. Now, I dedicate a little more time and check out all the timeless inserts. This, of course, takes some three to four times longer to hunt, but the rare find, such as this sleeve from Elektra, is well worth the further exploration.
What once was lost… should sometimes remain lost. Not the case with this arousing little nugget of Kinks history. The Great Lost Kinks Album, for those of you who don’t know, was NOT in fact an album recorded by the band that was mysteriously whisked away by the inevitable hands of fate, then miraculously found and released some seven years later to a wide and welcoming audience. Instead, The Great Lost Kinks Album was a compilation of B-sides, film and television themes, songs written and performed by Dave Davies for his never-released solo album, and various other unreleased tracks.
Apart from containing some pretty damn rare (at the time) Kinks tracks, TGLKA (you can figure it out) was not authorized by the band, and according to the lovely Wikipedia article, Reprise, the label, never even informed the band of its release. According to the same article (mentioned in the previous paragraph), the band (The Kinks… keep up) became aware of the album only after it appeared in the US Billboard charts. A lawsuit ensued and Reprise was forced to discontinue the album in 1975, some two years after its release, and the rest is Kinks history.
On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, why are we still fastening our shoes with string? Velcro tried (and failed) in the 80s, but it’s 2013, people! We haven’t developed an updated technique with which to secure our feet clothes? We need to get to work!
My best guess is that this record was either offered to phonograph dealers when these new, Motorola 3 Amplifier Stereophonic High Fidelity phonographs were released, or it accompanied the unit upon its purchase. Either way, this was a 10-track compilation record containing handpicked material that best showcased these 3 amplifier units.
A quick Google search reveals a vintage advert from 1960, featuring two of these (extremely expensive) 3 amp units. The SK28 model goes for a whopping $329.95 ($2522.93 adjusted for inflation) where as the smaller model retailed for $299.95 ($2293.54 adjusted for inflation). Lucky for the folks of the late 50s, early 60s, this particular advert offers a payment plan, starting with $10 down ($76.46 adjusted for inflation). Something seems WAY out of whack here, but I don’t have time to give it any more thought.
I never owned the record that this sleeve swore to protect, but it’s nice to see Motorola’s logo hasn’t changed in the past 54 years.
Descriptive words… in print… next to full-color album cover pictures… sent directly to the address of my choosing… for only 25¢? Sign me the hell up! This is the ecstatic line of thinking RCA Records had in mind when they advertised their loose leaf booklet on special insert sleeves of their record albums. The Record Album?
Titled “Music America Loves Best” this alphabetical catalog can be shipped directly to your doorstep (or conversion van’s side-door) for only one, easy payment of just 25¢. Upon receiving this staple of profound literature, you’d be awarded the opportunity to peruse a catalog “with alphabetical listing by artist, of all record albums by RCA Records.” No indication of ordering any of these records is provided by this special offer.
RCA Records (aka Radio Corporation of America Records) existed back before the Cubs won their last World Series, and for a measly 25¢, you could own a little piece of recording history… or at least the “complete contents of” the undisputed masterwork that is The Best of Eddy Arnold.
There are days when I hate The Groove. This time sucking, sleep-depriving exercise that began, mainly to explore my record collection (and the limits of my patience), loves to sneak up on me. Just when I think I’ll have a quick post, and then merrily continue on with my day, something interesting pops up and I’m forced to explore it, or live out the rest of my days regretting the time I DIDN’T spend on something worthy of, well, my time. I blame this guilty conscience, and P.D.Q. Bach.
I was going to introduce a “new category” today. I was going to call it Cover Focus, where the subject of the post would, well, focus on an album’s cover (I could have managed another, more creative title, but it was 6:04 in the morning, so, lay off!). I had the cover to The Wurst of P.D.Q. Bach in mind when I imagined the lucrative future of Cover Focus (seeing it on billboards and on the sides of buses rolling from town to Groove happy town). Instead, my curiosity took hold and I began to research Professor Peter Schickele and the composer, P.D.Q. Bach.
What I found out was absolutely hilarious, and borderlines on genius. Peter Schickele (a graduate from Juilliard and former classmate of Philip Glass… a Glassmate if you will), creates an artificial, and comical, world within the often-humorless Classical Music genre. In this world, the Professor (of the fictitious University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople) “unearths” discarded, and often terrible, works by P.D.Q. Bach (the counterfeit child of Johann Sebastian Bach). On this album, a best of P.D.Q. Bach, or Wurst of, if you will (or if you won’t… the album is pressed… it’s done), is performed by the Professor and his magnificent Chamber Orchestra in front of a sizable audience that isn’t afraid to show their appreciation with bursts of laughter and arousing applause (man, do I LOVE the run on sentence).
I imagine it is exceptionally difficult to create good music, and I bet it’s exponentially difficult to create really good “bad” music. For that, and the several, and also genuine, laugh-out-louds I expressed from listening to this album, I humbly, and with a pinch of new-found admiration, thank Professor Peter Schickele for his duty in preserving the great many works of P.D.Q. Bach.
I think people overlook Wang Chung, or at least they’ve forgotten about them amongst the economic woes of 2013. Everybody Have Fun Tonight is, among many other things a brilliant marketing technique that associates having fun with Wang Chung by, wait for it, rhyming “have fun” with “Wang Chung.” See what they did there? Clever bastards!
These guys aren’t domestically minded either… these British chaps are international: across the nation, around the world… Wang Chung wants EVERYBODY to have fun tonight. And the joy of this song as I see it, is that, ok, I’ll put on this 45, rock out with my New Wave British mates, and potentially WILL have fun tonight. Cut to tomorrow morning and the usual “what the hell happened?” After a shower and a shave, I’ll play this same 45 and BAM! Tomorrow night is another night to have fun! I tell you, Wang Chung were geniuses!
If “fun” ever had a theme song, Wang Chung nailed it. I know this is redundant but quite simply, all Wang Chung wants is for everybody to have fun tonight. A bit of a tall order? Sure, but hopefully optimistic? You bet your 1986 stonewashed-jean-wearing ass!
Why this isn’t the most popular song in the world I’ll never know. The next time you’re in the mood to “have fun,” remember who your sponsor is… it’s Wang Chung!
The B-Side to this 80’s time capsule is a Everybody Have Fun Tonight remix of sorts; a couple swaying closer to a fun filled night. I imagine New Wave chicks with their New Wave heads resting on their New Wave boyfriend’s New Wave shoulders as they slowly oscillate amongst a sea of other New Wave couples in the wee hours of a New Wave morning in someone’s New Wave flat, all the while listening to Wang Chung’s musical nightcap, Side B’s Fun Tonight: The Early Years.
There is something to be said about New Wave. What that is I have no idea.
“My name is Mud.”
Albeit, a program featured on the channel of my past, Primus, like so many other influential bands, if only at the time, have created some of the most memorable melodies I can’t, but would love to, ignore.
“Where you goin’, city boy?!”
It’s difficult (as this is my first post) to comment on music that I’ve known for so long, or at least have held so close for a number of years. I’m not a Bruce Willis fan of Primus (Diehard for those catching up), but I am willing to lose myself amongst the rhythms that only partially remind me of my post High School years.
“Welcome to this worrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrld!”
I relish in the delights of disturbing my neighbors whilst listening to this album. Common decency be DAMNED!
“I had a friend that took a belt, took a belt and hung himself. Hung himself in the doorway of the apartment where he lived.”
I imagine those who differ from the manifesto that IS Primus to completely miss the proverbial point. Pop? Yes. Aggression? Perhaps. Alternative… when it meant something? Yes. Everyday listening? No, but for good reason.
I had a boss at a pizza joint in Madison, WI… He was my father’s age, but who LOVED his Dodge Intrepid, Western novels, and among other things, Primus. For those of you who disregard the band, who write them off as MTV slack-jawed-tobacco-chewing-yokels, you may be right. But for those who tote themselves as connoisseurs of music as a whole, I invite you to downgrade this band. The forum is open to you and your ignorance. Primus, aka Les Claypool w/ friends, and Pork Soda enter a room, set a fire, have a seat, then attempt to discuss foreign policies while the rest of the room frantically scrambles for an exit in fear of their lives.
A good friend made fun of me for posting this album on my wall (an actual wall, before the social digital walls we know and loathe) amongst 40+ other albums, commenting on how he felt it didn’t fit amongst the pool of those albums that he deemed much more socially acceptable and remotely respected. I’ll never forget that, and continue to wear this album on the wall of my youthful pride (said wall NSFW).
So, it’s raining here in Los Angeles. Thought I’d throw that out there. Salty ham carbonated beverage in my ears complement the sweet whisky tickling my tongue. Perhaps THIS is my personal Pork Soda; comfort musical pillows filling my ears accompanied by mental lubrication solemnly cascading down my throat.
I can’t remember the last time I shaved my face clean. Yesterday I did just that. Today, with 24 hours worth of stubble, I frantically, almost erotically, handle my beardless mug in almost sexual tension while I listen… to Pork Soda. There is a God and his name may be Leslie Edward Claypool.
“Say there Mr. Krinkle let’s cruise the Bastard boat.”
Arriving in 1993, Pork Soda exists as Primus’ third studio album (sandwiched between 1991’s Sailing the Seas of Cheese and 1995’s Tales from the Punchbowl).
The last track on this side is a giddy little ditty titled, The Air is Getting Slippery. Arguably the best on the album, this track features ol’ man Claypool on his OTHER mastered instrument, the banjo. This sounds like swamp music for bayou dwellers digging up dirt on a dank, humid shore in search for worms with which to fish. I can almost hear this song seeping from a tin can radio hanging from a tree as Jasper exclaims, “I dun finded another wurm! We g’wan eat t’night!”
“Forgive me if I hesitate…”
The last leg of this grandiose album winds down with a funk-ified instrumental that sounds a lot like a whale having his way with a sea otter. (Take a moment to visualize.) If you’re into whales, or just a lover of animals, Primus, Pork Soda, and Side D may be just what the veterinarian ordered.
Primus is not for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a risky, meandering musical scene filled with carbonated pigs, this album comes HIGHLY recommended.
I feel as though I need to explain myself a bit. When coming up with topics here at The Prudent Groove, I need a touch of inspiration. Since I have over 2600 albums to choose from, the number of options gets to be daunting and ultimately discouraging. In other words, I need to be moved in order to write about something. So last night I’m at the grocery store, right? I see a sale on individually wrapped cheese sticks, 3 for $0.99. Decent price, ok, cool. Instantly, the hamster inside my head begins to churn, “Well, each stick is roughly $0.33 1/3 cents… Cheese… 33 1/3 RPMs… I SHOULD WRITE ABOUT LESS THAN JAKE’S CHEESE RECORD!” And with that thought, this post was born.
Leave it to Florida natives, Less Than Jake to dairy-ify an 80’s classic like Twisted Sister’s, We’re Not Gonna Take It. Limited to 1000 copies, this glorified 2 track 7” is aged to perfection and is now a ripe 15 years old (having been released in 1998). I purchased this copy at one of the many Less Than Jake performances I attended in Milwaukee. I think Kemuri was the opening band, but I don’t’ remember. What I DO remember is catching hell from my buddy, Neal for not picking up a LTJ Cheese record for him… I still feel bad about that to this day. (Religious guilt.)
The music is straightforward Ska-Punk-Pop that LTJ is known for. Rage, then break for horns… Rage, then break for horns… End. It sounded better when I was 19.
Side A: Cheese
Side B: We’re Not Gonna Take It
It’s interesting how certain bands spawn specific memories, be it however mundane or insignificant. For me, Twisted Sister has always been linked to the Hollywood Video in Milwaukee where I used to work. On one of my shifts, Mark Metcalf (The Maestro on Seinfeld) came in to rent a video and even though I had to look up his name, I distinctly recognized him as the pissed off, music hating father from the We’re Not Gonna Take It video. I think that song, this record, and video renting in general will always be intertwined within the vast, vacant openness that is my brain. What does that have to do with Less Than Jake? Absolutely nothing, and I’m fine with that.
“We’re not gonna take it!” You’re not gonna’ take it?! Really? You’re not gonna’ take cheese?!!! Who wouldn’t take cheese? Are you lactose? This breaks a Wisconsin boy’s heart!
Notice the two types on the insert.
Why the works of The English Beat weren’t more prevalent during the Ska resurgence in the mid-to-late 90’s in rural Wisconsin is far beyond my feeble comprehension. With unknown bands like Skapone, The Skolars and The Parka Kings gaining constant play among me and my friends, the far superior talents of 6 early 80’s upbeat Ska professionals went ignorantly overlooked. Saxa, Andy Cox, David Steele, Everette Moreton, Ranking Roger and Dave Wakeling… I am forever sorry for the immature neglect I bestowed upon your great, but limited works.
This album starts off with an atom bomb (or a whisky shot to your ear’s liver) with the now famous (thanks to its picture perfect usage in 1997’s Grosse Pointe Blank) Mirror in the Bathroom. Catchy, upbeat Ska that makes any listener want to skank like an adolescent fool, this track, and much of this, their first album, digs a deep groove of head-bobbing, jive-swaying bowl-full-of-happy-time moments that don’t seem to get old some 33 years after their initial release.
Highlighted moments throughout this album will bounce around your head like a 22 caliber bullet. With the above mentioned Mirror in the Bathroom, Twist & Crawl and the side 1 ending, Click Click, I Just Can’t Stop It could easily work as the band’s greatest hits album save for the regrettably missing March of the Swivel Heads made famous for its use in the 1986 John Hughes classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Ska, as a whole, understandably, isn’t a genre for the masses. But I challenge any willing reader to embark on this creative milestone of positive grooves and NOT dig just about every Surf-Rock influenced, Rastafarian-vibe, bass-heavy, foot-tapping, good-ol’-fashioned-merry music found in this 1980 Sire Records release.
End of side 1
Man, The English Beat make me wish I had a swimming pool to wade in and drink my pitcher of Mojitos. I’d settle for the kiddie pool in which we used to wash my Grandparent’s dog. There’s just something about this music that touches upon the “fun in the sun” pleasure spots. Do you know where your “fun in the sun” pleasure spots are? Go ahead. Touch them. You’ll thank me.
This album is pretty tightly produced, and is overall pretty slick. It’s evident these guys practiced a few times before recording this album, which, makes sense if you think about it. The only criticism I would offer is that the majority of the songs sound alike. That can be a good and a bad thing. If you’re into strawberry ice cream with hot fudge and gummy bear sprinkles, then you’ll likely want all the strawberry ice cream with hot fudge and gummy bear sprinkles you can get. This album, not unlike strawberry ice cream with hot fudge and gummy bear sprinkles is a specific palate, but oh, boy, what a palate it is!
On the back cover is a picture of a short skirt-wearing chick holding an album while standing next to a New Age looking turntable. The album in her hands? Why, I Just Can’t Stop It, of course. She’s got a smile on her face, which implies that the music from this album will cause you to smile as well! Some subtle marketing can go a long way.
So, ok, bottom line: GET THIS ALBUM!
End of side 2
Having to check, TWICE, that the beginning of this album was indeed on 33 1/3 (instead of on 45rpm, duh), I’m willingly forced to adjust my expectations so that they’re broad enough to ingest the enormity of this electronic Grand Canyon (other alternatives could be, the Pacific Ocean and/or Nic Cage’s forehead).
Labeled as Space Age Pop, Jean-Jacques Perrey and Gershon Kingsley cut and paste an album containing, what they imagined the music of their future (our past) had to offer. HOLY FUGG, DID THEY MISS THE MARK! But, as you continue to listen to this borderline children’s album (because it’s so unbelievably and unquestionably playful), the creative objective takes backseat to the subconscious joy that The In Sound offers to the willing cerebral cortex via the fordable musical river known as the human ear canal (canals if listening in stereo).
It would be soulfully wrong to do a write-up of this album and NOT comment on the Beastie Boys (RIP MCA). Grand Royal’s 1994 release by the Beastie Boys, similarly titled, The In Sound from Way Out! offers no similarities with regard to the grooves, but whose cover and title were based off of this 1966 classic. It was actually the Beastie Boys’ cover that I initially saw, and I had no earthly idea that it was an homage until I saw my Perry-Kingley’s In Sound in a small record shop off Clark Street in Chicago. It sometimes takes one a bit of time to dig back through the pages of music history to find historic references to modern pop culture (well, as modern as 1994 at least).
Now, back to the album at hand (and in ear… sorry about that). It’s really a shame that no one has ever invented a form of dance that could accompany this kind of audio bliss. It would have to combine the Chicken with Square or Ballroom Dancing, but, you know, served with like 12 pots of coffee. Sure, there have been a few advancements in humanity over the past 46 years, but there has also been some MUCH needed social growth that has fallen way too short. The Way Out Dance tops that list.
I don’t mean to discredit the technical achievement that Perrey-Kingsley display on this album, and I furthermore don’t want you to see this as an unlistenable album. For the adventurous listener seeking something uplifting, cheerful, very dated and somewhat historical (if you’re a Beastie Boys fan), or someone just wanting to hear what 1966’s version of the “future” was, The In Sound from Way Out! definitely deserves at least one spin.
Having said that, I can’t imagine hearing any of these tracks reverberating off the walls at any of the clubs here in Los Angeles (not that I have any idea what kind of music is played at these clubs), or softly emitting from the stereo at your next casual dinner party.
What I’m saying is that you need to be in the mood to listen to this album. Some people, I imagine, never feel that mood strike. And that’s fine. Others are amazed when they discover a 28-year-old connection between their favorite band and an album they never knew existed, purchase said album, then are extremely disappointed when they giddily give it a spin. I fault high expectations. But I don’t fault the music. I’ve grown to appreciate it. Perhaps, you will too.
End of side 2
Lovingly edited by Jillian Kenney. Reluctantly edited by Jason Hardwick.