Exiting Oil

Looking at this record, and this is no disrespect to the Sydney-based alt-rock band, but looking at this record, I get the sudden urge to purge the less than desirable records in the collection. Purchased at Amoeba in Hollywood for $1, I don’t remember ever having listened to this 1987 record. Acquired for the Ralph Steadman-like platter scrawling (both on the cover and the lyric sheet within), Diesel and Dust is very close to making its grand and permanent exit. But of course, we’ll give it a spin first. 🙂

These Ways are Like, Relative, Man

TofDAs much as I loathe Interscope Records and their shady, artist-disrespecting business behavior, one can’t overlook the phenomenal impact of this Austin post-hardcore collective. Relative Ways, the 2nd single off …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead’s 2002 masterwork, Source Tags & Codes, combines neatly placed angst with melodic and weighty clouds of rhythmic bliss, or some type shit. It’s catchy as all hell, but heavy enough to do away with the guilt brought on by obsessive and repeated listens. With a $1.99 price tag, she ain’t a bad find!

I’m an Alley Cat, Some Say a Dirty Rat…

CATI didn’t exactly pay $1.57 for Bent Fabric’s debut album, Alley Cat, but a record released in 1962 (adjusted for inflation, of course) calculated at $11.76, priced at $2.99 just yesterday, was something I certainly couldn’t turn down.

Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, AKA Bent Fabric, is an 88-year-old Danish pianist/composer who, on this album, plays merry ol’ ragtime music with the cunning grace of someone like Sergei Rachmaninov… only, you know, with cats.

A few days ago I mentioned the four Bent Fabric albums on my want list. Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to chalk one off the list. Thank you, Amoeba Hollywood.

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.

An Exciting Evening with Master Thespian, Jason Hardwick

PG_JH interviewMany of you know and love Jason Hardwick for his comedic brilliance, his Ohio chili and his patented white belt and thumb ring. We here (me) at The Prudent Groove invite you to take an inside look at the legend (man-child and closet bed-wetter) with this insightful, informative, and need I say humorous interview with the man. Ladies and gentlemen, get to know Jason Hardwick for who he pretends to be, instead of who he truly is.

I recently sat down with Mr. Hardwick to discuss collecting records, chicken noodle soup recipes and proper restroom stall etiquette.

PG: What got you into collecting records?

JH: My love of classic rock, Half Price book stores (www.hpb.com), and being a poor college bastard that couldn’t afford a box of mac & cheese, let alone new, incredibly over-priced music.  Plus, CDs are just lame.

PG: What was the first record you ever purchased?

JH: If memory serves (and it always does), I believe it was Jethro Tull’s third album Benefit (1970).  To this day, it is still one of my favs.  What can I say, I’m a sucker for a man with a flute.  Wait…

PG: What is your favorite record?

JH: Really?  You’re gonna make me choose?  Well, shit, man.  If pressed, I would have to say, from start to finish, George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass (1970) is consistently among the revolving door that is my top 10 list.  There may be many other albums that I deem to be near perfect, given that my “top 10” list consists of roughly 30 albums, but I’m being forced to choose, so this is my choice.  Deal with it.  Celine Dion’s Les chemins de ma maison (1983) would be a VERY close second.  My heart will, indeed, go on, Celine.

PG: Have you ever purchased an audiophile version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors only to return it the following day? If so, please explain.

JH: I’m sure I have no idea what you’re talking about.  And yes.  Let me set the scene for you:  It was Record Store Day 2012, and after waiting in line for nearly four hours–for three Kinks albums, which I was led to believe were actually being sold in the U.S. (mis-information perpetrated by Mr. Prudent Groove, himself)–I was exhausted, not in my right mind, had a stack of records, many decisions to make, and a profound inability to make said decisions.  Needless to say, the album was purchased and promptly returned.  Returned, not because I don’t like Mic and his marry band of Fleetwoods, but because I’m a cheap bastard that couldn’t justify spending nearly $50 on something I already owned in one form or another.  I also have a distaste for double LPs.  Too much turning going on there.  I’m lazy.  But that’s beside the point.  Stop making me feel bad about this, dammit.  I’m writing your friggin’ blog today!

PG: What are the top 2 records on your “WANT list?”

JH: I don’t have a “want” list.  I have a “need” list.  And those TWO records are…  the THREE re-released, 2012 Record Store Day, colored-vinyl, U.K.-only KINKS albums:  Face To Face (1966), Something Else (1967), and Arthur (Or the Decline and Fall Of The British Empire) (1969).  Thanks again, by the way.

PG: Do you collect any specific artist and/or label? If so, what is/are it/they?

JH: I’ll buy anything by Jethro Tull.  I have nearly completed my collection of all their proper studio albums–at least the ones released on vinyl, that is.  I will also buy any vinyl release by The Beatles, Radiohead, and Pearl Jam–even if I already own it on another format.  As far as specific labels are concerned, I love WAX TRAX!  No, I don’t.

PG: Living in Los Angeles, I’d imagine (because I also live there) there to be a slew of great record stores. Which do you prefer?

JH: Wait, you live in Los Angeles?!!!  Moving on… Amoeba Music, in Hollywood, is a must for any vinyl collector.  It’s a veritable Mecca of music.  Record Surplus, near Santa Monica, is also a hidden gem.

PG: Is there a record you passed up but wished you could go back and nab? If so, what was it?

JH: The re-released, 180 gram, audiophile version of Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors.

PG: Can I have your collection? Thanks! Please bring them over.

JH: Yes.  Omw.

Editor’s note: Please forgive the lateness of today’s post. We were waiting on Jason’s manager to approve the interview.