Simply BS

bs_2Time for the ol’ car CD swap out. This happens every three or so months and, let me tell you, going from a 160gb iPod to a single-disc stereo take a bit of getting used to. Presented here is 1997’s vinyl-only self-titled BS 2000 (custom made… only two in existence) and the follow-up, 2000’s Simply Mortified. These were the only “studio” releases by the Beastie Boys side project BS 2000, and we’re about to rediscover them for about the fifth time.

Gimme that Burzootie, Baby

burzootieWell, it’s Tuesday, and it has felt like a Friday for the past three weeks. So, among other things much less noteworthy, let’s, at least for a moment, give an awkward nod to MCA & Burzootie (Adam Yauch and Jay Burnett) on their 1985 12″ Drum Machine. Once a sought after trophy in the Beastie Boys display case, and understandably, this borderline schizophrenic three track 12″ is post-post-hardcore, pre-License to Ill MCA, and is more than demanding of this, or any Tuesday night’s delicious spins. Spin with caution, and spin often.

Know Your Chicken

chickenSilk screened back cover to Money Mark’s debut 10″ Performing Chicken is a little lost piece of Beastie Boys (related) history that I recently discovered among my mountain of 10″ records this overcast Tuesday morning. From 1994 on Love Kit Records / Fido Speaks Music, Performing Chicken is classic, groovy downbeat with a bit of modern Latin flair. This mini-album is just the perfect tone and length for summer afternoon strolls to the hardware store for nubbins, or a quick trip to Kwik Trip for bagged milk. I’ve not heard anything that Mark Ramos-Nishita has touched that I haven’t fallen in love with, and I encourage you to give it a spin on your next trip to Jewish deli for turkey pastrami.

Three Decades of Hype

Revere1986 was a very fruitful year for the Beastie Boys. Nearly every track from their debut LP saw a 12″ or 7″ release (It’s the New Style b/w Paul Revere featured here), and the band, with a lot of help from producer Rick Rubin, sold a very sizable amount of records. This hype sticker, and the music it promotes, is now 30 years old. Crazytown. RIP MCA.

License to Chill

IllThis recent tape obsession seems not to be going away, especially since a fully functional Walkman entered the home. At the very least, cassettes offer an interesting perspective on album art, if and when done well, like with 1986’s License to Ill. Check Your Head uses the same landscape layout, as I’m sure several other legendary albums I’ve yet to acquire also incorporate. Heavy static and bass-y hum offer a nostalgic glimpse into the media of yesteryear, and we’re slowly grabbing up the essentials.

Check Your (Tape) Head

TapesAnother recent obsession in analog media, and the consolidated cassette collection is fully functional. You see, there was a time, not too long ago, where I’d (stupidly) given away 90% of my cassette tapes. I’d already owned them on CD / vinyl / both, or some type bollocks, but now, I’m kicking myself for not holding onto these rectangular treasures. As you can see, the essentials remained in my custody, and today… FINALLY, I’m able to enjoy them again.

Record player (x3), check! Compact disc player, check! 8-track player, (really?) check! Cassette player… well, it’s about damn time!

The Hiatus is Bag Off, Again

HiatusI can’t say I remember acquiring this plastic CD bag on or around June 15th, 2004, and I’d forgotten all about it until it jumped out at me this morning while searching for my birth certificate. Birth certificate… nowhere to be found, but the hiatus is back off as far as this nifty bag is concerned. (Notice the Brooklyn Dust Music logo at the bottom. Classic.)

I’m Down with the Boys Beastie

Bootleg_BoysWhat’s not to love about a bootleg of the Beastie Boys covering their version of a Beatles song?! This unofficial 7″ from 2013 is as hilarious as it is historical. From the bird on the cover (here) to the Licensed to Ill-era schoolboy lyrics, the Beasties’ version of I’m Down has the classic Def Jam hip hop power guitar you’d expect, and I’m not even joking, their reworked lyrics are gut-bustingly priceless. The quote on the back of the sleeve, however, takes the cake.

“After a long pause, Michael Diamond responds to a question about Michael Jackson, who as owner of the publishing rights to the Beatles’ songs, refused the Beasties permission to put their own customized version of the Fab Four’s ‘I’m Down’ on their album. ‘What would I do if I met him?’ Mike D says. ‘I’d unplug his oxygen tent, rip off his surgical mask and spit in his face.'”

– Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1987

Classic D. This Chinese release is limited to 249 copies on explicative pink vinyl, was a holiday gift from some well-knowing family members, and comes highly recommended.
RIP MCA.

Mo Money

Mo MoneyI’d always loved this label photo, which also doubles as the cover to Money Mark’s Third Version E.P. from 1996. Former carpenters turned keyboard astronauts always tend to nab my undivided attention, as well they should. If you’re in the mood this new year for some downtempo trip hop, the buck stops with Money Mark Nishita.

As an aside, while prepping for this post, I came across a 20th anniversary free download link on Mr. Mark’s official site, so head on over to http://moneymark.com/, drop your email, and enjoy his first album for free!

BFL

BFLI guess I didn’t realize my copy of Big Fat Love’s Hell House was still sealed. I’d dubbed a CD some years back, and snatched up this here fella during the Grand Royal liquidation dump. As Beastie Boys side projects go, this is an unusual one. She kind of flew under the radar, and although some of the material was recorded in 1987, it wasn’t officially released until 1997. Both Mike D and MCA got their hands dirty with this release (MCA more on the producing side), but an extensive breakdown of the band’s history can be found over at Beastiemania (your one stop shop for all things Ill).

1998 Feels Like A Lifetime Ago

HelloThe double Grammy winning album sold a whopping 680,000 + units its first week alone, and was undoubtedly that summer’s celebrated soundtrack, both personally and commercially. Abandoning the mix of hardcore and hip hop that 1992’s Check Your Head and 1994’s Ill Communication provided, Hello Nasty was straight-forward hip hop, and featured new DJ, Mix Master Mike (DJ Hurricane, the Beasties’ original DJ left prior to the making of the album).

NastyThis double, clear gold vinyl edition was released by Grand Royal Records (as opposed to the double black vinyl version released by Capitol Records), and was limited to 7500 copies. Hello Nasty was produced by the Beasties and Mario C (Mario Caldato, Jr), and is certified triple Platinum (3,000,000 copies sold) in the United States alone (roughly 3,600,000 worldwide).

The Future of 2000

MikeThe record on which this sticker is attached was small in stature, but large in overall significance. With only four tracks, Eye of the Cyklops from Mix Master Mike was the first record I’d owned, or even seen, that featured a copyright date that didn’t start with 19. Released March 21st of 2000, I’d purchased this record for its mind-blowing shockability, but have since been happy with the music contained within. I am, as I assume many of you are, ashamed to admit how long ago 2000 now seems.

Brooklyn Dust Music

DustMajestic and righteous, all in one cohesive and awe-inspiring logo. File under Album Ass, or best logo of all time. On a side note, mainly because I don’t yet own it on vinyl, but how much does “fresh meat” in Underworld’s stellar Mmm, Skyscraper, I Love You sound like “Presley” during the line, “Elvis, fresh meat, a little whip cream?” Intentional? I’d say, yeah! Happy Monday.

She’s Over It

ItWritten by Ad-Rock and producer Rick “Def Jam” Rubin, the 1985 soundtrack (or “sound track” as it’s listed on the cover) to the smash-bang-hit, She’s On It, is little more than an elaborate, mediocre, wave two Beastie Boys offering. There’s a reason She’s On It never appeared on a proper album, and that’s because it’s shit. I love the Boys Beastie, but I’m sorry. This song is terrible… and the video is even worse. But… this razor-edged opinion in no way prevents me from seeking out this release to round out the collection. 1985 Beastie Boys was a very sad, but ultimately necessary phenomenon… one that would be all but eclipsed with the dawn of a new era (wave three), ushered forth by the impeccable Paul’s Boutique. It’s okay to question your heroes… RIP MCA.

Broken Boutique

PB_SkipAside from owning this album twice on vinyl, (I’m going to want to say) twice on cassette with reissue clear, and original blue plastic), I felt obligated to purchase her twice on compact disc. If you’re one to notice subtle, yet striking detail, you’ll notice that compact disc on the far left has a bit of an unplayable crack. I don’t recall exactly HOW this crack occurred, but I distinctly remember WHERE it happened. It was my turn to cue up the boombox in the back kitchen at the Madison, WI Westside Dominoes back in, well, let’s say 1998. For years after, I’d suffered through the subpar digital rip (center disc), until finally breaking down (read: coming to my senses) and purchasing another, brand new copy. These were the end days leading up to the digital revolution, and now, all portable traveling music is consumed by the trusty, yet still too small, 160gb iPod. Why this shit story? If you’re an avid reader of the Groove, you’ll know that I’m a staunch fan of giving respect where respect is due. My original copy of Paul’s Boutique got the shit played out of her, and went out serving me, and my cohorts well. Of course, I had to keep it.