The Moog Strikes Bach

TMSBBack in 1969, Hans Wurman released The Moog Strikes Bach… for RCA Red Seal Records, which is a bit of a strange title considering that ½ of the electronic interpretations derive from the master works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. What the hell… it’s Dr. Robert Moog’s toy, and it’s a gift to all ear-kind, or some type shit. IT’S CLASSICAL MUSIC REINTERPRETED IN 1960’S ELECTRO, PEOPLE! Get on board!

Sincerely,

(starting to get sick and my head is as congested as a Verizon Wireless store in Westwood, CA) Mr. PG

The Fab JC

FabulousFor J. R. Cash’s third studio album, 1958’s The Fabulous Johnny Cash, the legendary man in black, or The Undertaker, as he was jokingly nicknamed, took a staggering leap up the distribution ladder and landed a contract with acclaimed Columbia Records, a label he’d stay with until moving to Mercury Records in 1985. It should be noted that J. R.’s stint with Sun Records, his first label, is the favored batch of rural tunes by yours truly. Be it either the simplistic and underproduced approach, or the documentation of a storied artist making his first marks, I for one just can’t get enough of that radiant, Sun sound.

Mr. Cash released two singles from TFJC. Frankie’s Man, Johnny and Don’t Take Your Guns to Town, the latter proving to be one of his biggest, early successes. It’s painfully obvious to mention that J. R. Cash was as unstoppable as Old 97 for Columbia, churning out hit after record breaking hit, a three decades long merger that proved, what I assume, immensely lucrative for both parties.

Pat_JohnsonThis copy was a thrift store find about a decade back, and was apparently pre-owned by a Pat Johnson from 655 Park Ave in Port Hueneme, CA. I venture to think, since 3/8/62 until the day it was offered to an Oxnard, CA second hand store, that Pat cherished The Fabulous Johnny Cash almost as much as I do.

XXX

XXXThe debut album by Jane’s Addiction didn’t set the streets of Los Angeles on fire quite like 1988’s Nothing Shocking, or 1990’s Ritual de lo habitual. That is certainly not to say this (slightly doctored) live album doesn’t hit the needlepoint highs that the band is globally known and rewound for.

Jane’s Addiction, XXX, or Triple-X (whichever you prefer), is a great start, but barely measures up again the bands (only) first two albums. The rest (2003’s Strays and 2011’s The Great Escape Artist) is financial fodder.

Get The Knack

KnackJust in the Knack of time, 1979’s debut by LA’s (Los Angeles) The Knack dropped their international hit-tastic album just 16 days before I was born (and some mere 32 miles away from the hospital in question). This is the time, which I like to refer to as “my Mother’s physical hell.” Sure, My Sharona is present and accounted for, but what’s disturbingly overlooked is the vast greatness of the remainder of this prolific album.

The Knack, 1979’s Weezer, is, by all means, the sound of “now.” Get the Knack! Got it? Good!

 

130-Mile Drive for Jehu

Screen shot 2014-08-19 at 7.58.32 PMTonight’s installment was all set and scheduled for Still Bill, the 2nd studio album by the rug-tappin’ soul-funk master, Bill Withers… that was, until I found out that Drive Like Jehu was reuniting for a free, outdoor show in their hometown of San Diego after a 19-year hiatus. Needless to say, I’m beside myself with childlike excitement (to put it mildly). San Diego road trip in little over a week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RFTMFC

RFTC_Orange2002, and the 365 days inhabiting its sultry innards showcased, for me, a laughable “everyday” but, managed to offer an extraordinary, and fulfilling foundation for, what’s turned out to be, a lifelong appreciation for Rocket from the Crypt. Why was 2002, some seven years after having seen them live, a turning point for me and this prolific band? Well, as a Wisconsinite, lamenting over a San Diegan band, 2002’s Live from Camp X-Ray, represented a short, but welcomed, fresh breath.

The inevitable soundtrack to that Fall’s pizza delivering extravaganza, Live from Camp X-Ray scarred me with the maturity I didn’t necessarily know I was ready, but eagerly waiting for.

This jobber is a reissue on “Ltd. Edition Colored Splatter Vinyl.” I can’t sing the endless RFTC praises enough… if they can help me through my questionable adolescence… they can help you through anything.

Drawings: Raymond Pettibon

Dub NicksI broke the mold of tradition yesterday and removed the shrink wrap that bound my copy of Double Nickels on the Dime, the Minutemen’s timeless magnum opus. It has become habit for me to neatly slice the plastic along the sleeve opening, preserving the virgin cover, back, and in this case, gatefold center.

Pettibon_ElvisI’d never owned Double Nickels in any format until I found this reissue, so I was more than amazed when I released the fruits of this gatefold for the very first time. Aside from the usual credits and a collage of action band shots are seven drawing by Raymond Pettibon I’d never seen before. Famous first throughout the Southern California early punk scene, then the world over, Mr. Pettibon’s art ranges from morally exposing to minimalist shock, which, after reading this again, does absolutely no justice to either the style of his characters, or the weight of his foreboding, and ominous messages. His often humorous take on the vulgar details of moral principles (many struggle their whole lives to ignore) raise a sense of loaded guilt that makes you want to go out and punch an elected official in the face, but you know… in a good way.

Pettibon_Priest  Pettibon_HandsomePettibon_DrumSolo

Been into These Guys Lately

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A Halfhearted (Politician’s) Promise for Tomorrow

FourJust like how function trumps fashion, so too shall quality (eventually) trump quantity here at The Prudent Groove. For too long I’ve been lacksadaisically (it’s a word… I think) thumbing my procrastination button and parading through an inferior product (since day one). So, as a mission statement (if only to myself), I, out-of-turnly proclaim, that tomorrow’s focus will showcase a much more thought out analysis (read: sarcastic observation).

What you see here (obviously), is an 8-track cassette of Led Zeppelin’s fourth album. Acquired today for a cool $1.99, this lil’ jammer will squat within the vacant garage currently residing in our living room in the shape of an empty (wood-paneled) 8-track player. Gone (and thoroughly missed), is my red cassette copy of Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., and in its place, and abridged version of Zeppelin’s most commercially proclaimed outing.

“Do you own an 8-track player?’ – Record story Guy

“Have you read The Groove?” – Me (to myself, and several hours later)

This is… in Stereo

This is StereoI was able to find a stereo copy of This is Tim Hardin today at a thrifty little (unorganized) shop down in Long Beach. Already having been the owner of the original mono version, I couldn’t turn my back on this artificial (only because it was electronically re-recorded to simulate STEREO) stereo version for a cool $6. Possibly the best record I’ve ever laid ears on, I managed to acquire both copies the guy had (stereo for me, mono for a fellow Hardin-admiring buddy).

I am currently in possession of three This is Tim Hardin albums, and something tells me, it’s not enough.

“Are you ready to check out? You want both copies?!” – Guy

“Yes, guy! I have cash… why do you question the willing?” – Me, in my head

Beats, a Birthday, and a Boat

20140627-234422-85462240.jpg Combining a portable turntable, the annual spinning of the Earth revolving around the Sun, and luxuries of 1930’s, high-class travel, yields a few, important last-minute notions: 1) None of us, especially me, are getting any younger and, 2) Holding a record over an open porthole is, I guess, something I thought I’d never do.

If there is a will, there is a time for anything.

I Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost

GhostGlow in the dark vinyl… is it a necessity? Well… no, but what music-infused medium is ever necessary? Generations of record collectors are turning in their graves as I type this. Today, was (is still in Hawaii) Record Store Day, and to celebrate the 30th anniversary of one of the greatest supernatural-comedy films of all time, Legacy, a sister company of Sony, released a ghostly 10” on this, the 7th annual holiday for record collectors.

Ray Parker Jr. is the real winner today, as his timeless anthem became immortalized in metaphysical glory for all record collectors from here until the end of time. The novelty that it is, was (I’m telling myself) well worth the $17.82 price tag Record Surplus (Santa Monica, CA’s finest) slapped upon it, and most importantly, resembles the first light-defying (natural or otherwise) slab of vinyl I’ve had the pleasure of owning. If anything, I can convince my SO that this record will help us maneuver through the blinding darkness that is scheduled to blanket our next, panic-inducing blackout. Functional, ghost-repelling mediums of music… well, all right.

When Drumsticks Fall From the Sky

StickA few days ago we had an earthquake here in Southern California. Initially it was monitored as a 4.7, and then was downgraded to a 4.4. How a conscious-inducing seismic anomaly can be reduced in mere hours is beyond my pre-K comprehension. Anyway, my girlfriend and I have, what I believe to be, a rational and logical understanding about what to do when the planet has a seizure. She finds the closest doorway, and I rush to the record wall to keep it from falling. Makes perfect sense to me, although death by records is not necessarily something my GF is keen to. After our 4.7 (or 4.4, depending on what wizardry of scientific evaluation you trust) we regained composure, picked up a few things that the Earth apparently wanted on the floor, and we went along about our day.

AnimositisominaAmong the debris of gravitational plunging, was a drumstick I luckily acquired from a Ministry concert during their 2003 Fornicatour (that’s what it was called). It had been resting above the doorframe to the office, opposite the drumstick from a Har Mar Superstar show I’d seized sometime in 2007 (my only two concert acquisitions). Since this was the first quake I had witnessed to knock anything over, the image of that beat-up baton lying helpless on the floor stuck with me. So now, I drop it here, like it has been dropped before, first from the stage to my outstretched arm, then to the floor from that early morning tremor. Beware of tumbling matter, kids, for when drumsticks fall from the sky, anything is seemingly possible.

What’chu talkin’ ‘bout, Willis?

Strokes FrontI’m not entirely sure how different these strokes of “19 contemporary artists performing music of our time” were in 1971, but that doesn’t stop Columbia Records’ “special low price limited time offer” marketing ploy from capturing a wonderful, meshy, medley of jazz rock, southern fried rock, psych rock, sci-fi jazz, open field soul, and piano-friendly folk rock (and that’s just side A) on one, easy to access record.

Strokes BackDifferent Strokes launches with a bit of a gaffe as Johnny Winter And’s Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo leads the pack of (somewhat) lesser known greats, but strategic placing of the needle can very easily, and wisely, turn this 19 track slab of delicately formed polyvinyl chloride into a 18 track time capsule representing the best Columbia Records had to offer in the burgeoning, wide-eyed, and fried-minded 1970s… but what the hell do I know? I wouldn’t have been born for another eight years.

Different Strokes is definitely worth seeking out if you don’t already own it, and can be had for exceptionally cheap if you’re so inclined. Coming highly recommended by the PG, Different Strokes is the perfect soundtrack to this, or any coffee-sipping, cloudless, southern California Saturday morning (my esteemed apologies to those residing in less than ideal climate conditions).

The Blackouts During a Blackout

BlackoutsWhen the first one hit, I found myself amongst a cloud of darkness, and a kitchen full of dirty dishes. When the second one hit, I (literally) ran to the office for my portable, and this 1985 release (Wax Trax! Records cat. no. WAX006), Lost Soul’s Club by the Blackouts. I’ve lived in Southern California for over 10 years and have never experienced a blackout, so, quick on my feet, I wasn’t about to miss an opportunity (however brief), to enjoy the Blackouts during an actual blackout. Lucky for me (less so for my SO), this one lasted three hours.

I’m still working on an actual, respect-given write-up about my portable turntable setup (battery operated Numark PT-01 and iBN24 iHome rechargeable speaker, gifted by my thoughtful, music-loving parents), but I will say this: the ability to listen to records literally anywhere and at literally any time is a luxury I’m rapidly becoming accustomed to.Power Outage

Sick Rick Day 2

Mystic Sampler No. 1Still fighting off whatever head-pressing virus has decided to camp out amongst the deserted prairie that is my weakened immune system, today’s contagious groove come from the 1984 Mystic Records Sampler #1 and Ill Repute’s Book and It’s Cover.

The Nardcore kings of hardcore punk, Oxnard, CA’s Ill Repute come with an in-your-face approach to the classic conception, “don’t judge a book by its cover.” I’m desperately searching for ways with which to attribute this philosophical approach to the name of the band (Ill Repute) and my current haze (sickness), but alas… none doin’ (this medication is causing a thick cloud of fog to form between my ear canals).

Band BioI really hope I’m better by tomorrow… otherwise I’ll be forced to tackle one of the two remaining Ills: either Licenced to, or Communication.

For Ryan, Who Has Found His Joy

Ryan & JoyHigh atop the Santa Ynez Mountains today, a ceremony of love is beginning to unfold. The unification between one of my oldest friends and the love of his life brings with it teary eyes and a heavy, joy-filled heart (no pun intended). As they gaze upon the ceremonious beauty of the great Pacific, they abandon their separate paths, the solitary roads that brought them together, and begin to embark on a new, uncharted trail through life’s unknown terrain, side by loving side.

Songs of the Sea by The Norman Luboff Choir is a fairly decent selection for this monumental occasion, and certainly one that Ryan would appreciate. We here at the Prudent Groove wish Ryan and Joy a jubilant and thrilling life together, and we’re confident that the love they share will continue to infect every soul they touch.

Camp Lo

Camp LoHaving just returned, unscathed, from an overnight impromptu camping trip, one couldn’t help but spin this 1997 debut by Bronx helmed Camp Lo. Collaborating with both Trugoy from De La Soul and Butterfly from Digable Planets, with the majority of the producing done by the Jay-Z famous Ski, Uptown Saturday Night is unobtrusive, yet no less hard-hitting sophisticated hip hop galvanized from jazz and funk roots. Camping is fun, and so is Camp Lo… makes sense to me.

Also, it’s President’s Day, so drink up… your forefathers certainly did.Spin