God Save Five Iron Frenzy

FiveReleased on Asian Man Records back in 1997 as AM023 (the early pressings), Christian ska favorites, Five Iron Frenzy knocked out a three track 7” by the goofy-ass name of Miniature Golf Courses of America Present Five Iron Frenzy. I lost interest after their first album, 1996’s Upbeats and Beatdowns, but longstanding fans tell me I should have held out. Five Iron was a great alternative addition to the late 90s ska / softcore punk wave, and this little masterpiece encapsulates an era that would be scorned and beaten in this weary day and age. Better keep the sacred memories locked away in the past where they can’t be disturbed, or something like that. Happy hump day!

Pickin’ N’ Puttin’

Chip-ShotChip Williams is known the world over for many dominant characteristics, but none beat his vivid-sport-coat-wearing, six-string-pickin’, chip-shot-masterin’ exploits quite like this 9-track opus, Pickin’ N’ Puttin’.

Forget for a moment that Al Gore engineered this magnificent heirloom (and he actually did… just probably not the Al Gore you’re thinking of), and forget for yet, another moment, if you can, that people actually used to dress like this… bright red-orange (Crayon) slacks, with a swooping comb over, a fiendish grin, and an 11 o’clock tee time. Throw in the trusty, rural-music-maker, and, well, sir, you’ve got yourself the makings for a pickin’ good time.

Cha-Cha-Cha with Art Mooney

Art CoverWhen Luke Skywalker said to Han Solo in the murky bottoms of a damp and dungeon-like trash compactor, “Did you see that?!” What the ol’ scoundrel SHOULD have answered was, “Why, yes I did, kid. That’s the sound of Art Mooney.”

Decades old intergalactic space references aside, I’m here to tell you that Art Mooney’s music on Cha-Cha-Cha with Art Mooney does, in fact, set sound in motion… it says so right on the cover, “Movement in Sound.” Like a 12-6 curveball, the bachelor-pad-ready-sound from this smokey-lounge-album moves, man! It moves in ways that force parents to shield the virgin ears of their children, you dig?

Art BackThe next time my significant other and I decide it’s time for a change of scenery, I’m calling Art Mooney and His Orchestra to help us move. If he’s half as good at hauling my T-Z shelf as he is delivering the moving sound of the Cuban Cha-Cha-Cha, we’ll be hosting casual dinner parties at our new digs in no time.

“He enjoys golf, swimming and tennis and is a classical records’ collector.” – Back Sleeve

Cover Me Como

Me First:Como

(Please note, this is not an album review, but simply a conscious observation of visual similarities. Proceed with caution…)

There will be several posts on copy-kitty album covers emerging from The Prudent Groove, and the order in which they appear need not indicate any type of importance or personal preference on my part. As a matter of fact, pretty much ANYTHING bleeding from The Prudent Groove can be attributed to the above statement.

“Perry Como, meet Me First and the Gimme Gimmes,” is a phrase I’d have loved to be a fly on the wall for. Your grandfather’s sweet, succulent swoon music meets your older brother’s high school preppy-pop-punk cover act. While similar in appearance, the music, as Perry and his golf buddies would say, is as contradistinctive as a slice and a hook. The correlation stops with the cover art.

While choosing to lift both the front and the back covers of Perry Como’s 1959 classic, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (or just Me First) chose a different artist when it came to the music. The artist would be, of course Elton John. (Painfully obvious, don’t you think?) Being solely a preppy-pop-punk cover band, Me First tackle Mr. John’s Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me and Rocket Man, the later of which got constant airplay on the radio station of my youthful mind. Boy was I a tool. WAS you ask?

It’s somewhat interesting how the likes and dislikes of an individual can go from a dogleg right to a dogleg left in seemingly no time at all. Back in my adolescent days I would have greatly preferred Me First to the swinging Perry Como. Now, Mr. Como has swung his way right into the par 3 hole in my heart.

At the end of the day, or at anytime really, I’d recommend both of these albums, even if exclusively based on the cover art.