Well, when you find a masterpiece such as this legendary, holiday hootenanny, The Perry Como Christmas Album, at Goodwill for a cool 100 pennies, and need to listen to EVERY record before it gets filed away into the fold, Christmas just may happen to appear on a random Tuesday evening. I mean, why the hell not?! If you don’t feel the need to question Perry Como’s majestic smile disturbingly placed in the center of a frosted Christmas wreath, then chances are you’ve already purchased your ticket and are strategically eyeing your window seat on the crazy bus. Yes I listened to this album in its entirety, and yes, I’m okay with admitting that.
On a recent excursion to the corner thrift shops, I was able to unearth a few awkward gems. Let me back-up a bit and say, wholeheartedly, that inflation is a bastard. I’m going to sound very old, very quickly here, so please bear with me. I can remember strolling into any random thrift shop and paying nothing over $0.99 for a used record. Today, tainted by the thick, grubby hands of the monetary virus known as inflation, these thrift shops, that receive all of these records for free, mind you, are selling records for $3 a pop! Granted, yes, $3 for a record is still a monumental steal, but I clearly would have picked up at least two, possibly three more albums had the price been “what it used to be.”
I believe it was George Costanza who said, “I pay what I want.” I’m strongly considering adopting that principle. It blows my feeble mind to think who would ever pay $3 for a scratched-to-hell Lawrence Welk album with a ripped cover. Ok, my teeny-tiny rant over with, I wanted to present the three, newest additions to my collection. First up is the 1975 Win, Lose or Draw by the Allman Brothers Band. My catalog of Allman Brothers music is small, so this will help the cause.
Second is a 1962 UK release of Mrs. Mills’ Mrs. Mills Plays the Roaring Twenties. In almost pristine shape, Mrs. Mills Plays the Roaring Twenties is a nostalgic (for someone, I suppose) keepsake for the burlesque-inspired and boa flinging dance parlors of a decade nearly a century old. Not to mention, the cover is priceless (even though it was had for three times the price I would have like to have paid).
Last, but certainly not least, is a magnificent 1975 album from an artist I’d never heard of, Martin Crosbie (with Thelma). Yesterday When I Was Young, released on the Irish Olympic Records label, showcases a stern, and slightly annoyed Martin Crosbie standing atop a few dry rocks directly in front of a roaring river. I can’t wait to listen to this album.
In short, inflation is an inevitable priss, and $3 for an album is still not bad (screams to himself), especially considering the unknown gem that potentially waits in the dimly lit, and dust-filled shelves of your local thrift store.
Summer is swiftly approaching, and you know what that means. It’s time to abandon that pint of Chunky Monkey and drop those lingering “depression pounds” so you can become the best, superficial, objectified, shallow beach snob in all of Los Angeles County!
You’re probably asking yourself, “But how will I lose this row of bicycle tires in time to accept my crown as Big Kahuna of Venice Beach?” SLIMNASTICS is how. SLIMNASTICS is an ancient exercise technique of foolish looking, and ineffective body positions that you can struggle to achieve in the comfort of your own living room (with the lights off and all the shades drawn).
SLIMASTICS is designed by Dr. Charles A. Bucher, a guy famous for doing stuff (his resume is on the back sleeve in case you question his academic prodigiousness). With one side of the record devoted for men, and the other for women, Dr. Bucher engulfs your home stereo system and coaches you, step-by-step, on how to touch your toes and lift your arms. He’s offered a series of Picturegrams (I’m pretty sure ol’ Charlie made this word up) that oversimplify the insanely complex technique known as the push-up (among others).
Dig through your box of “To Goodwill” clothes and adorn those embarrassingly tight running shorts because Dr. Charles A. Bucher and his award-winning exercise program, SLIMNASTICS, are going to fool you into believing you can achieve social acceptance with a slim, new, beach-friendly body.
(The Prudent Groove is not responsible if you do not achieve social acceptance with your slim, new, beach-friendly body.)
Are you a lonely bird owner who, until now, hasn’t realized your life lacks that proper amount of relaxing, mundane conversation with your trapped, feathered friend? Well, didn’t you come to the right place, you crazy little bird owner, you? Yesterday I unearthed this remarkable album at Goodwill, and with a morbid curiosity the size of say, a Lincoln Town Car, I rushed home to discover what a record specifically designed to train a bird to mimic say, a monologue written by Aaron Sorkin, would actually sound like.
After a brief and surprisingly soothing acoustic soiree, a calming female voice emits from the left, then the right channel repeating, “Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello. Hello…” As I sat and listened to this woman repeat this two-syllable word from opposite ends of the room, I began to count. The Prudent Groove is very happy to report that track one from Train Your Bird to Talk consists of a woman saying, “hello” 122 times. I’d love to see what the budget for this record was as I’m almost 122% certain that this “voice actor” said “hello” exactly one time, then it was looped for an excruciating 87 minutes (it may have been just over three minutes, but it felt like a hellish torture chamber of lies, burnt toast, wet socks and whatever else gets under my skin that I can’t conjure up at the moment).
If there was an award for the most useless, ridiculous, unnecessary, wholeheartedly avoidable record ever pressed, Train Your Bird to Talk would win it hands down. That being stated, I don’t reconsider my purchase for a moment. After all, you never know when 3 ½ minutes of a woman saying, “hello pretty bird” might come in handy.
There are certain compilations that come out with the intent to capitalize on various social trends. The most popular of these could be the Nuggets compilation (a groovy series showcasing the one-hit-wonders of the bygone psychedelic days), the Now That’s What I Call Music! or simply Now! compilations (a grotesque series of comps for people who loath and despise everything creative about music), and those compilations that are hastily put together and distributed with the intent to sell as many copies as possible before the trend dies and becomes a stepping stone for the next “cool thing.” Electric Breakdance is, in my opinion, just about the best stepping stone compilation ever to hit the big city streets, and/or the hardwood floors of my parent’s living room.
Electric Breakdance was released with the intention of showcasing the techniques found within the art of breakdancing, while at the same time presenting a soundtrack of “the hottest breaking music on the street.” BUT, unlike many “As Seen on TV” comps, Electric Breakdance actually delivers with its 9 tracks of hard-hitting early 80’s Hip-Hop.
Featured on this break-tastic single LP are tracks by Run-D.M.C., Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel, Whodini and a slew of other early Hip-Hop acts that I’m now bound to explore. The dopest track (is my rural Wisconsin showing?), or the smash single amongst an album of smash singles is Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel’s White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It), which is basically a song about freebasing. You’ve gotta’ love early 80’s radio.
It’s heartbreaking and extremely unfortunate that I don’t have the “giant detailed poser on how to break.” That little educational gem of early 80’s fashion would be nothing short of amazing framed on my living room wall (I’m sure my girlfriend would LOVE that).
Overall, Electric Breakdance was a welcoming surprise when I discovered it at a Goodwill, hiding between a Steven Stills LP and the soundtrack to Xanadu (both of which I also purchased). Although my breakdancing never left my parent’s smooth-spinning hardwood floors, the art of breaking will never be too far away from my heart.
Along with a brief write-up on the history of breakdance, the back cover offers the following disclaimer… in tiny print:
If you have any ankle, knee, back or other physical problems, you should have a medical checkup before attempting the dances described in these materials. Parental supervision is advised for children who attempt these dances.