High Fidelity (aka “Barry, the Door!”)

Now, I was certain I’d already posted about this seminal soundtrack, but a quick site search conflicts with my shady memory. Originally released in accompaniment with the film in 2000, this 2015 colored vinyl version was a Record Store Day Black Friday, 15th Anniversary release from November 2015. There also appears to be a red vinyl version, limited to 500 copies “pressed exclusively for Red Bull Sound Select’s 30 Days in L.A.” (Thanks, Discogs.com). The only prior vinyl version came from Germany or the UK, and were extremely limited (not to mention fetch a hefty price online). 2016 black vinyl versions fetch for around $20, so options a-plenty.

Kiss Koncert

Yup… this concert was over 18 years ago (le sigh). Certainly not a fan of The Nuge’s political position, but he was fairly solid with Skid Row and solo. Kiss was, obviously amazing, though I wish I hadn’t missed the blood-spitting part of the rock n’ roll show. The overpriced beer that caused me to miss this classic experience only added insult to the injury.

First Edition, Fourth Album

Technically, this is the official first album released by The First Edition to be credited to Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, the first three albums listing the group as simply The First Edition. Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town dropped in 1969, and features the ensemble’s rendition of the Kris Kristofferson-written classic, Me and Bobby McGee. A brief recording history of this song… Roger Miller was the first to record it in ’69, followed by Gordon Lightfoot, then arguably most notably by Janis Joplin in ’70, just a few days before her death. The track is number two on side A, and is a great one-two punch following this album’s title track.

Evil Red

Rage’s second album, 1996’s Evil Empire was a (bit) more refined outing when compared to their debut album (that which was released four years earlier), 1992’s Rage Against the Machine. A classic, though not as highly regarded as their debut, Evil Empire recently received the Newbury Comics treatment, with this red colored vinyl pressing of 1200 copies. In any color or limited run, this album is a no-brainer.

Cabin Spins Round 1

Gathering albums for a two night cabin excursion is always an exciting undertaking. My wife and I pick a handful each, with no real rhyme or reason behind our collective decisions. No themes, per se. I’ll usually take the remaining stack from the “unlistened” pile, which this time included the double LP Reachin’ (A New Refutation of Time and Space) by Digable Planets, and what my wife picks is both a mystery, and a welcoming adventure. See that Dismemberment Plan record over there, that was her pick. 😉

Just Another Shape on the Wall

Another day, another The Shape of Punk to Come pressing. I believe this brings the personal total to 7 different pressings of this essential album. This one just dropped from Newbury Comics and is limited to only 500 copies. $29.99 is certainly not a bad asking price for this double LP, and as of the time of this writing, they are still available from Newbury. Yes, 7 copies of the same record may seem a bit excessive, but as long as they keep pressing variants of this seminal album, I’ll keep buying them.

The Fools on the Hill

This 1996 Cypress Hill event was post III – Temples of Boom, their third studio release, and enveloped a moment in time that was arguably the group’s pinnacle state. At least, that’s what a bunch of us Juniors thought when we went to see them at the Dane County Expo Hall in Madison, Wisconsin. $19.50 for tickets… are you kidding me?! Oh, I forgot to mention that 311 and The Pharcyde were also present… UNDER $20, PEOPLE! $31.74 adjusted for inflation… still an absolute steal!

22 Years of Fat

I vaguely (not at all) remember writing to Fat Wreck Chords back in high school, asking for some semblance of life outside the tiny, rural Wisconsin town I called home. What I received was this scrapbook photocopy of touring bands, lackluster anecdotes, and vulgar responses to questions I was unaware were asked. As a 16-year-old seeker, I couldn’t have been more pleased. Presented here is one side of the folded, post card-like continental representation of the Fat label I’d received. From San Francisco to rural Wisconsin… this was printed hope that life existed outside of Varsity pep rallies and isolated weekend shifts at the local Subway. To say I’ve been loyal to the label would be an understatement. This would have been sent some 22 years ago, and I just stumbled across it last night. To be completely honest, I’d completely forgotten this little piece of personal history even existed.

Todd

Presented here is an original piece by Norwegian designer Bendik Kaltenborn. It appears inside the 2014 disco record, It’s Album Time by Terje Olsen, aka Todd Terje. In addition to the album’s cover, back jacket, and insert, Kaltenborn has produced illustrations for The New Yorker magazine, as well as a slew of other Todd Terje record releases (The Big Cover-Up and the 12″ single Spiral come to mind). Check him out. He’s certainly a name to remember.

A Closer Look at Lookout!

I never really offered the much-needed attention to Lookout! Records that I now wish I had. One of the first, let’s say, 10 labels I’d ever heard of, thanks to Operation Ivy’s 1989 Energy, I reluctantly abandoned all possible rabbit hole hunts with the childish understanding that I’d have plenty of time “tomorrow” to get myself familiar. Well, all the tomorrows are gone following the label’s closure in January of 2012. So, if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic, here is an insert featuring a collection of Lookout! Records’ 7″ releases.

Rock House

I’m my attempts to track down even the crumbled foundation of the “Rock House” featured on the cover of Roy Orbison’s 1961 Sun Records release, At the Rock House, I’ve reluctantly concluded that any physical construction of said house was completely built with fictional bricks. The term can be best described from the album’s back jacket, in good ‘ol black and white and well, soon to be read all over: You will find in this album a collection of Roy’s adventures on the Sun Label. We believe you’ll find it to be a real “Rock” house for dancing and listening. It gives us great pride to present a real talent great, along with a real fine boy – Roy Orbison!

Light ’em Up

So, apparently “light music” is a genre. You classical nuts out there may scoff at my ignorance, but the term just seems too generalized, if, you know, you ask me. Light music has many siblings under the easy listening roof, and is sometimes considered concert or mood music. Man, to deconstruct all the little orphans that make up the easy listening compound seems, at first thought, an exhausting undertaking, so I’m going to squash the impending headache and am never considering tackling that nightmare ever again. Anyway, sidetrack aside, this 1977 collection of 1946 radio-only, unreleased material by Carmen Cavallaro and His Orchestra is a great way to set an ambient tone for an in-home dinner date, or to completely derail a house party filled with deviant hipsters. Both are pleasant thoughts, and The Uncollected Carmen Cavallaro and His Orchestra 1946 is a terribly pleasant listen.

II

Daptone Records struck gold with The Budos Band. I, of course, have no Earthly idea in regards to their record sales, but I can honestly say that, up to my introduction to this collective onslaught (I believe it was 2010’s The Budos Band III, but I could be mistaken), I’d not heard any 12-piece sound this destructive, or this groove-heavy in any of my near four decades of aimless wandering. I’ve said this before, and somewhat recently, that one Budos is just as good, and to be honest, a bit similar, to the next, but when you’re into a good groove, you’re going to want to hold on tight to everything within arm’s reach. The Budos Band is exactly what was needed, when we didn’t even know we’d been searching. Presented here is 2007’s, The Budos Band II (7.6 review rating on Pitchfork).

Leer Ricks

Procrastination has always been one of my strong suits. Next week, that will be neither here nor there. Presented here “today” is the handwritten insert, well, the copy of a handwritten insert to Drive Like Jehu’s 1994 math rock monument, Yank Crime. Like with most releases involving Swami John Reis (Rocket from the Crypt, Hot Snakes, Pitchfork, The Night Marchers, etc.), the lyrics to each song are painfully scrolled out in almost picture-perfect illegibility. While this gives a false sense of personal touch, it does weave together the incoherent and brilliant works of the mad genius that is Mr. Reis, and his merry band of mischief-seeking, and equally talented thugs. Yank Crime would be the 2nd of two albums that Jehu would release, and if you don’t already own it, make sure your used copy, if that’s your thing, contains this insert. If not, save the photo and print it out. You’re welcome.

Double Plaid

1997’s Double Plaidinum by Goleta’s pop-punk poster boys, Lagwagon, was the first release by the band that I shied away from. In retrospect, I’m not exactly sure why I outright abandoned this release, since I jumped all over 1998’s Let’s Talk About Feelings, and the 2000 master comp, Let’s Talk about Leftovers. Double Plaidinum just sort of, didn’t exist in my late teen years, and is sitting there today 1) as a reminder of how much of a completest I’m not, and 2) as a 21-year-old afterthought waiting to be discovered.

Discreet Pete

Peter Cetera’s first solo album after leaving Chicago (the band, not the city) was an enormous commercial success. It housed two #1 Billboard 200 hits (featuring the vocals of Amy Grant on The Next Time I Fall), was home to the Theme to The Karate Kid Part II, and even included the guitar work of Ray Parker Jr. on Wake Up to Love. If you’re looking for an immediate flashback to 1986, look no further than Solitude / Solitaire. You will not (likely) be disappointed.

One Love

This three-track 12″ single from the glorious year, 1987, features R.E.M.’s first hit single with The One I Love (its A-side). A live version of the title track and Maps and Legends fill out the second side of this I.R.S. Records release. Fun fact about the video for this single. The Director of Photography was Food Network’s Alton Brown, well before you know, there was even a Food Network. Any way you serve it up, for your eyes or your ears, The One I Love is vintage 1987.