I’ve got a bit of a query, chaps. Do I repurchase the UK reissue of Kinks on beautiful, ruby red vinyl, or upgrade my turntable? She skips like a ruthless gang of 2nd graders in afternoon recess. I recently replaced the needle, so that ain’t it. No earthquakes as of late, though we’re still eagerly anticipating “the big one.” Hmmm. Time to save up for some 1200s? Then there’s the issue of space! WHERE THE HELL AM I GOING TO PUT THEM? I’ve already got a mountain of records squatting on the floor. (The International Voice of Reason voice: “SIGH!” Sounds more like “UHHHHHHH!”) Well anyway, if you own this release and it skips, hit me up, otherwise, it’s time for some new hardware.
In honour of The Kids in the Hall coming back (tomorrow! Amazon!), let’s quickly focus on a short-lived side-hustle from Kid Scott Thompson and Kid-friendly Paul Bellini with their first 7″ Mouth Congress release, Ahhhh. The Pollution. A RSD offering, this, and their double LP comp is much better ear candy than it should be, especially since this band has been so widely ignored until fairly recently. Saving this, and the comp for tomorrow, as the unofficial Kids Day, but please, do check out this obscurely flamboyant, and aggressive combination of ear noise as soon as you possibly can. Not only can you dream about touching Paul Bellini, but you can now hear him.
Heartbreaking, on many levels, 1982’s record-hugging insert to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers release on Backstreet Records, Long After Dark. I was slow to warm to the Tom Petty sound, being into industrial and hardcore at the time, but a corner was turned (some several years back), and this prominent, historical American sound has slowly, yet consistently become a go-to staple. RIP, Mr. Petty, and thank you for your prestigious endeavors.
Newly acquired, and half ingested, presented here is the recently released Moosebumps: An Exploration into Modern Day Horripilation [the SP 1200 Remixes]. As a sucker for any and everything DTA (Dan the Automator), and akin to the crass and ingenious lyrics of the masterful Kool Keith, this rather rare remix album was a (rather embarrassing) cat and mouse game to pursue, and finally seize. Saucers of milk for everyone who’s in prime ownership of this necessity. Really quickly, the resurgence of Dr. Octagon has been something of primal bliss, and I’ll offer as much support as I’m afforded, so long as the medium will allow.
Show your Southern California hardcore punk pride with these classy and ageless band stickers, direct from SST Records (circa: 1986). Need a groovy We Jam Econo sticker from San Pedro-based three piece, Minutemen for your late 90’s Saab? Or how about a serpent-style Saccharine Trust sticky for your kid’s school lunchbox? I’d settle for the streamlined SST bumper myself, but whatever you fancy, SST Records via means of this 30+ year old insert has you covered.
Yet another vintage collection of phonographs, this time courtesy of Brunswick (remember, number three of “the big three.”). Panatropes, a term Brunswick coined, were even offered with the newly discovered invention of the time (a fathomable thought), the Radiola. Options were plentiful during the heyday of the 78rpm revolution (and it was certainly nothing short of that), so pick your poison, and your favored label, and throw down some borrowed dough for the finest cabinetry the early 1900s could buy.
Victor strikes again with its overly simplified clip art cover for a vintage 78 sleeve. Every instrument of music, and famous Victor artist awaiting your command to play… ok, like, I’m in control, yeah? I “command” my string section to perform strictly for me, whenever, and for however long I’m willing to operate the crank. Actually, yeah… that sounds nice. Kind of consumerist royalty. Shut up, Victor, and take my money!
Double up on doubling down. This reissued copy of Jerry Lee Lewis’ 1958 self-titled debut is, in fact, an oversight, and a double. Such aggravating instances occur when you’re paying rent for 3800+ records. I’m whittling down the names of local collectors who might benefit from a new, unannounced record, but in the meantime, I’m going to chuckle at the creatively placed “don’t steal me” barcode.
Famous selections by some of the world’s greatest artists, or so this Camden, NJ-based monster of a label would have you believe (Victor Talking Machine Company… yeah, they knew their shit). If you’re in the market for a brief history on available Victrola needles circa: the 1930s, the right column in the photo above is your best friend. There are several tone-options to choose from, so choose wisely, and choose often.
Shelving shame, I loved (mainly) one track from Blink 182’s sophomore effort in 1997’s Dude Ranch, and that was track two, Voyeur. Presented here is a 2010 reissue on transparent orange wax. Little known fact, Drive Like Jehu drummer Mark Trombino produced this album, so for what it’s worth, Dude is deserving of a spin if only for that nugget of data, dude.
Ok, getting near the end of my newly acquired 78 sleeves (I halfheartedly promise). Conqueror Records, in association with Sears, Roebuck and Co. (The World’s Largest Store… RIP Sears) was a label with strict distribution through Sears, Roebuck and Co., and oddly enough played best at 80rpm. Hmmm, odd… The label operated between 1928 and 1942, and issued released by acts like Harry James, Cab Calloway, Fred Hall (no, not Fred Hill), and even Duke Ellington. I wouldn’t necessarily call a 14 year life anything of conquering definition, but the logo sure is something worth noting.
Let’s dance… let’s frolic… let’s struggle to maintain our balance around the furious spindle, to what appears to be music pressed on the best records made. Perfect is an audacious term, but with gyrations as questionable and inviting as the art suggests, who’s to say that Perfect Records isn’t just what they, and the name suggests? I’m certainly not one to judge, at least, not tonight.
A gift (thanks M&P), my first Electric Prunes record is everything I’d imaged this legendary psychedelic band to be, and much, much more. Appropriately titled, Mass in F Minor, this 1968 release, composed by David Axelrod (of Cannonball Adderley and solo fame), takes a cocktail shaker, measures out two parts blues-meets-acid-rock, with equal parts Latin and Greek Catholicism, and mixes the shit out of these conflicting, and polar outlooks… but like, in a perfectly presentable and digestible offering (church puns…). A strikingly bold move for only the band’s third studio album, Mass in F Minor is a large pill to swallow, which, I imagine, is precisely, and distinctively the point. I look forward to other spinnings by this bold and talented group.
Yes, yes, yet another RCA Victor 78 record sleeve. (Does anyone see a pattern here? And, oh! That dog looks familiar…) My personal take on this inherited sleeve is that the northeastern corner was deliberately, let’s say, customized, buy the original owner (or the owner’s friend’s owner… I have no way of knowing). Regardless, simplicity in design shines brightest, yet again, and we’re left with some pretty badass, vintage art.
Album ass: TMBG style. I was beside myself when news of They Might Be Giants’ 1996 album, Factory Showroom would (finally) be released on vinyl. Quickly snatching one up, I fell into my chair looking at a 12″ display of what was, to my experience at the time, the CD’s back cover. Countless pizza deliveries were made listening to this album, and many a red light were spent matching the artfully displayed tracklist to the appropriate track number. Metal Detector, James K. Polk, and the personal favorite, Till My Head Falls Off were, and are classic, late 90s jams. (Takes a deep breath.) Thank you, Asbestos Records!
The word “orthophonic” is so outdated, spellcheck feels it is misspelled (damn you, spellcheck!). The first of its kind featuring records recorded using the new “electronically recorded” sound was first shunned by major labels, then, like an unearthed memory, embraced and regarded as a monumental leap forward in consumer-based, reproduced sound. Making waves as early as 1925… nicely done, Western Electric.
The hype is over, though the profound light from ska-punk (personal) favorites Mad Caddies will never burn out. Presented here is a throwaway hype sticker to their album from last year, Punk Rocksteady. No hype needed here, because I fell in love with them back in the late 90s, and, well, I purchased this album online as a pre-order, but here it lives, and here it shall stay.
America’s fastest selling record, circa: 1930?, well, I have no way of knowing, so, sure. What’s interesting about Perfect, aside from the “Better Records Can’t Be Made” party at the bottom of the photo (a photo for another time…), is that 78 pressings on Perfect reemerged as late as the 1990s, most notably the double 10″ by John Fahey titled, Morning / Evening, Not Night released in 1996… now a top item on my 78 wantlist.