Oh, Foreigner. 1984’s Agent Provocateur housed this New York band’s biggest hit, both in the UK and the US, with I Want to Know What Love is. The hype sticker speaks for itself. Oh, Agent Provocateur, that’s the one with I Want to Know What Love is, yeah? Yes, sir or ma’am. You are correct. If you’re unsure, or just need confirmation, you can acquire the definition of love, via means of Foreigner (oh, Foreigner) for as little as a dime from Discogs. No lie! Check out this link. This shit is cheap!
It must have been nearly 15 years since I’ve spun The Pick, The Sickle and the Shovel by Long Island’s Gravediggaz. Just having (temporarily) exited my hip hop phase (one that had ignited back in Jr. High thanks to Columbia House and BMG… that seems like an eternity ago… man, I’m old), my days and evenings in late 1997 / early 1998 were instead given to The Clash and Ministry, among various pop-punk comps acquired at summer Warped Tours, but when a 19-year-old collector of, well, things, finds a pristine copy of some badass hip hop at a thrift store for about the cost of a basket of beer battered cheese curds, the hip hop torch begins to flicker again.
It’s a Kool Moe Dee kind of Sunday night, and you’re all invited to enjoy the rhythmic spoils of New York’s most prominent master of ceremonies. Dusting off his Trecherous Three mates (Spoonie Gee, DJ Easy Lee, L.A. Sunshine, and Special K), 1986 finds Mr. Moe Dee’s first full-length solo effort on the appropriately titled, Kool Moe Dee.
Need a sleazy, PMRC conscious, mid-80s, old school influenced, mid-school executed hip-hop album without all the calories? Try a steady diet of Kool Moe Dee, and if your Sunday evenings don’t improve after a few weeks, Go See the Doctor.
Jean Shepherd is neither a shepherd, nor a woman. If you know who that is, I have absolutely no doubt that you are already an enormous fan. The mischievous New York radio personality, whose eloquent tenure spanned from 1948 to 1977, was nothing short of an eggheaded genius, a word I VERY rarely use (well, I seldom use eggheaded either for that matter). His brilliant storytelling and enthusiastic delivery has, very poorly put, never been equaled and, I’m certain, never will. Also an established writer (who, if anyone, has never heard of A Christmas Story?!), Shep, as his fans knew him, shared his magnetic rants over every conceivable medium, and will forever be identified as radio’s most overlooked legend.
Like with any show, there is a theme song. Shep, for reasons not entirely clear, chose Arthur Fiedler’s version of the Bahn Frei Polka to kick-off his shows. Like the start of a marathon horse race, the Bahn Frei Polka launches from the gate with a galloping wallop of fury and anxious anticipation that, to this day, gives me goosebumps and an enormous smile every time I hear it.
Please, I beg of you… if you have iTunes and an internet connection, treat yourself to one of life’s most cherished treasures, and subscribe to the (free) podcasts, The Brass Figlagee and Mass Backwards. With nearly 1400 recorded shows (you read that right), the prosperous servitude of this man’s objective vision should be shared and analyzed by any and every fan of the childhood laugh. Long live Jean Shepherd!
I imagine 1967 to be slightly different from 2013. For one thing, there were no gummy worms in 1967. That fact alone is enough to relieve any current day woe. But (starting a sentence with “but” is bad for your skin), with both feet firmly planted in the unbreakable reality that is 2013, it’s fun to send the head out into the clouds of 1967 as if it were a balloon disappearing into infinity. 2013’s 1967 is exactly what this gloomy Los Angeles morning needs, so with all of this gibberish in mind, I humbly present 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind!
Van Morrison. Two words strong enough for a complete sentence. Like a phoenix, Van “The Man” Morrison rose to infinite stardom during the British Invasion with his band, Them. Remember Gloria? G. L. O. R. I. A. Gloria! That was Them, but to be specific, it was Van Morrison. Releasing only two albums with Them, 1965’s Them and 1966’s Them Again respectfully, “The Man” was convinced to travel to America (well, New York city) for his solo debut.
Blowin’ Your Mind! was not a success, which is strikingly difficult to imagine, considering it brought us Brown Eyed Girl. We all know and love that song so I won’t fill your eyeholes with my blather about it. What I will blather about, with unrelenting and shameless gusto is the 9+ minute masterpiece, T.B. Sheets. Arriving immediately before the bridge (the end of side 1), T.B. Sheets is a bass heavy blues jam that acts as a vehicle for “The Man” to stretch his unquestionable musical talents and knock over any and everything in its glorious wake (Gloria!). It’s difficult to comprehend “The Man” was only 22 when he recorded this song… 22! There isn’t a word that befittingly describes the immensity of this song. Confoundedly-epic doesn’t even come close.
I implore you to seek out 1967’s Blowin’ Your Mind! and its majestic beauty, T.B. Sheets. I’m not joking. You’re going to want to make love to this song.