For Whom the Cowbell Tolls

I’ve stopped spinning and decided to read about spinning these past few weeks. Couldn’t tell you the last record I spun, to be completely honest. Just finding out of this 2014 book’s existence the other day, she arrived at my stoop late last night. 36 pages in and I’m already blocking several hours to continue over the weekend. If you’re read Dan LeRoy’s 33 1/3 book on Paul’s Boutique, this is part 2 titled, For Whom the Cowbell Tolls – 25 Years of Paul’s Boutique. Along with several circa: 1988 production photos, this book touches upon two more books in the making. One, a complete and official history of Delicious Vinyl by coauthor Peter Relic, and the other an authorized autobiography by the remaining Beastie Boys. Both of which will be sought out and thoroughly analyzed. If you’re a fan of Paul’s Boutique, and you haven’t already, check out the 33 1/3 book. If you’ve read that and love it, For Whom the Cowbell Tolls is a must-read sequel.

The best in men’s clothing
Call Paul’s Boutique, ask for Janice
The number is 718-498-1043
That’s Paul’s Boutique and they’re in Brooklyn

Wild Thing

Wild ThingIn 1988, I know jack about Delicious Vinyl records… but like any radio-worshiping Midwesterner, I knew every syllable to the song Wild Thing by ToneLōc. Produced by the legendary Matt Dike and Michael Ross (Michael Ross is the genie he’s giving us our wishes), and, not surprisingly, engineered by b-boy Mario C., this little 12” time warp is a who’s-who of Beastie Boys crossovers.

Including the aforementioned Matt Dike and Mario C. (you can’t front on that!), the illustrious credits continue with EZ Mike and King Gizmo (AKA the Dust Brothers, producers of the Beasties’ Paul’s Boutique), and none other than Wild Thing video director, and lady b-boy (Mike D’s wife), Tamra Davis.

Wild Thing LabelI knew that when I discovered this album, being labeled as DV 1002, for only $4 at a small and dusty Long Beach record shop that a bit of my childhood would be reinstated. What I didn’t know, was how much of my young adult-era obsession was intimately intertwined.

Please, baby-baby, please!

Love American Style

Love“Anything you can pat your foot to is good music.” – Louis Armstrong

Love American Style, the 1998 reissue of the 1989 accompaniment to the legendary Paul’s Boutique record is not only the 64th release from Grand Royal Records (Guaranteed Every Time), but also one that was released on black, white, and of course this, red vinyl. Produced by both The Dust Brothers and the Beastie Boys, Love American Style includes the Hey Ladies singles in its entirety (b-side Shake Your Rump), while including Dust Brothers jams, 33% God and Dis Yourself in ’89 (Just Do It). Fans of Paul’s Boutique and the Beastie Boys alike will instantly recognize 33% God and Dis Yourself in ’89 (Just Do It) as rehashed instrumentals of the record’s a-side, which stand as monumental achievements of pre-Beastie Boys, all-Dust Brothers party-jams. Are the b-side’s two tracks worth seeking out this four-track 12”? You tell me.

Post #250: Three Albums, One Island

Paul'sIf you were stranded on a remote island (that conveniently harbored electricity, speakers and a bomb-ass turntable), and you were only allowed to pick three albums with which to spin for your remaining, ocean-gazing days, what three albums would they be?

For me, the first two albums were no-brainers. Paul’s Boutique by the Beastie Boys, and The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks. Choosing the proper versions, both albums are double LPs (1998’s Grand Royal reissue and 2011’s mono/stereo split), so you’re already a leg up on the island dwelling competition. The third and final album requires much more, overanalyzed thought. Do you play it safe and pick Abbey Road? What about The Beatles, also known as the White Album? Or, do you skip the 12” format altogether and grab your favorite song, which just happens to be a post-hardcore thrasher by the obscure Wisconsin band, Defacto Oppression? Certainly NOT an easy decision to make (in this overly voluptuous hypothetical), second-guessing is sure to follow after the inevitably dreadful decision is (finally) made.

Village GreenBruce Springsteen’s Nebraska garnishes some thought, but would probably be far too depressing… after all, these three albums will help feed, or deter the fact that you are, after all, stranded on a remote island. Emergency & I by the Dismemberment Plan is a considerably strong candidate, but would immediately be my number four pick. Bizarre Ride II (The Pharcyde), In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up (Live) (Ministry), This is Tim Hardin (Tim Hardin… duh), and Circa: Now! (Rocket from the Crypt) are all, exceptional lily pads on this thought pond, but none of them make the distinct cut.

London Calling (The Clash), Double Nickels on the Dime (Minutemen), Singles – 45’s and Under (Squeeze), Energy (Operation Ivy), Appetite for Destruction (Guns N’ Roses), which would easily be my number five pick, Black Monk Time (The Monks), and Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (Dead Kennedys) all lay floating in the salted sea of “never to enjoy again.” Damn, this post is depressing.

RefusedAnd the winner goes to… The Shape of Punk to Come… the quintessential soundtrack to my evasive youth wins the number three spot, and with little hesitation, I might add. Refused’s best, and another double LP, this top three has quickly turned into the top six, and would respectfully demonstrate, and/or adequately demolish my headspace for the rest of my delusional life. To pick three out of 2,800 is certainly NOT an easy gesture… if asked again tomorrow, I’d have a completely different roster. Oh, the joy, and immediate pleasure of viable options.

1994: Fourteenth Century Sky E.P. (The Dust Brothers aka The Chemical Brothers)

Dust Bros CoverSo, here’s a fun little nugget of Electronic music history (fans of either band have known this for years)… The Chemical Brothers used to be called the Dust Brothers, and the Dust Brothers used to be called, wait for it… well, they were always just the Dust Brothers, so yeah, gotcha there.

Dust Brothers 101:

First came the Dust Brothers. The ACTUAL Dust Brothers. The LA-based cut-and-paste moguls famous for their early work with Delicious Vinyl. The same guys who happened to produce the groundbreaking, never-before-has-there-been-music-like-this Beastie Boys album, Paul’s Boutique. Then, over in Manchester, a couple of Dust Brothers fans starting making some badass music of their own, (out of homage or straight, blatant, rip-off) and also starting calling themselves the Dust Brothers. So, there was a time when the world saw two sets of dusted siblings. That was, until the ACTUAL Dust Brothers threatened the Manchester Dust Brothers with legal action. Having released two EPs and one single as the Dust Brothers, the Manchester boys decided on a new name. Based off the critically acclaimed track, Chemical Beats (found on this EP), the Manchester duo adopted the moniker, Chemical Brothers, and the rest is Electronic music history.

Dust Bros Label BThere was no bad blood between the two insanely talented groups. The original Dust Brothers supplied a remix to the 1997 hit single Elektrobank, No harm no foul, I suppose.

Fourteenth Century Sky is the Chemical Brothers’ second release (when they were still calling themselves the Dust Brothers. We JUST went over this!). They would release one more EP (My Mercury Mouth) before pulling the Big-Beat-trigger and forever changing their name to the Chemical Brothers.  This concludes the Prudent Groove inspired Cliffs Notes for Dust Brothers 101. Now, get outside. It’s a beautiful day.