Priceless

Though the year is unknown, I estimate this price sticker to be somewhere in the mid-1960s range. Let’s say, for the sake of this post, that we’re looking at sealed record from 1968, with a price tag of $3.97. Adjusted for inflation, that same sealed record would cost you a whopping $28.67 today. That’s a bit of a jump, no? Anyway, $28 and change is, unfortunately, about the going rate for new releases these days (a bit more for Mondo and Waxwork gems). Which, in a roundabout way, brings me to my point. Buy used records. Hunt down original releases, and save yourself a hefty sum. Unless, of course, you’ve got a bottomless coin purse, then the world is your canvas, assuming of course you have space for all of your fancy colors.

Frankie Goes to Avalon

My (extremely limited) exposure to Frankie Avalon can be (easily) traced back to a single motion picture… 1987’s Back to the Beach. I know, I know… what a disgrace I must be to my early-60s brethren, and this comes with absolutely zero hint of disrespect, but my 8-year-old-self had all but forgotten about this teen idol of yesteryear. A recent holiday haul has rectified that situation (thanks, folks!), so now we spin, and relearn from this classic tiger beat.

The King

Preceding 1986’s Blood & Chocolate by only seven months is this T-Bone Burnett-produced icon, King of America. Billed as The Costello Show featuring the Attractions and Confederates in the UK and simply The Costello Show featuring Elvis Costello in the US, this 15-tracker clocks in at just under an hour (57:36) and features Costello’s fixation with Americana (at some points sounding almost completely country… but in a good way). The cover photo is emblematic and was my only visual recollection of Mr. Costello for much of my budding years… so much so that I thought it was a cover to a Greatest Hits or catch-all double or triple CD box, but alas, just a groovy cover to a groovy album, his 10th studio effort.

Mondo vs. Mondon’t

Let me just simply say this… I love Mondo. Their hassle-free, quick shipping and superb packing make for worry-free ordering. This, coupled with their almost frequent limited pressings makes any release a complete no-brainer. Case in point, this White Russian vinyl colored 20th anniversary release of The Big Lebowski (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). A pro tip for those not already doing this: get on their mailing list, and set calendar reminders for online sale times, because when they’re gone, they’re gone, and third party sales over at Discogs will make you wish you did.

Elvis in ’86

I heard Elvis Costello’s I Want You on Spotify a few weeks ago and immediately fell in love with it. A maturing Declan MacManus is not for the faint of heart (at least, not for those heavily into his first two albums: 1977’s My Aim is True and 1978’s This Year’s Model), but respect should be given to the delightful evolution of his songwriting ability. Blood & Chocolate is the King’s eleventh studio album (recorded between March and May of ’86, released that September), and would prove to be the last with The Attractions for nearly a decade (eight years until the release of 1994’s Brutal Youth). I Want You, the obvious standout, is a near seven minute emotional roller coaster that finishes up the first side. Listen with caution, but listen with frequent urgency.

What A Drag it is Getting Old

My listening affair with The Rolling Stones carries with it a heavy satchel of struggle and self-inflicting restraint. The evolution from tolerating, through hating, and ultimately to accepting has been a long and winded excursion. Not completely unlike the band’s 1967 compilation album, Flowers (or the majority of these posts). This collection of (some) previously released tracks (about half) and unreleased (at least in the US) songs from Aftermath and Between the Buttons sessions create a (money-grabbing) faux-flower-power album, perfect for the rainbow of hipsters gallivanting their way through the free-spirited summer of ’67 (the album was released on June 26th). If you can stomach the overindulgent counterculture cover, you’ll find the seeds within are anything but psychedelic (compared to say, early Floyd), and are actually heavy hitters of oldies radio airwaves (Mother’s Little Helper, Lady Jane, Ruby Tuesday, etc.). Whatever your personal feelings are towards this dominant group, Flowers is worthy of an in-depth exploration, even if you’ve heard the bulk of it before.

Rainblow

I’ve yet to find a turntable where this reissue of Rainbow Ffolly’s debut, Sallies Fforth DOESN’T skip like a rock over a calming pond… I hesitate purchasing another copy, on principle alone, but I really want to enjoy this quirky and bubbly album. Until I can overcome my personal demons and pull that proverbial trigger, I’ll stick to the digital copy.

… It’s a Femur Bone…

FINALLY! The Burbs, the late 80s classic summer blockbuster (more like cul-de-sac-buster, am I right?!) gets a deserving vinyl pressing on this double, 180 gram “suburban sky” colored wax by Waxwork Records. This extended score by Jerry Goldsmith is flawless from start to finish, both in its superior audio quality, and its newly-imagined packaging. Some might scoff at he $36 price tag, but all things considered, this essential score, for the first time, of this quality, well, that’s something worth chanting about, right Ray?

B IV

Before what?! Though the mighty Budos Band released a few 45s and a 12″ since the coming of their fourth studio album, Burnt Offering, it’s been a solid four years since we’ve seen a substantial output by this exceptional nonet. Released back in October of 2004, BO carries with it the monsters, Magnus Mountain and the title track, Burnt Offering (both singles). Though I’m partial to 2005’s The Budos Band and 2010’s The Budos Band III, Burnt Offering sees a level of maturity that only emphasizes the raw, instrumental force conjured up by this insanely talented group. We encourage you to acquire each of their records, and to play them at top volume.

London Broil

Wish I could make this hoppin’ holiday installment of the Liquid Kitty / Harvelle’s Punk Rock BBQ, but with family and friends pulling out all the stops, we’ll need to sit this one out. I hope those of you in the Los Angeles / Santa Monica vicinity enjoy this free, cheap-ass show! (Photo courtesy of Liquid Kitty’s Facebook page.)

Veronica?

Am I the only one to discover that Sir James Paul McCartney co-wrote and performed on the studio version of Declan Patrick MacManus aka Elvis Costello’s 1989 classic, Veronica? A recent acquisition to the fold, complete with all the juicy credit details is this slightly used copy of Spike, Mr. Costello’s 12th album. I’m not prone to spend $8 on used records these days (cheapskate), but when the obsession takes over, there’s no telling what the outcome will be.

The Music Machine vs. Rocket from the Crypt

Versus carries with it a strong connotation… perhaps it should be more like, The Music Machine as respectfully interpreted by Rocket from the Crypt, or The Music Machine who you’ve never heard of because you suck and don’t know shit about good music, but we do because we’re Rocket from the Crypt. However you label it, if labels are your thing, both The Music Machine’s debut LP, 1966’s (Turn On) The Music Machine and Rocket’s 1995 5″, Plays The Music Machine are a perfect pair of connecting puzzle pieces that help to line the interwoven fabric of the great rock n’ roll battlefield. This particular copy of Turn On is a RSD exclusive from last year, where both the Rocket 5″s were released by Sympathy for the Record Industry (original releases, both of them). If you’re into garage rock, own a garage, or hell, can SPELL garage, you need to check out both The Music Machine and (damn near) anything by Rocket from the Crypt. Happy Friday, kids.

Last Year’s Model

My current obsession… Mr. Declan Patrick MacManus aka Elvis Costello, and specifically his debut work with The Attractions (and second studio album overall), 1978’s Last Year’s Model. Up until (very) recently, all I’d spin was Elvis’ debut, 1977’s My Aim is True, but with a little LA traffic commuting help from Spotify, I’ve rediscovered my love for clever lyrics and shrewd, earworm hooks. This man truly is king.

Mondo “The Dude” – Sold Out

So, Mondo made available their 20th anniversary vinyl pressing of The Big Lebowski on White Russian colored vinyl, and just as you’d expect, if you weren’t one of the lucky few to set your 10am work alarm today (12noon CT), you’d find yourself clear out of luck. Both the cocktail and black vinyl versions are now sold out, and although I remembered to set an alarm and nabbed a sweet cocktail for myself, a work buddy, and accidentally I might add, managed to nab a pair of cocktails before they ascended to that great Mondo shaped cloud in the sky. I hope you were one of the lucky ones, if, you know, you’re into great music and flawless movies. (Photo courtesy of Mondo Tees.)

The Powers of Flowers

Another London Records insert today (actually, just the flip side to 11/28 insert to be exact). Featured here are a few early Stones offerings (Aftermath, Out of Our Heads, Flowers, and Got Live if You Want It!), Mr. Cat Stevens, The Moody Blues, and of course, John Mayall. Power Blues looks good, based solely on the cover (never heard of it / them / ‘er), and I’m kind of interested in what Savoy Brown sounds like. Caravan, meh. Anyway, enjoy this colorful snapshot of late 60s psychedelic pop rock, won’t ya?!

Raging Insert (Part 1)

Also eligible for induction into the R&R HOF is Los Angeles’ own Rage Against the Machine (seems like I’ve been touching base with them quite a bit lately). Again, voting ends 12/9, so don’t delay! As an aside, or really, the point of this post, this two-parter, is a politically-charged suggestion by the band, from their Renegades release, about the pros of defacing domestic currency. Presented here is the first side of the Renegades insert. For a brief definition of defacement by means of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, continue reading.
Defacement of Currency
Defacement of currency is a violation of Title 18, Section 333 of the United States Code. Under this provision, currency defacement is generally defined as follows: Whoever mutilates, cuts, disfigures, perforates, unites or cements together, or does any other thing to any bank bill, draft, note, or other evidence of debt issued by any national banking association, Federal Reserve Bank, or Federal Reserve System, with intent to render such item(s) unfit to be reissued, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.

Thunder Heist

Man, I miss this band. Raunchy, heavy, sweaty dance music at its finest. This gone-but-not-forgotten Canadian duo released a handful of singles prior to and after their only studio full-length, 2009’s Thunderheist. Bubblegum, showcased here, was released on Canada’s Bigfoot Records label back in September of 2007 (which seems like an eternity ago), and features, of course, the original version, a Wicket Lester Remix, a Wax Romeo Remix, and a Ghislain Poirier Remix. Thunderheist’s discography is relatively small, and every track is solid MF gold. Man, I miss this band.

Picture This (And Vote!)

A few days ago (he chuckles to himself) we touched upon the recently acquired 8-track of Odessey & Oracle by The Zombies, and today we’re showcasing their most recent vinyl release with this Record Store Day Black Friday picture disc exclusive. Virgin picture discs, in fact, do not skip, at least this one doesn’t, and the backside features artwork closer to the US reissue (close up of the little blue guy at 6 o’clock… reference here). The vote? Oh yeah, vote! The Zombies are up for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Voting closes on December 9th, so don’t forget to show your support to this (and four other) seminal bands!