Like countless labels before it, and many after, SST Records (owned by Black Flag guitarist Greg Ginn) offered specially priced compilations showcasing their label’s talent, aiming at nothing more than to spread their goods, and take your money. With a special list price of only $3.39 ($7.99 today after the inflation adjustment), cheapskaters could further explore the likes of Saccharine Trust, the Meat Puppets, the Minutemen, and even Tom Troccolil’s Dog for next to nothing. The comp series was called The Blasting Concept, and you’re looking at the back of Volume II.
I’ve kind of shied away from the Minutemen in recent months. Not by conscious choice, but by the inevitable interferences of everyday life. Same can be said for a lot of the old standbys, actually. Sleep. Extra time. My sanity. Anyway, this is the back sleeve cover to Minutemen’s 1983 EP, Buzz or Howl Under the Influence of Heat. If you’ve ever felt like a gringo, you should check it out (track 6).
3-Way Tie (For Last) was the final album released by San Pedro legends, Minutemen. Frontman D. Boon would tragically lose his life in a car accident almost immediately after 3-Way‘s release. One of this energetic guitarist’s last work of art was the painting used for the cover. A bit sad, all around, and kind of a departure from their previous albums, 3-Way features a handful of covers (CCR, Meat Puppets) that neatly pay tribute to this Southern California band’s early influences. Like with all Minutemen releases, 3-Way Tie (For Last) is essential listening material. RIP D. Boon.
Over the weekend I paid $8 for this SST Records comp, The Blasting Concept Volume II, which, adjusted for inflation is only $0.30 more than the original $3.49 suggested retail price, or in this case, the special list price. So, that’s something. Also, as a proud owner of The Blasting Concept Volume I, I can’t wait to spin this Minutemen, Saccharine Trust, Black Flag, Husker Du, Meat Puppets, comp as soon as the day job allows. This minimalist cover is hilarious, when compared to the mildly disturbing Raymond Pettibon cover for Volume 1. I’ll just leave it at that.
Manning vocals, guitar, bass, and wearing his producer hat, former Black Flag leader and principal songwriter Greg Ginn released his debut solo album, 1993’s Getting Even on Ginn’s own Cruz Records, an offshoot of SST Records, also owned by Mr. Ginn. As far as the music goes, it’s solid-state punk blues at its absolute finest. Think a VERY mature Black Flag, or a VERY IMMATURE Murder City Devils, but like, circa: 1993. It’s an amazing solo effort by one of the founding fathers of Southern California hardcore, and comes highly recommended.
Lawndale’s 2nd (and final) LP (from SST Records in 1987) continued carrying the burning torch of surf-folk rock set ablaze by 1986’s Beyond Barbecue (their debut). Sasquatch Rock, as it is infamously known, harbors many well known, Liquid Kitty favorites, and is the perfect blend of Pacific Coast casual that this prominent band is eminently known for. I could go for a bit of Punk Rock BBQ right about now. (sigh)
Insert hunting is often times an all or nothing affair. After a while you begin to notice consistencies that are more exceptions than they are rules. I mean, there can’t be “rules” when second hand record shopping, so I guess that wasn’t really worth mentioning. Anyway, it seems that more and more these days, the unknown hidden art printed and housed within the album sleeve is pulling towards my decision to fork over $3 for a used record than the actual music itself. It wasn’t always this way, but when one’s eyes get a taste for these mysterious little gems, one begins to understand why, now doesn’t one? (Yes, that was a Benson reference from Soap, and no, I am in no way ashamed.)
The lovely SO gifted me this stunning SST insert for my xx birthday. I’m the first consumer to excavate this four-page order form booklet from within the bowels of a sealed Beyond Barbecue album by Lawndale. This album’s release, and the albums featured within date this specimen in the 1986 – 1986 range. Whatever you dig, get into it, kids. Happy Friday!
Please, Mr. Postman, don’t drop, throw, toss, pitch, hurl, thrust, flip, heave, fire, or fling any of my precious records upon delivery. My copy of Lawndale’s 1986 debut LP, Beyond Barbecue, was a birthday gift (my loving SO), and now it’s little more than unplayable garbage and a sour subject. Government-infused laziness should not, nor ever, equal subpar workmanship.
So, Saturday’s show down at Harold’s in Pedro, and the $10 cover, contributed towards the raising of funds for the Craig Ibarra penned, Pedro punk scene inspired book, A Wailing of a Town. “An Oral History of Early San Pedro Punk and More” from 1977 – 1985, this book is highly anticipated by the Prudent Groove, and is suggested throughout the punk, quality, and truth music scene across the globe. Political-minded, Pedro-proud.
I broke the mold of tradition yesterday and removed the shrink wrap that bound my copy of Double Nickels on the Dime, the Minutemen’s timeless magnum opus. It has become habit for me to neatly slice the plastic along the sleeve opening, preserving the virgin cover, back, and in this case, gatefold center.
I’d never owned Double Nickels in any format until I found this reissue, so I was more than amazed when I released the fruits of this gatefold for the very first time. Aside from the usual credits and a collage of action band shots are seven drawing by Raymond Pettibon I’d never seen before. Famous first throughout the Southern California early punk scene, then the world over, Mr. Pettibon’s art ranges from morally exposing to minimalist shock, which, after reading this again, does absolutely no justice to either the style of his characters, or the weight of his foreboding, and ominous messages. His often humorous take on the vulgar details of moral principles (many struggle their whole lives to ignore) raise a sense of loaded guilt that makes you want to go out and punch an elected official in the face, but you know… in a good way.
So often do priceless nuggets of cultural significance go overlooked. Featured, as far as I can tell, ONLY on the back of 1981’s The Punch Line LP (15 mins for 18 songs…), this industrial landscape not only shows promise of conviction, it also showcases the many, astute talents of an already gifted musician, George Hurley (drummer for Minutemen).
Like so many onion-like layers of creative mystique the Minutemen continue to provide, this alternate, artistic expression by one of the world’s best drummers, Mr. George Hurley, was / is good enough for cover art, but for a prolific band such as this, takes sidecar, and settles for a prominent, yet secondary place on the back cover.
No filler did plague the Minutemen. History has converted this opinion into fact.