The classics, they tend to linger, much like this 1959, Alfred E. Neuman number inspired by MAD Magazine. Redheads with wide ears littered across the globe united as their proclaimed mascot sought 12″ by 12″ fame with this release. He displays wonderfully, and spins satisfactorily.
Double analog owner of this “Epic Stereo Cassette” MAY have cycled one official listen way back in the day, but she’s new meat now that Mr. Suave Walkman is in town. One acquires an eye for the essentials, regardless of the medium, while on the frigid hunt. 2 Record Set on One Cassette ain’t too shappy… Epic Stereo Cassette
So, I’ve got this stack of records, see. It’s a stack of “unlistened” if that were a word. RSD Black Friday did a number on me, and I’m ingesting much faster than I’m listening these past few months, which is a shame for many reasons. Anyway, my goal is to have this stack spun and shelved by Monday 9am. God willing, this dream will become a reality. Happy Friday, kids.
The back sleeve to Ernie Heckscher’s At the Fabulous Fairmont boasts and brags about the social elite swilling it night after night in the coveted Venetian Room of San Francisco’s prominent Fabulous Fairmont high atop Nob Hill. 1960 would have been an interesting year to experience. I’d happily trade say, 2002 for it. Anyway, yet another easy listening treat for you this third Thursday before Christmas. I’ve been in a bit of a vintage mood as of late, if you haven’t noticed. Ernie Heckscher At the Fabulous Fairmont makes for great background music to just about any activity, save maybe for watching The Good Wife on Netflix. Tomorrow is Friday. This makes us happy.
I knew absolutely nothing about this album when I purchased it (for $0.33.3) on Black Friday, but with a promising cover and an illustrious title like, Reminiscing with the Moms and Dads, the unknown was something certainly well deserving of the nominal asking price. Still sealed, this 43-year-old virgin gets her first spin tonight. I’m both apprehensive, and completely terrified of the results…
It’s Thursday, which means, it’s hot-damn time for Exotica. Martin Denny and his space-age, late 50s collection of easy listening goodness comes at the perfect, unexpected, stress-relieving moment. The looming stress cloud is swiftly approaching, so let’s ease into flu season with some well earned, Exotica.
This 1964 Kapp Records release of Satchmo’s Hello, Dolly! was more of a happenstance release, capitalizing on the Kapp Records success of Louis’ #1 hit single of the same name. Some sources say that Armstrong’s Hello, Dolly! knocked The Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love from the number one spot, but my sources may be inaccurate. 12 tracks of unmistakable Louis Armstrong trumpet bliss, Hello, Dolly! features Dixieland jazz renditions of Blueberry Hill, Jeepers Creepers, and A Kiss to Build a Dream On. Some days call for the subtle, honest brilliance of Louis Armstrong, and today is one of those days.
Let me first say, Happy Halloween, everyone! Second, let’s trick our treats with 1978’s blue vinyl comp, 1967 – 1970. It’s hard to believe this double LP is 37 years old already, but this late era Beatles comp is essential listening material, regardless of the holiday (also available is the early-era sibling, red vinyl version).
Treading thin ice here, so as not to bite the hand that feeds, or some type idiom that some deem appropriate here, but the first day of Los Angeles’ record fair dubbed, Wax The Los Angeles Record Fair, was, although wholeheartedly welcomed (obviously), a severe letdown. Yeah, well, what the shit could you have done better, you POS nobody, nothing head! Fair enough, I’d respond. Crosley Records, for one, would have no presence at said event whatsoever. As far as I’m concerned, and usability backs me up, anything sold at Urban Outfitters need not exist within the meticulous and clinically obsessed lives of record collectors, and anywhere they would frequent. I made a point to walk past that (Crosley) booth with a fierce and cool stride not seen in the great county of Los Angeles (Ventura County, well, that’s a horse of another color, altogether). $1200 priced Elvis Presley 45s baking in the Los Angeles heat, bubbling in the shadows of the (outdated) Capitol Records building, to me, does not make any lick of sense. As an aside, where the organization (WAX) and vendor shirt prices are fixed at an already outrageous $20, why, Capitol Records of Los Angeles, CA, are you charging an astronomical $27 for your damn logo on a solid color? The take away from this event was, at least for me: STEAL YOUR MUSIC! Thanks, but you’re fooling no one. If you’re not going to do it right, then please God, almighty… DON’T DO IT AT ALL!
Comp albums by the world’s most popular musical act are nothing new, exciting, and / or controversial, but double, colored LPs are a horse of a different color. While going to school up in Ventura, CA some years back, a record store, whose name I cannot recall, went out of business and was celebrating with a storewide ½ off sale. Among some German Simon & Garfunkel, clear vinyl Drive Like Jehu, original pressings of Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, I acquired both this, 1978’s 1962 – 1966, and the blue vinyl sibling, 1967 – 1970 for $10 each. They had a Spinal Tap picture disc displayed on the wall… I wish I’d gotten that guy too. Anyway, there is a time and place for compilation albums. I’ve yet to find that hour and location, but I’m sure they exist.
Get in, get out, not unlike the first release from Goth rock kingpins, Bauhaus. With only three tracks, including a demo for Dark Entries, this 1979 Small Wonder Records release, appropriately titled Bela Lugosi’s Dead, is essential Saturday listening material for those t-shirt and jeans punk rockers looking for something with a little more agony. Listen with caution, friends, but listen often.
I’ve been quietly waiting something close to 13 years to obtain this album. I’d held it in my hands a few times in the $40 – $50 range, but tended to fall back on the pieced together mp3 version instead of pulling the high number trigger. I now know why I’ve not been able to find the Slayer records at brick and mortars for like, ever (Reign in Blood, South of Heaven). It is, obviously, because I needed to have already been a lucrative owner of the first “heavy metal” album, as a means of respect and homage to the genre.
This album about jumped out at me today while at the Santa Monica BnM (you can figure it out), and I paid it nearly no mind other than to include it into my stack of Dead Man’s Bones and Bauhaus LPs (Bela Lugosi’s Dead and Mask), outside the obvious, “yes, this one is a no-brainer” type spiel. Long, heartfelt story short, I’d held out for a reason, for you see, this is a first mono, US pressing of 1968’s Vincebus Eruptum, and I squared it for only $11. Checkout the current market rate for this historical goldmine. Heavy metal was, in the minds of many, born with this album, and I just brought her home. Today was a good day.
I’ve been holding out for the 2012 remastered mono / stereo reissue of The Kink’s 1967 masterpiece, Something Else by the Kinks, but had to pull the trigger on this original US stereo pressing when faced with the decision. Chapter two in the “perfect album string” that started with 1966’s Face to Face and ended with 1971’s Muswell Hillbillies (6 albums in total), Something Else… is home to the following flawless cuts: Harry Rag, Waterloo Sunset, Death of a Clown (a Dave track), David Watts, and Two Sisters. Like with all early, middle, and late Kinks releases, Something Else… is nothing short of essential listening material. Ray Davies = genius… that is all.
With improvements to day job facilities comes improvements in day job workstations. I am, along with my team, very excited to now have a turntable in the office. The Numark PT-01 with iHome speaker have been in full swing since our team (temporarily) moved into a new facility. We’ve been spinning The Sun Ra Arkestra, The Kinks (obviously, and often), Chicago, Dylan, Madonna, Tim Hardin, Cibo Matto, Duran Duran, Devo, Santogold, Ratatat, The Police, and of course, Belle & Sebastian featured here. File under “simple pleasures of spinning vinyl on the go.”
1978 was a great year for a lot of great reasons, leading that list is, of course, the Ralph Bakshi directed animated feature, The Lord of the Rings. Number 2 on said list would have to be Leonard Rosenman’s soundtrack to the film. This double LP album filled with fantastical circumstances of Magical proportions is a personal favorite among my circle (of two). Theme from Lord of the Rings (track one, side one) is played, proclaiming the victorious card player as the overlord supreme commander after a labored, yet smashing day filled with mana, spell-casting, and general adolescent buffoonery. This soundtrack is essential for a victorious lap following heated social battles, and for shaming the battered loser, all in one commanding spin. Recommended.
Let us, on the 13th day of August in the year of our Lord, 2015, give homage and respect to Mr. Henry Mancini and his unforgettable and ravishing work on the 1963 film, Charade. Often touted as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made” (by uncredited sources), Charade is a forceful little tart of a film with just the proper amount of Cary Grant schtick spliced with just the right amount of 1963 Technicolor Audrey Hepburn. It’s great for a nonchalant Thursday viewing, but doesn’t measure up to any of the Sunday Hitchcock classics. None of this, however, in any way takes away from the overpowering Henry Mancini brilliance. Good day.