Frankie Goes to Big Kahuna Burger

Does anyone remember Back to the Beach? That cheese ball “comedy” from 1987? Anyone? Anyone?! Bueller? Siskel and Ebert (remember them?) gave it “two thumbs up,” so you had to have heard of it. Still no? Well, no worries. Once the urge strikes you, and believe me, it certainly will, you’ll be digging back through early Big Kahuna, er, I mean, Frankie Avalon releases. Presented here is Frankie’s fifth studio album, 1961’s …And Now About Mr. Avalon. Wax down your board, grab your main squeeze, and settle in for some damn early Frankie Avalon, courtesy of Chancellor Records Inc.

U.S.S.A

I saw this short-lived supergroup at the Knitting Factory (RIP) in Hollywood back in “the day.” Surprisingly, I was one of only a handful of people in attendance (including a leather jacket-yielding Bill Rieflin). Seeing a post-Ministry Paul Barker play with Tomahawk and The Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison in what appeared to be little more than a gig practice was mind-blowing. An intimate experience such as this was 1) not expected, and 2) one that I’ll never have the pleasure of witnessing again. Unfortunately, the band only released the one studio album (in compact disc form only, no less) with 2007’s The Spoils on Fuzz Records. It’s worth seeking out, if you’re into the whole aggressive, industrial-alt-rock thing, which if you aren’t, it stands to reason that you should be questioning everything you ever thought you knew.

Too BAD to Be True

Aside from the instantly recognizable British crooning, Big Audio Dynamite resembles very little of the apocalyptic force brought on by The Clash, you know, lead vocalist Mick Jones’ other musical venture. B.A.D., for those of you in a hurry, offers an onslaught of politically motivated clouds of dance-reggae-funk that either completely misses the mark, or is so unequivocally mid-80’s, that time hasn’t necessarily been so kind to its intentions. This is not, in any way to suggest that B.A.D. (in a hurry, here) doesn’t warrant your dedicated attention, it’s just that anything compared to The Clash carries with it a very high watermark. Think Cut the Crap with more samples and much more melody. Presented here is their first album, 1985’s This is Big Audio Dynamite on Columbia Records.

Frequent Flyers

Hoarders are second cousins to collectors, and I jump rope on either side of this definitive and dividing line. Case-in-point, this disheveled, and thought-discarded flyer for The Observatory in Santa Ana from a few years ago (assuming we’re now calling 2015 a few years ago). I attended exactly none of these shows, though Smut Peddlers would have been a good time, and if my memory serves me right (doubt it), I acquired this flier from a Rocket from the Crypt / Mariachi El Bronx episode. Not entirely sure why I kept it, but let me tell you, upon its inevitable rediscovery, I haven’t, and will not throw it away…

Factory Showroom

1996 They Might Be Giants is some of my favorite They Might Be Giants. Not solely based off the studio album released that year, Factory Showroom featured here, but rather because this was arguably the height of my TMBG listening days, and simply put, I ingested all that I could handle. Flood was the obvious opener, my first exposure a few years prior, followed by ’94’s John Henry, then a slight detour to 86’s self titled and 92’s Apollo 18, then finally pausing on 96’s Factory Showroom. This was a massive storm of newly discovered music to consume in a short amount of time (remember, this was before the internet and digital downloads, kids). The following year would bring a game-changing double compact disc comp with, Then: The Early Years, and the rest is both a blur, and history. Sadly, I’d fall out of love with the Giants a short handful of years later, but they’ll always hold the deed to a bit of real estate in my heart.

The Hell We Raise

Raising HellRaising Hell, that was all the rage on the elementary schoolyards back… way back in the day. Oh, how some things never change. If you’ve been living with your head in the ground for the past, oh, 30+ years, and you’re unfamiliar with this commercially successful and monumentally influential hip-hop group, I envy you, because that means you’re ripe to experience this other-worldly concoction of rap and rock for the very first time. That Raising Hell is Run-DMC’s third studio album shouldn’t scare you (come to think of it, why would it?), it should comfort and free you, if only for the fact that this collection of 12 tracks was chosen for preservation by none other than the damn Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry for being, and I quote (thanks, Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress), “The unique trinity of historic, cultural and aesthetic significance reflected in the National Recording Registry each year is an opportunity for reflection on landmark moments, diverse cultures and shared memories—all reflected in our recorded soundscape.” Those kids on the school yards in rural Wisconsin knew their shit, am I right?!

Russell’d to the Ground

This copy of Leon Russell’s debut solo release, 1970’s Leon Russell was a generous gift from one of my wife’s aunts, and for reasons unknown, happened to find its way to the top of the spin pile. Sadly, this is my only exposure to this acclaimed and lucrative songwriter, which upon now, my second spin, has perked my interest into the Grammy award winning artist’s six decade career. This artist’s collaborators include, but are certainly not limited to, The Rolling Stones, Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys, Steve Winwood, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr (the last five who appear on this release.) Heavily driven by Russell’s railroad-like piano, Leon Russell brings with it heartfelt highs (A Song for You), and foot-tappin’, booty-shakin’ lows (I Put a Spell on You). A considerably enjoyable listen, Leon Russell comes highly recommended.

Lose It

This Sub Pop Records 7″ was a Records Store Day exclusive from 2009, the Day’s second year (laughs to himself). Limited to 1500 copies, this translucent red ripper features I Can’t Lose as the A, and Military Madness as the B. After having received this essential piece to the Obits puzzle just last night, the only remaining record to complete the Obits discography is a Spainish-only 7″ release from 2012 featuring Refund b/w Suez Canal (on La Castanya Records). This short-lived garage-punk infusion is a great extended family member to the Rocket from the Crypt dynasty, and should feed the monkey of anyone looking to burn off some steam.

Gang’s Here… All of ‘Em

Once owned on compact disc (ripped if I remember correctly), I was rather pleased when Epitaph Records released a transparent orange vinyl version of the Dropkick Murphy’s second album (and in my option BEST), The Gang’s All Here. 500 copies of this color were released in 2010, some 11 years after the original release, and upon quick digging, there appears to be a red vinyl version limited to 600 pressings. Though they fall under the pop-punk umbrella, the Dropkick Murphy’s were a refreshing, big-band take at the pop-punk soundscape during the late 1990’s, and The Gang’s All Here stuck out like a much-needed and bloody sore thumb. More nostalgia than casual spinning these days, this record still sparks joy. (Yes, we’ve been Marie’d…)

Beer & Adidas

These New Jersey mooches… These Yoohoo-drinking, rooftop toilet-throwing, adolescent-minded seniors of punk are coming to Los Angeles in May… and we just secured tickets (Thanks, Kyle!). I can’t wait to hold an overpriced beer and spit snotty lyrics at top volume in the back of an overcrowded room along with this seminal band, surrounded by like-minded idiots of similar and sophisticated taste. It’s comforting to see these punk elders still arousing the crowd into a much-too-short “East Coast, fuck you!” call and response. (Photo cropped and ripped from my phone and provided by, I suppose, the Bouncing Souls?) Check ’em out.

Waltz Encores

Perhaps, just, perhaps, it’s time for some Mantovani. The “Moulin Rouge” Theme, Lonely Ballerina, or even the rambunctious Greensleeves, yup… Annunzio Paolo Mantovani’s got you covered tighter than cellophane on a PB&J. Waltz Encores was, to the best of my knowledge, released in 1958 on the British favorite, London Records. With 12 tracks in total, whatever time you determine is Mantovani time, Waltz Encores is at your beck and call. Candlelit chandeliers sold separately.

Lyric Sheet to Heaven

Presented here in photo form (and little else) are the complete lyrics to Led Zeppelin’s (severely overplayed, yet historically significant) Stairway to Heaven, by means of the insert from the band’s untitled, 4th studio album, commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV. It’s a quick read, whose melody is, I’m sure, already implanted in your brain. Enjoy.

Post No. 2193 (AKA Happy Sixth Birthday, PG!)

We have a lot to celebrate as The Prudent Groove turns six today, but nothing more important than offering a heartfelt thank you to those of you who have stopped by to say hello. Over the now 2193 posted blurbs of random, mind-numbing amusement, it’s clear, year after year, which post tickles the most fancies: “The 1966 Philco High-Fidelity All-Transistor Stereophonic Radio-Phonograph” with 3,468 total views as of this posting. I’ve gotten some recent requests (mainly for more vintage inserts), I had my original PG Gmail account hacked, and I’ve met a bunch of amazing, like-minded time-wasters along the way. Thank you all for continuing to share in this goofy-ass exploration into a hoarder’s obsession. I can’t predict the coming future of this page, but six years has certainly been a phenomenal ride. Cheers, and happy birthday, Prudent Groove!

Choppy Beats (AKA Slice and a Groove)

This… is a cutting board, and a damn fine one at that! Now, is the Tomato label a play on Apple Records, or an obscure call out to Tomato Records, distributors of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s 1978 contemporary operatic classic, Einstein on the Beach? Either way, dinner prep is always, and instantly much more groovy with a cutting board shaped like a record. (Four out of four stars.)

On Top at The Bottom

We (rather by accident) unearthed this Bottom of the Hill event calendar from March of 2006 today. A trio of us (while vacationing up in SF) ducked in on the 4th to see Minneapolis native, and lyrical monster P.O.S. perform a righteous show with his fellow Doom Tree alums DJ Turbo Nemesis and SIMS. If you aren’t already on this indie hip hop legend’s band wagon, strongly consider it. Smart music for smart people, kids.

Wag the Wog (AKA Egg Wag on Mojo)

Broke out the Walkman today, just to make sure it still works… and it does… perfectly (I know you were concerned). Though my cassette collection is a fraction of what it used to be, as you can see, I held on to the essentials. Presented here is the first EP by the Beastie Boys, Polly Wog Stew (which I’m convinced is a bootleg, but that a topic for another time), and the 1994 compilation, Some Old Bullshit. That is all.

Orange Bed Bugs

We FINALLY acquired the latest Obits album, this orange vinyl version of the Sub Pop released, 2013 album, Bed & Bugs. Nothing beats their first effort, 2009’s I Blame You (as far as I’m concerned), but it’s certainly satisfying to finish this garage rock band’s discography. Straight up, classic, dedicated rock n’ roll music here, kids, and let’s face it, from one of the guys that brought us Pitchfork, Drive Like Jehu, and Hot Snakes, I’m game for anything Mr. Froberg involves himself with, and you should to. (Looks to camera.) Call and order now!

Fun for the Senses

One Nation, under Groove… Presented here is a rather nifty insert to Nation of Ulysses’ second album, Plays Pretty for Baby. Fancy yourself a pair of Star Trek Vulcan Ears, you’re in luck. Surprise Packages go for a cool $1 (circa: who knows?), and the classics like X-Ray Specs and the party favorite, Vibrating Shocker get equal page time with Trick Black Soap (which makes you look like Hitler, apparently), and a Midget Spy Camera (they maybe should have reconsidered the title of that one). Let’s face it. Who in their right mind could turn down an Electronic Lie & Love Detector? It detects love AND lies. Not me, I’ll tell you what (he says in elderly man voice). Lots to explore here while you spin some fascinating DC hardcore. Fun for the eyes, AND the ears. Enjoy.

Exiting Oil

Looking at this record, and this is no disrespect to the Sydney-based alt-rock band, but looking at this record, I get the sudden urge to purge the less than desirable records in the collection. Purchased at Amoeba in Hollywood for $1, I don’t remember ever having listened to this 1987 record. Acquired for the Ralph Steadman-like platter scrawling (both on the cover and the lyric sheet within), Diesel and Dust is very close to making its grand and permanent exit. But of course, we’ll give it a spin first. 🙂