World

Hats off to Tomato, the London-based art collective, for not only the otherworldly cover design to Underworld’s dubnobasswithmyheadman, but also the four-sided insert sleeves. dubnobasswithmyheadman is certainly a work of art, judging by the progressive house music alone, but the overall experience is exemplified by this gorgeous artwork. dubnobasswithmyheadman is, without question, an absolute must-have.

Stampede

Think Southern Rock bluesiness of Brothers and Sisters (The Allman Brothers Band) coupled with that classic masterpiece of imaginative longing for a Southern-American lifestyle not experienced (Muswell Hillbillies by The Kinks), and you sort of get the gist of Stampede by The Doobie Brothers. The Doobies have (seemingly) always showcased the more up-beat, driving side of classic rock (like many, many others), while maintaining a funk not expected from a handful of country-based good ol’ boys. Stampede is undeniable Doobies… heartfelt lyrics, unquestionable harmonies, stellar electric guitar, and it also happens to be the band’s last album with Tom Johnston on lead vocals. He would later be replaced by Michael McDonald on 1976’s Takin’ It to the Streets. However you break it down, Stampede is a worthy spin.

Hearty Country Style

Leave it to good ol’ boy Roy Clark to team up with Pringle’s (circa: 1978) to righteously promote “Hearty Country Style” flavored tube-chips on the back of his 11-track classic, Roy Clark Sings Country Style. Remember back in June when I inquired about what other prominent country legend was associated with a delicious, rural delicacy? Well, Mr. Clark, I stand corrected.

Midnight in 1962

This beautifully designed, mid-century insert (from 1962) accompanied Harry Belafonte’s The Midnight Special album, and could be used (with $2) to redeem The Midnight Special Songbook. This special offer provided fans and purchasers of this album with information on where to send their $2 (Belafonte Enterprises, Inc.), and boasts about the amazing advantages of owning this great songbook: “Now you can sing… play… dance to these songs at parties, at informal gatherings, in the privacy of your own home.” So what’s stopping you? Put down that Two Buck Chuck (which is now no longer two bucks) and take advantage of this exclusive offer!

Banned

Though they’re currently banned from playing any major venue in the United States, NOFX was (and still pretty much is) a big event, especially at the (now defunct) Hollywood House of Blues. Can’t remember which date I attended, but I had to go solo for this one (2007). Bonus points for the inclusion of Pennywise on the same flyer.

Greatest

Though not usually a fan of Greatest Hits albums (I only own about 50 of them), decently priced Yardbirds albums are strictly difficult to come by, even those in almost unplayable condition. So, though I do own a few additional Yardbirds records, this one, their Greatest Hits from 1967, was for years my only taste of this (ever revolving) all-star band. Just for shits I priced 1964’s Five Live Yardbirds (the band’s debut), and VG+ copies are fetching for over $200. Kudos to those in possession of that gem.

Care

Well, a very, very bad mistake can now be put to rest, thanks to my wife (thank you!). You see, I’d stupidly passed up a chance to acquire the limited, aqua blue double vinyl release of Old 97’s classic, Too Far to Care. Little did I know that the next opportunity, and the only other opportunity (for nearly 5 years) would price this album 3x – 4x higher than that copy I’d originally put back on the shelf (for shame!). Missed opportunities die a slow and painful death in the life of a record collector, as you well know, so I’m grateful to finally put this one into the ground.

Warped

Ok, so yesterday was showcasing an event from 2000, so let’s wiggle ourselves up just a year for the 2001 Vans Warped Tour. Featured (in Milwaukee) at this event were The Ataris, Pinhead, Guttermouth, The Vandals, The Misfits, Kool Keith (yes, THAT Kool Keith), Hank Williams III, Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies, AFI, 311, and of course, no early 2000’s riot event is complete without Less Than Jake. It was a-hell-of-a-lot-of-fun, as you can imagine, and I’m happy to have held on to this little piece of personal, entertainment history.

Peace

When the Blue Meanies are headlining over Alkaline Trio, you know you’re in the early 2000’s. Thanks to Mike Park (owner and creator of Asian Man records, and saxophone player for Skankin’ Pickle) for organizing this awareness show “promoting positive youth development through engagement in the arts and social change.” The foundation appears to be still going strong, and you can check out more about them here.

Two, Four, Two

Front 242… a (long-lived) obsession back in my late 20’s. This particular show at the Avalon in Hollywood featured a sick visual accompaniment to this legendary Belgium band’s aggressive EBM soundtrack. I actually spoke with the videographer after the show and expressed my esteemed gratitude for his / their work. This, the Catch the Men tour would be to promote the band’s last studio album. They’ve since released several other live albums, but this show was definitely one for the ages. I’ve been meaning to see them ever since…

Metro

Stumbled across a slew of gig flyers, randomly sprinkled throughout various storage boxes the other day. I attended the Rocket from the Crypt / Sahara Hotnights show at Chicago’s Metro back in 2001, I think? We made the trek from Milwaukee and the show was not a disappointment. Interesting to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and … Trail of Dead on this same flyer, both bands I would come to admire AFTER acquiring this little memento. Anyway, more flyers to come!

Swing Hits

The latest acquisition to the family library is this swingin’, 6-LP Reader’s Digest box set, Swing Hits. Featuring Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and of course, Glenn Miller, this amazing gift was a thoughtful and welcoming gesture from the in-laws, and was actually owned by my wife’s grandfather. Many thanks for this great gift set! Rest assured, she’ll be well taken care of. Here’s to a swingin’ weekend, kids!

Still Bill

Still Bill is the second studio album by soul legend William Harrison Withers Jr., and was released in 1972 on Sussex Records. Featuring the classic, Lean on Me, Still Bill is essential Bill Withers material. Also included is the classic Use Me, and Who Is He (And What Is He to You?) which was featured on the soundtrack to Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 classic, Jackie Brown. This copy has certainly seen better days, but was a no-brainer for $1 at Goodwill. If you don’t already own this classic album, check it out.

Goes… Latin

So, as it turns out, the lesser-known Hugo Winterhalter was an arranger for such household names as Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie back in the 1930s before branching out into his own easy listening jazz career. This 1959 album, Hugo Winterhalter Goes… Latin features 12 tracks of Latin fury, and owns classic, mid-century cover art. With RCA Victor’s Living Stereo, you’re sure to experience Isabel’s Dream and Ectasy Tango in high quality fidelity.