Monday, November 10, 2008

Recent scores

The Beatles - Introducing The Beatles - 1964 Vee Jay Records

As the "most counterfeited record of all time", finding an authentic copy of Vee Jay's Introducing The Beatles has been quite a task. I've picked up a few dozen copies of potential originals, only to be disappointed when finding as little as one reference point on each record to discredited it from being a legit copy. There are currently dozens of websites that focus strictly on authenticating copies of Introducing... that I have done my best to pay attention to. In the past six years I have come across about thirty-five to forty fakes and only two genuine originals. This particular copy is an original Monophonic copy with colorband label. It passes all the authenticity points and is the second real copy in my collection. Hooray!

Found: At a record store in central New Jersey.

The Method Actors - This is it (45) - 1980 Armageddon Records

Athens, Georgia has a solid reputation for their early eighties artsy alternative rock scene (most notably Pylon, R.E.M., Love Tractor, and the new wave dance sensations The B-52's). The Method Actors were a group from that very scene who started out when a couple of creative musician-friends put their ideas together and made some impressively innovative music. This Is It starts off amazingly strong with the A-side track "The Method" and is B/W "Can't Act" and "Bleeding". The songs are faster-paced and exciting, with avant-garde effects that humbly withstood the test of time. There are quirky meandering guitar riffs that take you for a high-anxiety ride while deep, dark floor toms bellow from the background and manic vocals intertwine throughout the mix. A score for certain, and it's getting tons of plays since I dug it up. Unfortunately when I took the time to conduct research on the band's later material (This Is It is their first release), I was not as impressed as I wish i was. Their first record and first song still stand out most strongly to me.

Found: In a crate of records in my apartment that was initially thought to be 100% trashed records.

"The music of psychedelic despair." - Tip, Berlin

The Decorators - Test Pressing

A manchester post-punk group who lean more towards a "new wave" sound versus a punk sound (considering the distinctive presence of clean saxophones and bright keys), The Decorators sound like a young Richard and Tim Butler production. I had not heard of the band when picking up this test pressing, but the matrix info and the band name (written on both labels in blue pen) hinted at a sound I essentially predicted. The tracks are solid, but I generally find myself wishing the existence of the horns away.

Found: Other Music, NYC.

The Bigtime Syndrome - (in one eye and out the other) - 1987 Bigtime Records (America) Inc.

I saw the name "Bigtime" in the title of this record and knew I needed to scoop this one up. When I checked out the track listing, it was an instant sale. A slow version of Mirror People by Love and Rockets starts the compilation off followed by a remix of Redd Kross's Play My Song. That's just the beginning. The Dream Syndicate, The Jazz Butcher Conspiracy, Exploding White Mice, Love Tractor, Alex Chilton and Dumptruck were some more selling points. This record is 80% genius and 20% 80's fluff. I'm super stoked to have grabbed this up and for a mere $2.99 I think it's safe to say it was worth it.

Found: The Princeton Record Exchange, Princeton, NJ.

Droogs - stone cold world -1984 Plug N Socket Records

One of the lesser talked about participants in the L.A. Paisley rock movement of the mid eighties,Droogs sound like they could be a collaboration between members of the Three O'Clock and The Last. Super tight rock, melodic but quick to the point and pretty badass. There are flowery psychedelic, if we slowed down any more you might think Lou Reed helped us with this part parts as well as hard clean blasts that make me wish I was up front for one of their shows with a whiskey in hand. They also do a pretty fantastic live cover of "He's Waitin'" by The Sonics.

Found: My friend's mother scored this (and others) at an auction at a VFW in Neptune, NJ.

Marginal Man - Double Image - "1985" Double A Records

Super rare import/bootleg version of their second release. Marginal Man’s Double Image was original released on Enigma offshoot Gasatanka in 1985, but a German label who called themselves Double A Records decided to illegitimately repress the record some time in the mid – late 90’s. Once the band caught wind of this, they did a repress of the album on CD with updated liner notes and new artwork. My personal opinion is that they should have stuck with the original cover design of the Gasatanka version, because the artwork would turn a lot of people away from an amazing piece of D.C. mid 80’s mid-tempo melodic punk. What a phenomenal album.

Found: Double Decker Records Allentown, PA.

Close Lobsters - Foxheads Stalk This Land - 1986/87 Enigma/Fire

A friend of mine recently found some music by these guys, so when Close Lobsters appeared in ROCK C at a record store I visited this past weekend, the album nearly jumped into my hands. I went into listening to them with a bit of a biased opinion, but after hearing the praise my friend gave them, I really wanted to sit back and hear them for myself. When I threw the record on, my first thought was as follows: "These guys would have played THEE perfect set with a band like The Jesus and Mary Chain". A bit to my surprise, I found out later that they had in fact supported The Jesus and Mary Chain on a 1986 tour. Not bad dude. Something about their clean distinct sound would have given fans the perfect, breathable set before experiencing TJAMC. Close Lobsters are Scottish indie pop that sound like The Stone Roses if they laid off the chorus and distortion and had Steve Kilbey of The Church do some (more) masterfully melodic vocals for them. Poppy and hooky, It's quite great stuff. "Feel-good contemplating feeling bad".

Generation Records, NYC.

Lone Ranger - Dee Jay Daddy - 1984 Techniques

Pretty interesting early 80’s reggae dub mixed by Sogie and Maxie in the ever so famous Channel 1 Studios. Sounds like early hip hop vocals over some classic hooky reggae jams. Very energetic feel-good stuff. This record was pressed and distro’d in Kingston, Jamaica.

Found: At a record store in central New Jersey.

Moving Targets - Burning in Water - 1986 Taang

Mid 80’s post hardcore at it’s finest. A melodic Boston punk sound for fans of Mission of Burma, Hüsker Dü, and Gray Matter. From the label who brought us Mighty Mighty Bosstones and The Lemonheads. Moving Target’s debut album is very ahead of its time, and a very solid listen.

Found: At a record store in Eastern Pennsylvania.

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