Thursday, November 10, 2011

Richard Bone

"Alien Girl"

1981 NYC minimal synth pop

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I remember when Robert Smith was all up in arms over the likeness infringement of his character when the Edward Scissorhands movie came out in 1990. Here's a cover from a 1987 Slovenly album that's a little proto-Ed Scissorhands if you ask me. Looking further, and with some help from my girlfriend, it turns out that everyone actually loves the same man from the same classic German tale known as DR. STRUWWELPETER

Saturday, October 22, 2011

A little flier I made for the next dollar sale at the shop.


Saturday, October 15, 2011

"Happy?" pills bottle used as a promotion for the 1987 LP Happy? by Public Image Limited. Apparently the bottles included nothing more than Vitamin C pills.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

King Karol NYC record chain logo from 1971.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

A little gem I bought off of a friend this week. This 1981 first pressing on Hoboken Records (yes, of Hoboken, NJ) is just drooling with talent and creativity. The band is a trio, with quirky guitar, funky bass, and a drum machine that often sounds like a human on a drum kit. Really fun, sometimes atmospheric, and all around interesting. A reissue is (or was) available on Drag City Records and if you can get your hands on one, it's highly recommended. This track is called "Chicken 80".

Thursday, September 22, 2011

124 Church St | New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | 732. 545.7265

What a killer logo for a 70's disco label that's not-so-killer.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thanks to Steph Cochrane for making me aware of this gem out in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I wonder if I'll ponder life's mysteries while drinking a cup there the same way I do when Lift Your Skinny Fists... is busy jolting my soul.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Pegboy "Superstar" Chicago 1991 Tour.

Notes by owner:

What I am about to tell is a rather strange story. I love garage sales, and the favorite thing I like about them is the weird stuff you find. I was out on one of my weekend garage sale expeditions somewhere in the middle of the rural Pacific Northwest when I came across a hand made "Garage Sale" sign that said "Going out of Punk" sale.

After driving 10 minutes up a gravel road to the top of a mountain (past acres of strewn with discarded busses, motor homes, airplanes etc. to a dilapidated cabin. Siting on a porch was giant bulbous looking fellow who not only looked like he could have been in Poison Idea, but that he had eaten the other members of the band as well.

To make a long story short (and I swear to god this is all true,) this fellow turns out to have been a big mucky muck in the the 80's Hardcore Scene. He mentioned some band that he had been in (can't remember the name though,) said that some famous 70's Punk Rocker (was it Billy Idol?) produced their record. Anyway, after spending the last 10 years on some type of "getting back to nature" kick he told me that he was selling his property and moving to France to live on an Ashram. He told me that he had sold most of his collectable stuff on ebay but had a box of videos that I might be interested in.

Turns out during the 90's this fellow wanted to be "Film Maker," so he went around taping bands. One of the few finished things he made was a promotional video for the Band "Pegboy". He said it was shot during a string of dates they did in 1991 when they opened up for Social Distortion for a nationwide tour. When I asked if the band had liked it, he only laughed a wheezy guffaw, then gave me a sad look and asked me if I would like to buy the box of videos for $1.

Imagine my shock when I watched what appeared to be an MTV production quality video coming out of my T.V. Holy Molly I thought this is an invaluable piece of Punk Rock History that must be seen by everyone.

That is why I have decided to post this video in hopes that all of the Fans of Pegboy can now see a piece of Band History that was not only lost but not even known to existed.

But what of the fat genius that directed this video. I did go back and try to find him, but when I went back to the cabin they were already tearing it down and there was a sign "Coming Soon Fancy Expensive Houses that you could never afford."

Monday, September 12, 2011

I drove down to Kensington with my friend Matt to respond to a call about a record collection. We found parking and eventually found the woman's house. It only took a few seconds to realize what type of situation we were about to get ourselves into, but we pushed forward. The house was packed to the ceiling with garbage - some in bags, and some just strewn about the place.

We wrestled with an old exercise bike, were annoyed by multiple pesky pets, and inhaled much of the three inch grey dust that covered most of the stuff near the records. When all was said and done, we walked away with 125 decent LPs including the one pictured.

Tomorrow were one of England's first psych bands with a couple singles from as early as 1967. This s/t debut LP was released in 1968 on EMI/Parlophone. It's also interesting that Tomorrow was the first band to record with John Peel for one of his infamous Peel Sessions.

The record sounds exactly how you think it would.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pricing up a massive amount of quality jazz at BLACK GOLD RECORDS Check it out...if that's your thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Smiths 90's Press Video & TV Advertisement

(Above: The Smiths lost press video and Below: 1995 Ad for The Smiths Singles release). Thanks James D for this one!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Bob & Gene

It's Not What You Know (It's Who You Know)

Ever-Soul ES-104/Daptone Dap-1057

A recently unearthed treasure from Buffalo, NY circa late 1960's / early 1970's. Bob and Gene were young, broke, and full of soul…and all during a time of great financial and racial turmoil. It's Not What You Know…contains two solid three minute plus tracks of pure heartfelt melody.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Conor Clark passed away last night. He was a guitarist in one of the most incredible bands to come out of New Brunswick, NJ in the past decade or so. The band was called Give Me Danger and they were phenomenal, both recorded and live. Their singer Andy Brennan and I have been close friends for many years and I, as well as many other fans have been harassing him to round the guys up to reunite. It's never as easy as it sounds and sadly a reunion at this point would be missing a crucial element. I didn't know Conor well, but he ran in circles with a lot of people that I grew into my twenties with. Rest in Peace and respect to you and all affected by this loss.

Thank you Devildance Records for permission to post this track.

Gibby Haynes

Untitled [2006]

Acrylic on watercolor paper with watercolor and pen. I purchased this from the Jonathan Levine gallery in 2006 and it's time to let it have a new home. Gibby is not only known for being the eclectic and energetic front man of Texas psychedelic noise punk group, Butthole Surfers, but he is also an artist and current resident of Brooklyn, NY. The work is in four squares, each measuring approximately 11"x 11". I'm currently accepting fair offers for this piece.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Kidds

To The Top

Leisure Records [1984]

This record sounds pretty close to how it looks. It's a super obscure independently released LP from a group of Long Islanders who were very aware of the sound of popular rock in the early to mid eighties. Some songs sound like a slowed down Benjamin Orr Cars track while others rock like a one hit wonder that you just somehow missed out on. It's the soundtrack to that date to the roller rink…after-hours Camaro makeout session included.

Listen to It Ain't Worth (All The Pain)

Saturday, August 6, 2011


An Augury

self-released [2011]

I'm a sucker for nostalgia yet currently somewhat self-aware of my issues with it, however, I've accepted nostalgia as a yearning for the true pure love I've felt in the past and not a cheap exaggerated source of emotionally-driven memories. With that said, I can tell you that Sermons tap into a part of my brain that flashes me to a time in the 90's where San Deigo screamo was one of the most important things to me. Although influences for this style were also scattered across the states at that time, something evil and real was coming out of Southern California that no one else could touch. Well, maybe until now.

Bands like Swing Kids, Mohinder, and later The Locust and Camera Obscura (no not the Scottish indie-pop late bloomers) set a tone that awoke a monster in the decade to follow. A horrible onslaught of make up wearing tightpantsers stole the formula, ruined the formula (isn't this how it always goes), and made me and many others not look back. Now that the public has mostly been made aware of the sold out sounds of the 00's and its lip ring rockers, recovery and revitalization can finally commence.

Sermons not only touch on that memorable sound of the abrasive 90's, but they add a new relevant flavor using desirable elements both past and present. They commendably pass right over the past fifteen years and land in present time with something we all hoped we 'd someday hear. Imagine a frantic Jeffrey Lee Pierce on vocals with a supporting group who sound influenced by early Ink and Dagger and even more recently influenced by the works by Nick Cave and Grinderman. The record is hardcore, but it's not necessarily a hardcore record. It's oddly melodic, but maybe that's just the hellishly eerie keys or the Peter Hook influenced bass playing. Regardless, these Jersey/Philly men are truly onto something.

Listen to POSEIDEON'S TEARS by Sermons

Friday, August 5, 2011



DFA/Revolver [2011]

In the early years of the Athens, Georgia art/dace/proto-indie/"we invented college rock" weirdness scene, then emerged what we now know as household music natives such as the obvious top two: R.E.M. and the B-52's. What people often forget or never had the chance to learn or experience was the fast moving third place local act who called themselves "Pylon".

Pylon were the states' answer to the turn of the eighties dance punk / new wave sounds of the U.K. à la groups such as Gang of Four or Au Pairs. Flash forward thirty years to the indie underground in America, introduce a cover by Atlanta's Deerhunter and another track by NYC music critic Sash Frere-Jones a.k.a "Calvinist", and you have the ingredients to a really hip discussion on relevant and skillful alternative rock. Both tracks are satisfactory in production and sonically pleasing in execution.

Deerhunter's Bradford Cox may have only been a twinkle in his mother's eye when Pylon released their debut single "Cool" almost exactly two years before his birth, but Cox's influence is evident in his music, which, most likely is a result of growing up in the very town that spawned Pylon. His take on "Cool" isn't too far off from the original, or at least his comfort and ease in relaying the impression that the song had on him isn't too far off.

"Calvinist", with the help of Sleigh Bell's Alexis Krauss, chose the track "Yo-Yo" which appeared over three years later than "Cool" on Pylon's 1983 LP Chomp More. Pylon was picking up speed at this point (but unfortunately heading towards a lack-luster career outro. The Calvinist version has a more modern minimalist indie dance feel to it. The vocals, like the vocals on the original track stand out as very strong and listenable.

My only complaints about this release are as follows: 1) I wish this was available as a 12" (and I'm sure I'm speaking on part of many people with that), and 2) I wish this single was more affordable (but the green-eyed industry is clearly to blame for that one, not the groups).

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One of the many piles of goodies found at The Leo & Xero Media Warehouse.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Liquor Store
Yeah Buddy
Almost Ready Records [2011]

This record is big, inside and out. If you aren't like both random people who walked into my shop while this was playing, saw the cover, and made comments about the artwork reflecting absolutely nothing about the actual sound of the record, then maybe you'll get it...and I hope you do. I think it all works perfectly together.

Liquor Store and its inclusions are made in New Jersey, so expect to hear some attitude and occasional rawness when throwing both discs of Yeah Buddy on your platter (because after listening to one, you will dig in and need to hear the other). It's back-to-back explosions of melodic punk that'll keep you moving the whole way through. It's '77 UK punk that transcends into early 80's new wave. It's a collection of KBD punk singles you found in box at a suburban thrift. It's The Spits meets No Bunny covering unreleased Marked Men demos. It's a lot of great things. And if Liquor Store isn't the next big thing...I'm packing my bags and giving up on punk rock once and for all.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Records That Don't Rock

I don't know how to pronounce the name of this group and in all honesty, I don't even care to. This 1989 product of late Cold War-era Russia is about six years behind the run-of-the-mill garbage that America and the UK was already embarrassed about spitting out. The songs have about five seconds each of progressive potential, and then it's all down hill. Imagine all the painful stereotypes about eighties music wrapped into one album. Then, give 1987 a ring, page David Lee Roth from his cocaine powered yacht, inform him that all the members of A-Ha are pregnant with his children, and you will have the perfect concept for this group's album art and image.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hide Yer Eyes LP
Unofficial [2011]

I've learned my lesson with unofficial LPs and DVDs in terms of sound quality expectations. More specifically, I've learn to be weary of anything unofficial concerning shoegaze music (that My Bloody Valentine DVD I bought a few years back for $20 is collecting dust since giving me one of the most memorable headaches in my more semi-current music sampling history). With the recent onslaught of decent-sounding 80's and 90's indie and goth bootlegs (The Cure, Siouxsie, The Smiths and more), I was more than tempted to check out the Slowdive Hide Yer Eyes release and I can report with confidence that I am pleased with what I heard.

Hide Yer Eyes isn't a live recording, but rather an unreleased studio version of I Saw The Sun, a record that was planned for release sometime before their 1992 LP Souvlaki. The recording itself seems to be dubbed from a few generations so it had noticeable imperfections in sound quality (from volume variations to clipping and so on) but it's not enough to distract from wholly listening enjoyment.

The tracks included on the LP are: "Bleed", "Sleep", "Silver Screen", "Dagger", "Joy", "Hide Yer Eyes", "Ending", "Richard", and "I Saw The Sun". The cover is a two color screen on cardboard, and the LP labels themselves are marked with track listings (thank goodness, who ever does this on unreleased LPs anymore?)

I wouldn't recommend this record to a curious non-fan of Slowdive, but for the Creation Records catalog hoarder - this one's a must.

Listen to the track "Ending" HERE.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Wallace Laboratories of Cranbury, New Jersey brought us this 1964 oddity. This one sided 12" Lp features a "Luncheon Address at a symposium on Anxiety and a Decade of Tranquilizer Therapy" that was hosted at a New York Hilton Hotel on April 1st, 1964. A board of medical doctors can be heard discussing discoveries, hypothesis, and thoughts on the future of treating anxiety and depression by way of said tranquilizers.

"…a fleece-like fog of anxiety has enveloped a large segment of our population. To meet this condition, the last decade has witnessed a pharmacologic resolution. There has been a frontal attack on mental illness with a group of compounds of diverse chemical structure." - John C. Krantz Jr., Ph.D.

The discoveries seem to touch on minor tranquilizers of the time, such as Librium and Valium. These chemicals seemed to allow for ambulatory treatment, which meant patients could live his or her life normally while attacking mental illness. Although much of the research and findings of that time are now viewed as rudimentary and even archaic, it still beats a lobotomy.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Speedies: Five teenagers from Brooklyn, New York around the start of the 1980's convincing the area that UK New Wave and US Power Pop could collide to make something catchy and new. Today, only minimal attention for the group exists…oh yeah… and this video. Check out the Twin Towers in all their glory (R.I.P.)

The 45 is on Golden Disc Records [1979] and is b/w "No Substitute".
Fact: Led Zeppelin declined an invitation to perform at Woodstock for a higher paying gig at Convention Hall in Asbury Park, NJ. haha

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Adventures in Negro History

[1963] Pepsi-Cola Records HRP-101

Although the secondary market suggests very little interest exists for this particular record, I am completely intrigued by it. I found this at a local thrift shop in Fort Greene, Brooklyn for a buck and couldn't pass it up. If not for the nostalgic value of the spoken word content, or the Kathe Kollwitz style charcoal cover art, the plan and simple fact that the center label is a vintage Pepsi logo made my one dollar gamble a surefire bet.

(Below) The Smiths and Sandie Shaw in an odd, unforgettable moment.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Dragon Music

I don't know much about what was going on in Belgium at the close of 1976, but I do know that an extremely unique sounding progressive psychedelic group who went by the name "Dragon" was finishing up their first self-titled album.

The seventies was a fantastic decade for prog rock, the early seventies being a notable time for some epic experimentation and creativity. Enough time had passed for groups to naturally follow the musicians of the U.K.'s lead and continuously top one another with each release. Whether Dragon's first LP is a contender in said race is debatable especially since they lean on the more psychedelic/fantasy side of the genre. Not to mention, King Crimson, Yes, and Soft Machine (to name a few) had already spent up to a decade perfecting their obsessive renditions of skillful progressive rock and by 1976 most prog around the world was already falling into the doomed clutches of the sappy sounds that the next (eighties) decade would bring. Even closer to home, Irish Coffee had a memorable progressive record in Belgium five years earlier than Dragon, in 1971 with Same. With that said, Dragon had some time to be heavily influenced. Regardless of what slot in time Dragon fit into, they did something interesting that seems to have held up since.

The album contains all the ingredients for an epic prog record: guitar, bass, drums, Hammond organ, Mellotron, and some vocals that seem a little too fitting.

The record was originally released on Acorn Records [1500 copies] and was reissued on Golden Pavilion Records [500 copies] last year but has since sold out.

Here's the opening track "Introduction (Insects)".

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Get Charmed - Snake Oil's S/T EP Reviewed

The phrase "snake oil" has come up a few times in conversation at the record shop lately. The term itself has quite a history, most notably by skeptics responding to the dubious claims of actual snake oil that was bottled generations ago in China to treat joint pain. At the shop, the context of the term has related to the audiophile world's vast array of high end stereo accessory upgrades including but not limited to: Interconnect cables, turntable styli, and hardware. Stumbling upon a record with the only printed text on it reading "Snake Oil", intrigued me enough to find out if the group had a legitimate thing going for it.

The Snake Oil layout is minimal and quite satisfying for some reason. A simple five-color rendition of a setting sun on a desert background can be found on the front cover, and a negative (featuring a white moon in place of the sun) can be found on the back. Inside,the black vinyl's center labels feature simply a blank yellow circle or blank white circle - the colors both corresponding to the front/back or side 1/side 2 respectively.

I decided to try this record out on my newly configured stereo set up (which I hesitate to describe in an effort to avoid a lengthy tangent) and I was pretty pleased with what I heard. Snake Oil continued their minimalist efforts by quickly revealing themselves to me as a psychedelic instrumental group. Although some of the tracks seem to become a bit meandering at times, the songs collectively entertained me and kept my attention for the entire album. The group has a new (and sometimes surfy) psychedelic feel, like Tristeza's A Colores, but a classically influenced Krautrock energy a la Xhol Caravan or Amon Düül. I'd recommend Snake Oil to any willing psychedelic music listener, but I can't guarantee it'll work for you.

Buy it HERE

Monday, June 27, 2011

Archers of Loaf - Webster Hall N.Y. 06.26.11

My girlfriend and I made it out to the Archers of Loaf show at Webster Hall last night. We met up with a few friends and watched from the balcony, stage left. The show was definitely a success, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was the biggest turn out they've ever had as a band (less a few late nineties festivals I'm sure I'm forgetting). Regardless, when a band takes pictures of the crowd they are playing in front of it's generally a clear indication of a "big deal" and if you were out at the show last night you'd have a relatively difficult time denying that notion.

The group was surprisingly energetic and noticeably tight. Singer Eric Bachmann belted out and delivered hard , loud vocals while the rest of the band did their part in seeming genuinely entertained and excited to be a part of the show.

The band played a wide variety of songs, and yes they played the three songs you hoped they would... My only confusion about the show is why on Earth did they need to perform a double encore? Either way, kids were pretty excited and it looks like The Archers just jumped on a new wave of popularity for themselves.

Monday, June 13, 2011

If Only My Daddy Could See Me Now - R. Stevie Moore plays Brooklyn

My girlfriend Steph and I went to the Bellhouse in Brooklyn, NY last night to see "Legendary Artist" R. Stevie Moore perform a stop on his "2011 World Tour". We showed up about an hour into the event to find out that RSM and his opening acts would be playing the Bellhouse's front room, and the light crowd swarming the front bar confirmed just that.

After a couple of decent indie openers, RSM took the stage; a psychedelic Santa Claus clad in bright red velour Monopoly pajama pants, a Rutgers University ball cap, and a shirt that looked "fitting" (pun intended) for an overweight mother of three… circa 1994. His snow white beard and foggy oversized glasses shook vigorously as he wrestled to untangled a mess of power cables that strangled his various effect pedals. Finally, RSM grabbed his Ibanez bass, (which was covered with a collage made of what appeared to be the lingerie section from an old JC Penny catalog) plucked the E string, and began to tune before almost instantly breaking into the first song.

(Above: a song he didn't play last night).

When a musician who allegedly has hundreds of releases (mostly on cassettes and VHS, offered to members of his New Jersey-based home tape club mailing list) takes the stage, it's generally a wild card as to what songs to expect. After winging one somewhat sloppy opening song, the pace really began to pick up as RSM and band locked in and loosened up. RSM fired away with some hilarious banter between songs, and lyrically freestyled during songs making for a continuously entertaining experience. From bellowing heart-felt rants about love to nailing high notes about kids and their drug habits, RSM sounded right in key, on time, and full of energy.

Throughout the set, RSM often became vibrantly emotional and enthusiastic about song topics and at one point he tore at his beard until tufts of beard hair could be seen circling his head for a moment before floating to the floor. At other times he stared directly into the stage lights and froze like an abductee locked in the tractor beam of a hovering UFO.

R. Stevie Moore rocked, and his back up band were perfect for the gig and not some group of undeserving attention-starved hipsters for once. The good news is that there's a documentary on RSM coming soon, as well as (countless) more songs and records.

"I Like To Stay Home"

Available Now:
  • R. Stevie Moore Phonography reissue on Sundazed
  • Meet The R. Stevie Moore Double LP on Get Back!
  • Countless self-released cassettes, CDs, and unofficial, out of print LPs.

R. Stevie Moore 2011 World Tour Dates

6.13.11 Providence, Soft Approach
6.14.11 Boston, Church
6.15.11 Philly, Johnny Brenda's
6.16.11 Baltimore, TBA
6.18.11 Pittsburgh , Modern Formations Gallery
6.19.11 Detroit ,The Magic Stick
6.20.11 Bloomington , The Bishop
6.22.11 Chicago , The Empty Bottle
6.23.11 Milwaukee , The Cactus Club
6.25.11 Minneapolis , 400 Bar
6.26.11 Blue Moose Taphouse
6.27.11 Kansas City , The Riot Room
6.30.11 Denton , Hailey's
7.1.11 Austin , Emo's Outside
7.2.11 Little Rock, AR - White Water Tavern
7.3.11 Memphis , Hi-Tone
7.5.11 Nashville , Exit/In
7.6.11 Athens , Farm225
7.7.11 Asheville , The Grey Eagle
7.8.11 Raleigh , King's Barcade
7.9.11 Greensboro, NC - The Blind Tiger
7.22.11 MIDI Festival, HyŽres, France
7.29.11 Creepy Teepee Festival, Prague

Monday, May 16, 2011

Press Play and Read Along: The Tale of Tarkus

In 1971, British Progressive Rock giants, Emerson Lake and Palmer (abbreviated simply "ELP") released their second (and in my opinion their greatest) album, Tarkus. Tarkus arrived at a perfect time for ELP and their listeners alike. With psychedelic and hard rock at its pinnacle, the concept of a part armadillo - part machine adventuring though a fantasy landscape and encountering other partially mechanized creatures actually worked quite well.

The common gatefold version of this record makes the experience worthwhile. Each track on side A coincides with the included storyboard ("Eruption"," Stones of Years", "Iconoclast", "Mass", "Manticore", "Battlefield", and "Aquatarkus"). This is exactly how Tarkus was presented to me about ten or eleven years ago by a friend while out in Columbus, Ohio. His introductory quote was: "DUDE. You HAVE to hear Tarkus. He's this armadillo tank thing that fights exciting battles!" Needless to say, I was intrigued and later impressed by his LOUD demonstration of the record. In years to follow, nearly all my friends as well as I would end up with a copy of the album in our collections.

Above: Tarkus gatefold inner detailing the adventures of Tarkus.

For the past decade or so, all of my record collecting friends have found a way to bring Tarkus into a nerdy music conversation, but mostly for satirical purposes. The album is occasionally still demoed in our respective homes and there always seems to be that "new guy" who has not yet experienced Tarkus. Despite our facetious dealings with the record, most of us have admitted that the album is actually decent, especially when presented using high quality equipment.

Above: Me and my friend Tom listening to Tarkus circa 2004.

As for taking Tarkus seriously, some ELP fans take this album a little too seriously. For example: In a 2006 online auction, a white label promo (seventies records that are white label promos are sometimes pressed as Mono recordings often furthering their collectibility) sold for upwards of three thousand dollars. Even more recently, a very early and scarce pressing of this record sold for about the cost of a new car.

Is it the ebb and flow of the 5/4 time signature, the menacing keys, or the somber vocals that make Tarkus the enigma that it remains today? Or is the real mystery the question of how one record can both be available in excess for a buck in countless thrift shop dollar bins, and yet also be adored by prog rock fanatics?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bruce Foxton fucking rocks, man!

OK I can't personally vouch for this statement, but a friend of mine casually made this comment and it stirred up an idea for me. If in fact Mr. Foxton (best known for his work with British rock group The Jam) does "fucking rock", meaning he rocks as a normal, personable human being, then he would join the very short list of rock stars who deserve any such mention. I've heard a thousand stories about fans meeting their idols and both being floored by his or her social integrities or broken hearted by the rudeness they were subjected to. Now I want to hear what other people think. So tell me a story about when you met that rock star and what you thought of him or her. I'm going to pick a handful and list them here, with or without your name credited - you just let me know how you want it to appear.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Very strange fantasy disco/electro 12" I came across.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Vehicle Birth
"We Need to Find the Girls"
LIVE [3.19.11] Arlington, VA at Galaxy Hut

In 1998 I bought this record from the Crank! Records label. I never knew what these dudes looked like or even if they ever performed live at all. Super mathy, slowcore indie that really provoked awkward teenage thoughts for me back then. A somewhat random search on the web brought up this footage from a reunion show just last month.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Smiths

The Old Guard BBC Tapes 1983-1986

Alti Philosophi - Deutchland

Numbered 52 out of 500.

One of the more exciting unofficial Smiths releases. The sound quality is great, the track versions are interesting, and the layout is pretty neat (two color hand screen on gloss white 12" outer). The songs span the first three albums.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A couple of friends and I checked out Skull Defekts featuring Daniel Higgs this past Sunday. A very exciting show to say the least. It was refreshing to see Higgs at the reins of a high-energy rock group given most of his recent projects or solo performances have been more minimalist. This was a nice change of pace. See also: "Daniel Higgs is a transcendentalist wizard".

Yesterday, my friend Adam Bains claimed that "Meatloaf and Tori Amos are like the same person...playin' piano driven drama queen music".

Monday, March 28, 2011

(front cover)

(portion of back cover)

(front cover)

Here are a few lesser known pieces of work done by Mr. Andy Warhol. These records are so collectible that the Madrigal's Spanish LP just sold for over six thousand bucks in an online auction.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Circus Maximus
1967 Vanguard

This is a pretty interesting record that I just saw and heard for the first time today. It's a Vanguard release so right off the bat I knew it was hit or miss. I'm a big fan of about half of Vanguard's folk catalog and some of the hard rock and psych they released is really fantastic. On this album's back cover Circus Maximus claims the the record is "Presented in the center ring of an electric circus under a visual "big top" of flowing, multicolored light… Circus Maximus is the biggest circus… The Circus of the mind…Theatred in a tent of imagination…"

The album has nothing to do with a circus, nor does it have any remote hint of anything circusy less a few organ solos that might pass for something you'd hear under the big top. The record is very 1967 San Francisco in that it sounds a bit flowery and what my friend Mike would refer to as "Diet Psych". Some of the tracks almost rock while others follow the formula of the quieter side of psychedelic 60's hard rock.

Circus Maximus was originally called "Lost Sea Dreamers" but Vanguard didn't like the LSD acronym so they went for the more fun but lackluster, in my opinion, "Circus Maximus".

The song that they did best with is the final track on the album titled "Wind". It was regularly spun on progressive radio stations in the late sixties. It sounds something of a slower Donovan b-side. As far as I can tell, it's the worst track on the album and almost shouts itself out as a precursor to the mess of arpeggiated eighties easy listening hits.

In its entirety, this debut Circus Maximus record is a good album, but nothing more. It is essentially a slightly above average product of a psychedelic music marketing fad.

Here's one of their more exciting tracks, "Short-Haired Fathers". It's the closest thing to a psychedelic circus soundtrack found on the album although I'm thinking it's more of a song for rebellious sixties teens interested more in the long hair lifestyle of the time and less interested in being square (like father).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

"This is like a middle-aged music nerd's Fantasia" - Steph Cochrane on me purchasing a copy of Pink Floyd's The Wall on VHS.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Albums That Don't Rock

Paul Winter


Living Music

LMUS 0001

Where can I even start with this one? Paul Winter takes new age music to all new heights (or depths!) with his "musical sea journey" titled Callings. Paul rocks a Kenny G -style straight soprano saxophone (as pictured in wonderful airbrush on the album's cover). The Living Music website describes the record as follows: "A result of three years of research and expeditions by Paul Winter to observe, listen to, and occasionally play his saxophone with sea mammals, CALLINGS was inspired by the imaginary journey of a mythic sea lion pup. This is your friend's father's 1980's new age release that the family doesn't talk about.

Monday, March 14, 2011

When I hear the term "power pop", I generally think of the late seventies/early eighties version of what is retroactively called such. Although the style draws from 60's garage and popular rock, the actual definitive genre, to me, took place in the late seventies and into the eighties. Rock groups from this period can be obsessively categorized into a number of sub-genres, but again "power pop" to me, is a very specific sound.

Power pop has a new wave feel a lot of the time. You have groups like The Knack, The Romantics, and even The Jam, who took a garagey sixties sound, threw on some skinny ties, and whipped their drummers to perfection. The "pop" in "power pop" is what makes the genre so interesting. Many of the power pop groups of the early to mid eighties received little recognition despite their somewhat ironic failed efforts to become popularly known.

A couple years back, my friend and I bought out an entire basement of 45s from a then defunct record shop. We sifted through the central Jersey collection and found some real pieces of history. In this heap of some - several thousand records - we found a 45 by a group called "Gett Sett". The record was on a label called ULTRA RECORDS out of Edison, NJ. There are two tracks: A) "Without Care" and B) "Between Us". The songs remind me of a more square group of guys in their mid to late twenties, wearing sunglasses, and laughing about a business deal gone way too well over pricey cocktails. Regardless of who these guys were, or how much coke was involved, their licks are pretty impressive. This is 1985.

Gett Sett - "Between Us"

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black Gold Records is giving away some great prizes in our first contest ever. Check the website at and let your friends know too!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I have a Theory

I'm pretty sure it was the summer of 1998 when I found myself in a situation where I was promoting a show for the Philadelphia one man sensation, Atom and His Package. A kid I went to high school with had recently made contact with me and asked if I was interested in helping with the show. I was an A&HP fan and I figured it would be a fun way to get involved, so I agreed to help. We rented out South Amboy NJ's then Club Bene, now Club Chrome. The place was enormous and the price was within reason for the capacity and sound capabilities of the venue so we went for it. We asked our friends in The Postage Era (a group I would join the following summer) to open the show, and we were contacted by a band called The Juliana Theory about their potential interest on the bill.

I was never a big Juliana Theory fan and leaned more in the direction of releases on the Tooth and Nail label such as Roadside Monument and other non-traditional releases that the Christian indie label offered at that time. Around this same time, I randomly received the JT cd from Tooth and Nail as a press list member for a small publication a few friends and I were working on. I thought the album was ok, maybe even a bit of a diet Get Up Kids attempt during a time when anything that remotely vibed on a Weezer feel was all the rage. We went ahead and booked the show, made a ton of flyers and the day of the show kids lined up and the turnout was a success.

The Postage Era sounded great, but I remember there being a mixed response from the audience (probably because it was a bit of a younger crowd chasing that more popular sound that the headlining acts would provide them with). Atom and His Package was entertaining and in very high spirits. Then there was the Juliana Theory.

I won't even go into the details of their cock-rocked performance, but rather leave you to imagine the show for yourself based on the guarantee list we received from their manager prior to the event. Keep in mind that no one knew these guys yet. This was pure rock stardom right out of the gate.

- $500 Cash

- A well-lit, lockable dressing room

- eight (8) gallons of room temperature (NOT chilled - important!) spring water

- eight (8) meals or $25 buyout per member

- A one hour sound check one hour before doors.

and more...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

So R.E.M. releases "It's the End of the World" in 1987 and two years later Billy Joel releases a very similarly stylized song with "We Didn't Start the Fire". In their songs, R.E.M. talks about the apocalypse starting with "an earthquake" and Billy basically lists a bunch of influential/famous people from Harry Truman to Bernie Goetz and explains that societal turmoil has and will always exist.

I just wish Billy Joel threw a line in his track about how he ripped R.E.M. off and made a #1 single out of the idea that only got R.E.M. a slot at #16 in the U.S.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Brett Smiley
Live on Russell Harty 10/29/74
Also: Interview with Smiley and Stones producer Andrew Oldham

Smiley stopped into my record store this week and told me his life story. A sad story for sure. Ask me about it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I really want to attend some of these goth dance parties again but lately I've preferred experiencing my sadness privately.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

1971 David Bowie project and precursor to his 1972 Ziggy Stardust concept. Yesterday was the first time I ever heard or saw a copy of this record. [Krazy Kat Records]

Saturday, January 22, 2011

R. Stevie Moore.

I like to Stay Home

Uncle Floyd Show [NJ 1986]

Friday, January 21, 2011