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)".