Sunday, November 30, 2008

Disappointment for the People

This is my 2nd defective copy of Automatic For the People. Word to the wise: stay away from the standard U.S. vinyl pressing of this LP, 'cause it's not good. Side one is lovely, but the 2nd half of side 2 is all wonky (for lack of a better word). I'm holding out for a reissue on this one.

Oh, and on a side note, Barnes & Noble's vinyl shipping stinks. This LP showed up at my door pretty bent up, due to not enough packing inside the cardboard mailer. Turned out to be a non-issue in this case, since it's defective & going back anyways. Still, I say Harumph.

The more you know.
..

3:24 pm

I break 4 Doritos.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Gratitude

Following Jen's lead, I thought I'd list a few things for which I'm thankful in '08:
  • my family (of origin & extended)
  • my partner, Leo
  • our bunnies Simon & Austin, who remind us not to take ourselves so seriously
  • being a student & having the opportunity to follow my passion
  • having a job that I enjoy & find rewarding
  • my kickass grad assistant health plan that dishes out a shitload of money for Crohn's and A.D.D. meds and treatment (I never take this for granted)
  • my super sweet record collection
  • Barack Obama
  • living in a city with so many great record & thrift stores
  • having this little space in the blogosphere where I've met some pretty nifty people

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cyndi Lauper & The Hives: A Christmas Duel

If you dig this song you can download it for free between now & 11/30:
The Hives Broadcasting Service

7:24 pm

In this dramatic scene from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, I love Snoopy's aloof reaction to Peppermint Patty's bitchiness. Genius.

Top 10 Fave '70's LPs

10. Sound Magazine - The Partridge Family
9. Electric Warrior - T.Rex
8. Band On the Run - Paul McCartney & Wings
7. All Things Must Pass - George Harrison
6. Sunflower - The Beach Boys
5. Destroyer - Kiss
4. It's a Game - Bay City Rollers
3. Eat To The Beat - Blondie
2. In Color - Cheap Trick
1. Get the Knack - The Knack

Honorable Mentions:
Main Course - Bee Gees
Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart
Fragile - Yes
Bad Girls - Donna Summer
New Ragtime Follies - Dawn
Blue - Joni Mitchell
Ram - Paul & Linda McCartney
Hunky Dory - David Bowie
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
Rumours - Fleetwood Mac
Walls & Bridges - John Lennon
Plastic Letters - Blondie
No Dice - Badfinger

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

HOPE

I found this to be both inspiring and discouraging. Change takes a very long time, and fighting the fight takes a lot of energy sometimes, but we still need to do it. The good news is that we can do it together, because there's strength (and infinite energy) in numbers, right?

Monday, November 24, 2008

fanciness

I just checked my campus mailbox and found this gorgeous engagement party invite (pic, above). It's very fancy & lovely (just like my engaged friends). There's something about lotus flowers and paisleys that resonates & helps me feel centered -- methinks I may have been Indian in a past life.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Top 10 Fave '60's LPs

10. Sell Out - The Who
9. Surrealistic Pillow - Jefferson Airplane
8. Barabajagal - Donovan
7. Their Satanic Majesties Request - The Rolling Stones
6. Forever Changes - Love
5. Once Upon a Dream - The Rascals
4. Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn, & Jones ltd. - The Monkees
3. Revolver (UK version) - The Beatles
2. Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys
1. Odessey and Oracle - The Zombies

Very honorable mentions:
The Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society
Younger Than Yesterday - The Byrds
Parsley Sage Rosemary & Thyme - Simon & Garfunkel
Abbey Road - The Beatles
Friends - The Beach Boys
Flowers - The Rolling Stones
HEAD - The Monkees
Rubber Soul (US Version) - The Beatles
Feel free to post your own 60's Top Ten list, if you have one...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

On my turntable: K-tel - Circuit Breaker

Most of my K-tel collection has been built by scouring the thrift shops, but sometimes I come across a K-tel gem at one of my record stores that I just cannot pass up. When I saw this lean, mean, and pristine copy of Circuit Breaker (1979) yesterday at Hymie's, I knew I had to bring it home. It's not a particularly rare record, but I've never seen one still in shrinkwrap looking as shiny and crisp as this copy. It sounds fantastic.

The best part about collecting these vintage K-tel records is hearing the long forgotten gems that received scant airplay back in the day, those songs that barely scraped into the top 30. Typically those are the songs that I do not recognize by title alone, but the second they start playing I'm in the wayback machine to 1979. The biggie for me on Circuit Breaker is "Dancin' Shoes" by Nigel Olsson. What a flashback. Leo said he recognized The Raes' "A Little Lovin' (keeps the doctor away)", which I don't remember hearing on Minneapolis radio. Another track that really sent me back is "What You Won't Do For Love" by Bobby Caldwell. One song that I didn't need to hear again is "You Needed Me" by Anne Murray. Somebody at K-tel must have had a friggin' chubby for Murray because I swear this song is on practically every K-tel album from '79.

To enjoy some original videos of Circuit Breaker tracks, click on the song titles below:

Bluer Than Blue . . . Michael Johnson
What You Won't Do For Love . . . Bobby Caldwell
I Was Made For Dancin'. . . Leif Garrett (from '79 tv special)
Because The Night . . . Patti Smith
Every Time I Think Of You . . . The Babys
A Little Lovin' (keeps the doctor away) . . . The Raes (Swiss tv)
Dance (disco heat) . . . Sylvester

...and now as an added bonus, here's a vintage clip of "You Needed Me" from Signing With Cindy, which is awesome beyond description:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Huckabee Hound

Mike Huckabee is wrong. In this recent clip from The View, Joy asks Huckabee about his take on gay rights, to which he replies:

"It's a different set of rights."



Hey Mikey - I've got a quote for ya. It's from some document called the Declaration of Independence. Perhaps you've read it:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that
all men are created equal."
So, uh, Mr. Huckabee, I'm having a hard time understanding this. In fact, it probably doesn't take a grade school education to see the contradiction here. If we're all equal, as Thomas Jefferson said in the above quote, how does it make sense that one group of citizens be treated using a different set of rights? Shouldn't all Americans have equal rights, since we're all equal??

Maybe we should have a different set of rights for Bigots.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

TAGGED

Fellow blogger Jen tagged me a few days ago, so I'm obligated to comply (blogger's rules, I think). I don't know if it's my ADD working overtime, but I had a hard time completing the task. My duty? To respond to the following question:
What would you tell yourself 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago?
I thought long and hard about it (as evidenced in pic, left), and did some writing, but then deleted it because it seemed too personal. How, you might be asking, can anything on this blog be too personal? I dunno - after writing it I just felt uncomfortably naked and exposed. What can I say.

Thanks to Jen for tagging me, tho! I'm glad we're blog buds.

Latest thrift store acquisition

Vintage charcoal Izod v-neck sweater: $14.98

Rosie Live!

I must say I'm looking forward to this show. I miss old school variety/comedy shows, and Rosie's kicking it up a notch by doing it live.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Heroes of the week: BEASTIE BOYS

Damn right. This was posted by ADROCK today over at the Beastie Boys' page (and lifted by me from JMG's blog). This makes my day:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Brian Wilson @ State Theatre 11.15.2008

One thing I'll say about Brian's concerts over the past ten years is that he has become far more relaxed on stage. He also has an amazing band that is able to play some pretty complex stuff. The "hits" part of tonite's show contained a couple of surprises, particularly "Salt Lake City", which I don't think I've ever heard live. "Please Let Me Wonder" was a good example of Brian's ability to sing using his "sweet voice", which for a while seemed all but lost after the mid-70's. His pitch was also mostly spot-on for most of the show, which is not always the case.

After an intermission the band played Brian's new LP, That Lucky Old Sun, in its entirety, and it was fantastic. I was surprised by how beautifully Brian sang "Midnight's Another Day" -- he actually sounded better on this one live than he does on the record. During the spoken "vignette" sections, a large screen showed little animated bits with scenes of California, along with the occasional photos of the Wilson brothers (but no pics of the full Beach Boys band). As a live show Lucky Old Sun was a whole different experience -- I felt fortunate to witness it from my front row balcony seat.
SONG LIST:
California Girls, Dance Dance Dance, Surfer Girl,
In My Room, Salt Lake City, All Summer Long,
Please Let Me Wonder, Add Some Music To Your Day,
The Little Girl I Once Knew, Do You Wanna Dance,
Do It Again, Sail On Sailor, Marcella, I Get Around,
(short round of "Row Row Row Your Boat"),
Wouldn't It Be Nice (w/Jeff Foskett on lead),
God Only Knows, Good Vibrations.
(break)
***THAT LUCKY OLD SUN***
(break)
Johnny B. Goode, Help Me Ronda, Barbara Ann,
Surfin' USA, Fun, Fun, Fun
Love & Mercy

Friday, November 14, 2008

Heroes and Villains

Tomorrow Leo and I will spend the afternoon with other Minnesotans standing up for the civil rights of Californians, who had their marriage rights stripped from them on November 4th via Prop 8. I'm pretty excited at the prospect of seeing so many citizens standing up for what they know is fair and right. This is long overdue.

In stark contrast to the nastiness of Prop 8, I'll spend tomorrow evening enjoying Brian Wilson (one of my personal heroes) live at the State Theatre. This will be my 4th BW show, the last one being Brian's triumphant SMiLE concert of 2004 (one of the best concerts I've ever seen).

Quote of the week

"When we find ourselves believing that killing a man makes us more of a man but loving a man makes us less than a man it's probably time to re-examine our criteria for manhood."
- award-winning vlogger Jay Smooth

Barnes & Noble hops on the Vinyl train

Breaking news: The next time someone gives you a Barnes & Noble gift card for the holidays or birthdays you can buy yourself some shiny new records! Sure, Barnes & Noble aren't known for their low prices (and their vinyl pricing reflects that), but it's nice to have yet another option. The "member" pricing is a bit more reasonable, and there's free shipping for orders over $25, which is sweet. With Amazon, Best Buy, and B&N on board, is Target next??

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

STAND!

Consider me there:

Demonstrations will be held in all states across the country this Saturday!

For more info: JoinTheImpact

Q-Tip's Renaissance

For almost 20 years I've been a big fan of Native Tongue groups like De La Soul, the Jungle Brothers, and A Tribe Called Quest, the latter of which featured the now-famous solo artist Q-Tip. Q-Tip released a new album, Renaissance, last week that is garnering some nice attention; the tracks I've heard have a sweet live band feel to them, with a jazzy Tribe Called Quest vibe. The album is available on standard vinyl (which means it's affordable), and I plan to hunt down a copy myself this week, so check back soon for further details!

Here's a video of Q-Tip's recent MySpace premiere for Renaissance:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prop H8, pt. II

Thanks to Keith Olbermann for this thoughtful rant on tonight's Countdown:

Prop H8

Talk about mixed emotions. The past week has been filled with elation over the victory towards equality that we gained with Obama's win, and an absolute blow to the gut over what happened in California. I purposely avoided blogging about it because I have needed some cool-down time.

I don't believe every Californian that voted "YES" on Proposition 8 actually understood what they were doing. I'm choosing to believe that many of them thought "Yes" meant "Why, Yes, of course I want same-sex couples to have the same rights as me. Why wouldn't I want that?" They didn't realize that they were voting to take rights away from individuals, couples, and families who happen to have been born gay.

It's infuriating, and so incredibly hateful that christianists poured countless millions of dollars into organizing Prop 8. Imagine how many starving children could have been fed with that money. Instead, we talk about how awful it would be if children learned about gay marriage in schools. Seriously?? Do you think children don't know about gay people? AND WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH LEARNING ABOUT GAY PEOPLE? We EXIST, and we are here because GOD created us this way.

I guess I haven't cooled off much.

To all you hateful people who worked so tirelessly to make Prop 8 happen, I pity you, but even more I pity your children. These kids are going to have to learn the hard way that gay people are to be valued, not scorned, and that God loves gays just as much as he loves straights. They'll have to learn from experience that GAY = OK, that gay is perfectly normal, and that gay people should have equal access to the same rights as straight people, just as it says in the constitution.

To the LGBT community in California, hang in there. Despite what all the misinformed haters out there believe, God IS on OUR side, because we are living true to ourselves, the way God created us. Equality will prevail.

I usually feel better after these little rants, but this time I don't. It's an awful, awful feeling.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

"Yes We Can Can"

Leo and I have had this on repeat in the car since Wednesday...

On my turntable: Colin Blunstone - One Year

My musical orientation tends to lean more towards "the band" than "the singer". There are probably less than a half dozen singers whose voices make me all weak-kneed and mushy inside, and Colin Blunstone has one of those voices. I've been a big Zombies fan for the past 20 years, but it wasn't until last summer that I started digging into his solo work, beginning with 1972's Ennismore. I finally found Colin's first solo LP, One Year (1971), during yesterday's trip to the record store, and on first listen my insides were promptly reduced to mush (like a big steamy bowl of mashed potatoes).

One Year, as Blunstone's sleeve notes explain, represents the year between July of "She Loves the Way They Love Her" and July of "Say You Don't Mind" (the album's opening and closing songs, respectively). The ten songs are written mostly by Blunstone or Zombies Rod Argent & Chris White, which makes One Year sound very Zombies-esque. If you are a Zombies fan who's not yet heard this album, I would strongly encourage that you seek it out.

Friday, November 07, 2008

On my turntable: Tipsy - Buzzz

Tipsy's new album, Buzzz (2008) was released earlier this week. As with their previous full-length, Uh-Oh! (2001), this album grows on you slowly. I discovered Tipsy last year when I heard the track "Hey!"on my online Pandora station. I loved the collage of bossa-nova, lounge jazz, looped beats and various sampled sounds & promptly bought the LP. Buzzz is pretty much the same formula, so fans of Tipsy's past work are likely to dig it, if only for its super groovy cover art.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

On my turntable: Toni Tennille - More Than You Know

Here we have one of those unexpected surprises that I live for as a vinyl collector. I caught this record smiling at me earlier today at the thrift store. At some point in the past 25 years I had read positive things about Tennille's take on jazzy standards by Gershwin, Porter, etc, and indeed it's true. These songs were recorded in 1984, live in the studio with Toni and orchestra, direct to two-track, just like Sinatra used to do it. The album was reissued on CD by jazz label Varese Sarabande in 2003, but I recommend (as always) finding this puppy on warm & tasty vinyl.
Video: "More Than You Know" Solid Gold tv performance, 1984:

Monday, November 03, 2008

On my turntable: Joan Jett - Bad Reputation

Because sometimes you just need to rock RAWK!!



"Toot"

My heart goes out to the Obama family today. If there is a silver lining perhaps it's that she lived to see her grandson make history.

I pray that American voters make history tomorrow.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

It's A Shame About Ray

OH YEAH.

I just learned that a 180g vinyl reissue of The Lemonheads' masterful It's A Shame About Ray (1992) is hitting store shelves on November 18th. I've been waiting for this one.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

On my turntable: The Vines - Winning Days


Winning Days
(2004) is a perfect example of how LPs are art, and CDs art not. The cover is beautiful, and the music inside is swell as well (although not as good as the bands' 2006 LP Vision Valley).


Official videos:
"Ride"
"Winning Days"

we have rabbits...

...who apparently find a lot of our clothes to be muy delicioso. Case in point: this t-shirt, which Austin snacked on last week. I almost feel like I should have offered him some condiments or a slice of cantaloupe on the side. "Fresh pepper with your Hanes du jour, sir?"