Friday, October 30, 2009

On my turntable: The Beach Boys Today! ('09 reissue)

OH BOY. It is a rare treat to be a fan of a band for decades and to suddenly hear one of their greatest works restored to its purest original format.

Capitol Records has re-issued Beach Boys Today! (1965) on 180 gram vinyl, in glorious MONO. The label has gone to great lengths to re-create Today's original release, incorporating sharp, beautiful duplication of the album's artwork and labels - even the original gold-colored inner sleeve that hypes other exciting Capitol LP's, now in "improved Full Dimensional Stereo."

For me, the unexpected highlight of the album has been the opening track, "Do You Wanna Dance", which I have heard on several LPs in muddy Duophonic fake stereo. This afternoon, for the first time, I heard the track barreling into its chorus with gusto and a far more proper balance of highs and lows. Real Shindig! stuff. The rest of the album lives up to expectations - "Help Me Ronda", "Dance Dance Dance", and all of side two -- perfect.
Additional reading:

On my turntable: The Beach Boys Today! (August 18, 2008)

10:50 am

Anderson Hall, University of MN

Saturday, October 24, 2009

An open letter to fake "christians" everywhere

A little word of advice to those of you who doesn't already know:
Refering to gay people as "pedophiles" doesn't make you look like a better Christian. It only exposes you for what you are: an ignorant bigot.
So for any of you fake "christians" who think The Matthew Shepard bill was designed to silence your "churches": it's not about YOU. It's about protecting a minority group from being physically harmed BY you. Also, granting such protections to a minority is not "special rights" - it's designed to provide legal protection from HATE CRIMES.

Some of you seem to have a hard time understanding what a hate crime actually is. For starters, it has nothing to do with what you and your friends discuss in your fear mongering "churches". Also, when a white dude beats the shit out of another white dude, that is not a hate crime. For all we know it's just two drunken inbred hillbillies doing what they usually do on a Tuesday night. Hence, no need for legislation. But when someone savagely injures a GLBT person because they are GLBT, that sends a message to ALL GLBT people that they are not safe, because of who they are.

That is a hate crime. And now, thanks to a system that seems to be working for the first time in over eight years, we have federal laws to protect Americans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

It may be long overdue, but it's still progress.

Thirty 45's pt. III

<Click on the image to see a larger version

Pictured, left:

  • "Skin Trade" - Duran Duran (1987)
  • "Money Honey" - Bay City Rollers (1976)
  • "My Sharona" - The Knack (1979)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thirty 45's pt. II

<Click on the image to see a larger version

Pictured, left:

  • "Baby Come Back" - Player (1977)
  • "Our Lips Are Sealed" - Go-Go's (1981)
  • "Sweet Cherry Wine" - Tommy James & The Shondells (1969)

Monday, October 19, 2009

On my turntable: Three O'Clock - Ever After

Ever After (1987) was one of those record store surprises, where I was first aware of a band's new release by seeing it in the record store. In the pre-internet 80's, "real fans" tended to be up on new releases, via MTV, magazines, and fanzines. I was even a member of the Three O'Clock fanclub, which you'd think would have made me privy to this info prior to its release (alas, I received a postcard in the mail (shown at right) soon after buying the LP).

I remember being initially disappointed with the poppy Ever After, thinking it was too mellow and synth-driven compared to the guitar-heavy psychedelia of 1985's Arrive Without Travelling. Still, that didn't prevent the album from spending a couple of months in my walkman that winter.

(at left: band photo from the CD "long-box" for Ever After. For some reason this photo was omitted from the CD, cassette, and LP.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thirty 45s

Earlier this week I got a nice eBay delivery -- an unopened pack of 30 black plastic 45 inserts. I sifted through my singles crates and found what I decided were the 30 most deserving records for these fancy little adapters.

<Click on the image to see a larger version

Pictured, left:
  • "Devil Woman" - Cliff Richard (1976)
  • "I Got You" - Split Enz (1979)
  • "Rip In Heaven" - 'Til Tuesday (1988)
If I don't lose interest I may post all thirty records here, but we'll see how that goes.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5:36 PM

A good day at the record/thrift stores can often be measured by
the number of peeled-off sales stickers I have stuck to my shirt.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Saturday, October 03, 2009


McCartney (April 20, 1970)
Sentimental Journey (April 24, 1970)
All Things Must Pass (November 27, 1970)
Plastic Ono Band (December 11, 1970)

This morning after listening to McCartney (1970), I continued on through other solo LPs released by the Beatles in the wake of their breakup. I don't know if I've ever played these four records back to back, but it's an interesting listening experience, considering that each was recorded within months of the band's split.

I have strong memories of purchasing three of these LPs: All Things Must Pass at Great American Music in Fridley, McCartney on a very cold winter day at Brookdale's Record Shop, and Plastic Ono Band (purchased alongside Band on the Run) at the Musicland at Northtown. All I remember about Sentimental Journey is that I bought it at a used record store.

I found it a little unsettling that the inner sleeve of POB had 'October 1979' written on it, since that is thirty years ago this month. These records were not even a decade old when I bought them, and yet they seemed so historic to me back then. It's bizarre for me to remember that John was still alive when I was beginning to buy his records. Even though it makes me feel old to know that Ive been listening to this music since I was barely a teen, it also gives me a sense of gratitude for having had access to it in the first place.

8:58 AM