Monday, November 30, 2009

Jackson 5ive re-issues!

Oh yeah. Motown has scheduled a 1/5/10 re-release date for the following classics by the Jackson 5ive on VINYL:
Get it Together
Third Album
Looking Through the Windows
Goin' Back to Indiana
Maybe Tomorrow
Get it Together, in particular, is one funky album. Very exciting news!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happiness is...IKEA

Leo and I typically avoid venturing into retail spaces on Black Friday, but IKEA had two pieces of furniture that we were pretty sweet on this year. I'm particularly pleased with this one and here's why:
When I was younger I used to listen to records on the floor, with my turntable/record player at eye level. I would do this for hours. After assembling this new IKEA unit I sat on the floor, put on an LP, and instantly thought "oh yeah, this is the right set up."

(at left: my view from the floor.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On my turntable: The Ethel Merman Disco Album

I don't know where to start with this one.

Well, the year was 1979. Disco had already reached Fever pitch; jumped the shark if you will. Virtually every artist had been throwing their hat into the disco ring, including rockers such as Wings, Rod Stewart, The Stones, The Beach Boys, and KISS. So why not Ethel Merman?

The part that I've been trying to wrap my head around is whether the producers of this record knew at the time that they were making a campy, iconic, hyper-gay classic, or if they were actually trying to make a serious artistic statement. The production is top-notch; By '79 the disco formula was pretty well cemented, and this record follows that formula to a T. I almost think that A&M believed they were striking gold with this project. You know - that ever elusive golden ticket to finally put the ol' girl back on the map. Perhaps Merman herself was trying to build a legion of fans with the Studio 54 crowd through this record? The songs are pure Merman: "There's No Business Like Show Business", "Everything's Coming Up Roses", "I Got Rhythm". No way she could lose, right?

So many unanswered questions, and just like Bigfoot and Nessie, perhaps we'll never truly know the answers. What I do know, as clearly as the nose on my face, is that this is one of the GAYEST records ever made. Seriously. It should have been called Gay & M Records presents The Gay Ethel Gay Merman Gay Disco Album (Super Gay Deluxe Issue). Whatever the title, this album deserves every bit of the underground camp classic status it has earned over the past 30 years.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

6:00 pm

Two days until the holiday vinyl hits the turntable....
11.24.2009, originally uploaded by jeff's fancy blog

Monday, November 23, 2009

2009: the year of the single?

This year saw some pretty sweet 45 releases, many of them domestic, thanks in part to the success of Record Store Day's Vinyl Saturdays. As is often the case with 7" vinyl, many of these records include b-sides unavailable elsewhere.
Pictured above (from upper left):

*Black Gold: "Breakdown"/"Breakdown (version DSMR IV)"
Camera Obscura: "French Navy"/"The World is Full of Strangers"
Elvis Costello: "Complicated Shadows"/"Dirty Rotten Shame"
Big Star: "Feel (alternate mix)"/"Mod Lang (unissued single mix)"
Wilco: "You Never Know"/"Unlikely Japan"
Franz Ferdinand: "Ulysses"/"You Never Go Out Anymore"
Green Day: "Know Your Enemy"/"Hearts Collide"
MIKA: "We Are Golden"/"We Are Golden (Jokers of the Scene are Not Who You Think They Are Remix)"
New York Dolls: "Trash"/"Trash (live 2009)"

(not pictured - Weezer: "(If you're wondering if I want you to) I Want You To"/"I Woke Up In Love This Morning")
*Thanks to my pal Chuck, who sent me this groovy 45 earlier this year.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Top 40 of the 00's

It took a few drafts, and I might still need to make some changes, but here's what I've determined to be the best 40 songs of the past decade. I must say that looking at this list is exciting for a few reasons. For one, it's great to know that great pop is still being made by real artists in the era of American Idol assembly line product. Perhaps more exciting for me is that a majority of this music was pressed on vinyl (I've identified such tracks with an asterisk*).
  1. Don't Listen To The Radio - The Vines*
  2. Again & Again - The Bird and the Bee*
  3. Not Tonight - The New Cars
  4. Feel Good, Inc - Gorillaz w/De La Soul*
  5. Druscilla I Dig Your Scene - Jupiter Affect
  6. Tear Off Your Own Head (It's a doll revolution) - Bangles
  7. Funplex - B-52's*
  8. This is Where I Came In - Bee Gees*
  9. Young Folks - Peter Bjorn & John*
  10. California - Lenny Kravitz*
  11. Unforgiven - G0-Go's
  12. Lying Through Your Teeth - Automatica*
  13. (if you're wondering if I want you to) I Want You To - Weezer*
  14. A Little Less Conversation - Elvis vs JXL*
  15. Who Are These People? - Burt Bacharach w/Elvis Costello*
  16. The One U Wanna C - Prince*
  17. Fine Line - Paul McCartney*
  18. Love Letter to Japan - The Bird and the Bee*
  19. Day of the Sunflowers - Basement Jaxx w/Yoko Ono*
  20. Put You in Your Place - The Sunshine Underground*
  21. O Divina - Terence Trent D'Arby
  22. Undone - Blondie
  23. Choose Love - Ringo Starr
  24. Call Me Mellow - Tears For Fears*
  25. Lollipop - MIKA
  26. Girl Talk - TLC*
  27. Spit It Out - Brendan Benson*
  28. What Happens Tomorrow - Duran Duran*
  29. Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow*
  30. That's Not My Name - Ting Tings*
  31. Thou Shalt Always Kill - Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip*
  32. All Possibilities - Badly Drawn Boy*
  33. Waiting for our Time - Styx
  34. I Don't Feel Like Dancing - Scissor Sisters*
  35. Cellophane - Wondermints
  36. I Want To Fly - Zombies
  37. Universally Speaking - Red Hot Chili Peppers*
  38. Don't Stop Now - Crowded House*
  39. V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N - Puffy AmiYumi
  40. Wind it Up - Gwen Stefani*
Thoughts? Opinions? Rants? Feel free to post your comments!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

gas face

So I'm in Nebraska attending a national conference for Graduate & Professional students. Overall it's a good conference and I've picked up a few ideas for things I can do on our campus. The sucky part is that I've been dealing with what seems to be a crohn's episode, which tends to throw a wrench into professional activities like conferences. Crohn's can suck all of the energy right out of you, and for me that means I need extra down time, which is the exact opposite of what conferences provide. It doesn't help much that I am not always comfortable communicating how I'm feeling when it's crohn's-related, because I've learned most people don't know how to respond. So instead I often retreat from everyone, which can cause problems for those who are wondering where the hell I am.

I'm choosing to find a positive in this situation - a lesson to be learned. I'm interested in finding out what resources exist for students who find themselves in similar situations. One thing I've learned about folks who live with chronic illness is that we tend to be shy about asking for help, since it puts the attention on the condition rather than the individual. So we play the "I'm OK don't worry about me" game, which is total bullshit, because it only downplays the severity of the disease, implying that we're not worthy of whatever we need to take proper care of ourselves. It's not a fun game to play. I'd much rather play Rock'em Sock'em robots or Monopoly. But not Operation.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

2:23 pm

Leo and Mom brought this picture of Dad to our church yesterday, where other pictures of loved ones passed have been placed on an altar. This afternoon Leo and I brought a stand for Dad's picture. It's comforting to have his photo there. I think it has something to do with community, since each of the photos on the altar have their own story and history. To have all these pictures on display symbolizes the communal loss that we all feel, which somehow ties us all together.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

10:41 AM

11.7.2009, originally uploaded by jeff's fancy blog.

Nirvana: Nevermind.
Can this album really be 20 years old already??

update: Thanks to my friend Jim, who kindly pointed out that Nevermind was released in '91, and as such is merely 18 years old. Good eye, Jim. Good eye.

Friday, November 06, 2009

6:38 pm

GAPSA Family Bowling night. I am totally hopped up
on all-the-soda-you-can-drink in this picture.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

12:35 pm

Weezer: "(If you're wondering if I want you to) I Want You To"

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

3:12 pm

I brought a turntable with me today to teach my students about the glories of vinyl. About six students had questions for me after class, and they seemed quite excited about this "new" format. "So what's the best place to buy vinyl"? "How much does a turntable cost?" I feel as though my work is done, and it's very satisfying. So now I'm in my office listening to some records; I'm thinking of keeping the turntable here for a while, since work is a lot more fun if you can spin some records at the same time. :)

quote for the day

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." - MLK
Hang in there, Maine.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Thirty 45's pt. IV

Click on the image to see a larger version

Pictured, left:

  • "Lonely Boy" - Andrew Gold (1976)
  • "On the Shelf" - Donny & Marie (1978)
  • "I'm Alive" - E.L.O. (1980)