Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Perfect Beats

A gift from my friend Dave during my high school hiphop phase. I put this on when I'm cleaning up the apartment. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Harvest - Neil Young

I know Reprise has already been represented here, but I wanted to post it anyway because I never knew the history. So I learned that it was originally a label conceived by Frank Sinatra, at one time displaying his own face, and that Neil Young along with Sinatra were the only artists left on its roster until Warner resurrected the label in the late 80’s, but I still haven’t figured out where the ship came from.

Besides Neil Young being an important part of the Reprise story, this album in particular is significant in my own transition to buying my own records. Neil Young was always a kind of ghostly mystery to me and this record sitting in my parent’s collection always seemed kind of sacred... I listened to it back to back with bad HipHop records I'd buy from Second Hand Tunes.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Not Constantinople

Silhouettes of bells never look like bells to me, they look like hats. The Bells beer label has always looked like a bunch of Scotland Yard dudes to me. I like the black and yellow here with the bold font.

Friday, September 24, 2010


This is one of four b-sides for the Murmaid’s one hit wonder, "Popsicles and Icicles". I’m showing the b-side because it looks a little better and I didn’t want any diehard fans to confuse this pressing for one of the others; which either featured "Blue Dress", "Bunny Stomp", or "Comedy and Tragedy", depending...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Elton John - Greatest Hits 1974

From my dad’s collection. I would love this even more if it weren't for all the text. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Paul Weston - St. Louis Blues

I searched and searched for some information on this label. If anyone can tell me what the cursive writing says I’ll happily pay a dollar. The flip side is I Only Have Eyes For You, and was also under the direction of Paul Weston. Poking around the Net, the only date I found for a Weston recording of St. Louis Blues was from a Columbia release in 1955.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Winners Circle

Another record from my mother. It’s funny; I like the Searchers, have great memories of my dad’s rock n’ roll band playing Love Potion #9, recorded my own version on my dad's four track when I was in high school, but have never actually liked the song.

The Kapp logo however is super-awesome.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh! (1963)

Hello! My parents recently gifted me with their record collection and the ol’ family stereo. The majority of what I’ll be posting over the next two weeks will come from their collection. While I haven’t come across anything incredibly rare, going through their records has brought back a few memories. In dedication to my parents and the upcoming 14 days I’d like to say, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh!”

Note the name written on tape has my mother’s maiden initial. In 1963 Cindy Wilson was 12 years old and buying records regularly.

I really like the arrows against the orange.

Naomi Jackson - Climb the Golden Stairway

Last post! Props are due to my friend Kevin Speck who lent me this jammer and is like my Giovanni in a room of obscuro gospel and soul.

And thanks to Alexander for inviting me to share with all y'alls.

Mayor Daley - Facial Expressions (2009)

Mayor Daley is my favorite band in Chicago. They also have my favorite band name in recent memory. And better still, they have really good looking album art and t-shirts n stuff.

In the interest of full disclosure I should tell you they're friends of mine. And what with the band's namesake a little nepotism seems appropriate, right?

Given recent political sea change they may want to look into a name change though. Mayor Emanuel?

Laurent X - Machines 12" (1988)

I'm only luke warm on a lot of acid house, but I totally love House Nation's geometric lightning hand.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Wes Wells & The Steelers - From the Top of My Heart

Another Chicago northern soul jam. The label is a little misleading as the song is more bouyant and sweet than hot and sexually explosive. Although I imagine a rec hall full of middle-aged Mancunians spinning around could get pretty torrid. In any case, dang does that label look sharp.

Give it a listen here

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Enforcers - Doin' What I Wanna

From a comprehensive M&M label discography, this nugget: "A Chicago Defender blurb for a photo said that the Enforcers 'rocked with funky soul.' The group performed what was popularly called 'soul jazz,' a fusion music that had great popular appeal at the time." source

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

V/A - Last Kind Words (2006)

Last Kind Words was put out by the record store-turned-label Mississippi Records (out of Portland, OR) and compiles assorted blues recordings from 1926-1953. Kind of a survey, it fills in the gaps between the better known baby boomer-lauded blues, but more so, is just chock full of beautiful music. It's the record that introduced me to Blind Willie McTell's duets with his wife Kate, and the monster of a title track that is like nothing else and my trump card for anyone griping about blues formula.

The label's whole aesthetic is rock solid, with this record as testament-- album cover by Chris Johansen and this handsome label.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Coughs - Fright Makes Right (2005)

The first album from Chicago's now defunct Coughs. Cannot tell you how inspired i was the first time i heard this album. Sorta non-musicians being super musicians with lots of simple parts arranged in smart ways. Load Records, who put the album out on CD, describes them as "energy driven noisy punk," which isn't inaccurate in the sense that like Coltrane is "passionate," or pizza is "cheese on bread"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Amos Waller - Holy Ghost Rock

Chicago gospel from west side baptist minister Rev. Amos Waller. and his wife Lady Wynester.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Prince Buster - The Message Dub Wise (1972)

Lindsey Buckingham - Go Insane (1984)

In addition to awesome Chicago soul, I also enjoy awesome honky bullshit, like this record, Lindsey Buckingham's second solo outing from 1984. What a label, what a face. The song DW Suite is pretty much the high water mark of Buckingham's knob-twiddlery.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Para-Monts - I Don't Wanna Lose You

More Chicago soul. This is maybe the 45 i hold most dear. It's beaten well beyond vg-, but the goldmine grading system can't measure my love.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Denise LaSalle - A Love Reputation (1967)

Denise LaSalle's first single for Chicago label Tarpon. Love Reputation remains a big Northern Soul jam, but the b-side, One Little Thing, is my fave. Denise LaSalle would go on to score major hits with the Willie Mitchell make everyone sound like Al Green style, but i much prefer her earlier cuts. Also, I'm a real sucker for any label with an animal on it. The Tarpon fish is cool, but really cute mammals are the easier sell, as with Bearsville and RSO.

I wrote in more depth about this 45 on an old blog of mine here, replete with downloadable audio.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jagjaguar (2006)

Richard Youngs memorializes the passing of his friend's dog via this album title and those sad, sad little paw prints (the musical content is unrelated, but no less melancholic and beautiful). I believe this originally came out on CD only in the 90s.

This album is so, so good. Oh dear, I'm tearing up!

And with that, I end my run here- looking forward to checking in on the next guest bloggers, for sure.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Siltbreeze (1994)

This is the Strapping Fieldhands' 10" ep "In the Pineys." A real fine little slab from the first golden era of Siltbreeze, the label who put out The Greatest 7" Of All Time (that would be the Shadow Ring's "Tiny Creatures"), and who came back a few years ago and started putting out all kindsa great stuff again.

Strapping Fieldhands apparently said they wanted to steal Skiffle from the British, and I don't know much about that, but I know that their version of Lay Down (Candles in the Rain) is one of the most crazyawesomegood covers ever. Of a Melanie song! How'd they do that?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wrestler Records (1984)

Ooh, dirty Texas swamp punk. From Austin, but still. A ghostly silver luchador for Wrestler Records- ¡fant├ístico!

my biggest mistake
my biggest mistake
was when I left you
my biggest mistake
was when I left you in a shallow grave

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tradition (1959)

Another sea shanty record- make that the sea shanty record. Sung with the edge and gusto of real whiskey-soaked sea dogs- which Lloyd, at least, was, working on an Antarctic whaling ship in the 1930’s. Both Lloyd and MacColl acquired their folk song habits in the midst of the Great Depression, and their dissemination of songs of the working people, whether originating from ships or factories, is closely linked to their political beliefs. Both were actively involved with the communist party on a long-term basis.

These days MacColl’s legacy may be most present in the many, many covers of “Dirty Old Town,” which he wrote about his northern England hometown of Salford. The Pogues do kinda own that song with their amazing version so all who assume it's about Dublin are to be forgiven. I've been to Dublin. It is, indeed, dirty. Of course the Pogues were from London. Anyway.

These sea shanties are exciting and bawdy and generally awesome, especially Old Billy Riley which is so fierce and dark in this version that I can imagine Nick Cave singing it. Makes want to take to the sea- or, at least, drink whiskey! The center label seems so simple and well-crafted. The Tradition font is like just about to cross over to the Celtic dark side but instead keeps it together in the beautifully balanced gold/ ruby/ off-white composition. Solid.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Flying Dutchman (1970)

“Friends and Neighbors- Ornette Live at Prince Street” was recorded after Coleman had taken up trumpet and violin in addition to sax (I looooove his violin playing the most, damn) and features Charlie Haden, Dewey Redman and Ed Blackwell. This recording really embodies just a total joy of expression and community vibes, with the titular friends and neighbors providing vocals on the vibrant and soulful first track.

The label design here is so great (the cover is too- how stylin' is Denardo Coleman?). It showcases a rare instance of pastels used for the forces of good, and the concentric circles highlight the tactile depth the label has. Flying Dutchman also put out some records by vocalist Leon Thomas- the dude who yodels on Pharoah Sanders records- that I would really love to pick up.

In general, part of my “collector not completist” attitude is that the music matters more than rarity or whatever (as long as it's on vinyl- is that contradictory?), and it doesn’t bother me that a bunch of my records are re-issues. In this case, I’m definitely glad this lovely original found its way to me, and I think the center label printing is one of the areas that really makes this pressing stand out.