All the ingredients, and the players, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, McKnight, Shider, and more are here, but R&B Skeletons in the Closet (1986) is not the most vital piece of George Clinton’s body of work. Some of songs are perfect and some are down right grating. The two I like the most are “Hey Good Lookin” and the semi-hit “Do Fries Go With That Shake!?”
The album cover art alone is worth the price. I wish you could see it better, but I’m feeling too lazy for detail shots. In a nutshell the whole thing is a commentary on black artists that sell out to “cross over.”
Check out his “ObamaNation” at MySpace. It reminds of that blast from the past: “Paint the White House Black.” Look how many celebs are in this video!
I got to see Mr. Clinton, George that is, live somewhere between this album and that video. Maybe I’ll dig out the t-shirt I got and post that later.
According to Wikipedia Shovel (1986) was feedtime’s most critically acclaimed record, which makes me think I need to go spin it again. I enjoy a little primitive noise rock once in a while, even now that I’m elderly. But this just didn’t do it for me today. There were a couple riffs that held my attention, a few great songs, and some occasional moments where they reminded me of Head of David. Still, I don’t think this one will stay in the collection.
For the concerned grammarians in the house I want to point out that the proper spelling of feedtime is with a lowercase f.
We seem to have an endless supply of 12 inches. Almost all of them are Mary’s; she’s quite the completist collector. Here is another piece of pop art from New Order. This version of “Shellshock” is almost 10 minutes long. “Original version appears on the original picture soundtrack Pretty in Pink” is printed on the typically minimalist back cover. The flip side has an instrumental version of “Thieves Like Us.” Why do we keep these things? Is my wife leading a secret second life as a DJ for ’80s dance parties?
I was listening to Rodrigo y Gabriela‘s version of Metallica’s “Orion” this Saturday and decided I should play the original, which ended up turning into a Metallica history lesson for my son Mars. Then, coincidentally on Sunday I got another, and unexpected, dose of Master of Puppets. We were at our kids’ music recital where most of the tunes were seasonally-correct holiday stuff. But then this one middle-school-age-looking youngster came up to play the title track, “Master of Puppets.” He was even wearing the t-shirt. He has the same cool teacher as my kids, and his teacher accompanied him on bass. There is nothing simple about this music. It’s intense in every way, but the kid did a solid job getting pretty far through the song then stopped somewhat abruptly before the pretty bridge and solos.
I was looking around the room at the faces of the parents and relatives wondering if anyone else in the room was getting it. As great as this music is, it’s not for everyone. And even for metal aficionados it takes some adaptation just to digest what’s going on. I’ve played “Master” more than you can imagine and I was still surprised how fast, intense and sophisticated it is when I spun it again this week. I was talking to the kids’ teacher yesterday and as he put it, “it still holds up.” Indeed. Side one alone qualifies it as a “10” in my book.
Check it out:
“Master of Puppets”
“The Thing That Should Not Be” (for you fans of H.P. Lovecraft)
“Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”
Also worth mentioning about “Master” is that it was the last album with bassist Cliff Burton. He would die in a bus accident while on tour. OK, everybody knows that. But do you know this? Tipper Gore’s PMRC had it in for the title tack, which they apparently said was about “getting kids hooked on drugs.” Any moron could read the lyric sheet and see that the song was about the nightmare of drug addiction. I remember reading an interview with James Hetfield some time after the flare up. He might have even had to testify at a Senate hearing, can’t remember for sure. When he was asked about the whole thing he just said “people are going to believe what they want.” He didn’t need to explain anything.
Smashing through boundaries
Lunacy has found me
Cannot stop the Battery!
Acquired: 1986 – When she worked at Plan 9 Records in Richmond, VA
The now sound, the wow sound, the psychedelic Goth rock sound of The Damned is back only one year after their biggest hit, Phantasmagoria with Anything. I saw a review at AllMusic bashing this record. The reviewer seemed to have some facts wrong, and I completely disagree with the opinions. Anything is great. It’s a strange mix of the big goth sound, pseudo-classical interludes, and a soulful ’60s rock. At times it sounds like a goth version of The Fleshtones. The title track, “Anything”, opens the album and it’s my favorite.
We have two copies of Anything. My copy is the boring American release, but Mary’s copy is a great looking UK version with a gatefold cover and die-cut pop-up of the band inside. The UK version has a colorfully painted carving on the front with the unpainted version on the liner, and lyrics! The US version just has the unpainted carving on the front… and nothing else. Mary’s copy is pictured below.
Kill Tunes is my favorite record by The Leaving Trains. It’s the first one I bought, and I believe it’s their debut. I don’t know why I bought it, but I’m guessing the cool cover and the record label being SST were a couple good reasons. This is probably their most rocked-out record, and it includes an excellent cover of an excellent song from an excellent band, “Private Affair” by The Saints. Covers are a sign there are real men in this band, especially since “Private Affair” was less than 10 years old at the time. As I’ve mentioned before, these guys produce a great mix of garage rock and weirdness. That’s really all I need to be happy.
Did I sell out? Call it survival
When everything I do smacks of revival
Cease fire? No way
There’s nothing left behind to save anyway
“10 Generations” — The Leaving Trains
Etched in the vinyl run out margins:
Side 1 – Tunes don’t kill, people do
Side 2 – I buried Manfred
Acquired: 1986 – Probably at Mother’s Records in Hampton, VA
No camera can capture the intense greenness of this album cover. I enjoyed The Blasting Concept Volume II more than I expected. I forgot how metal-sounding, a high compliment, some of these bands were back then. I have records by most of the bands on here, but it’s worth keeping for the few good songs I don’t have, like “Watch the Tractor” by Gone. My favorite is the Minutemen’s punkish cover of Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talking About Love.” I’ve never heard a bad version of that song, even from the garage band I played drums for in junior high.
Steve Weisberg -- I Can't Stand Another Night Alone (In Bed With You)
Artist: Steve Weisberg
Title: I Can’t Stand Another Night Alone (In Bed With You)
Format: Vinyl 12 in.
Rating (1-10): 8
Acquired: 1988? – I think I got this at the record store my brother and I had.
I wasn’t sure this was going to be a keeper, but after playing it again, several times, I now remember how good it is. I can’t really remember how I got the record. Steve Weisberg is from the same town our record store was in so there must’ve been some awareness of him, maybe one of our customers told me about it. Anyhow, I Can’t Stand Another Night Alone (In Bed With You) is a very ambitious record. It’s hard to believe he was only 22 when this was recorded. And the list of contributing musicians is just as impressive. There are lot of jazz world big shots and just generally famous musicians like Hiram Bullock and Anton Fier. The music sounds somewhat like a film score, similar to The Cat by Jimmy Smith. It combines big band and jazz with Bullock’s shredding guitar and doesn’t sound the least bit pure. Which is great.
Funny thing, when I was listening to this EP by Phantom Tollbooth I kept thinking it sounded like a more metallic version of The Minutemen, with lamer, scratchier vocals. Then, I looked up some info I saw that Trouser Press had something similar to say. It has some decent moments, and if you’re into noisy art-rock you might dig it. We have more than enough of that stuff. I don’t need to hear it again.
We’re almost done with our trip. And it’ll be good to get back to the mountains because it just got wicked hot and humid in the DC area. Now we’re staying with our friends the Hartzells. Last night we had a great party, with great food, great friends, and a chocolate fountain! For the kids, of course.
The Fall’s Bend Sinister is another arty record from a consistently arty band but there is a big difference from the last record posted. This one has hooks aplenty, it’s much more enjoyable because of it, and you’re likely to start humming along the first time you hear it. To be honest, I only got to play it once before we left and I can’t remember much more about it right now.
Want to know what it's like to have brain surgery? Well here's the long version of my experience. Complete with pictures and videos! Read all about the Brain Surgery Experience.
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