This version of The Fall’s “There’s a Ghost in My House” (1987) has a hologram on the cover. It wasn’t easy to get a pic that clearly showed the hologram, but you’re worth it. It’s kept in a paper bag because holograms, like old color photographs, fade when they are exposed to light. “Ghost” is a typical alt-rock Fall song and I like it fine. “Haf Found Bormann” on the flip is a little too “art” to be on your summer mix tape.
On the back cover:
Making holograms part of todays (sic) world
When I first heard of Raging Slab they were being described as a combination of Motorhead and Lynyrd Skynyrd. That’s a dream music combo to me, but probably a nightmare to some. Some version of that description was frequently used by magazines for a number of years. When you consider that the band started in NYC and that Assmaster (1987) was put out by a punk rock label you can probably guess that the description was at best simplistic, and probably misleading. This music is weird, and truly unique. The founding band members may have had a love of boogie rock but after it filtered through their contemporary punk and noise influences the output was something completely new.
The original release of Assmaster came with a fantastic comic book produced by two artists from Marvel Comics. (Click image for larger version.) The comic book and cartoon album cover art may lead the uninitiated to dismiss Raging Slab as some stoner rock clowns, but that would be a mistake. Front man Greg Strzempka’s (a.k.a. Jagory Slab) lyrics are always interesting, often brilliant, and occasionally poignant. There have been periods where the music was more mainstream, but it was always good.
This is a very interesting band, and a favorite of mine since this first record. Raging Slab have had a long rollercoaster career of indie label obscurity and major label mainstream success. And then there’s the period where they moved into a farm house in rural PA and started a rock commune… Read all about Raging Slab at Wikipedia.
I am the master of my… aaaaass
I’m no one’s prince, and no one’s… baaaaaastard
I am the master of my ass
Update: I just read (May 2010) that Fred Chichin of Les Rita Mitsouko died at the end of 2007. A combination of cancer and heart failure took him way too early. So my comment below that were still working was incorrect.
I always loved the song and video for “C’est Comme Ça” from The No Comprendo (1987), but I didn’t get around to buying the album until a dozen or so years later. This copy is a “cut out” and I found it at Record Mart in Old Town Alexandria, VA, a dusty second floor used record store near where I used to work. The record is a little inconsistent but there are some great, and diverse, songs that more than make up for the couple duds. This is the only album of theirs that I have. I was surprised, and delighted, to read that Les Rita Mitsouko are still making music. The video for “C’est Comme Ça” was directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino, who has also worked with Madonna, Tom Waits, Bjork, and many other notable musicians.
The article on Wikipedia about White Zombie lists Soul Crusher (1987) as their first full length record, but there were a few EPs before this. I had one with a black and white cover, but I think I sold it when I had my own record store. I had read about them in Maximum Rock and Roll and decided to buy it when I saw the record at a store in NYC. Even though I knew better I decided to buy another White Zombie record, today’s offering.
This stuff is nothing like the stomping-metal-disco-monster-movie-rock that made the band famous. Their early work is more noise art than metal, although Soul Crusher did begin to introduce something akin to riffs. Still, it can be hard to listen to. I used to enjoy extreme music just because it was extreme, new, different. Nowadays I need something else, or more. The psychedelic album cover might make you think “stoner metal,” but don’t be fooled. This music is closer to Pussy Galore or the most irritating Sonic Youth than Black Sabbath. Rob Straker’s vocals (he wasn’t calling himself Rob Zombie yet) sound like a more angry and annoying version of Mark Arm (Green River, Mudhoney).
I’m not likely to ever play this again, but I might keep it as part of the White Zombie collection.
Not my thing, not my thing, not my thing… not my thing. Stop the “Peace Train” now and let me off. That’s actually a cover of a Cat Stevens song, but I think it might have been the biggest hit from this record. I know this isn’t “bad” music I just can’t bring myself to like it. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. OK, maybe no one has to do this, but when I started this blog I committed to playing every record in our collection at least one more time and posting about it. We won’t be keeping this one. Mary doesn’t even know why she got their records in the first place.
10,000 Maniacs’ In My Tribe came out in 1987. I believe I heard Michael Stipe singing on one track.
I apologize. And with that out the way let’s talk about the only record I have by The Leaving Trains that I didn’t buy. This one must have been a promo we got when I worked at a chain record store in a shopping mall. You can see from the last pic that the label, SST, ran a display contest. “Win a Plane Trip to a Trains Show.” I guess back in 1987 that would have motivated some folks, but there is no way a chain store in the mall was going cover a wall with record cover reprints, or “flats” as they were called, of an album titled Fuck that just happened to have “FUCK” printed big and bold on the front.
A couple decades later a title like that seems more like a cheap attention-getting gimmick than it did to me at the time. It might work now, but I’m pretty certain this did nothing to help them sell records then. It’s not my favorite of the three LT records I have, but there are some great garage-punk-rock, body-moving songs on this album.
The Joshua Tree by U2 came out in 1987. That’s the same year I met my wife. Our 17th wedding anniversary was yesterday. Instead of doing something special with my lady I spent the entire day finishing a web project I had committed to do. Fortunately, to know me is to love me and she continues to put up with that kind of silliness. Of course, I love her completely. We’re just getting started.
In addition to my sentimentality about the year 1987, I have other reasons to really like The Joshua Tree. I didn’t enjoy the recent playing of The Unforgettable Fire that much. So, I was not expecting to love this one. And I was wrong. This album is incredible. I even like the hits despite hearing them thousands of times. I have to wonder if there was an inside joke around the first two songs being “Where the Streets Have No Name” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” My favorites are “Bullet the Blue Sky” and “Red Hill Mining Town.”
Another memory I have attached to this album is from the live tour. I didn’t go see the band this time, but I did sell tickets. I was working at a small chain called Mother’s Records in Hampton. We sold tickets there. U2 came to the Hampton Coliseum in December for two highly anticipated shows. People were coming at me from everywhere in an attempt to score tickets. I remember a guy from the shoe store down the way trying to bribe me with something like $50. The concert promoter made sure that kind of thing would not happen. They sent agents to stand watch over every ticket machine until the shows sold out. Even our employees at the store who wanted tickets ended up sleeping in the long line overnight. I had just recently been made Assistant Manager at this store and for some reason the higher-ups thought it was a good idea to let me be the manager to open the store the morning the tickets went on sale.
I got to work early and saw the fattest, longest line of would-be ticket holders line I have ever seen. As I walked closer to the store some people in line began to recognize me and started yelling and clapping. I felt like I was the rock star, but that didn’t last long. Once tickets went on sale and other stores opened it seemed every other store in the mall was complaining to mall security and the police about the chaos. I was only 21 years old and really had no clue what everyone expected me to do to solve the problem. In the meantime, every time the promoter’s watchdog turned his head or talked to someone the teenage staff at the ticket counter were printing extras and squirreling them away as fast as they could. I think it took about two hours to sell out, but it seemed like an eternity. The next year the mall wouldn’t renew the store’s lease, primarily because of that one day with the rowdy U2 fans.
A few weeks later Mary and I went on our first official date. It was not a rock concert.
I really want to like this record by Lenny Picket with The Borneo Horns. And I do in fact like some of it, but I know it’s something I’m never going to play much. It’s been 20 years; if it’s never been heavy rotation before, it probably never will be. Lenny Pickett is probably known as Mr. SNL. He’s been in the SNL band since the mid-1980s and leading it since 1995. The first side of this album is pretty enjoyable, but I have to say that I find the second side a bit too “artistic.” Guess I’m just low brow.
There’s more about Lenny Pickett at Wikipedia. I didn’t know he was in Tower of Power. My dad had a record by them…
I was surprised to read this went Gold. Not because it isn’t excellent, it truly is, but when I got it Jane’s Addiction were not well-known. Surely all these sales came after the success of their major label debut, Nothing’s Shocking. But this self-titled live album is their real debut. I believe my friend Ron Spencer first played this record for me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How could these guys be so original, smart, and maybe a little weird and still rock so hard? Perry Farrell does not have a typical rock and roll voice, and he often uses all those effects, but he is incredibly intense. I can’t imagine a different voice sounding so right. And the impressive guitar heroics of David Navarro have never had a better home.
Most of the shredding is on side one. When I heard the opening bass line for “Whores” for the first time in a long while I got goose bumps. They eventually turn things upside down with some semi-acoustic songs. The best known is “Jane Says”, and this version is better to me than the later studio hit. Being real men, they throw in some great covers: “Rock & Roll” by The Velvet Underground and “Sympathy” by The Rolling Stones, with nary a pause in between.
Etched is the vinyl margins:
Side 1 – “It used to be secrets! I couldn’t give them away”
Side 2 – What made you look here?
Acquired: 1987 – When I worked at Mother’s Records
Hey, I know I’ve been slacking, especially on the records. But it was my birthday this weekend, and if you’re ever going to be slack that’s the time.
The Nosedive EP by Gaye Bykers on Acid only has three songs, but they are all excellent. The Grebo-metallic-psyshedelic-dance track “Nosedive Karma” is my favorite. That’s also the song that singer Mary Mary got me to sing the chorus on when I saw them at the 9:30 Club way back. The flip has “Don’t Be Human Eric – Let’s Be Frank” and “Delerium.”
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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