Monday, July 31, 2017

Descendents - I Don't Want To Grow Up + Enjoy - 1985-86

I'm posting this one a day early, as I have to go back on the road tomorrow and I won't be back until Thursday night.  Work isn't so bad, I think I'm enjoying it.  But, time away from the family is never good in my book.  I'll miss my boys.

These two albums were the Descendents in their prime.  IDWTGU is by far my favorite of the two, as every song is a pop masterpiece (to my ever-so-sensitive ears.)  But, Enjoy is great in it's own right, as well.  I just don't like it as much.

I first heard IDWTGU in the car on the way to school, one fall morning in Downers Grove, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.  I was in the back seat of Carey's camaro, sitting to a skinhead with short, stubbly red hair fuzzing his scalp.  Sharon was in the front seat next to Carey, and we were driving over the commuter tracks next to the station on Main Street.  The Tivoli Theater was on my right, and I can't remember what was on my left.  The sun was coming out, and the air was crisp with a chill.  No clouds in the sky, and the leaves on the trees were brown.  Sharon turns around and begins singing along with In Love This Way, right at me, tossing her hair back and forth.  I had nothing for her, but it seemed rather pleasing to have that happen.  I felt one with the group, I felt some adoration to a degree, it made me blush.

I had a tape of a tape of a tape the first time I "got" this album, and I wore that sucker out.  I didn't actually buy the tape until my senior year, and then got the CD in about 1993.  By then, I had that album memorized forward and back.

Enjoy was another story.  I never had any real personal connection with it.  I simply got the tape about the same time I got the actual tape of IDWTGU, and listened to that in tandem with the other.  Sour Grapes, Cheer, 80s Girl and, of course, Wendy were among my favorites.  Although somewhat humorous, I never understood the necessity of the Orgofart track.  Was that how they wanted to be portrayed for the rest of forever?  Probably a precursor to Van. 

I found some bootleg demos of some unreleased tracks that fell somewhere between the two albums.  They aren't too bad, but you can tell why they weren't ever used.  Some may say that there were other tracks out there that I didn't include.  Don't worry, I have them all.  There ARE some other tracks out there with different names, but if you listen to them, they are all the same as the ones I included in this set.  As for which names were the correct names, I don't know.....

Sunday, July 23, 2017

My new job...

As many of you may know, I got a new job about 3 weeks ago.  It's now come to that time that I am going on the road to perform my duties.  Tonight, I will be traveling to Oklahoma to start working there for a week.  I will be home shortly on Friday, but leave again Saturday morning.  I probably will be back in time for my August 1st posting, but that will be questionable, as I won't know my schedule for that week until later this week.  I will continue to keep you updated.

It sucks, as I will not have a way to access my files here at home.  I have Splashtop, so may attempt to do this from my iPad, but I haven't tried that yet, so we will see.

Until then, enjoy what I've posted so far, and I will keep you up to date as the week progresses!

Wish me luck!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Belly - Star - 1993

My worst and most embarrassing post. 

Back in the day, I did dabble some in the "grunge" thing.  I preferred to call the music that I liked "College Rock".  I was in college, it was Rock, and I would not admit to listening to grunge (although I still have some Nirvana and Soundgarden in my collection (no Pearl Jam!)).

To be completely clear, though, I liked the Pixies in the late 80s and had a lot of their music.  Obviously, Bossanova stands out as one of my favorite albums, probably in my top 200 (maybe).  So, with Frank going solo, and the Breeders taking shape, it was only natural for me to play into Kristen Hersh, Throwing Muses, Tanya Donelly, and of course, Belly.

I used to think this was a great album.  It was fun, catchy, and I loved the vocals.  Mind you, Curve and Lush were big with me at that time, too, so I was obviously drawn to those female vocals.  For the time period, though, the Breeders dominated my likes for this particular genre comparison, but Belly was a close second.

Looking back, I realize that Throwing Muses were so much better than Belly, and the Breeders were trying to hard to be different.  Of the three bands, I think Throwing Muses would be the only one that I would consider relevant.  Throwing Muses to the Breeders would be like the Beatles to Frank Zappa.  And Throwing Muses to Belly would be like Beatles to Strawberry Alarm Clock.  Fur sure.

But, Belly is still interesting to listen to every once in a while.  It brings back memories for me of simpler times in my life, when things were just starting for me and my freedoms were being fully explored.  For others who are new to them, I'm sure that it would be an interesting listen, and a definite niche for your repertoire. The pop songs are still pop songs, and they are still rather good, even though dated.

It would be interesting to see Belly get back together for a new set of tunes, just to see if they could do anything worthwhile or relevant.  Or, better yet, maybe not.  Whatever.

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Most won't care, but you were noticed and will be missed.  Chester we hardly knew ye.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Flesh For Lulu - Long Live the New Flesh - 1987

Back on June 10th I threw out a pop quiz with the promise of a choice for an extended album.  Mr Stevo answered correctly, so I promised to make a set for him.  Now, a month and a half later, I finally have his post....

To be honest, I know next to nothing about Flesh For Lulu.  Aside from their soundtrack hit I Go Crazy, I haven't heard much by them. Even their Wikipedia page doesn't really go into too much detail, other than they were a band struggling to get recognized, but always falling short.  Too bad.  Because, from what I heard as I was compiling these tracks, they are really a noteworthy band that I need to delve further into.

In 2003 they released a remaster of this album with 4 extra tracks on it.  As you can see, I added a hell of a lot more than that.  Partly because I added their Idol EP, which was released the year before LLtNF, so that added an additional four tracks, plus a few other odds and ends.

I've also added a "maxi-single" of I Go Crazy because I thought it would be fun, and they had a bunch of mixes, too.  I will say this is the one song of theirs that I've listened to a thousand times, because I find it's pophook to be spectacular.  I love it.  (Plus, as a child of the 80s, how could you not love any song featured in a John Hughes movie?)

Anyway, I hope I've given you something special, Stevo.  Let me know if it meets your standards..

PS - Stay tuned for quite possibly my worst post ever on Friday.  I just looked at it and I'm wondering what the hell I was thinking...

Friday, July 14, 2017

Duran Duran - Notorious - 1986

A little more than a year ago, I posted my best mixes from Duran2's Notorious album.  I had hoped to post this one shortly after.  But, here it is, 14 months later.  Better than never, I guess.

Nothing too personally spectacular about this one.  I was living in Chicago at the time, and was in my transition from Christian Rock and Hard Rock into Post Punk.  Duran2 was still at the top of my list, but I wasn't overwhelmingly drawn to them at the time.  This one came as a shock to me, as it was a complete departure from the Duran I was used to.  I was hoping that Arcadia + John Taylor would have come up with something a little more spectacular.  I didn't come to fully appreciate this album until well into the 90s.

On this disc, the track selection is a little tricky.  Of course, I have the regular album right up front, and the We Need You b-side shortly following.  But, there was a host of demos that could be included, but should they?

First, I have Rope and Berlin, which are definitely different songs than the rest of the album, and also are at a high recording quality, so they were a definite requirement.

Then, you have Anything For You and Take It To Me.  Both of them are unique melodies to the album sessions, so they are definitely additional songs.  But, their recording quality is for shit.  I played with them for a bit on my mixer, and couldn't get them to sound any better than what you hear in the Mp3s that I've included here.  Also, the Duran Wiki claims that Take It To Me is an instrumental.  Well, yeah, for the first 2 minutes I guess you could call it that, but then it opens into a chorus and then verses, so I don't know where they get this instrumental idea.  Do I have a version that is different than any other one out there?  Please, any Duran2 aficionados out there, please help me figure this one out!!!!!!

Lastly, there are a bunch of demos out there for this album.  But, they are all demos of existing tracks, they barely sound any different than the originals, and the recording quality is horrible.  I left these off.  So, anyone looking for One Of the Faithful, you will not find it here!

I really had a tough time finding a decent cover of this album on the internet.  This one that I've used really isn't that good, and I could probably update it if anyone has a better scan of it.  Just a thought.  I do like Simon's hat from the pics on the back.  I think that he might be the only person able to pull that one off, and he may not have pulled it off either.  Matter of opinion, I guess.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Art Of Noise - In No Sense? Nonsense! - 1987

Not a whole lot to say about this one, today.  Just another collection of AoN perfection.  When this album came out, I had heard a couple of their songs that I thought were pretty good.  But, I didn't really get into them until after I got their Best Of set, and started collecting their singles.  So, most of this album was beyond me until about the mid to late 90s. 

Although I am not a huge fan of Dragnet, I found the rest of the album to be incredible.  Great, great stuff.  And, I know that Kiss was more a part of their Best Of release, but I wanted to associate it with an album, and this was the closest one.

Please let me know if I've missed anything....

Have a great evening!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Kula Shaker - Strangefolk - 2007


I liked their first album, K, but I was overjoyed, mesmerized and in love with their sophomore album PP&A album in 1999.  Probably my favorite album that year.  I was greatly disappointed when they went their separate ways after that, and I was not really impressed with Crispian Mills follow-up band The Jeevas.

So, when word got out that they were back together in 2006 recording their next album, Strangefolk, for release in 2007, I waited with bated breath, hoping to God that they returned to form to bring a truly extraordinary album.  Needless to say, it was not PP&A.

But, it is still Kula Shaker, and it is still a continuation of the mystical and magical sound that they started with.  Many of the songs carry the same qualities of their previous albums, and there is also sound of growth and the wisdom of maturity throughout.  They showed themselves to be a new yet older band than they were previously.  Crispian's lyrics and melodies still carried that same youthful approach, albeit a bit weird and bizarre, but you could still tell that life had changed him, whether he realized it or not.

The album is a solid rocker and definitely a keeper.  It still carries that album-oriented sound, even as the singles stand out in their pop-hook purity.  The orchestration and harmonious instrumentation is at near perfection, and worthy of repeat listening and analyzation.  They've earned their right as leaders in the Britrock, Psychedelic and Rock genres, a band to be recognized and emulated.

They progressively get better on their next two albums, but this one stands as a much needed reunion of their sound and story.  Enjoy what we've got here.

Sorry for the delay. Still recovering. (Just call me Captain Melodrama)

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A day late.... a summer reminder!!!!!!

As I was deciding on how to broach my "excuse" for missing last night's post, I looked for clipart or funny graphics to describe what happened to me.  BUT, I couldn't find anything funny, as there is nothing funny about it.

I started my new job this last week.  I am in Sales, and have always, ALWAYS been a desk jockey in a controlled climate.  In all of my jobs EVER, I have NEVER had a job requiring me to work outdoors for extended periods of time.  Call me weak, call me soft, that's just a fact about me and my career choices.  Simple as that.

My new sales job requires me to learn an entire new line of products that I am completely unfamiliar with, totaling more than 12,000 SKUs.  So, brilliance that this company is, they decide to stick me out in the warehouse to help me become familiar with the products.  Well, that's all fine and dandy if I am learning product, but not simply doing the job of the warehouse because they are short-handed.  And, they were short handed.  So, I find myself standing in a steel building with no air conditioning, just a couple large fans.  I found myself on my feet for 10 hours a day, when normally my ass is parked in a chair.  I'm pulling, wrapping, loading products that range in weight anywhere from a few ounces, to hundreds of pounds, 98% of it without any sort of mechanical assistance.

This really wouldn't be an issue for me, because I am not allergic to work.  I am more than willing, mentally, to do the job.  I've always been a hard worker and a team player.  But, my body began to tell me otherwise.

The temperature here over the past week has averaged about 95 degrees a day.  My soft body is simply not used to that sort of climate and physical exertion, and it let me know.  It started on the very first day with sore feet and legs, followed by heat.  By the end of the week, yesterday, it felt as if my body had been beaten with baseball bats all over.  Yesterday, I drank 12 bottled waters while I worked, and didn't pee a single time.  Within 20 minutes, I would be drenched in sweat, pouring down my face.  by lunch time, my body was done.  Unfortunately, the work was not.  I continued to work through for 5 more hours in these dangerous heat conditions.

Research states that the human body will acclimate to whatever climate/environment it has to work in over time.  In heat/cold related environments, it is expected to take the body 7-10 days to adjust.  Until that time, you shouldn't start working 100%, take frequent breaks, and stop when your body says it's time to stop.  ALL of the men I am working with in the warehouse have been there for years, and they were pounding through the day without a pause for consideration.  When I complained about the heat, I felt they took it as an excuse that I was either lazy or soft.  Fuck that. 

So, yesterday, I was determined that I was not going to "let the team down," and I wanted them to see that despite it all, I was willing to put in the effort that they did.  By 4:45 pm, my body overrode my brain, and shut itself down.  I got dizzy, almost fainted.  I felt like throwing up.  My heart started racing and I got shaky.  My hands felt numb.  I got angry and emotional, and very confused.  I kept making the same simple mistakes over and over again, and my performance showed it.  When my body finally said enough is enough, I stumbled into the break room, in the dark, grabbed 3 bottled waters - one to drink and the other two to hold and roll across my neck, head and torso - took off my shirt and laid on the floor.  I thought I was going to die.

One prick walked in while I was laying on the floor and said "what doesn't kill you will only make you stronger."  Well, that's right, mother fucker.  It almost killed me.

I drove myself home, which was a challenge itself, and rather dangerous.  I had this emotional issue going on, feeling like I wanted to cry.  I was disoriented and dizzy, even in the air-conditioned car.  When I got home, my wife had prepared a cool bath for me, and I got into that and lay there for 45 minutes.  Even though my body had begun to cool down, I still felt physically sick, with a severe headache, nausea, disorientation, lack of fine motor skills, exhaustion, inability to string words together in an articulate sentence without effort, heart racing....  It was fucking scary.  

I fell asleep about 630, woke up at 815, fell back asleep about 10pm, woke up at 11pm, only to get my ass into bed and sleep until 930 this morning.  I got about 10-11 hours of sleep.  I normally only sleep 7 hours.

My time in the warehouse, fortunately, is done.  Now I will move into the office, to learn their computer systems, and begin helping their clients.  Honestly, if I knew that I had to be in the warehouse anymore, I'd have to say something about it.

Heat exhaustion is a real and very serious thing.  I've never gotten that overheated before, so this was a real eye-opener to me.  If I get this hot again, I will say something.  Fuck anyone who thinks I'm a puss or lazy.  Just because I'm not built for heavily physical manual labor in extreme heat, doesn't make me less of a man.  If anyone thinks that, they are just ignorant, not stronger.

Keep yourself safe in the heat this summer.  Take care to notice warning signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  Take them seriously!  Don't worry about what other people think, even if they can endure it.  Only care about what your body needs, to keep yourself from getting hurt or dying. 

I will make my post for yesterday later tonight, so you will get some music from me today.  I'll talk more at you then!!!!!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

A Flock Of Seagulls - Self-titled Debut - 1981

Happy 4th of July, one and all!  To my international friends, this day probably means nothing to you (I don't want to speak for everyone, though) but it is my second favorite holiday behind Christmas.  I consider myself a true patriot for my country.  I'm a Originalist Conservative, who believes strongly in our founding, and our freedoms and benefits to all mankind.  I understand that some of you may feel that our founding was immoral and wrong.  I agree that America has done some evil things in the past.  But, in the 21st century, we have and are working through issues to rectify our wrong doings and to bring our country together.  Despite all of our differences, we are Americans and should be proud of the positive accomplishments that we've made.  Because, if it weren't for our independence and freedom, we wouldn't be able to right the wrongs that we've done.

It bothers me that I have to even acknowledge our wrongs on this day.  Our political landscape has become so toxic, it's impossible for sides to find common ground to discuss issues and our future without killing each other.  We've become so polarized we are on the verge of destroying the freedoms that were given to us more than 200 years ago.  Again, we need to come together and work together to make our country the best it possibly can be.

On to AFoS....

I Ran is in the top 20 videos I remember watching as a kid.  It was bizarre and weird, but the song was magnetic.  I had the 7" 45RPM as a kid, and played it over and over and over.  I didn't get the album until well into the 90s, as back then we had to pay money for our music, and at the time I wasn't a big enough fan to justify purchasing the album.  That was because I hadn't heard it.  Had I known the spectacular tunes on that magic disc, I would have had it well before I did.

Even though there were only 4 or 5 singles on this album (which is a large number anyway), listening to the album is almost like a greatest hits, as every song is superb.  A classic slice of New Wave, you can get sucked into the New Wave pablum with ease, and enjoy every minute of it.

Although most of the band members either set the style for fashion in the early 80s or reflected the style, Paul Reynolds really stood out to me as almost ruining the image of the band.  I hate to pick on the guy....  Well, no I don't hate it.  He really REALLY should have gotten rid of those stupid-ass glasses.  They are true Birth Control Glasses.  Meaning, when he wears those glasses, ain't no one gonna fuck him.  I don't know what he was thinking, as they did nothing to enhance his image.

Separated into two discs, my version is slightly different than the 2011 version, picking the best and arranging somewhat differently.  I really had to get the Deno version of I Ran on there, as he mixed and extended the crap out of it.  You could really loop that track for an hour, and not get tired of it.  I apologize for the cover of the album proper, as there really isn't any decent scans of the cover online that I could find.  This was the best I could do.

Enjoy the album, enjoy the holiday, and I'll see you on Friday.

PS - Started the new job yesterday.  Interesting.  Not what I expected, and can't wait to get out of training and on the road.