Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Whoadie got crates, June Edition

I got a whole bunch o' jawns the last few weeks, more than I care to find links for and talk about. So I'll keep my ramblings confined to my purchases this past weekend at Jerry's:

Patsy Cline's Greatest Hits (Decca- 1967): The ill retrospective, great condition. Contains Willie Nelson's Crazy, Bob Wills' Faded Love and classics like Walking After Midnight (The number one most played juke box hit of all time, I am told) and I Fall to Pieces. Personally I bought it for the beautiful honky-tonkish piano on Back in Baby's Arms and the lyrical brilliance of Hank Cochran's She's Got You.
Grade: A

The Extra T's "Flash Boogie" (Sunnyview-1983, 12"): Kind of Harold Faltermyer-ish, but I'm a sucker for Sunnyview electro and vocoder. Has some dub-style delay effects too. The instrumental doesn't have any fancy tricks in it though. A tight record but a little sluggish. This record also seems to have been the product of an English Sunnyview subsidiary called Precision (PRT), which I've never seen (or noticed) before.
Grade: C

Mtume "Juicy Fruit" LP (Epic/CBS- 1983): Don't ask me how I managed to go so many years without owning this. Classic.
Grade: A

Depeche Mode "Personal Jesus" b/w "Dangerous" (Sire- 1989, 12" Maxi Single, US version): I've been trying to find a copy of Violator without any cat pee on it for a while now, and so far this is as close as I've come. This has the 7" mix of Personal Jesus and a few remixes that foreshadow the coming of the Chill Rob G era of pop house music (e.g. the "Pump Mix"). I actually almost bought Chill Rob G's The Power this weekend, but I really don't think that fruit is ripe yet. This was a utility purchase- I needed that song.
Grade: B

The Stanley Brothers and the Clinch Mountain Boys Sing the Songs They Like Best (King-Starday/Gusto- 1975): Although this record doesn't really have any of my favorite Stanley Brothers tracks, you can't front on Ralph and Carter, on account of them pretty much running shit in the bluegrass department for like 30 years. While the fare here is softer than their earlier material, which laid out elaborate death metaphors and inspired most of the "O' Brother Where Art Though" old-timey revival, the Stanleys still rock the tin grillz, figuratively speaking. They have a nice rendition of the Flatt and Scruggs standard Mountain Dew which transports the old school flavor right to your domepiece area.
I have to think that this is a re-release (or belated release), because Carter Stanley died in fourteen years before the release date, but is mentioned as having "really enjoyed recording [this album]" in the liner notes. There is an album with a similar title released in '61 as King 772, while this is King-Starday 772. As an aside, Ralph Stanley still performs with the Clinch Mountain Boys, and now has a "Dr." on the front of his name. They have a new stage show called "Wipe Yo Feets."
Grade: B

Pointer Sisters- "Retrospect" LP (MCA- 1981): Another utility purchase- this time for Yes We Can by Allen Toussaint. This album covers the stuff they did from 73-75 on the Blue Thumb Label. I'm not usually one for greatest hits albums, but I frankly had no idea of the breadth of stuff they did at that time- funky stuff, Duke Ellington stuff, Brazilian-influenced northern funk stuff, country-ish stuff and a bunch of old-timey rag stuff. A quick recounting of the writing credits really says it all: Toussaint, Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Taj Mahal, Dizzy Gillespie and Isaac Hayes. Not bad. The record is in great shape because it appears to have once belonged to the Carnegie Library.
Grade: A

Bobby Jimmy and the Critters- "Big Butt" (RapSur- 1985): Whoa. Now this is some shit. OK, so take a group with a name more befitting of a Squidbillies bar band and make em lisp-rap the following lyrics over a more-or-less empty 808 beat:

"I like to drive my car but my butt's too wide
My car's the one that needs to decide
I was drivin down the street to the picture show
With my butt hangin out the car window
My butt's real big, I don't care
I ride the bus they charge me double fare
I got a big butt, a big butt (repeat 4x)"

The record is in awful shape, probably not spinnable. Had to cop it, for obvious reasons.

I also copped a super special track that I intend to make my secret weapon in the clubs for the next few weeks, so I will describe it only as a psych-soul hit we all know and love... vocoded.

If you are dumb enough to get your news from this blog, here's a Big Ben update for you as of noon Tuesday. All of his facial and head fractures were repaired, no other major bodily injury (spine, brain, knees etc.,) By the way, the photo at right is in fact a picture of a tailgating vigil that is under way outside Mercy Hospital in Uptown. To get an idea of the mass hysteria in Pittsburgh, just go to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's site and notice the 48-point headlines and motorcycle accident-related feature stories and photo galleries.

The story made the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning, but in the context of a coming contentious re-evaluation of state helmet laws. I almost thought that Philly was about to recognize Pittsburgh (in a Palestine/Israel sense) for a moment there.