02.26.09

The Ramones: The Post-Erdelyi Mix

How much do I still love the Ramones? It seems to be an obsession with me that will not die. Not only were they pioneers, but in grade school, they were one of the hardest band I could find out about easily. Even in high school during the 80s when watershed punk and metal records were becoming somewhat easier to find, it was still a chore to find an Angelic Upstarts record and comforting to know that a new Ramones album was always on the way. From junior high through to high school, The Ramones put out an album almost every year. Too Tough to Die, Animal Boy, Halfway to Sanity and Brain Drain were anticipated and welcomed as they were released. And yes, occasionally disappointing. It would be easy to look back on these albums and categorize them as a mediocre succession of releases, but at the time it was comforting to feel as if I could rely on the Ramones forever.

Flipping through my albums, I realize there is another cache of records that have not been played in a long time. The seven albums that appeared between the time Tommy Ramone stopped producing the records (with the exception of coming back to produce Too Tough to Die) and the appearance of C.J. on bass are less recognized for obvious reasons. But, even for the most cynical punk rocker, this period yielded some good stuff. Anybody can claim that they love the first Ramones album, but it takes a punk to taut the virtues of Halfway to Sanity.

This is my post-Erdelyi/ pre-C.J. mix. Some of these songs are considered among the classics and do appear on various collections, but I was interested in getting only songs from this era together. So here it is with some of the hits, and some of the passed over stuff. Seven years of Ramones recordings makes for one really good album.

This would be a good time for someone younger than me to take on the C.J. years. He seems like a good guy, but I stopped at Brain Drain.

Side One:

Side One:Durango 95/Wart Hog- Too Tough to Die

Weasel Face- Halfway to Sanity

Palisades Park- Brain Drain

We Want the Airwaves- Pleasant Dreams

Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?- End of the Century

Little bit O’ Soul- Subterranean Jungle

Eat That Rat- Animal BoyDanny Says- End of the Century

The KKK Took My Baby Away- Pleasant Dreams

Go Lil’ Camero Go- Halfway to Sanity

Mama’s Boy- Too Tough to Die

Outsider- Subterranean Jungle

Side Two:

Pet Sematery- Brain Drain

Animal Boy- Animal Boy

Bop ‘Till You Drop- Halfway to Sanity

Psycho Therapy- Subterranean Jungle

Danger Zone- Too Tough to Die

She’s a Sensation- Pleasant Dreams

I’m Affected- End of the Century

I Wanna Live- Halfway to Sanity

Somebody Put Something in My Drink- Animal Boy

In the Park- Subterranean Jungle

and the first post Erdelyi recordings for the Rock and Roll High SchoolSoundtrack (Yes, this is cheating, so sue me!)

I Want You Around- Ed Stasium Version

Rock and Roll High School- Ed Stasium Version

02.22.09

TOTALLY FUCKING ROBBED!!! 

My take on The Oscars 

We owe the academy credit for not letting Benjamin Buttons win anything substantial. Yes, I am talking out of my ass because I have not seen it, but it looks soooo stupid and gimmicky to me. Plus it will be no surprise to anyone that I believe The Wrestler was robbed on every level. It didn’t win ANYTHING. The Wrestler was one of the most significant pieces of filmmaking in years. It did not even win a bullshit sound editing award or anything.  The Wrestler deserves to win on artistic merit and for telling a relevant story. History will vindicate this move. It should be remembered as a document of our times in the tradition of the French New Wave and American Renaissance films that it resembled. I know everyone is tired of hearing about Mickey Rourke’s comeback, but he was really good and that is what those stupid awards are supposed to be all about. Fuck acting. Rourke is a guy who got a shot at a film that was a real triumph for the art form and he came through like Sir John Gielgud in tights. Both he and Marisa Tomei were superb. I seriously can’t believe that The Wrestler didn’t win anything.

If Mickey Rourke had to be robbed, at least he was robbed by a quality actor in a quality story. I still think Mickey Rourke had it over Sean Penn, but at least he didn’t loose to some ass hat. (for the record, I predicted Penn.) Although, if I had to make the decision, I would probably gone with Frank Langella becasue he is old and is a real trooper. As far as best actor nominees, this was a quality list.

Also, I would like to take a moment to pay my respects to Penelope Cruz for mentioning Pedro Almodovar. I wonder if she knows that dorks like me live to hear Almodovar brought up, especially in a room full of people gathered to pay homage to a really mediocre year for movies. 

But I am glad for Danny Boyle. I haven’t seen Slumdog Millionaire yet, but I am sure he deserves the attention. I think Darren Aronofsky is our best risk taker right now, but both directors show that there will be some attention to good moviemaking in the future. 

Oh yea, it’s cool that Heath Ledger won too. His Joker really captured my imagination. That is about where I am with the Oscars. Hopefully this recap will save you a few useless hours of watching that televised hand job. Bofus. 

 

Oscars posted in: Writing | Comments (1)
02.18.09

The Ins and Outs of Record Shopping with Low Expectations 

Low expectations can occasionally yield good things. I was rooting around in a $2 bin the other day and came across these two records. I realize this isn’t a mind blowing score, but I was drawn to both of these records. Leonard Cohen ’cause he’s great even when he isn’t. But I don’t know what possessed me to by a later Kinks record. This album’s 1981 date should have sent me screaming. But Give the People What They Want was sort of an interesting listen; mostly because they really do give the people what they want by recycling old riffs into new songs. The song “Art Lover” is dangerously close to “Dedicated Follower of Fashion.” But the real shock on this album is the song “Destroyer.” The guitar riff is the exact same riff from “You Really Got Me.” The first line of “Destroyer” even starts out with  “Girl, I Want…” Still, it’s an awesome riff. Since I was not expecting much from the album, I ended up enjoying it. Go figure. 

I’m Your Man has “Everybody Knows” on it. Worth the price. 

Of course, the syndrome at play here is the urge to buy later records by artists for whom you “like their old stuff.” Even if you are not a completist, your fingers will hesitate briefly before blowing past a record when there is a Kinks logo is on it. Occasionally, the urge to buy just any record might grab you. In this case, it wasn’t the worst thing that could ever happen. A bigger burn was a while back when I discovered the hard way that there was once a terrible 80s synth-pop band called The Quick. 

The most excited I got about this particular purchase was, when I got home, I realized that both albums have people with sunglasses on the cover.  

For Tucson, this was a pretty stellar day of record shopping. 

 

02.07.09

R.I.P. Lux Interior 1946-2009

He made the world a cooler place. Not only for starting The Cramps, but for exposing the world to loads of forgotten tracks. And for making it cool to like Ricky Nelson. We owe him a serious debt. May his voice ring out.

Lux posted in: Writing | Comments (0)
02.05.09

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS: Mad Mike Monsters Volume 2: A Tribute to Mad Mike Metrovich: LP

Some of my favorite people in the world are those who seem to be somewhat famous for just having good taste in music. Mad Mike Metrovich is one of those lucky bastards who made his way in the world sifting through dusty stacks of unwanted records. A Pittsburg disc jockey, Mad Mike would scour the dirty corners of Pennsylvania looking for obscure records to play on his radio show. This series features some of Mad Mike’s most coveted singles mastered into easily obtained collections filled with Mad Mike’s story and loads of rock and roll. Fans of made up words, overdriven sax solos, and hootin’ and hollerin’ cannot afford to miss this series. Volume Two features songs such as the Del-Mars “Snacky Poo,” The Rhythm Addicts “Oomp Boomp” and Count Farrell’s “Wizard of Ah’s.” If you’ve heard of any of those songs already, you’re waaaaay too cool to be reading this.-Billups Allen (Norton)


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