Archive for March, 2015

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I think it’s hilarious…Dave just said he had a great idea for a blog post on here. It was NOT the same idea I had, so I hope he takes a cue from mine and tries to find an artist who would fit in this category. His idea is far better (so I’ll likely try to find something along that line), but this one idea has been knocking around in my head for a few days now, so why NOT actually post some new blogs on the HC? I should, Dave should, should anyone else? The answer would be yes! Join us at the Hive Collective. You must. You must.

So anyway, the newest thoughts on this blog are that there need to be new areas to dive into the vinyl. Not just favorites, but some that are not (the last two posts). Dive a little deeper into the artist, the music, the mania surrounding the music, and those who are collectors of that vinyl. I easily have multiple artists where I own more than 10 records of their catalog (Duran Duran, INXS, Boy George, MJ,Wham!/George Michael, Elton, Billy, Prince), so why not find some more of the bad as well as the good? Fair is fair, and not every artist has great music all the time. Dave was just talking about artists with albums today at work, but I’m saying no more because it directly relates to his next blog post here. So my idea is this- I’m going to pick one artist at random, and list the best and worst 5 records I have from that artist in my personal record collection. Another thing- the vinyl profiled doesn’t need to be one size- if it’s a 33″, a 45″, anything goes here at Hannibal Collector!

So, after deep thought, I decided that I really wanted to dive into R.E.M.’s catalog today. This is brought on by a moody Sunday at the casa, where I wrote multiple bitchy blog posts that got deleted the moment I woke up this morning and realized my bitch (female) nature had taken ahold of me yesterday. The only thing that made me feel a thousand percent better yesterday afternoon was R.E.M. In particular, one album. Whenever I listen to New Adventures In Hi-Fi, something happens to me. I get inspired. It picks me up, it lets me down, it throws me into a spin-cycle of emotions. When my mom got sick and up until and again after her death, this was the one album that kept me going through. I’m not sure why, likely because it’s such a roller coaster album all the way through (my opinion), and that fit perfectly with the waterslide that were my emotions at that painful time. It STILL manages to mess my shit up, and yet I will stand by and say I think it’s in my top 3 REM albums. And we know how many albums REM had in their career….then I began flashing back to other REM albums, and I went hunting for some vinyl. Then I turned on the record player and spun some Stipe (oh boy, THAT sounds wrong!), and felt better. Then I found some other R.E.M. that had me shaking my head going “Why do I own this?” (shades of the other blog posts previously on the HC). So, from that- comes this:

G’s Top 5 R.E.M. Vinyl:

1. NEW ADVENTURES IN HI-FI: For exactly the reasons listed in the paragraph above, and for the emotional tumult I am currently sliding around in. Thanks to the Lords of Athens for keeping me up in arms! Favorite Stipe lyric: From “Bittersweet Me“: “I’d sooner shoot my leg off than get caught in this”- perfectly described the 2nd relationship! Favorite songs: All, except for one lone wolf: E-Bow The Letter, with Patti Smith. I don’t have a personal bone to pick with Patti Smith. In fact, I do enjoy some of her work. HOWEVER, this song just drones on and on and on. It isn’t my favorite, but over time, I have adjusted. A song like “Leave”? Incredible, and still one of my all-time favorites. Overall, I love this album top to bottom. 220px-R_E_M__-_New_Adventures_in_Hi-Fi

2. MONSTER: Well, this beauty came out in 1994. The year of Biceps For Jesus. A lot of crazy going down. We had lost our generation’s voice, Kurt Cobain. Seattle was in full grunge mode. Hair metal was quietly dying in a pool of melting Aqua Net at a honky tonk in Allentown, PA. And this loud, crackling guitar riff on MTV at 2am in the morning on a Thursday night in Oak Park, IL, changed my opinion of R.E.M. forever. I had always counted on them as a band that delivered albums that brought out the deep, reflective sides of all corners of this parallelogram known as life. It was always a smooth, mellow ride. This song? “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?” sounded like NOTHING I had ever heard out of R.E.M. before. The video? Equally hypnotic. You had to know that Peter Buck could roll like a motherfucker with that guitar, and I think this was his first chance to let loose all the way through. I can NEVER listen to this album enough..even now. Not a crappy song on it, and it reminds me of a far happier time in my life, and really, there can’t be enough of those albums that do it for you. R_E_M__-_Monster

3. OUT OF TIME-Another stellar album. This one doesn’t have a bad song on it, either! My personal favorite is “Texarkana”. Not sure why, it just had me from the second I heard it, and I thought nothing of playing it again and again, to the point that Jenny Z. begged me never to hear it again. I plead guilty. This one brought worldwide acclaim in 1991 (year of my high school graduation. Good grief!) with a catchy little ditty called “Losing My Religion”. The boys, unwilling pop stars who just wanted to make music, found themselves all over MTV’s hourly rotation and everywhere else. 1991? I was having the time of my life. Good memories, and a great soundtrack to it with Out of Time.220px-R_E_M__-_Out_of_Time

4. REVEAL– This, their twelfth album, was released in 2001. That year, in G’s world, involved her beloved Crown Books folding into Biblepalooza Books, and falling head over heels in love with a weenie tot. Yes, a human being, but I’ll call him a weenie tot (an upgrade from what I usually call him). So there was some horror (at the impending doom of innumerable neverending Paula Deen cookbooks at work) and there was optimism (at the impending doom of #3, which was up and down and all around on my tracks for the better part of ten years). The album was played a ridiculous amount, and it never failed to lift my spirits. Even now? I can still spin that vinyl and I’m singing and dancing along like a fool. Just a good album, start to finish. And the video for “Imitation of Life” is pretty entertaining, all these years later. R_E_M__-_Reveal

5. ACCELERATE: Album #14 came out in March, 2008. I don’t remember much except that #3 was on its last run down my tracks, and I was OBSESSED with playing Duran Duran’s Red Carpet Massacre, which came out in November, 2007. However, one listen to Supernatural Superserious, the first single, on WXRT, and I had to have the album. Right away, there was some energy here, which was a vast improvement from the bucket of piss album before (Around The Sun) this one. “Man Sized Wreath”, “Living Well is the Best Revenge“, and “Hollow Man” are all favorites, but really, a great album top to bottom. A great album cover design, and Jacknife Lee brought out something in them that I hadn’t heard in sonic form since “Monster“. A pleasant surprise. 220px-R_E_M__-_Accelerate

G’s Bottom Of The Heap R.E.M. Vinyl:

1. Around The Sun:: I have no earthly idea what was going on with Stipe & Co in 2003/2004 when they were making this drivel. It could NOT have been good. I got this on vinyl as a gift from Weenie Tot. I think it was found at a dive record store somewhere, but it was nicely adorned with the $2.00 sticker still on it. First I was pissed because the motherfucker couldn’t even take the sticker off, then I was pissed because once I opened it and played it, I felt like the $2.00 he wasted on it could’ve gone toward a bottle of something or a pack of smokes. I can’t even identify a single song on it that I enjoyed. I remembered hearing “Leaving New York” and thinking that I wished the clones that were playing R.E.M. would get vaporized in a field of magnolias, back into the awesome trio they usually were. There’s nothing to save this one. The band does NOT play any songs off of it, and Peter Buck has freely admitted that it’s unlistenable and that the band were clearly not happy with the material, and it showed. Give the boys points for honesty. So, friends, if you see this album in a record bin, RUN! 220px-R_E_M__-_Around_the_Sun

2. UP- I used to defend this album because it had one or two really good songs on it. However, I have come to realize over the years that it’s just not that good. I wouldn’t call it absolute shite (see above) because there are at least three songs on it that don’t suck, but overall, a very disappointing release from the boys. For the record, the songs I enjoy are “Diminished“, “Lotus“, and “At My Most Beautiful“, which goes to show that despite an album worth of weird filler and downtrodden electronic beats and drum machines (first album without Bill Berry), that the band can still produce some quality. The cover design blows, the album sounds muted and then completely mono in parts, and there is no discernible thread throughout. I’m going to blame Nigel Goodrich for this, because he engineered the album. Goodrich? Bush’s record producer. Say no more.
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3. Automatic For The People– I’m going to take major shit for this one. It’s not that I don’t love parts of it, but as a whole, it doesn’t move mountains for me. It barely moves an anthill, actually. I will likely get nasty postal mail from Mr. Rich Snyder, because I know he loves this album. I did, too, the 100 million times I heard it in 1992/1993/eternity. The problem was, it just didn’t resonate much with me. I can listen to it now and see more value in it; yet, it’s largely ignored in my collection. I will see it and keep flipping through. It’s not personal, or maybe it is, but a lot of it is just there. Or maybe I just felt as an album it was played so much that it was overplayed for me for life. What did I like? “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite”(a song many of my friends mock, but I love it because it’s different and it’s FUN!), “Everybody Hurts“(a song I still love, but if I hear it start, I do groan aloud), and “Man On The Moon”. Overall, though? I can do without. R_E_M__-_Automatic_for_the_People

4. Dead Letter Office– I picked this up at Beautiful Day Records in Lagrange, which I had spoken of often on this blog. A good number of my vinyl came from that little slice of heaven. This was when I was going through my major R.E.M. discovery stage. Anything that I saw with their name on it I got… including this. I was excited because it was ‘rarities, B-sides, demos”, and I liked hearing rare stuff from a band that I held in high regard. The cover did little for my libido, but R.E.M. covers usually dont’, anyway. I listened to it once, I listened to it twice, and I put it away, with no effect on me whatsoever. Years went by, I moved several times when Love came a callin’ and then Love went a fallin’, and whenever I unpacked it, I had to listen to it again. Like granite on a marble countertop orgy, nothing. Nothing. At. All. Yesterday, I put it on again. And again, Nothing. At. All. Avoid. At. All. Costs. 220px-R_E_M__-_Dead_Letter_Office

5. Document- This one is known primarily for being Stipe’s political album on the misrepresentation of what was going on with the political shenanigans of one Ronald Reagan. Your big hit was “The One I Love“, a song that got them some major notice, but really the only standalone track on this album. I love Stipe’s lyrics and I love R.E.M., but I connect more with the emotive side of the band, rather than the political side of the band. Listened to it again to be fair, but was bored after Side 1 and turned it off. Even age can’t bring wisdom to my liking this album. R_E_M__-_Document

So, overall, I love, love, love more than despise the R.E.M. in my vinyl collection. And I have all their albums on vinyl. I don’t own any 45’s by them, because I believe they are one of those bands that are solid start to finish on multiple albums, so I didn’t waste a lot of time buying their singles on 45, simply because I wanted the entire album. Great band, great albums, only a few dim spots in their night sky, and you really can’t argue with that, can you?

Turds hiding in my Fruit Loops: Cluttering my collection

Posted: March 20, 2015 by The Social Retard in Uncategorized

Thank you, G, for the idea for posting about the terrible anomalies in one’s record collection. Thankfully, strictly where vinyl is concerned, I didn’t start collecting until I was 18. Even then, my collection consisted of a Def Leppard 7″ and the Rolling Stones’ Let it Bleed LP. Both have since been lost in a flood. It wasn’t until my friend and I started an online record store over eight years ago that my collection began in earnest. So, being as my tastes were (more or less) fully developed, I don’t have much that I’m ashamed of. That being said, here are a few questionable pieces.

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Def Leppard – Make Love Like a Man b/w Miss You in a Heartbeat, bought 12/20/10 for $3. Over four years ago, but I can’t really defend this. No matter where you fall on Def Leppard as a band, one thing is certain. This song is just fucking terrible. I wrote a lengthy piece about just how terrible a while back. My only rationale for buying it has to be that I was collecting Lep b-sides, trying to get as much of their catalog as possible. “Miss You in a Heartbeat” is just not a good enough song to justify owning the awfulness that is “Make Love Like a Man”.

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Europe – The Final Countdown b/w On Broken Wings, bought in 2009 as part of a 3 7″ for a dollar special. Why do I have this? Beside the sale that also netted me Run DMC’s rendition of “Ghostbusters” and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” (which could also be on here but won’t be because…Rocky III, that’s why! Also, this fucking guy.

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The Firm – The Firm, bought 2010 for $5. Wow, was this someone else? That I paid actual money for this is unbelievable. That I paid more than a penny is unthinkable. Five dollars!?! That is unfathomable. But it happened and I have no excuse. Here’s the thing. I don’t own any Led Zeppelin records. None. Why? Because I have heard every song to death that I don’t need to own any. Their etched in my brain so deeply that when Alzheimer’s has robbed me of the recognition of all I hold dear, I will still remember the lyrics to “D’yer Mak’er”. All of this is why I have zero idea as to what could have possessed me to hand over cash for a different Jimmy Page band with Paul Rodgers singing. Hadn’t I heard Coverdale/Page? Fuck me.

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Elf – Trying to Burn the Sun, bought 6/10/10 for $5. See that label in the corner? This is how buyer’s remorse begins. Ronnie James Dio might be the greatest singer in the history of heavy metal. His contributions to Black Sabbath and Rainbow are astounding. Even his namesake band, Dio, had some gems. Elf is what Dio was doing before Rainbow. Still a great singer but singing generic blues rock. This one hurts.

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Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance, bought 7/6/10 for unknown price. You know what? I don’t need to explain this one at all.

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I could apologize for the picture above, but I’m frightened and giggling like a fool. Another thing I don’t pretend to understand- why own and buy vinyl when you don’t have a record player? But that’s not why I’m here.
I also will try to post more on here; not sure what the founder of this great blog is up to these days. I mean, he’s my friend and I work with him, but he doesn’t appear on here too often. Which is a damn shame, because he’s got great opinions on vinyl.
I have to explain better. I got a NEW record player for my birthday from my friend, “House of Style Brother” Dylan. The other one came to an unfortunate end. I wept. Because I really loved that old stereo system with the double cassette and 5 CD-disc player model. Yep, it still had a double cassette player. The thing was smoking when I went to turn it on one day, and then it just Stopped. Dead. In. My. Tracks. Sorry, I’m referencing a Duran Duran B-side. Anyway, he got me a small carry along model that I can pack up and bring with me. Believe me, I’ve thought about bringing it to the store! Anyhow, I also thought it a cool idea to take pictures of random 45’s and vinyl that I found when I was bringing out the vinyl to play on the nifty record player, and post them on Instagram. And my followers had a lot of cool things to stay. Jurkones even offered to buy my Eddy Grant “Electric Avenue” 45 from me. (Sorry, dude, I can’t part with it.) I also was quite appalled to find a number of vinyl that I own that made my stomach churn like the fiery kiln of Martha Stewart’s Pottery Barn. Spring cleaning is in full force here at Casa de Coan, and I found even more revolting records. So here’s a top 10 of the worst vinyl I found so far- don’t worry, friends, I have another 28 crates to go through, and 14 in John M’s basement in Mundelein, from when I moved here in 2011. Here’s the rundown of the first 10 vinyl records/45’s that I found that made me shriek out loud. PS- These are in no order of suck, either. They’re all equally appalling.

1. All Out of Love- Air Supply.- The only explanation I have for this is that it HAD to be my mom’s 45 and got mixed in the move. Her 45’s and vinyl always had “Karen” written on them, in case anyone would ever have thought my 7 year old self would wish to sway and croon along with one of the higher charting duos in 70’s and 80’s music. Uh, no. I just don’t get it. I know, she tried real hard to get me and my brother into Air Supply. I remember we both liked the Bee-Gees, any of the soul she played, and Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting”, which was my brother’s favorite of all songs, if I recall. She also tried with the Captain and Tennille (which I was telling Dave about the other day because the Captain and Tennille popped up in his trivia round. I think?), to no avail. I remember liking Heart, the Monkees, ALL disco except that swinehoond KC, Three Dog Night, and Billy and Elton- even then! I never got Air Supply. I used to hear the beginning of that cheesy mid-tempo trying to up-tempo start, and I would beg to take a nap. Then, as now, I’m not fond of naps. I would BEG TO TAKE A NAP. My mom wouldn’t play records if one of us wanted to take a nap. I learned quickly how to side-step that landmine. Of course, she figured it out and played it MORE. I love my mama, rest her soul, but I will never love the Air Supply. So, Air Supply and I will never dance the tango of love. If I ever have to hear it again, I fear I may set a Packers flag on fire. Take it to the bank.

2. Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone- Glass Tiger– Oh, Glass Tiger, I think you may have overstayed your welcome in my vinyl closet when I heard that song “Someday“. Not a fan of that, not a fan of this, not a fan of their first album. I’m not sure why I found this in my vinyl collection, unless it was a gift from my grandma, who liked to buy vinyl for us, or a friend. Or a misguided choice from my mom. There were a lot of bands/singers we disagreed about with her, as well as many that we agree upon. All records were played in our house. Respect for all those who owned records/45’s. I honestly do not remember buying this ever, because I didn’t care for Glass Tiger. If I wanted music like this, I preferred Level 42. Seriously. Glass Tiger seemed like lukewarm version of cream soda. And you all know what I think of cream soda.

3. Theme from Moonlighting- Al Jarreau– I do, unfortunately, know why I own this. I always had an affinity for ABC television shows. Moonlighting was one of my favorites. And not just because it was funny or I coveted Cybil Shepherd’s over hair sprayed helmet head. No, people, I had a crush on Bruce Willis. Beth F and I used to have entire conversations at BAM about our shared crush over Bruce Willis. With, or without hair. Yes, people, Bruce Willis once had hair. And a cheesy show. Which I adored. In true fashion, the young fangirl (before being a fangirl was even a thing) bought anything and everything associated with Moonlighting or Bruce Willis. Including the official soundtrack album, on cassette. And this 45, which I found at K-Mart and my mom got for me (she also watched Moonlighting). I tried, kids, really, I did. I put it on the new record player. It is not in good shape, from years of playing it (or 2 seasons, which is all the show lasted, if I’m remembering right). I made it about 20 seconds and my skin was crawling. Bye, bye, Al Jarreau. It’s a damn good thing that not all of our childhood favorites make it to the adult list. Yikes!

4. Bad Medicine- Bon Jovi-— I do not like Bon Jovi. Rather, I like a few songs- Livin’ On A Prayer and Wanted (Dead or Alive). This has to be one where any liking I had of Jon Bon Jovi went south. Although, as I have noted in other posts, the minute he went from being the rocker in the ripped jeans, fringe jacket, and tri-colored mullet rocker hair to getting it chopped off, highlighted, and dressing in gold lame (on that pretentious box set, like he was Elvis!) suits, along with the shorn locks went what little vestiges of talent may have been there. “Your love is like bad medicine, bad medicine is what I need”. Apparently, I need this shit ass 45 as well. Don’t worry, you don’t have to dispose of it, I already did it. Yuck. No idea why I owned this or where it came from, but I should have a cleansing done over my vinyl collection to remove the Bon Jovi Ju Ju.

5. The Lady In Red- Chris DeBurgh= Someone picked this song in the much-heralded 80’s March Madness bracket at the store last March… (Andrew? Was it you?) and I loudly scarfed and make farting noises when that was revealed. Imagine my horrified yelp when I found it in one of my vinyl crates. I did not like the song in the 80’s and I do not like it now. In the true spirit of age bringing wisdom and all that crap, I put it on the new player and listened. And cringed. And talked back to the crooning sap on the record. Ugh. No thanks. I can think of nicer romantic songs from the 80’s, if I were to ever engage in such a discussion with friends of mine equally obsessed by that decade. This one is for the shit pile.

6. Games- New Kids On The Block-– Well, I wonder if this is Shannon’s (my sister) old 45. SHE was obsessed with them the way I was with Duran. I did like NKOTB, but I actually liked their last album the best. “Tonight” and “Step By Step” are pretty solid for a group that was getting ready to disband. “Games” is a song that is best described as tepid crap trying to be rap. Boston style. Annoying, clichéd, lame. Like drinking a cup of tea peppered with pure cane sugar and manure. No thanks.

7. One Night In Bangkok- Murray Head-– Remember this gem from the Broadway musical “Chess”? No? That’s ok, I never meant to bring back bad memories from the Golden Decade. This little Broadway musical and concept album had roots in that the dudes in ABBA were behind it, along with Tim Rice, later known largely for “The Lion King”. Now that you have that useless information, why do I own this 45? I must have had it years before I met Heidi, my best friend. She’s STILL obsessed with that song. I never quite got it and never quite got it. I think my brother and I used to make fun of the title because, naturally, we turned it into something dirty. So, I guess that’s good for memories, eh? But really, I do not like this and would definitely throw a M-80 at the motherfucker singing in the video (swarmy bastage).

8. Strut- Sheena Easton– Now remember, I am not a huge fan of Sheena Easton. I like some of her songs and I love the song with Prince, but this is song sucks. Hated it then, hate it now. I have matured a bit. I used to sing “Slut” instead of “Strut”. I. Just. Hate. It.

9. Total Eclipse Of The Heart- Bonnie Tyler- Well, you had to know at some point this was going to make an appearance. My dislike of this started way before Biceps For Jesus adopted it as his anthem and further killed any potential inkling of like. The video? Even in a decade known for excess, this one was WAY over the top in the ludicrous tent. I don’t remember whom did what, but there are several fabulous parodies of it on Youtube. Check them out, so much better than the song. I think this one may have been a 45 my mom coveted but somehow it ended up mixed in with my stuff. Not a fan, kids. Not a fan.

10. Kokomo- Beach Boys-– I know I’m going to get shit for this one. From one of the worst Tom Cruise movies every made, the bile-inducing COCKTAIL, this is a low point for the Beach Boys. I know a ton of people who love to crank this song at parties and I hear it a lot in the summertime, at the beaches, at the horse stables, you get the idea. I love the Beach Boys, and I’m sure that Richie and I will have a spirited discussion about my dissing of this. I just don’t like it. I don’t think the boys would have done it if they hadn’t been…well…brainwashed. I’m blaming Tom Cruise and his Merry Brand of Scientologists for the Beach Boys doing this. Ugh.

Would you fucking believe that as I was writing this post, “All Out Of Love” came on the radio? Yeah, of course. Talk about the universe (or the great beyond) sending a mixed message. So… I hope you enjoyed some of the revolting records in my collection.