Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Got the following email/question from one of my ATV readers:
Dear Mr. Vinyl,
Would you happened to know any COMEDY vinyl record collectors?
I need someone who knows alot about comedy vinyl from the 60's.
An e-mail or phone number would be great.
Hopefully, once I have album titles I can give you some business by buying some collector albums.
Thanks for your help and Happy New Year,
If you can be of assistance - Drop me a line, or leave me a comment and I'll connect you with Jak!
Steve Martin - Comedy Act for Dogszero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
This "being social in the real world" thing really cramps my blogging style!
After my dinner last night with blogger/Clevo/Nashville buddy Kevin Mason, I was re-inspired and researching a future webcam purchase today. During lunch, I went to Best Buy to see a couple of the options in the flesh. I think I found (thanks to Kevin's help,) the model that I want to get, and I'll likely purchase it at some point soon.
Tonight after work, I met up with fellow vinyl lover Beth, a Twitter friend o' mine, to hand off a stack of vinyl, and talk some tunes. After that, it was back to the west side for dinner at Buckeye Beer Engine.
For now, I'm at home listening to a recently acquired copy of the 38 Special album Tour De Force. I've always been a fan of 38, and the album opening "If I'd Been The One" was a favorite song of mine as a kid. I remember seeing the video on Friday Night Videos, and it still registers as one of the early videos from back in the day that was cool. I guess if you add flames, it makes anything a lot more interesting!
I'm surprised that the video isn't on Youtube, but the video for "Back Where You Belong," also on Tour De Force, is equally entertaining!
38 Special - Back Where You Belongmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Winding down tonight after a busy day of work, and an evening of fellowship and food with Kevin Mason, I found myself back at home "spinning the black circle."
Tonight's selections - the Mudcrutch Extended Play Live EP release that I just got in the mail, and after that, Talk Show by The Go-Go's. Another cool label, and I thought I'd share a cell phone pic of it with you all....
The Go-Go's on The Drew Carey Showmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Smithereens frontman Pat Dinizio recently put up a post with 6 full length videos from Live in Concert. You can click through on each video link to watch a higher quality video, which makes a huge difference and will give you greater appreciation for the "film" effect that they used on the footage.
I'm really looking forward to this release - hoping that the between song chatter will be included (and I imagine chances are good that it will be!)
The Smithereens - Behind The Wall of Sleep
The Smithereens - Drown in My Own Tears
The Smithereens - Top of The Pops
The Smithereens - Since You Went Away
The Smithereens - Any Other Way
The Smithereens - A Girl Like Youmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I couldn't exactly think of a subject line that was completely appropriate, and the above seemed to at least cover it, although there are probably some that would argue (myself included!) that this blog is ALL about "scattered musical thoughts!"
Friday night, I got together with my buddy Corey for a long overdue hangout (two years in the making at least) that didn't involve a concert, or running into each other in public. Corey and I actually MADE PLANS to hang out at his house in his rock and roll man cave, where I could check out his pristine Guns 'n Roses pinball machine that he picked up about a year ago.
There's a ton of individual details about the machine here. Corey's machine is unique because it is an early prototype that never saw the inside of a bar/club/etc - condition is PERFECT. What I liked about it is that while it has the more modern look and feel of today's pinball machines, it retains the classic feel and action of the older pinball machines. By the 90s, the newer pinball machines had become so modernized that they lost (in my opinion) the actual plot of what a pinball machine should be about. Very similar to music - all of 'em became digitally based, when all I really wanted was the "analog" feel of the classic older machines.
I had a lot of fun playing with it, and could have easily gotten sucked in for the entire evening, but I was consciously aware that the real reason I was there was to hang out, converse, catch up.....and that's just what we did.
We of course talked a lot of music, and one of my first topics was something that had just occurred to me in the car ride over. I had to know if Corey had/heard/was aware of one of my favorite nobody-else-knows-this-band-but-me bands, a Chicago band named Supermint. We could probably spend an entire blog talking about Supermint, but here it is in a nutshell. During the late 90s I was co-hosting heavy metal karaoke with Cleveland guitar wizard Billy Morris, at his Parma club The Revolution on Monday nights. For a string of Mondays, I kept hearing this BAND on the club sound system, and finally had to ask who the band was.
I found out from Billy that the band was called Supermint, and acquired their 1999 self-titled CD a short time later from one of the local record stores. It's been one of my favorite CDs for nearly 10 years now. I never got a chance to see the band live, but recently found out that they do play the occasional reunion show in Chicago, so I am hoping to catch them live someday. They put out a second CD called Off To Stupidville in 2004 that didn't quite measure up to the debut for me, and called it quits at some point after that.
Most days my favorite tune from the disc is "Shouldn't It Feel Good." Recently, it's been the album opener "What's Going On," but really I love the entire disc.
As it happens, you can grab the debut as an MP3 download for $5.99 from Amazon, and you should!
Corey had of course, heard of Supermint. Apparently they played a ton of Cleveland shows with Enuff Z'nuff, who practically lived at Billy's various clubs in the 90s, so I'm not quite sure how I missed seeing them.
As I looked through his CD collection, I came across a bunch of titles that surprised me. Titles that turned out to belong to his wife Lisa. I finally determined that I'm better friends musically with Lisa. The one CD of Lisa's that floored me when I saw it, was Test Your Own Eyes by Dog Society.
Now that I'm older, I hate everything...
"Love Is All Gone" by Dog Society from Test Your Own Eyes (1993)
The Dog Society album came out in 1993, and the band had a sound that was very similar to other bands of the time like Dig, Dada, and I'm sure if I keep thinking, I could think of other bands that start with "D" as well! I'm guessing that if you know any Dog Society, "Love Is All Gone" is probably the one you know. In my little high school rock band, we covered the album opening "When Your Dead."
Our cover song criteria was pretty simple - We liked cover songs that sounded cool and were fun to play, yet were uncomplicated enough that we could cover them. Stuff like "Found Out About You" by the Gin Blossoms, "Dream All Day" by The Posies, and "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" by the Spin Doctors all sounded cool. Sometimes we'd cover a tune that might get blank stares from everyone, but we liked it - "A Girl Like You" by The Smithereens, was one. And "When You're Dead" by Dog Society was another example.
We had heard "Love Is All Gone" on local radio and liked it enough that my friend Jim acquired the disc. When we heard "When You're Dead," we knew that we had to work up a cover version. We always had a lot of fun playing that one.
"When You're Dead" and "Love Is All Gone" are back to back on Test Your Own Eyes, and after that, the rest of the album really didn't click with me, but those two songs are great.
After I got home from Corey's, I was curious to look up Dog Society, and see where their story ended. As you can imagine, their band name doesn't really lend itself to Google. Test Your Own Eyes was produced by Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf for Bongload Productions. The pair had just produced Beck's Mellow Gold album which um, did pretty well! While searching for Dog Society info, some of the Bongload info led me to this really cool documentary on Mellow Gold that you will enjoy.
After working with Dog Society, Rob and Tom produced several albums for Elliott Smith - Either/Or, XO, and Figure 8. Schnapf was recruited by Smith's family to complete From a Basement on a Hill after the unfortunate passing of Smith. Recently, Schnapf has been involved with The Vines and Saves The Day. Rothrock has been involved in soundtrack work and also produced James Blunt's Back to Bedlam.
I guess they're doing okay - but what about those Dog Society guys? According to their Myspace page, they called it quits about a year after the release of Test Your Own Eyes:
Dog Society was formed in the late 1991 in the New York City area. After making a demo tape and passing it along to various companies, They were signed to East West Records/Atlantic Records, and recorded one album titled Test Your Own Eyes. The album was produced by Rob Schnapf and Tom Rothrock, who went on to produce a number of albums for big names such as Elliott Smith, Beck and The Vines. They toured and played at a number of venues throughout the United States and They eventually broke up in 1994. Dog Society is Richie Guerzon, Bruce Erik Brauer, Ryan Bay, + Joey Rains. The cover was a life size sculpture created by Hans Nelman. Bruce Erik Brauer designed the logo and imprinted the CD with it. Larry Freemantle was the Art Director.
That's an interesting story about the album artwork!
I wouldn't go overboard and call the album a "lost classic" or anything crazy like that, but "When You're Dead" and "Love Is All Gone" are still two of my favorite songs from the 90s.
Supermint on Myspace
Purchase Dog Society's Test Your Own Eyes from Amazon - CD
Dog Society on Myspacemore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I picked up Esquire Magazine's 8th annual Meaning of Life issue over the weekend. Fifty interviews, one person from each state. I was sucked in by Clint Eastwood on the cover, and also seeing the names of Little Steven.....and Chloë Sevigny?
Inside the table of contents, Mickey Rourke.
Side note: I kinda have a thing for Chloë Sevigny. I didn't always like her, but have really grown to enjoy her on HBO's Big Love.
A couple of interesting moments from What I've Learned: Wisdom from all 50 States:
In Changeling, I tried to show something you'd never see nowadays - a kid sitting and looking at the radio. Just sitting in front of the radio and listening. Your mind does the rest.
- Clint Eastwood
Immediately upon working for fifteen years to make it, as soon as we make it, what do I do? I leave, right before the Born In The U.S.A. tour. Everybody bought houses off of that tour. I'm in Africa with an eleven-piece that I'm paying for, using my little money to keep a band on the road talking about politics.
I learned everything I know from leaving the E Street Band. And of course, one of the things I learned is, I never should have left.
- Steven Van Zandt
The Eastwood comment resonates with me because I have so many memories of being a kid, listening to the radio. And also memories of being a teenager, listening to the radio. For so many of my formative years, there really was nothing better.
This is the first time I've seen Van Zandt comment at length about his departure from the E Street Band. I'm sure it's been addressed, but I found the Esquire interview particularly interesting. Of course now that I think about it, I think I always enjoy any interview I read with Little Steven! Check out the full interviews with Van Zandt and Eastwood in the January 2009 issue of Esquire at your favorite newsstand right now.
Here's a link to the Mickey Rourke article in the current issue.zero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
If you're still searching around a bit for that Xmas spirit, boy do I have something that's going to help out a lot!
First, a quick flashback to last year's holidays: Last year's holiday cheer was provided in my household with the debut of a Christmas album from The Smithereens. You all remember how much I love The Smithereens, right?
Christmas With The Smithereens was the best Xmas release of 2007 that everyone SHOULD have heard, crafted from the same musical thought process that brought us holiday gold like the Beach Boys Xmas album back in the day.
It was that good.
I had heard the hype from plenty by the time I finally brought my own copy home to listen to, and wouldn't you know it, the 'Reens Xmas joint blew my Christmas stockings right off. The neighbors were very unhappy about that last part...something about indecent exposure, or something like that.
Holiday music had laid pretty low this year in my world, with the exception of a version of "Winter Wonderland" by Jason Mraz that found its way into my ears. I've been planning at long last to make my own rock and roll xmas mix from all of my holiday tunes, but haven't gotten around to it yet. And then all of the sudden, THIS came along.
Perhaps "Christmas cheer" isn't the first two words that come to mind when you think of Aimee Mann, which is something that Mann herself pokes fun at in today's listening material. Aimee released her own Xmas platter One More Drifter in the Snow a couple of years ago, and just completed her third annual holiday tour with a tantalizing list of guests joining her at each of the tour stops. I would have LOVED to have seen Juliana Hatfield and Aimee on the same stage at the Boston date!
Aimee's PA gig at the Keswick Theatre was broadcast by Philly's WXPN-FM and after hearing only a few tracks, I immediately began making mental plans to drive anywhere I have to in 2009 to catch (hopefully) a tour date on the next holiday tour. For the PA date, Aimee was joined by singer-songwriter Nellie McKay, longtime friend and comedian Paul F. Tompkins, Grant-Lee Phillips, and Philly native Amos Lee.
This isn't just friends singing Christmas songs to make a buck - this is a wonderfully produced and comedically dark Christmas SHOW. They're singing some really cool Xmas tunes ("Snow Miser, Heat Miser!") mixed with the staples, and original material.
In costumes (Kinda.)
With a STORY!
I know you're probably talking to the computer right now to let me know "hey Matt, this is a radio broadcast - that costume and video stuff doesn't translate too well on the radio." And that's what makes this one a magical must hear. Like the old radio broadcasts of the 40s and 50s, the WXPN broadcast of this visual holiday performance translates brilliantly to the airwaves. Hopefully they'll post the videos from this year's show on Youtube. Last year's videos can be found right here. There are a couple of naughty words that make this one a little bit unsafe for airing around the Xmas-loving bambinos, but you'll love this one to pieces, and I guarantee that you'll be sharing it with a few friends!
I was smiling the entire day while listening to this, especially hearing "Willie Nelson's" version of "Voices Carry," which dammit, "Willie" totally nails it!
When I do get around to making my holiday mix, there will be a few tunes from this that will be included without question. And like the Smithereens and Beach Boys holiday discs, I will be pulling this one out for future holiday airings in the Vinyl household.
Aimee Mann - Calling on Mary (live in Keswick, PA)
Aimee Mann's 3rd Annual Christmas Show
The Keswick Theatre
Broadcast by WXPN-FM
Download full-resolution files of this broadcast from Dimeadozen (free membership required)
01 - WXPN intro
02 - show intro (Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies)
03 - Calling On Mary [AM]
04 - Paul F. Tompkins intro & banter
05 - Sleigh Ride [AM & PFT]
06 - Nelly McKay (wearing a big red corset) intro & banter
07 - Sleigh Ride (cont'd) [NMK-sung in high voice]
08 - Grant-Lee Phillips (in snowman costume) intro & banter
09 - Sleigh Ride (cont'd) [GLP]
10 - Aimee banter & film introduction
11 - ~ Film pt.1 (The Ghost of Christmas Past) [GLP, Michael Penn, PFT]
12 - Paul F. Tompkins comedy routine #1
13 - Snow Miser, Heat Miser [AM, PFT, GLP, NMK]
14 - Paul F. Tompkins comedy routine #2
15 - I'll Be Home For Christmas [AM]
16 - Christmastime [AM & NMK]
17 - Take Me Away [NMK]
18 - Nelly with Rudolph toy
19 - A Christmas Dirge [NMK]
20 - The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) [AM]...interrupted by...
21 - ~ Film pt.2 (The Ghost of Christmas Present)
Aimee Mann and "Willie Nelson" - Voices Carry (live in Los Angeles)
01 - Wise Up [AM]
02 - Save Me [AM]
03 - Aimee introduces Amos Lee
04 - Winter Wonderland [AM & AL]
05 - Christmas In Prison [AL]
06 - Baby I Want You [AL]
07 - Paul F. Tompkins introduces "Willie Nelson" (Grant-Lee Phillips)
08 - Voices Carry [as sung by "Willie Nelson" and AM]
09 - ~ Film pt.3 (The Making Of The Christmas Movie) w/Michael Cera
10 - Aimee introduces Grant Lee Phillips
11 - You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch [GLP & AM]
12 - An Old Fashioned Christmas [GLP w/AM]
13 - Winter Glow [GLP]
14 - banter
15 - "The Hanukkah Fairy" (Morgan Murphy) appears
16 - The Immaculate Conception of the Hanukkah Fairy [MM]
17 - ~ Film pt.4 (The Ghost of Christmas Future) w/John C. Reilly & Michael Cera
18 - Freeway [AM]
19 - Dear John [AM]
20 - Long Shot [AM]
21 - ENCORE BREAK & Station IDs
22 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) [ALL, including GLP in a Rudolph costume]
23 - station outro
Purchase Aimee Mann's One More Drifter in the Snow from Amazon - CD or MP3
Aimee Mann's official website
WXPN official website
Aimee Mann with John Krasinski - Winter Wonderland (live in Los Angeles)
Aimee Mann and Amos Lee - Winter Wonderland (live in Keswick, PA)more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
In the 90s, Marty made one of my favorite country records This One's Gonna Hurt You, an album that came across my desk as a promo while working at a record store in high school. That CD remained one of my favorite albums through the years, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I started to learn more about who Marty Stuart was, and where he came from.
Naturally, I jumped at the chance to spend an evening with Stuart, in town as part of the ongoing Rock Hall series "From Songwriters to Soundmen." The appearance was tied in with the current Rock Hall Sparkle & Twang exhibit of Stuart's immense collection, the result of many years of work dedicated to the collection and preservation of country music's colorful culture and artifacts.
It was an unexpected treat to see a selection of guitars and an amplifier on stage, which obviously meant that Stuart would be performing in addition to discussing his career. As Stuart strummed the opening notes of "Now That's Country" off This One's Gonna Hurt You, it was clear that I was in for a good evening. Hell, not only did he play a song from my favorite album, he pretty much picked my favorite song off of the album....one of 'em, anyway!
Stuart mixed songs and discussion in an evening's worth of entertainment that ran a little bit over two hours in length. The discussion was often humorous with an audience member asking Stuart the obvious question of how cool his parents were, to let him go on the road with bluegrass pioneer Lester Flatt at the age of 13. Stuart agreed that his parents were unquestionably cool, but noted that they probably wouldn't have let him go if it had been Ozzy Osbourne.
Of his time as a member of Johnny Cash's band in the 80s, Stuart called the period Johnny's "preparation decade" for the "victory lap" that was Cash's career in the 90s, and noted that during the band's European tours during that time, he could see the beginnings of the second wave of popularity for Cash that would eventually surge worldwide.
The Rock Hall takes a lot of flak, and sometimes deservedly so, but the "Songwriters to Soundmen" series continues to be one of the coolest things you can do in Cleveland for FREE.
You can sign up here for the Rock Hall's e-newsletter that will keep you in tune with events that are coming to the museum. In the past year, I've attended similar events with former MTV guy Matt Pinfield, Lynyrd Skynyrd, legendary Monterey Pop organizer Lou Adler, and Helmet mainman Page Hamilton, to name a few - all for free. Each evening is always a great night of musical education, and also your chance to bump elbows with some legendary musical talent.
Looking for something cool to do in Cleveland? There ya go. By the way, the next exhibit opens in January, a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Motown. Dig it.
Johnny Cash and Marty Stuart - Doing My Time
Marty Stuart's official websitemore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Dan Baird - I Love You Period (live on Letterman)
First up came a couple of solo albums, followed by a couple of albums with the all-star Yayhoos project, and bringing things current in 2008, Baird unleashed one of his best albums yet with his latest group Dan Baird & Homemade Sin. Leave it to Baird to make sure that classic rock stations everywhere are properly immortalized for bringing us those "Two-fer Tuesdays" with a song called appropriately enough, "Two For Tuesday."
Let's go back 20 years though, and join Dan onstage with the Satellites in Cleveland at the old Peabody's Down Under. The show was broadcast by WMMS and I got a copy from a listener that recorded that night's broadcast to cassette. Thanks to that random Clevelander, we've got lightning captured in a bottle with this performance, which finds the band celebrating Dan's birthday in the only way they know how - on stage.
Listening to this show, you'll get a bit of Xmas cheer and how about a Ramones cover too?
You got it.
P.S. - somewhere Ann is smiling because I finally stopped slacking and made zip files for this download!
P.S.S. - Buy every CD/album/cassette/8-Track that Dan Baird has ever been a part of. You won't be sorry.
Peabody's Down Under
complete zipped download