Monthly Archives: April 2013

Instant Finds: Number One With a Bullet

While most people turn to Netflix to watch the latest new releases or TV shows, I prefer to use the service to dig deep and seek out lesser known artifacts from the 70s to today. Are they always good? No. But when they’re at least entertaining, I’ll share them here. Up first is Number One With A Bullet, the best 1987 crime thriller starring a supporting member from Star Wars and a guy from Revenge of the Nerds.

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Featuring the smooth jazz sounds of the Cloud City Trio.

The cast of Number One With a Bullet reads like a mad-libs gone wrong; Billy Dee Williams and Robert Carradine as hard-nosed narcotic cops. Valerie Bertinelli as Carradine’s long suffering (ex?)wife. Doris Roberts as his neurotic mom. Peter Graves as their easily agitated captain. Mykelti Williams (Bubba from Forrest Gump) as the lovable snitch. It’s a who’s who of what the fuck. A hot mess of a cast.

Appropriate for a hot mess of a film.

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Review: The Flaming Lips – Zaireeka (4LP Record Store Day Edition)

I have a love/hate relationship with Record Store Day releases. On one hand, I love going out and getting some weird, ultra-limited edition album or single that I know most people will never see in person. I love the excitement. I love the hunt. I love the “specialness” of it all.

But on the other hand, I hate all of that too. I hate that an artist would purposely limit the number of fans who will be able to listen to their music. I hate the idea of “exclusive” tracks buried in limited edition, hard-to-find records, and I hate that most Record Store Day exclusives are typically either re-releases of old material or “timed” exclusives that will eventually see a wider release in an easier-to-find edition.

So this Record Store Day I decided to go light. I wasn’t going to run around the city and try to find the hardest-to-find, most sought after items. I was going to go to one record store, see what they had, and be done with it. By the time I got there it was nearly noon, so they didn’t have much. I picked up the Pulp remix 12″ single and didn’t see much else. I thought I was going to get off light this year and actually not spend a lot. Then I saw this.

Zaireeka Front A 4LP edition of The Flaming Lips’ 1997 experimental opus Zaireeka. A four-record set that requires you to play all four records at the same time. I bought it. Because when I go stupid, I go stupid hard. Continue reading

All Joy is Formidable if you try hard enough: The Joy Formidable, Pittsburgh, April 24th, 2013

This gallery contains 240 photos.

The Joy Formidable came to Pittsburgh last night and I took a shitload of pictures.

Are 238 pictures excessive for a concert gallery? Of course not, stop asking stupid questions.

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This Week in Retro Releases

While I don’t plan on doing much in the way of “news” stories at this site, I will be doing these weekly updates showcasing new releases, new editions and re-releases of older films and albums. I may also expand this to games at some point.

I got kinks to work out with the layout still, but I wanted to get this up, so here you go: what new in the world of old movies and music for the week of April 21st, 2013.

It’s a pretty light one.

 

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Jurassic Park 3D (Blu-ray/DVD combo)
Experience the needless 3D-conversion of a classic in the comfort of your own home (provided you have both a 3D Blu-ray player and a 3D HDTV). Aside from the pointless 3D disc, this is identical to the Blu-ray that came out as part of the Jurassic Park Trilogy box set in 2011. That box set is only 10 bucks more than this new edition, so if you don’t like 3D and care at all about the two sequels, then you should probably just grab that version instead.

 

 

 

 

 

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Storm Thorgerson’s Greatest Covers (That Aren’t Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin)

Storm Thorgerson passed away last week. You might not know his name, but you certainly know his work. Either as part of his design team Hipgnosis or solo, he created some of the most iconic and memorable album covers of all time, including Dark Side of the Moon, Houses of the Holy, Styx’s Cyclorama, and Def Leppard’s High ‘n’ Dry. The man was a legend, and it’s safe to say that some of his work was just as influential as the albums they appeared on.

Since his passing, most have only made note of his work with Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin, but that was only a fraction of his amazing legacy. Here are some of the greatest covers he made for other artists. Some of these are famous, but many are not. All are awe-inspiring.

 

Anthrax – Stomp 442

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One theme that Thorgerson seemed to employ repeatedly in his work was that of a massive circular object in a barren environment. The covers to Division Bell; Audioslave’s first album and Alan Parson’s On Air are all excellent examples of this recurring motif. None do it better though than this cover to Anthrax’s brutal 1995 record, which evokes feelings of a post-apocalyptic wasteland, or possibly the most metal game of marbles ever.

Also, the image of the giant ball of mechanical wreckage is so striking that it manages to distract you from the naked dude’s ass for at least 30 seconds. And that’s impressive.

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Scott Miller: Dreams as Big as you Please

The chief songwriter behind one of the greatest albums of all time died this week.

His name was Scott Miller and the album is Lolita Nation by Game Theory.

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And you’ve probably never heard it.

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Record Sleeve Finds: Kraftwerk’s Megaposter

Kraftwerk released their third album, Ralf und Florian, in 1973. It was the last of their “krautrock” records. Just a year later they would release Autobahn and begin to create history with their pioneering electronic sound.

When Ralf und Florian was released in West Germany, the very first pressing of the album came with a giant-sized 24″ by 36″ comic book/poster by Emil Shult, a cartoonist who has since designed most of the artwork for the band and even played with them for a short while in the early 70s. This poster was only included with the first West German pressing. It never appeared in any British, American or Japanese editions, and it’s even lacking in later pressings of the album that came out of the band’s home country.

The Ralf und Florian album is rare as it is, having never been released on CD, but this poster is downright impossible to find. So imagine my shock when I discovered it in the sleeve of a copy I bought.

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The Mostly Retro Guide to Buying Records in Japan

Editor’s note: This guide is now irrelevant. Please check out the much expanded update!

This January I went to Tokyo for the first time. It was incredible, Tokyo is an amazing city unlike any I’ve ever been to before. I loved the people, I loved the sights, I loved just walking around in the middle of the night and gawking at the beauty of it all.

Like big buildings and pretty lights? You need to go to Tokyo.

Like big buildings and pretty lights? You need to go to Tokyo.

But most of all, I loved the record stores.

The record stores of Tokyo are awesome. Not only are they all jam-packed with rare records and CDs that you’ll never find in the states, but they also seem to be everywhere. I lost count of how many times I accidentally stumbled upon one record store while on my way to another. It’s amazing.  However, with all the unmarked streets, confusing pedestrian alleyways and nary an English-speaking native to be found, a music lover could easily get lost in the back streets of the megalopolis losing themselves in wonderland of neon lights, never to find the record of their dreams.

It doesn’t have to be that way though.

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