Monthly Archives: June 2013

Vinyl Review: Black Sabbath – 13

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13 is Black Sabbath’s 19th studio album. It’s their first album with Ozzy on vocals in 35 years, and the first in 19 years to feature Geezer Butler on bass. It’s been in development in one way or another for over 10 years, and is the first album of original material from the band to be released under the Black Sabbath name in 18 years.

That’s a lot of history. Thankfully the album stands up to most of it.

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David Yow – Tonight You Look Like A Spider (Monolith Edition)

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The Jesus Lizard were one of the most intense noise rock bands of the 90s; a loud, abrasive, and downright confrontational act who assaulted their audiences with concentrated blasts of distorted noise. At the center of it all was David Yow, a singer whose angry, howling vocals served as an exclamation point to the band’s already caustic and violent sound.

Now, 14 years after the group called it quits, David Yow is back with his debut solo record, Tonight You Look Like A Spider, and it’s even more in-your-face, brutal and disconcerting than anything  The Jesus Lizard ever put out.

Just not in the way you might expect.

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Limited Editions. Unlimited Bullshit.

On Monday, Death Waltz Recordings, a small label out of the UK that specializes in vinyl reissues of horror movie soundtracks, announced their biggest release to date; a 2LP edition of the score to John Carpenter’s legendary horror film The Fog. It was a strictly limited release, with just 700 copies on clear vinyl, and only a scant 200 available on pure black vinyl.

The Fog hasn’t been pressed on vinyl in 30+ years, so the announcement made fans of the  soundtrack flock to Death Waltz’s official website to score a copy. In fact, so many flew to the site at once that it crashed. Making matters worse, when the site came back up, it was flooded with errors, and many who thought they had the release in their shopping cart had not.  By the time it was all sorted out and fans could navigate the site with ease, all copies of the soundtrack had sold out. And since it was a limited edition release, anyone who didn’t snag one of the 900 copies is now out of luck for good. No more are going to be made.

Um…why?

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This is a song about Dig Dug by the guy who sang Dream Weaver

 

I have no idea why.

I need to know more about this song. I need to know how this happened. Someone, anyone, help me. Someone out there has to have inside information as to why Gary Wright (The Dream Weaver) was so moved by motherfucking Dig Dug that he decided to craft a pop song about it,but then decide to release it as “Digital Air” and not his own name (but while still giving himself the writing credit under his actual name).

This is the kind of shit that keeps me up at night.

Heartbreaking sidenote: the b-side is labeled as “Berzerk” but it’s really just “Dig Dug” again! I would murder someone to hear Gary Wright’s take on “Berzerk.”

Click here to download and WATCH OUT FOR THE ROCK!

Mostly-Retro, home of the real shit: songs about motherfucking Dig Dug.

The Mostly Retro Guide to Buying Records in Beijing

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Late last year I went to China, (this was right before my Japan trip) and it was awesome. And while you might not think it, the city was a great place to go record shopping.

Sure, it’s no Tokyo (nowhere is) but hidden within the labyrinthine streets and alleys of the massive metropolis are dozens of great stores that sell an amazing variety of LPs, CDs, DVDs and much more. While my trip to the city was rather brief, (and I was battling some bitterly cold weather) I tried my best to take as much of it in as possible, and I think I was able to check out a lot of the best stores the city had to offer. And as information on record stores in China can be pretty hard to come by, I thought I would share what I discovered here.

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Instant Finds: D.C. Cab

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I think that sometimes it’s important to look at context when judging a film from the past. What were its contemporaries, what were the critical hits of the year, what trends were popular, what movies tapped into the public zeitgeist, what movies bombed.

In 1983, the best picture winner was Terms of Endearment. Linda Hunt won an Oscar for playing a man in The Year Of Living Dangerously. Return Of The Jedi would earn its place as the worst Star Wars movie, a title it would keep for nearly 20 years.

Those are the facts that people remember today. Those are the movies that have held up. But if you look at 1983 in terms of box office, an entirely different trend emerges; a trend of incredibly stupid films. And when I mean stupid, I mean some of the dumbest, most mind-numbingly idiotic movies of all time: Octopussy, Staying Alive, Mr. Mom, Superman III, Blue Thunder, Jaws 3-D, Porky’s II, Easy Money, Spring Break, these all just didn’t come out in 1983, there were massive hits, some of the biggest movies of the year. Mr. Mom out-grossed both Silkwood and The Outsiders!

It is in this climate that D.C. Cab was unleashed upon moviegoers, and they deemed it good enough to somehow make a profit, with the box office declaring it worse than Krull and My Tutor, but still better than Stroker Ace and Smokey & The Bandit Part III.

And you know what? Yeah, that sounds about right.

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Sony Wins

Vinyl Review: Mother Love Bone

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A great band in their own right, today Mother Love Bone is best known as the band that begot Pearl Jam. After lead singer Andrew Wood tragically died from a drug overdose in 1990, just months before their debut album Apple was set to be released, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard kept on trucking, recruiting Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready (and an revolving cast of drummers) to form Pearl Jam later that year.

After they struck it huge, Mother Love Bone’s label Mercury Records decided to cash in, and released this self-titled compilation in 1992, a grab-all that included the band’s single LP Apple, their 1989 EP Shine, and some odds and ends to fill it out. Effectively, it’s an entire discography on one album.

But strangely enough, it was  never released on vinyl, probably because its length required a 2LP set, and since it came out at a time where almost no one was buying LPs, it most likely didn’t seem cost-effective.

But how the times change. And now, some 21 years after the fact, Mother Love Bone gets its vinyl debut.

It’s just too bad that Music On Vinyl was chosen to release it.

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Microsoft’s “Fuck You” to Consumers – An Obscene Reading of an Obscene Proposal

Whenever a new gaming system is announced, gamers immediately have more questions than the developers are willing to answer. How many games will be coming out at launch? What are the technical specs of the system? Will it be backwards compatible? How much will it cost? And so on and so forth.

But with this upcoming generation gamers have been forced to ask a question that they never thought they’d have to.

Will I have the right to play the game that I bought?

Last month, Microsoft announced its new gaming system, the horribly named Xbox One. In the wake of that announcement, various heads at the company made conflicting statements about the system’s used games policy. Some said used games will remain the same, while others said that gamers wouldn’t be able to trade-in their disc-based games without paying some sort of processing fee. It was a mess.

So last week, Microsoft finally caved to pressure, and issued a statement explaining how the Xbox One will (and won’t) work with used games.

And it’s a bunch of motherfucking bullshit.

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Vinyl Review: Queens Of The Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

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From 1998 to 2009, Josh Homme released at least one album every year. Between Queens of the Stone Age, The Desert Sessions, Eagles of Death Metal and Them Crooked Vultures, he proved himself to be one of the hardest working people in hard rock, right behind occasional Queens and Vultures cohort Dave Grohl. But since 2009 we’ve hardly heard from Homme at all, with no album or even a guest appearance on someone else’s work save for a track on Grohl’s Sound City soundtrack.

Now Homme is finally back, and he brought the Queens of the Stone Age to boot, with …Like Clockwork, the group’s first outing since 2007’s disappointing (at least to me anyways) Era Vulgaris. Perhaps sensing that his absence may have lessened his rock stock, Homme brought the big guns with him for the group’s return. Like Clockwork (I’m dumping the ellipses from now on) is practically a who’s who of Queens collaborators; former members Dave Grohl, Nick Oliveri, Mark Lanegan and Joey Castillo all drop in for the occasional track, as do Homme’s friends Trent Reznor, Brody Dalle (The Distillers, Homme’s wife), Alex Turner (Arctic Monkeys), Jake Shears (Scissor Sisters…oh shit, I just figured out how they got their name) and Elton fucking John.

So many big names, it’s like a Blind Faith record up in here.

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