Chicago Oriental Band – Chicago Oriental Band (Medinah Temple)

That this record hasn’t been championed — how any of its 14 tracks haven’t been featured on a comp curated by some crate-digger DJ or turntablist — is beyond me. Take a nearly-unlistenable but awesome marching band album, cross it with Asian-inspired instrumentation, add a weird Shriner/Masonic twist. This is the Chicago Oriental Band. It’s borderline unlistenable and it will blow your mind.

Shockingly the album is available for sale on eBay right now for $15. Other than a shady mail order list on some far corner of the Internet you’d likely not even know it exists. And in all of my scouring for weird records, and all of my conversations with collectors who have been at this decades longer than I have, it wasn’t until last month I learned about this gem. The discussion at that time centered on the Ophir State Marching Band. I was espousing the joys of hearing one of the worst recorded performances in the history of music for the first time. The Ophir State privately-pressed album has long been on my list of bizarro outsider LPs I refused to write about because I didn’t want it tainted by outsiders. Now there’s a Discogs listing for it. Most of the songs are on YouTube. I imagine in the coming months the Chicago Oriental Band will receive similar treatment.

I didn’t clean up the audio because I never learned how, so if one of you wants to take a stab at that by all means hip me to the finished product. Sorry about that. An interesting note is that this record was pressed by Universal Recording in Chicago, the same company that pressed the Beatles first album in the States, Introducing The Beatles, in 1963.

Chicago Oriental Band
Chicago Oriental Band
(Medinah Temple, 196?)
MediaFire DL Link

Sample Tracks:


Max & Irving – Max & Irving

As it is written, so shall it be. And on this privately-pressed folk LP from Massachusetts (by way of Pasadena’s Custom Fidelity label), Meg Redmond (Max) and Nancy Yerrall (Irving) somehow harness the sound of the modern-ish “freak folk” movement many, many years before the moniker existed. Although the year of the release is currently unknown — there are two copies that have sold on Ebay and neither have included a date — but it was committed to tape by Richardson Sound Egineering in Cambridge, MA. Thanks only to Alice Beebe, Paul Barstow, Eric Levenson, WBS, and “all our moral (morill?) and immoral supporters.

The liner notes state:

I have been requested to write something back here concerning the four voices which appear on this album, so let me begin by identifying them. First of all there’s Meg, who is an Aquarius but she’s nice anyway. Then there’s Nancy who is a Yerralli. Doug says she’s nice, too. Next, there’s Max who has been around and wears the purple (oh wow!) belt of my approval. Last, and of course, there’s Irving, who comes to you recently reincarnated. He used to be part of a fishing boat. Now he’s Irving, and that’s who is is. Mostly Meg plays with max and Nancy plays with Irving, but sometimes, as this record shows, they all play really well together. What they play at is music — folk-type mostly — songs you’ve heard before but uniquely arranged in their own mode of expression. Mostly Meg likes to sing melody which is good because she has a very melodious voice. Nancy makes harmony — and sometimes some very funny remarks. Sometimes, too, they write their own songs, like Meg’s “By My Side” on this album. Max and Irving are the unsinging, but not unsung, heroes. Their sound is great. In fact, the amalgamated sound is great — casual, original, and vital. But then, you can’t judge a record by its jacket blurb. Listen. – Gina Burnes

And also:

It is a kind of courage, to give. This album is a gift. It is a first album, and first albums are special gifts. They are a bit like first loves, very new, very exciting — and always very unusual. Perhaps I should stop talking about first albums and introduce Max and Irving, whose sounds have conspired to make this album. Max has been ‘in the business’ for about four or five years. In the words of a friend, his career has been “colorful and notorious”. Irving is somewhat of a newcomer, a veteran of the high seas (I’m told he’s quite addicted to fishing boats and, one would hope, fish). They have been together now for nigh onto six months and have given a few small concerts around the Boston area along with their owners. Owners? Yes. Well, Max and Irving aren’t exactly people, as we know people. THey are more like guitars — as we know guitars. And their owners are on this album too, singing — as we know singing. So this is really a committee of four: Max and Irving, and Max and Irving’s owners. A foursome. (‘It’s getting better all the time …’ Some other foursome said that…). A word about the songs. Yes. Now that I’ve said a word about the songs, I think I’ll say a few things about the songs. A number of them are familiar — ‘Pack Up Your Sorrows’, ‘Tell Old Bill’, ‘Well, Well, Well’. They’ve been around longer than Max, even, but the way Max and Irving (and their owners) do them make them very new — alive even. Then there’s ‘Got You On My Mind’ only a little different …uh huh. Got’cha. Some of the songs are newer: ‘Get Together,’ one of those songs we need more of; ‘Big Blue Frog’, (I personally prefer green frogs, but that’s solely a matter of taste); ‘Jet Plane’ and ‘Gentle On My Mind’, two of the prettiest songs around. Max’s owner does a solo on ‘Hymn’. Solos are nice, especially when they combine a good voice with a good song and a good (albeit colorful and notorious) guitar. There first song on this album, ‘By My Side’, deserves its own paragraph. Max’s owner wrote it. It’s one of those songs one could easily call beautiful. In fact, I think I just called it that — easily. One song hasn’t been mentioned, mainly because I wanted to wait until now to mention it. It’s my favorite song — an old gospel ‘stomping, handclapping’ type song called ‘Get to Be Redeemed’. Some of its words might well be used to describe this album. If “You’ve got a hunger in your heart … a thirsting in your soul”, listen to Max and Irving’s first album. They’re in the business of giving, and in a hungry world, it’s a good business to have around. – J. Cassada – Poet frustratus, amen.

Max & Irving (Meg Redmond & Nancy Yerrall)
Max & Irving
(Custom Fidely, 19xx)
MediaFire DL Link

A1. By My Side [MP3]
A2. Pack Up Your Sorrows
A3. Got You On My Mind
A4. Old Bill
A5. Too Much Of Nothing
A6. Hymn
B1. Big Blue Frog
B2. Get Together
B3. Gentle On My Mind
B4. Well, Well, Well
B5. Jet Plane
B6. To Be Redeemed



Bush – Razorblade Suitcase

A record collection is kind of like a restaurant. You gotta curate the shit out of everything. There’s the wine/beer selection, the executive chef, the fucking modern furniture…it’s all methodically and meticulously chosen to send a message to all those who step inside. Similarly, a record collection is the physical embodiment of one’s personal tastes. As such, its owner is responsible for ensuring a consistent tone and style that will both clearly communicate one’s tastes while imparting a bit of oneself to whomever happens to be browsing the collection at a certain time. On second thought, I probably shouldn’t have started drinking before sitting down to write this post. I’m pretty sure I’ve just written a bunch of sentences that don’t make any sense. My point is, I think most collectors take a lot of pride in their records, and probably think of their collections as an extension of themselves. Which is why it’s so totally wrong and hilarious that I own a copy of Razorblade Suitcase on any format, let alone vinyl.

When I was in middle school Bush was a big deal. They had that first album (Sixteen Stone) with its big songs “Comedown,” “Glycerine”, “Machinehead” and to a lesser extent “Everything Zen”. You couldn’t avoid those songs on the radio back in 1995-1996. And I hated Bush because I was still in the grips of my Smashing Pumpkins obsession (I’ve written a tome’s worth of material in the past eight years about my Siamese Dream introduction and die-hard fan phase that lasted from 1994-2000), and there was always reported “beef” between the two bands. Or maybe I just didn’t like that kids at Bar Mitzvah’s were championing “Glycerine” and not “Bullet With Butterfly Wings.” Fuck Bush!

Then Razorblade Suitcase came out in late ’96 and I started to REALLY hate Bush. The Pumpkins were still touring on Mellon Collie and Bush had put out another record. It was like the Beatles vs. the Stones (or maybe The Beach Boys?) only for pasty, tubby white American teens living in the suburbs. I’m pretty sure “Swallowed” was the only huge hit on that album, and I’m sure I made a lot of jokes about the singer of Bush swallowing loads. I was 13 at the time, my joke repertoire was only about…3/4 of where it is as a 31 year old.

When I started collecting vinyl Ian and I used to go to Princeton Record Exchange sometimes once a week. We’d sell off our weight in CDs to buy just as much vinyl. And when we occasionally perused the used CD section there were veritable TONS of copies of Razorblade Suitcase. In about 2003 or 2004, I’d go so far as to say that 1 out of 10 used CDs in any record store were copies of Bush albums. We must have spoken about it a lot…or maybe it was the fact that sometimes we’d get stoned and ironically jam out to “Mouth” in my basement.  Somehow Ian and I developed a thing for goofing around playing Bush songs on guitar. And then somehow that transitioned into him buying me a copy of Razorblade Suitcase on vinyl. As far as I know, my copy is a 1996 original, because it’s not the Simply Vinyl 2LP reissue from 1999 and it’s not the colored vinyl reissue from 2012. I don’t know if that makes it worth any more or less, but it definitely has a lot of personal significance to me because it was a gift and I refuse to sell any albums I receive as gifts from friends or family. It’s the reason I’ve held onto my $350 mint mono original copy of Magical Mystery Tour and it’s the reason I’m holding onto my $10 copy of Razorblade Suitcase. It’s special. In that…retarded younger brother kind of way.

It’s also one of the worst records I own. Which makes it perfect for today’s post, as I’m counting off the five worst records in my collection this week. I’m sure this album needs no introduction. You all heard it in the mid-90s. You’ll hear it on classic rock stations for the rest of your life. It sucks just as much now as it did then. And it’ll suck in ten years, too. And twenty. And thirty…

Razorblade Suitcase

(Interscope – 9009-1, 1996)

A1. Personal Holloway
A2. Greedy Fly
A3. Swallowed
A4. Insect Kin
A5. Cold Contagious
B1. Mouth [MP3]
B2. History
B3. Communicator
B4. Bonedriven
B5. Distant Voices


Os Tres Brasileiros – Brasil: LXIX

I think — as record collectors — we can all agree that the toughest part of being a hoarder collector is storage. Every time I run out of room on my multiple shelving units I am overcome with shame. “What am I doing with my life?” I often wonder…stacking records up against the wall until I have time/room/space to file them away. “Should I buy another shelving unit?” I ask myself, before contemplating selling the whole thing and taking a year off to travel the world — or maybe put a down payment on a house — “Do I really need all these things?” Usually I ask that as I’m pulling out (and immediately putting back in place) a Harry Pussy record, or cursing myself for spending $35 on that fucking Wind Harp record eight years ago.

Invariably I return to that age old question, “What hole in my life am I trying to fill with all these things!?” And since I already know the answer to that question, the best I can do to reassure myself is to remember that this is a temporary thing, and I’ll sell them all soon before the market dries up and no one’s interested in vinyl anymore (again). Honestly, right now is probably its peak. I can’t see the trend driving prices up any higher. Which is why I’m gonna start selling off a couple things I don’t really listen to anymore. I might end up using the money to buy more records, but if I’m selling 5 to pay for 1 at least I’m not running the risk of having to buy more storage space for my collection.

Which brings me to this week’s An Album A Day theme. If you’ve been paying attention for the past 80 or 90 days, I’ve been going through my personal record collection 5 days a week sharing titles with my readers. Each group of five records is connected by a changing weekly theme, which can range from the lazy (they’re all on the same record label!) to the more obscure (they’ve got titles/lyrics related to baseball!). This week I’m going to share five albums that will no longer be a part of my collection come next week. I’m talking about the five worst records I own.

First up, we have the Os Tres Brasileiros record. I think I bought it back in 2007 (for $39.99 less a 20% employee discount) because my boss saw one sell for $150 once and figured it was rare enough to try at $75. It kept getting marked down and eventually it wound up in my hands. Why? Because I saw “Os” in the title and figured it probably sounded like Os Mutantes.

I know, I’m a fucking moron.

I didn’t bother checking the facts before purchasing (it’s a jazz record, and worse a vocal/bossa jazz record) so I wound up with a record I played once way back in 2007 and haven’t touched since. It’s like if the Free Design (who were very good!) had no talent, spoke another language, and without any of the cool psychedelic little twists they could tie into their vocal-centric compositions. Honestly, I’m confused as to why I haven’t tried to sell this record until right now. It’s not like Wanda Sà’s Vagamente, which is another record I picked up for $39.99 on a whim and absolutely fell in love with, Brasil: LXIX is much much worse than that! They do “Moon River” for Christ’s sake. I don’t even know if it’s THE “Moon River” because I gave up on this album so fast I didn’t care to find out. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to walk upstairs and pull it down from the shelf so that I never again have to see its spine and desire to flagellate myself for making such a boneheaded decision when I bought it. Then I’m going to sell it, and use the proceeds (what little I get, considering there are people selling it for a 1/3 of what I originally paid for it) to acquire something better.

Os Tres Brasileiros
Brasil: LXIX

(Capitol – ST-301, 1969)

A1. Fim De Semana Em Guaruja
A2. Linda Em Noite Linda
A3. The Shadow Of Your Smile
A4. Brincando De Samba
A5. Outono
A6. Days Of Wine And Roses
B1. Jequi-Bach [MP3]
B2. Voce Voce Voce
B3. O Som
B4. Moon River
B5. Mare Alta
B6. Sambamour


Pinebender – Things Are About To Get Weird

I was looking through the CD section at Princeton Record Exchange once when I saw a used copy of the Pinebender album The High Price Of Living Too Long With A Single Dream for $4.99. I grabbed it because the name looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d heard it. Later I would recall reading  about the band on the Electrical Audio forum, but in that moment it was a purchase I made on a whim. I’ll never remember the first time I loaded it into the car CD player and “Begin Here” led off the record with an extended intro long enough to make me wonder if the disc was defective. Then the full band kicks in and although my first reaction was, “It’s kinda ’emo'” after a few minutes it started to grow on me. It was heavy, and it rocked, and the more I heard the more I enjoyed. By the time I got to the end of the record I wanted more.

Unfortunately, back in those days, getting Pinebender albums wasn’t that easy. I had to resort to saved searches on eBay until I found a copy of Too Good To Be True, the five-track EP packaged with graph paper and a pencil to help you “draw your own cover.” As for Things Are About To Get Weird, the group’s first release (CD only at the time), that one eluded me for quite some time. When I finally procured a copy I hailed it one of my favorite rock records and began checking compulsively for news about a vinyl reissue. It took a few years, but way back in 2006 there’s a blog post where I mention hearing about a new record and a vinyl reissue of Things… 

I sent my old friend Jet to a Pinebender show in Chicago to pick up the vinyl for me, because I was still living in Jersey at the time and they were only selling the double-LP (limited edition of 200) at their local shows. I could not contain my excitement upon receiving it on November 13th, 2006. I tore into the shrink wrap and opened the gatefold (mine is copy #33/200) and…what the fuck? There was condom inside the gatefold. I immediately grabbed my phone and called Jet to thank her for the bonus gift. It didn’t take long for us both to realize that…uh…I had torn off shrink wrap to unseal the record. Jet couldn’t possibly have hidden a condom in the gatefold for me to find. We were both a bit creeped out by that realization. She said she’d contact one of the band members and ask if it was a joke. Eventually I heard back from her, it wasn’t. Her advice? “Don’t use the condom.”

I can’t remember if I threw it out or it’s still in there…the album is back in New Jersey so I won’t know until I combine the East Coast and West Coast “wings” of my record collection.

Oh yeah, and in case you’re wondering how this relates to the An Album A Day theme this week (“HOUSING PROJECT”) it’s because there’s a song on here called “So, This Is Your Apartment”. Make sense? Good.

Also, the vinyl reissue includes a bonus track that did not appear on the CD release, a cover of the Low song “Landlord” from Songs For A Dead Pilot. Which is perfect, because that means there’s TWO housing-related songs on this record! How fortuitous!

“There’s A Bag Of Weights In The Back Of My Car” remains my favorite Pinebender tune. Or maybe I like “Last Drag Queen” (off Too Good To Be True) more. I go back and forth. Either way, I fucking love Pinebender. I want a vinyl reissue of The High Price… and if no one else is working on one I’d like to throw my hat in the ring and offer my label as a home for it. If anyone from Pinebender is reading this and wants me to reissue it, shoot me an email.

Until then, go find Things Are About To Get Weird and enjoy.

Things Are About To Get Weird

(Record Label – RL18, 2006)

A1. There’s A Bag Of Weights In The Back Of My Car
A2. Kick It
B1. New Balance
B2. Before The Calm Was Lost
B3. Simp Twister
C1. An F Cat Can Play Fetch Too
C2. So, This Is Your Apartment [MP3]
C3. Not How It Will Happen
D1. California
D2. The Depth Of The Silence That Was Reigning Over The Veranda
D3. Landlord [Low]


The Microphones – The Glow, Pt. 2

Alright, I guess I have to give Pitchfork their due. After all these years of laughing at their deplorable music journalism it’s time to man up and admit that way back in 2001 (when I was a wee college freshman) the online ‘zine actually turned me on to some good music. Without ’em, I probably would not have discovered Jim O’Rourke’s Insignificance, or jumped on the bandwagon that was the first Strokes album. I might have missed Fennesz’ Endless Summer, and it’s unlikely I would have heard The Glow, Pt. 2. Although I’m pretty sure Ilya sent it to me via AIM…it’s likely I wouldn’t have known to ask about it/for it without having read about it first. Unless he thrust it upon me and I accepted only because I had read about it already. Either way, I wound up sneaking it onto my “Top Ten Albums Of 2002” list for the Muhlenberg Weekly even though it was released in late 2001. I might have had to post a retraction in the next issue. My excuse: It was so good it was still just as good a year later!

What’s so good about it, you ask? Uh, I don’t know, everything? From the hard stereo-panned acoustic guitars on the title track to the creepiness of all the tape hiss and manipulated sounds. “You’ll Be In The Air,” and the little breakdown in “I Want To Be Cold,” there are so many memorable moments from this album. For what it’s worth I think Phil Elvrum only got better with the next release (Mt. Eerie) but this was the starting point for me (I was late to the It Was Hot, We Stayed In The Water party) so it will always remain an important record from my formative indie years.

Considering I first heard the album way back in the year 2001, it’s bizarre that I didn’t own the thing on vinyl until I found one at the WFMU Record Fair in 2011 ten years later. I think what happened was, it went out of print pretty fast upon its release and prices temporarily shot up before it got reissued in 2008. But the 2008 reissue was an expensive triple-LP set that I wasn’t interested in. Thankfully, that lowered the demand for an original, so when I found one it was only fifteen or twenty bucks. October 28th, 2011 was the date it was filed away. And it still sounds just as good as it did a decade ago.

Also there’s a song on it called “The Mansion,” in case you’re wondering what the fuck The Glow, Pt. 2 has to do with this week’s theme. And, you know, I might be out and about every day looking for a new place to live, but I can guarantee I won’t end up living in no mansion. Today I had the (mis)fortune of scheduling a walkthrough at a place with a big sign out front saying there were chemicals on the property known to cause cancer and birth defects. And another place was “destroyed” by the previous tenants, and had a smell to it I don’t think even the deepest of cleanings could remove. I’m so, so tired from walking right now. I want to go to bed.

The Microphones
The Glow, Pt. 2

(K. – KLP 133, 2001)

Sample MP3: “The Mansion


Various Artists – London Is The Place For Me

Remember the episode of The Wire from the first season where you see Wallace’s living situation? It’s in that brutal building with all the extended wires coming off the telephone poles, and it looks out over that vacant lot where maybe a dead body shows up one morning? I looked at an apartment today (I won’t say where) that gave off an eerily similar vibe. For all the hardwood floors and granite countertops they were still installing, it couldn’t make up for the fact that the bedroom view was a transformer, and the living room view was an empty lot with what appeared to be a rundown shack on it. Also, on the third floor of the 60-unit complex, the walkways were uneven, appeared to be unstable, and more than once I was warned to “watch my step”…why, I don’t know. Maybe I would have fallen through the floor if I was a few pounds heavier. That was a quick “no”. Tomorrow the search continues.

There used to be a show on WFMU back in 2003-2006 era that played a lot of Calypso. I think it was Irwin’s show? That’s where I learned about Lord Kitchener and Lord Invader. I don’t know why their music resonated with me (my tastes were more closely aligned to those of Bryce or Fabio) but it did. And my research into finding Lord Kitchener and Lord Invader on vinyl led me to the Honest Jon’s compilation called London Is The Place For Me. Ironically (or maybe…fortuitously?) I found that 2LP at the WFMU Record Fair in 2010. It was October 24th, to be exact. And why does it fit into this week’s Housing Project theme? Because of the song called “My Landlady” by Lord Kitchener. That’s why. Also, who among us DOESN’T want to bone their landlady?

Tomorrow I have to take my car in for service, and then I’m going to walk a few miles while I wait and look for “Now Leasing” and “For Rent” signs. Any that I can find. Hopefully it will result in something productive.

Various Artists
London Is The Place For Me
(Honest Jon’s – HJRLP2, 2002)

Sample MP3: Lord Kitchener – My Landlady


Do Make Say Think – Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead

I saw another apartment this morning, over in the Franklin Village area. It was a bit on the small side but not terrible. It was the first ray of hope I’ve felt during the process of looking for a new place to live. The only faults were that it was an upper-level unit (and I’m a bit too OCD about being a quiet neighbor to have my stereo setup potentially above someone’s bedroom) and that the outside – meaning the complex itself – looked like it could use some maintenance. The search continues, as it always does, whenever I have free time. Meaning tonight, tomorrow and Thursday when I’m off from work.

There is perhaps no more relevant album title in my collection to the search for housing than that of Do Make Say Think’s second studio album. Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead not only kicks an insane amount of ass, it was the first non-Godspeed You Black Emperor release on Constellation that I heard after I started investigating the label in 2001-2002. Of course, the recommendation came from Ian, who was so immersed in the Montreal scene back then he was seeing The Besnard Lakes at loft parties, pounding booze at Miami and Biftek, and hamming it up with Efrim and the guys at La Sala Rossa, right Ian? RIGHT IAN?

Ahem. Where was I?

Oh, right. The brilliance of this album. When I saw the group back in 2007 they played a couple of these tunes (“Goodbye Enemy Airship” was one of the highlights of their set) and I went on an absolute obsessive tear listening to this and & Yet & Yet in the days and weeks that followed. I’d long since worn out my copy on CD, but I’ve always treated the vinyl with a bit more care. It’s not like you can shove an LP into a car stereo and torture the disc. I think I used “When Day Chokes The Night” on countless mix tapes before, either on the blog or for friends. Seriously, if you’ve never heard this album you would be wise to either purchase it ($13  seems to be the average “new” price – you can afford it) or seek out some of the songs online. Then get & Yet & Yet. Then get the EP of b-sides with the song “I Love You (La La La)” on it, because that’s one of the group’s best compositions. After that you can explore the rest of their recorded output.

I obtained my copy of Goodbye Enemy Airship on April 14th, 2006 from Vintage Vinyl in Fords, NJ. Although that store never really rewarded me with any good finds (I think a ’77 UK issue of Raw Power was the best thing I ever found there) it was good for new releases. They always had titles by bands like Burzum and Don Caballero and Shellac. Plus their cheap CD section were usually specked with gems. We used to stop, either Ian and myself or Sam/Lindsey and myself, on the return trip from Princeton Record Exchange. Mostly because the pizza place next door had a bathroom we could use before hitting the Parkway. I remember they used to have odd signings at the store too. One of the most memorable was Zakk Wylde. My memory from those days is so hazy (you know, bong hits and all) I’m sure I’m forgetting some hilarious event or situation we ran into at Vintage Vinyl that has eclipsed me as I sit and write about it. My fondest recollections from that era were being totally underwhelmed by Hoagie Haven, totally overwhelmed by Burrito King, discovering dozens of albums I’d never heard before on the various treks to-and-from Princeton, and – of course – the Wegmans a few miles south of the Record Exchange in Princeton.

The search for a change of scenery and a new apartment/duplex/house/condo/whatever continues…wish me luck.

Do Make Say Think
Goodbye Enemy Airship The Landlord Is Dead

(Constellation – cst010, 2000)

A1. When Day Chokes The Night
A2. Minmin
A3. The Landlord Is Dead
A4. The Apartment Song [MP3]
B1. All Of This Is True
B2. Bruce E Kinesis
B3. Goodbye Enemy Airship


Amalgamated Sons Of Rest – Amalgamated Sons Of Rest

Hey everybody. I hope your weekends were swell. Mine was…it was okay. I’ve been ramping up the search for my own place recently so I’ve been busy before and after work most days either looking at potential rentals or browsing the Internet for said rentals. Whether apartment or guest house or condo or duplex, as long as it’s affordable and in a decent neighborhood there’s a chance I’ve called or emailed about scheduling a walkthrough. It’s just time, you know? Time to get out on my own after living with roommates for the past 6+ years. Remember when I lived in a guest house on Clifford Street here in Echo Park? I had my own bedroom and living room (furnished) and shared a kitchen and bathroom with a few other dudes who I never saw. It was nice. It was close enough that I could still see all my friends and not have to drive a lot. I didn’t have a job at the time but…I’m sure the commute wouldn’t have been affected. It might have been a shorter drive than I have now, come to think of it.

I also went to Blue Palms late Friday night after some Silverlakte/Los Feliz/Hollywood apartment scouting. I had a bunch of really good beers, like:

Epic Fermentation Without Representation Pumpkin Porter (#9)
New Belgium / Cigar City Collaboration Lips Of Faith (brewed with two kinds of chilis)
Boont Barl Ale (aged in Wild Turkey barrels)
Epic Big Bad Baptist (Release #14)
Epic Hopulent IPA (on Nitro!)
Epic 825 Stout (condition with Imperial IPA)

And on Saturday I went to 626 Night Market in Arcadia, where I ate lamb skewers, a pork burger, noodles with thai chilis, a deep fried pork bun, a Japanese curried beef rice ball, a Korean pork belly rice ball, and Nutella wontons. It was kind of gross.

But that’s all besides the point. First and foremost, I need to move. I need a change of scenery. New housing. Which brings me to this week’s theme for the next five installments of my An Album A Day project. Today is number…#85. So from now until Friday I’m going to pull random records from my collection that have artists, titles, or song titles that are somehow related to this “Housing Project” I’ve undertaken. First up is the self-titled Amalgamated Sons Of Rest record from 2002, which contains a song called “The Last House.” If only I was on the verge of moving into the last house I’d ever require…

For those who may be unaware, Amalgamated Sons Of Rest was something of a “super group” consisting of Jason Molina, Will Oldham, and Alasdair Roberts. They only recorded one album, which came out in 2002. I was already a fan of  Molina’s and Oldham at that time but I didn’t know they had collaborated. Molina and Scout Niblett, sure. Molina and Oneida, yeah. Molina and Rex, of course. But not Molina and Oldham. In fact, I’m pretty sure to that point all I’d heard of Oldham (solo) was from I See A DarknessJoya, and Ease On Down The Road. I didn’t think that after Palace he had recorded any collaborative works. After ASofR he famously worked with Matt Sweeney and Tortoise and a slew of other groups/individuals. I’m pretty sure it was Ilya who introduced me to ASofR (can you tell I’m tired of typing the whole thing out yet?).

Oddly enough, the trio worked together on one song that didn’t make this EP. The song, “Translation,” only appeared on a Songs: Ohia split with My Morning Jacket. Which I’ve never heard. I try to be a Songs: Ohia completist but beyond the LPs there’s just too much for me to track down. And a lot of the early 45s are super expensive. Also I don’t collect CDs so the only way I’ll probably ever hear the ten-minute ASofR song “Translation” is if an MP3 finds its way to me. Hint hint.

I found my copy of this vinyl EP at Amoeba in Hollywood on August 6th, 2007. $6.99, I’ll take it.

Funny, the tracklisting lists “B1” as “I Will Be Good,” but this is a one-sided EP with an etched “B” side, so it certainly doesn’t play a song. Unless there’s a needle out there capable of traveling along the grooves of the etching perfectly, and there’s sound recorded in said grooves. That’d be an impressive feat. Galaxia is a criminally underrated label, by the way. They put out the Papa M Sings 12″, Black Heart Procession’s Fish The Holes On Frozen Lakes and what else? Good stuff, right? At least that’s how I imagine it…

I really miss Jason Molina.

Amalgamated Sons Of Rest
Amalgamated Sons Of Rest

(Galaxia – glx-16, 2002)

A1. Maa Bonny Lad
A2. My Donal
A3. The Gypsy He-Witch
A4. The Last House [MP3]
A5. Major March
A6. Jennie Blackbird’s Blues
B1. I Will Be Good


Belle And Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress

I don’t like Belle and Sebastian. There, I’m just going to go ahead and say it. I happen to think it is wussy music for wussy kids, and I say that as someone who has a penchant for listening to some really flowery, wussy music. When even I can’t stand the sound of some sad whispery little dork and his twee-as-fuck arrangements…it has to be bad. You know what I think of when I think of Belle and Sebastian? I think about that scene in the movie Storytelling where the kid eats some mushrooms and gets a blowjob from his classmate. There’s a Belle and Sebastian song playing the background and it’s just perfect. Belle and Sebastian should always be playing whenever high school boys give each other blowjobs.

So there’s a song on this album called “Piazza, New York Catcher” which of course I have to mention because it’s another album that references my favorite sports team, the New York Mets. And that’s about all I have to say about that. I’m super busy right now so I’m going to call it a day. Listen to the song if you want, I wouldn’t but…you know…

Belle And Sebastian
Dear Catastrophe Waitress
(Rough Trade – RTRADELP 080, 2003)

A1. Step Into My Office, Baby
A2. Dear Catastrophe Waitress
A3. If She Wants Me
B1. Piazza, New York Catcher [MP3]
B2. Asleep On A Sunbeam
B3. I’m A Cuckoo
C1. You Don’t Send Me
C2. Wrapped Up In Books
C3. Lord Anthony
D1. If You Find Yourself Caught In Love
D2. Roy Walker
D3. Stay Loose