Redman, Whut? Thee Album (Def Jam, 1992)

Reggie

Way wayyyy back in the land of 1992, Erick Sermon was immersed in his Roger Troutman infatuation, my cousin was bummed ’cause Run-TMC was over, your uncle made disapproving comments when he saw those Michigan thugs in their black socks on TV, and a professional American sports franchise called the mother fucking REDSKINS (!!) won the Super Bowl. (Really – that was the name of the team. I’m not kidding. Can you imagine??!?!???)

Now it’s 2014 and a lot has changed – Jalen Rose is still super charismatic & likable, yes, and Tim Hardaway still plays except now there’s a “jr” after his name, but rap don’t sound like this no more and the horrendously racist “Redskins” name is no longer supported by idiotsOH WAIT NEVER MIND WHOOPS. Anyway, regardless of the passage of time and the world changing, the fact is “Time 4 Sum Aksion” will forever be the greatest high school basketball squad warm-up song ever made. Forever and ever amen.

 

Chuck Berry, Sweet Little Rock and Roller (Pickwick, 1973)

Chuck

Go ‘head with your sexual preferences, fellow humans. Enjoy. Far be it from me to judge – UNLESS OF COURSE you’re Chuck Berry and one of those preferences is fucking TAPING women in the bathroom without their consent. Then you’re a pure unadulterated creep, a realllllll dirty bird, just disgusting, and I reserve the right to point it out whenever I see fit. There’s always been something a little off about Chuck – some subversive shit that gives me the creeps, and I’m not just talking about his perm. I have ears and a soul, so obviously I enjoy the riffs, the pacing, the chord progressions, his fondness for super hip white women who love black music (ahem), and the fact that he’s a southern black man who is actually given credit for being an originator of southern black man music and has profited from his own creations for decades now. (I also really loved the casting of Mos Def in that otherwise pretty terrible Chess movie.) But then Chuck goes and writes “Back in the U.S.A.,” a song about 1959 Americuh being nothing but sock hops and jukeboxes and hamburgers on the grill, some real fucking whitewashed Happy Days nonsense, a full 6 YEARS before Missouri became desegregated. (I had hoped he wrote the song for purely financial reasons, to appeal to white kids buying 45s, but nope – the lyrics are as earnest as can be.) Now Chuck’s always wearing that creepy captain’s hat like creepy old Hugh Hefner and this does nothing to lessen the creep factor. CREEP. Christ, those RIFFS, though. Those riffs.

Go home, kook

record jungle 1

O Perfect Saturday, how I adored thee: the weather cooled down, I got a haircut so I finally look presentable when I meet with Goodell to discuss my concerns*, had a milkshake, found out that Muhammad Ali’s grandson plays on that Bishop Gorman team with Cordell Broadus(!), watched USC win, and I got all these pretty pretty records including, yes, fuckin Foghat, deal with it.

I’m pretty Locals Only when it comes to my favorite record shops because I’m a jerk and I only want the good things in life to happen to me and nobody else but me. So even though this looks like a pretty rad haul from Record Jungle, owned by the wonderful Andy who prices everything way lower than he could (because he is wonderful), it’s really not up your alley. I mean, ew, they let fake record nerd girls shop there, so you’re better off just staying away.

 

* of which I have MANY

 

Gene Page, Hot City (Atlantic, 1974)

Gene 1

I officially hold office as the mayor of Know-It-All City, including the unincorporated areas of Anxietyburgh, Self-Loathing-Ville Because of my Undying Irrational Love of the NFL, and Feminism Township. When I put on my slinky blouse the color of delicious orange sherbet, however, I feel like I could also run Hot City like a real boss.

This record is far better than I thought it would be (sorry, Gene! Sorry, Barry!) and fills my apartment with lots of excellently throbby bass and string action. Get it.

(Not sure why I’m just not that into Don Renaldo/Philly Int’l strings, but I adore Arif Mardin’s and I have Unlimited Love for Barry White/Love Unlimited Orchestra strings. I am a complex creature.)

Willie Nelson, Honeysuckle Rose soundtrack (Columbia, 1980)

honeysuckle 1

The first purely country cover I’ve done, in memory of the turntable in my childhood living room (hi, Dad) and in tribute to one of the Highwaymen, Willie Nelson! He did a mediocre movie with that lady who’s always courtside at Laker games, and produced the soundtrack that fills me with joy. A lady cannot subsist on Shider riffs and Hathaway cascades and big fat Organized Noize drums alone, people.

 

I’ve no remorse so squares beware

IMG_5787I AM A nightmare walking, psychopath talking, king of my jungle blahblah and I’m still trying to organize but goddamn I’m finding so much forgotten beauty buried in my stacks that I get distracted and embark on caffeine-fueled stunts like this. (“Ooh, I should make a RECORD RAINBOW! SO RAD! SUCH A GOOD USE OF MY TIME!”)

I’m hopeless. I’ll never change. My record collection will never die – just multiply. Colors.

Following the Joy of Witnessing USC Snatch Stanford’s Soul Out its Chest on a Forced Fumble, Los Angeles Woman Attempts to Organize Konfusion, Contemplates Suicide

IMG_5760HAVING A GREAT TIME, GUYS.

Gram Parsons, GP (Reprise, 1973)

GP 1

15-year-old me was heavily into eyeliner, Howard Zinn, and magnetic sad boys who’d never treat me right but would never bore me. My little brother was almost named Gram, though, so this tendency isn’t completely my fault; hips aren’t the only thing I inherited from my mom, youfeelme.

I’ve since come to my senses and stopped being a jerk – fetishizing fucked-up brain chemistry/sorrow is just a gross thing to do – but my fondness for Gram remains and I’ll prove it by singing every goddamn word on all of his records and wearing his name on my chest. (Thank you, Worn Free!)

PS, fun fact: it turns out EVERY song called “A Song for You” makes me break down and cry.

 

 

John Lee Hooker, Born In Mississippi, Raised Up In Tennessee (ABC, 1973)

john lee hooker 1
“Hooker got his first guitar from a traveling bluesman named Tony Hollins, who took a shine to his sister Alice. Hollins had a battered Silvertone six-string he played for Alice on the front porch of the Hooker home while John hovered nearby. Eventually he gave that guitar to John.”

Just your daily reminder that people with vaginas are responsible, one way or another, for so SO much musical beauty. You’re welcome, world.