Mikhail’s been screaming at me to write more for the Bloglin but I haven’t really left the house in the past ten days so I have to look around my apartment for content. Last time I wrote about my favorite Star Wars things. This time I’m talking about the favorite records in my collection. These aren’t my favorite albums of all time but they are records that are special, uncommon or funny. I’m calling this column, “Crap I Own: A Few of My Favorite Things.” And well here they are.
10) V/A – My Pussy Belongs To Daddy
It’s important that all girls know who their pussy belongs to. Some might think that it belongs to them but nope, it belongs to daddy. This glassy eyed bovine cat enthusiast on the cover knows it, do you? Look at the cover girl’s walleyed stare. She looks like she’s on muscle relaxers or lightly mentally retarded. This is the photo they got of her where her eyes were open and she wasn’t drooling or trying to eat the cat. It’s funny to think that both the cat and girl on this album cover are dead now.
This is a novelty record of double entendre songs. Check out these titles. I especially like the song about Tony’s hot nuts.
9) Georges Montalba – Fantasy in Pipe Organ and Percussion
This record was released several times under different titles and with varying cover art. Georges Montalba was a common pseudonym used by organists, but on Fantasy in Pipe Organ and Percussion it’s being used by Anton Szandor LaVey, the late and dearly missed leader of the Church of Satan. You can even read an article full of factual errors about this at the Village Voice website.
The music is frantic and then serene. Haunting and haunted at the same time. It mostly features the pipe organ with some skeleton dance xylophones and large and ancient sounding timpani drums. Crashes of noise give way to music that starts out melodic before growing and growing until it is pure tribal rhythm. You listen to this record and think, “God, the path of the virtuous is dull. I want to live in Anton Lavey’s world of false identies, orgies and pranks.” Evil was never so appealing or beautiful as it is on this record. If you saw Crispin Glover’s movie “What Is It?” you heard Lavey’s music over the closing credits. This isn’t a novelty record and this isn’t a John Wayne Gacey painting. This is one of the great uncelebrated albums.
8) The Rolling Stones – Their Satanic Majesties Request
This is my favorite Rolling Stones album by far. Most of their stuff from before the eighties is either life changing or entertaining but this…This…This is something else altogether. That title and cover alone are amazing. This is an original pressing with the lenticular cover art that looks three dimensional, Mick and Kieth and their pals dressed as wizards in a kingdom on another planet. Musically this is the most experimental and weirdest that the Stones ever got and a lot of people really hate this thing. This album and Frank Zappa seem to divide rock nerds a lot. I like both. She’s a Rainbow is beautiful. In Another Land is a weird one that I DJ more than any other Stones song.
7) Village People – Renaissace
This is another one of those records that every record store clerk owns or has owned at some point. It’s the Village People’s punk album. That’s why they are looking so New Wave on the cover. The entire album sucks except for the final song, “Food Fight” which is a triumph of pop joy. It starts with someone yelling “Food Figghhhhhhhhhht!!!” and then a poppy riff about starting a food fight happens. According to Wikipedia a lot of folks consider this to be the worst album cover of all time.
6) Livefastdie - Got Nitedo 7″
I treasure all of my Livefastdie records but this one was especially neat since they hand cut and colored these little pieces of paper to look like NES cartridge sleeves and then slipped them in with the cover art. These guys were heralds of what was to come and they never made a bad song. “Got Nitedo” is a song about how Camero’s friend came into school on Monday with his arm in a sling because he’d spent the entire weekend playing Kid Icarus nonstop and gave himself tendinitis.
5) The Toasters – Beat Up 7″
Embarrassingly enough this was a holy grail record for me. After I got out of my Beatles phase I got heavily into Ska music and the Toasters were the end-all-be-all for me. A lot of their stuff sounds the same to me now but their first album, Skaboom, held up the last time I listened to it about seven years ago. These guys are the missing link between the 2-Tone second wave of ska and the dogshit third wave. I guess you can’t blame them for the bands that came after them but boy did Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake suck.
This was their first single and the original line up was young, skinny and great if you like this kind of music. The main guy, Rob “Bucket” Hingley was an English guy who came to New York to manage Forbidden Planet, the comic store. A lot of the original line up were also Forbidden Planet employees I’m told. They played a bunch of times at my parents old nightclub, The Dive, back in the early eighties. I feel a special connection to it for that. The cover art was started by Tanino Liberatore who drew Ranxerox and then finished by a very young Bob Fingerman.
4) Devo – Hardcore Devo Vol. 1
This is rare on CD but almost impossible to find on vinyl. I have about twenty-six Devo records, not counting 45s. They were my absolute favorite band for a long time. They were ahead of their time and still of their time. They were subversive and poppy, lampooning popular culture and society’s rules while becoming popular culture themselves and then redefining those rules.
They played their first show in 1969 according to one source I read. Before turning into the pop geniuses who did songs like “Girl U Want” and “Whip It” they were making really odd experimental stuff that started out as being more in the vein of performance art than rock music. Their first drummer built his own electronic drum kit and they pioneered a lot of ideas, techniques and sounds that people are still discovering and claiming for their own. Hardcore Devo Vol. 1 collects their very earliest songs. Songs like the robotically flat, “Mechanical Man” and the overly horny “Soo Bawls”, which started out as “Blue Balls.” Most of what these guys made is essential and this record is one of the most important musical artifacts you’ll ever experience.
3) United Balls – Pogo in Togo
Trying to find this record was a shared obsession between my roommates and myself for years. I’d wanted it for so many years that when I finally got it in the mail I I didn’t even know what to feel. It’s the kind of record that’s hard to find because no one’s really looking for it. So it rarely makes it way onto eBay or into record stores.
These guys were cold European punk at it’s finest. Their lyrics were either in German or broken English and highly recommended if you like the Undertones, Wire or the Buzzcocks. I once got an email from the main guy in the band, Harry Balls, sympathizing about Bush and admitting surprise that anyone in America had heard of his band. Watch this video for their hit song “Pogo in Togo” (Which The Vidiot named his party after). “Chaos in Laos. Drums in the slums. Samba in Uganda. Pogo in Togo. Coca Cola in Angola.”
2) Carl Simmons – Honeysuckle Tendrals
This came out in late 2009 but has quickly became a prized possession of mine. This record, released by the ineffable and in-eff-with-able Sacred Bones has a silk screened cover that was applied to the sleeve by the guys who runs the label. It also comes with a limited 7-inch that is in an envelope sealed shut with a wax seal bearing the Sacred Bones logo.
This is record collector porn. The music is similar to Daniel Johnston in genre but not aurally identical. It’s sad, acoustic guitar, music with lonely echoing vocals. This was originally distributed to some friends of Carl Simmons’s back in 1999 and has been essentially off the radar. Somehow the Sacred Bones guys heard it and made one of the most loving acts of record construction ever produced. You can still buy these from the Sacred Bones website and you should if you have a record player in your house and a brain in your head.
1) Death in June – Black Whole of Love Box
This box set contains one 12-inch, one 10-inch, one 7-inch, a postcard, a poster and it’s supposed to also contain a CD but mine seems to be missing that.But even without it, this is awesome. Death In June knows presentation. Douglas P. puts out so many picture discs that it’s almost a big deal when he puts out something on plain ole black vinyl. And even if he does opt for the standard in vinyl, you can still rest assured that the sleeve will be on some really nice, thick paper and have foil stamping and/or embossing somewhere. He even put out a few CDs that were packaged in engraved marble. Death in June will take you to the darkest part of the human animal with the intensity of what he does.
0) Eduardo Zurita – Organo Y Conjunto De Ritmos Vol. II
I found this propped up against a mailbox on west 23rd street and I’m glad I did! This is an amazing record that I probably never would have heard about otherwise. This is primarily organ music but whereas the Georges Montalba record was dark, heavy and beautifully evil this record feels like falling in love with someone for the first time. You know when you cast aside your shittiness while embracing the possibility that life can be full of hope. I know nothing about Zurita but from the one or two Spanish sites I found when I googled his name I think he’s Ecuadorian.
I’ll leave you with a recording I made of the final song from the Zurita record, Mosaica Amarguras La Vuelta De Chagra. The song really climaxes at 2:09 in. The audio is passable but coming out of a good stereo it’s amazing. This video is just here to spread the word and encourage others to also look for this record. In my experience it is kept by mailboxes.
This top ten eleven list wasn’t really in any specific order by the way. If that’s important to you that it should be then just believe that it is.- Toilet Cobra