The BCPF and I had a busy morning/afternoon yesterday. We got up and out to Underdog Records, the first two through the door, then went to brunch at one of our favorite spots. We saw Chef Travis Myers, sat in Bailey Park for a minute or 15, got an updated tour of 600°, Chef Travis’ restaurant coming soon, then some rekkid listening and dinner at Diamondback Grill, which is always a treat! Here’s the haul:
A Tribe Called Quest – The Low End Theory — #153 on the RS list that matters, #43 on the one that doesn’t. I wanted to fill some holes in the hip-hop/rap section of my “list” collection, as you’ll see. This is what I wrote when I reviewed it in February 2016: Back to hip hop basics. Or is that bass-ics? And I say back; really it’s at the front. This from the good ole days, before the hip hop and rap communities got so big they became completely irrelevant (at least to me), overly saturated and stereotypical. To me, the era from the mid-80s until the mid-90s are the best for hip hop. This was just vocals, heavy hip hop bass and drums with some samples and pads laid in for texture. Some references to Bell Biv Devoe and New Edition, I like that. But, in the end it became background music. Not that I was ignoring it or it wasn’t worth listening to, just that it became settled; as in it settled in and really didn’t take me anywhere. Or, it took me somewhere at the beginning but then dropped me off on the side of the road. I still pretty much feel this way. I didn’t look up what I wrote until after I listened to it. It starts off cool, but four sides of a record is a long way to go if you’re only somewhat into it. 2×LP, Reissue, Remastered, Label variation, multicolor as opposed to black and white. New.
Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill — #314 on the RS list that matters, #10 on the one that doesn’t. Yet another reason why that newer list is flawed. Is this a good album? I guess so, but to jump 304 spaces? Nah. Just like the entry above this one jumped 110 spaces. Nah. I get that you’re pulling from a younger demographic for this one, but c’mon, that’s ridiculous. From my original review back in May 2015 (with some clarifications): A little trivia for you. The cover of this album is directly inspired by another album on this segment of the overall list, Burnin’ by Bob Marley & The Wailers (#319). It’s basically the same concept. And, Lauryn, whilst touring with The Fugees got pregnant by Bob’s son, Rohan, so there’s that connection, too. Enough about that, though. I love the “school room” aspect. “Ex-Factor” is very much a breaking free song. Free of exes, of course. With two “high profile” exes to discuss, well, having this type song on the album is not unexpected and actually fits nicely. Wyclef or Rohan? The world may never know. Musically, the album is more than samples and hip-hop beats. It’s soul. Every bit soul. The messages spoken between songs (in the classroom setting) are positive and how to stand up for yourself, believe in yourself, being yourself; self-discovery if you will. I do like the cover of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.” Now, I believe it to be a good album, influential and important for its time, but “best?” Eh. I know that coming up, especially in the upper tops of this list (#13 (Velvet Underground & Nico) I know already I’m going to run over like a lawnmower does a stray styro foam cup in the yard and #2 (Pet Sounds) I already don’t get) I’m going to get increasingly annoyed at the positioning of some of these albums and question a lot of them; you’ve seen what I’ve done so far. I get it this was important, but I really think it would be better up in the upper 400s. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it but think it doesn’t need to be this far up in the countdown. Dug. So, yeah, I liked it and I still liked it yesterday, but I don’t get that kind of jump. It’s not all that!!! 2×LP, Reissue. New.
EPMD – Strictly Business — #453 on the RS list that matters, completely gone from the one that doesn’t. From my initial review April 2014: “I Shot the Sherrif”… I mean, “Strictly Business” is fun. I thought it reminded me a lot of Eric B and Rakim’s Paid in Full (which has to be in this list, somewhere). Upon reading about it, it was called a “compliment” to it. The time frame is right; the style is right; all is right. And, it’s in a time that I liked what I heard in this genre. Tight beats and fun samples (and yes, I hated sampling, then… still do mostly; this is tastefully done), not too harsh on the lyrical content and good stuff to hear. I liked it. I’d own it, believe it or not. DUG! Well, now I do own it. I haven’t listened to it again yet, but after reading what I wrote about it, I can’t wait to! 2018 Respect the Classics edition. Priority Records 2×LP. Non-gatefold jacket. New.
Weezer – OK Human — Clear vinyl with various random splattered colors known as “Control Room Chaos Splatter.” Indie Exclusive version. I always get Weezer and Wilco mixed up just based on name. One I like, one gets on my nerves. Weezer I like. This was released this January and we loved listening to it. Weezer is always fun. A lot of this was “sign o’ the times” kind of things like Zoom meetings and whatnot. But, it’s them keeping up. I dig it. I dug it. You should dig it, too. New.
The Andrews Sisters – The Best Of The Andrews Sisters — I thought to myself, you know what my collection is missing? Some swing-style, jump blues, boogie-woogie girl group that happens to be sisters. And, when I saw this at Underdog Records, in EX condition, I grabbed it, first thing (it is in the “A”s after all). 2×LP, Compilation, Club Edition (RCA), Reissue.
Khachaturian, David Oistrakh : The Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra – Concerto For Violin And Orchestra In D Minor — Composed by and conducted by Aram Khatchaturian. Performed by The Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra with David Oistrakh on violin. EX.
There’s the hip-hop heavy haul. Record Store Day is coming in June and July. Visit the RSD website to keep track of what titles (when they release them!!) will be available for those days. Underdog Records is open Wednesday-Saturday from 11a-7p. Watch their Instagram and Facebook pages to see what Jonathan may have just gotten in or what he’s stocking his bins with. You can purchase non-used new albums 24/7 by visiting the Underdog Records website. Jonathan and I have talked and we were supposed to have more news on our project at the beginning of last month but we have decided that May will be when we do it. I know I’m being vague, but be patient. I use Discogs for all my music cataloging needs.
Until tomorrow, keep spinnin’…
“Count on me to show support for Winston Smith in 1984. ‘Cause battling Big Brother feels more meaningful than binging zombie hordes. Take me up to Neverland. Hanging with Yossarian (Yossarian). He’s kinda just like me. We fight ’til we get free.” – “Grapes of Wrath” (Cuomo)