Vinyl Day 4: Herman’s Hermits “Blaze”, The Who “Quadrophenia”, & self-titled Maureen McGovern

I was a bit late on this one, but welcome to Vinyl Day 4 featuring Herman’s Hermits, The Who, and Maureen McGovern. Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Herman’s Hermits
Album: Blaze
Year: 1967
Genre: Beat, British Rock
Record Origins: Definitely my mom’s album (she would have been 10 when this album came out).

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I remember being around 10 or so and asking my mom if she liked The Beatles when she was younger. She said she did, but Herman’s Hermits were her favorite. I was a bit nonplussed as I did not know who the hell they were.

They are damn good though. Here is “Museum”, with a Donovan (yes, THAT Donovan) writing cred from the Blaze album:


Artist: The Who
Album: Quadophenia
Year: 1973
Genre: Rock, Rock Opera
Record Origins: Slam Dunk’s

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Set in London and Brighton in 1965, the story follows a young mod named Jimmy and his search for self-worth and importance. Quadrophenia is the only Who album entirely composed by Pete Townshend.

A film version of Quadrophenia was released in 1979.

Here is a song from the album that everyone should know (and if you didn’t, now you do)– “Love, Reign O’er Me”.


Artist: Maureen McGovern
Album: Self-titled
Year: 1979
Genre: Pop
Record Origins: Mummer and Popper

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Not a huge fan of this album, but Maureen McGovern has a beautiful voice. The album cover also features the most tasteful sideboob/underboob/deep cleavage I have ever seen in my life.

Anywho, this album features the song “Can You Read My Mind”, the theme from the 1978 version of Superman. Enjoy:

Vinyl Day 3: Tyler, the Creator “Goblin”, BeeGees “Spirits Having Flown”, & the London Philharmonic “The Complete Recordings of Handel’s Messiah”

Welcome to Vinyl Day 3. Catch up on the other days here.


Artist: Tyler, the Creator
Album: Goblin
Year: 2011
Genre: Hip Hop
Record Origins: I bought this one.

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I have followed Tyler, the Creator for some time now. I have seen him twice (2014 and 2016), and he always puts on a very energetic show. He’s also incredibly funny. Apparently he hates this album, but there are some bangers on it that he and I agree on.


Artist: BeeGees
Album: Spirits having Flown
Year: 1979
Genre: Disco
Record Origins: me mum and paw

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This record ended the end of the BeeGees mainstream success:

 It was the group’s first album after their collaboration on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. The album’s first three tracks were released as singles and all reached No. 1 in the US, giving the Bee Gees an unbroken run of six US chart-toppers in a one-year period and equaling a feat shared by Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles. It was the first Bee Gees album to make the UK top 40 in ten years (not counting the soundtrack for Saturday Night Fever), as well as being their first and only UK No. 1 album.

Here is “Too Much Heaven” from that album:


Artist: The London Philharmonic Orchestra
Album: The Complete Recordings of Handel’s Messiah
Year: Sometime in the 70s or before.
Genre: Classical
Record Origins: me mum and paw

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My parents have a shit ton of orchestral and classical music in their collection. So get used to seeing this. This rendition of Handel’s Messiah is from the London Philharmonic. You can listen to it here. I’m not in the mood for this level of drama.

“Fistful of Love” by Antony and The Johnsons

I am easily moved by music, but I do not think I have been moved by a song in this way in some time:

Most individuals interpret this song as a song about abuse (specifically domestic abuse), but I saw one theory saying it might be about BDSM and relationships, which seems less likely but is also less sad. The BDSM theory spin reminds me of one of my favorite movies, The Secretary.

I saw The Secretary when I was in high school, and I did not really understand BDSM and thought it was pretty fucked up. How times change.

Another great song by Antony and the Johnsons that might make you misty is this one (“Hope There’s Someone”):

The isolation continues!

Vinyl Day 2: Gino Vannelli “Storm at Sunup”, David Bowie “Blackstar”, & Dick Wellstood “Plays Ragtime Music of The Sting”

Welcome to Day 2 of my nonsensical record collection.


Artist: Gino Vannelli
Album: Storm at Sunup
Year: 1975
Genre: Jazz Pop
Record Origins: Goodwill in Lakeview, New Orleans

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Gino, a follicularly (I definitely made the word up) blessed Italian-Canadian jazz pop singer, arrived here via Goodwill. At the time, it was just a funny album cover. Upon further inspection, this record was recorded under A&M Records, which I have massive respek for because Herb Alpert is one of the founders.

Anyway, I am indifferent about Gino, but the anonymous ladies on the cover of these 60s and 70s albums are always so beautiful.


Artist: David Bowie
Album: Blackstar
Year: 2016
Genre: Rock
Record Origins: Slam, Edgewater, Chicago

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“Blackstar” was David Bowie’s 25th and final album– released two days before he died. David Bowie is a problematic favorite of mine. It’s hard to separate the work from the person, but it is a a real thing. Nevertheless, the music and images exist. The creative spirit is forever burned in our consciousness.



Artist: Dick Wellstood
Album: Plays Ragtime Music of The Sting
Year: 1974
Genre: Jazz Piano
Record Origins: Goodwill in Lakeview, New Orleans

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Hear it below: this is the music I will go insane to during my Coronacation. And it’s only the fourth day. This is the perfect music for a boring dystopia.

Dick Wellstood is a was a jazz pianist that played a lot of sweet ragtime tunes. This particular album was in 1973 caper The Sting.


This concludes Vinyl Day 2 of ?. God I hope it gets better from here.

Vinyl Day 1: Huey Lewis and the News “Sports”, Jimmy Buffet “Volcano”, & Donna Summer “Live and More”

I’m starting a new short run series leading up to Record Store Day 2020 (April 18).

In 2013, I acquired my parent’s record collection. “Stole” might be a better term, but mom, if you read this, I am happy to give them back at any time. Since acquiring and combining records, my household has quite the eclectic record collection. I haven’t even listened to many of them. I am going to be sharing photos of all of the records and a small amount of research on them for the next few weeks.

This cat judged me throughout this entire process, and honestly, I don’t need that in my life.

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Let’s begin.


Artist: Jimmy Buffet
Album: Volcano
Year: 1979
Genre: Rock, I guess?
Record Origins: My parents. Smh.

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I’m gonna be real with you: I really don’t like Jimmy Buffet. I’m putting this one first because I never want to talk about this album again. It’s nothing against any of you who like him. It’s me. This is the only song I can take, and I am currently evaluating that statement now that I have typed it.


Artist: Huey Lewis and the News
Album: SPORTS
Year: 1979
Genre: Rock
Record Origins: Sam found this at Goodwill on the Westbank (greater New Orleans area) or the “Wank”, if you please.

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This is a solid album. If there ever was a white people culture, certainly this would be in it. I’ve definitely heard it in Applebee’s or TGI Friday’s. My dad used to jam this on the way to our piano practice when we were growing up. It was already legendary status in my mind, but American Pyscho ensured this album would be permanently seared into our consciousness.


Artist: Donna Summer
Album: Live and More
Year: 1978
Genre: Disco, Soul, Adult Contemporary
Record Origins: My parents

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This is a smoking album. Do you want to feel sexy? This album will make you feel sexy as it has tracks like “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You, Baby”. 🤤



Thanks for reading Day 1 of ?.

Desert Sessions: Songs for Personal and Public Apocalypse Survival

A soundtrack for end times (kidding!).

While the Bitchfork readership is measly in quantity, it is international (or all of you use VPNs or a combo of both). Usually it is the music that brings us together, but today, please join me as we socially distance ourselves.

Before the virus, I’ve contemplated a self-imposed social distancing. The idea came from a plane ride and some fungi. For a long-enough-to-be-annoying-frame-of-time, I have felt like I was standing at the edge of the world. The Earth and all its contents at my back, looking out at infinite– overwhelmingly lonely and in awe of the how, despite being filled with stars and planets, space is so stark.

The fact a virus that requires distancing ourselves from humans is an ironic and somewhat cathartic event to (maybe?) wrap up these last few weeks. However, just as I am in awe of the starkness of the universe, I am equally thankful for the solitude.

The Desert Sessions Vol. 11 & 12 is the perfect soundtrack for everything I am seeing and feeling at this time. It offers an apocalyptic feel without much of the seriousness but much of the absurdness and loneliness mixed with elements of survival.

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From Wiki:

The Desert Sessions are a musical collective series, founded by Josh Homme in 1997. Artists such as Brant BjorkPJ HarveyJeordie White (a.k.a. Twiggy Ramirez)Dave CatchingNick OliveriMark LaneganJohn McBainBen ShepherdJosh FreeseChris GossAlain JohannesTroy Van LeeuwenDean Ween, and many others from the Palm Desert Scene have contributed as songwriters and musicians.

I am a big/huge/large/massive/fluffy fan of Josh Homme’s talents, work, and collaborative efforts. Like members of The Mars Volta as well as Mike Patton, I don’t know how the dude sleeps: Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Eagles of Death Metal, KYUSS, Iggy Pop; and extensive work with Foo Fighters and Arctic Monkeys.

Example 1:

It’s not often you see a very large, ginger man with such moves. Also, please never tell me masculinity and flamboyance are an oxymoron or mutually exclusive (and have you seen him roller skate?).

Josh Homme has been doing wonderful things for decades. He began the Desert Sessions in 1997. Since that time, he has produced 12 volumes, the latest being Vol. 11: Arriverderci Despair and  Volume 12: Tightwads & Nitwits & Critics & Heels. These volumes features greats like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Les Claypool of Primus, Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Jakes Shears of Scissor Sisters, Matt Berry of everything, Matt Sweeney, Carla Azar of Autolux and Jack White, and Mike Kerr of Royal Blood (all seen in the featured photo of this post).

Here are some of my favorites from the latest volumes.

Continue reading “Desert Sessions: Songs for Personal and Public Apocalypse Survival”