I planned on going to one of my favorite spots today, Easy Street Records in Seattle. But I was thwarted. By football. University of Washington football, to be precise, which is happening downtown today. And tomorrow will be no better due to the Seahawks home game against the Cowboys. I guess Easy Street will need to wait for next weekend. (For the record, I am a University of Washington graduate and a Seahawks fan, so I’m not hating on Seattle’s big football weekend. I just had planned on doing some record shopping.)
But fear not, my friends, as another avenue for record buying appeared in the form of a sandwich board sign outside the local auto dealership. The sign had records attached to it and read, “SALE”, with an arrow pointing up the street. I followed the vinyl road and eventually ended up in a neighborhood in someone’s garage. Apparently this guy’s daughter once had a record store, so he had tons of stuff… though mostly classic rock. I did, however, pick up four records that struck my fancy – in three different sizes, and two different speeds.
MC 900 Ft Jesus with DJ Zero – “I’m Going Straight to Heaven” (12″). I first discovered MC 900 Ft Jesus in 1989 after reading an article about his first album in Rolling Stone. I have no idea whatever happened to that CD, but when I saw this 12″ for a few bucks I wanted to check it out. And I’m glad I did, because it’s a cool house/dance record featuring four tracks. Good stuff – all music, no vocals (other than samples).
Crazy 8s – Nervous in Suburbia (LP). I missed the boat on the Crazy 8s when I was in high school and they were one of the most popular acts playing in the northwest. A number of my friends were into them, but I never heard them until last year when I picked up the live Big Live Nut Pack album and was blown away by the great pop-funk this band jammed. Nervous in Suburbia didn’t disappoint either – a real fun album, and one that you can play for just about anyone of any age and musical preference.
Skin Yard – “1000 Smiling Knuckles / Hey Bulldog” (7″). Man, I remember Skin Yard from the Sub Pop days. This single (on pink vinyl) took me back a bit, with one original track and a Beatles cover as the B side. Solid grunge rock.
Gruppo Sportivo – More Missions (EP). I’d never heard of this Dutch group until a few hours ago (thank you again, work iPhone). Now this is an odd little six-song EP, packing six full-length songs onto a disk the size of a normal 45 rpm single, all of which are sung in English. The first two songs on the A side are good punk-pop, but with the third track “Are You Ready?” it gets interesting, with a reggae-pop tune with a really cool groove. The B side opens with 60s style pop, straight up with an electric organ and car horn sound effects. “Tokyo” sounds like a stripped-down indie track you could hear on alternative radio today. The EP closes with a flat out disco song in “Rubber Gun”. Kind of a fun album in the way it covers different styles with almost every song.
Gruppo Sportivo is the surprise winner of this group. An example of “record bin gold” that was a random find, in a random place, on a random day. I suspect I’ll be burning it to mp3 soon.