A Reader staffer shares three musical obsessions, then asks someone (who asks someone else) to take a turn.
Salem Collo-Julin, Reader listings coordinator
Footage of Judas Priest smacking the south side around on their 1981 World Wide Blitz Tour I often pass the former site of the International Amphitheatre at 42nd and Halsted. I was too young to see Judas Priest rocking the arena in 1981, but a wonderful YouTuber uploaded digitized eight-millimeter footage of this show, and though it’s a little VHS shaky, it’s still a treat. I love the great version of “Victim of Changes,” which ends with an absolutely inspired Halford high-note scream.
Jennifer Williams’s hand-drawn T-shirts and totes Jennifer Williams is a Philadelphia artist who loves musicians. She’s done drawings of bands she’s imagined, like the all-girl Raven Call (“the greatest rock & roll band in the tri-state area”), and her newest pieces are hand-drawn shirts and bags with loving portraits of bands we know. She imagines Van Halen happily hanging out on roller skates or Waylon Jennings with a cigarette and a rose. Even FKA Twigs and Swiss postpunks Kleenex get the Jennifer Williams treatment.
WZRD’s playlist tweets Our local free-form radio station, WZRD 88.3 FM, is a reliable way to discover music both weirdo and profound. It has a Twitter account devoted to tweeting out playlists, and it sometimes just posts names of songs and acts, with no links, hashtags, or emoji, making for concrete tweet poetry. This feed ensures that I’ll get the occasional nudge to pull out that Amon Duul II record or research Amadou Balaké. It’s like getting suggestions from a gentle friend with a better record collection than you.
AMON DUUL II – “Dreams” – Made In Germany
— WZRD Playlist Log (@WZRDPlaylist) June 1, 2019
Maryanne Amacher “Sound Characters (from 2021 the Life People)” from The Throne of Drones (comp)
— WZRD Playlist Log (@WZRDPlaylist) May 30, 2019
Africando featuring Amadou Balake – Betece (Africa/Latin America)
Resina – Opinio Opmnium
Yamit and the Vinyl Blvd – Ain’t Misbehavin’
I’ll Be Seeing You
— WZRD Playlist Log (@WZRDPlaylist) May 27, 2019
Salem is curious what’s in the rotation of . . .
Mike McPadden, author of Teen Movie Hell and Heavy Metal Movies
The ungodly live overwhelm of Metz I’m late to Canadian noise lords Metz. That shame is mine, as is the danger to my eardrums going forward. Last month, I got caught up when they opened for Mudhoney. In four decades of concert consumption, I’ve experienced some pantheon-great power trios at peak potency—Rush in ’84, Hüsker Dü in ’85, Big Black in ’87, Nirvana in ’91. Alas, they all sounded puny next to the sense-annihilating sonic bombast I just barely survived at Lincoln Hall.
Pussy Galore, Exile on Main St. (1986) The scales fell from my brain in early 1987 when I pressed play on a cassette copy of a cassette copy of Pussy Galore‘s cassette-only cover of the Rolling Stones’ masterwork. I was still in my first year of college, but Julia Cafritz’s introductory snarl alone—”Hello, I hate your fucking guts! I hate this fucking machine! I’m gonna make my own fucking music!”—hit me like an instant graduation to beautiful new realms of ugly possibilities.
The Pirate Movie: The Original Soundtrack From the Motion Picture (1982) Among early-80s movie-musical soundtracks, you already know the biggest (Xanadu, Streets of Fire), and you should know the best (Forbidden Zone, Shock Treatment). Launch a cannonball too for The Pirate Movie, an affably botched MTV-style attempt to cash in on the Broadway success of The Pirates of Penzance. While the show featured Linda Ronstadt belting Gilbert and Sullivan, the movie boasts Kristy McNichol warbling “Pumpin’ and Blowin’.” Pick whichever seems more fun and set sail, ye mateys!
Mike is curious what’s in the rotation of . . .
Corinne Halbert, Chicago painter and comics artist
Oderus Urungus from Gwar In the late 90s and early aughts, I was an angst-ridden teenage maniac. So naturally I went to a million concerts with my friends, who were all older. We’d wait by the tour buses afterward, hoping to meet our favorite musicians. My crowning moment was meeting Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus of Gwar, outside the Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts. He still had makeup smeared on his face and was so incredibly nice to me, I’ll never forget it. RIP, you wonderful maggot-filled monster, you.
Big Business About four months after my husband and I started dating in 2015, we took a trip to the Wisconsin Dells. He reintroduced me to Big Business and what would become my absolute favorite album, 2007’s Here Come the Waterworks. We probably listened to it ten-plus times while driving up and back. Their new release, The Beast You Are, maintains their heavy low-end sound but is much mellower in long stretches. I guess we’re all getting older, and hopefully more chilled out.
King Crimson At the top of my must-listen list, forever, has been legendary band King Crimson. Snippets of their psychedelic, progressive weirdness have surely slithered between my temples without me knowing, and the artist in me has been dying to learn what secrets hide behind the iconic screaming red face on their 1969 debut. This hole in my music knowledge is my secret shame, so it feels good to get it off my chest. For the next few weeks, I’ll be held in contempt In the Court of the Crimson King! v