Kevin Warwick, Reader staff writer
My second-generation iPod Shuffle I have a decent amount of faddish electronics (that’s right, I subscribe to Wired), but some pieces of technology don’t need upgrading—my mid-80s GE alarm clock, the indestructible Maglite I swiped from an abandoned house, and my second-generation iPod Shuffle, which has outlasted bike wrecks, thunderstorms, and gallons of sweat. The construction is solid—unlike gen three’s crappy earbud-cable controls—and since it’s always playing something fast and loud, I love it even more.
Born Against, Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children I’ve recently been rummaging for 80s and early-90s hardcore-punk records and happened across a dumped collection of some 1,200 LPs and seven-inches at Ear Wax Record Shop in Madison. Though I spotted Conflict’s The Final Conflict first, I reluctantly passed it on to a friend so I could snag Born Against’s Nine Patriotic Hymns for Children. Before Men’s Recovery Project and Wrangler Brutes, Sam McPheeters fronted this leftist posse. The recording is garbage, but like Battle Hymns of the Race War it still spits fucking nails.
Our Band Could Be Your Life I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately (see above), so why not revisit Greg Ginn discussing his undying love for the Grateful Dead? Or Mike Watt reminiscing about the formation of Minutemen? Our Band Could Be Your Life is the obligatory bookend to any hardcore/punk enthusiast’s literature collection—other bands featured include Minor Threat, Husker Du, Sonic Youth, the Butthole Surfers, Dinosaur Jr., and Fugazi—and it remains a damn good page-turner a decade after it dropped.
John Ciba, Logan Hardware store manager, East of Edens Soul Express DJ
Oxford American‘s Southern Music Issue Every year the southern literary journal releases a state-oriented music issue, and the 13th annual focuses on Mississippi. The issue’s 27-track companion disc covers vintage and current soul, jazz, punk, gospel, country, and pop from the Magnolia State, accompanying the writing of David Ritz, Nick Hornby, and lots more.
Swingin’ Snowflakes Jingle Jangle Jazz Party 2011 Christmas Mix Aside from his jaw-dropping rare-jazz collection, Andy Cirzan has a large, eclectic stash of Christmas 45s and puts together a themed compilation of rare holiday sides every year. 2011 is a solid run though classic jazz from Chet Baker to Joe Wilder doing standards and originals. I’ve found previous years on Sound Opinions‘ and WXRT’s websites, and are all worth looking for.
Lawrence Peters Outfit, What You Been Missin’ Do you miss the Monday night front-of-bar country shows at the Hideout? Lawrence’s new album conjures those days with that pedigree of players and the kind of straight-ahead George-Jones-via-grown-up-midwestern-college-rock sound that got me hanging around the Hideout in the first place.
Anthony Abbinanti, member of the Drastics
The album artwork of Wilfred Limonious Falling somewhere between illustrator, cartoonist, and outsider artist, Wilfred Limonious was the seminal album-cover designer for early-80s Jamaican LPs. His bright colors, lettered text, and cartoons of sound system dances (complete with patois dialogue bubbles) helped define the original rub-a-dub, deejay, and dancehall aesthetic. Even if you’re not a reggae collector, these are worth picking up just to put on the wall. I mean, where else are you gonna find dancehall deejays straight staking vampires?
Discogs.com Any moderate-to-extreme record collector has visited this site at least once, but it’s become a staple in my music-buying excess. The completely user-driven/open-source/whatever-you-want-to-call-it site has helped me score some deals and saved me from overpaying on records. Only recently have I started taking advantage of their “My Collection” feature for cataloging your own stacks within their database—a pretty handy feature that means I don’t need to fill out every single detail of every seven-inch I own, but still have that info in a few clicks.
UK reggae A good bit of Jamaican music is still unknown/undocumented, even to the adamant collector, but UK reggae is a whole other beast. Some are loosely familiar with reggae’s ties to punk and the influence of British skinhead culture on late-60s reggae, but there’s a whole lot more to unearth, from blue beat to roots to lovers rock to sound system to dub.
The Drastics play Ultra Lounge Sat 12/17