The Sounds Of Love... A to ZZZZ- Sensuously SIN thesized

Sometimes you come across a record that simply defies all logic and good taste.  You wonder if there are enough illicit drugs in the world to make the record listenable.  This my friends, is one of those albums.

The Sounds Of Love... A To ZZZZ basically sounds like an analog synth boning some chick who is definitely a moaner.  This is not an exaggeration.  Its simple keyboard doodles with some girl groaning sounds of lust and savagery in the background.

The record itself has become somewhat of a collectible simply because its so weird.  Various other sites have written about this record and come to the same conclusion I have... What The Falafel???

The liner notes on the back read "Dim the lights, hug something warm, and surrender your ears to the supremely sensual intermingling of passionate sighs and pulsating electronic music."  I don't know if I want to surrender my ears to this record but its actually funny and enjoyable if you like experimental/ noise music.  Its pretty out there for an album from 1972.

I am not saying you should click over to ebay or discogs and find yourself a copy immediately but if you do find one in a dollar bin or garage sale for a decent price, scoop up this platter of idiocy and weirdness.  Well worth a couple bucks...

Artist: Fred Miller?
Title: The Sounds Of Love... A To ZZZZ- Sensuously SIN thesized
Label: Yorkshire
Matrix: 27021
Year: 1972
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Led Zeppelin- Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin records are far from obscure or weird.  They are very common, especially since Led Zeppelin has sold more albums than any other artist ever.  That's right... Zeppelin has sold more albums than anyone.  The Beatles and Elvis and a few others may have sold more records but Led Zeppelin never released singles.  Only LPs (probably because a lot of their songs were longer than a 45 could handle) They actually have sold more than 250,000,000 LPs. 

So why am I writing about Led Zeppelin?  Because I found this Soviet era pressing of tracks culled from the III and IV albums.  Communism loved a lot of things... Oppression, Elite-ism and long lines for toilet paper being the top three.  But rock n roll records were not popular amongst the Kremlin crowd. 

Many bootleg versions of albums were distributed amongst Russian teens throughout the 60's and 70's.  This is not a bootleg.  This record was pressed on state-owned, Melodiya Records.  Melodiya focused mainly on classical and regional folk records.  Their releases were dominated by state sanctioned Soviet/ Russian artists.  Records featuring the works of Tchaikovsky are very collectible for their quality sound and authenticity.

This record also sounds amazing.  It is pressed on super thick vinyl and might be the best sounding Zeppelin record I own.  I can't really read anything on the sleeve apart from the title and tracklisting on the back but who cares?  Everyone knows every Zeppelin song. 

Melodiya may have focused on classical and folk records but they did release some Western pop music like ABBA, Boney M. (Reallllly?) and Bon Friggin' Jovi.  After the fall of Communism, they licensed most of their records to small distributors until 1996 when BMG was granted exclusivity.  After their contract with BMG expired in 2003 they shut their doors only to re-open under new management in 2006.  They still release music today and have an extensive back catalog of some pretty cool regional folk jams.

So that is your little history lesson of the day, kiddies.  Check back next time for more enlightening facts about vinyl oddities.  "Roll Credits and Theme Song"

Artist: Led Zeppelin
Title: Stairway To Heaven
Label: Melodiya
Matrix: 27501
Year: 1988
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Big Jake- Calls The Waders

Whoa mama!  A record of narrated bird calls by a dude named BIG JAKE!  I shouldn't even have to say anything more... but I will.  Jake Ward is not without talent.  The noises he makes certainly sound like birds.  And although I have no idea what an Oystercatcher or a Kentish Plover sound like, I am sure Big Jake does a fine job of mimicking their cries.  And the narrator, Bryan Bland, does an admirable job... ummm... narrating.  He doesn't make me want to listen to bird calls but his voice is far from living up to his last name.

What gets me about this record is why it was made in the first place???  Was ornithology that big back in 1980 that an album featuring a dude named Big Jake whistling the mating calls of Black-tailed Godwits and Spotted Redshanks would sell?  "And now a new album that is blistering up the charts and is destined for our top spot in the coming weeks... BIG JAKE CALLS THE WADERS!!!" I can almost hear Casey Kasem or John Peel now!  This record is why I love records.  You just don't see this much work put into hobbies anymore.  No one has produced a bird sounds record in like 20 years... at least.  Long live vinyl and long live Big Jake Ward.  You are my hero...

Artist: Big Jake feat. Bryan Bland
Title: Calls The Waders
Label: Millstream
Matrix: SRTX-80-CUS598
Year: 1980
Speed: 33.3

The Howling Sleepers- Soft Drinks & Snacks

While most of the records reviewed on here come from thrift stores, flea markets or yard sales, there will be a few that I buy on ebay.  I sometimes stroll though the 0.01 cent records in hopes of finding something cool.  I bid on this record simply for the name.  The Howling Sleepers seemed like it would be worth at least a penny.  Plus it was a private press record so maybe it would be worth far more than that.  Possibly some long lost gem worth hundreds that had slipped through the ebay cracks. 

Although I doubt this record is worth hundreds of dollars, it turns out The Howling Sleepers were very influential in the Cardiff scene of the late 80's.  This album, their only release, is just a glimpse of what some called the best live band in Cardiff. 

After listening to this record I could totally imagine The Howling Sleepers on the same bill as a band like Flogging Molly.  Upbeat fun tunes built for drinking crafted from catchy fiddle riffs and humourous lyrics.  Its has punk roots but is certainly not punk.  It has traditional folk roots but its certainly not folk.  Its just good party music and a solid investment for the price. 

Artist: The Howling Sleepers
Title: Soft Drinks & Snacks
Label: POPDY
Matrix: POPDY-102
Year: 1988?
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Sunday Update

Yes... It is not Sunday.  This is an update about the band Sunday.  I reviewed their 45 a few posts back and while researching it I could not find any information about the band or the record.  So after some heavy digging I found an email for a man named Stan Cayer.  He managed the band and has had a strange and remarkable career in his own right.  You can read a great bio about Stan HERE.  After exchanging a few emails Stan gave me a bit of the lowdown on A Group Called Sunday.

The band was originally called Daybreak.  The lead singer was Byron O'Donnald who also sometimes played tambourine, rhythm guitar and electric bass. He also wrote most of the songs.  Gord Hayman played bass and organ while his older brother, Craig, played organs in live shows.  Gord also co-wrote the songs.  Lynn Mooney played drums.

Stan brought them into record in 1970 at R&D Studios.  They were engineered by Rolly Newton who also engineered for Terry Jacks, Susan Pesklevitz and Craig McCaw then called The Poppy Family.  They had a huge hit with "Which Way You Goin' Billy?"

They got signed to London Records and released the 45.  It garnered significant radio airplay but legal issues with the lead guitarist and his lawyer father forced the band apart and a full length record and tour never materialized.

I would like to thank Stan Cayer and Jamie Antsey for all the help in finding out more about a band that I have loved for a long time.

Victor Buono- Heavy!

How could I not buy this record?  Just look at this cover!  Glorious!  I thought it might be some sort of novelty album with songs about Mr. Buono's portly stature.  It turns out it was a stand-up album with ramblings about Mr. Buono's portly stature.

Its actually sort of funny.  I mean he is certainly a one trick pony but his observational poetry about being fat is humourous.  And I think the titles of his "tracks" are probably the best part of the whole package.  "A Word To The Wide", Skinny Poems For Fat Lovers" and "You Don't Have To Be Fat To Hate Rome" are pretty friggin' funny.

Victor Buono came from a vaudvillian family and made his TV mark as a hired "heavy" on various detective series' including The Untouchables.  He was actually nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in Whatever Happened To Baby Jane in 1962.  His last major role was on Taxi playing the role of Jim's father.

I am pretty sure I bought this record for less than a dollar.  I can't remember where I bought it but I am certainly glad I did.  A solid investment.

Artist: Victor Buono
Title: Heavy!
Label: Celebration
Matrix: CEL 1862
Year: ?
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Carl Stevens & His Marching Band- The Circus Is In Town

I am not normally one for marching band music.  I think parades are boring and embarrassing for all involved.  And circuses are sad displays of sad people doing sad things for money.  Saying all of this, I STILL bought this record. 

I knew what type of music would adorn the grooves of this wax platter.  I knew I would find it annoying.  But can you fathom a guess as to why I would buy such a waste of vinyl?  Yes... the terrifying clowns! 

I was never one of those kids who feared clowns.  I always saw them for what they are... depressed drunks who roam from city to city in hopes of finding love... or at least some 4 toothed carny girl who will at least touch them in a familiar way.  But these clowns are scary.  Like "Freddy Kreuger has nothing on this nightmare" scary. 

I found this record for 10 cents at a library sale and was well worth the dime.  I have only listened to this record once and plan on never playing it again.  Yet with all the negativity that surrounds my views of this record, I still love it.  LOVE IT!

Artist: Carl Stevens and His Marching Band
Title: The Circus Is In Town
Label: Mercury/ Wing
Matrix: MGW 12170
Year: ?
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Weird Wax Podcast #2

I know I have been slacking on the reviews but fear not.  New reviews of bad records are coming later today.  I have had a busy week and no internet access.  But yeah... new record reviews are coming today.  For now, a new Weird Wax digital mixtape will have to suffice.  I am hoping that next week we will have our full on podcast capabilities up and running.  This week's playlist includes bands like Apartment, The Kinks, Little Walter, The Sonics, Dinosaur Jr., Matt & Kim and Donovan Frankenreiter.  Sort of all over the map but definitely a fine selection of the stuff we love here at Weird Wax. 

You can click HERE to download it or you can always find this and previous podcasts by clicking the podcast button at the top of the page.


Weird Wax Podcast #1

I know this is not a podcast in the traditional sense.  Its simply a digital mixtape of sorts.  But fear not, a real honest to goodness podcast is coming.  This is a taste of the music that will be played, discussed and loved at The Weird Wax Podcast in the months (years???) to come.

You can download it HERE

A complete back catalog of the podcast will always be available on the Podcasts page at the top of this page. 

Tell your friends and enjoy the tunes.

Victor Banana- Split

This is yet another SEALED dollar bin steal.  It was found in the small town of Edmunston, New Brunswick at a tiny book store that had a few milk crates full of records.  I also scored an April March record there that day but that is for another review.  I had no idea what kind of music it was going to be but I recognized the artwork.  It was by famous graphic novelist, Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Art School Confidential, Like A Velvet Glove Cast In Iron)  I knew that if Daniel Clowes was involved, it must be somewhat cool.  I decided to keep this one sealed and to find a used copy or at least a digital copy to find out what I was dealing with.

It turns out its a very fun, accessible pop record that borders on the very strange.  The music itself is quaint and cute but the lyrics are ummm... Songs like "Let's Go For A Ride On A Dinosaur", "Doctor Goodbeard" and "Planet Xylak" make you wonder what new and wonderful drugs they were taking in the late 80's L.A. Scene.  The album was released on Splat Co. Records which was started by famed L.A. underground DJ, Splatwinger.

I have since bought a used listening copy but still hold this sealed weirdo treasure high as one of my best dollar bin finds ever.  I have seen some used copies sell for as high as $40-50.  I could likely get $70 for this one but its not going anywhere.

Artist: Victor Banana
Title: Split
Label: Splat Co.
Matrix: 100
Year: 1989
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Reveen- Stop Smoking And Overeating

Peter Reveen was born in Australia but in his mid-20's moved to Canada.  He started his career as a stage hypnotist in British Columbia but soon became a worldwide star.  He was especially popular in eastern Canada and his home country of Australia.  He was a shameless self promoter doing whatever he could to increase ticket/ album sales.  Sometimes he would give local radio stations a small percentage of the gate for free advertising.  Today, he is semi-retired and is the manager of famous Las Vegas illusionist, Lance Burton.

This record was one of many released by Reveen's own publishing company, Reveen Recordings.  This record was found at a thrift store, still sealed, for a buck.  I am scared to open it.  Although I do not smoke and rarely overeat, the immense power of Reveen may program me to eat even less.  I may eat so little that I become frail and sullen.  I may become weak.  I may have organ failure due to malnutrition.  There is a host of skeletons that may become unleashed if I were to open this pandora's box.  The threat is just too great to listen to such a powerful recording.

But I cannot throw this record away.  The simple glare of Reveen on the front cover speaks to me telekinetically every time I try to sneak this album into the trash.  I fear what the almighty Reveen might do if I were to discard such a supreme disc.

Plus, I like owning a record by someone whom they spoof on Trailer Park Boys.

Artist: Reveen
Title: Stop Smoking And Overeating
Label: Reveen Recordings
Matrix: F2001
Year: ?
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Francois le Sinner- Madame Robinson/ Yummy, Yummy, Yummy

Francois le Sinner (aka Francois Guy) was a busy guy back in the 60s and 70s.  He was a member of Les Sinners and La Revolution Francaise.  But while playing in Les Sinners he cut this 45 featuring two very recognizable songs, Mrs. Robinson and Yummy, Yummy, Yummy. 

Francois Guy was born in Montreal in 1947 and at the age of 18 he formed Les Sinners.  In 1968 he quit to start La Revolution Francaise.  Their sound evolved from the rock/ pop sound of Les Sinners to more of a psychedelic feel that dominated the era.

This 45 is one of my favourites from this time period. The beginning of "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" has some super fuzzed out guitar and at first listen sounds just like the opening notes of "Just What I Needed" by The Cars.

This was a dollar bin find and is certainly worth every penny.  The sleeve was not original and the label is pretty scuffed but the vinyl itself is surprisingly clean.  I am not sure what these are selling for these days but I am sure it is more than $1.

Artist: Francois le Sinner
Title: Madame Robinson b/w Yummy, Yummy, Yummy
Label: Jupiter
Matrix: JP-1144
Year: 1968
Size: 7"
Speed: 45

The DeFranco Family- Save The Last Dance For Me

Ummm... Where to start with this one...

I guess I can tell you a little bit about The DeFranco Family feat. Tony DeFranco.  They were born from Italian immigrant parents and grew up in the Port Colbourne, Ontario, Canada.  They had a string of hits in the mid-70's with their biggest, "Heartbeat (It's A Love Beat)" hitting number 3 on the Billboard charts.  Surprisingly, it sold over 2 million copies!  Thankfully, they faded from  the public eye in the late 70's. 

My girlfriend picked this up yesterday at a Value Village for $1.49.  Normally, a purchase like this for that price would bother me but the cover alone is worth at least double that.  The DeFranco Family are sporting matching blue polyester sweaters with butterfly collars.  It seems they each have different animals bedazzled on the front with various rhinestone adornments surrounding their animal of choice.  Tony, the heartthrob of the band, has a tiger while his two brothers have what look to be parrots... seriously... parrots! At further glance, the sisters have parrots as well.  If I was one of the older brother siblings, I would have a serious issue with wearing a sparkly parrot on my chest while my snot nosed little brother got to wear a bitchin' tiger. 

The music is god awful.  Its like if The Partridge Family crashed their bus into a talent eating bridge and they plunged into a lake that only drowned your fashion sense.  From what I have read, little Tony was in every teen magazine from that era (Tiger Beat, etc)  He was the Justin Beiber of the mid-70's.  Because of this fact, you would think he could actually sing.  This is not the case.  I have made more on key noises after a trip to Taco Bell. 

This record is far from a classic but it will remain in the collection simply for the parrot sweaters.  PARROT SWEATERS!!!

Artist: The DeFranco Family
Title: Save The Last Dance For Me
Label: 20th Century
Matrix: 9209-441
Year: 1974
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Mark Isham- Film Music

Mark Isham may not be a household name but you have heard his music before.  Since the early 1980's he has scored dozens of films and TV shows.  He's worked on such famous films as Never Cry Wolf, In The Valley of Elah, Reservation Road, The Secret Lives of Bees and my favourite, Point Break (The Swayze Express was extra zen in that one!) 

This album features three tracks from movies he has scored, Mrs. Soffel, The Times of Harvey Milk and Never Cry Wolf.  Mrs. Soffel is a gorgeous piece of music.  The synths are really cool but do not overwhelm the listener.  The whole album features some kick ass ambient jams. 

I found this record at a flea market.  I think I may have paid 50 cents.  Although I am unlikely to slide this record into the heavy rotation pile, its certainly a keeper.  You can never have enough minimalist synth film scores kicking around has always been my credo. 

Artist: Mark Isham
Title: Film Music
Label: Windham Hill
Matrix: WH-1041
Year: 1985
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Weird Wax Podcast

That's right, all 3 of you who read this.  Weird Wax is going to be launching a weekly podcast for download.  My girlfriend and I will be spinning about an hour's worth of cool, strange and rare tunes spanning all genres including garage/ no wave/ experimental/ punk/psych/folk/noise.  We will eventually have interviews with artists and maybe even record collecting tips.  Its basically a blank slate and will change every week until it evolves into something almost listenable.  Think of it as a weekly mixtape.

I am hoping to have it available for free download this weekend.  Stay tuned.

Martha Ellen- Queen Of Hearts

I grabbed this record at a Value Village hoping that it was some long lost, private press chunk of financial windfall.  Judging by the cover, I presumed it to be a folk album jam packed with mediocrity and self-diluted images of fame.  This did not turn out to be the case.  Although folk music in this vein is not my favourite musical genre, Martha Ellen does have talent.  Her voice is as good as any other female songstress from this era.  She could hold her own with Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and the likes.  Now that is not to say she can write songs like those aforementioned legends.  Most of the songs on this album are traditional but there are a few of her own creation.  They are fine.  Not terrible but not earth shattering.  Just fine.  Her guitar playing is adequate and accompanies her voices well.  But the real star of this album is Martha Ellen's voice.

This record did not turn out to be a winning lottery ticket but it did turn out to be worth more than the 99 cents I paid for it.  Its a decent private press record that I presume is fairly rare and certainly listenable. That makes it worth buying and keeping.  A solid buy.

Artist: Martha Ellen
Title: Queen Of Hearts
Label: Vanda Enterprises
Matrix: VE7801
Year: ?
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


The Chordettes- S/T

The Chordettes were one of the vocal groups that helped transition music from the Andrews Sister's style of vocal/ orchestral arrangement to rock and roll.  They began together in Sheboygan, Wisconsin in 1946 and their career continued into the early 1960's.  Their biggest hits were "Mr. Sandman" and "Lollipop"  The first sat on top of the charts for an astounding 7 weeks. 

This widely sought after LP was yet another score from my girlfriend's parent's basement.  The sleeve is a bit dirty but still solid.  No tears or splits.  The record itself is pretty beat but like a lot of vinyl from this era, it still sounds great even with lots of scuffs and scratches. 

The Chordette's harmonies are almost angelic.  Its like if heaven organized a barbershop quartet.  This is a great example of early pop/ rock music and although this record can fetch as much as a few hundred dollars, its not going anywhere.  Its found a permanent home in my collection.

Artist:  The Chordettes
Title: Self Titled
Label: Cadence
Matrix: CLP 3001
Year: 1957
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Business Unusual... The Other Record Collection

Of all the rare finds in a thrift store/ yard sale, the punk album is the coelacanth. Older punk albums just don't show up in these bins.  I have found some stuff that resembles punk but pre-'85 punk albums are sparse.  I was surprised when I came across this sampler from 1978.  It features a few bands I already knew (Throbbing Gristle, U.K. Subs, Cabaret Voltaire) and some I had never heard of before (Vice Creems, Leyton Buzzards, Skunks)  The album starts out with an absolute ripper in "C.I.D." by U.K. Subs.  and continues to kill it on both sides.  My favourite would have to be the fifth track, "Consequences" by The Outsiders.  Its a slick punk beast with sweet fuzzed out lead guitar.  Nothing fancy, but nothing is fancy about this collection.

I found this in a pile of records that featured mostly Barbara Streisand and Loggins & Messina records.  So coming across gold like this was even more of a shock.  It came with the cello still on it ($1.99 price tag... I wish I had a time machine) and the poster insert was still with it.  That was the best part about this record.  Those posters were usually the first thing tacked to a wall when a record was purchased.  A great find even without the insert.

Artist: Various
Title: Business Unusual... The Other Record Collection
Label: Cherry Red (CRI)
Matrix: CRI 3001
Year: 1978
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Heintje- Dit Is Heintje

In the mid-late 60's, you would think that any country in Europe would be in the throws of Beatlemania.  Germany was no exception but they were far from the biggest act in that country.  That crown went to a young boy from Netherlands.  Dutch-born Heintje Simons was only 12 years old when he scored his first & biggest hit, "Mama" in Germany.  He went on to record many albums over a long career that is still going.  His last album came out in 2006.  He is no longer the cute Dutch boy but a far creepier old dude who still sings about his "Mama"  I guess I am just being jealous because Heintje has sold over 40 million records worldwide and can likely afford to buy his mama whatever the hell she wants.

This record was also taken from my girlfriend's parent's basement.  Its standard orchestral backing from a 12 year old crooner.  Certainly not my type of thing but its worth keeping for the record cover alone.  His face is so happy and optimistic about the future.  Little did he know he would grow up to look like someone you would never allow your kids to talk to on the street.

Artist: Heintje
Title: Dit Is Heintje
Label: CNR
Matrix: SKLP 4260
Year: 1967
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Golden Avatar- A Change of Heart

Golden Avatar was the brainchild of Michael Cassidy, who was a devout Krishna.  That influenced the sound of this record immensely.  Many feel that this record is a soft prog/ psychedelic album but that is not what I felt when listening.  It does have prog/ psych tendencies but I see this as more of a folk album.  The musicianship is second to none and the arrangements are smooth and flawless.  And though the Hindu influence is apparent, it is not overwhelming.  This is not a religious propaganda album.  It is simply a record that would not be out of place amongst other bands of the time like YES, Alan Parsons Project or even E.L.O.

This record was a freebie scavenged from the basement of my girlfriend's parent's house.  The price was right and I am glad I decided to pilfer this LP.  Not something I would listen to regularly but definitely a keeper.

Artist: Golden Avatar
Title: A Change Of Heart
Label: Sudarshan
Matrix: SD1
Year: 1976
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Sunday- Change of Mind/ Livin' Free

I have looked high and low trying to find some information on this band/ record.  All I can find out about them is they were from Vancouver and they kicked ass.  They released this 45 in 1970-71 on London Records and it seems that Stan Cayer produced and managed the band.  On the record they are introduced as "A Group Called SUNDAY"  If anyone knows anything about this band/ record, please give me a shout.

I grabbed this 7" at a Value Village for 99 cents.  A bit high priced for my liking but still reasonable.  Both sides feature some killer psych jams.  Nothing heavy or loud but still very very cool.  Its a shame if this was their only release.  It would have been a solid start to what I believe would have been an amazing LP.  "Change Of Mind" should rank up there with the best Canadian psych tracks of that era.  I would love to find out more about this release as it is one of my 5 favourite thrift store finds of all time.

Artist: Sunday
Title: Change Of Mind/ Livin' Free
Label: London
Matrix: M.17397
Year: 1970?
Size: 7"
Speed: 45

Jenny Rock- Le Sloopy/ Rendez-Vous Avec Toi

Jenny Rock (aka Jeannine de Bellefeuille) gained a fair amount of success in the mid-60's in Quebec.  She even opened for the Rolling Stones in 1965.  She released a string of singles/ albums throughout the 1960's but then faded into Quebecois garage rock obscurity.  But it seems Jenny Rock is back!  She has a new website up and performs from time to time.  www.jennyrock.ca

I grabbed this 45 at a garage sale for 10 cents.  Side A has a french cover of "Everybody Do The Sloopy"  Jenny's voice is sweet and child-like but also has a little bit of a growl to it.  Very rock n roll.  Side B is a pop rock killer.  Catchier than strep throat.  A solid 10 cents spent.  I am definitely on the hunt for more Jenny Rock wax.

Artist: Jenny Rock
Title: Le Sloopy/ Rendez-Vous Avec Toi
Label: Apex
Matrix: 13432
Size: 7"
Speed: 45

Ron Schmeck- Easy Living The American Way

Ron Schmeck was an RV dealer from Sacramento, California who not only released vanity country & western albums but had a cable access TV show called "Easy Livin" back in the 70's.  This record it turns out has quite a cult following amongst weirdo/ private press collectors.  With titles such as "Travelling Man In A Mini-Van" and "Me And My RV" its no wonder.

I would love to tell you just how horrible/ brilliant this album is but the copy I found in a thrift store for 50 cents is still sealed.  Normally I don't care if a semi-valuable is sealed.  I will open it.  I am a record lover more than a collector.  But this record is so ridiculous/ perfect that I am waiting for a special night to open it and give it a spin.  This is my expensive bottle of champagne I am saving for the day I get married/ win the lottery/ meet Ron Schmeck.

Artist: Ron Schmeck
Title: Easy Living The American Way
Label: Valley Records (Private Press)
Matrix: NONE
Year: 1970's?
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Les Atomes- Pauvre Fou/Va T'en Maintenant

Any record I can find from the 60's with an artists name Les ANYTHING, I'm buying.  Les Atomes is no different.  This 60's Quebecois garage band absolutely kills Johnny Burnette's "Little Boy Sad" (Pauvre Fou)  The guitars are super fuzzy and sound almost punk/ psych.  If memory serves I grabbed this early garage gem from a dollar bin in a local record store.  I think it was actually 50 cents.  It would have been a deal at 10 times that price.

Les Atomes, who came from St. Jerome, Quebec, gained a little fame on the Quebecois garage circuit.  Their biggest hit was a cover of The Beatles' "Michelle"  They disbanded in late 1968 after 3 singles and 1 LP.

Artist: Les Atomes
Title: Pauvre Fou/Va T'en Maintenant
Label: Capitol
Matrix: 85-016
Year: 1967
Size: 7"
Speed: 45

The Rip Chords- Hey Little Cobra/ The Queen

This gem was found at a garage sale for a nickel.  I was familiar with this 45 before I purchased it.  I knew the song "Hey Little Cobra" well.  Of all the records I purchased that day (maybe 6-8) this one was the only one that was still in great condition.  All in all, it was a solid 5 cents spent.

The Rip Chords formed in 1957 as a duo but went through numerous line-up changes in the following years.  Hey Little Cobra topped out at #4 on the charts in 1964 in the surf rock craze of that year. 

Artist: The Rip Chords
Title: Hey Little Cobra/ The Queen
Label: Columbia
Matrix: 4-42921
Year: 1963
Size: 7"
Speed: 45

The Fendermen- Mule Skinner Blues b/w Don't You Just Know It

The Fendermen were a midwest duo who took their name from the fact that there were just two of them and they both played Fender guitars.  This was a rarity back in the 50's when most bands had at least a drummer.  You might think this would be a disadvantage for a band shooting for that pure rockabilly sound but surprisingly it gives The Fendermen an unique sound, that for at least one song, made them quite popular.

I found this 7" at a thrift store for 10 cents.  It was not in mint condition but it was still quite playable.  I had The Fendermen's LP in my collection for sometime and finding this 7" was a treat.  I believe this is the Canadian pressing on APEX and although I am not sure of the monetary value, its listening value is far beyond 10 cents.

Artist: The Fendermen
Title: Mule Skinner Blues/ Don't You Just Know It
Label: APEX
Matrix: G-21802
Year: 1958
Size: 7"
Speed: 33.3


Andre Heller- "Liederbuch"

I found this record at the store in a local library.  They rarely had anything cool but if they did, it was usually amazing.  I once found some records of soundtracks from the Canadian National Film Board.  GOLD!  This trip was very rushed but I felt lucky and decided I needed to stop in for a 10 minute quickie.

This was the only record that caught my eye simply because of the random items "tied" onto the cover.  A doll, a playing card, a flare, a baby's boot, a mini hot water bottle... This was a must buy.  I believe I paid 10 cents but talked the elderly female volunteer up to a quarter.

The music is a soft rock (?)/ pop of sorts.  Similar to Serge Gainsbourg or even a Leonard Cohen (but less dark)  A lot of the tracks are spoken word or sung in a barely singing voice.  I imagine this playing in the streets of Paris in the spring over speakers scattered around the entire city. I wish I spoke French/ German so I could understand what they lyrics meant.  I think it would likely have a lot to do with cute French girls and a few jerk French girls who did a number on Mr. Heller.  A wonderful double album from an artist who has since found his way into my record collection a few times.

Artist: Andre Heller
Title: Liederbuch"
Label: Polydor
Year: 1981
Matrix: 2679 083
Size: Dbl. 12"
Speed: 33.3


Lydia Lunch, Thurston Mooore & The Honeymoon In Red Orchestra- "The Crumb"

I walked into this thrift store that I rarely ever visit and the very first record I saw, in the front of the stack was this record.  I had glorious dreams of  Sonic Youth and Glen Branca records tossed aside by some pissed off mother whose son sold her TV for heroin.  Sadly, behind this 12" single was the standard James Last and Roger Whittaker fare.  That being said, this was a rare thrift store find indeed.

If you are reading this blog I don't really need to talk about Lydia Lunch or Thurston Moore.  Both have had incredibly influential careers in punk, noise, experimental and weirdo music.  This 12" is a fine example of what sort of magic can happen when two legends come together with a few other talented wizards.  A great score for a dollar and still my only Sonic Youth related thrift store find.

Artist: Lydia Lunch/ Thurston Moore/ The Honeymoon In Red Orchestra
Title: The Crumb
Label: Widowspeak
Matrix: ?
Year: 1987
Speed: 33.3
Size: 12"

Bob Gibson- Funky In The Country

I had never heard of Bob Gibson when I picked this up at a Value Village.  I believe I paid 99 cents.  Not a huge gamble for something that looked like a private press country/ folk album.  Plus the artwork was sort of cool and the title made me laugh a little.  It turned out this was a semi-famous album by a semi-famous dude.  Shel Silverstein helped write a few of the tracks and Phil Ochs helped write the final track. 

It was recorded in a coffee house in Evanston, IL in 1974 and after a slew of albums on larger labels, this stripped down gem is still considered Mr. Gibson's finest work.  The storytelling in his songs is comparable to others from his era like Jim Croce, John Prine and even Cat Stevens.  A solid 99 cent investment.

Artist: Bob Gibson
Title: Funky In The Country
Label: Legend Enterprises
Matrix: UAS 895-64384
Speed: 33.3
Size: 12"

The Earth Boys- "Space Girl/ Barbara Ann"

If there was ever a need for scientific romance songs from the late 50's, this would be the record.  The Earth Boys lay down two funny but catchy love songs on this 7" put out on the Capitol label.  Side A's "Space Girl" is a fun song about lost love.  It was lost because evidently the girl (from space) did not breathe oxygen and had to go home. Sad times...

Side B is also about lost love.  The Earth Boys are in love with a girl named Barbara Ann.  She has a lovely blue eye... they can't see the other one because its still swollen shut from a gang fight... seriously...

All in all this was 50 cents well spent.  I wish I knew more about The Earth Boys but maybe after this 7" was released they found a way to be with their space girl after all.

Artist: The Earth Boys
Title: Space Girl/ Barbara Ann
Label: Capitol
Year: 1958?
Size: 7"


Donald et les Aristos- "Pourquoi / Les Fleurs De Mandarine"

Formed in 1963 and part of the burgeoning Quebecois garage scene of that time, Donald et les Aristos carved out a nice string of singles until disbanding in 1968.  They went through a few name changes (Les Aristos, The Aristocrats, Motions) but consistently released catchy rock music heavily influenced by the British Invasion. They were contemporaries of other St. Hyacinthe bands like Les Hou-Lops & Les Sultans

Both tracks on this stellar 7" remind me a lot of early Beatles, The Dave Clark Five and the like.  "Les Fleurs De Mandarine" is especially hook-filled. 

Artist: Donald et les Artistos
Title: Pourquoi / Les Fleurs De Mandarine
Label: DSP
Matrix: DSP 8639
Year: 1968
Speed: 45
Size: 7"

Blind Ravage- "Loser/ My Life"

I haven't been able to track down much info about this seemingly rare 7" from Montreal band, Blind Ravage.  Their self-titled LP is a holy grail of sorts for collectors of Canadian Prog/ Psych Rock but I could not find anything on the interwebs about this 45.

 Pressed on the Crescent Street Records label, both sides (labelled X & Y) show why their full length is so sought after.  Both tracks showcase their psychedelic wonder with catchy organ licks and fuzzed out guitar riffs.  They sort of remind me of early Guess Who with less Burton Cummings Moustache Power... And I mean that in a good way.

Artist: Blind Ravage
Title: Loser / My Life
Label: Crescent Street Records
Matrix: CR 2027X
Year: 1973-74?
Speed: 45
Size: 7"