Les Sultans- 21 Disques D'or

Bruce et Les Sultans were part of the early-mid 1960's folk/ garage scene in Quebec.  While North America was in the midst of the British Invasion, small town Quebec was booming with great bands who not only covered the songs coming out of the UK but also writing some of their own that rivaled those of The Stones, The Beatles, Herman's Hermits and The Dave Clark Five. Les Sultans continued to make records into the 1970's and changed their style to a softer sound

This is a great album of mostly cover songs from artists a little less rock and a little more folk/ pop like James Taylor and Neil Diamond.  Although this is certainly not my favourite genre, I still respect a well crafted pop tune and those guys wrote some monsters.  Bruce has a great voice and does justice to every track on the record. 

I had been looking for this record in particular for awhile.  I had a few Les Sultans 45's and loved them so I really wanted an LP.  I got this in a huge pile (400 or so) of records that a friend dropped off for free.  Most of the records were your standard rock fare but I was super stoked to find this one in the mix.  Its not overly valuable (maybe $20-30) but its a record I had wanted to a long time and am glad I came across a copy that was so clean... for FREE!!!  A very solid score.

Artist: Les Sultans
Title: 21 Disques D'or
Label: Les Archives du Disques Quebecois
Matrix: AQ 21002
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Weekly Mixtape #10- Summer Edition!!!

So after the past few days of scorching heat I have decided that it was time to officially say goodbye to winter.  There really is no spring here.  Just a short summer that the gods allow us so that we all don't shoot ourselves because of the 8 months of winter we endure.  So to celebrate Weird Wax has thrown together a kick ass summer mix.  It features lots of oldies from the likes of The Beach Boys, Little Richard, The Dave Clark Five and Eddie Cochran.  It also has a bunch of newish tunes from bands like Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin, Wavves, Nobunny and Young Governor.  Not all the songs are about the sun or summer or stuff like that.  Some are just rockin' jams that are perfect for those summer drives to the beach.  So download this week's Weird Wax Digital Mixtape and have a great summer!

Download it HERE!!! or as always click on the podcast button at the top of the page.  Enjoy!


Lightning Hopkins- A Legend In His Own Time

Sam John (Lightnin') Hopkins was born in Centerville, Texas on March 15, 1912.  He grew up with music but really developed a love for the blues when he met Blind Lemon Jefferson at a church picnic at the age of 8.  He grew up to be one of the most influential and loved blues guitarists of all time.  Rolling Stone magazine listed him as number 71 in their list of The Top 100 Guitarists of All Time.  I for one, think he should have been at least in the top 20.

There is something about these raw blues sounds that I love.  Although I am a big blues fan, I am picky.  I don't love full band blues like I love a guy, his guitar and a rough voice talking about hardship and loss.  That's the blues.  And Lightnin' Hopkins was one of the masters.

I got this album for $2 and although it had a vicious warp to it, I felt that if I could only listen to one song on it, it would still be worth $2.  And since it was only a couple bucks I felt it was worth trying to get rid of the warp.  Apart from the bend, the album itself was in great shape.  Limited scuffs and no major scratches.  And the sleeve was in NM state still in the original cello wrap.  I set the oven to 240 degrees and waited patiently until the LP started to become soft.  As soon as I could bend it slightly, I grabbed it from the oven, tossed it on the counter and pressed down on it with a heavy cutting block for 30 seconds.  And the verdict???  A great record that I can listen to (BOTH SIDES!!) for years to come.

Now I do not suggest that this method will work for every warped piece of vinyl in your collection but for this one time, it did.  With a little courage, a low set oven and fast fingers I saved a classic album from the scrap heap.

Artist: Lightning Hopkins
Title: A Legend In His Own Time
Label: United Superior
Matrix: 7785
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Bill Martin- Concerto For Headphones And Contra/ Buffoon In Asia Minor

I guess this is supposed to be a comedy album.  I am not quite sure.  I mean it is funny but its definitely not your standard stand-up album.  Its far weirder.  This might have something to do with the producer of the album, Harry Nilsson.

I bought this on eBay for a penny (I think... not more than 50 cents, for sure) and although I am not entirely sure what I am listening to, I like listening to it.  The skits that are performed on the LP are interesting but the background noise/ music really holds my attention.  Most comedy albums are not this well produced.  Nilsson's use of sound layers make this album not just a comedy album but a justifiable piece of art.

Listening to an album like this really brings Nilsson's genius to the forefront.  Yes, he was a great song writer.  Yes, he was a brilliant singer.  And yes, him and John Lennon used to do a lot of acid together.  But being able to steal the spotlight on a comedy album he neither wrote or performed on shows that his arrangements and ability to make the mundane beautiful was his true gift. 

If you have never watched it, check out the documentary, "Who Is Harry Nilsson?"  Its on Netflix, if you have a subscription.  Its a great movie about the best known musical artist you barely know anything about.

My apologies to Bill Martin for barely mentioning him in this little blurb about HIS album.  Bill, if you wanted me to talk more about you, you should have had some homeless, transvestite crackhead produce for you. 

Artist: Bill Martin
Title: Concerto For Headphones and Contra/ Buffoon In Asia Minor
Label: Warner Brothers
Matrix: 1856
Year: 1970
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Crazyville Hill- Life Is Just A Carnival

If there is one rule about vinyl collecting that I always follow its this : Never walk away from a record whose cover features garden gnomes/ elves playing guitars and drinking moonshine outside a carnival.  Its not a rule you have to follow very often. 

The album seems to be a privately pressed Texas-based nugget with Leon Turner Jr. as the main man behind it.  All the songs were written by him and he also wrote the liner notes.  The songs are actually decent.  Very folky/ country.  Released in 1979, I think poor Leon missed the alt-country/ folk artist trend by about a decade.  Had this been released in 1969, we may be more familiar with the Crazyville Hill name. 

I looked around the internet and found a couple copies for sale and a couple that have sold in the past.  It turns out its worth a nice chunk of change, ranging from $50 up to $120!  Not a bad score for a buck at a junk shop. 

Although the music itself isn't terrible (its not life altering, either) the best thing about this record is the cover art.  I love the gnome that's passed out on a picnic table!  And the name that is written on the bass drum is "Kamakazi Express."  I would pay big money to see a band of elves called Kamakazi Express blast out some country laced, rock jams.  Bobby Rector, who did the artwork, also played drums on 9 of the 12 tracks. 

Although I doubt this record will ever slip into heavy rotation around here, it has definitely endeared its way into a permanent spot in the Weird Wax Archives.  One of the best dollars I have ever spent!

Artist: Crazyville Hill
Title: Life Is Just A Carnival
Label: Privately Pressed
Matrix: ???
Year: 1979
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Various Artists- Seeds 1: Pop

I scored this record on eBay for 25 cents awhile back and it has since been heavy rotation around the Weird Wax Compound.  Its a sampler of great UK pop/ new wave/ post-punk from the early to mid 1980's.  I hadn't heard of most of the bands on the album when I bid on it but there was one band on there that was worth taking a 25 cent chance on, The Television Personalities.  Great band.

The album itself was released on Cherry Red Records.  This copy is a test pressing version.  There were only 25 made.  For those of you who aren't sure what a test pressing is, it is a copy that is made early on in the vinyl production process.  It is then sent back to the label/ artist for a listen to see if everything is okay.  Once the test pressings have been given the green light, full production continues and the album is released.  Most test pressings have blank or pressing plant labels instead of the label that appears on the actual release.  Many do not even have the sleeve. This one simply had a fold over version of the sleeve.  No seams.  Normally, there are not more than about 10-25 test pressings made.  With some records as few as 4 are pressed.

Although The Television Personalities were the only band I was familiar with it this sampler album is packed with cool songs.  I really dig the tracks by The Suede Crocodiles, Protex, The Sinatras and Marine Girls.  As an interesting side note, Marine Girls features Tracey Thorn who went on to score some major hits with the band, Everything But The Girl.  All in all, its a pretty cool compilation LP.  And getting a test pressing copy of it for a quarter is just an extra bonus. 

Artist: Various Artists
Title: Seeds 1: Pop
Label: Cherry Red
Matrix: BRED 74- Test Pressing
Year: 1987
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Billie & De De and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band

I scooped this record on eBay with about 15 others for a penny each.  If you are buying a record for a penny on eBay, its usually best to grab a bunch (if possible) to help offset shipping costs.  With this purchase I scored some nice records.  Lighting Hopkins, Pigmeat Markham, Hank Williams.  I bid on this one simply as  filler to make the shipping costs worthwhile.

I didn't realize how much I loved this old jazz style.  Normally, I am not a jazz guy.  I mean I dig some of it and as I get older I am finding that I appreciate a lot more than I used to but as a rule, no jazz.  But I friggin' love this record!  It makes me feel like sitting in a smokey bar, drinking stale beer while sharing glances with a girl I know is no good for me. 

There isn't a whole lot of purity in music these days.  Everyone is out to get something whether its fame, money, drugs, free salad with their meal.  But this is music.  Real music.  If this was heroin, it would be straight out of the poppy smack.  You can't help but fall in love with something so innocent even if most of the people who in times past danced to it likely broke every social taboo.  They couldn't help themselves.  They heard what I heard. 

And someone gave up this record for a penny!  There are certainly records out there that I feel are worth even less than a penny (Air Supply, Barbara Streisand, ughhh... effin' Nickelback) but this certainly is not one.  Plus, its even autographed!  How sweet is that?  A great score for something that was bought as a way to justify $18 shipping charges.

Artist: Billie & De De and Their Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Title: Self Titled
Label: ???
Matrix: VPH/ VPS-3
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Rail Dynamics

My first apartment was sort of close to the railway.  It wasn't beside it or anything but when a train went by, there was a light rumble and I could certainly hear the train and the bells going off to warn people that trains are big and can hurt you.  It never bothered me.  I actually liked the sounds.

I had a friend who grew up in Chicago and her first apartment was slightly closer to their train system.  Every few minutes a noisy, dirty, rickety old train would shake her place so bad that I felt like it would possibly cause infertility if I were to stay there for any extended time. 

Whatever your thoughts are on trains, the railway system was (and still is) the backbone of North America.  Without it we would likely have never heard of places like Vancouver, San Francisco or East Moline, Illinois.  We would have never had hobos.  There would be a whole genre of blues music missing in our lives.  The harmonica would just be an annoying whistle of sorts.  Yes, the rail system is not just a means of transporting people and goods for sale.  It is part of the stitching of the North American quilt.

This record is simply recordings from various stops along the New York Central railway.  Its beautiful.  Not just for the sounds of locomotives, diesel engines and passing night trains but for the fact that someone appreciated the railway enough to want to let these sounds tell their own story.  They do not produce vinyl like this anymore... sounds for the sake of sounds

I picked this up at a junk shop for $2 and while listening to it my girlfriend mentioned that she found it soothing and relaxing.  Now normally trains screaming past you with their air horns blaring would be the last thing you would think of as relaxing but there is simplistic beauty in these steam powered notes.  Its almost as if you are transported back to an era when trains were still miraculous.  When every technological advancement was seen as wizardry and not just something Apple did to their phones. 

If I took anything away from listening to this record it was that I should simply listen more.  There is music all around us in everyday situations.  Not just birds or frogs chirping but even in industrial noise and massive cityscapes.  We sometimes just forget to listen for it.

Artist: Trains
Title: Rail Dynamics
Label: Cook
Matrix: 1270
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Weekly Mixtape #9

I am a strong believer in your surroundings dictate your moods and even your musical taste of the moment.  Today when I started compiling the songs I wanted to put on this week's installment of the Weird Wax Weekly Mixtape, it was sunny and bright.  I picked some rocking jams like "Stranded" from The Saints and "Maybellene" from Chuck Berry but as I continued the clouds rolled in and it became very gloomy and depressing outside and I noticed that my musical taste was changing into a more melancholy mood.  I started picking songs like "The Diamond Sea" from Sonic Youth and "Venus In Furs" from The Velvet Underground.  There are far more mellow tunes on this download than rockers so if you are feeling a bit blase and want to wallow in your own sad little mind, download this week's digital mixtape.  You'll find songs from the above bands as well as Hawkwind, The White Stripes, Puerto Rico Flowers, John Lee Hooker and more.  Download it HERE for free!


Limbo Party

This record was found at the same junk shop as the "Music For Hi-Fi Bugs" record reviewed a few spots down.  When I spotted it I knew two things.  It had a sweet cover where a woman was limbo-ing under fire & I can't limbo worth shit.  I am about as flexible as a block of mahogany.

The limbo originated in the Caribbean and was made ultra famous in the 1950's by a guy who was not built to limbo, Chubby Checker.  This album features the music of The Southern Tropical Harmony Steel Band.  I love the steel drum sound.  I don't think I could ever rock out to it everyday but in doses it makes me feel like I should be drinking some sort of umbrella drink in a banana hammock.

The liner notes on this album tells us a little about the origins of the limbo, steel drums and even how to construct a limbo pole.  Educational and funky!

I paid $2 for this record and even though the sleeve was a bit rough I think I scored a very cool record.  Its perfect for patio BBQs and for when you want to make a complete fool of yourself trying to bend your back and shimmy under a pole.

Artist: The Southern Tropical Harmony Steel Band
Title: Limbo Party
Label: Audio Fidelity
Matrix: AFLP 1967
Year: 1962
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3
Matrix: AFLP 1967

The Phillips Family- A Little Bit Country

This was a recent Value Village score.  I am a sucker for Christian family albums.  I don't know why.  I think maybe its because I know the kids were either forced or brainwashed into doing the album.  You can see it in their forced smiles.  Its hilarious.  Terrible family memories forever imprinted on vinyl and cardboard!

The Phillips dad looks proud as punch with his polyester suit (brown), polyester tie (brown) and more than likely polyester shoes (also brown)  His wife looks like she would rather be at home with a wine spritzer and the pool boy.  The eldest daughter isn't hideous.  She likely left the cover photo shoot to be with her boyfriend, Chet, who is the captain of the football team and will eventually go to prison for date raping a college freshman.  The youngest two daughters have a look on their faces saying that they believe this album will one day make them popular in school.  Sadly, it will not.

The musicianship on the album is actually pretty good.  Kimmy Phillips plays some of the drums and Cathy Phillips plays some of the banjo but that's it.  Session players fill the rest of the roster.  I have a few issues with some of the song choices.  The last song on the first side is called "You're The Best Christian"  Isn't that a little presumptuous?  And shouldn't Jesus be the judge of that?  Quite a sinful song if you ask me...  And another titled "He Was There All The Time" bothers me.  I didn't listen to side B so I am not sure what the song is about but I am guessing its about the family dog who went missing and turned up butchered in little Kimmy's closet weeks later.  Kimmy should really talk to a psychiatrist.  She certainly has some deep seeded problems.

All in all, a great investment for $1!!!

Artist: The Phillips Family
Title: A Little Bit Country
Label: Private Press
Matrix: HRS 1174
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Music For Hi-Fi Bugs

The family and I traveled this past weekend to visit my grandma for Mother's Day.  She lives in a tiny little town about 7 hours away and the drive is normally mind-numbingly boring.  The ride there was certainly no exception.  I guess I did buy some new sandals at a place on the way down so all was not entirely lost.

The trip home began early in the morning.  We had to go to my aunt's house for breakfast at some unholy early hour and then pack and leave.  I was not in the mood to be messed with.  We were about halfway through the journey home when I spotted an old cello in front of an old junk store.  I do not play cello.  I have never even held a cello.  But it was cool looking and being sold in a junk store.  I had to stop.

Upon further inspection, the cello was being sold in the right store as it was complete crap.  Weather-beaten, warped and useless, I felt I had wasted a stop that could have been better used to buy M&Ms at a gas station until I asked the owner if he had any vinyl kicking around.  His answer of "Oh... only about 5000" paralyzed me to the point in which I did not speak, only turn and quickly scurried into this magical junk shop with the shitty cello.

I only had about 10 minutes before my dad (My girlfriend, the baby and I were traveling with the parentals) would start to bitch so I knew I had to act quickly.  "Music For Hi-Fi Bugs" was sitting atop the very first pile I encountered.  I did not know, nor did I care what was on this record.  Any album with that title and with cover art this cool was a sure thing. 

It turned out to be a pretty solid jazz album.  The sleeve was in great shape and the vinyl was near mint.  I am not really sure why they figured bugs would dig jazz music or why they catered only to those with a Hi-Fi audio system but its still a cool album and certainly worth the $2 I paid for it.

I only grabbed 7 records in my 10 minutes to go along with a cool bobblehead piggy bank from the Bahamas but I will be taking a day trip back to this junk shop in the very near future.  It seemed to be unpicked and could hold a few grails in those dusty stacks.

Artist: Conducted and Arranged by Pete Rugulo
Title: Music For Hi-Fi Bugs
Label: EmArcy/ Mercury
Matrix: MG 36082
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Various Artists- Heavy Heads

With a quick glance of the cover art, you may surmise that this album is some sort of psychedelic sampler in the Nuggets vein (Nuggets was a famous garage/ psych compilation series)  This record is a sampler by various artists but its a blues record released by the seminal blues label, Chess Records.

If you are unfamiliar with Chess it was a label based in Chicago that introduced the world to Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Chuck Berry and Little Walter.  It was THE blues label of its time.  If you have time, check out Cadillac Records.  Its a great film starring Adrien Brody and Jeffrey Wright.  Wright plays Muddy Waters and is spot on.  Mos Def as Chuck Berry is also amazing.  It tells the story of a poor white kid who loves the blues and turns that passion into the most important blues label ever.  Oh yeah, Beyonce plays Etta James and isn't completely terrible.

This record features tracks from Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Little Milton, Washboard Sam and Bo Diddley.  I have always loved "I'm A Man" by Bo Diddley and "Diggin' My Potatoes" by Washboard Sam but every track on the record is an important chapter of not just blues history but also R & B and Rock n Roll.

I scored this gem (a mono version, DJ Promo copy, no less!!!) on ebay for $3.  There are a bunch of the stereo versions kicking around but a EX/NM mono version is a rarity.  Its almost worth the three bucks  for the great trippy cover art by Gume Nunez.  Definitely a keeper in the Weird Wax Archives.

Artist: Various
Title: Heavy Heads
Label: Chess
Matrix: LPS-1522
Year: 1967
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3

Weird Wax Weekly Digital Mixtape #8

This week's installment of the Weird Wax Weekly Mixtape features some of my favourite bands like The Beatles, The Mummies, Sleater-Kinney, The Third Bardo, Nobunny, Fungi Girls, Hank WIlliams and The Kinks.  Its a perfect download for cleaning the house, walking the dog, exercising or doing illicit narcotics.  You can download it for free, as always, HERE!  Tell your friends and fellow meth users!


Rick Nelson- A Long Vacation

Saturday mornings around the Weird Wax Mansion are for yard sales.  Me and the Mrs. bundle up the little one, plop her in her wagon and we all walk around town looking for treasures put up for sale by people who have decided it was time to part with said treasures.  Lately I have not seen many records at yard sales.  I have scored a few other great items like a BOSS DS-1 distortion pedal for $5 and an old paper cutter for $4.  Although I love finding things like this at a great price, all I really care about when I go to a yard sale is whether they have any old vinyl.

Today, I stumbled upon a sale where there were a few records.  Around 30.  I guess a few minutes earlier there was another vinyl vulture with some sort of price guide book who already pilfered the pile.  And if this wasn't bad enough, he put it in the yard sale guy's head that records are valuable and this led to him trying to muscle me when I wanted to buy the rest of the records at what I felt was more than a reasonable price.  PRICE GUIDE!  This guy did not love music or vinyl but was simply an ebay douche.

So instead of taking my offer for the rest of the box, I bought 8 records and left the rest of the vinyl to grow mold in his basement.

If Mr. Price Guide had any real knowledge of vinyl he would have noticed that there was this PRISTINE copy of "A Long Vacation" by Rick Nelson.  Rick, or Ricky, Nelson was born into a showbiz family and appeared as an 8 year old on his parents, Ozzie and Harriet's, comedy show.  By the age of 16 he was a famous singing idol in his own right.  Eight of his first singles sold a million copies each.

This record, which features songs like the Don Gibson standard, "I Can't Stop Loving You" and "Unchained Melody" is one of his rarest LPs sometimes fetching as much as $100.  The opening title track is probably my favourite on the album.  A solid score for $1.50.  Screw Mr. Price Guide!

I will likely write about at least 2 more of this weekend's finds sometime soon.

Artist: Rick Nelson
Title: A Long Vacation
Label: Imperial
Matrix: LP-9244
Year: 1963
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


R.I.P. M.C.A.

You will be greatly missed.

Santa Esmeralda feat. Leroy Gomez- Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Hot Damn! Leroy Gomez is one sexy bastard! The tight pants.  The shirt with like one button done up.  The gold chain swaying back and forth across his very sparse chest hair.  This dude has it all.  Bitches be crawlin' all up on him.

Side A is a 16 minute latin dance cover of The Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"  Ricky Martin and Enrique Inglesias together on steriods and blow couldn't muster up enough machismo to be worthy of grooming Leroy's patchy beard.

 And please don't let Leroy be misunderstood.  He is a sex machine.  The three girls on the cover can hardly contain themselves.  They know when the photo shoot is over, they are in for a night of free coke and mediocre sex with some dude a record geek will make fun of in 30 years.  Nothing is going to stop them from a night of passion with a minor celebrity.

 Side B starts with a fantastically terrible cover of "Gloria."  I wonder if one of the party girls/ hookers on the cover was named Gloria???  Whatever the case, this is one awesome/ nauseating record!

I got this record for free.  I know.  You are all shocked.  How could something this sexy be free???  These are the types of record covers that you just don't see these days.  Glorious!  Leroy Gomez is my new hero!

Artist: Santa Esmeralda feat. Leroy Gomez
Title: Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Label: Foreign Exchange
Matrix: FE 221040
Year: ???
Size: 12"
Speed: 33.3


Les Indecents- Pedro Le Mexicain/ La Grosse Anna

This record grabbed my attention immediately when I came across it in a thrift store.  The band name, Les Indecents.  The song titles, Pedro Le Mexicain and La Grosse Anna.  Even the record label, Les Disques Nympho!  This HAD to be good.  Pedro is a catchy, jazzy sort of lounge track that is probably funny (I don't speak french) while Anna is a novelty country and western song about a fat girl named Anna.  There just aren't enough songs like this!  And as a sidenote, every Anna I know is a little on the heavy side.  They totally nailed it!

I can't find much information about this band.  I am sure they are from Quebec.  I found this record in the same pile as a bunch of other 60's-70's Quebecois bands like Les Classels and Les Gant Noir.  I know they released one LP and now the hunt is on to find it.  I simply NEEEED this album.

I am not sure what the value of this record would be.  Maybe like $5-10 but it has found a permanent home in the Weird Wax Archives.  A total score for 25 cents!

Artist: Les Indecents
Title: Pedro Le Mexicain/ La Grosse Anna
Label: Les Disques Nympho
Matrix: NP-12
Year: ???
Size: 7"
Speed: 45