Tuesday, May 12, 2015

April Record Shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, Part Three.

I went to the Veggie Grill before I hit Amoeba. (For sad, record-buyin' fuel!) One of the Odd Future kids was in there, waiting for someone to recognize him. No one did. Well, I guess I did, but I didn't know which one he was. And I wasn't saying anything.

Fearless Four - Something New 12" (1983)

All they talk about is how "new" this all is when they're rapping over what's pretty much a straight loop of Gary Numan's "Cars." But that's the tail-end of the disco-rap era, baby. Two songs on here and they're both pushing seven minutes. You already knew that. Also funny to see rap music on the red Elektra label.

Finesse & Synquis - Soul Sisters (1988)

So many reasons why I wasn't walking out without this one - 1988, the cover with the leather suits and cell phone, the fact that it's lady rap - I plan to treasure this single.

Early research indicates it's dope.

The Future M.C.'s - "We Are the Future" 12" (1984)

Electro-rap from '84 that slides some R&B in there, too. Private press-ish but distributed by Macola? This shit's actually really interesting. Now I gotta see what this "Beverly Hills Rapp" is all about.

M.C. Gold - "Blinddate" 12" (1987)

Not a misspelling in the title there. Story rap about how M.C. Gold went on a blind date and the girl was fat. Goofball shit, but I couldn't resist the Champion Records label and I really had to hear what M.C. Gold sounded like. Steady with this Miami shit.

IRM Crew - "I Dream of DJs" 12" (1986)

The Immortal Rap Masters Crew is stompin' into '86, but both their outfits and this music scream '84 much louder. Still: this is a solid little 12" to have. Big beats. And yes they heavily sample the I Dream of Jeanie theme for the title track.

MC's of Rap - Got to Be Funky (1990)

After picking up the MC's of Rap's debut album at the beginning of this month, I was already in the market for their sophomore (and final) LP.

Didn't take me nearly as long as I thought it might.

Moove Society - Moove Society (1990)

The one and only release from this Jersey quartet, and this is an EP with a few bonus cuts. "Soul Train Girl" seems to be the jam.

Golden-Era rap fun: "Soul Train Girl" and the title track from the previously mentioned Finesse & Synquis LP both sample the "Hey sister/Soul sister" bit from Labelle's "Lady Marmalade." Shit was wide open.

MJ Freeze - "Sidin'" 12" (1989)

Loved this dude's name, loved the cover, and I had to hear what it sounded like. The title track is actually called "I Be Sidin' (Side to Side)" and I'm down to bounce wit it. The B-side is "In the 916" and it's much more roughneck.

El-P - High Water (2004)

One of my more high-ticket purchases but it wasn't that high. I've never heard this record and I'm looking forward to it.

$ugar & Spice - "Yes We Can" 12" (1988)

Four years ago, on my second trip to Amoeba, I picked up a 12" single by a duo called Sugga and Spice, which features one of my favorite album covers in my collection. When I picked up this sealed 12" and saw the name, I knew it was spelled differently, but I was almost positive the other group was also on Dream Team Records, so I thought they might be the same group. Turns out they are, and I now own both of their releases.

Too Nice - Cold Facts (1989)

Sealed. 1989. Four bucks. That's all I know.

Silk Tymes Leather - "Do Your Dance (Work It Out)" 12" (1989)

More lady rap and another 12" with a bunch of cool bonus shit on it. Get it, girls.

Fly with the dance moves.

Velore & Double-O - We're Coming Correct (1987)

Yes, you're reading that right: the hit song off this record is called "Your Ugly," and it is about people who are ugly. Got this record for two bucks. Apparently it never came out on CD, so that's something. Man, these dudes just chop up Queen like a hundred dudes hadn't done that already by '87.

White Boys - "Pump Me Up" 12" (1988)

I bought a different 12" by these low-rent Beastie dodes at some point in the past two years and it continues to be something that I can't look away from.

I can't believe it's real.

Serious-Lee-Fine - Nothing Can Stop Us (1989)

Nothing can stop them, except maybe that name. Wonder how much they regret picking that. Or having it picked for them - this was a major release on Arista, and it's even got the Russel Rush imprint on the back and was produced and mixed by Jam Master Jay and Davy D. Legit.

Three Times Dope - "Weak At the Knees" 12" (1990)

These dudes are so legit. This 12" is also solid: three different mixes of the title track with no need for the inclusion of the album version. I respect that.

Surf MC's - Surf or Die (1987)

When I was a kid and looking for Run-DMC tapes I would sometimes see this cassette. Crazy enough it's even on Profile, the same label as Run-DMC. I guess that's why I bought this. Wasn't because the music's good!

Though it does have its own sun-drenched charm.

Smooth Ice - Smooth Ice (1990)

"Produced by Run-DMC." Just more proof that I know nothing about rap music. Never heard this one.

Also never heard of JDK Records, which is the sub-label that this is on. Does Jam Master Jay have something to do with this, too? Maybe I'll look further into it someday. Probably not.

That's all the records. Here's what they looked like:
And here's the two lone cassettes I purchased:
Now those are the real deal.

Thanks for sticking with me. I gotta go file all this shit.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

April Record Shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, Part Two.

There really is, for me, nothing like shopping for rap records at Amoeba on Sunset. Usually takes me about three minutes to comb through the hip-hop section at any shop in the NW (excluding maybe Easy Street in Seattle). Took me three hours at Amoeba and I didn't even get to the closeout 12" singles or the bottom shelves.

I bought so many records:

Big Daddy Kane - "The Lover in You" 12" (1991)

White-sleeve version of a single that I believe does exist in picture-sleeve form, so this might be a promo. Whatever it is, I didn't already own it and it features remixes of both the title track and "Get Down," so I was into getting those. My Kane collection is always improving.

Schoolly D - "Parkside 5-2"/"Saturday Night" (1987)

The singles where they let Schoolly do the artwork are the dopest. I think both of these songs are on the Saturday Night album but this is a legit 12" to have. Schoolly was doing these records all by himself, man. Serious shit for '87.

MC Nas-D & Freaky Fred - It's My Cadillac (Got That Bass) (1992)

I don't need to tell you that this is Miami bass music of the highest degree. No need to make it complicated. Just a drum machine, some asses, and the rest writes itself.

Now move that thang.

Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E - New Funky Nation (1990)

A record I probably thought about buying many a time back when it came out, and one that I rarely, if ever, see on vinyl. The cover of the copy I scooped here isn't the mintiest, but it's got the original promo sticker on the front and the vinyl is mad clean. Shit looks mean.

Hostyle - Partners in Crime (1988)

Ah, 1988. When rappers would have a song called "I'm a Lover" and then put the track "Fat Bitch" right after it. Mixed messages, gents. This record never came out on CD - just LP and cassette, so that's something. NY tough-guy raps that ain't actually too bad for dropping around the same time as Straight Outta Compton.

Fascinating Force - "Doin' the Bang" 12" (1989)

Ragga rap about - and you won't believe this - boning. Double A-side with "Do My Thing," Select Records and 1989 was enough for me to pick it up. And that cover.

Horror City - "Clap Your Hands" 12" (1986)

I figured there was no way this was the same Horror City that Prince Paul worked with in the mid-90's, but I guess it is? Seems like there are a lot of unaccounted-for years in there, but I guess it's not unheard of. This is some cool shit for '86 - definitely got that King of Rock vibe to the beats.

Don Baron - Young, Gifted and Black (1988)

More ragga rap! Didn't put this together when I was purchasing this record, but I guess I should have been tipped off by the tracks "Funky Reggae" and "The Girl's Irie."

Don Baron - "D.J. Imitators" 12" (1988)

I guess I'm a Don Baron fan now. Or I just bought this because I thought the cover was ill.

Chill-C - "My Trunk is Boomin'" 12" (1988?)

That "1988" is a guess - there's no date on this thing. Might even be closer to '90 - they do keep talking about "the cars that go boom." So I guess to bump this vinyl-only release in your car you had to tape it? Or they're just planning on it getting played on the radio? What I'm saying is I'm just surprised they didn't put out tapes of it.

Def Jef - "Cali's All That" 12" (1992)

Tone Loc is featured on this track and there is no mention of him on the sleeve at all. I almost miss when you could get surprised by a feature like that. This track also sampled the "California Knows How to Party" jam before Dre and 2Pac. This was one of Def Jef's last releases, and I copped a sealed copy for two bucks. Actually, I think I grabbed a couple sealed Def Jef singles...

Def Jef - "Here We Go Again" 12" (1991)

Got this one, too. Though this one seems to just be filled with album versions. Still nice to break the seal.

KC Flightt - In Flightt (1989)

Haven't had a chance to listen to this one yet, but it's apparently on the "house-hop" tip. I just bought it because it was sealed (another one!), from 1989, and the dude's rocking some dope Solo Flights on his feet. Gotta say though: looking through the tracklist, I'm a little hesitant. "She's Sexxxy (Fantasy Mix)" sounds like trouble.

Chuck Jeffreys - "The Greatest Rap Show in the History of the World" 12" (1986)

Comedy rap from an Eddie Murphy impersonator who uses electro beats - including a chopped-up "Axel F Theme" - as a backdrop for his various impressions. He's not too bad. Side A features "Part 1" and Side B wraps it up with "Part 2." This thing's nuts.

Double D featuring Double Trouble - "Hyped Music" 12" (1989)

Private-press rap from 1989? Super-generic names? You know I'm down. Couple of songs here, and they're actually not bad. No address on this one, but they thank NWA on the back and they look mighty West Coast to me.

Coming up in Part Three: We go back to '83 with the Fearless 4 as they rap over Gary Numan.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

April Record Shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, Part One.

It'd been almost exactly a year since I last visited Amoeba on Sunset, and I couldn't wait to get back in there and get my fingers so dirty there was visible brown in the sink when I washed my hands post-flippery.

I was down in LA, as usual, for work, so I had limited hours to spend. My flight there was delayed, which also delayed my shuttle from the airport because of rush hour, and by the time I got to my hotel and then walked the mile to Amoeba, it was 8PM. That gave me three hours on the first night with which to make snap decisions I might later regret. Nothing too ridiculous this time, though - I kept it per-purchase frugal and went for volume. Got a ton of shit, but way fewer 7" records than I usually cop.

I'll start with those:

Big Daddy Meat Straw - Moving to Seattle 7" (1992)

I never saw Portland clown-centric outfit Big Daddy Meat Straw live, but I do remember their name being on a ton of concert posters in the early 90's. This song is supposed to be grunge-cash-in satire but it comes off more like sour grapes and is flagrantly heaaaaavy on the Frank Zappa biting. Recorded at Smegma. Think this might be their only 7".

Didjits - Fuck the Pigs 7" (1990)

I'll admit to not really knowing who the Didjits were before Rick Sims joined the Supersuckers back in 1995, and I'll also admit that I'm still pretty unfamiliar with their catalog - other than this single, I only own one of their albums on cassette. This one looked fun.

Thankless Dogs - "Time to Say" b/w "Cops Took My Baby Away" 7" (1993)

No idea. Pretty budget looking, but it's on Bag of Hammers Records, which is sort of something. And I think the drummer is the same drummer from Coffin Break. Seattle connections, mannnnnn!

Wives - "Grinding" 7" (1993)

Female three-piece and I'm pretty sure the name is ironic. These two songs are fast and weird and I'd never heard of this band but now I'm glad I have. Red vinyl on the Redo Records label, with an insert on the inside promising a Steel Pole Bath Tub/Mudwimin collaboration picture disc called "Steel Pole Mud Bath" that I think never happened. Here is footage of Wives from '93 that is sweet.

V/A - Teriyaki Asthma, Vol VII 7" (1992)

Could've sworn I had this, but that's why I keep a meticulous list with me at all times. I in fact did not have it, and this is the slightly rarer orange-vinyl version, so hey - hot bonus! Features tracks from Poster Children, Hammerbox, Superchunk, and Tsunami.

And that was it for 7"s.

BWP - "Two Minute Brother" 12" (1990)

I picked up some H.W.A. singles a while back, so I guess BWP was the logical progression. My god this song is dirty. They can rap, though.

Freddie Foxxx/Bumpy Knuckles - "Tell 'Em I'm Here" 12" (1999)

White-sleeve promo. Got a lot of Freddie Foxxx 12"s, but I didn't have this one. If you've never heard this song, it remains hard as fuuuuuuuu.

Rappers' Convention - Rappers' Convention (1986)

Thought this was Euro-rap but they keep talking about how they're from Brooklyn. I don't know. Dana Dane-ish but with a female rapper as well. Very 1986. It seems like "The Wiggle" was the hit from this record. I'm getting into it.

Rated X - Let's Fuck (1992)

It was all just too on-the-nose for me not to buy it. They're calling this a maxi-single, but it's weird - there's 4 mixes of the title track on the first side (excuse me - the "Hard Dick Side", and then 4 full songs on the flip (the, ahem, "Soft Pussy Side"). Sex rhymes that get dirtier than they need to, but then they throw in a love song for the penultimate track. Just to let you know that at its core, "That Bitch Sucks My Dick" is pure romance.

Rappinstine - "Scream" 12" (1988)

Promo version. I'm just snatching up Ruthless 12" singles at this point. This song is apparently on the early versions of N.W.A. and the Posse, but on the later (like two years later - '89) and more common editions, it ain't there. I'm realizing now that my cassette copy I had as a teenager was a repress because I'm pretty sure I've never heard this song before.

Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

Embarrassing that I didn't already own this. Found a sweet, clean copy in the shrink, with the promo sticker advertising their tour with Run-DMC still stuck to the front. Picture sleeve with lyrics - the whole damn thing.

Positively Black - Positively Black (1989)

If we're being honest, the first thing I thought of when I grabbed this LP was this. But this ain't no joke - we're talking indie-label rap out of NY in 1989. I'm into it.

Mentally Disturbed - Latins With Soul (1991)

The cover was just idiotic enough for me to be curious to hear this, and I was not shocked when the record opened with the riff from AC/DC's "Back in Black." I really bought some foul-mouthed party music this time around. Not sure what's up with that. This one's on the indie tip, too, but out of Miami.

Akinyele - Aktapuss (1999)

Speaking of explicit lyrics... I legit didn't know who Akinyele was before Run the Jewels dropped this song, and I still haven't heard any of his music. When I found this at Amoeba it just made sense that I buy it. Now I'm realizing it's going to look way out of place in my collection. But hey: that's diversity.

Busy Bee - Running Thangs (1988)

Busy Bee! This is a very un-rare record but a great example of one that you wouldn't find in Portland, and if you did, they'd be trying to get ten bucks for it. Think I paid $4 for this one. It just makes sense.

More to come in Part Two, including fat bass from DJ Freaky Fred!