derek listens to things.

I found this copy of the “Valley Girl” b/w “You Are What You Is” 12-inch single at the Goodwill in Carrollton, OH a few years ago. Not in the best condition, but a neat thing to find for a dollar. I played it once or twice and filed it away. Today I pulled it out for a listen and was surprised to find this undated article from the Canton Repository that I had failed to notice in the sleeve before.

After listening to Stranger Anxiety, my favorite Zoinks! release, during the drive back and forth to work for about a month straight, I decided to revist their first full-length, Bad Move Space Cadet. I bought this about 10 or 11 years ago and was pretty disappointed with it, and haven’t listened to it more than a few times since. I like it a lot more now, though it took me several listens in the car and a few at home to warm up to it and appreciate how good the good parts are, but the things I didn’t like about it before (a couple weak songs, between-song phone conversation bits and the stupid last track) are still annoying and skippable.

After listening to Stranger Anxiety, my favorite Zoinks! release, during the drive back and forth to work for about a month straight, I decided to revist their first full-length, Bad Move Space Cadet. I bought this about 10 or 11 years ago and was pretty disappointed with it, and haven’t listened to it more than a few times since. I like it a lot more now, though it took me several listens in the car and a few at home to warm up to it and appreciate how good the good parts are, but the things I didn’t like about it before (a couple weak songs, between-song phone conversation bits and the stupid last track) are still annoying and skippable.

This was one of the Zappa albums I grew up with. My dad bought this copy when I was three or four years old (he bought this and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry at the same time, and both had covers that freaked me out / made me fear-cry.) It’s not a Zappa album that is widely praised and, in fact, a lot of Zappa fans kind of shit on it, but it’s one of my favorites. I suppose the fact that it was one of the first few Zappa LPs I was exposed to as a child helps, but really the more I know and understand about Zappa’s methods and body of work, the more I keep appreciating it in new ways and for different reasons over time. Also, as a much-listened-to record, this was a good choice to throw on and test out that $8 Teac equalizer, something I know really well and can just EQ to my ears’ contentment.
CD versions of this album has a different mix and song sequence (and one extra track, which is among my least favorite FZ compositions) and for the most part, I prefer the LP mix (not shocking, I guess, considering how many times I listened to it in my life before ever having a CD version), but there’s things I like about the remix, and part of the fun of listening to it is all the little differences between the two mixes.

This was one of the Zappa albums I grew up with. My dad bought this copy when I was three or four years old (he bought this and Twisted Sister’s Stay Hungry at the same time, and both had covers that freaked me out / made me fear-cry.) It’s not a Zappa album that is widely praised and, in fact, a lot of Zappa fans kind of shit on it, but it’s one of my favorites. I suppose the fact that it was one of the first few Zappa LPs I was exposed to as a child helps, but really the more I know and understand about Zappa’s methods and body of work, the more I keep appreciating it in new ways and for different reasons over time. Also, as a much-listened-to record, this was a good choice to throw on and test out that $8 Teac equalizer, something I know really well and can just EQ to my ears’ contentment.

CD versions of this album has a different mix and song sequence (and one extra track, which is among my least favorite FZ compositions) and for the most part, I prefer the LP mix (not shocking, I guess, considering how many times I listened to it in my life before ever having a CD version), but there’s things I like about the remix, and part of the fun of listening to it is all the little differences between the two mixes.

This hard-to-photograph-with-an-iPhone shiny cover copy of The Game was a gift from my friend quarecords several years ago, replacing the non-shiny and more scratched copy I found at some junk shop in Minerva in my teen years. The orange lights are courtesy of a Teac stereo equalizer I found for $8 at the new-ish Goodwill in Jackson Township. This was the first record I put on to sort of test the EQ and see how much satisfactory sound shapeage I could perform with it. I used to really find the second side of this album a tough listen, thanks to two Roger Taylor turds and the inexplicably goofy “Don’t Try Suicide,” but I’ve come to enjoy those songs for just being hilariously awful / weird. I always kind of enjoy finding things to like about songs / albums that sort of suck by bands that I love.

This hard-to-photograph-with-an-iPhone shiny cover copy of The Game was a gift from my friend quarecords several years ago, replacing the non-shiny and more scratched copy I found at some junk shop in Minerva in my teen years. The orange lights are courtesy of a Teac stereo equalizer I found for $8 at the new-ish Goodwill in Jackson Township. This was the first record I put on to sort of test the EQ and see how much satisfactory sound shapeage I could perform with it. I used to really find the second side of this album a tough listen, thanks to two Roger Taylor turds and the inexplicably goofy “Don’t Try Suicide,” but I’ve come to enjoy those songs for just being hilariously awful / weird. I always kind of enjoy finding things to like about songs / albums that sort of suck by bands that I love.

one and one half

Hey. Derek here. I listen to things and show you photos of them. This blog has been up and running for a year and a half now, and I’m pleased and still somewhat surprised that 120-ish people still follow the photo adventures of whatever thing that some stranger is listening to. Because likes and reblogs are the only real form of enjoyment-related feedback I get, I really have no idea what people do and don’t like about what I do with this blog, and I kind of want to reach out to whomever is following and ask. What do you like about this blog? Are plain photo posts preferable to the ones where I add a paragraph or two of relevant text? Are my personal anecdotes best kept to myself or should they be shared more often? Considering how little time I ever spend by myself hanging out on the internet and listening to records and stuff anymore, I want to still feel like something about this blog is still worth doing and wonder how I can keep it or make it worth following for the eyeballs that are already watching, or make it just interesting enough to encourage the occasional random message if you feel like talkin’ music and bands and records and pressing info or what-have-you.

At any rate, thanks for following and enjoying this thing in whatever way you find yourself enjoying it. Here’s to several more months, or whenever I  decide this has become a lifeless and completely uninteresting endeavour, of photoblogging in the void.

warm regards,
your humble blogkeeper (who is just listening to a giant Spotify playlist on shuffle of stuff I own on physical formats, because sometimes deciding on one thing to listen to and having to make a post for it feels like a chore.)

Frank Zappa - Have I Offended Someone?
Somewhere near the end of his life, FZ put together this compilation of his more “offensive” / prurient / funny vocal-oriented material (yep, Dinah-Moe and Bobby Brown, Valley Girl and Jewish Princess, the gang’s all here.) It came out on Rykodisc in 1997 and one tiny little detail the liner notes failed to mention, which the notes of the 2012 reissue don’t make much clearer, is that only 4 out of the 15 tracks here are the same versions found elsewhere in Zappa’s CD catalog. The rest are all new / alternate mixes and, in two cases, unreleased live versions. Thus in a weird way, it’s an interesting compilation both for hardcore Zappa fans and those more familiar with him as a performer of “funny” songs. (You can find a lot more info about the differences between these tracks and the original album versions on this page, courtesy the Zappa Patio.)

Frank Zappa - Have I Offended Someone?

Somewhere near the end of his life, FZ put together this compilation of his more “offensive” / prurient / funny vocal-oriented material (yep, Dinah-Moe and Bobby Brown, Valley Girl and Jewish Princess, the gang’s all here.) It came out on Rykodisc in 1997 and one tiny little detail the liner notes failed to mention, which the notes of the 2012 reissue don’t make much clearer, is that only 4 out of the 15 tracks here are the same versions found elsewhere in Zappa’s CD catalog. The rest are all new / alternate mixes and, in two cases, unreleased live versions. Thus in a weird way, it’s an interesting compilation both for hardcore Zappa fans and those more familiar with him as a performer of “funny” songs. (You can find a lot more info about the differences between these tracks and the original album versions on this page, courtesy the Zappa Patio.)

Alice Cooper - Love It To Death
First pressing on Straight Records with original uncensored cover. This copy came from my dad’s collection and could stand to be in much better condition. It was living in the “junk” boxes for that reason. Lots of light scratches, sound is crackly and pretty dull. Extra high end made it sound brighter but made the scratches sound a lot clearer, too. That’s how it goes with old ass rekkids sometimes. Yer folks didn’t take care of ‘em when they were your age! I have another copy with a nicer but censored cover and more visibly damaged vinyl, which I’m not even gonna bother playing.

Alice Cooper - Love It To Death

First pressing on Straight Records with original uncensored cover. This copy came from my dad’s collection and could stand to be in much better condition. It was living in the “junk” boxes for that reason. Lots of light scratches, sound is crackly and pretty dull. Extra high end made it sound brighter but made the scratches sound a lot clearer, too. That’s how it goes with old ass rekkids sometimes. Yer folks didn’t take care of ‘em when they were your age! I have another copy with a nicer but censored cover and more visibly damaged vinyl, which I’m not even gonna bother playing.

Big Youth - Natty Universal Dread 3xCD box on Blood and Fire.

Big Youth - Natty Universal Dread 3xCD box on Blood and Fire.