Sunday, January 15, 2006

Nuggets and more

I seem to have an addiction to the incredible 4-CD box sets that Rhino Records produces. And yet, I seem to be incapable of buying them for myself, instead relying on the good graces of my wife and family around Xmas and birthday time.

It all started several years ago with Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968, a collection of great psychedelic/garage rock music, which was an expansion of the Nuggets album originally released in the early 1970's. Then, a year or two later I got Nuggets II: Original Artyfacts from the British Empire and Beyond, which is the same formula as the previous Nuggets volume but focuses on non-US artists (almost exclusively British) from the same era. Both Nuggets volumes are great if you think that the 1960's was limited to the music you hear played ad nauseum on your local classic rock station. Last Xmas, I got Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the '80s Underground, which covers the era that I grew up during. Finally, this year produced a windfall: I got both No Thanks! The ’70s Punk Rebellion and Children of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the Second Psychedelic Era - 1976-1996, the latter of which was just released this year.

Any of the collections I've mentioned are worth owning. With 70's and 80's collections, I admit that I already owned a certain percentage of the songs, but not enough to deter me from getting the complete collection. With the Children of Nuggets, I also own a few of the songs already, but the selection tends towards groups that I somehow missed the first time around, or less obvious choices from groups that we all are familiar with. The only issue I have with the Rhino collections is that they're so huge that they can be rather daunting. Each collection contains 4 CDs, and each CD usually has 25-plus songs on it. Sometimes, I find myself paralyzed because I can't decide which one to listen to... You can read more about the various collections mentioned here on the Rhino website.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Little Hits

The current issue of Magnet mentions a great MP3 blog called LittleHits, which posts obscure songs rescued from vinyl. It's definitely worth checking out on a regular basis. So far, I've downloaded Like A Girl Jesus by Sleepyhead and Vacation by the Textones. Vacation is very fun to hear because it's the Ur version of the Go-Gos' song of the same name. Kathy Valentine, bassist for the Go-Go's, was the rhythm guitarist for this Texas-based group before she packed up her bags, moved to L.A., and made the bigtime.