Friday, April 10, 2015

The Earliest Known Press About Death...

My current obsession has been old zines from Detroit and Michigan. Ballroom Blitz always seems to be a cut above the rest, but I still found myself surprised when Mike McDowell's Classics Revisited column in the March 1977 issue #19 included this little blurb about Death.

In underground punk collecting world, it was always presented that NO ONE knew anything about this band while they were together. The A Band Called Death documentary seems to echo this assumption as well. So to see it reviewed, within months of its release, feels special. The fact that McDowell 100% gets where the record is coming from is just a bonus. Nevermind that it erroneously attributes the label to Frank Freed in Chicago...this just goes to show you that some folks were hip to Death at the moment. Keep on rockin'.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

When I Was Young and Booty Shakin Shit...




Pretty old interview excerpt where I talk so slow it sounds like I've never spoken before. Also, I'm twenty years old here and my face is fat.

Billboard ran a blurb asking me of my favorite album covers and here's what they printed...

http://www.billboard.com/articles/magazine/6480586/third-man-records-ben-blackwell-favorite-vinyl-art

Apparently the "Tasty" album cover was too racy so they only ran that online and then asked me to include two more choices (I included the Sonic Youth and Liars titles because I couldn't come up with two more Detroit titles that I loved)

Here's the album art they outright would not acknowledge and my write-up

Shortcut - Booty Shakin' Shit

Kid Rock’s hype-man Joe C (RIP) with his hands on the backsides of two local Detroit strippers. Apparently this was investigated as child pornography because authorities thought Joe C, who suffered from dwarfism, was actually a child.

Additionally, the LP version of this title, which was never officially released, does not have the golden scratch-off underwear.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Earliest Known Press About the Gories...

Was written by a member of the Gories. According to Mick, the last line in this article is something he really said. Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Hits From Cass Records



Here's some things I've been listening to for the past ten years. I couldn't find digital versions of Sagger or Hot Machines and am now wondering how in the hell I even mastered those records. Anyway, this was commissioned by the UFO Factory in Detroit for their CD jukebox. Everything here was released by Cass Records. I might be a little proud, but am trying not to let that go to my head.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Broken Dreams of eBay Auctions Lost...

   BidsPrice

Item picture

VERY VERY RARE! Vintage Detroit Pistions Belt Buckle 1969!

(Reserve Not Met)
Your max bid: $22.00
3
$15.49
+ $4.98
shipping


Item picture
4
$113.50
+ $3.85
shipping


Item picture
GORDON NEWTON- DETROIT ARTIST CASS CORRIDOR
Your max bid: $800.00
The seller relisted this item.
--
$2,500.00
Buy It Now
or best offer


Item picture
The Five Kinetics/ Snow Children Lp. Rare 60's Rock. VG...
Your max bid: $300.00
The seller relisted this item.
--
$1,500.00
Buy It Now
or best offer
+ $4.00
shipping


Item picture
3
$45.00
+ $3.40
shipping




Item picture
16
$22.72
+ $3.00
shipping




Item picture
6
$89.88
+ $4.00
shipping




Item picture
7
$94.00
+ $4.00
shipping


























1. My Detroit News belt buckle broke last week. I've been searching for a suitable replacement. Wonder what the reserve was on this one.

2. My compulsion of buying Michigan records has somehow dipped in to unknown metal 45's. This sounded better than most.

3. Art for walls. I bought a piece from the same Newton series (inspired by athletes in the Summer Olympics...1988?) last year for less than half my offer here. Still denied. It'd be nice to turn a pair into a diptych.

4. I usually don't go for garage LPs (too hit-or-miss) but the Upper Peninsula's Five Kinetics have a lively one here, especially their cover of the Thirteenth Floor Elevators' "You're Gonna Miss Me"

5. Universal Sound is a Detroit-area label. I will buy just about anything on U/S if it's cheap enough. I knew absolutely nothing about this record (didn't even search out sound clips) and apparently it is considered somewhat desirable by others.

6. This thing went unsold for at least three consecutive 7-day "Buy-it-Now" offers for $10. It was on my watch list the entire time. I cannot explain why I would just let it sit there for such an affordable price. Still dying for a copy of the Deltrons "I Found My Baby in Bad Axe" on the same label. Lost two last year and it still hurts.

7. Sound Patterns, like Universal Sound, is a Detroit-area label that I always am keen on exploring. Goodsite is good fuzz. I've seen this around before, but I'm fairly certain all copies are promo-styled black and white labels. Of all the Sound Patterns label variations, I believe this is the only release with the boring black-and-white label.

8. This record turns up fairly frequently and Archer invoices show at least 1000 copies being pressed...presumably 500 with blue labels and 500 with gold, although the gold labels are far more scarce. Price has been all over the place on this one...Popsike shows as low as $39 back in '09 while as high as $198 back in '11 (an auction I believe I was the second-highest bidder on). Furthermore, take a look at all the copies that show up on Popsike...they're almost always BEAT. Why are almost ALL of the blue label pressings ring-worn within an inch of being usable? Was there something in the ink that made these wear exceptionally easy? Were these played like crazy...this hit as high as #3 on a local chart in February '73, but did that actually translate to sales? Or wear? Sometimes a record is just a record. Other times it's an invitation to countless unanswerable questions. Those are the records that captivate me.































Friday, October 31, 2014

Collage, Collage, Collage

Do yourself a favor and support an up-and-coming art zine...

http://xraybookco.com/kutuup/

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blast From the Past: Thoughts From 2001...

In the midst of some late night Googling, I managed to find a list I wrote at the end of 2001. Remember Yahoo Groups? Neither did I, but all that shit is still live and searchable.

Top 3 Albums
1. Rondelles "Shined Nickels and Loose Change"
2. King Brothers "s/t"
3. The Screws "Shake Your Monkey"
(of course the White Stripes, Von Bondies, Detroit Cobras and Clone Defects, but I wanted a non-Detroit list)
(I haven't listened to Rondelles, King Brothers or Von Bondies in over ten years. Screws held up on a listen within the past six months. Stripes, Cobras and Defects are all still classic)

Top 3 Shows
1. White Stripes anywhere (East Coast, West Coast, Craig Kilborn, DIA, Letterman Soundcheck)
2. Deniz Tek, Scott Morgan, Ron Asheton (finally heard Stooges songs performed by people who know what they're doing)
3. Mooney Suzuki w/ Soledad Brothers @ Magic Stick (oh yeah, it rocked)
(I played drums for the Mooney Suzuki at the Magic Stick show...it was fun, one night only)

Top 4 45's
1. Hentchmen "Teenage Letter" D-wrEcked-hiT
2. White Stripes "Party of Special Things to Do" Sub Pop
3. The A-Frames "Plastica" SS Records
4. Happy Supply "Camera Song" Popsick Records
(I wholeheartedly stand by this list, I just might re-arrange the order today)

Top 4 Albums I'm Waiting for in 2002 (and've already heard in 2001)
1. Mooney Suzuki "Electric Sweat"
2. The Go "Free Electricity"
3. Soledad Brothers "Steal Your Soul and Beg Your Spirit to Move"
4. Brendan Benson "Lapalco"
("Free Electricity" never came out and I managed to get the Soledad album name incorrect)

Best Bands I Just Heard About This Year
1. DNA
2. The Last Poets
3. Fabulous Counts
(What a great year. Wow.) 

Best T-Shirts of 2001
1. A suitcase full of unworn "Detroit Tigers 1984 Champs" in 6 different styles, at a flea market
2. Carrie from the Von Bondies giving me a Gories t-shirt
3. "Another One Bites the Dust" from the Detroit Lions 1980's season
4. Faded blue "Detroit College" ringer with a cool "DCB" logo, I'm thinking Detroit College of Business
(Any one of these would be a list topper in the past ten years. T-shirts are drying up.)

Best New Cities
1. Wallace, Idaho: with the Stardust Motel and a pawn shop that specializes in stuffed polar bears and bitching leather jackets
2. Nottingham, England: our show was the best of the tour, the city was beautiful, and went dancing with scads of beautiful girls, got sad, wrote about it
3. Detroit, the new Seattle
(The Detroit comment actually made me laugh out loud. That one's got legs.)

Predictions for 2002:
-NWA declares bankruptcy, MC Ren living on the streets

-Disgruntled NYC scenester bombs the Magic Stick in Detroit, eliminating any and all local bands

-NME staff personally fellates the Strokes and prints the pics to prove it
(I thought it was hilarious that NWA was both an airline and a rap group. Surely someone else made the correlation earlier and better than I)

In terms of a digital footprint, I'm actually quite impressed by how little I'm embarrassed by this list. I was nineteen years old and the idea of a blog was still unrealized. Let's hope I feel the same way about everything written here in another thirteen years.