fates warning - awaken the guardian

Fates Warning: Awaken the Guardian (1986)

Day 19 of the #mayvinylchallenge asks for the album it took the longest to find. This is for those treasure seekers, and I admit I haven’t reached that level of addict yet. It may also be that the stuff I’m looking for is readily available for the most part, and I’m not that picky when it comes to original or first pressings. So instead let’s talk about the album it took the longest to get to me: Awaken the Guardian, the progressive heavy metal masterpiece from Fates Warning. As one of the earliest vinyl records I ever bought as a 13 year old kid, it was one of the first I wanted to replace when I started collecting again.

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ozzy - diary of a madman

Ozzy Osbourne: Diary of a Madman (1981)

It’s Dealer’s Choice for Day 15 of the #mayvinylchallenge, so I clicked “Random” on my Discogs collection and lo and behold: the second solo album from Ozzy Osbourne. It’s easy to understand how Diary of a Madman gets lost in the shuffle of early Ozzy when just a few months earlier Blizzard of Ozz hit us with massive classics like “Crazy Train,” “I Don’t Know,” “Goodbye to Romance” and the stellar “Suicide Solution.” What I find fascinating about Dairy though is how in a few short months to tone already began to change: the songs are darker, heavier, and less commerce minded. Overall it makes for a sinister and great listen.

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Egg Hunt

Egg Hunt: 2 Songs (1986)

Day 7 of the #mayvinylchallenge is, appropriately, a celebration of the 7″ – that glorious short format that nevertheless I don’t collect much of. Most of what I have comes from the Dischord label, which for decades has been the home of some of the best independent heavy music ever crated, from the blistering hardcore of Minor Threat to the post hardcore experimentation of Fugazi to the rebellious spirit of the Evens, the Warmers, and most recently Coriky. I picked those examples for a reason – they all feature Dischord founder and punk hero Ian MacKaye. For today’s entry I wanted to focus on a lesser known release from him and the label: the brief but infinitely punchy Egg Hunt and their 2 Songs 7″.

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embrace

Embrace: Embrace (1987)

It’s been a long trip since first hearing Minor Threat in the back of a station wagon on the way to school in 1990. That blast of righteous fury was my intro to the DC hardcore scene, my intro to Discord Records, and my intro to the great Ian MacKaye. Since then it’s been a long and wonderful road of discovery; not only through the man’s discography, but through the incredible music the label has been steadily putting out since the early 80s. So today let’s briefly talk about the connective tissue between the early rage of Minor Threat and the more propulsive, moody rush of Fugazi – the self-titled and sole record from Embrace.

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beatles - past masters

The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)

In my brief (very brief) survey of the current stream-everything, digital rules pop landscape its fascinating to see how the single, non-album track has become prominent.  Fascinating because though a lot of fingers point to streaming and digital as primary reason, you can  go back over 40 years and see the same reliance on singles.  Collected as a two-disc set, Past Masters not only shows how adept The Beatles were at the form, but also boggles the mind with just how many “hits” in the pop consciousness weren’t actually collected on the studio albums. Continue reading “The Beatles: Past Masters (1988)”

beasts of bourbon - sour mash

Beasts of Bourbon: Sour Mash (1988)

We all have those people in our lives who act as our musical sherpas, guiding us on paths we would not have otherwise taken to discover aural delights that reverberate in our souls and ears.  Over the last six or so years the largest of those people has been Henry Rollins, via his weekly KCRW radio show (seriously, listen here) as well as his collection of Fanatic books where he provides liner notes for every radio show.  Through him I discovered the hotbed of great music that’s been coming out of Australia for years, specifically the swerving, booze-drenched blues insanity of  The Beasts of Bourbon, here represented by their second album,  Sour Mash. Continue reading “Beasts of Bourbon: Sour Mash (1988)”