And I'm Not Sorry for the Things I Do

2028. John Prine: Common Sense 2029. Prime Prine: The Best of John Prine 2030. John Prine: Aimless Love 2031. Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade of Pale 2032. Procol Harum: A Salty Dog 2033. Product: Style Wars 2034. Professor Longhair: Crawfish Fiesta 2035. Proletariat: Soma Holiday 2036. Psychedelic Furs 2037. Psychedelic Furs: Talk Talk Talk 2038. Psychedelic Furs: Forever Now 2039. Public Enemy: Yo! Bum Rush the Show 2040. Public Image: First Issue 2041. Public Image Ltd.: Second Edition 2042. Public Image Ltd.: The Flowers of Romance 2043. Public Image Ltd.: This Is What You Want...This Is What You Get Mixworthy: "Sophisticated Bitch," #2039; "Public Image," #2040. Spent: "Pretty in Pink," #2037. Kind of an unattractive mix for me: two early-80s favourites (Second Edition and Talk Talk Talk) that dropped off the radar years ago; a landmark hip-hop group I sometimes liked and more often had fun making fun of; Richard Butler and Chuck D and John Lydon one after another, a veritable Murderer's Row of blowhards; some useless punk (Product and Proletariat); and the usual venerated name (Professor Longhair) who goes right past me. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is my teaching assis- tant Dianne's favourite song; if I go back far enough, there was a time it was one of mine, too. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2044. Don Pullen: Montreux Concert 2045. Do It Right! The Best of James & Bobby Purify 2046. Pursuit of Happiness: "I'm an Adult Now," 12-inch 2047. Pussy Galore: Pussy Gold 5000 2048. Pylon: Gyrate 2049. Stacey Q: Better Than Heaven 2050. Stacey Q: Hard Machine 2051. Stacey Q: Nights Like This 2052. Quarterflash 2053. Queen Latifah: "Come Into My House" 12-inch 2054. Quicksilver Messenger Service: Happy Trails 2055. Jody Harris/Robert Quine: Escape 2056. Robert Quine/Fred Maher: Basic 2057. Radio Birdmen: Radios Appear 2058. Rain Parade: Emergency Third Rail Power Trip Mixworthy: "I'm Your Puppet," #2045; "Love Should Be So Kind," #2052. The Qs, the Qs--anyone worthwhile in the Qs? (the ultimate inside joke--it may not even make sense to the one person it's meant for)...I'm not sure if I always had #2055 misfiled, or if I relocated it from the H's to have both Robert Quine LPs to- gether. The one thing I associate with Escape is that Lester Bangs gave it the max- imum 30 points on his last or second-to-last Pazz & Jop ballot--the same one that served as the blueprint for anybody who ever used a year-end poll to engage in stop- the-world-I-want-to-get-off melodramatics. (Bangs' screed came out of nowhere and was great; it was turned into shtick before long--I should know, I tried it out once myself--but happily no one seems to attempt anything similar anymore)...If you're not Canadian and have never heard "I'm an Adult Now," you'd likely find it quite striking the first time; my own experience is that it becomes very annoying very quickly...Pussy Galore, Pylon, Radio Birdmen, the Rain Parade: never got Pylon, took a brief interest in the latter two, and Pussy Galore, well, they were scuzzy enough to have a whole genre named in their honour--the "pig-fucker" tag Christgau hung on them, Sonic Youth, Big Black, and likeminded bohemians--which I guess is almost as good as a novelist getting a word into the dictionary. I tacked on "Pret- ty Fuck Look" near the end of a few history-of-punk mixtapes I made at the time (pre-Nirvana--it really did feel like the end of the line), but I'm leaving it off mixworthy so as not to accidentally summon forth the ghosts of Sam Kinison and Mor- ton Downey in the process...Today your love, tomorrow the Ramones. Or maybe the day after--it's report card crunch for the next 10 days, so I may be skipping the odd night. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2059. Ramones 2060. Ramones Leave Home 2061. Ramones: Rocket to Russia 2062. Ramones: It's Alive 2063. Ramones: Road to Ruin 2064. Ramones: End of the Century 2065. Ramones: Pleasant Dreams 2066. Ramones: Subterranean Jungle 2067. Ramones: Too Tough to Die 2068. Ramones: "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" 12-inch 2069. Ramones: Animal Boy 2070. Ramones: Halfway to Sanity 2071. Randy & the Gypsys 2072. Rank and File: Sundown 2073. Rascals: In Retrospect: A Selection of Classic Recordings 1966-1969 2074. Raspberries: Starting Over 2075. Raspberries' Best Featuring Eric Carmen Mixworthy: "Loudmouth" and "Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World," #2059; "Oh Oh I Love Her So," "Carbona Not Glue," and "Now I Wanna Be a Good Boy," #2060; "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker," #2061; "It's Not My Place," #2065; "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg," #2068; "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore," #2073. I spent about two minutes flipping through the Ramones LPs and deciding which songs I'd most want to save; I'd have to set aside at least a night to accurately see where I stand right now--I haven't listened to any of the albums for years--so I'm not at all confident of the mixworthy list. "Bonzo" (used beautifully in School of Rock), "Sheena" (never a favourite until I included it on a "'70s Mastermix" for a school assembly three years ago), and "Oh Oh I Love Her So" I'm fairly sure of, the rest no. I had "Pet Sematary" on a year-end once, so maybe that would go on too; I hardly know anything at all from their last two or three albums. My period of greatest interest in the Ramones coincided exactly with my start at Nerve, so I ended up writing about them on five separate occasions within the space of about 18 months: a review of "Bon- zo" that was the first thing I ever submitted to Nerve (not published); an LP-by-LP career overview for Rock Box, a hardcore hip-hop fanzine put out by Scott Woods; a review of Animal Boy for Nerve; an interview with Joey and Dee Dee, also for Nerve; and a review of Halfway to Sanity earmarked for the Voice that was either lost in transit (something called "fax machines") or is still undergoing a thorough edit 18 years later. I'd all but shifted into full-out deification of the Ramones around that time--not their newer music, but something less tangible, something they seemed to represent--I think because they were a nostalgic step back from a lot of the noisi- er and weirder (and often useless) stuff I was then listening to, back to my introduc- tion to punk a few years earlier. I don't know; they seemed very heroic and forgotten in 1986. Anyway, after all of that I'd worn them out, and it was only last year's documentary (rather than repeat myself, I'll link to some comments I had on the film earlier this year), Joey's "Maria Bartiromo," and of course all the deaths that closed out their story abruptly which brought them back into focus for me after 15 years of not caring what they were up to. And that's that. For as long as I'm teaching, I'll try to play them for my students once a year on the anniversary of Joey's death, like- ly something from album #1, and try to explain why their sitting there giggling and looking befuddled is no different than the giggling and befuddlement that greeted the Ramones in 1976--as well, that is, as someone who was listening to the Alan Parsons Project in 1976 is able to explain. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2076. Rattlers: Rattled! 2077. Raunch Hands: El Rauncho Grande 2078. Learn to Whap-a-Dang with the Raunch Hands 2079. Ravens: The Greatest Group of Them All: Roots of Rock and Roll, Vol. 3 2080. Lou Rawls: Close-Up 2081. Lou Rawls: All Things in Time 2082. Don Ray: The Garden of Love 2083. Raydio: Rock On 2084. Razorbacks: Go to Town 2085. Ready for the World 2086. Ready for the World: Long Time Coming 2087. The Records 2088. Come and Get Your Redbone: The Best of Redbone 2089. Red Crayola with Art & Language: Black Snakes 2090. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry: "Cut Down" 12-inch 2091. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry: "Open Up" 12-inch 2092. Sharon Redd, Ula Hedwig, Charlotte Crossley: Formerly of the Harlettes Mixworthy: "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine," #2081; "Love You Down," #2086. Both are borderline--the one indispensible song from this group, Raydio's "You Can't Change That," I already listed back with Ray Parker Jr.'s Greatest Hits. There's a Ravens song I'll get to when compilations come up. I have so very little to say about this group of records--Joey Ramone's brother was a Rattler; there, finished--I've had to take the unprecedented step of getting off the chair, walking down the stairs, and retrieving an interview I did with the Raunch Hands in 1987. Mike Mariconda, guitarist: "I think Sputnik's records stand up as far as dance music goes. I'd rather see my kid liking them than looking up to Boy George. To me, Sputnik lies on the same plane as Z.Z. Top: they're cartoon characters, but there's nothing wrong with that." I was oddly obsessed with Sigue Sigue Sputnik at the time--I even wanted to know what the Raunch Hands thought about them. ________________________________________________________________________________ 2093. Otis Redding: Otis Blue 2094. The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul 2095. The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads 2096. The Immortal Otis Redding 2097. The Best of Otis Redding 2098. The Otis Redding Story - Volume One: Mr. Pitiful 2099. The Otis Redding Story - Volume One: Deep Soul 2100. Dewey Redman Quartet: The Struggle Continues 2101. Reducers: Cruise to Nowhere 2102. The Best of Jimmy Reed 2103. Lou Reed 2104. Lou Reed: Berlin 2105. Lou Reed: Rock N Roll Animal 2106. Lou Reed: Sally Can't Dance 2107. Lou Reed: Coney Island Baby 2108. Lou Reed: Street Hassle 2109. Lou Reed: Take No Prisoners 2110. Lou Reed: The Blue Mask 2111. Lou Reed: Legendary Hearts Mixworthy: "Baby What You Want Me to Do," #2102; "Real Good Time Together," #2108. Otis Blue may have been the first import I ever bought--either that or the weird German copy I have of Loaded, part of the "Original Rock Classics" series. I didn't even know what an import was when I found Otis Blue at the old Queen Street Record Peddler in Toronto--I distinctly remember being very excited that I'd stumbled over an original copy of an album I coveted because of the write-up and the picture in Woffinden and Logan's Rock Encyclopedia. This would have been 1979; discovering the Record Peddler and Records on Wheels, and finding out that long-unavailable LPs were still being printed elsewhere in the world, accelerated my record-buying habit signi- ficantly, and simultaneously learning of Toronto's growing network of used stores-- Vortex, the Vinyl Museum, Around Again, Driftwood--sent it through the roof...So many Lou Reed albums, so little interest in them now. Street Hassle was one of my favourite records for a time in the early '80s, so I'll take a song from that (done better, probably, on 1969 Live, but the Velvet Underground mixworthy list will be overcrowded anyway). The Blue Mask, the commotion over which I found inexplicable, basically put an end to my interest in Lou Reed for good; "He can't sing anymore" was all I got out of it. Absurd drinking story: my friend Norm had a Lou Reed fixa- tion far greater than my own, so one time we placed a call to CBGB's and asked if we could speak to "Moose," Reed's bass player (Norm had read somewhere that this Moose person was a fixture there). Sure enough, we got him on the line. I'm guessing the ensuing conversation was some kind of low point in human history...I was surprised to learn from Jimmy McDonough's Shakey that Jimmy Reed figures so prominently as an influence on Neil Young. Outside of Young's blues album (which, happily, I've never heard except for the single), I don't hear the connection. The best-of listed above has a very unusual kind of hypnotic appeal.

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