Vinyl Friday #21: The Smiths “The Smiths”


The Smiths. The loves of my life. My favourite band since I bought this album when I was just turning 15. It was the band that turned my life around in such a dramatic way. A band that changed me like no other. Growing up with only cornfields, cows and hicks (a word I had forgotten existed until this moment), a band that referenced unknown writers and played such intricate, yet accessible music was a revelation. They became my solace in a world I knew I would never fit into. While many bands helped me gain the courage to go out into the world, The Smiths were the band that gave me confidence that somewhere there was a world that I belonged in and I would some day find it.

But there’s something strange about loving the Smiths. It’s something that I mostly noticed when I first studied abroad in London. When I told someone that I loved Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce people just… stared. I later would understand that saying your favourite band was the Smiths was one of the most cliched things you could say. Apparently at some point the band had had a cultural comeback and it had been something I missed entirely. In some ways it almost became embarrassing to admit my love for them. A band with so much beauty and keep layers became something to not share. This is something I really do hate to admit because I am firm believer in loving whatever the hell you want when it comes to music.

For a long time I stopped listening to the band (which was a dramatic change from my university days when I would listen to each album in its entirety at least once a week). Thankfully there’s plenty of other music in the world to fill my time with, but no band has ever filled my heart the same way the Smiths have. I kept a copy of Simon Goddard’s The Songs That Save Your Life by my bedside table for over five years. Goddard’s book is a song-by-song analysis and backstory to every Smiths’ recording. I read the entire thing then proceeded to read it whenever I wanted to. I don’t think I could stomach doing that for any other band. But I think it’s very much overdue that I write about the debut album from this Manchester band.

The Smiths, along with Strangeways, Here We Come, is a pretty grossly over-looked album for an iconic band. Within recent years, I’ve seen countless articles pop up about how this 1984 album is their worst by far. As a completely biased woman, I can’t possibly pick a “weak” album out of the four. Because each is excellent and crap in different parts and ways. But to say The Smiths is the worst still baffles me even as I write this. But as the story goes, this is really the second version of the album. The first being recorded with producer Troy Tate (which can be listened to on bootleg). The producer on the final product was John Porter. This version of the album was released after being recorded in fits and starts – to no one’s satisfaction.

That being said, I’m quite fond of the way it sounds. It’s quite distinct from the middle two albums and certainly worlds away from the production on the fourth and final release. For the longest time, I never bought and Smiths albums on vinyl. I stuck to constantly playing the CDs I bought at Exclusive Company – I was completely convinced this was a band that I would only buy their albums if I found them used in a shop. I needed to be a part of a longer history of the physical record.

One day I was totally stunned when I saw the complete collection of albums, along with several other “Best Of…”s and Rank at a resale shop. Being pretty young at the time, I didn’t have all the money to buy the complete lot at the time. So I hid the albums. Yes, I was that dick. But it worked. Every two weeks after payday I would return and buy the next piece. Unfortunately, many of them are now damaged beyond playing ability (to put it politely, never ever ever ever ever let a drunk ‘borrow’ your record collection for five months). Thankfully this one survived relatively unscathed. Maybe it’s due to the unpopularity of the album. I’d like to think so because at least the album and I are on the right side of music justice.


Vinyl Friday #19: “Dudes: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Album”


I’ve watched all of Penelope Spheeris’ films time and time again. I love her early documentaries (The Decline of Western Civilization, of course), her sense of humour in films like Wayne’s World and her attention to music as seen in Suburbia. I love most of the things she does… besides Dudes. Now I have to say there is nothing wrong with this 1987 film, but it is unusual in a not-always-great way. I mostly watched this movie because I was dead-obsessed with Jon Cryer and The Vandals at that moment in time. This film combined both of those loves, but it was such a bizarre (and slightly boring) film that I never bothered to watch it again.

The soundtrack is pretty hit-and-miss. Highlights are, of course, “Urban Struggle” and an early version of Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song”. But personally I was never into metal that much, and that’s what dominates this album. Bands like W.A.S.P. and Megadeth are fine enough, but I think I was a misled child believing that like many of Spheeris’ films, there would be a lot of early-80’s punk music. Though I never stopped to consider the fact that this movie was released in 87 – much too late for a soundtrack to be similar to Suburbia. I have to admit, I grabbed this soundtrack merely because I loved the cover and vaguely remembered watching the movie (of which I only could recall the opening scenes).

Yes, this was definitely an impulse buy. Sorry, Penelope, but I probably have only listened to this only twice in its entirety, mostly praying for the next bearable track to come along.

I’m always surprised about what shows up in the strangest of places. This album came from Oshkosh, where my best friends used to go to university. Oshkosh is pretty much a nondescript city filled with mostly students and chain restaurants. But there’s an antique mall there that’s fantastic (or it was, as it’s mostly shabby-chic business now). There is a stall I always made sure to check when I made the trip. For the most part the seller had the usual knick-knacks. But there was always plenty of surprising albums there to dig through. Of all places, this is where I found this soundtrack, and Fear’s The Record. Clearly someone was a  big Lee Ving fan (the man makes an appearance in Dudes).

I grew up hating living in Northern Wisconsin, but clearly there were plenty of people around that I needed to meet. Only I suppose they were at least twenty years older than me if they were buying Fear records. Another pain of being born too late.

This isn’t my favourite sountrack ever, but it’s still something I’m glad of owning. Even though it’s not very unusual, it looks nice. Mostly because Jon Cryer looks pretty damn good in that cowboy outfit. Just saying.


Vinyl Friday #18: A Flock of Seagulls “Listen”


If you’ve read my blog for any length of time now, you’ll know that I have a massive soft spot for A Flock of Seagulls. I’ve had my rant about “one-hit wonder” bands (which is what they are considered in America, but not in their home country of the UK), so I probably don’t need to go back down that road because I’ll never come back. They were a much disliked band at the time, understandably,but I am a woman of the modern era and I will like what I please.

Listen was released in 1983 off the back of a pretty successful first album. Though nothing they ever did would ever compete with “I Ran (So Far Away)”. It is a shame, but writing one of the most successful and iconic singles of the 80’s is nothing to sniff at.

As continued with the first album, A Flock of Seagulls continue with their spacey vibe. The songs literally have zooms and twinges from synths that are really fun to listen to in Stereo. The rumbling in the beginning of “2:30” always delights my ears because of how unusual it is. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough variation in sound that lets down the album a bit.

Now I don’t think Listen is superior to their self-titled debut, but I am particularly fond of the dream-like quality of this album. “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph)” is seriously one of my favourite songs ever. When I lived in Milwaukee I would always walk in the fog listening to this song. It touches a strange part of my heart that often makes me cry. It is a bit wasted, though, as the first song of Side A. It would have been so nice placed later as either the closing track or as a surprise tucked away in the track listing. The fourth single off the album, “(It’s Not Me) Talking” that does the closing. A cool song but the energy off that single really should have been placed elsewhere.

This copy of Listen was found in my favourite antique shop. Of course it was in my favourite booth with the mannequin lady (she’ll pop up in more stories, to be sure). This lonely soul resided in my favourite New Wave bin. A Flock of Seagulls are hardly the best in the bunch, but I could never pass up the opportunity to listen to “Wishing” on vinyl. In my searches, I’ve rarely found A Flock of Seagulls’ albums while searching in Wisconsin. I’m not sure what it’s like in the UK, but I imagine it would be a much more successful hunt.

I do love the sound of this album on vinyl. There is so much to be added by listening to it with the pops and hollowness of humming speakers. Especially the synth bits in tracks like “What Am I Supposed To Do”. This is very much a lonely album. I love crawling up to it and listening to it. I suppose the uber-80’s-ness of the album won’t be to too many people’s taste, but I will keep championing the album.


Vinyl Friday #17: Simple Minds “Once Upon a Time”


I always get the feeling that it’s pretty uncool to like Simple Minds. I’m not sure why, though. Of course “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is an absolute classic tune, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with genuinely liking them as a band.  Anyway, despite its terrible album name, Once Upon a Time is a decently good album with some solidly composed songs mixed in with fantastic singles. “All the Things She Said” isn’t pretty good for some rocking 80s snapping dance moves (you know what I’m talking about), but “Alive and Kicking” is the golden song. It’s one of my favourite songs ever.

And yes, I will willingly admit this, I do listen to that song many times when I’m trying to tell myself “I can do it!” The song is pretty much my equvilant to those bad motivational posters that everyone’s mom’s post on Facebook. Now that I think about it, the music video – which was filmed in New York state – is set in a place that looks perfect for a nice motivational saying:

I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday! I’m going to make the rest of my life the best of my life!

Or something. I just did a quick search for motivational quotes because apparently my mind is too full of other useless information. But this whole album just sounds of early-Sunday light sounds. It’s easy to pass it off as fluff, but as I’m re-listening to it while I write, this is actually better than I remember. Certainly a great seventh album. Better than a lot of other bands’ seventh albums.

It’s pretty apparent from the photos that this album is a pretty weird copy. For one, this is apparently from the Beloit Public Library. I don’t even know where Beloit is, but thanks to a quick Google search, it’s apparently in the very south central part of Wisconsin – a couple hundred miles away from where I picked this up. I found this baby in the back of this really weird thrift store my friends and I would frequent in high school.

This isn’t like a nice Goodwill-type thrift shop, but one of those religiously-based ones that sometimes has great vintage blouses, but is mostly full of scarf belts and overly-worn terrycloth bathrobes. Their media section in the back is a literal hell. Full of tapes, N*Sync compilation CDs and the scariest record section. People scoff at the album selection at most thrift stores, but this is literally the worst of the worst. Everything there goes for 15 cents because the selection usually consists of albums that not even Lawrence Welk would want.

Thankfully the collective ignorance of the people in Northern Wisconsin meant that this actually good album found its way into the mix. Once Upon a Time for 15 cents, literally the cheapest find in my collection. Since it was at one point a prisoner of a library (imagine borrowing albums from a library now-a-days), the sleeve has been torn up completely to fit into its special little plastic case. I like to think this casing keeps the sleeve protected, you know, despite the fact that some horrible person completely deconstructed this album like a savage. But bonus points because there is still the old school envelope in the front full of stamps from the dates checked-in and checked-out. I can confirm that this was a pretty popular with the kids in Beloit.

This is the grand joy of buying second-hand albums. Who was the little devil that owned this before? Did he rob the Beloit Library of their 80s new wave selection? Did the Beloit Library finally have enough of the burden and cast their albums to the wind to scatter and spread across the state? Oh I’ll never know, but I like to think whoever had this was cheeky enough to kick it off a library and never ever return it.

On a completely unrelated note, I always forget that Simple Minds are Scottish. That just makes then that much better.


Vinyl Friday #15: Bow Wow Wow “See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah! City All Over, Go Ape Crazy”


Like several punk bands in London during the late 70s, Bow Wow Wow were led (see “created”) by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Produced to sell Westwood’s New Romantic line, the band was composed of several Dirk Wears White Socks-era members of Adam & the Ants and the young Annabella Lwin.

See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang Yeah! City All Over, Go Ape Crazy has to be one of the most unnecessarily long album titles ever. Their first album, Your Cassette Pet, was released on EMI, and after a falling-out the band went to RCA for their sophomore effort. The story of this album cover is now famous (and probably utterly and completely manufactured like much of Britain’s music was at the time).

Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe served as the inspiration for the cover. The painting depicts two men having a luncheon with two women: one nude and one lightly-dressed. The painting at the time was controversial and even was initially rejected by the Salon. Drawing upon that controversy, the cover of See Jungle! depicts the band in a similar outdoor setting, including a nude Annabella Lwin, who was only 15 at the time.

The cover would then go on to be featured again on their EP The Last of the Mohicans. This copy I have is the “alternative” version of See Jungle! After a Scotland Yard investigation into the photograph, the US release featured this cover – one with a clothed Lwin. What never made any sense to me was the fact that they wanted a band that was constructed to sell clothes would have the only female in the band nude, but what do I know know about the inner-workings of show business?

Idiotic controversies aside (the music never really got as much attention as the photo did), this is a pretty good album. Annabella Lwin was someone I wanted to grow up to be when I was a teenager. There was so much attitude there. She was ferocious, girly and sassy – all things I still have yet to manage to become. But the band combined surf, “jungle beats” and the chanting cries of young British youth.

I do think the band seems to be constantly over by their “I Want Candy” cover. For the most part they still remain a sort of one-hit-wonder. They’re a pretty harmless band that were much more effortlessly cool than a lot of other pop groups at the time. “I Want Candy” is a pretty obnoxious song, to be completely honest. But a lot of what is on See Jungle! is a lot better, it’s just a shame that no one seems to want to listen to it anymore. There are some great singles here like “Go Wild in the Country.”

I found  this album in one of the suburban cities outside of Milwaukee (no clue which one, but they’re all essentially the same place anyway). I bought it on my last ever Record Store Day outing in 2013. My then roommate and I had been out since 7 in the morning and it was utter chaos at every record shop we went to.

On a whim, we went into a small shop. It wasn’t strictly a record shop, nor did they have any sort of sale going on but we entered any way. The place was full of old VHS tapes and other odd knick-knacks. In the middle was an arrangement of records that spanned from the obsucure to the truly awful. My roommate and I searched every bin and we both walked away with some interesting bits. This was one of them.

I always promised myself I would go back to that store, but I doubt it would still be there if I ever had the chance to visit again. It had such a strange vibe that it must be owned by a wizard and only appears on a full moon to those who are worthy. P1010147

Vinyl Friday #15: The Icicle Works


It really is a shame when good things are left forgotten. I really apologise to this album. I really do. Because this The Icicle Works is an piece of early 80s alt that is really quite good.

The Icicle Works’ debut album was released in 1984 on Beggars Banquet records. It’s quite a good album that has little to no acclaim to it – not because it isn’t a good album but because it seems to have laid forgotten (much like my copy of this album has been). The band had the same sort of grand, sweeping psychedelic flare of Echo & the Bunnymen (possible due to the common Liverpool tie), with the sort of story-teller voice of Ian McNabb. This freshman album brings comparisons to Ocean Rain, which is a fair enough, but it is very much worth a listen in its own right.

The Icicle Works are one of those bands that seemed to have trickled through the cracks of music history. This is by no means a poor album either. It’s quite an enjoyable listen, even if it’s not always the most original sounding.

This is one of those instances where the change in track order makes a difference to how the album sounds. This is a U.S. release of the album, and that’s not only noticeable because of the alternate cover, but from the fact that the album opens here with the single “Whisper to a Scream (Birds Fly).” Truth be told, the UK original version probably edges out the US and Canadian versions. Track “Reaping the Rich Harvest” was removed and replaced with “Waterline,” which is fine but not really an improvement in any way.

For the life of me I cannot remember where this album came from. There is literally no memory of picking it up. Perhaps it is memory loss because this is one of the newest bits I own (blame it on going back to a full-time job). I remember really being into “Whisper to a Scream” because it really is one hell of a single, but this poor album never made it more than a few spins. In fact, this is one album that is still sitting in storage in America. In a way I do feel a bit guilty because it probably deserves a proper listen again.

For this post, I have listened to it on the laptop (which I guess is  cheating since we’re talking about vinyl here). I’ve come to the conclusion that this is one of those albums where I think it excels outside of the singles. I was never totally blown away by “Love is a Wonderful Colour,” but there are definitely other songs here worth listening to like “Chop the Tree” (which is how the UK album opened).

What The Icicle Works proves is that there is always something to uncover in the vaults of 80s music.


Vinyl Friday #14: Robyn Hitchcock “I Often Dream of Trains”


First things first: this is one of the most biased bits of writing I have headed in to. Everything about this bloody album is probably everything I love about life. And this, of course, could only be music created by Britain’s special songwriting gems – Robyn Hithcock.  Often Dream of Trains was Hitchcock’s third album, released in 1984. While there is a mountain of admirable work, this one particularly remains one of his finest moments. I did go through a period where I listened to nothing else but this album on constant repeat. From front to back. From “Nocturne (Prelude)” to “Nocturne (Demise).”

It’s almost a lonely sounding album in many respects, but I suppose that is his allusion to trains and dreams.  This record also includes many of Hitchcock’s signature tracks like “Uncorrected Personality Traits” – an a cappella tune of gender norms and almost Freudian ideas.

When I did a little bit of reading, I came across the statement that this was an acoustic album. It took me a minute to understand that was actually true, but it hardly sounds like it. I usually find these sorts of albums to be utterly dull, but rarely do they fill the sound in this sort of way. Plus the P1010132book-ending of the “Nocturne”s is really a nice touch. I do love an instrumental leading into a song with a massive punch (and nothing really is more deserving than the ultra-strange “Sometimes I Wish I Was a Pretty Girl.”)

Without sounding too pretentious, this album remains one of the most mature albums I have heard. It is full of ideas, thoughts and sounds to grow into. Hitchcock always has unusual lyrics – he rarely sticks to traditional optics or tired lyrics. Each time I listen to this album, I always take something different away from it.

In many ways, it is like reading a great piece of literature: the meaning of the author is one thing, and important, but sometimes it is what the consumer takes from it too.

Hitchcock has long been a favourite, but he is so quintessentially British that it was always difficult to find any of his older albums in shops. Of course when I was in London for my undergraduate study abroad programme I bought everything of his I could find, but it was usually odd bits of things.P1010133

When I returned home to America after my studies, I was in a bit of a strange place. I was back in Wisconsin and felt entirely removed from myself when I wasn’t in England. But one day I went into a resale shop in my hometown for a quick look. It totally took me by surprise when I saw I Often Dream of Trains.

This is one of those “pieces” that are so worth owning on vinyl. The lyrics and Hitchcock’s own cartoon drawings are so interesting and special. Plus the cover work is just so intricate. All of these parts just create one really great whole.

Part of finding this album in Wisconsin makes it feel all the more special. On one hand finding it where it was produced would have been great, but I love knowing that someone else in my small hometown also had a connection with Robyn Hitchcock. Little bits like that make buying second-hand always feel that bit more personal.

I’d like to think whoever owned this copy before me got as much out of this album as I do. And when it is my turn to pass this on, I hope whoever receives it next knows that it has come from a line of people who really cherish the music etched in its grooves.



Vinyl Friday #13: The Adicts “Sound of Music”

P1010210For some reason, when I was a teenager I wanted nothing more than to be “punk.” That is excruciating to write, but there it is. Being a kid is tough, but I wanted to make my life even more difficult by making myself stick out like a sore thumb in rural Wisconsin. I dressed like Joe Strummer, constantly babbled about Siouxsie Sioux being a god to whoever was unfortunate enough to be near me, and I was obsessed with The Adicts. I even painted my mouth with black lipstick like “Monkey” Warren’s joker make-up.

No photographic evidence of said event will ever reach this page.

Part of that grand affection led to me buying a couple of their albums on vinyl. The second of which was their sophomore album Sound of Music. I was really into Songs of Praise, especially their first single “Viva La Revolution” (of course I was – I was bound to start a revolution, right?), but being quite young I wasn’t really into shopping used records at the time. I bought most of my punk albums brand-spanking-new at my favourite record shop in town. Songs of Praise was never available for purchase so I took to buying the follow-ups instead.

Buying albums I had never heard before felt like a bit of a gamble but it paid off. The first time I put Sound of Music on the turn table, I got goosebumps from the carousel music that opened the album. I was so impressed by the way they turned that into the opening track “How Sad.” That simple trick of one child-like sound running head-first into a wall of guitars sent me giddy like the child I probably was.

This actually remains one of my favourite albums of the genre. I know I use this word a lot, but it really is a lot of fun. Several of the tracks are staples of the band. “Joker in the Pack” and “Chinese Takeaway” are non-political bits of what can sometimes be a tediously political group of bands. Many of the songs remind me of football chants due to the infectious sing-along choruses hooked in every track. The band even recorded their version of “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” a song often associated with Liverpool FC – a track that would later be included as a bonus track on special CD releases of this album.

Wanting to be something you’re definitely not is pretty damn silly, but in many ways that awkward phase taught me a lot. I devoured music books at that point because I wanted to learn absolutely everything I could about a period of time I would never be a part of. I needed to know every literary reference and reasoning behind every political statement that was made.

Without The Adicts, it would have taken me a lot longer to figure out what “droogs” are and what the hell A Clockwork Orange was. Even now that remains one of my favourite books and was a profound effect on my thinking. As a kid, I became infatuated with idea that there was something more out there. It was this music that planted that seed in my mind.

Who knows, if it wasn’t for songs like “Johnny was a Soldier” or “Shake Rattle, Bang Your Head” I might not even be in London right now. And who could even imagine what life would be like then?


Vinyl Friday #12: ZZ Top “Fandango”


A good chunk of albums I own belong to my parents. I’ve said this before that it was the two of them that helped me dig out the old turntable. Their legacy in the record collection is a bit uneven, but almost always worth keeping. Since this Sunday is Father’s Day, I decided to go with a pick an album of my dad’s and why not choose one from his favourite band? Yes indeed, ZZ Top’s 1975 album Fangango!

ZZ Top is a band that has pretty much staked its claim as the band always making an appearances at every family gathering at our household. That Southern blues bland is pretty much one long sound of my childhood. Dusty, Frank and Billy were probably some of the first musicians whose names I learned. I thought “Legs” and “La Grange” were as great as the songs on the first CD I ever owned – Aqua’s Aquarium.

It goes without saying my dad loves ZZ Top a lot and we never go very far without them.

Parents being youngin’s in the 70s.

This was my first taste of blues music at that age. That’s the joy of growing up with everyone’s music around you at such a young age. Somedays it was my mother’s jazz radio station, other days it was my sister’s boy bands she worshiped, and there were even days I listened to Tejano music when my oldest sister became fully immersed in Selena-fever. But it was always my dad’s music that prevailed over all (mostly because Dad is in charge of everything).

My parents are pretty shy when talking about their early years, but I do know a few things:my dad owned an orange Dodge Charger, my mom would skip school and they were both total hotties. It was the 70’s in Wisconsin. I can completely picture my father driving in that sports car to meet his friends – drinking beer and listening to ZZ Top.

Fandango! is a half-live, half-studio album fresh off the back of the band’s first to-be-iconic album Tres Hombres. The split sound makes for a bit of an unusual record. A majority of the live tracks like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Mellow Down Easy” are covers. They are an incredible live band (I saw them live in 2011 and they were still great) and the first sounds as boozey as you’d like. Side B would have been a great start to a studio album to live up to Tres Hombres. The decision to make each a half instead of two wholes is a bit puzzling, but still enjoyable.

Yes this could have been a lot better, but it’s still one of the best releases the band has to date. Fandango! is everything you’d expect from what’s written on the label label. It’s bluesy, no-nonsense music with great guitars.

I’ll always maintain the idea that my parents are some of the coolest cats ever. They’ve had their hands full with three daughters, but have yet to crack. I think it’s that reason why their favourite music feels a bit special. Even at the height of my twee phase, I always had time for ZZ Top. It’s beer-guzzlin’, balls-to-the-wall blues music. It might not be pretty, but it is pretty damn fun.

What albums remind you of your father?

P1010189Inner sleeve text: “ZZ Top’s first annual Texas size rompin’ stopin’ barndance & Bar B.Q. Austin – Summer ’74 with 80,000 friends.” The live album was recorded at The Warehouse in New Orleans. Close enough.

Vinyl Friday #8: XTC “Skylarking”


There is something so great about owning a completely unique record. Something that no one or hardly anyone owns. That, in my collection, is this promotion version of XTC’s 1986 album Skylarking.

This semi-concept album full of lovely imagery. The opening tracks “Summer’s Cauldron’ and ‘Grass’ are both personal favourites. Although, “Dear God” ended up being a big song for the band, even if it didn’t chart well initially. Beats me why anyone likes it because this song is pretty eudeous. I really don’t listen to this album compared to some of their earlier bits because it can be a bit thick in the middle. But whenever I go through my collection and spot this little gem, I can instantly remember how it ended up in my hands.

Being a radio DJ was always one of my dream jobs (though I would be terrible at speaking on radio because I’m terrible at speaking period). There was a married couple in Wisconsin that would DJ every weekday morning on my way to work. They played strictly 80s music and they were always spot on. I grew so attached to listening to those two every morning.

One morning I heard a promotion that their radio station was doing a yard sale of sorts.

My mom and I drove out there together to take a look-see. There were boxes and boxes full of all sorts of wonders. It was a predominately classic rock station which means they pretty much could carry whatever they felt like. I thought it would be something no one in the area would be interested, but I was completely wrong. The place was rammed with people picking through records, posters and other various objects (including cardboard cutouts of musicians like Alice Cooper).

Being late to arrive in the morning (Wisconsin people are morning people, I guess), most of the stuff had been picked over. Thankfully most people back home enjoy the more metal side of life, leaving all the weird bits for me to pick up for myself. I definitely didn’t leave empty handed.

This copy of Skylarking is from that haul. One of those stamped promotional copies that says “Not for resale” but everyone resells anyway. I wouldn’t say that this would make my favourite XTC album, but owning unusual copies of albums is my weakness. I like that this little number lived its life out in a radio station, even if I can’t.