Mushroomhead – Mushroomhead

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We are about to take you into world of the LSD user.

The opening line of this album sets the tone for the whole crazy, fucked-up ride to come. Full of avant-garde, artistic, heavy music; this album is the combination of many different styles and many different local, musical personalities. Cleveland, Ohio’s Mushroomhead released their self-titled album in 1995, initially on their own label Filthy Hands Records. I didn’t hear this album until 2003 but when I finally sat down with it, the songs would never fully leave my rotating playlist again. This album is an odd mashing together of songs with various TV/movie/talking clips that truly sets a unique tone for this band that they would follow into the new millennium. Many people point to their second album, Superbuick, as their “best” work but for me, they will never top this album.

The vinyl release for this album was something I wanted for a very long time and in 2016 they finally obliged. Available only at their concerts (or local Cleveland shops if you are lucky), this album is on blue vinyl and features revised front/back artwork. The original CD artwork in 1995 was very similar but it lacked the vintage, beat-up look around the edges of the jacket. MRH also reissued the album in 2002 with an altogether different look.

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Vinyl Wednesday: Bucker & Garcia – Pac-Man Fever

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M-m-m-mousetrap, mousetrap — Cheese was the bait.
Won’t somebody help me — Before it’s too late?

I was woefully ignorant of Buckner & Garcia before one fateful trip to Cincinnati in early 2009. I grew up on the tail-end of the 80s arcade revolution. Did I go to some video game arcades in my youth? Yeah, I did. Did I sit around with friends and pump quarters into the machines trying to get a high score? Nope. Not even close. I grew up with Nintendo and Sega dominating the landscape of digital gaming. Arcades were already a passing phase once I was old enough to really enjoy them so it’s no wonder that I hadn’t heard of Buckner & Garcia and their minor hit “Pac-Man Fever” before 2009.

Released in December 1981, the title track of the album steadily rose on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, finally reaching #9 in March of 1982. The single sold over 1.2 million copies by the end of 1982 and over 2.5 million copies by the end of 2008. That. Is. Ridiculous.

The album Pac-Man Fever was released in January of 1982 and went on to sell over 1.2 million copies by the end of 1982. That’s pretty impressive for an album made up of songs based around arcade games. We’re not talking about the highest form of music-making here. The songs are decent and sound effects from each respective game are present, which I suppose was pretty cool and probably one of the selling points of the album. It is, at the least, a fun bit of nostalgia to bring out and listen to once a year. It surely gets me hyped up to play some Frogger and Centipede whenever I listen to it.

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Vinyl Wednesday: Joe Satriani – Surfing With The Alien

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Surfing With The Alien! This is one album that any guitar-nerd will be familiar with. In 1987, Joe Satriani released an album that is as noticeable today as it was when first found on store shelves. The music is fantastic on this release but honestly it’s the artwork that is the most desirable for me. I LOVE this record jacket. Big, bold and colorful with the added element of Marvel comic book characters. What’s not to like?

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Ohio

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Nancy and I are back in Ohio for a week. She has some training to accomplish at the downtown Cleveland office of her company and I am continuing my hunt for full-time employment. The weather hasn’t been great but it was fine when driving here and it’s not snowing (like in Chicago). I am super bored and that is becoming a problem. I got a little work done yesterday while visiting Kent but I wish I had more to do. Little edits to a project here and there aren’t filling my day.

I was also able to visit a really random record shop while in Ravenna yesterday. The same old dude is still behind the counter and he has so many 50s–80s rock records. Nothing super rare or awesome but I was able to pick out two to purchase. Last time I was there (6 years ago) I got a Motley Crue LP. It’s a really odd place but the prices are good and there are a lot of records to look through. A good way to waste an hour or so in a small town.

I think the rest of the week will be spent looking for jobs, apartments and relaxing. We’ll most likely hit up Clyde on Friday night and roll back to Illinois some time Saturday. Long week followed by a long weekend. Not ideal but it has been fun so far.

Vinyl Wednesday: Steel Panther – All You Can Eat

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No long, thought-out writing today. Just a quick message to all fans of 80’s Glam tunes with a very immature edge: Go out and buy Steel Panther’s newest album All You Can Eat right away. It’s another good one from this gang of misfits. I received this in the mail today and overall I am very pleased. I even refrained from listening to it early so I could fully enjoy it on the release day. I am probably too old-school for all these young whippersnappers out there just downloading everything early.

I plan on doing a full write-up of Steel Panther albums at some point, today just isn’t that day. For now enjoy one of the new tunes called “Party Like Tomorrow Is The End of The World”.