Sunday, November 17, 2013

What A Tangled Web We Weave...

Not often do I find the entire discography of a band without even trying. Apparently I did just that yesterday with these finds:

Spider has an interesting history. Lead singer Amanda Blue, drummer Anton Fig, and guitarist Keith Lentin started out in South Africa as a band called HAMMAK in the early '70s. After a few years of playing the Cape Town scene, forces (like college) convened to split the band up for a few years, but they reunited in New York and added bassist Jimmy Lowell and keyboardist Holly Knight to become Spider. As Spider, the band recorded two albums - these two - for Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman's Dreamland label.

Chinn and Chapman, as producers, gave the UK lots of hits, but here in America, are best known just for Sweet's "Little Willie" and Exile's 1977 country crossover "Kiss You All Over."

Dreamland Records didn't last long. In fact, monster label discography site Both Sides Now lists just seven albums ever released on Dreamland - and these Spider albums were the first and last, in 1980 and 1981.

After Dreamland, Spider found new life in 1982 - as well as a new name: Shanghai. Along with the new name came new keyboardist Beau Hill, and new record label Chrysalis. At the time, Chrysalis was riding high with hits by artists like Pat Benetar and The Pretenders. Unfortunately, Shanghai didn't ride the wave of success that its labelmates did, and the band ceased to exist by any name after just this album.

But fortunately, most of Shanghai are active to this day. Amanda Blue is not just involved in music..she's also a photographer and writer as well as a Core Healer with her own practice. Anton Fig, of course, has been busy most nights with a little project called The Late Show With David Letterman. Beau Hill and Keith Lentin have been busy as producers. Holly Knight's been busy writing for music TV and movies. Jimmy Lowell was last heard in a Canadian group called Fast Forward, which, like Shanghai before it, lasted just long enough for one album.


Meet The Press Releases

Two thrift stores, numerous finds - and many, many dollars saved at one of them.

I hadn't planned on going to the first thrift store, but what the hell - it was right there and I was too late to get to the 75% off sale at the other store in town. But what do you know - there was a 75% off sale at this one for items with white price tags. Just by luck, all the best vinyl had those white price tags. $60 worth of early-'80s rock I'd never heard of wound up costing $15.

But this was not just any early-'80s rock I'd never heard of (lay off, I was like 5 when most of it came out). Most of it was early-'80s PROMOTIONAL albums with press kits! It's almost like they expected some vinyl blogger to buy it and write about it like he knew what he was talking about. Some of these albums desreve their own posts, so check back every few days as I post them. Let's get right to the first:

Blowing in from New York City is a Hurricane Jones album from late 1981. This "hot new senation" (typo theirs) comprised Hurricane (real first name Melinda) and a few studio musicians from the legendary Sigma Sound in Philadelphia. TJ Tindall from Philadelphia International Records got them together. Noted engineer Eddie Ciletti gave them their sound. A Schenectady (NY) Gazette review in the press kit notes, "Hurricane Jones, the singer, has a flexible voice, a sure way with a yip and the ability to break a phrase, a la Janis Joplin."

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Got Plans Next Weekend?

You do now, espcially if you live in or near Manhattan.

'Case you missed the last post about it, the WFMU Record Fair is back with a vengeance this year. And it's next weekend! That's right, on Fri 11/22, Sat 11/23 and Sun 11/24, not only will you be in the presence of hundreds of thousands
(if not millions) of records to buy, you'll also hear live DJs. You can groove to flexi-discs like you used to get in cereal boxes! You'll thrill to lectures about things like fake Beatles records! You'll marvel at the genius of Telstar producer Joe Meek! And you'll stand (sit?) in peril as filmmakers ponder what would happen if media consolidation went too far.

And I hope you'll at least have some pizza and a Chelada for me since I still can't be there.


Metropolitan Pavilion
125 W 18th St/6th-7th Ave
New York NY

7-10 PM Fri 11/23, 10-7 Sat 11/24 and Sun 11/25
$7/day; $25 all 3 days with early 4-7PM admission on Friday and unlimited readmission all 3 days

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I had the serendipity of coming across a new thrift store upon a visit to an old one. I'd heard the rumblings from a cashier of someone who'd defected to the new store: "She likes Savers." Interesting: there are only two Savers stores around here, and they're not exactly close to this Salvation Army. Sure enough, on the way to another thrift I'd intended to go to, there was the sign: a new third Savers had opened up down the road. I had to investigate.

This store's been open for about a month, so if there were any special events or celebrity appearances, I missed them. Not to say that there weren't any celebrities around:

Yo kids, let's work out.
Yep, Rocky was there. But apparently the photo shoot for the cover is as close as Sly ever got to this album...per Kid Stuff Records tradition. The real star of the album is "Rocky's Friend Ed," who as far as I know, was never in any of the Rocky movies. So Rocky and Ed must not've been very close.

The truth seems to be that this "Ed" character actually goes by the name of John Braden. John is the writer, producer, and most likely also the voice talent on this album that's connected to Rocky by only the thinnest of threads.

I don't know about fun, but there's definitely fitness involved here. Oh, and a poster, just in case you need visuals to follow along with. Rocky's not even on the poster.

I wonder how many parents "exercised" the refund policy on this record.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Hits Keep On Comin'...And Now, So Do The Tweets

Not long ago, the blog recorded its 1000th visit. A small milestone, to be sure, but just significant enough for me to think that there are people actually stopping by to read this blog. And maybe even coming back. If one of them is you, thank you. I've rewarded you with more to read: a Twitter page.

I've done Twitter for a few years now, in a scattered, unfocused way. Since apparently you can't delete all your tweets at once and start over from scratch without doing a total delete of your account, I've given my existing account a major overhaul - screen name, username, avatar, and especially content. It's all about vinyl now. So once you're done here, head over to Twitter and follow @33Revelations. It's kind of the 7" EP version of this blog. It's not just teases of fresh's little bite-size pieces of information you won't find here: historical nuggets, stuff about newer music...what I just found and what I'm listening to right now. You can have one without the other, but wouldn't you want the whole package?

Go get it:

Saturday, November 2, 2013