While I have a big record collection, I work diligently to keep it in order. I see a lot of collections as part of my job, and some of them come to resemble hoards more than collections. My attitude is that I try to be thoughtful about the analog media I bring into my life, but I give myself free rein to hoard digital photos, documents, and especially music. I have hard drives upon hard drives full of rips and downloads, more music than I could listen to in ten lifetimes.
While our buddy John handles it every other day of the week, on Fridays it’s my responsibility to take Sorry State’s mail to the post office and the DHL depot on the far edge of Raleigh. This means I spend a lot of time in the car, and since it’s Friday, I’m usually feeling ready for the weekend. Especially during springtime, I like to blast music with the windows down and enjoy some time when I’m not staring at a computer or stressing about some issue or another. With such a big digital music library, I like shuffle mode, but I prefer to shuffle full albums rather than individual tracks. While Apple removed the album shuffle function from their music app a long time ago, there’s an app called Smart Shuffle that restores that functionality.
Here are a few things that came up on album shuffle while I was driving around last week. Recurring feature? Maybe?
In School: Cement Fucker 7” (Thrilling Living, 2016)
What. A. Ripper. I loved this 7” when it came out, and five years later it sounds even better to my ears. In School’s music was so dense and complex that I think it went over many people’s heads at the time, but it’s so angry and raw. Nowadays I hear more bands taking influences from the quirkier end of the 80s hardcore spectrum, but In School was already nailing the tightly sprung rhythms and intricate guitar/bass dynamics of the early Die Kreuzen material. This is such a killer record.
D.L.I.M.C.: July Cassingle (self-released, 2015)
D.L.I.M.C.’s series of cassingles were blowing up on YouTube around five years ago as well, and this is another one that still sounds great to me. I don’t know much about D.L.I.M.C.; I believe it’s a solo project from Mark Winter of Coneheads / CCTV, but aside from Discogs, I don’t have any info to verify that. Anyway, what I like about D.L.I.M.C. is that it has a lighter, breezier tone than Coneheads or CCTV. The project reminds me of the Dead Milkmen, particularly the way the vocals and lyrics are the focal point, which contrasts a lot of the other music I listen to, where riffs are the focal point and vocals and lyrics can feel like an afterthought. Speaking of lyrics, “Fest Punk” is great, the kind of spot-on, sarcastic critique of the punk scene you don’t see enough of these days.
Heresy: 20 Reasons to End It All CD (Toy’s Factory, 1992)
20 Reasons to End It All compiles several vaguely non-canonical Heresy releases: the Whose Generation EP, 20 Reasons to End It All (which itself is a comp of two BBC sessions), and Live at Leeds. Napalm Death’s Peel Sessions LP was my last staff pick, and Heresy also benefitted from the BBC’s habit of bringing non-commercial music in for high-fidelity recordings. Some people prefer Heresy’s earlier material, but I’ve always loved the later stuff too. While the material isn’t as immediate (and is pretty all over the place stylistically), the dodgy recordings that plagued their earlier releases aren’t as much of an issue.