Tuesday, March 25, 2014

For the Fish that Has Everything

Are you the proud owner of a fish for a pet?  Does that fish love records and helping you pick out the best ones to play?  Don't you wish your fishy pal could enjoy that vinyl when you're not home?  Don't you wish that fish could flip the record for you while you relax on your couch or love seat? Unfortunately, fish have yet to learn how to get out of the tank, pull out a record, place it on the player, turn the player on, adjust the volume, push play, and then flip the record.  Poor little fish!  What is he (or she, sometimes it's hard to tell) to do?

For best record flipping results, owning
a sucker fish is highly recommended.
The VVers' is named Giuseppe.  He likes The Clash.
Fret not pet owner; the ultimate gift is now available!  Yes, for twenty payments of only $9.99 you can get your underwater dwelling buddies their very own, fully functional, submersible turntable!  Any 45 rpm or 7 inch in your collection can now be enjoyed by your fine finned pal at their leisure.  No more will you have to leave the tank to dull music-less days while you're out of the house.  With the flip of a fin your fishy friends can hear their favorite tunes any time they like!

The revolutionary Vinyl Vagabonds In-Tank Turntable© includes built-in amp, speakers, top-of-the-line needle, and fully waterproofed casing. Available in aqua, salmon, and sea foam.

Not recommended for salt water tanks or guppies.  Also not recommended for any 45 costing more than a dollar.  Act fast, limited supply, buy immediately, why are you still reading this!?!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mystic Man

Peter Tosh - Mystic Man - 1979

What's so great about former Wailer, Peter Tosh's fourth solo album?  Reggae and disco.  Yes, this is a reggae album, but it's also so much more!  DISCO! (Simmer down, you have to wait until Side B for that.)

Our copy -
printed on the flimsiest material ever -
possibly tissue paper
Mystic Man features stunning lead tracks on both sides.  Side A's title track is loaded with swirling, off-kilter chords, congas, and horns.  The drums are insane and all over the place: spare at times, wild in others, and downright bad for a few frames.  Flute flourishes and backing soprano vocals complete the package.  Lyrics on "Mystic Man" are sharp and highly quotable, especially during breakfast.  The first stanza indicates that Mr. Tosh "don't drink no champagne, don't sniff them cocaine, don't take a morphine, and don't take no heroin," but each thing he don't do is perfectly **echoed** by the chirping female vocalists.  He then busts out clever --responses--:

I man don't
Eat up your fried chicken
**Eat up your fried chicken**
--Not lickin'--

I man don't
Eat up them frankfurters
**Eat up them frankfurters**

I man don't
Eat down the hamburger
**Eat down the hamburger**
--Can't do that--

I man don't
Drink pink, blue, yellow, green soda
**Soda pop, soda pop**

He's "a man of the past, living in the present, and walking in the future."  Quite the model man.  This should not be mistaken for anything other than a muscular reggae manifesto.  He's "got to be a mystic man."  Frankly, him listing all of things that a Mystic Man don't do, you have to wonder: what's left?  Me thinks it's the ganja.

To get Side B rolling (rolling what you might ask), ominous congas start, followed by bass chords, Tosh's electric guitar, enter some keyboards, and full on horns to create the epic disco track of "Buk-In-Hamm Palace."  Reggae and disco, in the same song.  Cats and dogs, living together.  MASS HYSTERIA!  Why have the VVers not discovered more of this!?!  It is impossible not to groove out to it as you are immersed in the eight minutes of reggae-disco fusion that Tosh creates here.  You, and anyone else within earshot, will be dancing.  It is totally unique and is a large part of the "wow" factor to this album.  The music itself is the "wow," not even the fact he is singing about smoking out Buckingham Palace.  If you aren't too busy grooving and can cut through his thick Jamaican accent, the lyrics will make you giggle.  Ha, you have the giggles!  The VVers wouldn't expect anything less from the anti-establishmentary Tosh.  The remainder of the album tracks are solid reggae that hew more closely to Tosh's other albums themes about equal rights, political freedom, and especially non-commercialism.  "Fight On" is a call to arms to "fight on and free your fellow man" accompanied by "shooby-doos."  Good PMA on this one.  "Crystal Ball" has a stark message about the evils of oppression.  Of his albums, the VVers consider this Tosh's best, second only to Equal Rights.  The combination of powerful lyrics, catchy reggae beats, and playful style makes it pop!
**soda pop, soda pop**

Interesting fact, Tosh was an avid unicyclist as pictured on the back cover of Mystic Man.  Not everyone can do that you know.  Album photos by Annie Leibovitz by the way.  The VVers' copy is the original Jamaican pressing (Discogs told us so) on Intel-Diplo H.I.M. (Tosh's very own record label).  They might have printed it on cereal box stock cardboard as it is the flimsiest sleeve the VVers have ever owned.