B-Sides in the Bins – #6 – Cedar Rapids, IA 1/26/07

I had been contacted by Allen from the Six Parts Seven as a result of adding them as a “friend” on MySpace regarding their upcoming tour opening for and backing Merge artist Richard Buckner which will be rolling through Iowa, stopping in Des Moines and Iowa City. A couple of years ago a friend of mine turned me on to the Six Parts Seven (helpfully abbreviated 6P7 by all of the cool kids) and for a bit I was catching up on them and had considered seeing them when they hit Des Moines back then. Somehow I missed that they had a new album that came out on Tuesday. So, I called up one of the few remaining dedicated record stores in Cedar Rapids which is a CD Warehouse, they had the 6P7 new album Casually Smashed To Pieces. I had them hold it for me and I made a trip over there. I picked up some other titles while I was there. They have a small collection of used vinyl, and they have their used and new titles mixed together with a dedicated $1 section, which sometimes has good stuff.

Casually Smashed to Pieces – Six Parts Seven (CD Suicide Squeeze S-052, 2007) ($12.99). Only one copy in stock. First listen is pretty good. I think that Six Part Seven can be safely categorized as an instrumental post-rock group. Stay tuned for a record review and probably a review of their live show at the Picador in Iowa City on 2/26. According to their MySpace page they are also going to do a Daytrotter Session on the 25th, so we can look forward to mp3 goodies from that.

Get a special MP3 EP from Six Parts Seven which includes two tracks from their new album.

999 Levels of Undo – Steve Fisk (CD SubPop SPCD460, 2001) ($1.00) One from the bargain bin! Steve Fisk is possibly best known for his work in the instrumental group Pell Mell. He joined the band when they moved to SubPop as a keyboardist. Steve has had a pretty substantial solo career in electronic music and also does production work regularly. This album has one track with Pell Mell bass player Greg Freeman credited with “relocated fractal bass applications” titled “Amateur European.” Mostly an electronic album, but has Kim Thayil from Soundgarden on a couple of tracks as well. In place of a standard CD booklet, there are separate unbound pages with re-interpretations of the bizarre cover art by other artists on one side and song information on the other. Interesting album, but mostly because I collect Pell Mell-related releases.

Mad Love – Linda Ronstadt (LP Asylum SE-510, 1980) ($1.99) One from the crates of used LP’s that this store carries. Mad Love was an attempt for Ronstadt to ride the wave of late Seventies/early Eighties popularity of “edgy” woman artists like Pat Benatar, Debbie Harry and others. I bought this one because it was one of my favorite tapes that Dad bought at the time. I used to listen to this one non-stop. At the time I would have been twelve. The album had three charting singles from it at the time: “How Do I Make You” (#10 on US Pop Charts), “Hurt So Bad” (#8 on US Pop Charts), and “I Can’t Let Go” (#31 on US Pop Charts) (Wikipedia entry on Linda Ronstadt). My favorite song on the album was her cover of Neil Young’s “Look Out For My Love.” At the time I didn’t know that this was a Neil Young song– nor would I even know who Neil Young was!

This album has a number of interesting details. It is produced by Peter Asher from folk act Peter and Gordon who went on to produce albums from James Taylor, Bonnie Raitt, Randy Newman and 10,000 Maniacs. The album itself is made up of cover songs. In addition to the aforementioned Neil Young cover, it includes songs from L.A. New Wave/Power Pop group the Cretones, whose guitarist and principal lyricist and vocalist Mark Goldenberg provides guitar and background vocals for the entire album. There are three covers of Elvis Costello songs that he publically expressed his distaste for. The sessionmen on this album list like a who’s who for L.A. at the time: Russ Kunkel on the drums along with Danny Kortchmar who were part of “The Section” and seemed to be on everyone’s album at the time. On background vocals was Kunkel’s late wife Nicolette Larson– who incidentally took a cover of the Neil Young song “Lotta Love” up the charts in 1979. Still a favorite record of mine.

Stuff in the bins I didn’t buy for $1. Just Say Yo and Just Say Mao which are really great samplers of the Sire catalog from the early Nineties. Very cool remixes and other odd tracks from bands like Depeche Mode, Book of Love, The Smiths, etc. I might still go get them as lala.com fodder. Cool Down Time from Dan Zanes. This is the first solo record from former Del Fuegos frontman. Great record, sounds like the Del Fuegos for obvious reasons. Produced by Mitch Froom who did the Fuegos records. I haven’t been too interested in his children’s records that they sell at Starbucks. I guess they are supposed to be parent-friendly. Also possibly good lala.com fodder.

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