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The Jackson 5 Post Cereal Alpha Bits Free Flexi Record

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2015 01:15pm | Post a Comment

They say when you cut down an old tree, that you can tell how many years old it is by the number of "growth" rings it has in its cut diameter. Same is kinda true of when you do construction or clearing of an older house and find relics from the past whose timeline can be traced back. I had this experience this morning while helping a neighbor remove an old metal sheet tightly nailed to her garage window. We figured it had been covering the older building's window for maybe 25 or 30 years. Turns out it was an even longer period than that as confirmed by the half-rotted remains (see pic left) of the 43-year-old Jackson 5 flexi disc that had been jammed behind the metal sheet since, most likely, its 1972 release when it came free in, or rather on, a 13-ounce box of Alpha Bits breakfast cereal. That was when the Post Cereals company, who manufactured such other popular breakfast cereals as Super Sugar Crisp and Frosted Rice Krinkles, released The Jackson 5 flexi record in conjunction with Motown Records .

The one-sided, five track Jackson 5 disc (that had to be cut out of the back of the cereal box) included the then hugely popular family group's hits  "ABC," "I'll Be There," and "Never Can Say Goodbye," as well as the slightly lesser known but still excellent tracks "Darling Dear" and "Maybe Tomorrow."  Those Jackson 5 flexis, which you can find on eBay (in good to VG condition - not rotted like the one I found today) for about $5 these days, were the most popular for the cereal maker. And while, compared to a regular record, the sound quality and durability (they tended to easily warp and scratch) wasn't so great to the young fans getting them at the time (often the first record they would own) it was all good. Besides it was a free record with a box of cereal that cost approximately 38 cents in 1972. In addition to featuring Michael Jackson's family group as a cut-out flexi record, the cereal maker also hired the group to make a series of 30 second TV commercials for their Alpha Bits cereal.  Below is one of those TV spots featuring the young members of The Jackson 5 in 1972 that note is wrongly ID'ed on the YouTube video as 1974.
 

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Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Mercury Records '93 & '94 Promo-Only Jeep Tape Compilations

Posted by Billyjam, July 1, 2015 01:13am | Post a Comment


Back in 1993 and 1994 Mercury Records put out promotional-only, cassette compilations featuring most of the hip-hop artists on their label at the time. These various artist tape collections assisted the label in their quest to try and get heard by as wide an audience as possible. Entitled Mercury: Jeep Tape '93 featuring [mixtape master] Ron G and Mercury: Jeep Tape '94 these various artists collections were given out at national music conventions like the Gavin Convention in San Francisco and the New Music Seminar in New York City where they would be included in registrants "swag bags." They'd also be handed out to industry folk, as well as mailed to record stores, radio DJs, and journalists.  

The Jeep Tape cassette collections got their name because jeeps, where people would typically bump mixes like this, were popular with hip-hop fans to ride round in at the time. If you listen to hip-hop from that ere you often will hear references to jeeps such as in the popular 1994 single "Boomin' In Your Jeep" by Kenny Dope feat Screechy Dan that featured A Tribe Called Quest sample that gave the song its refrain, culled from the ATCQ song "Jazz." These Jeep Tape cassette compilations featured artists on their Mercury Records or smaller labels being distributed by them that included Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics, Ed OG & The Bulldogs, Lighter Shade of Brown, Proper Dos, Ill Featuring Al Skratch, Dougie Dee, and Threat. In addition to regular versions of songs by these artists there were also some remixes included too such as the remix version of Yaggfu Front's "Slappin' Suckas Silly (Remix)." Above and below are the front and back covers of these two-decade old tape compilations that show up at Amoeba from time to time. Also below is the video for one of the tracks included on the 93 Jeep Tape, Diamond and The Psychotic Neurotics' "!! What U Heard" off the classic, five star album Stunts, Blunts, And Hip Hop.

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Ultra Rare Bob Dylan 'Blood on the Tracks' Test Pressing For Sale at Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Amoebite, June 30, 2015 04:33pm | Post a Comment

bob dylan blood on the tracks test pressing

UPDATE 7/2/15: This record has sold and is no longer available.

We recently purchased a large record collection that had a lot of great, rare and one-of-a-kind items. But one piece in particular that stands out from the rest.

One of only five test pressings known to exist of an early version of Bob Dylan’s classic album Blood on the Tracks now sits on the shelves of Amoeba Hollywood. The pressing includes four previously unreleased takes of songs from the album (“Lily, Rosemary & The Jack Of Hearts,” “Idiot Wind,” “If You See Her, Say Hello” and “Tangled Up In Blue”), plus an alternate take of “You’re a Big Girl Now” that was released on 1985’s Biograph box set.

bob dylanThe story goes that in the fall of 1974, Bob Dylan went home for the holidays with a copy of his newly recorded album Blood on the Tracks, which was set to release in weeks. The album had been written after touring with The Band and becoming estranged from his wife, Sara, and though the resulting album delves deeply into troubled relationships, Dylan himself has denied that the album is autobiographical.

Upon listening to the record, which was recorded at A & R Recording in New York, Dylan’s brother, David Zimmerman, suggested that Dylan re-record some of the songs because too many sounded the same. Dylan then stopped production of the album to re-record half of it at Sound 80 in Minneapolis with different musicians, ending up with a 10-song album evenly split between the two sessions.

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Album Picks: Vince Staples, The Internet, Miguel, Jaill

Posted by Billy Gil, June 30, 2015 10:55am | Post a Comment

Vince Staples - Summertime 06

vince staples summertime 06 cdOn his gutsy, double-disc debut studio album, Long Beach rapper Vince Staples introduces the world at large to a tough, world-weary persona who at only 22 has seemingly been through enough drama to fill a book. “My pain is never over, pills ‘n’ potions pick me up” he declares on the gnarled beats of “Pick Me Up.” Atonal sound wails in the background of “Norf Norf” as Staples offers slice-of-life tales of growing up in gritty North Long Beach (“I ain’t never run from nothin’ but the police,” he says tellingly). There’s a nihilistic slant to everything Staples puts to tape, which extends even to more decadent party jams like “Loca” and “Dopeman” and love songs like “Lemme Know,” pairing lyrics like “I’ll be fightin’ for you” with “I love to see you cry.” Everything in Summertime ’06 sounds strangely disembodied and cynical, yet it’s not lacking in energy, as with single “Senorita,” on which No I.D.’s creeping production offers the ideal space for Staples’ grim verses and Future’s motoring chorus before morphing into an ’80s horror film-style breakdown. The album’s second disc is mellower, reveling in No I.D. and Clams Casinos immersive production work; “Get Paid” and “Hang N’ Bang” are lively highlights. Though it’s a double-disc, Summertime ’06 doesn’t feel the slightest bit overstuffed, and we never lose sight of the man behind the rhymes.

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Cheers to Our Toast, The Sandwitches' last round

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, June 29, 2015 10:22pm | Post a Comment
the sandwitches san fracnsico band heidi grace sings sludge cooper roxy photography rachel walther empty cellar records our toast review
lovely photo of The Sandwitches by Rachel Walther

It's been many moons since we've been accorded a fresh platter from San Francisco trio The Sandwitches, and this latest release courtesy of Empty Cellar Records, looks to be their last. Since 2008, bandmates Grace Cooper, Heidi Alexander, and Roxy Brodeur have consistently honed a distinct sound that is, simply put, a little bit old-time country and a little bit roadside oddities rock 'n' roll. Their ability to seamlessly blend twisted yet whimsical girl group harmonies with unfiltered, mood-infused heavy Americana has progressed splendidly with each release, making Our Toast, their third LP, arguably their finest effort to date.
the sandwitches our toast LP vinyl record review empty cellar records fresh & onlys sonny and the sunsets san francisco indie rock folk americana grace sings sludge
Before you even get your ears on it, Our Toast is a thing of beauty. Housed in very fine packaging adorned with gold leaf lettering and a cover tribute to unofficial 4th member James Finch (painted by Deirdre White), the record itself (on oxblood wax if you're lucky) is sheathed by a printed inner sleeve featuring lyrics on one side (lyrics, people!) and a sad clown band photo epitaph on the other–a testament to the posthumous-ish work within. That said, there is a twinging finality vibe to this record that moves beyond the commemorative qualities of the tangible presentation. It's a feeling that lends suspicion to the pulse of each song like an omen or memento mori. And yet, regardless of any time the Sandwitches' sound has been described as "haunting", there is nothing ghostly about this energy at all. It's as if seven or eight of these nine songs are contending for the ultimate setting in sequencing crown: the last cut on side B, the swan song's swan song seat.

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