June 17, 2020
I’ll admit it, I have been guilty of purchasing an LP from time to time because of the cover. This doesn’t mean I didn’t want it for the music, it was the cover that pushed me into making the purchase. Recently, my daughter Little Lauson Hell asked me to show her my favorite LP covers. Talk about making her daddy proud! I took my time to consider the criteria: a great cover isn’t just the art, it can also be the story behind the music, the artist, that time, etc. It can be a stark, minimalist cover, such as “Something Else”, by Cannonball Adderley, or a robust cover like “Bitches Brew”, by Miles Davis.
As I was taking her through the journey, I had to pause and remember this wasn’t about showing her my favorite albums, some of which have crap covers. This was about the covers themselves. I spoke to her about growing up buying vinyl, laying on my bed staring at the cover, and reading the liner notes. I get as excited today as I ever have purchasing new vinyl.
So far her favorite covers were the three picture discs for Altamont (Dale Crover side project).
Which reminds me, even if we can’t patronize our favorite local record shop, we can still purchase straight from the labels and the bands. And a reminder that Bandcamp will be hosting their first Friday again, July 3rd, when all proceeds go straight to the artist. They are also having a fundraiser on June 19th (Juneteenth), where all proceeds go to the NAACP. Buy great music, support the artists, and support a great cause. I know I will.
Many of you know that I am a social studies teacher in San Francisco. Specifically I teach Pre-Law, American Democracy, and Economics in a thematic pathway for the past 16 years. I have read and studied the US Constitution for longer than that, and I can attest that it is a comprehensive social contract, that cannot be mastered in one, two, or twenty readings. Before you read a political headline and think you know what the Constitution has to say on the matter, please take the time to do your research, including what the US Supreme Court has to say on the issue.
In the meantime, take a gander at the playlist below. New music from my dream team Melvins/Mudhoney, a Ty Segall/Cory Hanson collaboration, some Afro-Funk, avant-Jazz, and many local bands.
Click the link above, sit back, relax, and as always, enjoy.
Hell’s Kitchen Radio with John Hell
Radio Valencia in SF
My War: Mudhoney/Melvins
A.D.D.: System of a Down
All You Fascists: Billy Bragg and Wilco
The Mask (Part 2): Miles Davis
Get Up, Stand Up (Alternate Take): Bob Marley and the Wailers
Milk Bird Flyer: Ty Segall and Cory Hanson
Eggs at Night: Damaged Bug
Theme de Yoyo: Art Ensemble of Chicago
Live at PJs: Beastie Boys
The Great Conspirator: Illogistical Resources Dept.
Telephone Girl: Assagai
The American in Me: The Avengers
American Cars: Useless Eaters
Here She Comes Now: Curtis Harding
Everything I Say Just Goes Right Through Her Heart: Peter Laughner
Complicated Life: The Kinks
7 Inches: Kate Vargas
Mr. Slick: Ken Nordine
Devil Moon: Eric McFadden
Jesus Didn’t Die For Me: Rube Waddell
House Hunter: Le Butcherettes
Yes We Can: Lee Dorsey
Supergirl: The Fugs
What A Wonderful World: Louis Armstrong