Category Archives: Music

Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles Collection 1959-1971

This is one hell of a great gift idea. You can thank me later. It’s four CDs maxed-out with classic songs that almost everybody can agree are great. Nobody doesn’t love Motown, right? Right.

And today it costs less than ten bucks per disc, at Amazon. Plus, free shipping? It’s insanity. It’s one of those things you could take in your car during a long trip, and not a single person would bitch. Even the bitchiest of bitches couldn’t bitch about this one.

Plus… get this! If you buy the box set for a friend or family member, Amazon will throw in all the mp3s for free. So, some lucky person will get the compact discs, and you’ll get all the downloads. As I type this, the mp3s alone cost about ten dollars more than the CDs plus the mp3s.

From the product description: Nearly every one of these 104 tracks is a hit, and we mean a big hit, from 36 different, very famous artists-the Supremes, Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Martha Reeves & the Vandellas et cetera, et cetera . A must.

Like I say, there’s no need to thank me today.

I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon by Crystal Zevon

zevon coverThis oral history of Warren Zevon’s “turbulent” life was released shortly after the singer/songwriter died of lung cancer at the way-too-young age of 56.

From the Publisher’s Weekly review:

For those who know them, the brilliant, dark songs of Warren Zevon (1947-2003) inspire nothing short of adoration; for those who don’t, this stunning biography of the irrepressible rock ‘n’ roll singer/songwriter should send them sprinting to the nearest record store. By taking an unexpurgated, oral-history approach to Warren’s life, his former wife and lifelong friend Crystal has crafted a sharp, funny, jaw-dropping rock biography that’s among the best of the sub-genre. Provocative and unflinching, her account distills Warren’s journal entries and the author’s exhaustive interviews with 87 family members, business associates, band mates, fellow musicians and former lovers into a chronology ranging from Warren’s ancestry to his death.

This is a good one, my friends, and right now it’s priced at $1.99 in the Kindle Store. I love Warren, but even if you know nothing about the man… I’m confident you’ll enjoy his wild real-life story.

The Decline of Western Civilization Collection

Decline coverI believe I saw the first of these documentaries on the old Night Flight program on USA Network. And it freaked me out a little. It focused on early Los Angeles punk bands such as Black Flag, X, Fear, and The Germs. It was fierce and grimy, and a bit disturbing to your slightly-sheltered correspondent, who might have just gotten home from a Billy Joel concert, or whatever.

The director, Penelope Spheeris, made a sequel two years later, in 1983 — this time with heavy metal bands. It features the famous “Ozzy cooking bacon” scene, and the whole film is great fun. I probably saw it at the midnight movies, or possibly as a VHS rental. I can’t remember, but I do remember loving it.

I’ve never seen the third installment, and wasn’t even aware of its existence. It reportedly focuses on homeless punk rock kids in L.A. I’ve read that it’s fairly dark and powerful.

This much-anticipated box set is the first time these classic films have been available on DVD or BluRay. Legally, anyway. There’s also a fourth disc of outtakes, etc. It’s put together by Shout! Factory, which is run by some of the original Rhino Records folks. That means we’re in good hands! Check out the Amazon page here.

Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil

Please Kill Me Cover 2It feels somewhat inappropriate to make the first post at the newly reconfigured Suggestaholic site to be a suggestion for a book I haven’t yet read. But, what does it matter, really? I doubt anyone is going to call 911.

In any case, this thing has been on my Amazon Wishlist for years. It’s widely considered to be a classic, and is mentioned in roughly every other episode of WTF with Marc Maron.

And today… it’s on sale for a mere $1.99 in the Kindle store. You see? My patience has paid off, once again.

If you’re interested in the history of punk, I can confidently recommend this one. Buy before midnight Seattle time (that’s where Amazon is headquartered, correct?) for the low price. Or, if money is no object, pick it up tomorrow or next week. Me? I prefer to lie in wait for three or four years, then STRIKE like a cobra!