Saturday, January 23, 2010

Review: White Zombie - "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie"

I bought this even though I still have my old copies of "La Sexorcisto..." and "Astro-Creep 2000..." and I normally only re-buy stuff if there's lots of b-sides and live bonus material added. Practically every White Zombie song is on this thing, including the soundtrack material. The DVD is good, too, since I'd never had the chance to see the band live and only saw their videos in teeny low quality flash files. That's right, I never even saw the famous Beavis & Butt-head reaction that's mentioned in damned near every article and interview about the band!

After getting my copy of this, my excitement over finally hearing the early stuff in an 'official form' pretty much outweighed everything else. In the spirit of Beavis and Butt-head, this (the music) rules. Personally, I like all of it. The only WZ songs I still need to hear are on the rumored "Forgiven" demo that J.G. Thirlwell produced that got the band signed to Geffen in the first place. Yes, there are 2 songs from "Gods on Voodoo Moon" that were left off of "...Corpses..." but if you can do a blogsearch and are patient, you can find those.

Of course, that brings me to the stuff that sucks. Where the hell is the original artwork?? Since this 4-CD and 1 DVD set comes in a similar format to the "Deluxe Edition" reissues of other Geffen albums, with a slipcase that has the complete tracklist on the back, I'd expected more details than what are in the booklet. Instead of lots of awesome color art like what we got in the "Astro Creep..." booklet, all we have is a black and white collage of band photos and early flyers. While the basic info that should be on any box set/comp like this is there (like which tracks came from which albums, production credits, original year of issue, etc.) that's all there is! Instead of the treatment that Sonic Youth got (lots of pictures, art from the singles, pages of interviews with the band/someone who's a huge fan talking about how awesome the band is/was) there's pretty much nothing. At the very least, I was hoping for reprints of the artwork from the early albums. You didn't have to reprint the whole booklets for "Astro Creep" and "La Sexorcisto" since even the casual "their early stuff suxx0rz!1!!" WZ fans still own these or can rebuy them for cheap, but how's about something more than a monochrome collage that I could've done a better job on if I had access to a bunch of old gig flyers and the original releases? Part of the fun of WZ is the artwork, and after finally getting to see Rob Zombie's "El Superbeasto" comics (which rule), I'd expected way more from this comp, art-wise.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did pick this up used at a local record store. For what I paid ($50), it's well worth it. For $70-$80? Not without the artwork that it should have had.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

White Zombie - "Psycho/Soul"

White Zombie was always one of my favorite bands, and has the distinction of being the first band I learned about out-of-print releases by. (The second was KMFDM, with their "Naive"album.) I remember checking used record stores constantly in hopes I'd be able to find their pre-"La Sexorcisto" albums. At the time, I didn't even have a record player, so I was mainly searching for the one I knew came out on CD: "Make Them Die Slowly." I was thrilled to find a copy of "Nightcrawlers: The KMFDM Remixes" and a numbered limited tour version of the "Electric Head Pt. 2" single that I haven't seen on any of the fansite discographies.

A couple of years ago I found a bootleg for supercheap that claimed to have all the tracks from "Soul Crusher" and "Psycho-Head Blowout." I'm glad it was only $2.50, since it was actually a bootleg of a bootleg! Whoever put it together had a really bad quality scan of the back cover art, and of course the tracklist doesn't match. Mine has 10 tracks, instead of the 9 listed on that link. The CDDB listing that comes up doesn't quite match the corrected tracklist on that site, either... I'm kinda surprised this disc made it to the shelves at the used shop, since it's obviously a CD-R with a printed paper sticker on top... you can clearly see the 74 through the label! Decent sound quality, though. It was enough to hold me over until the release of the WZ boxset, "Let Sleeping Corpses Lie." You'll notice there is no link to download this bootleg. Reason being, the box set is still in print and worth it. (A review of that will be forthcoming...)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Just to kill some time...

Here's a partial list of stuff I can't help collecting. By "can't help," I mean that whenever I find these things for free, I have to keep them, no matter how many I already have in my possession.

Key rings/ball chains
Tire valve covers (I can usually find these near the air machines at gas stations)
Coins (US and foreign) and old arcade tokens
Paper coin wrappers (especially ones from defunct banks)
Milk crates (best modular storage/shelving units ever.)
Pens (especially advertising ones)
CD and DVD cases
Coke Rewards codes (technically I only keep these long enough to enter them)
Matchbooks (Remember the days when smoking wasn't banned everywhere and companies used these for advertising?)
Lighters (I used to collect the metal tabs off of the disposable ones and crimp them to my car's sun visors - stopped doing that when they started rusting)
Books (Usually can't find these for free, but sometimes I'll get lucky. The ones I have no interest in reading go straight to Goodwill, though)
Sheets of paper with one blank side (I use these as printer paper 'cause I'm cheap. I can honestly say I don't hate junk mail because of this.)

Most recent score - found a copy of Metallica's "...And Justice For All" in its case! Scratched up, but doesn't skip!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Obligatory excuse for no updates.

Someone with more time on their hands should put together a blog that collects the best/funniest excuses that people use for the long time between posts. I have a lot of respect for those who keep plugging away and have new content every couple of weeks, even when it's not something I like.

With that in mind, it's a new year and I'm gonna try to start over and actually do something with this. When I was a teenager I always wanted to self-publish something but never did much other than a few notebooks with half-baked ideas that I never came back to. I found an old envelope with some random clippings and bits of collages inside that I had started way back then, and it reminds me of how I used to have a need to create stuff. I don't know what the hell happened to me in the years that followed... and I don't have the wife/kids/"grew up" excuse that many people my age have now. With this thing here, I don't even have to bother photocopying anything and stapling it up and trying to mail it out to people... once I learn how to put graphics on here, I could do just about anything on here that I could've done back in the day, and people can ignore it for free!