Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dr. Feelgood - Oil City Confidential (Japanese DVD Releases) - #31

Dr. Feelgood - Oil City Confidential (Japanese DVD Releases)

Japan has seen its own release of the Dr. Feelgood "Oil City Confidential" film. There's a single version available (PCBP 52035) and a "Premium Edition" (PCBP 52034) which is a 2-DVD set and apparently limited (whatever that means in these days, when even a 2'000'000 copy release is limited). There are a few differences to the European edition. Covers, for one.

But also, the DVDs don't come in a slip case, but rather the standard plastic one (with the 2-DVD release also sporting an OBI). The accompanying booklet is very different from the one we're being used to (and not only because this is written in Japanese). Different pictures (mainly), totally new graphic outlay. The lot.

As for the presentation, here are the differences between the various issues:

European release:
1. Main feature film
2. Lee Brilleaux interview
3. Wilko Johnson outtakes

Japanese single DVD release
1. Main feature film

Japanese 2-DVD release
Disc 1:
1. Main feature film
Disc 2:
1. Lee Brilleaux interview
2. Wilko Johnson outtakes
3. Wilko Johnson interview (about 60 minutes)
4. Julien Temple interview (about 10 minutes)

Now, wether or not you need these two versions as well, is, of course, your decision. I've answered this for myself already.



Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dr. Feelgood – Classic And Brilleaux (Japanese CD-Releases) - #30

Dr. Feelgood – Classic And Brilleaux (Japanese CD-Releases)

Both of these albums have seen a limited release in Japan in 2006. What makes them special is the fact, that they are housed in cardboard sleeves. As far as I know, only these two got the treatment from the Dr. Feelgood back catalogue. Although both releases are OOP, there’s still a few mail orders, where you can buy it. The CDs have been manufactured with some kind of high definition wizardry called K2 HD coding.

Of course, you know the sleeves of “Classic” (both) and “Brilleaux”, thus I’ve scanned the covers of the booklets that come with these releases. Both have the lyrics in Japanese and English and what appears to be some kind of Japanese liner notes. No English language writing for the latter, I’m afraid.

Both CDs have bonus tracks. “Classic” is expandend with "What Do You Think Of That" and "Don't Underestimate Your Enemy" and “Brilleaux” gets an extension with "Don't Wait Up (Extended Version)", "Something Good" and "Rockin' With Somebody New". Sure, this is not something that a Dr. Feelgood collector doesn’t already have in the collection, but there you go. I mean it’s not like there’s a ton of unissued outtakes around (although I’ve been told otherwise – the stuff is still in the vaults). Naturally, both albums come with an OBI, as is the norm with Japanese releases. You won’t buy this because you haven’t heard the material yet (and I doubt that you’ll be the audiophile who buys this on the strength of an obscure high definition format, in which case you’re better off with your old vinyl anway), but because you’re a completist in dire need of additional material to get your collection to the max. Nice enough items they are. You won’t be disappointed.

Release out on Victor catalogue number VICP-63342 ("Classic") and VICP-63341 ("Brilleaux").



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sheena & The Rokkets - #29

Sheena & The Rokkets

Well known because of their collaborations with Wilko Johnson, but otherwise not a household name in this part of the world. Outrageous and sometime hilarious, Sheena & The Rokkets are a fantastic band from Japan. I believe, they're overdoing their act on purpose. They seem to have an idea what Rock'n'Roll is all about and they try to transfer it to Japan. Maybe I'm reading this completetely wrong, but it's the impression I get from watching their videos. Here's one, in which they are a bit too polished. Normally, the band is rougher, not in a punk way of style, just grittier. And I can't remember to have seen any footage with a brass section.

Certainly, the "London Sessions #1 and #2" (which are really credited to Makoto Auykawa, but featuring Sheena as  well as the Wilko Johnson Band) are the items to look out for the Wilko Johnson Fan. But there's more stuff like the "Dream Box", a fantastic set of CDs and a DVD (and also featuring some Wilko Johnson). But really, you can't go wrong with any of their numerous releases, even those without Wilko's participation. Just have a look around on their website at



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alice Cooper - Old School: 1964-1974 (Part 2) - #28

Alice Cooper - Old School: 1964-1974 (Part 2)

See also post #20. The box set arrived a couple of weeks ago. While I haven't heard the CDs/LP/7" or viewed the DVD or had more than a quick glance at the paperware in there yet (time is indeed a luxury these days), another question has crept up. Is it worth all the money?

Well ... let me see. The fact that there are videos on the www celebrating the unpacking of the box set, says a lot about the item. These folks do speak highly of their recent purchase. Other voices think that the price is ridiculous and they do not intend to shell out their hard earned cash. Each to his/her own. And there are fans out there, who simply can't afford this kind of money to leave the household, were it not for food, clothing or rent.

Nice as it looks, the box is indeed way overpriced. And I mean way overpriced. It's a very cute idea to house this in a kind of schooldesk, but, let's not mince words, this is nothing but cheap cardboard. And the last time I was getting excited about some fancy papergimmick, has been a while ago. Around the time of "Killer" actually. The fact, that the item is, apparently, limited (noone really knows how many are on the market, so pick any number between 1 and 100000 - the forums are ripe with uneducated guesses), doesn't help really.

Of the four CDs you get, only two are really worthwile. These are the the ones containing outtakes and live material and stuff. A third one, an interview disc, is something that shouldn't even be mentioned as a selling point. Nice to be in there, but it cries "cheapo" all over the place. Not really something you'll be listening to more than once. And the fourth CD is the same live document (plus 1) as the LP inside the box. So you could say, there's a third CD worth your money in there, but then, the LP is redundant. Your pick how you want to see this. You just buy the same basically twice.

The 7" (Nazz) doesn't even have a picture cover (they could have done one for this release, even though the original didn't have one) and is housed in a cardboardlike abrasive sleeve. Not something you want to see your precious vinyl in. The printed material is nice, but there's no point in adding fake tickets or photocopied setlists. No really, you have to see these two items to realise that you've been had. Although, in a way this is a nice boxset, it's not essential material, even to a diehard Alice Cooper fan. If you can afford it, by all means, go ahead and buy it (but hurry up, some mail orders have already sold out). To the others, there are better deals around. I'm not saying that a boxset can't cost up to EUR 200.00 (just  compare the really fat ones released by Bear Family and then cry in your beer, when you see what you can get for your money here), but then you expect more value for your cash.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Setting A Goal - #27

Setting A Goal

I’ve actually been thinking, in a low sort of way, to get rid of the collection. Well, one day I will need to make a decision. Either someone will dump it in the municipal waste disposal or I’m selling this off, before I face the grim reaper. Not that I intend to sign off any time soon, but one has these funny thoughts. I could also take a few year’s early retirement and finance my living out of the proceeds of selling the collection on the internet. No decisions have been taken as of yet. But, and this is an upper case BUT, the next question is, should I sink any more money into the collection?

When is the time to stop collecting? I mean, when there’s no more good music to be bought, is not really a target you can set for yourself. That’s an endless avenue, especially if one has an eclectic taste in music. My latest idea, I’m collecting records until I can listen a whole year through, 24/7, without repeating anything. Well then, I should be thinking about closing down rather soon, but there’s still a few slots open. On the other hand (there’s a fist, as Jona Lewie used to say), I can give the thought a few twists and turns and see what I can come up with.



Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Крекерс - Замес На Рок'н'ролле - #26

Крекерс - Замес На Рок'н'ролле

Or, for the few non-russian speaking folks that visit this blog, Krekers with "Zames Na Rok-n-Rolle". This band from St. Petersburg released their debut album in 2010 (on Bomba-Piter Inc.) and unfortunately, it seems to have sunk like a rock. Thankfully some specialist mailorders have it in their catalogue. Now, I'm pretty sure you don't think Russia is the world's foremost post to go, when you want Rock'n'Roll. Maybe not, but it'd be a very grave mistake, not to make the detour via the aforementioned St. Petersburg.

What you get here, is one of the most interesting Rock'n'Roll/Rockabilly releases I've heard for a while. Fourteen tracks, and all of them selfpenned. And, I have to point this out, of excellent quality. I challenge you to name a recent release that's even close to this level, albeit still looking at the competition from down below. Fantastic musicians with a very good singer. And now, I'm telling you that eleven of these songs are sung in Russian and you go, ah, that doesn't work, Russian is not a Rock'n'Roll language. Sorry to say, but you're wrong. It fits. The last three tracks are English language songs and with them, the CD clocks in at just beyond three quarters of an hour (which is a very long album by this genre's standard) and not a second where you wish a song would be cut short.

Besides a very clean production (not overdone), it's the vintage/modern mixture that pays tribute to decades of good music. Especially interesting, at least for me, is the prominent feature of saxophone. This is an instrument which is very dear to me (although I don't play it myself, but have always wanted to). You'll hear it on almost every track on this CD. Just trying to remember if there's a song without the sax. No, I don't think so. My heavy rotation list has never been so busy, what with Steve Hooker, Doctor's Order, Hillbilly Moon Explosion and Happotedit all lining up to get a slot. Right now is a good time to find and enjoy new music.

There's a website mentioned on the back of the cover, get your Russian language skills to work.



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Jan And Dean - Meet Batman - #25

Jan And Dean - Meet Batman

Just recently I've bought this reissue of an old 1966 LP. Although I'm not the surfin' kind of type, everything Batman catches my attention. And I just can't leave my hands off an LP with such a sleeve. The dynamic duo in full action. The item is a "concept" album that matches the 60's television series, that is to say, over the top comic sketches (as Captain Jan and Dean, the boy blunder), although, I could image, that this is a bit tiresome, when you've heard the LP for the umpteenth time. But you don't have to have it on heavy rotation.

The music is typical Jan and Dean surf fare. So, here's to Batman and Robin and all the villains in Gotham City. May the bat signal shine on you!