* - Asterisk means I already had a good mp3 copy of this album, but threw up a few words anyway in the name of having an internet-based chronicle of all my legally-purchased, store-bought music
- Beavis Having Rad Times means that this CD's purchase was directly or indirectly influenced by the Beavis & Butthead television show
Jack White - Blunderbuss (2012, Third Man/Columbia) - This is one of my wife's CDs that I have no real opinion of again. But it reminds me of that story I read about how before the White Stripes took off, this dude made/repaired/reupholstered/etc. fancy furniture for fancy rich people. And I guess he wrote and recorded a whole record that he never released, and instead would just sew it inside the fancy rich furniture that he worked on. On one hand, that's stupid as hell, but on the other hand awesome, because it's probably caused lizard people to slash up their three thousand dollar chair to find a record that they'd just sell on Ebay for a couple hundo. I hope there are no actual records, and he just made up the story to ruin things for The Man.
Jack White - Lazaretto (2014, Third Man/Columbia) - I remember being at some sort of gathering with my wife and a bunch of her friends at somebody's house, and people were watching music videos on the YouTubes, and she got them to look up the one song from this, because she loved it and it was her Summer Jam of 2014 or whatever. And afterward, there was pretty much no reaction, and they just went back to the shit they had been watching that was mostly the fuckin' Weeknd and stupid-ass Five Finger Death Punch. And granted, I'm not a dude with an ear for poppy hip hop kinda stuff, but Weeknd just sounds like a dude moaning over elevator music. And granted, I don't have an ear for FALSE METAL FOR POSERS, but Five Finger Death Punch is the worst, awful, irredeemable garbage for assholes. "But they respect the troops!" Fuck you.
Jerry Clower - Clower Power (1973, MCA) - I was originally born in California, but from the time I was old enough for my brain to form permanent memories, I grew up in the Mississippi Delta. And before Jeff Foxworthy and the whole Blue Collar Comedy thing happened, Jerry Clower was like the prime ultimate god-king of stand-up comedy there. I guess it can best be described as listening to your grandparents who grew up in the Depression telling stories from their youth, excppt funnier, and no one starts arguing with them halfway through.
Jerry Clower - Country Ham (1974, MCA) - One of my chief Clower Memories growing up was how every Sunday, one of the local vinyl siding companies would do this thing where they'd put an old movie on TV, (usually something with Jerry Lewis or Don Knotts, but occasionally Godzilla) and in lieu of commercials, they'd just have local-ish celebrities trying to sell you some siding. This was mostly split between two guys: Clower and the dude that played Eb on Green Acres. And Clower was a professional salesman prior to tellin' stories funny, so he was the master. He'd have his fancy suit with a bunch of diamonds and shit all over it, all "WOOOO, y'all, let me tell me about a very special offer from my good friends at Leadco, OHHHH SHOOT THIS THANG" and I'd be sitting there, eight years old, having no idea what vinyl siding even was, but I knew I wanted some. Other times, Green Acres dude would be there, and it was just sad. Like he'd have his shitty old costume from the show on, and he could barely hide how much he didn't want to be there, and he'd do this weird little dance, and seriously, it was just sad, man, so sad. Like it reeked of desperation, like they probably paid him in sandwiches and pain pills or something. Wanna find that dude and hug him.
Jerry Clower - Jerry Clower's Greatest Hits (1979, MCA) - My parents had this tape when I was a kid, and I eventually just commandeered the thing and claimed it as my own and eventually hit a point where I could literally recite huge sections of it in a five-year-old's interpretation of Jerry Clower's Foghorn Leghorn voice. I'm pretty sure I could still do "Marcel Ledbetter Moving Company" and "A New Bull," although I have too much self-awareness now to try the voice. Man, I was the most adorable kid ever, and now I'm all stupid and old.
Jerry Clower - The Ledbetter Olympics! (1980, MCA) - A whole bunch of Jerry Clower's stuff relates to the Ledbetter family, which mainly consisted of Uncle Versie and Aunt Pat and all their young 'uns: Ardel, Burnel, Raynel, W.L., Lanel, Odel, Marcel, Claude, Newgene, and Clovis. And it suddenly occurs to me that I've never heard Lanel Ledbetter mentioned specifically in any of his records. Now granted, there's a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of old stuff that never made the conversion from LP/cassette to CD, but I've heard a big enough sample size of the dude's work to know that there's at least a disproportionately small amount of Lanel material. Hell, I'm pretty sure Uncle Crack even had had multiple tracks dedicated to him. Was Lanel Ledbetter the black sheep of the family? Was Lanel a murderer?
Jerry Clower - More Good 'Uns (1981, MCA) - All things considered, there really isn't that much Jerry Clower stuff that's made it to CD, and as far as I know, no one's selling any of it in a digital format, and that is such a bummer. Because this was already mostly for old folks when I was a little kid, and I'm pushing forty now. For all intents and purposes, the target market for a Jerry Clower record isn't even alive anymore, so there's a pretty good chance that two-thirds of the dude's output is destined to only be able in cassette or vinyl format in flea markets and Goodwill stores or whatever. I mean, stranger things have happened, and beardo numbskulls might eventually develop a taste for old records by Clower and Andy Griffith or whatever and it'll flood iTunes, but for now, most of that stuff is effectively gone. I need to find a working tape player, so I can convert my copies of Jerry Joins the Navy and Let There Be Light.
Jerry Clower - Live at Dollywood (1997, MCA Nashville) - This is one of the last couple CDs the dude put out, at a time when other formats were dead and it was all Cd or nothing. And honestly, the later stuff isn't quite up to par with the 70s/80s material. I don't know if he was just running out of material or what, but I can specifically remember times (that I think were on a tape I have somewhere and not this actual CD) where he was just rehashing Jeff Foxworthy "you might be a redneck" stuff and putting a Ledbetter-related veneer on some stock Reader's Digest jokes. Still, a lot of the fun of it is the "listening to old people tell stories" aspect of things, and that's still there, even if there is a non-joke inspirational message track at the end of each side of the tape now.
Jerry Clower - More Clower Power (1998, MCA Special Products) - This is kind of a "best of" compilation of the kind that started getting released pretty regularly in the post-Jerry world. It's not quite as good as the actual "greatest hits" compilation, but it's something. A frustrating thing here is that like most of these compilations, this has a track or two that were from albums that never got put out on CD, meaning they could've released that stuff, but just didn't. Come on, MCA. In the digital world, nothing ever has to be out-of-print. Do it.
Jimi Hendrix - Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix (1997, Experience Hendrix/MCA) - This is one of those default compilations; like an official-as-hell thing that's more likely to be on someone's shelf than an actual legit album. And as such, they did a good job, as this has twenty tracks with pretty much everything a casual Hendrix-enjoyer would need, up to and including the Star-Spangled Banner from Woodstock. Just remember that if you rip the Cd to your computer, all the track names get mixed up, and now I gotta go back and type in all the names manually. Stupid technology.
John Lee Hooker - (self-titled and/or no title) (2004, Echo Bridge) - Meanwhile, this is probably the exact opposite of an officially, fully-endorsed compilation. Like I put the disk into the computer and a different CD with a different cover and all the same tracks pops up. And man, most of this stuff is OLD, like it sounds like it's playing on a damn wax cylinder or something, and John Lee Hooker is still listed as "Texas Slim" for some of it. Makes this seem like something that should've been made in a more serious and well-curated manner than just a slapped-together Cd with no liner notes near the Ross checkout, made by the same company that I'm pretty sure puts out shitty kung fu compilation DVDs.
John Lee Hooker - The Definitive Collection (2006, Universal) - Oh hey, here's that serious, well-curated compilation I was talking about a second ago. and I'm sure if you have the least bit of interest in stuff like this, you've probably already heard stuff like "Boom Boom" and "One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer," so I'll just point out that "I'm Bad Like Jesse James" is probably the most metal goddamn song from a different genre of all time. Like he's just calmly telling a guy how he's going to get his boys to take him out and drown him, and it's darker and more evil-sounding than anything that a bunch of Norwegian turds in clown makeup have ever managed to this point. He was so mad, you guys.
Jucifer - Calling All Cars on the Vegas Strip (1998, Capricorn) - I guess the easiest way to describe Jucifer would be like a grimy, metal version of the White Stripes. It's just two people in the band, a married couple making up for the lack of a bass player by knocking the shit out of the drums and turning the single guitar up to like eleven million, although this album does seem to have some extra instruments overdubbed here and there, which I'm pretty sure they didn't do very often later on. It's kind of all over the map with a few songs that are kind of soft, sweetly-sung alternative poppy stuff, followed by some crazy "YYEEEAAARGH" stuff, and then something that borders on doom metal. This is all normal for Jucifer, which is not to say that it's normal at all, really.
Jucifer - War Bird EP (2004, Velocette) - This is probably the most straightforward Jucifer thing I've ever heard, which is to say that it's almost completely just doomy sluge metal, like the kind where someone strums a guitar, and it's just like "BWWWAAAAAAAUUUUURRRGGGGHHH" for a minute and a half until they decide to strum it again. It is heavy as all goddamn hell, you guys. THe weird thing about this is that it's an EP with a 68 minute runtime, because the last track just sounds like they stuck a recorder outside in the country and left it for 45 minutes, all just birds and bugs and stuff. I bet that was pretty freaking annoying back when the 5-disk Cd changer was the norm and no one wanted to walk across the room to skip to the next disk.
Jucifer - If Thine Enemy Hunger (2006, Relapse) - This one is more in the vein of "Calling All Cars, like a weird combination of heavy-as-fuck sludge metal and kind of 90s alternative rock sounding stuff. This is like if Juliana Hatfield or P.J. Harvey had decided to do a collaboration with Crowbar back in the day. Man, I just realized that I have no Crowbar albums, in either a legal CD or illegal MP3 format. How much of my life has been wasted doing other things besides listening to Crowbar? Jesus.
<<<<THE JUDAS PRIEST GAUNTLET>>>>
Judas Priest - Rocka Rolla (1974, Gull - 2000 Koch Records reissue)- Man, what is wrong with all the CD versions of the oldest Judas Priest albums? Some tracks are split in the wrong places, others are joined together for no reason, and according to the internets, the original UK LP has an extra verse on the the title track. Hell, if you go to the discography page on the Priest website, there's a little disclaimer at the bottom telling you to be sure and read up on any old Gull releases, so you don't get screwed. Also, the bass is turned up way too high on the Koch versions of both of the first two albums, and it really screws things up sometimes. That being said, FUCKIN PRIIIEIEEEST YEEEAAAAAHHHHHH
Judas Priest - Sad Wings of Destiny (1976, Gull - 2000 Koch Records reissue) - This has a lot of the same problems as the Koch version of Rocka Rolla, but at least the track-splitting isn't all weird this time. Either way, this is the first truly awesome Judas Priest record, and with all the shittiness in record deals and control over the rights to things, it's a bummer that it didn't get the kind of fancy re-release that the CBS stuff did. I still stand fully behind my assessment that all the music for the original Castlevania was composed while some dude from Konami was listening to "The Ripper" on repeat.
Judas Priest - Sin After Sin (1977, Columbia) - Man, seriously y'all, what the hell. This is one of the Judas Priest albums that was put out by a real record company that seemed to give a damn, and even though the tracks seem to generally be split in the right places, "Call for the Priest" is listed as being a the beginning of "Raw Deal," when it's really at the beginning of "Let Us Prey." I dunno, I always notice things like that, and it bugs me. Anyway, this is the one where Priest started speeding up and added (hell, invented?) double-kick bass drum stuff, and on one hand, this is probably not one of my favorite Judas Priest albums, (which is not to say it isn't still good) but it's probably one of the most important ones. This is where heavy metal stopped being distorted blues, and became FVKKIN METAL, which is probably why the New Wave of British Heavy Metal really got going around this time.
Judas Priest - Stained Class (1978, Columbia - 2001 "The Remasters" version) - Ohhhhhh daaaaaang. This is where shit got real, and Judas Priest became a fully realized version of all they could be, and it started the run of Roslav Szaybo photo album covers, and it's crazy that this is their fourth album, because this is the sort of "FUCK Y'ALL, WE HERE" album that normally only happens on a band's debut. Also, this one has "Better By You, Better Than Me" on it, which is the one that got blamed for those blowing their heads/faces off back in the day. There's a documentary about it called Dream Deceivers that's streaming on amazon Prime and possibly other places, (I think even some of the weird free services that just play five minutes of commercial before the start) and it's really good, but only if you don't mind having your day ruined. It's just dark and depressing, and there's no happy ending for anyone, and the kid who survived blowing his face off was the visual basis for Arseface from the old Preacher comics, except way worse, because it's real.
Judas Priest - Hero, Hero (1979, Gull - 2000 Koch Records reissue) - This... This right here is some garbage. It is stupid and worthless, and the only reason I have it is because it came in a box set (such as it was) with the first two albums for like nine dollars. The story of this is that after Priest blew up, Gull decided to get a decent producer to remix/remaster Rocka Rolla, with the added bonus that most of Sad Wings of Destiny ended up being on there, too. And allegedly, he did a real good job and people liked it a whole bunch. Even put back the first verse of "rocka Rolla." Then, they put it out on CD, and just used the original versions of everything that sounded bad enough to warrant remixing the damn things. So unless it's packaged cheaply with other stuff, or you manage to find one the rare/expensive German/Australian/Japanese versions that use the real mix, avoid this. Avoid it, and if anyone recommends it, beat them up and take their money.
Judas Priest - Hell Bent for Leather (1979, Columbia - 2001 "The Remasters" version) - Now that I think about it, the title track from this was the first time I ever heard Judas Priest before. We were going on the seven or eight hour drive to Louisiana so me and my brother could hang out at my cousin's house for a week one summer, and he bought one of those shitty gas station heavy metal compilation cassettes, and for some reason, that was the one song I remembered from it. I'm pretty sure a similar situation a few years later was the first time I ever heard The Accused, except that was a copy of Grinning Like an Undertaker, instead of a comp. Now, I want to hit up Ebay and look for shitty old metal compilation cassettes, but that's probably a bad idea, because I don't have a decent working tape player anymore, I got too much bullshit already, and it might run the risk of becoming *a thing* like when I started looking for cheap old metal magazines.
Judas Priest - British Steel (1980, Columbia) - The "Breaking the Law" video coming up on Beavis and Butthead was the first time hearing Priest at an age where I cared about musical things, and as such was one of the first things I wrote the selection number down for when choosing my initial dozen Columbia House CDs. And this remains the best Judas Priest album, and if I had the time and decisiveness to do a list that involved everyone, it would at least make top five. Back in high school, my dude Matt (aka Louisiana) was one of the few people I managed to successfully convert to at least partial Metalhead, and we would jam the fuck out to this and "Breaking the Law" was what we'd listen to to get hyped up for football games. Which is funny, because he barely got to play until his junior year, I almost literally never got to play until my senior year, and while he was decent, my version of football looked more like something resulting from sitting in a closet listening to The Cure than anything even remotely metal. My god, I sucked at sports. But you know what doesn't suck? Judas Priest, friends. Judas Priest.
Judas Priest - Point of Entry (1981, Columbia - 2001 "The Remasters" version) - This one's weird, because I just think about it and don't remember liking it very much, but then when I actually look at the track listing, I'm all "oh dang, it's got 'Heading Out to the Highway' AND 'Hot Rockin.'" It's like the secret good Judas Priest album that people kind of skip over because it had to be sandwiched between British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance. Also, the video for "Hot Rockin" is unintentionally hilarious, because it starts off with the band HITTIN THE GYM AND PUMPIN SOME IRON in preparation for a night of HOT ROCKING, but they're all just kinda skinny dudes, so it is less impressive than what they were going for probably. Also, the cover of this is weird, like it's some sort of concept album about dot matrix printers.
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance (1982, Columbia - 2001 "The Remasters" version) - While British Steel is the best thing they'll ever do, this feels like Peak Judas Priest, like the high water mark of the ultimate motorcycles-and-leather phase of the band, plus it's got "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" which as far as I know is the band's biggest song, and one of maybe two that gets play on non-metal radio stations. (the other is "Living After Midnight" for the record) Plus, it's the first of the three with that crazy Doug Johnson artwork with the lines and the curves and what-have-you that should rightfully rank up there with Nagel paintings as some of the Eightiest things ever made. Also, "The Hellion/Electric Eye" was what Aja Kong used for her entrance music after leaving AJW, ranking it as the second greatest pro wrestling entrance music of all time, behind her original AJW theme.
Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith (1984, Columbia - 2001 "The Remasters" version) - Started thinking about the track listing of this one and suddenly realized that this is probably actually better than Screaming for Vengeance. Huh. i mean, a full half of the original ten non-bonus tracks are ones that would warrant serious mixed tape consideration, and 50% is a high ratio. Or it probably would be if I figured out some actual statistics for such things, but don't worry you guys, I'm not THAT autistic. Maybe enough to do this whole thing, but there are no Excel spreadsheets in my internet future.
Judas Priest - Turbo (1986, Columbia) - Uhhh, welp. Here it is, you guys, the Judas Priest equivalent of Load. It's all weird and keyboardy, and I think it's supposed to be more of a glam rockish thing, but "Turbo Lover" gives me way more of a "now is the time on Sprockets when we dance" vibe than something involving wearing bandanas around your boots on the Sunset Strip or whatever. Honestly though, it's not so much bad as it is just weird. Also, the cover looks like a hand gripping some sort of peppermint wang.
Judas Priest - Ram it Down (1988, Columbia) - The story of this one is how it's the return to FUKKIN METAL for Judas Priest, except with the secret history of how Turbo was supposed to be a double-album, with most of this as Disc Two. Maybe when they started doing all those fancy 30th anniversary releases, (I gotta at least get that British steel one someday) they should've just sucked it up and released Twin Turbos as originally intended. Anyway, this one's okay?
Judas Priest - Painkiler (1990, Columbia - 2001 "The Remasters" version) - OOOOOHHHHHHH MAAAAAAANNNN DEFLKJWSDFJHWGKJHFG this is the best where did this come from, Jesus Christ. Judas Priest was kind of at a low point, and then they got a new drummer and decided to just punch the entire world metal album of all time. Holy shit. They just went completely crazy and put out the heaviest album anyone had ever heard, hundreds of people were killed, large swaths of real estate were flattened, and the government blamed it on hurricane season, so as to not panic the normals. This album is one of those prime examples of how awesome everyone thought the 90s would end up being, only to have alternative rock ruin everything. Now, everyone is poor, and Ronnie James Dio is dead, and Francis from Peewee's Big Adventure is the president, and we'll all be dead soon, and it's all because of R.E.M.
<<<<END JUDAS PRIEST GAUNTLET>>>>
The Juliana Hatfield Three - Become What You Are (1993, Atlantic) - I dunno, this is one of those things my brother would jam in the car constantly in 1995, and embedded itself into my Precious Teen Memories, so when I went on the Great Hastings Used Cd Rack Raids of 2007, I picked up this and a few related CDs that follow. I honestly don't think I've listened to this since sometime around then, but it would probably be a good choice for time-traveling back to a place where rock stars stopped looking like rock stars and the long-sleeved t-shirt underneath a regular t-shirt was *the look.* We should bring that back, unless the temperature just never drops below eighty degrees every day. Global climate change is destroying early 90s fashion, y'all.
Juliana Hatfield - Only Everything (1995, Atlantic) - This is probably the better overall of the two Juliana Hatfield CDs from back when those were a big deal, as well as the one where a few songs manage to sneak onto the MP3 playlist in the car that I've never gotten around to finishing. (and now I have to start over due to higher bitrates, shit) I just remembered reading the story of how Juliana Hatfield started getting all self-conscious about having a tiny mouse-child voice, so she started smoking in the hopes that it would roughen things up a little. It didn't work, she still didn't sound like Lemmy, and she had to battle tobacco addiction for many years. Life is hard. But who knows, Kristen Schaal does good work on Bob's Burgers and that one post-apocalyptic show I've only seen once, so maybe the tiny mouse voice will come back, Juliana Hatfield will sell a million records again, and Joey Lauren Adams will get movie roles outside of Kevin Smith movies again. (Is she still in those? I don't think I've seen any since Clerks 2 took away two hours of my life that I'll never get back) It could happen.
Juliana Hatfield - Universal Heart-Beat single (1995, Atlantic) - Ha ha, what the hell, I didn't know that I owned this or even why I bought it. Anyway, I'm still sad that the internet killed singles and EPs disguised as singles.
Juliana Hatfield - Please Do Not Disturb EP (1997, Bar/None)
- Yeah, I don't know. My relationship with Juliana Hatfield's music
is only one that can be carried as far as early 90s nostalgia can
carry it, and this is a late 90s EP that I never knew about till the
mid 2000s. I literally think I've listened to this less than once,
and just kinda skimmed over it ten years ago. A clear case of one
that I shouldn't have bought and left on the used rack for someone
who'd actually appreciate it, but which I'll probably never get rid
of, because I'm a freakin' physical media hoarder.