Being a student holds many challenges: balancing time for classes, homework, and extracurriculars. On top of that, students have rent to pay as well as food to keep themselves sustained. Despite these challenges that can often leave me feeling burnt out/languished, nothing means more to me than the records, CDs, and cassette tapes of music I continue to accumulate.
Scrounging through vintage and vinyl shops, paying premium pre-orders, or talking with friends is often how I find these hidden treasures that fuel my passion. As my obsession grows, so does my collection. Here are a few of my hard copies that keep me coming back for more.
Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters…
Frankie & the Witch Fingers
Frankie and the Witch Fingers released their fifth album Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters in October 2020. Monsters Eating People Eating Monsters… is a macabre acid-fueled journey that is reminiscent of a different time. Though the album isn’t for the faint of psychedelic heart, it is surprisingly approachable and can easily score many of life’s moments.
The first two songs on the album Activate and Reaper showcase Frankie and the Witch Fingers rock chops while earning them a spot among contemporary neo-psychedelic garage bands and artists like Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall, King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, and many more.
Frankie and the Witch Fingers made creative use of the COVID-19 pandemic with their unique claymation music videos. Watch it here:
Iggy and the Stooges
The Stooges, one of the most influential rock bands ever. Raw Power is the third and final album by the Stooges that immortalized the group for all time. If Elvis and Buddy Holly are the Cain and Abel of rock and roll, Bruce Springsteen is Zachariah, Neil Young is the wise prophet Ezekiel and of course, Iggy Pop is the never-dying Methuselah.
Originally mixed by David Bowie. The Bowie mix featured forward vocals and guitar, pushing the Asheton rhythm section way to the back. While the treble-heavy Bowie mix still was decades ahead of its time, the 1997 remaster by Iggy Pop himself pushed the album to ultimate tier aggressive, sleazy, toe-tappin’, headbanging power.
Raw Power set the stage for punk rock and generations of music to follow. Everyone from The Ramones, Blondie, Kurt Cobain to even Cee Lo Green has cited the Stooges as one of their biggest influences. Here’s a link to the full album on YouTube.
Life Stories: Highlife and Afrobeat Classics 1973-1980
Ebo Taylor’s Life Stories is essentially a greatest hits album from the golden era of Ghanian highlife and afro-beat music. Two genres, I admittedly don’t know much about. What I do know is that highlife originated in Ghana during the English colonial days. Music rooted in traditional Akan rhythmic structures with western instruments. Afro-beat, similar to highlife, takes traditional West African musical styles combining them with American jazz, funk, and soul influences.
Life Stories contains over an hour of music with no dip in quality. Opening with the popular track Heaven, the listener is invited on an unpredictable adventure of big horns, funky guitar, driving organ, and clear objective. While the structure may get loose, the direction of the songs is never lost.
Listen to Heaven by Ebo Taylor here: