When He Said was four years old, all he wanted for Christmas was big brown tape recorder that Play Skool put out so he could record his own imaginary radio shows and crazed ramblings about He-Man. Santa Claus brought it that year, and He Said wore that thing out over the next few months. For Christmas 1988, Santa did him one better and got him a microphone, stand and a toy guitar that he asked for so that he could make his own bootleg tapes in his parents' living room and sell them to the My Pet Monster he shared his room with.
Dude was a big fan apparently and He Said would be damned if he was going to let some parent or grandparent saturate the market with poor quality recordings of "Pimento Farm" and a cover of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer."
Now, more than 20 years later, it's harder to get what you want. Most of the time now, He Said just gets what he needs, like the Stones song preached. Boxer briefs and socks from the Mom. Maybe some new power tools or car gadget from the Dad, or a new knife from his little metal brother. As you get older and your tastes change, it's no easy feat for other people to please you. At this point in his life, He Said would rather see other folks' eyes light up December 25 than have another piece of electric crap that will just get stolen out of his car in the Boondocks parking lot. Maybe buy us some groceries or something.
As a music geek, there are certain albums that we lust over. We're talking about the kind of albums that parents and girlfriends can't just pick up online or spring for at the Galleria. These are artifacts that no one outside of an artist's inner circle have even laid ears on. Some albums we want would require bands reforming to make possible, but the dream always lingers that one day we can roll up and find a new Talking Heads album over at Cactus Music one shiny Tuesday.
Bruce Springsteen, Electric Nebraska
Originally the Boss' 1982 landmark Nebraska
was written as a proper full-band album before Bruce Springsteen decided that the songs were much better with just him by his lonesome on acoustic guitar and harmonica. Rumors swirl around the Springsteen fetishist community that the album was recorded in its entirety, and only a few people in the band's sphere have heard it.
This may be one of those kinds of records that the grandkids will get to hear on some magical box set in 2063, seeing that Springsteen will no doubt outlive us all. Chances are very real though that the power and passion in the songs was swallowed whole by the E Street crew, but you have to admit "State Trooper" remade as a Searchers-style track would have been, to borrow a phrase, "the jam."
Camille was to be a secretive Prince project, with the Purple One singing in a freaky sped-up vocal-style, sort of like a hermie Auto-Tune. This was just a few months before Sign O' the Times
was released, and most of the work from Camille
was instead incorporated into that double album. You can deduce what Camille would sound on that album's "Housequake."
In many ways, Prince is an unsung artist and it's hard to fathom someone as innovative as him who could play every instrument onstage if he wanted to. Somewhere these tapes are gathering dust while Prince goes door to door telling people about the Lord.
Another Bowie/Iggy Collaboration
We love the Stooges the way a fat kid loves cake, that much is true. Nothing gets us off quicker than Raw Power
or Fun House
on vinyl. Just thinking about the band's three proper albums sends us into nerd fits of excitement. But out of all that Iggy Pop has released or touched, we find ourselves drawn to his work with David Bowie in the midst of Bowie's Berlin era.
and Lust For Life
are filthy, filthy drug albums that are required listening for when you are going out on the town or on the random depraved bender. To hear these two elderstatesmen convene again more than 30 years from their venal days in Berlin would be a pleasure. Who knows what could happen at this point?
A new Kinks album
For He Said, the Kinks train ends right after both Preservation Act albums in 1973 and '74. We weren't alive to see the band turn into some sort of weird arena act in the late '70s and early '80s so we have no frame of reference as to whether they cooked live or not. But what we do know is that we love their first four amphetamine-laced albums and The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
is country-rock godhead.
Ray and Dave Davies are both still alive, and from what we can surmise, still in contact with each other. Their relationship was said to be volatile in the band's mid-late period, but things have since cooled. The Kinks' music was always crotchety even when the boys were in their 20s. One can only hope that their new output would be just as grizzled now that the Davies have actually hit old age.
Pink Floyd, Household Objects
How the hell does one record something to follow up Dark Side Of The Moon
? Why not record an album using only household objects. If a band did that now they would be hailed by Pitchfork as golden gods, a la Animal Collective. Tom Waits has tinkered with using household appliances in his work, jamming on a washing machine a few years back for 1999's comeback album Mule Variations
Eventually Floyd put down the irons and washtubs to record Wish You Were Here
. It would still be a thrill to hear Roger Waters and David Gilmour argue for an hour about the tone of a spoon or dishrag.