Not really a part of the The KISS RE-REVIEW SERIES
Balancing a music collection with a toy collection is expensive, but they do have a lot in common. For example, both feature “holy grail” items that you simply must have. In 2017, the holy grail category was won by toys for the first time. Behold! Enjoy the video at bottom.
* Terminus Giganticus is FansToys’ version of a Masterpiece class Omega Supreme action figure, to fit seamlessly with your official Transformers Masterpiece collection.
* Fucking huge.
* Comes in two packs: Pack A (September 2017) and Pack B (November 2017).
* Thanks to Madhaus Toys (facebook.com/madhaus.collectibles) for the pre-order!
GETTING MORE TALE #590: Hipster Moustache Cassette Player
As expressed in Getting More Tale #423: The Tyranny of Cassette in the 80s, I am not a fan (at all) of the cassette tape format. As cassettes have picked up traction this year, it is an opinion that I have been sharing more frequently on social media. I feel we need a refresher.
Some fans (such as fellow writer and tech-head Boppin) have made good arguments for tapes in the past, explaining that if you have the right equipment, you can make a tape sound so good that you won’t know it’s a cassette. That may be so, but I:
- don’t have said equipment nor any desire to get a new tape deck.
- no longer have the need to play cassettes, having upgraded 99% of my collection to more permanent formats like CD and LP.
The subject of cassette tapes was recently revived with the announcement that the hit Netflix series Stranger Things will be receiving a deluxe cassette soundtrack. The cassettes will be packaged to look like miniature VHS tapes…just like the 1980s.
I’m a fan of the show, so I get it. Stranger Things celebrates so much about the 80s: the culture, the style, the music, and yes, even the technology. If you are also a fan, owning a cassette soundtrack version in retro packaging would be quite a collectible treat. Not as cool as the 80s-style Stranger Things action figures, but still neat.
Fans of the music of Stranger Things would be well advised to get the excellent soundtrack, but if you get it on cassette, why bother to play it? It won’t even sound as good as a Youtube stream. Unless you’re one of the few who has great cassette equipment, why not just buy the CD, or the absolutely gorgeous LP editions, and play those? They’ll last longer while the cassette will wear out the fastest.
Would you open it? Would you play it?
This brings us back to a short bit that I recorded for Sausagefest 2017, which was received with agreement by those in attendance. Here’s the relevant portion below. I call it “Hipster Moustache Cassette Player”. What do you think?
HIPSTER MOUSTACHE CASSETTE PLAYER
GETTING MORE TALE #587: Jean’s Stormy Weekend Vinyl Tales
Another long weekend in Ontario has come and gone. Yes, international friends, the first weekend of August is a long weekend for we Ontarians. Despite a stormy start, it was just a lovely time.
Every holiday weekend needs its weekend music (unless your name is “1537” or some similar number). The car trip commenced with the finish of a double live album called Black Masquerade by Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow. This 1995 concert features Doogie White on lead vocals. We enjoyed it as a contrast to the newer Live in Birmingham 2016 with Ronnie Romero singing, which had been in the car during the week. On the whole, I think I prefer Romero to White in Rainbow, but that’s not an easy choice to make. Both are very talented and charismatic frontmen, but with very different voices.
When Black Masquerade came to its natural closing point with “Smoke on the Water”, I switched the deck over to the new Styx. Don’t be surprised if you see the new Styx album The Mission on many 2017 year-end lists. It’s been a favourite of mine the past few weeks, and Mrs. LeBrain was very impressed herself. “And this is their new album?” she asked, since it sounds straight out of the 1970s at times.
We got to the cottage Friday night. A storm was blowing through. It was too cold for funnel clouds to form, but as you will see in the video I put together, it was gale force weather. And then the next day? Completely calm.
Brand new video!
For weekend entertainment, I brought with me some of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. Thanks to Mr. BuriedOnMars, who has been reviewing the MCU films in order, I have been re-watching the early ones again. This weekend I chose Iron Man 3 and The Avengers, because neither are on (Canadian) Netflix at the moment. Both were enjoyable entertainment, but Iron Man 3 is just too gosh darn long and weakly plotted. And of course there was more music to be heard. Some friends down the road were partying to George Jones. It reminded me of the old days when my Grandpa would have done the same but maybe with Kenny Rogers instead.
Mom and dad provided the meat for the weekend, and I did the cooking. Jen did up her potatoes and I took care of the steaks. On the holiday Monday, we hooked up with old buddy Peter and his sister Jo. Regular readers may recall some of my adventures with Peter, particularly Getting More Tale #559: Hotel Hobbies. It was fantastic catching up with the two of them at the newly renovated Jean’s for breakfast. Jean’s is bigger and just as busy. It’s one of those reliable breakfast places that we have been going for years. Still reliable!
Peter told me something at breakfast that did surprise me. I noticed that the old Record Store in which I worked was now buying used vinyl again. In the past, only Tom‘s store stocked used vinyl but times they-are-a-changin’. Sadly Peter’s dad passed away late last year. He had some old vinyl. Not a lot, just about 20 records or so. Pete’s dad would have had old German music, nothing of any particular monetary value. Peter decided to give my old store a call to see if they’d take them off his hands. What he was told was so strange: He’d have to send them into the head office, and they’d take a look and get back to him within one month.
One month? Peter took the old records to Value Village and dumped them there.
I don’t know what the story is with the one month thing. Maybe they realized the records weren’t their thing and were trying to brush him off? Seems a bizarre answer.
I’m sure if Peter’s dad somehow had any rare German Scorpions records, he would have let me know, as unlikely as that is!
Great to see old friends again. After breakfast the weather was starting to turn rotten, so we made our way home. And what a musical ride it was! All of Deep Purple’s Purpendicular album. All of Rush’s Moving Pictures. Side one of the next album, Signals. It was a smorgasbord of so called “smart-guy rock”!
Hopefully we’ll make it up a couple more times before the summer is over. There are still quite a few new albums here at LeBrain HQ that need road trip testing. Styx’s The Mission passed the road trip test, securing a big point in this year’s Best Album stakes. To be continued….
SPINAL TAP – “Bitch School” (1992 MCA CD single)
From the album Break Like the Wind
No music today, but it’s for a good reason.
Kenner is a friend of the family. Kenner is an exceptionally bright young man, and very well spoken too. It’s not easy though. Kenner has autism, and his service dog Ivy has completely changed his world from night to day. A Human Rights Tribunal is currently deciding whether Kenner should be allowed to have his service dog in school. I know, right? If you have ever been around a service dog, you know they are unobtrusive, however the Waterloo Region Catholic District School Board has decided that Ivy is a “distraction”. They have ignored the professional opinions of Kenner’s doctors and of the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. So far, Kenner’s family has been fighting for three years.
Three years for the basic right to have his service dog with him in school. Three years.
A good samaritan named Jolene has taken Kenner’s plight to heart and has organized three rallies. The last one was on June 19 2017. The school board was assailed by cheers, honking horns, and best of all, a motorcycle “slow race”. It turns out that Kenner has support everywhere. We even saw people come from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Most exciting were the bikers from several clubs in the region. I saw Halton, Wellington, and a local club too. We were treated to some very loud bikes and the guys were just awesome. The kids loved the motorcycles, and Kenner got to sit on one.
I’m posting this video in support of Kenner, while the Tribunal takes its time making this decision.