This is a two parter! I’ve written some thoughts about my blog since reaching post #100 and have also decided to finally present my first volume of Good Stuff! Click the spoiler for which post you would like to see or click both if you want the full thing!
Post #100: Hard to believe that I have already reached post #100. I started this website back in January after being laid off from my job in Seattle. I had wanted to start a music site over the last year or two and had many ideas about what I would do. The only problem was that I was either too busy or too lazy to get around to putting something together. There was also the problem of not knowing what to call the site (will talk about this below!). I figured that with the down time that comes from unemployment, I would keep myself busy with what you now know as Wax Ramble. With no college or work forcing me to continue writing things, I decided that a website talking about music stuff would keep me actively writing so that I would be prepared for future work and whatnot. This actually paid off as my new job consists of a LOT of writing.
I mentioned not knowing what to call the site earlier. This probably shouldn’t have been any sort of dilemma, but it was actually something holding me back from starting the site for awhile. I guess this was related to the fact that I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do with a music site. There are a billion other sites out there talking about music, why would anyone want to check my site out? I have yet to find an answer to this, but frankly it doesn’t matter very much to me. I actually enjoy writing about music just to entertain myself, so I figured this would be more of a platform for me to just ramble on about things. I really see this as being more of a public journal about the music that I’m listening to, which can change very often depending on the time or mood I am in. Like my personal site plibt.org, I like having a location where I can think of a specific time and find my thoughts/posts on what I’m doing then. This seems to be what this blog is for now, if it does grow into something larger or more important in the future I would certainly be excited though.
Ultimately I decided that Wax Ramble would be the blog that I write. The idea was essentially that I would post about the records I have collected since around the time I started college. While earlier posts follow this idea more strictly, the site has really grown to be more about all of the things that I’m listening to, whether or not it is fortunate enough to get a release on vinyl. I had originally considered naming the site something like “Stacks/Stax of Wax” after my favorite lines from one of my favorite songs on one of my favorite albums of all time (I’m a huge Quas fan as you can probably tell from the artwork above). In the end though, Wax Ramble described what I wanted to do with the blog and it sounds a lot smoother in my opinion (and yes, it was inspired by the fantastic Wax Poetics! I could never dream of being in their league though, please don’t compare any of my sub par writings to their excellent work).
So that’s about it for my thoughts about the site up to this point. Here’s to hundreds, thousands, or millions of more posts in the future!
Thank you for reading (I know there are a few of you out there!)
Good Stuff Volume I:
For my 100th post here on Wax Ramble I have been wanting to do something special. Besides writing a bunch of my thoughts about Wax Ramble above in the first part of this entry, I also wanted to introduce to you a collection of posts I’m going to be calling Good Stuff. What is Good Stuff you ask? This can change over time, but for now they will be mixes or compilations of music that I want to share with you. Unlike my other posts that share stuff from artists you have probably heard of already, these collections will consist of music that I’m imagining you haven’t heard before or at least haven’t thought about listening to.
Good Stuff Volume I is a small collection of music that I would consider my “backpacker” material, music from folks I believe a lot of people have probably never heard before (I know “backpacker” has in recent years become some kind of derogatory term to some, but I mean this in the sense of just good hip hop stuff that’s totally under appreciated). I imagine that I’m one of the few people out there still listening to this music on a pretty regular basis, which is why I’m attempting to share these artists with you now. If I had a record label I swear I would have signed all of these guys by now, though unfortunately every one of these groups has stopped releasing music for one reason or another. It’s really too bad that this is the case, but it doesn’t mean it’s too late to enjoy the material that they have already produced! The following are those I would like to share with you:
Submission Impossible – Cool For Now
I’ve written about these guys before over here. Discovered this music after reading the liner notes from Ill Again’s self titled album (which I’ll talk about more below!). The SI records I own are still some of my favorite parts of my collection and I still listen to this stuff quite often even after all of these years. I’ve shared their work with a lot of different people, this was something that would obviously make an appearance here on my first mix. I’d highly recommend grabbing The Artisans and downloading Submission Control for free over here.
Ill Again – Next
I’ve been listening to Ill Again since middle school… quite a long time since those days! I remember first seeing their music video for Next being played over on AZN TV a few times and I decided to look for them online. Found the album and really enjoyed it a lot. Before their website was closed it sounded like they were working on some new material and there was also discussion of some of the guys starting a new band but I could never find anything more about this. It’s really a shame as the live band + rap was really nice. You can grab the album over here and if you check out the reviews you can even see my opinion about it back from when I was in middle school!
J-Treole – Backyard Jungle
Found out about these guys from a random message I received on Myspace many years ago (you can probably tell since this was Myspace…). Back before all of the various means of promoting yourself today through Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Bandcamp, Youtube, Turntable.fm, etc etc etc a lot of musicians would shoot people messages on Myspace basically asking for you to check out their work. This almost sounds spammy and for the most part a lot of this music was just horrible. The message was friendly and said I’d maybe dig their stuff based on whatever I had added on my page back then so I decided to give it a shot. Fortunately I gave J-Treole a listen, been a big fan of their music since then. I even remember ordering their only released CD and waiting for it to come in the mail all the way from UK (still have it too!). Over the years they were together they released some excellent music, three EPs which you can check out over on Soundcloud. Unfortunately they decided to split last year, which was sad as I had always hoped they would do a full album. I suppose if you add up the three EPs it makes up about enough material for a single album though (looking at the glass half full!). Another fantastic live group, I guess you’ll see this as a pastern with most of this first volume of Good Stuff.
Early to Rise – Land Before Time ft. 2Mex
This was a new project started by Veckter of Submission Impossible. Found out about this one after contacting Veckter through e-mail many years ago, was very happy to see some new music coming from him. This was another short CD of music but there was some great stuff on it. I wouldn’t go as far as saying this material was as strong as the Submission Impossible music but it was still certainly an enjoyable little album. As I mentioned in my post about SI months ago, this was actually one of my first CDs I listened to quite a bit in my car last year when I started driving and whatnot. I’d recommend checking this one out, especially if you are digging Submission Impossible’s music. You can grab the CD over here.
Sound Providers – 5 Minutes ft. Procussions
A lot of heads have probably heard of Sound Providers, but I figured I would still take the opportunity to share them here on this mix as I feel like they were incredibly under appreciated. There wasn’t a lot of music put out by these guys but everything that was released was excellent. Their own albums were great, but True Indeed‘s collaboration between the Sound Providers and Surreal was the strongest work coming from them in my opinion. While this is the case, I decided to throw 5 Minutes on this mix as it is one of my favorite songs from them. All of their work can be purchased over on Amazon.
Giant Panda – Grand Prix
I’m not sure about how popular Giant Panda was when they released Fly School Reunion, but I thought this was another group that should be shared here. I discovered this group after hearing a song on one of my Pandora hip hop stations. I listened to it a few times back when I first found out about the record but it wasn’t until last year while working (and listening to a LOT of music on the job) that I realized how fantastic this album really was. There are a lot of great cuts on this one. While he doesn’t make an appearance on Grand Prix, the Japanese rapper in the group was especially awesome when he’d show up on a track. I guess these guys actually originated from Seattle (as you can see from the Garfield High shirt on the cover) which is pretty cool. I haven’t heard their second album so I can’t really speak on the quality of that one, but you should definitely give Fly School Reunion a listen.
Optimus Rhyme – Fuzzy Dice
Speaking of Seattle, here’s a more nerdy live hip hop group from the city. I’m hoping these guys don’t feel too out of place on this mix but they are honestly one of the few rap groups I really dig from the Northwest (sorry, but Seattle could really improve it’s hip hop game…). While the content from these guys is a bit more on the nerdy side, I still feel like their music is a bit more open in comparison to a lot of other “nerdcore” folks (I’ll be getting to this some day). The bass lines on this album are awesome and the two guys rapping aren’t bad at all either. There haven’t been any album releases since 2007, but I would check out their first album if you are feeling the track that concludes this mix.
Well that’s it! Good Stuff, Volume I. This has actually been quite a bit of work, so I’m hoping there are some people out there who might enjoy it. Feel free to listen on the player above or download and share the mix if you really like it. There are definitely more volumes to come. Check out the site often or follow @waxramble for more good stuff!