New Vinyls- Lou Reed(Metal Machine) + Plugz (Better Luck)

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So in the past two weeks I’ve bought three vinyls that I’ve been looking quite hard for. I haven’t given them the spins they deserve yet, but I’m getting there. While collecting records, I’ve realized I’ve become somewhat obsessed with getting the original/first pressing. That obviously makes my search a lot more expensive and tedious, but more exciting too. The feeling I get when I grab an original pressing with an 8 buck sticker at Ameoba is so rewarding (Black Flag-Damaged, Butthole Surfers-Brown Reason to Live…etc). Seeing them sold on E-bay for a lot more is also fun to see, but I have no interest in selling them. Beyond their obvious monatary value, I think there is a bit of romanticism in first pressings. It’s a piece of history. It’s what was released when the artist had no idea if more than 10 would sell. THAT, is exciting to me. Re-pressings just don’t hold that quality. I dont feel the same connection with the history in re-presses. That being said, below are my 3 recent purchases, one an original pressing, another an original German pressing, and the last a total repress.

Lou Reed-Metal Machine Musc(1975)

I’ve been looking for this sucker forever. The originals are selling on on Ebay for apx $100 , which is way out of my price range at this point. I was able to grab a German pressing though at the local Rockaway Records in Silverlake for $25. The monatary thing really shouldn’t be an issue, but my mother would be so proud(bargain shopping is one of her passions)! Anyhow, this record is considered one of the first defining moments in noise music. It consists of about 65 mins (2 LP’s) of soaring guitar feedback. It’s absoluely beautiful, blissful, chaotic and overwhelming all at the same time.

Some Question whether it was simply a slap in the face to his record company, or a piece of art. When asked about it, Lou Reed said “I was serious about it. I was also really, really stoned.”

Here is also a little clip from wiki that is also really interesting:

According to Reed (despite the original liner notes), the album entirely consists of guitar feedback played at different speeds. The two guitars were tuned in unusual ways and played with different reverb levels. He would then place the guitars in front of their amplifiers, and the feedback from the very large amps would vibrate the strings – the guitars were, effectively, playing themselves. He recorded the work on a four-track tape recorder in his New York apartment, mixing the four tracks for stereo. In its original form, each track occupied one side of an LP record and lasted exactly 16:01 minutes. The fourth side ended in a locked groove that caused the last 1.8 seconds of music to repeat endlessly. The rare 8-track tape version has no silence in between programs, so that it plays continuously without gaps on most players.

Get a sample:

Plugz- Better Luck (1981)

I am really glad I found this. These guys were amazing. Straight out of LA, one of the first Latino punk bands. This album is their second and final LP, following their tremendous Debut Electrify Me. This album is a lot less punky, but still just as catchy, using a really unique mixture of punk and latin music. I never hear any talk about these guys, and wish more people knew about them. The only reason I know about them is from The Repo Man Soundtrack, which was a pretty cool punk soundtrack including Black Flag and The Circle Jerks to name a few. I remember first hearing El Clavo Y La Cruz on The Repo Man Soundtrack, and asking myself what the hell was I listening to. I really dig their sound. If anybody finds an Electrify Me, notify me immediately.

So I first saw this album on Ebay a few months ago. I didn’t bid on it, but I did note that the seller was a record store in NYC called Gimme Gimme Records ( ). When I went home for the Whitney a week ago, I decided to pop my head in. This store is totally awesome. First off, their hours are Fr & Sat 1-10pm, and Sun 1-7pm. That’s it! This is clearly a one man operation. I feel like it was straight out of High Fidelity. Really great collection of everything. My friend Jake was more than satisfied with their Folk selection, while I was with their Punk section. They had what looked like a first pressing of The Germs G.I., but I decided to limit myself and go with the Plugz instead. I didn’t really expect to see this guy have another copy after the ebay sale, but i was happily suprised. It was still in its original wrapping! He said that he actually had a fat stack of ’em. Anyhow this shop is terrific, put Other music to shame. I feel like these kinds of places won’t exist in 30 years. If you are in NYC, and love records, this place is a no-brainer.

Sample El Clavo y La Cruz and more here: (

I totally decided to hold off on the 3rd album for later. this takes too long.



Written by RocksRocksRocks

March 21, 2008 at 10:36 pm

One Response

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  1. M,It’s AC from NCC.. your dad turned me on to your blog…I’m digging this…I’m a proud owner of Lou’s MMM and Rock n Roll animal era stuff on vinyl, and your column is going to propel me to go into the basement and blow the dust off this stuff….although I don’t buy Lou’s call that it was serious. He’s playing in Asbury Park soon and I’m planning on seeing him live for the first time in about 30 years.

    Here’s a challenge- go find some ’80’s vintage John Trubee and the Ugly Janitors of America vinyl. Disturbing, primitive, violent…funny. You may appreciate it.

    Hope all is well, and keep writing.


    March 30, 2008 at 3:38 pm

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