Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Found For $1: Peppermint Stick Parade

I've always been a big advocate of scouring record store bargain bins. That is in part because I'm cheap, but also because I enjoy the feeling of surprise when you turn up something really cool among the discarded Boston LPs and Hanson CDs (that's actually how I found my original pressing of The Velvet Underground's White Light/White Heat).

Recently I found a CD called Peppermint Stick Parade, a compilation of singles released on Iowa's Bus Stop label, nestled among the $1 flotsam and jetsam. It's a real treat for anyone who is a fan of Velvet Crush with no less than 8 tracks by such V.C. related acts as Bag-O-Shells, Honeybunch, The Stupid Cupids, The Springfields, Paulie Chastain, and Velvet Crush themselves.

I really do hope there is another CD compilation of early Menck/Chastain stuff in the works, because between Paul's Halo EP and stray cuts by The Stupid Cupids, Bag-O-Shells, etc. there is a lot more tuneful ground left to be covered. If you don't already have them, Hey Wimpus and The Ballad of Ric Menck are essential purchases for fans of 60s flavored pop music (I know I've mentioned this before, but that doesn't make it any less true).

These two tracks from Bag-O-Shells have yet to be released on CD anywhere oustside this rather obscure compilation. They're both killer cuts. In fact, I'd rank "Whatever Happened To My Life" right up there with the best tunes on any Velvet Crush album--it's that good. Not bad for a buck. Sometimes checking the bargain bins pays off.


Kayon said...

I've been checking out your nuggets of coolness for some time now, but haven't felt compelled to comment 'til now. Maybe it's because "Whatever Happened To My Life" is a catchy tune with lyrics that speak to my current state of mind. Or perhaps it's my fond memories of turning through resale shop bins of musty albums in search of buried treasure. Either way, I want to thank you for giving new life to worthy music whose time would otherwise pass unnoticed. Oh, and have a scintillating Solstice.

Pete Bilderback said...


Thank you very much for the kind words, I can tell that you have been a long-time reader. We all have those "Whatever Happened To My Life" states of mind from time to time. The good news is they pass. Wishing you and yours a Scintillating Solstice as well.


Jon said...

I'm the same. Good find. Mind you, I'd have been happy with a Boston CD for $1!