A review of the “Chinese Food” cassette EP by Flag of Democracy (F.O.D.), scanned from MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL issue number 5, March-April 1983. The review was written by Tim Yohannan.
Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public.
This page consists of sample findings and excerpts. It is also an account of the contents of my home and digital files from my camera. If you have suggestions, have a collection you want to share, or are in Chicago and would like to see something in person, please contact me. This blog is intended as a casual, more personal supplement to the main Public Collectors website.
Public Collectors is maintained by Marc Fischer.
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I’m not sure that I saved anyone’s life, but thanks to Ken Wong of the show Reality Radio, I was a DJ last night on WLUW (88.7 FM in Chicago at Loyola University). I brought only records - not an MP3 in sight. You can listen to my entire set here.
Despite my longtime love of vinyl, I had never actually used a two turntable (and a microphone) set up with a mixer before in my life. Ken spent about 3 minutes showing me how to use the station’s janky equipment and then I started spinning, live on the air. That this set wasn’t a complete train wreck is pretty amazing.
In addition to playing everything listed above, I told some stories about some of the albums and how I discovered them. Thank you again to Ken Wong for this great opportunity. And definitely check out Reality Radio sometime. You can listen live via streaming online. Ken has some of the deepest knowledge of obscure music of anyone I’ve ever met and it was a true honor to be considered worthy of a visit to his show. He is a Chicago treasure.
Public Collectors takes to the airwaves! Today, Tuesday, June 3rd, I’ll be a guest DJ on WLUW thanks to Ken Wong. Ken’s show runs from 10pm-12am Central Standard Time on WLUW, 88.7FM. You can listen online via streaming at www.wluw.org. Ken will start off for the first half hour and then I’ll DJ (playing vinyl only) for about the next 1 1/2 hours.
Above are some of the records I’m bringing. The emphasis will be on the heavier, louder and international side of things with Japanese hardcore, Croatian noise rock, Hungarian metal, Italian hardcore and prog, obscure American hard rock from the 70s, and more.
I did a double take when I spotted this Andre Kostelanetz record at the flea market this morning. I flipped it over and the other side is blank. Yep, someone made this cover themselves. Never underestimate the potential of a Francophile with a box of watercolors!
The front of a stapled together press kit for the album Don’t Laugh, You’re Next by the Lincoln, Nebraska-based trio Mannequin Beach. From 1988, on Mordam Records. This is a powerful record, filled with dark, emotional singing and lyrics, and truly imaginative songs with great crazy guitar playing. No one sounds quite like this band, though aspects of their music resemble the Dead Kennedys, Victims Family, and NoMeansNo. They made one album and that’s it. I’ve long suspected that I’m one of the very few people that have ever cared about this group. I have no idea why they weren’t more popular. Maybe they never toured? Maybe people don’t like poorly designed album covers with photos of roadkill on the front? I never got to see them live but I’ve been carting around my used copy of this record since about a year after it was released. You can listen to one sample song here.
Wanted: Swap-O-Rama Stories!
If you have followed Public Collectors on Tumblr for a while, you know that I have a longstanding obsession with Swap-O-Rama on Ashland Avenue in Chicago. I’m seeking your stories about Swap-O-Rama for inclusion within a longer essay in an upcoming Public Collectors book (more details on that soon). I’m specifically interested in the Swap on Ashland.
In addition to stories about interesting things you’ve found, I’d like to hear reflections on the social, political, experiential, and emotional spaces of Swap, and encounters you’ve had with the vendors that work there. If you visited Swap back in the 1980s or 90s and have observed changes over time, I’d love to hear your reflections on what might be different now, as well as what may have remained constant
Please contact me here to share your stories. Thank you, and feel free to reblog this call for participation!
I picked up this odd private label record at a garage sale in my neighborhood. The name of the band is actually Silk ‘N Satin and “Request” is the title of the album, on Grand Illusion Records, from 1981. The album mostly features covers and is largely not to my taste. I’m definitely not a Santana fan but here is a rip of their cover of “Europa.” On a beautifully sunny day, I was kind of feeling this, and it definitely heats up toward the end of the song.