Much of my calendar year, every year, is spent sifting through record store bargain bins, estate sales, etc. and digging into the acquisitions. I win some and lose some, but I never write about it on AuxOut even though it accounts for a huge portion of my listening and discovery. In honor of the season of presents, I am celebrating some of the gifts bestowed upon me by the record gods during 2023.
Monday, December 25, 2023
The 25 Bargain Buys of Xmas: Day 25
This is a great record. I'm partial to Sweetheart of the Rodeo, but of the truly "Byrdsy" Byrds records, Fifth Dimension towers above the rest. It's got their most iconic song, if not their most famous, (psychedelic monolith "Eight Miles High") and plenty of other good tunes. Before I grabbed this, I already knew some of these songs from the Greatest Hits LP we've had around the house for years, and they're wonderful, but "What's Happening?!?!" knocked me out the first time I played this record. I'm writing about this LP just so I can write about this song. It sounds likes 80s/90s indie rock was birthed a couple decades prior. To me, anyway. Melodic, catchy but reluctantly so. Total slacker vibe. There's not even a verse-chorus structure, or really any structure. It's just a melodic refrain taking turns with dueling guitar leads with some unobtrusive but infectious ticka-tacka drumming. Total bubblegum for the underground rock crowd in my book. David Crosby serves as the regular Byrds whipping boy (and rightly so!) but I have to give credit where it's due. "What's Happening?!?!" is a solo Crosby writing credit, and it's one of the best, most forward thinking Byrd tunes in their canon. Cheers Davey boy, thanks for your contributions.
A playlist of tunes from each of the records I wrote about, I'll add a new song each day: