Robert Wm. Gomez's

Come Spy With Us by Various Artists (10/10)

Format: 
CD

This is a great compilation of mostly 60's era spy movie theme songs (and a few T.V. series themes too). Making a good case for still buying physical media, it features an informative, picture-filled and booklet. Not all of the tracks are the original versions—I suspect there were rights issues—but the replacement choices are good: The Challengers, The Ventures and Johnny & The Hurricanes.

Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg (8/10)

The thesis here is that, despite the constant cries of "fascism" when talking about right-wing policies, the real heirs of fascism are those on the progressive left. Liberals will probably take offense to this, but those of us who have read The Road to Serfdom will respond with, "No duh." The book is chocked full of comparisons between (mostly) early Twentieth Century progressives' political aspirations and those of the Italian and German fascists of the same era.

Trio by Trio (10/10)

Format: 
CD

This was a weird import CD when I got it and it turns out there are about two dozen versions of this release in various formats. I always assumed it was a greatest hits compilation since just about every song is great, but I guess this is their first record. Wonderfully minimalist rock that, in hindsight, was extremely influential on many of the indie rock bands I love. The music really skirts the line between novelty songs and serious art rock.

The Great Lost Trashmen Album! by Trashmen, The (9/10)

Format: 
CD

Another fine collection of Trashmen recordings. Not much to add here except that these were all previously unreleased and there's only one bird themed song included.

Tube City! The Best of the Trashmen! by Trashmen, The (9/10)

Format: 
CD

The Trashmen were a standout band from the surf era known mostly for their hit, "Surfin' Bird." That single captures much of the appeal of the band. They are at their best when they are going crazy and having goofy fun. They will often fall back into covering rock standards like "It's So Easy" and the result is never as good when they're doing their own crazy thing. Fortunately, they maintain a high level of stupidity through most of this disc. Oh, and the liner notes are fantastic.

Godzilla [2014] (7/10)

Well, like everyone else who saw this movie, I think the first quarter is very good, mostly because Brian Cranston's character is actually interesting. The rest of the film is by-the-numbers summer faire. The characters are merely signposts to get us from one plot point/set piece to the next. The monster battles are very well done so I guess characters and solid plotting don't really matter. Just sit back and watch the cool battles and be nauseated by the 3-D crap.

Singles 83/84 by Toy Dolls (9/10)

Format: 
CD

This CD compiles four of the band's early 7" singles. This was when the Toy Dolls were at their punkiest. So, despite its short length, Singles 83/84 is good collection of tunes that fills a few gaps missing from the early LPs.

Twenty-Two Tunes Live From Tokyo by Toy Dolls (8/10)

Format: 
CD

Another new record label and another quick cash in on the band's older songs. This time it's a live set from the Wakey Wakey tour. While there's nothing wrong with this, an actual greatest hits record would be a better purchase.