Check this out: a 31-year-old white guy bought a record! I like to break hard news here on the blog. I went to the D.C. Record Fair last weekend and sprung for the early bird admission. Shouldering my way in among the crates, I snagged a couple of Smiths singles and about exhausted my budget, but found room in my backpack for an original pressing of fIREHOSE's Ragin', Full On (1986), sold on it because it came complete with original press kit. As a record, Ragin' is OK. Nearly impossible to consider without its context as the first record the remaining Minutemen made after D. Boon's death, it's got some grit and fire and funk and MIke Watt's grieving soul and probably raged pretty well live.
But as an artifact, Ragin', Full On is 80s indie archaeology. The sleeve, art, and press clipping tell the story of an ambitious band and label (SST) when DIY was still the only way to go for these endeavors.