For a few years I was really into collecting coins. Lack of time and lack of money (ironically) preclude me from pursuing the hobby any further for now, but I still appreciate some of the classics. Like the so-called Buffalo Nickel, designed by James Earle Fraser and minted in the United States from 1913 to 1938. Timeless and utterly American, no? So imagine my glee when I spotted the cover to the latest album from Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau, In Farm We Trust. Very nice indeed. Looks like they used the more recent 24-karat American Buffalo gold coin as the template, but that design looks great either way.
Surf's Up? Isn't that a Beach Boys album? Well sure, it's the middle of January and as I look out my window there is snow on the ground. But as far as I'm concerned any time of year is a good time to talk about the lads from Hawthorne, California. By the time of this album's release in August 1971, the salad days of the Beach Boys seemed like a distant memory. Brian Wilson, the main creative force behind the group since its founding 10 years prior, had fallen deeper into into drug use and depression. Younger brother Carl has assumed his place of prominence within the Beach Boys. After releasing a series of commercially disappointing records (including the excellent Sunflower in 1970) the Beach Boys hired DJ Jack Rieley as their new manager. Rieley set about to reverse the band'