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Showing posts from April, 2008

Record Store Day, April 19, 2008: Final Score

(photo by Smart Wife ) The Take from Offbeat Records, Durham NC, 4/19/08 Warpaint - The Black Crowes Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus - Spirit Will the Circle Be Unbroken - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Volume Two - The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Stronger - Carlene Carter Be Still Please - Portastatic Coast to Coast Carpet of Love/Standard Gargoyle Decisions - Robert Pollard Take a Good Look - Fleshtones The Sound of Sound - Luaka Bop sampler a gift CD for a friend, the title of which I cannot divulge here Merge 7" 45 of "Madame Butterflies" - Destroyer b/w "Prodigy" - Wye Oak 2 buttons with the peace symbol in black and white What a great day! Some stuff I know (NGDB, Spirit), some bands I know ('tones, Crowes), some labels I like (Merge, Yep Roc, Luaka Bop), a record I'm on (Portastatic) and two entire records by Pollard (whom I figure I should really be more familiar with, considering his prodigious output and impressive melodie

Record Store Day, April 19, 2008

Saturday is Record Store Day . All my working life, when I wasn't playing music, I worked in record stores (or music departments of stores). It was the perfect job for a music geek like myself. All that incredibly trivial knowledge of songs, albums, bands, musicians, producers, liner notes and catalog numbers became valuable stuff, certainly better than boring people at parties with it. I was in my element. I could foist my own tastes on others, dissuade people from buying Chuck Berry's hits on Mercury Records and Everlys remakes on Warner Brothers. I got first dibs on the copy of Paris 1919 that came into the store. I could study the Phonolog and the Schwann catalog. I could do displays for Marshall Crenshaw's debut album after work and, as I stapled posters to the wall, know that Marshall, were he in my position, would undoubtedly be doing the same thing for me. The music mattered, and I got to be the conduit to the general populace, armed to the teeth with new re

My favorite note

It's hard for me to list a favorite album or song or singer because, truly, I love a broad swath of music. There are so many talented people out there, living and dead, whose songs have ingrained themselves in my soul that I'm sure I'd forget half the ones I'd put on a list. But I do have a favorite note. It's one note, and it's a doozy. Watching Happy Feet with the four-year-old reminded me yet again how wonderful the note is, even if my son's too busy watching penguins doing synchronized swim moves. In the beginning of the second verse of "Do It Again" by the Beach Boys, there is a rising tonic note that starts under the vocals and eventually eclipses everything in the mix for a moment before it subsides again near the end of the verse. It may be an organ, but I'm not absolutely sure. Maybe one of you people who know the inside workings of Brian Wilson's mind can help me with this. Whatever it is, it just radiates throughout the tr

Music in the air

"Music in the Air" is the first song we learned to play on our Tonettes . About sixty little people all tooting along on their quarter notes, some in tune but many not. I can still hear it on dark cold nights when my mind plays tricks on me. But most other nights, I just listen for music in the air. I'm lucky. I've lived in places where you could hear it. New Orleans was always that way; when I lived in Lakeview, one could hear the sounds of Jazzfest and Voodoo Fest. People with their car radios turned way up loud, passing by. The calliopes on the steamboats could be heard all the way up to the lake. You kind of expect that from New Orleans, with its historical devotion to its own music. New York, also, is full of music. I used to stand over the Max Neuhaus installation in Times Square , the eerie pipe tones that competed with taxis a story above on the street. The percussion of the pace of life there is a symphony of its own, how fast you walk, what accent

A gig on Saturday night with Sea Cow

I have been prompted by my friend Jeff Hart to give the correct information, so this post has been corrected. I have been invited by my friends in the band Sea Cow to open their show at the Broad Street Cafe on Saturday, April 12. They have also asked me to play with the band, so I'll be their guest for a lot of the set. If you haven't heard Sea Cow, you should. Their new CD The Vast Uncharted is a perfect introduction to a cool new band. They have a playful compositional streak a mile wide--fine, fun lyrics and twisted passing chords, all the sort of stuff I love to hear. Thus you may enjoy them too, so come down and listen as I get to add notes and tones, hitherto unimagined/unimaginable in the Sea Cow canon, but hopefully to the band and the audience's liking. I'll start pretty much straight up seven o'clock, and the band will follow. This show is a benefit for fifth grade students at Club Boulevard Humanities Magnet Elementary School who are raising mo

San Antonio/Bongo Joe

I flew into San Antonio, Texas this evening, later than planned due to weather in Florida that affected my flight from RDU via Memphis somehow. My Delta flights got moved to Northwest, a partner airline. Armed with a brand-new used copy of Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung and a charged-up iPod, I flew with college basketball fans from the Bluff City to the finals of the NCAA tournament. My own heart was heavy, aching from last night's spanking of the Tarheels by Kansas. I tried watching the game but became horribly crushed about five minutes into the first half and turned off the television. (Please bear in mind that I'm a Carolina fan that isn't of the rabid variety. I don't watch a lot of their games, and the ones I see are usually incomplete. But Tarheel basketball is as close as any of my friends come to seeing me as having some diluted form of a regular guy's understanding and love of sports.) Curiosity and, dammit, hope made me flip the set back on

Mod Podge

Mod Podge is forty years old, unchanged from its original packaging. I love the logo, mod as anything you can find on a shelf in 2008, and the colors of the label are bright enough to jump off the shelf by themselves. When I was in elementary school, one year our Christmas project was to make a box for our mothers, decoupaging a picture onto a small plywood rectangle we'd already painted. We used Mod Podge, and we used lots of it. It would have been a very new product at the time, so we were among the earliest users. My mother still has the box. Much like a lot of what my parents owned, it's out on display in the tv room. The Mod Podge is intact, forty years later like a cockroach's shell. They kept cigarettes in the box for years, though its two compartments were probably supposed to be for decks of cards. Now there's a collection of seashells my mother picked up at the beach. I'll spare you a picture of it, but take my word for it, the durability of the ha

Will's blog entry

Please be aware that Will Rigby , drummer for The dB's, has contributed a lengthy and interesting blog entry at the very fine Boogie Woogie Flu . Will's a talented writer, as you will learn from this entry. Somehow, it's vaulted "Kissy Boys" by Little Diesel into the top 20 tracks at the Hype Machine . I don't know how long that status will last, but better late than never.