Notes From Record Store Day!

rsd091Here’s an attempt at “live blogging”. Since I don’t consider this a blog (it’s a website, god-dammit!) and the website doesn’t necessarily support live blogging, I’m gonna do it like a LiveJournal type of entry, with a down-to-the-minute play-by-play of the day, with the whole “Listening To” thing and all. And I’m tracking the miles I put on the car. So nothing’s gonna be left out. Mostly it’ll be a stream of consciousness thing. I’m also (trying) to tweet the whole thing via my cellular, but as my Twitter habits have been- I usually forget…

Here goes:

11:23 am @ My house, pulling records out that have to be cleared for new arrivals. Mostly newer stuff, things that I don’t really need (have ’em digitally also).

Listening to: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

11:34 am @ 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, 40th & Webster, Oakland

Traded in: Nas – Illmatic, The Shins – Oh, Inverted World, Dirty Projectors – New Attitude EP, Ratatat – Classics, Beirut – The Flying Club Cup and A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders

Store credit: $27.00

Picked up: Jay Reatard / Sonic Youth split 7″

Bruce Springsteen 7″ (for Julie)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Yanqui U.X.O. 2xLP

spent: $3.83

Apparently that Jack White (from the White Stripes) and Alison Mossheart (VV from The Kills) project called Dead Weather‘s 7″ wasn’t ready in time for today, which Julie really wanted. So I got her the Bruce Springsteen instead…

12:30 PM – Now let’s take a drive through Berkeley and pass both Amoeba and Rasputin on Telegraph Ave. to see what’s up. (12:33 PM) Eh, not as crazy as I thought. The “in-stores” aren’t happening yet, so let’s check back with them as Silversun Pickups (Rasputin @ 4 pm) and Yoni Wolf of Why? spins a DJ set (Amoeba @ 4 PM).

Listening to: Question Mark & The Mysterians – 96 Tears: 30 Original Recordings (1966-69)

Next stop: 1:16 PM @ Mod Lang Records, El Cerrito

Mod Lang is a small record shop behind like this nail salon that has an awesome selection of used 60s and 70s rock LPs for decent prices, also a lot of really rare vinyl. It’s like my entire (old) record collection (the one I sadly had to leave behind in Philly…) is in this store. So I’m trying to rebuild it, piece by piece- except for all the records I had that I didn’t want (all the “yard sale” finds where I was like, “Yeah, I’ll take this whole/box crate away for twenty bucks…” and it turned out to be full of Supertramp, James Taylor, yadda yadda yadda.)

Picked up: CSNY – Deja Vu, The Who – Quadrophenia (2xLP with full booklet!), Neil Young – After The Gold Rush, Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska, Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings And Food, Jethro Tull – Aqualung, Neil Young – Harvest, The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour, John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy and Willie Nelson – Stardust

total spent: $51.36

Since I spent more than fifty bills; I got a free Record Store Day sampler LP with songs (and remixes) by the likes of MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, Q-Tip, Charles Mingus and a Willie Nelson version of Kris Kristofferson‘s Sunday Morning Coming Down. Not bad. Oh, I also got a whoopee cushion and an Iggy Pop button. I was there an hour, too. My wishlist is getting out of control…

Alright, back to the car @ 2:15- I gotta head home. This traffic blows.

Listening To: MC5 – Kick Out The Jams (1969)

Home for like twenty minutes, just to getta cuppa coffee, let the doggy out, smoke some cigs, transcribe this here (2:45 PM) and get back out there…

Listening To: Otis Redding – The Ultimate Otis Redding (1964-67)

Also; if you haven’t figured it out yet, the musical theme of the day is the 1960s.

3:00 PM – Leaving for those two Telegraph Avenue stores…

Listening to: Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde (1966)

3:26 PM @ Rasputin Music

Oh, christ. This place is an absolute mobscene. You know what? I’m outta here; I don’t even like the Silversun Pickups. Rasputin’s staff is kind of pushy today, but that’s to be expected when there’s an in-store, but I’m getting all anxious and shit.

3:31 PM @ Amoeba Music

Ahhhhh, much better. Let’s see, what do I need? Oooh, a 180 gram vinyl, double LP of Captain Beefheart‘s Trout Mask Replica? Damn, I used to have this- an original pressing, too. I get misty-eyed when I think about my “old” collection. Maybe some I’ll pick up some VU as well. Hmmm- jazz! Yeah, Amoeba’s jazz section is tight. Okay, oh, shit! This Stephane Grappelli / David Grisman live record- I had this on CD like ten years ago! Oh I should get it… Lemme see if they got Dave Brubeck‘s Take Five (one of the greatest songs ever written). Oh wait, lemme check the I-Rock section for some weird foreign shit. Where’s the Can at? And the Neu!? Does Amoeba have a krautrock section? They have everything. Best record store in the world. Okay, let’s put all this shit back, I’m about to spend sixty bucks when I don’t really need to…

4:15 PM – on the road again; headed to San Francisco now for Aquarius Records and the SF Amoeba.

Listening to: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle I (1968-72) and Desmond DekkerIsraelites: The Best Of Desmond Dekker (1963-1971)

I got to listen to almost two full albums because of the damn bridge traffic; this effectively cuts out Amoeba SF ‘cuz there ain’t no way in hell I’m driving into the Haight now. So, let’s just go to Aquarius in the Mish…

5:20 PM @ Aquarius Records

Man, this place has all the kooky shit; experimental and out-sounds galore. My old room-mate told me about this place a while back, they did some nice write-ups for a few of his albums (Petit Mal) a couple years back. Anyway, after digging for about a half hour, I figured I’m gonna go “blind”; my term for buying a record I haven’t heard and know nothing about. I found Kurt Vile‘s Constant Hitmaker (from Woodsist Records) in the U-V-W stack; I know Kurt Vile– saw him play at Philly’s Khyber years ago, opening up for his other project The War On Drugs when I was writing for a local Philly magazine. I interviewed him but it was pretty incomprehensible- as is his music; confrontational, psychedelic-infused drone folk-rock (right up my alley). So I bought that record (not completely blind, maybe just “legally blind”?), but had to ask the dudes working there what we’ve been listening to since I walked in.

“Oh, this is El Guincho‘s Alegranza” replied the clerk.

“You got this on vinyl?” I wondered aloud.

“Not right now, but we can order you a copy and give you a call when it comes in…”

Numbers were exchanged, and I felt some excitement. I love having shit special ordered for me; I used to make Repo Records (when it was still in Bryn Mawr, PA) order shit for me all the time and getting that surprise phonecall a few weeks later. Thanks, Aquarius!

total spent: $16.40

Okay, back to the car @ 6:00 PM. More traffic! Listening to: Them – The Story of Them featuring Van Morrison (1964-71) and The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)

Okay, total money spent: $71.59

Miles driven: 48.2

Minutes late to dinner: 21

The experience of participating in Record Store Day: priceless*

All in all, it was pretty rad; next year I’ll start earlier and have an actual route planned out instead of my slap-dash buffoonery and half-assed Mapquesting and whatnot, and try to plan it around in-store appearances and all that. I’m kind of bummed I didn’t get to see Aesop Rock spin some discs, I’m betting his DJ set was pretty off the hook. Oh, well…

Also, I hope you got a chance to get out to your local record store yesterday.

* – I had to use this tired-ass cliche, sorry…

Satch Plays Fats

Hmm… quite a story for how this album ended up in my collection. This record, among many others were acquired with a price. Funny thing is that they were advertised as free. It all started when my older brother explained to me that his boss had a huge record collection that he “wanted to get rid of.” Unfortunately, he neglected to tell me was that his boss lived in La Honda (an hour southwest of San Francisco in the middle of the F#*@ing trees). He also neglected to tell me that he had a lunatic wife and a lunatic dog.

After my brother’s boss busted out the 3 boxes of LPs despite the promised “8 or so,” we looked through them. The original deal was that we could take them for free but we had to take all of them as opposed to some. Fair enough. It was then that the boss’s wife proceeded to explain that she wanted us to make her a digital copy of each of the records. Hmm, yeah, I dunno. Not sure if she really knew what that would entail. She seemed fine with the prospect of not having all the records digitized as long as we did some of them and as long as we let her talk about her Ph.D, her chickens, and her dream house that she and her husband lived in. In freakin’ La Honda. So, my brother and I hung around and talked with his boss’ wife for quite some time and played with their boxer Suzie who was getting increasingly more excited with each passing minute. By the end of the afternoon, she was literally leaping on top of my face. We decided it was time to go when their neighbor Larry, who proudly rocks a Confederate flag over his house and a set of yellow teeth in his mouth, showed up with a bottle of wine.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I had a great time, and quite a laugh. However, the combination of a vastly overexaggerated collection of records, a dog that had clearly done a pound of blow before we got there, and a host who was enthusiastically talking about her chicken coop for 30 minutes was definitely and interesting one to say the least.

In the end, I scored a big chunk of great records including this one:

satch

Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars play all Fats Waller songs. Here are two of them:

I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING – Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars

ALL THAT MEAT AND NO POTATOES – Louis Armstrong & His All-Stars

It really was a good experience for me. I mean, as a parting gift, we were given pumpkin butter, tangerine marmalade, and a dozen fertilized eggs… I’m tellin’ you, all you gotta do is travel 30 or 40 minutes outside San Francisco in any direction and you meet the strangest people.

Here’s a bonus Fat’s Waller video of him playing “Joint Is Jumping”

Record Store Day! April 18th, 2009

rsd09From www.recordstoreday.com:

The original idea for Record Store Day was conceived by Chris Brown, and was founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner as a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA, and hundreds of similar stores internationally.

This is the one day that all of the independently owned record stores come together with artists to celebrate the art of music. Special vinyl and CD releases and various promotional products are made exclusively for the day and hundreds of artists in the United States and in various countries across the globe make special appearances and performances. Festivities include performances, cook-outs, body painting, meet & greets with artists, parades, djs spinning records and on and on. Metallica officially kicked off Record Store Day at Rasputin Music in San Franscisco on April 19, 2008 and Record Store Day is now celebrated the third Saturday every April.

Record Store Day is currently managed by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Scott Register, and Carrie Colliton. Folks wanting to contact Record Store Day are encouraged to email us at information@recordstoreday.com

NOTE:
A Record Store Day participating store is defined as a physical retailer whose product line consists of at least 50% music retail, whose company is not publicly traded and whose ownership is at least 70% located in the state of operation. (In other words, we’re dealing with real, live, physical, indie record stores—not online retailers or corporate behemoths.)

Special releases:

Akron/Family: “Everyone Is Guilty”

Dan Auerbach: Keep It Hid LP

Andrew Bird/Loney Dear split 7″

Bad Religion: Bad Religion 7″

Black Kids: Wizard of Ahhhs 10″

Black Moth Super Rainbow: “Born on a Day”

Blitzen Trapper: “War Is Placebo”

Booker T.: “Warped Sister” 7″

Camera Obscura: “French Navy” 7″

Brandi Carlile: “Downpour” 7″

Leonard Cohen: “The Future” 7″

Cold War Kids: Live at Fingerprints CD EP

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Deja Vu Live 2LP

Cursive/Ladyfinger(ne) split 10″ picture disc

Dandy Warhols: Earth to the Remix E.P. Volume Two CD

Dead Weather – Hang You From the Heavens 7″

The Decemberists: “The Rake’s Song” 7″

Depeche Mode – Wrong 7″

Bob Dylan: “Dreamin’ of You” 7″

Flaming Lips/Black Keys split 7″

Flight of the Conchords: “Pencils in the Wind”

Gomez: “Airstream Driver” 7″

Grizzly Bear: “While You Wait for the Others” / “He Hit Me” (Live on KCRW 7″)

Guided By Voices: Hold on Hope LP (appending the Plugs for the Program EP)

Iron & Wine: live CD

Jane’s Addiction: “Mountain Song” 7″

Jenny Lewis: “Carpetbaggers” 7″

Jesus Lizard: “Inch” 9×7″ box set

Lykke Li/El Perro Del Mar split 7″

Magnolia Electric Co.: “It’s Made Me Cry”

MC5: “Kick Out the Jams” 7″

My Morning Jacket: Celebración De La Ciudad Natal CD

Obits: “I Can’t Lose”

Pavement: Live in Cologne 1997 LP

Russian Circles/These Arms Are Snakes split 12″

The Smiths: “The Headmaster Ritual” 7″

Sonic Youth/Beck split 7″

Sonic Youth/Jay Reatard split 7″

Regina Spektor: Begin To Hope 2xLP

Bruce Springsteen: “What Love Can Do” 7″

The Stooges: “1969” 7″

The Thermals/Thao With the Get Down Stay Down split 7″

Various Artists: Blood on the Tracks LP

Various Artists: History of Def Jam 4xLP

Various Artists: Records Toreism LP [Thrill Jockey]

Various Artists: This LP Crashes Hard Drives LP [Numero Group]

Vetiver: “Wishing Well”

Tom Waits: Live 7″

Whiskeytown: “San Antone”

Neil Young: Sugar Mountain 2xLP 200 gram vinyl

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE LIST OF RELEASES


The Musicologists Readers’ Local Stores*:

Oakland, CA

1-2-3-4 Go! Records

Berkeley, CA

Amoeba Music (Yoni Wolf of Why?- DJ set @ 4 PM)

Rasputin Music (Silversun Pickups Live In-Store set @ 4 PM)

El Cerrito, CA

Mod Lang

San Francisco, CA

Amoeba Music (DJ sets from: John Vanderslice @ 4 PM, Aesop Rock @ 5 PM, many more!)

Aquarius Records

Creative Music

Hollywood, CA

Amoeba Music (Wendy & Lisa DJ set @ 1 PM)

Philadelphia, PA

A.K.A. Records

Repo Records

Tequila Sunrise Records

New York City, NY

Bleecker Street Records

Gimme Gimme Records

Good Records NYC

Other Music

Brooklyn, NY

Academy Records Annex

Halcyon The Shop

London, UK

Pure Groove

Rough Trade East/West

Durham, NC

Bull City Records

Offbeat Music

Lousiville, KY

Ear X-Tacy

Underground Sounds

Boston, MA

Newbury Comics

Chicago, IL

Dave’s Records

Hard Boiled Records

Laurie’s Planet Of Sound

Paris, France

Groove Store

* – based on number of visits from our Google Analytics tracker. If you don’t see your city listed here, you should’ve visited this website more. Suckers. We know where you live; and I’m pretty pissed off at the entire state of New Jersey- we’ve gotten more visits from Canada than you. And more people from each of the following countries: France, Germany and Australia than Oregon. More people from Indonesia have visited this site than Montana, Idaho, both Dakotas, Wyoming, New Mexico, Kansas, Arkansas, Delaware and Rhode Island COMBINED. These states all suck.

But seriously, just get your ass out to a local independent record shop on April 18th. That’s a Saturday, I know you’re not working…

Wavves @ Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco- April 13th, 2009

Wavves

with Vampire Hands & That Ghost

Bottom Of The Hill, San Francisco, CA

April 13th, 2009

Oh, the kids were out late on a school night! Another all-ages show at the Bottom Of The Hill, and I gotta say for whatever reason people hate teenagers, they sure bring the energy. WavvesNathan Williams (and tour drummer Ryan Ulsh) matched the crowd’s ferocious, raw, “young-dumb-and-full-of-cum” vibe with forty minutes of straight-ahead, balls-to-the-wall intensity; tearing through songs with distorted riffs for days and pounded kit-skins as the pit surged and buckled against itself (as well as the stage).

Wavves‘ sound on the records is a fuzzy, feedback driven murk with vocals pushed way down in the mix. Not so as a live act; Williams‘ vocals were intelligible and at the front of the mix, the layers of fuzz were stripped away (I’m not saying the guitar was “clean”, just less rough around the edges) and the drumming was nothing short of explosive.

Openers That Ghost (from nearby Santa Rosa) and Vampire Hands (Minneapolis, represent!) were also excellent; a fine pairing to match Wavves‘ sound. Two more bands I’m going to go ahead and give an endorsement for; I’m looking forward to hearing more from these two bands.

Pictures!

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Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy @ The Fillmore, San Francisco- March 30th, 2009

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy

with Pillars & Tongues

The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA

March 30th, 2009


You know, I have unrealistic expectations of music.

I imagine there’s supposed to be this community built up around albums and musicians; you may have gathered as a reader of this website that this is a community I love very much and I take very seriously (most of the time). I have what you might say is an un-natural attachment to music, this attachment is so important and vital to me that I actually write about it for free. I think it’s because I don’t have a whole lot of passion for many other things; when you find something as authentic as the feeling music creates inside you, then you just gravitate towards that and life works itself out in the meantime.

There’s a strong bond that’s supposed to be formed between artist and listener; probably because when it’s made from the heart there’s a whole set of real emotions attached to creating music and then performing it- which is why I attend concerts in the first place, why I more or less “get off” on it.

Will Oldham is so acutely aware of the bond he’s created with his fans, so in tune with his art and the feeling it gives that there’s no doubt in my mind it’s just as amazing an experience for him to let us into his world as it is for us to let him in to ours. (That’s a pretty awkward sentence but I can’t re-word it to actively convey what it is I’m trying to say; I guess I’m muddling the whole thing with too many words…)

Anyway, Monday night at The Fillmore was one of those moments when the circuit was completed- performer and audience in communion as one. I’ve read that Will Oldham created his Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy character out of the necessity for creating a space where he can step outside his normal world and “be” an actor while on stage, in order to deliver the best performance possible. Says the Bonnie persona in a recent interview:

I think it was just created by the fact that there was “somebody” being interacted with that I started to recognize. There were two things… people treating a person as a person but I didn’t know that there was a person yet.

Part actor, part musician, part comedian; Will (or Bonnie) gave the best performance he could possibly bring- he was bright, funny, serious, sad, mellow, excitable- in short, I got what I paid for. And more, courtesy of the superb supporting cast: Cheyenne Mize on vocals and violin, Josh Abrams on bass, Jim White on drums, Emmett Kelly on guitar and Jon Kempf on mandolin. Also, openers Pillars & Tongues helped out on the encore.

No setlist- I was too much into being a fan and enjoying myself to try to keep an accurate list of songs. Someone probably is going to post it on setlist.fm.

I do have pics…

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