Sunday, April 20, 2014

Record Store Day: The Flip Side

Easter was not the only holiday to celebrate this weekend. For may of us, there was another: Record Store Day. Depennding on what type of record collector you are, you probably saw this holiday one of two ways:

1. A glorious festival, where new music abounded in the form of limited-edition pressings of great bands. You and your friends got together and perhaps even made new friends, and y'allz had a fabulous time helping keep your mom 'n' pop music shop in business just a little longer. You might have even camped out in front of that store for a place in line when they opened, like this guy and his brother did.

2. Main Street's equivalent of Black Friday. Maddening throngs lining up just after midnight oustide of stores that could probably fit inside your apartment, fighting over music you'd either only own for its collector's value or its value on eBay. IF the store didn't out of what you wanted 10 minuted after they opened. You could do without it. You're not the only one who feels that way.

As for me, I see the whole thing with a detached indifference. I applaud the record stores for joining together and having one special day a year to remind us they're still around and have great things to offer. As I said in my last post, a record store done right is a beautiful thing. Problem is, ever since my record store closed down, I haven't been able to recapture that beauty at other stores.

Also, I'm not all that into new music. Sure, I listen to it, and I enjoy it, but I confess: those few times I buy current music, it's on CD. Vinyl is for the older stuff.

And speaking of older stuff, there's no shortage of it at thrift stores. As an inveterate thrifter, you better know I've seen my share of Your Grandparents' Grooves. A&M might as well stand for Andy Williams & Mantovani. But if you dig past all that, you'll find untold treasure. I've found (and bought) rare soul 45s that sell for over $200. Test pressings from record companies. Albums "sung" by celebrities. Radio shows and commercials. Muzak albums (from when Muzak was synonymous with elevator music). TV and movie soundtracks galore. All for a dollar or less. And just about all of them in very good condition or better. I bet if I got them all at record stores, I couldn't pay less than $10 for any one of those types of records. And if I happened to be looking for them, I'd likely have to wait a good long time before my record store was able to find them.

Don't get me wrong: record stores provide a great service to those who need them. My collecting style dictates that while a record store is nice for me to have, I don't exactly need one.

So if you were out yesterday, enjoy that copy of whatever RSD special I saved for you.

Did you celebrate RSD14? Did you sit it out? Which side of the fence are you on?

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Fools Of April #2: Short Cuts

I know those last couple of songs were a little rough. So I'm gonna go easy on you this time. Three mercifully quick ones..."edited to fit this screen and run in the time allotted," as they say on TV.

"There's a girl right next to you, and she's just waiting for something to do." But she won't be waiting long...because there's at least a verse and a half missing from this song!

Hey...what is this? No, really. What IS this? It might be half a song by Free. Just long enough to feature a moment of self-discovery not in the original version of the song.

I beg your pardon...I never promised you this Lynn Anderson song. So you'll have to hear some other lady sing it instead.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Fools Of April

What's worse: the ides of March...or the fools of April? Come back to this blog often enough and I bet you'll say it's the latter. There's a whole slew of bad, weird and otherwise unusual music waiting to knock you silly this month. And the first of it is right here in this post. I'd preface this but it would ruin the surprise. And boy will you be surprised.

Yep...that's the uneasiest rider ever. Somehow the song takes on a whole new meaning when that guy does it. It's from one of the many soundalike albums from QMO Sales, a prime perpetrator of those "as-seen-on-TV" records. Not as well known as K-Tel, Ronco or Adam-7, QMO certainly was prolific. Groups like Northern Lights and The Sound Effects (heard here) got together and did an album of the day's hits every season or so. When they weren't screwing around with inflection, they were messing up words...or just singing along to the song they were covering. On some songs they managed to do both. Listen all the way through, if you can stand to:

Just so you know, there's more - a LOT more - where these came from. They may not all be quite like this...but they're gonna be here sooner or later.