What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Bryan Ferry - This Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Been the Sixth Roxy Music Album

In 1976, Roxy Music went on hiatus.   Up until that point, each LP was subtitled 'The xth Roxy Music Album'     1975's Siren was billed as 'The Fifth Roxy Music Album.'

Bryan Ferry went on to release his first solo LP to contain all original material.    Up until this point, his solo albums consisted solely of cover versions.

Bryan Ferry - In Your Mind (Polydor 1977)

In my humble opinion, this is a great record.  Players include many of the members of Roxy Music.  In the last few weeks, in anticipation of seeing two shows by Ferry, I found myself returning to this one a few times.   This should have been 'The Sixth Roxy Music Album'   If that were the case it would be held in higher regard today.

Photo of Bryan replaced the retro cheesecake models that adorned the typical Roxy Music covers.

And we get the use of typewriter font throughout  Even on the label.

Ferry released one more solo album - The Bride Stripped Bare - before Roxy Music reconvened in 1979 with Manifesto.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Annette Funicello - Italiannette and Costco Encounter.

Annette Funicello started out as a Mousekateer.   Prior to donning a bathing suit and appearing beach party movies (and making some pretty bitchen records) Annette was beholden to Disney.

So here we have one of those Disney records exploiting her Italian heritage.

Annette - Italiannette (Buena Visa 1960)

The rear cover is a bit torn up.  This record was in the dollar bin at The Last Bookstore in Los Angeles.  We're treated to a picture of Annette eating Pizza.

And rare for survival these days - the record included the original inner sleeve.  Annette seems to be in a transition period between gym class and beach party.

I have spotted Annette in public twice.   The first time was when I was out to dinner with my parents.  We were in spot where we could clearly see her table and what was on her plate.  It wasn't pizza.   As my mom observed:  'It doesn't look like Annette liked her food very much.'

Later in life, Annette didn't live too far from where I currently reside.  She suffered from MS as was confined to a wheelchair.  This was the case on my second encounter.  I was with my kids at the Costco in Van Nuys, CA food court.  Annette was there with her family/caregivers.   Her caregivers were feeding her some of that delicious Costco pizza.  My kids were actually excited when they realized who she was.   We had been watching the beach party movies.  They wanted to talk to her, but I advised against it.  It was best to let her be.

As Annette says in the caption above.  ' mmmmm!   This pizza is great!'  Although she could not speak, I'm sure that's what she thought at Costco.  Who wouldn't.   She had the combo - or as my daughter used to say  - 'The kind with all the food on it'

Friday, October 13, 2017

Goodbye Harry Dean....

Elton John re-adapted Candle in the Wind as a tribute to Princess Diana who had recently died in a drunken irresponsible seatbeltless high speed chase in Paris.  Per noted philosopher Keith Richards, the song was then turned into a generic tribute to 'dead blonde chicks'

So let's open it up.  Adapt it as a tribute to Harry Dean Stanton.   He's more deserving than a silver spoon princess.  Besides, the cadence of the opening line fits perfectly.

But this is a blog about records, not about actors.   I'm not generally impressed by actors or celebrities.   I live in Los Angeles.  Actors work in restaurants and deliver pizza.  It's a running gag here when someone says they're an actor you ask them which restaurant they work at.  Harry Dean Stanton was an exception.  He was fun to see in public - more on that at the bottom of this post.

Harry Dean Stanton was in one of my favorite movies with one of my favorite movie soundtracks.

Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack "Repo Man" (San Andreas 1984).

The opening track and title song by Iggy Pop is a classic.  One of the best movie songs ever.  Still held in high regards by Iggy fans.  It was still in the setlist when I saw Iggy last summer.

It didn't win the Academy Award  - that went to 'I Just Called to Say I Love You' by Stevie Wonder.   (sorry about the earworm - put on some Iggy to get rid of it - NOW!)

We get three contributions from The Plugz - a latino East LA punk band - including their spanish language version of Secret Agent Man.

Two contributions from LA punk band The Circle Jerks - one of them a lounge version of their 'hit' When The Shit Hits the Fan.

It was released on San Andreas Records - a label created by MCA records to market this soundtrack.   This was the only release on the label.

So anyway-back to Harry Dean Stanton and Repo Man (the movie).  See it.  It's got more quotable lines than Casablanca and Blazing Saddles combined.     And as for Harry Dean, he lived near me.  I used to see him taking out his trash at about 5:30 PM in his bathrobe.  Here's a photo.

 'The more you drive, the less intelligent you are"

Monday, October 9, 2017

Library of Congress - The Most Expensive Turntable I Have Ever Seen

The LOC archives are digital.   Many of their sources are LP's.  In order to get a good clean source, they're played on the the most expensive turntable I have ever seen.  I was told it costs $20,000 (not including the cartridge)

And they use a simple paint brush to take the final specs of dust off.

They're using a cork mat. I'm sure they're paid more than I did for my cork plant coaster from Home Depot.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Library of Congress - Intake

Various shots from intake room.   Note the cylinders.  Everything is digitized and catalogued before it is shipped to the archives.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Library of Congress - What to do with a broken record - IRENE

Occasionally, the Library of Congress will receive rare records that are broken or unplayable.  Since their goal is archive all recordings ever made, there are some tools at their disposal that will help them achieve their goal.

Meet IRENE.  IRENE is a digital camera that photographs the grooves on a record using a laser.   I didn't even ask what this thing costs.

On the photo below, you can see an image of IRENE's hard work in the background.   The photo can be converted to audio and voila - an archived recording.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Library of Congress - They get dirty records too...

The Library of Congress gets huge collections.   The cleanliness of those collections can vary.  Enter the Library of Congress cleaning machines.   

They have a few of these things.   The concept is much the same as my commercial grade Nitty Gritty machine.    Wet, scrub, vacuum.    Then you get a clean record.  I'm sure theirs is much better than mine.  I'd like to bring a stack of my thrift store finds and see what these things can go.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Library of Congress - What to do with a box of 45's

It seems the Library of Congress has the same problem I have  - only multiplied by thousands.   

I looked on someone's workstation as they were going through hundreds of Neil Diamond '45's. They were not particularly rare, but they had to check them all.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Library of Congress - In the Lobby

The lobby area is open to the public.  There is a theater showing treasures from the archives free of charge on the weekends.  The only item on display in the lobby is an old 78 player for visitors to enjoy.

A bin of '78's are there for your enjoyment.  Pick a record and put it on.  I played Bessie Smith among others.

In addition we have catalogs from various record companies.  Titles you can order from your dealer

The archive promised that all records in the bin are duplicates.   They have better copies in the archives underground.

Next post I'll take you inside to the part the public can't see.  Put on a jacket.  They keep it cold in there.

Lots of interesting things to say about film, but this is a record blog.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

The Library of Congress Audio Archives.

It lies about two hours west of Washington DC in the small town of Culpeper, Virginia.  

Built into the side of a mountain that used to house $3 billion in cash to jump start the economy in the event of a nuclear holocaust.    It's now used to store the film and audio archives of the Library of Congress

The official title is the Center for Audio and Visual Conservation.

Yours truly got a tour of the facility, not open to the public, through the connections of my wife Winnie Margate.  She was doing some work there and I got an in to see the archives first hand.  There are many posts to come where I will give you an exclusive look at the insides of the joint.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Return of The King

No '70's prog band has kept themselves as vital as King Crimson.   Formed in 1969, they made a big splash with their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King.  From there they went through several personnel changes over their subsequent three albums.   In 1973 the lineup stabilized a bit for albums five through eight.    Robert Fripp is the only constant throughout all incarnations of the band.  In 1974 they disbanded.

Fast forward to 1981,   Art Rock/New Wave bands like Talking Heads are all the rage.   King Crimson emerges with a new lineup featuring:

Robert Fripp - the only constant in the King Crimson lineup,
Bill Bruford  - from the 1973-1974 lineup.  He quit Yes in 1973 to join King Crimson,
Adrien Belew the guitar whiz fresh from live/session work with David Bowie, Talking Heads and Frank Zappa
Tony Levin - Chapman Stick player from Peter Gabriel's band.

They emerged with this one.

King Crimson - Discipline (Warner Brothers 1981)

The band sounds fresh and energized.   A near perfect blend of New Wave and Prog which appealed to both audiences,

A year later they released this one.

King Crimson - Beat (Warner Brothers 1982)

Their ninth album and the first King Crimson album to have the identical lineup as the album before. The lyrics on this one are inspired by the beat poets of the '50's.

So to complete the trilogy we get this one,

King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair (Warner Brothers 1984)

Same lineup for the third album in a row.   Side One consists of accessable songs.  Side Two gets a bit out there.

After this release, the band went on hiatus again.  The current linup is touring this summer as an eight piece featuring Fripp and Levin.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

A Thrift Store Find I Want to Tell the World About......

Seldom do  I - OK Occasionally do I - OK often do I-   Scream about some incredible bargain I got at Thrift Store.  Be it the first Modern Lovers album for 99 cents or some Elvis picture sleeves for a quarter I sold for over $100 each, whatever.

Yesterday I came across these....

A pair of Kenwood JL - 601 floor speakers marked at $9.99 each.   

The cones looked good.  The cabinets were a little beat up.  For that price, I could paint them with primer and be happy.

I didn't really need speakers.  I have a freshly re-coned set of RSL studio monitors on my main setup.  Upstairs in my office/record room I'm running a Technics SL-D2 through a Kenwood receiver through some Sony bookshelf speakers.    These would be too big for the room, but what the hell, they're less than an overpriced beer at a fancy ass concert venue.

So pounce I did.  The clerk insisted it was $9.99 for THE PAIR.    Not wanting to swindle a charity, I questioned it.  They insisted this was the case.  I didn't argue much further.   I did, however, insist on getting the over 55 discount.  

Bottom line, I have a pair of speakers too big for the room - but great sounding.  I'm listening to The Ventures Play Telstar at extreme volume right now.

When my last kid moves out and we turn her bedroom into a media room, these will do quite nicely.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

West Coast Punk - The Screamers

Of all the bands that came out of the first wave of the LA Punk Scene, The Screamers were one of the best.   Their lineup features two keyboards, drums and vocals.  No guitar.   This doesn't mean they weren't loud and raunchy.  Quite the opposite.   They never released a record.  While up in Berkeley recently, I came across this bootleg of demos.

The Screamers - Demos 1977-78

The band was fronted by the charismatic Tomata Du Plenty.    A maniac in the highest order onstage who had the appearance and mannerisms of someone who just put his finger in an electric socket.   The drummer, KK, played a massive battleship gray set that was heavy on the bass and tom.  The keyboards screamed with electronic distortion.

KK (left), Tomata (second from right).

The band's logo, designed by artist and punk scenester Gary Panter, went on to be an iconic representation of the LA punk scene.  The band was the first unsigned band to play the fancy ass Roxy nightclub in Hollywood.  7/21/79.  I was there and have a stub to prove it.  Tomata held his breath onstage until the veins on his neck popped out and his face got red.  How punk!

Blue vinyl bootleg with band logo on the label.

Tomata went on to a career as an artist and later died of AIDS.

KK (Barrett) went on to success as an art director in film.   According the an anecdote in the John Doe book, KK was a skilled artist during the punk era and would replicate the re-entry handstamps from the Starwood on his friends hands enabling a bunch of people to get in for free.  He later received and Academy Award nomination for his work on 'Her'

Friday, September 1, 2017

A Japanese Aftermath

While in the Bay Area of California last weekend to attend the Burger Boogaloo, I came across this oddball Rolling Stones cover at Amoeba, Berkeley.

The Rolling Stones - Aftermath (London 1966)

The content of the record is the standard non-American full length version of the album.   The cover is quite different.

This appears to be part of a Japanese box set.

The back shows a shot from Franklin Canyon  - above Beverly Hills.  It's close to where I live. I could ride my bike there and have often tried to find the exact location of these iconic photos.  I don't imagine they're far from the road.

The gatefold contains some of the same photos as High Tide (and Green Grass).   And we get the lyrics in Japanese.   I would love to see an English translation.   They're often completely wrong and quire humorous.

Label is a black London export.  I don't believe I've ever seen this.

The record is completely hacked.   I'll stick to my UK pressing from the '70's.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Vegas Vinyl in Las Vegas

I was just in Las Vegas for a conference.  I went a few days early with the family.  We saw The Who at Caesar's Palace.  I had a few hours to kill between family and conference.  Of course I visited record stores.

Vegas Vinyl

Located in an unassuming strip mall across the street from the Airport.  Literally - behind me in this shot is parking lot, then the street, then the airport fence, then the runway.

Unlike the store that shall not be named across town, the proprieter is an extremely nice guy.  I got the feeling he's living his dream in operating a record store.  I got there right as they opened on a Saturday morning.  I was immediately offered a free cold bottled water to enjoy as I dug through the crates.

Some comments about the music currently playing led to lively conversation.  A pleasant experience.  will definitely return when I'm back in Las Vegas.

I very much like their logo.  If it was offered on a T-shirt I would have purchased one.

Vegas Vinyl

After shopping I stopped off at my hotel to put records in a safe place as it was about 150 degrees outside.   Then a quick trip to old friend Record City - previously blogged about here.

And the store who shall not be named was avoided.  When you have a well earned reputation for being a jerk, you don't get my business.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Yellow Magic Shoes

When someone like me sees something like this in a record dump in Hong Kong - it immediately gets added to the collection......

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Jerry Lewis - RIP 1926-2017

So yes, there is a record out there.

Just might be revisiting my favorite Jerry Lewis films this weekend.

The Ladies Man
The Errand Boy
The Bellboy.

You don't have to be French.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Charlottesville, VA

As with most of the thinking folk in the U.S., I'm shocked by what went down in Charlottesville, VA.  I was just there about two weeks before the unrest.  I found it to be a very charming city with a college town vibe.  Those who caused trouble were from outside the area.  Many were from out of state.

This site is not about news or politics.  I could fill pages and pages with my rants about our current regime and other regimes around the world.  Not the place.

This site is about records.  Make America crate (dig) again.

I visited two record stores while in Charlottesville.

First up  Sidetracks Records.

Located beside the railroad tracks.   Nice little store that had a policy on the wall - '$15 holds three records (Or Europe '72)'

Next I pulled into Plan 9 Music

located in a non descript mini mall away from the center of town.  Friendly vibe.  Good prices.

I left Charlottesville with good feelings about the city and Virginia.  So visit.  It's a cool little college town with friendly and nice people.   Don't let past events deter you.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Gabriel in Deutsch

Peter Gabriel left Genesis in early 1975.   He took with him the vision, wit, experimentation, personality,  lyrical proficiency,  etc.  In other words, everything that made the band great in the early days.  Genesis went on to massive success after Gabriel left by gradually watering down their sound to the point they sounded like The Wiggles.  

Gabriel went on to release impressive work.  His first four albums had no title.   The next few had two word titles (So, Us and Up).

Some artists will release the occasional single in a different language.  Gabriel went took it a step further.  He recorded vocals in German for entire albums.

I have two of them....

Peter Gabriel (The Famous Charisma Label  1980)

Gabriel's third album is commonly referred to as 'Melt' in reference to the cover, an altered Poloroid.  The mix is the same as the 'normal' version.  Only the vocals are redone.

If you read German, you can read the liner notes on the insert.  The inner sleeve contains the lyrics in English.  The insert has a German translation.

The same treatment was also used for the fourth album

Peter Gabriel (The Famous Charisma Label 1982)

The fourth record was entitled 'Security' in the USA.    The was only on the label.  The album title did not appear on the cover or the spine.

This time out, the album was completely remixed and re sequenced.   Some tracks are longer.

The inner sleeve is completely in German.