Tuesday, September 28, 2010

whoah, nelly (upcoming concerts)

october 10, seventh street entry: film school
october 13, varsity: surfer blood AND the drums
november 6, first avenue: richard thompson (i've never seen)

and the stuff i'm already signed up for:

bss: october 4
sufjan: october 16
mumford: october 29

Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I Hate My Job

Those BS bastards block streaming.

The Age of Adz

plus, i wish the person i sit cross cubes with would get an office. always talking. always.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Just Can't Get Enough

Stacks of Wax:

Maximum Balloon-s/t: The whole TV on the Radio thing escapes me. Aren't they just Bloc Party? i kid, i kid! don't hate all over me (just a little on the shoes maybe)
Weezer-Hurley: Normally, i'd be all over the hyper prolific-ness, but is it just me or does Rivers sound more and more like a Weezer tribute band (and a kinda bad one at that). course, i'm not sure why i keep listening.
Interpol-s/t: style over substance you say? Viva le style, I say (but not very loudly)
Phosphorescent-Here's to Taking It Easy: It's not for nothing that the eagles are quoted in the album name. some good 70's inspired country rock going on here, with just enough MMJ to make the ICC say, hmmmmmm.
Thermals-Personal Life: aside from the goat voice suffering singing (that shot is aimed at the mountain goats, btw and not midnight oil) i'm liking the warmed over post grunge sound going on here (it's almost winter, i'm into comfort food)
Filter-The Trouble with Angels: I dunno what the trouble with angels is, but the trouble with this album is that there aren't any good songs and the production is really boring. however, there is some really neat cd packaging. so it's got that going for it.
The Acorn-No Ghost: Note to self, don't let the knitter infect you with his impulse buying. You'll regret it.
Black Mountain-Wilderness Heart: I dunno why i am partial to this Deep Purple/BOC knock off stuff, but i am.
Brandon Flowers-Flamingo: i can only hope brandon flowers has a severe heroin habit. that wouldn't 100% excuse this, but at least i would understand the addled part.
Robert Plant-Band of Joy: Love the silver rider cover. Way to never grow old, Mr. Plant!
Bad plus Never Stop: mesmerizing, but I always like what these guys do…and no covers this time out
!!! Strange Weather Isn!t It?: Standard more of the same with ever diminishing returns
Chromeo- Business Casual: I still wish that duet would be on here, but I like
Tim kasher-the game of monogamy-I expected more from this…I thought he was saving something from cursive, but what this makes me think is that he needs a break.
Laura Marling I speak because I can: If you like classic era (blue and pre blue) joni mitchell (and who doesn't) this will appeal (with maybe some patty griffin and michelle shocked thrown in for good measure). I'll admit I was predisposed to dislike, but I couldn't help but enjoy.

Wish Upon a Star

Ok, so this is more or less my holy grail list. Music that i'd love to stumble across when i'm picking.
and of course, there are some caveats....

i have to be the one to find it (although that's not 100% true),
it has to be found in a physical store (going onto amazon and buying it doesn't count),
it has to be reasonably priced (picking up Snakes & Ladders for $50 is not cool....i think my price point is $10 and under, ideally),
and no gifts (because i'm just gonna turn around and flip it)

So here it is:

Andy Gibb After Dark
Andy Gibb Flowing Rivers
Andy Gibb Shadow Dancing
Bears s/t
Bears Rise and Shine
Birtles and Gobles the last romance
Dr. Hook A Little Bit more
Dr. Hook Pleasure and Pain
Dr. Hook Sometimes You Win
Eddie Rabbitt Loveline
Eddie Rabbitt Step by Step
Eddie Rabbitt Variations
Gerry Rafferty Night Owl
Gerry Rafferty Sleepwalking
Gerry Rafferty Snakes & Ladders
Glenn Shorrock Villain of the Peace
Greg Kihn (first album)
Greg Kihn Citizen Kihn
Greg Kihn Kihnspiracy
Greg Kihn Kihntagious
Greg Kihn Kihntinued
Greg Kihn Kinhspiracy
Greg Kihn Next of Kihn
Greg Kihn RockihnRoll
John Stewart Bombs Away Dream Babies
John Stewart Dream Babies Go Hollywood
Louise Tucker Midnight Blue
Miracle Legion Me and Mr Ray
Motels Shock
Naked Eyes Very Best
Nick Lowe And His Cowboy Outfit
Nick Lowe Labour of Lust
Nick Lowe Nick the Knife
Nick Lowe Pinker and Prouder than Previous
Peter Wolf Lights Out
Poco The Blue and the Grey
Poco Under the Gun
Radio Daze (vol 2,4,5)
Re-Flex The Politics of Dancing
Sheena Easton Best Kept Secret (One Way)
Sheena Easton You Could Have Been With Me (One Way)
Sheena Easton Madness, Money and & Music (One Way)
Sheena Easton Private Heaven (One Way)
Sun City
We are the World

Incidentally, i had two more on this list (the call's reconciled and men at work's two hearts) but i found those in the last couple of weeks. and i don't know why i have so many greg kihn cds on there. i have a greatest hits and that' probably all i would really listen too.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Push Me Back to the Start

Crowded House
Minnesota Zoo
September 4, 2010

Split Enz (and Squeeze for that matter) were essential components of my college experience (much to the dismay of a couple of my college roommates). I was late to both parties, but oh did i make up for lost time. When the Enz ended, I was bummed, but also excited about hearing this new band he was forming, called Crowded House (most of my music info came directly from Billboard thanks to the SE library subscription--thanks Joni). Not sure i've mentioned this, but for some strange reason, i'd always been a rapid Australia-New Zealand fanatic--which continues unabated to this day----and not just about music....i think the first science paper i wrote---in third grade---- was on the platypus, and a moa paper followed in 6th---the land down under was my go to topic---even before i knew LRB and ONJ and MO and FoTC and LOTR. I wasn't exactly sure how i was going to get this new album (the enz of the enz was not well covered by my local wax museum). I think i was resigned to a plasma alliance run (although i think i might have been banned there because i'd passed out pretty much every time i gave plasma) to cover the cost of this sure to be import album (and why were imports always so darn flimsy?) And then i promptly proceeded to forget about CH (hey, it was my senior year in college and i was damn busy)

You already know where this story is going. I'd forgotten about Neil's new band, but conversely, everywhere i was going i was hearing this insanely catchy song, with this indelible refrain, "hey now, hey now". you gotta understand, this is so pre-everything (i was still using WordStar to write my papers on Henry Lawson) that a catchy lyric heard in drips and drops on the radio could not immediately result in a lyric search (and the attendant spyware). It was a couple weeks before i connected the "hey now, hey now" to "Don't Dream It's Over" and Crowded House (i should write an entry about how i always mis-hear song lyrics---"My Eyes Adored You" was "My Sweet Georgia" until 1992---but i'm not saying what i thought followed the "hey now, hey now"). Of course, airplay could only mean one thing, the album had to be out! (and not just for import anymore) I rip on vinyl but there was such a rush for me in those days to pick up a new album, stare at the album cover all the way home (we lived on 13th ave, just a couple blocks north of como), rip off the plastic, marvel at the shiny clean black vinyl and then drop the needle on it and wait those 3 seconds as the needle worked its way to the music.

I was in love with Crowded House by the first guitar chords of "Mean to Me", that she came all the way to america line gave me goosebumps. I loved every song on that album and played the hell out of it (and so did radio). That debut might just be one of the best pop albums of all time. (and i replayed it yesterday and still loved EVERY SINGLE SONG on that disc) I loved TEMPLE OF LOW MEN even more (and of course, my friend Tammy loved them too so they were always playing) as they band got moodier and darker and the production got richer. "Into Temptation" and "Never be the Same" ("Don't stand around like friends at a funeral" gets me everytime) are just amazing. And i don't need to say anything about "Better Be Home Soon" or "When You Come". I guess all i'm saying (in a way too long and round about way...which could continue if i didn't need a mountain dew) is that was intensely in love with Crowded House and i don't know why i never saw them live. (course, there was a show lull post college as i said goodbye to my college buddies one by one and figured out what being an adult meant).

But finally, 25 some years later, I finally was able to rectify the error of my youth and see Crowded House (and at the Zoo, where i'd never seen a show before). All i can say it was totally worth the wait. I've probably not been so charmed by a band (specifically Neil Finn) in...well...pretty much forever (note to self....maybe ease up on the oh so serious alternative bands you favor). There were sing alongs with the crowd (ed) assemblage, they played pretty much every song i loved, neil was in great voice, the backing band was tight, the interplay between neil and nick seymour was funny and old couple affectionate. I think "Four Seasons in One Day" was a super highlight for me, although you could practically pick any song (even the newer material off the last two albums, which didn't sound out of context in relation to the heyday songs) and have a favorite concert moment (The Elephant song has suddenly joined the CH pantheon for me). Wonderful, wonderful show.

And i'd totally be remiss without saying that i had stellar company for the show too. The stars finally aligned and i got to spend some time with the ICC after a month of mis-matched schedules. Thanks man, for sharing it with me. VIVA le ZOO!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Say Goodbye to BSC

Ok. Still reeling a little. Hardly know what to say. I should give notice tomorrow, pack my bags and take my show on the road.

Juniper east had a killer day. two sales, net profit $149.51. sheesh. made 103 bucks (most money i've made on a sale) on one sale alone. just a little over a grand profit for the year and about an 50% on ROI. (although overall i'm still in the red) i guess i can't belly ache too much about slow sales. (I'm still not going overboard on the annual christmas party!)

two new entries in the all time top 5 profiteers! thank you atlanta rhythm section.

Btw, i ran over to the fetus to pick up some tickets and took a quick look at the used. the bins were empty. E.M.P.T.Y.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

There Are Places I Remember

The sticker said “Hot Licks” and “6.29.” I held the album in my hands and stared at that sticker like the price would change if only I had enough will power. But i was too young for a green ring and without that, what could i do? I only had 5 dollars and change. $6.29 was out of my price range. I put al stewart’s year of the cat back in the rack. These twin cities prices were just too much for me. But the store? Oh, that store was another thing. Hot Lick’s in the Phalen Shopping Mall off white bear avenue in St. Paul was the first real record store I ever entered. And it was nirvana to my 11 year old self.

I’d been to K-Mart and the Co-op (even the Pamida after the Co-Op closed) in Menomonie, and that’s where i bought my first albums (barry manilow’s even now and billy joel’s the stranger) But they weren’t really record stores. They were fine for the 4.99 on sale top releases, but if it wasn’t top ten (or country) you were kind of out of luck. Fortunately, my tastes were pretty top ten (top five if you want to get fussy) and the mass market stores mostly served me.

But as i hit the big 10 and developed a huge Casey Kasem addiction, the limited selections locally were becoming a problem. Sure, i could wait for the columbia selections to come out 8 months down the road, but damnit jim, i needed Gary Numan’s Telekon STAT! I needed selection. I needed options. I needed a chance to discover the unknown. I needed a real record store.

My sister had assured me that there was a real record store in the Phalen Mall where the Montgomery Ward outlet center was located (just three years older, but she was far more worldly than I was). And of course, the idea of a REAL record store (what could such a thing be?) consumed me. I just had to see it. The annual family pilgrimage to the Monkey Ward store seemed to take forever to happen. Delayed by a price drop in milk, postponed because of weather, the packers were having a good season, obstacles kept appearing to keep me from my goal. I didn’t give up hope. But the day finally arrived (grey november day, although i really couldn’t be bothered to notice) and no sooner had the car (a suburban) been parked than i was out the door, striding across the parking lot with a backwards wave, focused intently on the banner over a shop near the end of the strip mall, HOT LICKS.

The first thing that hit me when i opened the door was a wave of incense. The scent nearly knocked me over (or it might have been a gust of wind, or the emotion of the near religious experience, I dunno) Of course, i only knew incense from being an altar boy, so i was pretty confused as to why a record store would smell like a funeral. But i barreled in, undeterred. Looking back, i’m pretty sure the place was a hole in the wall with barely enough room to fit a smart car, but to my un-attuned eyes, it was the Taj Mahal.

Rock posters covered the walls, racks hung from crazy angles all over the place (walls, ceilings, off the door), holding god knows what (but lots of paper, that much i’m sure). Down the middle of the room was a double sided row of bins filled with brand spanking new albums. On the far wall was another row of bins chock full of albums. The clerk held court along the other wall on a sticker festooned elevated dais with a cash register instead of a scepter, from which he surveyed his mighty kingdom. I didn’t know whether to genuflect or just walk through the door. The clerk gave me a look (i was 11, but i’m sure i looked 7, i should have had my money pinned to my shirt) then dropped his chin back into The Hobbit. I took another look around the shop (what were all those glass doodads underneath the cash register?) in order to get my bearings, wiped the drool off my chin and got to work.

I started hitting bins at random, a little overwhelmed by the totality of what i was seeing. This (abeit small by most standards) was 4 times the amount of vinyl i’d ever seen before. And i knew only the barest fraction of the bands. (There is security in Anne Murray albums, security i say). I had my list of albums i was hoping for, but i was a little discomfited to find ALL of them. I was lucky if i found one of them when i went to K-Mart. I didn’t know what to do with options. So i just kept flipping from album to album, bin to bin. It’s sorta strange that i can’t remember all the titles and artists i saw that day. The album covers were so enticing, the artwork, the newness of the vinyl, all these intriguing band names; i wished i had enough money to buy everything in the rooom and just sit for days and days and listen to it all.

Definitely information overload and i lost all sense of time (even though i had a limited amount of time before i had to catch up with my family at the monkey), but what i mostly remember is the sense of something unfolding, this sense that this was the way it was meant to be, that this fulfilled some barely understood need in me. (which could easily have been the result of unlawful substances wafting around the barely ventilated room) Even now, 30 years later, i have a hard time sorting out all the impressions i had in Hot Licks but i still remember the warm and fuzzies i got as i flipped through the stacks of wax.

Eventually, (could have been 5 minutes, could have been 5 hours) i decided on an album. A pretty risky move by me by an artist named al stewart. I’d only heard The Year of the Cat a couple times (it had long since fallen off the charts but was still getting airplay on WEAQ) and i was mesmerized by the piano hook and the saxophone (which is kinda funny, cos i’m not a big fan of horns these days). it was a little too rock for me, and year of the cat was the only song i knew (i usually needed at least two hits before i would invest), and the cover looked a little risqué, but what the heck. this was as adventure. i knew i’d gone down the rabbit hole and i was gonna take a chance.

Except......$6.29 on that sticker. and i’d only budgeted for a 4.99 price (the perils of shopping a discounter). Nothing doing....i wasn’t gonna negotiate with the clerk, even if such a thing was possible. I had to put the record back and even though there were a couple other albums on my list that WERE affordable, i’d decided. If i couldn’t get Year of the Cat, i wouldn’t get anything. I walked out of the store, into the gusty November afternoon.

I caught up with the family just as they were checking out (How long was i in Hot Licks?). I think my mom asked me what i bought and i said “nothing.”
“All that time and you couldn’t find anything,” she asked.

“Oh i found what i wanted, I just didn’t have enough money.”

I don’t remember what she said, but i’m sure it was some combination of “You should have brought more money. It’s good that you didn’t exceed your budget. and/or I’m sure you can find it cheaper back home.” None of which really made me feel better.

I did the charlie brown walk back to the car (suburban), helped load the discounted odds and sods from monkey wards into the back and dejectedly took my seat (middle, right hand window side, no seat belt of course). Dad fired up the car (suburban) and started driving out of the parking lot. i’m sure my head was pitifully pressed against the window as i watched the mall roll by.

But wait, we aren’t heading for the exit, we are heading to the other end; the Hot Licks end. Mwaaaaaah? (translation: what is this?). My dad pulls into the space in front of the record store and stops. My mom turns around and hands me a dollar. “Do you have enough with this,?” she asks. “Oh sure,” i exclaim (i’m all jim nabors when i’m surprised). I grab the dollar (and maybe a couple of her fingers), open the door and i’m back in Hot Licks in a flash. i have a momentary freak out when i can’t find the album (ok, i didn’t put it back in the “S’s”) but in short order i get it located (feeling the super clock on me as i can see everybody in the car waiting for me), get up to the clerk and he says “six dollars and fifty three cents” (or something like that).

oh damn...i forgot about the twenty nine cents...am i gonna be short change? i hand the clerk my fiver and the dollar bill my mom gave me, then i start digging around in my pockets (and not the good kind of digging around in my pockets that i once got a cuffed on the back of the head cos i was doing it during church) looking for the change. quarter, nickel, penny, penny, penny. Damn. Am i going to have to run out to the car (suburban) and ask for a quarter (cos i was too close to the Cat now, there was no turning back at this point)

Ok, other pocket. Penny, i’m close now. Lint, lint, nickel. Dig, Dig, Dig. I’m practically scratching my knee now, wearing a hole in that pocket, looking for the difference.

“ah, close enough” goes the clerk (i take back whatever unformed mean thoughts i might have had about him...and they were all based on intimidation anyway) and i fly out of the store before he changes his mind (or gives me the receipt, although i don’t suppose i was really thinking of a return.) i’m back in the my seat, door shut and staring straight ahead, record held so tight i’m surprised i didn’t warp it. I stared at that hot licks price sticker all the way home.