So some of you readers may or may not have known that I was out of town on a “world tour” of sorts (If 10 days and three states constitutes a world tour that is). I had a great time and since (as most of my adventures do) this particular jaunt included several musically relevant tales to tell I figured I’d give a nice little recount as to some of the more significant details of my trip.
I’m sure I’ll write more about the new album later on, but I have to mention here that Radiohead is still great airplane and airport music. I remember on last years annual trip back east listening to live bootlegs of what would become most of the tracks from In Rainbows. Also being as how I was going to a wedding and was constantly reminded of the ex who was supposed to be accompanying me on the trip… this track in particular struck quite the chord with me. (Or maybe I just read into lyrics a little too much).
The first stop and the catalyst for the whole idea of this trip was the wedding of my good friends “Evan X” and “Mistress Missy” in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I actually knew the happy couple separately several years ago before they had even met, yet alone before they began dating. However, I can’t take the credit for introducing them, we all had a circle of mutual friends from various points in the midwest and we all used to meet up in various cities to party and get into trouble. They are easily some of my favorite people and I wish them the best of luck.
I got to see a lot of old friends that I haven’t had the chance to hang with in several years, meet some new cool individuals, let loose on the dance floor and grab some ideas for the type of ceremony I’d like to have when it comes time for me to take the walk down the aisle sometime in the distant future. The wedding was nice and very fitting for our group of friends if anything other than traditional. As would be no surprise from the type of friends I attract, at the reception they had mix CD’s laid out on the tables of several songs from the ceremony and the receptions play list.
One selection that I found to be an interesting choice for a wedding reception was “Sittin’ Pretty” by Brendan Benson.
Of course I’m one to talk being as how Consuelo and I both chose a bridal waltz that included the lyrics “you’ll always be my whore”. (So much for that whole idea of never being apart though). Still the video for “Ava Adore” remains quite possibly the most ingenious continuous four minutes of cinema ever committed to celluloid.
Anyway, I won’t lie, the event brought up some old bitter sentiment in those regards, but I digress. From there I hitched a ride back to my hometown of Toledo, Ohio for a few days with my friend Vectrexx and his girl Meow Suicide since it was on their way back to Columbus.
While in Toledo I caught up with several family members who I hadn’t seen in awhile and swung by my old job at Prodigy Music. I took a little time to catch up with Bob Caunter and shoot the shit about my life in LA and his new band “All But One“. In the process he gave me a link to a website about Detroit area musicians from 1966 – 1972 which features his old band “Salem Witchcraft” right up there alongside other area heavyweights like “The Stooges”, “MC5”, “Alice Cooper” and many more that you may or may not have known originally hailed from the Motor City.
My friend Dee let me crash on her couch a couple nights and she finally returned my copies of both (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? and Stankonia which she’s been holding onto for about 4 years at this point. I’d almost forgotten how damn good both of those albums were. (Note to Outkast: please resuming making albums with nonsensical compound words as titles and naked women on the disc artwork… Note to Oasis: consult Damon Albarn for notes on remaining relevant).
The next day I eventually made my way over to Allied Record Exchange where my cousin Damon has been working for years now to do some light digging. I picked up a Dirtbombs split 7″ and a copy of their first album Horndog Fest which is a must grab while you’re in the Detroit area. I’d been planning to do a post on the Dirtbombs for a while now so hopefully I’ll get around to doing that sometime soon.
I also scooped up the new solo record from my old friend Jeff Loose of Stylex, another local favorite. I’ll probably be doing a post on them sometime in the future as well.
believe it or not, I actually used to hang out with this dude… that was before he started looking like Jesus hanging out on Sesamee Street though 😉
My cousin dug up a few things especially for me as well including a copy of RJD2’s debut mix Your Face Or Your Kneecaps (sheer dopeness). Then when we got back to his place since he’s always looking out for the fam (mmmhmm…) and I knew he had two copies already, he sold me one of his Operation:Doomsday CD’s along with a Sony Digital Voice Recorder for a total of $80 (of course he already knew how hard it is to come by an original copy).
From there it was on to DTW for a flight down to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Armed with a navigation equipped rental car I had several hours to kill so I typed “records” into the unit to see what I came up with but unfortunately that first day my exploits turned out to be rather fruitless. My friend Jason was generous enough to let me crash on his couch for this portion of the trip, but he had to work the next day so once again I was left to my own devices. Not a problem that couldn’t be fixed with a quick look in the yellow pages.
I don’t consider myself to be a genuine “collector”, but I’ve naturally accumulated a decent library over my years of music obsession. I figure if I’m out of town I might want to try to find some things that I don’t necessarily come across everyday in Los Angeles. I found a listing for a place called “The CD Collector” and decided that based on name alone it would probably be my best bet for a digging foray. Upon arriving at my destination however I learned that the place is now called Radioactive Records (not to be confused with the controversial pirate reissue label or the more legitimate label home of “Live” and that band Shirley Manson was in before “Garbage”). I tried to stick to just picking up a few CD’s for the drive and I did pretty good keeping it to about $50 worth of stuff. I found a promo EP from Test Icicles that includes a couple of rare exclusives, but quite honestly none of those match the raw intensity (imagine Bloc Party overdosing on a testosterone injection) of the EP’s title track which also appears on their full length:
I also snatched up a couple 45’s and then I made the mistake of asking if there were any other places in town where I might be able to do some digging. So off I was sent to Delray Beach and Backbone Music. I had to be back in Ft. Lauderdale to meet my aunt for dinner that evening, so I was only able to spend about 10 minutes actually looking through the stacks. Maybe it was because the place was a little smaller and I wasn’t so overwhelmed, but that was all I needed to blow my first $40 on 7″ fodder. The Turtles, Elvis Presley, and Peter, Paul, and Mary were just some of the more notable specimens I picked up within that first 5 minute glance. Now I had the itch, and sensing my urges, the guy at the counter knew what he was dealing with when he was ringing me up. I told him I’d been sent by the guys over at Radioactive and he told me to check out “the good stuff” in the other bin. 3 minutes later I’d blown another $60 still strictly working with 7″. James Brown, Johnny Cash, a G.G. Allin EP, and what some consider to be the Holy Grail of Hardcore Punk (of course mine was a reissue considering it’s white label and in mint condition, but for the price I’m game). At that point I decided to give in and admit that this trip was going to be a record buying excursion and I set aside another $100 for a stop at Vinyl Fever once I got to Tallahassee.
Before I left Backbone I spent a few more minutes just shooting the shit with the guy at the counter and he informed me that Medeski, Martin and Wood were playing a few nights at a local club called the Culture Room. Since I didn’t really have any plans for after dinner I figured that’d be a good way to spend the rest of the evening. It was well worth the price of admission just to see John Medeski’s keyboard setup alone. A baby grand piano, vintage Moog, clavinet, Hammond B3, Melodica and a couple other keyboards that I couldn’t make out from where I stood, each with separate amps.. They played two sets of improvised tunes and standards then came back for an encore of “Hey Joe” which ended the night on a nice mellow note.
Now I’m definitely familiar enough with the legendary jazz trio in question, but I’m not well versed enough in their background information or catalog to think that I’ll be dedicating an entire post to them anytime soon, so I’ll just go crazy here with a sampling of related tracks I have in my inventory.
The next morning I woke up early and headed to Orlando to have lunch with one of my old college buddies who I haven’t seen in about 5 years and from there I continued up to Tallahassee to hang out for “guys weekend” with some of my other college friends who I haven’t seen in a while either. We hit the club on Friday night where they were having “old school” night… however it’s kind of depressing to realize what music is considered “old school” by the college kids these days. We spent Saturday tailgating and then went to the Florida State v. Miami game (f**k Miami).
Sunday I hit the record store where I grabbed a gang of records including choice 7″ selections from both John Lennon and George Harrison. I also found a Dirtbombs release that I couldn’t even find in Detroit. Also of note were 7″ platters from “Helmet” and a smattering of punk and 80’s New Wave singles that I grabbed just for kicks.
Then it was back on the plane to come home again, home again, jiggedy-jig-jig. Overall it was a great excursion and a much needed departure from the daily grind here at home. It was good to see everybody I got to squeeze in, and definitely good to meet some really cool new friends as well. Now it just sucks knowing I won’t have any more vacation days to use for quite a while. I did however get to catch one of my favorite indie acts ever, Enon, last weekend with Love of Diagrams so expect to see a review of that show coming up soon.