DSC07239In yesterday’s post about the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s groundbreaking digital recording of Appalachian Spring we mentioned that Aaron Copland himself had earlier conducted a recording of the original 13-piece arrangement of the ballet. We never loved that recording as much as the SPCO’s, but both are records we’d recommend in a heartbeat.

We also wrote disparagingly about the “Copland Conducts Copland” series but it really has less to do with the quality of the recordings than with what the period of time in his career represented. His transition traveling guest conductor was the result of his diminished inspiration as a composer. He is quoted, heartbreakingly, in Howard Pollack’s biography Aaron Copland: The Life and Work of an Uncommon Man, as saying “it was exactly as if someone had simply turned off a faucet.”

We find it sad to imagine an artist bound to his earliest works because of its enduring popularity, having never understood how for instance Bruce Springsteen can still drag “Born to Run” onto stage with any passion. Copland, in his later years, was often invited to conduct Appalachian Spring, Rodeo and Billy the Kid. For good measure also The Red Pony and Fanfare for the Common Man at times, all fine works and famous for a reason.

His late-period twelve tone compositions like the Piano Fantasy are rarely performed in the country which declares him a favorite son, just as (let’s be honest here) nobody really wants to hear songs from the last decade’s worth of Bruce Springsteen albums. This isn’t a fate which befalls all composers or all rock stars. Richard Strauss, for instance, had something of a renaissance of creativity in his seventies and eighties, composing his Four Last Songs almost in anticipation of his own passing. And until this Frank Sinatra bullshit it seemed like Bob Dylan was as creative as ever (maybe that’s the idea — you never know with Dylan).

DSC07242Anyways, every record collector in the world loves any kind of album insert, especially a bonus disc. And any music lover would enjoy hearing a favorite composer rehearse one of their most famous pieces. Columbia’s Masterworks division experimented with 7-inch inserts for a while, offering insights into the album by Leonard Bernstein or Bruno Walter, or in this case recordings of the rehearsals.

The little bonus record provides an interesting and enjoyable portrait of Copland, both as a composer and a conductor, as well as an opportunity to imagine what it would be like to revisit one’s own work decades later.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Last December we took pride in posting about the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra’s 1958 recording of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which is a remarkable record for both artistic and technical reasons. Fans of Tchaikovsky are certain to have recordings of the Minneapolis Symphony (today the Minnesota Orchestra) in their collection –in addition to making the first recordings of the 1812 Overture to include the bells and cannons as originally composed (in mono in 1954 and stereo on that second recording), the Minneapolis Symphony produced the first complete recordings of the composers three magnificent ballets.

All of these recordings were made for Mercury Records during Antal Dorati’s eleven year residency as the Orchestra’s conductor — he is often regard as one of the finest interpreters of Tchaikovsky’s music on record, later conducting recordings of all six symphonies with the London Philharmonic, but the recordings he made at our own Northrop Auditorium are still regarded as some finest you’ll ever find. You have likely seen a copy of their 1812 Overture since there are more than a million of them out there. The gold record awarded by the RIAA hangs today in the office of current musical director Osmo Vänskä.

Because we are the best place to live in the entire world, the Twin Cities is home to not one but two world-class orchestras. The other is the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, which is the only full-time professional chamber orchestra in the United States. The SPCO is every bit as awesome as the Minnesota Orchestra — each has in the past decade or so tackled the monumental task of performing Beethoven’s nine symphonies, and each has made many albums which are both best-sellers and critically acclaimed.

As the Minnesota Orchestra was, in its Minneapolis Symphony days, associated with Tchaikovsky’s three ballets, the SPCO has a deep connection to one written by another composer. It happens to be one of our favorite pieces of American music.

DSC07240

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s July 1979 recording of Aaron Copland’s ballet Appalachian Spring was awarded the Grammy award for best chamber music performance, an honor only slightly sullied when then two-year-old Kanye West insisted it be taken away and given to Beyonce. Its a beautifully paced interpretation of the ballet, and a uniquely-engineered recording, making it of enduring interest to collectors. The record was made at the Sound 80 studio here in our neighborhood, overseen by engineer Tom Jung. The conductor was Dennis Russell Davies, a Juilliard graduate who spent eight years directing the SPCO, and is currently with the Symphony Orchestra in Basal in Switzerland.

On the flip side is presented Three Places in New England, one of Charles Ives’ most popular and distinctive pieces. That same July, the SPCO also recorded Schubert’s fifth symphony, and a third album by jazz group Flim and the BB’s was produced using the same 50.4 kHz digital recorder as a alternate to the intended direct-to-disc lathe. These three records are the earliest digital recordings made at Sound 80, and among the first digital recordings made for commercial release anywhere.

All three are of interest to audiophiles and record collectors, but the SPCO recording of Appalachian Spring is also a welcome return-to-form for the fine piece as well, as it is presented in Copland’s original instrumentation for a small chamber orchestra of thirteen musicians. While it had been awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Music after its debut in 1944, it is usually performed in an a weightier re-orchestration first composed soon after and popularized by Leonard Bernstein.

Copland himself conducted a revival of the original arrangement a few years earlier, commissioned by Columbia Records as part of its hit-or-miss “Copland Conducts Copland” series, a recording which likewise captures the earthy appeal unheard in the overlarge orchestra suite. As originally planned, his the ballet — which a bemused Copland often remarked was not inspired by the rolling mountains of Appalachia — presents a pastoral setting characterized by an inspiring sense of community and optimism. It is, along with his other ballets and his incidental music for Our Town, definitive Americana, while also something very much like our own version of Beethoven’s sixth symphony.

Until it was suggested he borrow its title from a Hart Crane poem, the piece was simply his Ballet for Martha, as he was working with legendary choreographer Martha Graham. In short it is the story of a congregation building a farmhouse for a pair of Pennsylvania newlyweds. Graham had commissioned Copland’s composition for a performance in the hall inside the Library of Congress, and its size determined his decision to arrange it for a small chamber orchestra. Like what we learned looking into the history of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture when posting the Minneapolis Symphony’s recording, the final score was influenced by utterly pedestrian circumstances.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The SPCO has performed Appalachian Spring as recently as on year ago, where it was conducted by Steven Schick (a recording of which you can hear here). Their original recording with Dennis Russell Davies on the Sound 80 record remains a monumental moment in Minnesota music, in many ways just as remarkable as the Dorati recordings which put the Minneapolis Symphony on the map in the fifties.

This weekend the SPCO will be performing Schubert’s Quartet in D Minor, Death and the Maiden, along with other pieces featuring violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. There is a free open rehearsal tomorrow afternoon.

We’re very excited to welcome Tuscon, Arizona folk singer Karima Walker to the shop for a performance on Wednesday night. She will be joined by Sterling Roots and Crow Call, one of our favorite local traditional groups. Today’s post is for them. Details about the show can be found on our events page here, and on Facebook here.

Crows lent their latin name to the constellation Corvus, a quadrilateral pattern seen in the southern hemisphere near Virgo and Hyrda. Its largest star is Algorab, which is the Arabic word for crow. Writing in The Fixed Stars and Constellations in 1923, Vivian Robson characterizes the star by its “destructiveness, malevolence, fiendishness, repulsiveness and lying.”

Crows have been with us since the dawn of history — Ovid claimed it was Apollo’s ire which made their feathers black, and aboriginals in Australia believed the birds performed the promethean task of the theft of fire itself. Crows are, in some ways, second to dogs as our first friends — although they remain distant relatives. Recent studies have proven crows can recognize and recall individual human faces. Its possible they can report to others the worst of us — crows may be one of the very few non-human animals capable of displacement, meaning they can communicate about things that are happening in a different spatial or temporal place than their current location. Crows can tell stories.

Creatures in the corvus genus has one of the highest measurements of relative brain size in the world (this is called the encephalization quotient, in case you’re wondering). In fact, we’re finding crows to be a smarter and smarter the more we study them, even capable of understanding causality, as demonstrated in this experiment.

While it was once believed crows lived for centuries, their actual lifespan is about twenty years — a captive crow named Tata was believed to be fifty-nine when he died in 2006, as reported in the Washington Post. Most crows are monogamous, and offspring remain with a breeding pair for several years to help protect the nest from raccoons, snakes and cats. Their communal roosts, commonly called a murder, can include as many as tens of thousands of birds. The poor residents of Danville, Illinois are believed to be outnumbered 4-to-1 by crows.

Crows are naturally curious and playful, clear signs of their intelligence. They will often toy with inedible objects such as litter, but they do not steal and collect shiny objects as is sometimes said. They would best be described as scattered hoarders, since they don’t keep their treasures in a single location such as a nest.

Inventor Joshua Klein presented a vending machine for crows at a technology conference in 2008. The crows would learn to pick up garbage and receive a treat in exchange. The indigenous crows on the island of New Calendonia create their own tools for extracting insects. Hooded crows in Israel have learned to use bread crumbs as fishing bait. Farmers have crafted a variety of traps to test the intelligence of crows for centuries, creating the anecdote of the counting crow. No account suggests any corvus could count as high as seven, however, as in the last song on the Counting Crows’ first album, August and Everything After.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“A Murder of One”

The band likely takes its name not from crows who count, but from a once-familiar nursery rhyme. One could count crows to receive a premonition of the future. Here is one variation, which you’ll recognize reflected in the song.

One for sorrow, two for mirth,
Three for a wedding, four for a birth,
Five for silver, six for gold,
Seven for a secret not to be told.
Eight for heaven, nine for hell,
And ten for the devil’s own self.

Given the crow’s role in human mythology and superstition, it’s not surprising they appear frequently in our music. For instance, one of the strangest songs on the early Dylan albums is “Black Crow Blues,” notably for being the first on which he accompanied himself on the piano.

another side of bob dylan

 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Black Crow Blues” by Bob Dylan

Its surprising how the song presages Dylan’s sound from the late sixties and early seventies, where his jaunty and idiosyncratic piano style steps to the fore. That an alternate version more in the style of the other songs on Another Side of Bob Dylan was left on the cutting room floor suggests he was already interested in expanding the range of folk music as early as his second album.

crowFans of local music surely remember Crow, the bluesy rock band from the late 60s whose early hit “Evil Woman” was covered by Black Sabbath. Crow has broken up and reunited several times over the years. The cover of their second LP, Crow by Crow, depicts a gigantic crow as a member of the band.

A “black bird” plays a lead role in the second song on Brian Laidlaw’s extraordinary concept album about Bonnie and Clyde, Amoratorium. A crow is seen on the cover of the album.

amoratorium

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Know my Rider” by Brian Laidlaw

The crows in Walt Disney’s Dumbo were endowed with wit and insight, and while it has been suggested by some that their appearance is representative of endemic racism in classic Disney cartoons, it should be noted they are the only characters besides Timothy the Mouse who treat Dumbo with kindness. The tragic singer Cliff Edwards performed the lead on their song, “When I See an Elephant Fly.”

This last song is from Crow Call, who inspired this little expedition into the spooky awesomeness of our black feathered friends.

10407062_566209380146176_5038564613021826923_nThey’ve described this song from their self-titled debut disc as being “about crows as messengers, being aware of their presence as harbingers in our lives and listening to what they have to tell us.” We chose Crow Call as one of our favorite local albums of 2014, but our previous posts about the disc have hardly hit on its eerie darkness. “They Know” is a fine example of how their music feels like Black Sabbath if filtered through Charlie Parr.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“They Know” by Crow Call

Wednesday night’s show here at Hymie’s starts at 7pm and features The Sterling Roots, Crow Call, and Karima Walker from Tuscon AZ. While shows at Hymie’s are usually free, we are asking for a $5 donation since there is a touring artist on the bill.

horizon singers

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Hey Good Lookin'” performed by the Horizon Singers

It’s George Benson’s birthday and we thought it would be fun to celebrate with some of our favorite songs from his albums. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy his music, however — pretty much any day is the right day for some George Benson jams.

benson mcduf

George Benson cut his first single at ten years old, but fell into his familiar style a few years later working for organist Brother Jack McDuff, who served as a mentor to the promising guitarist. His first LP as a leader, The New Boss Guitar of George Benson, was recorded for Prestige Records with McDuff’s band in 1964, and most of the songs were originals he’d written. As a frequent side-man on McDuff’s records Benson’s bold, downstroke-driven style shone, but he also showed the sensitivity of Wes Montgomery’s more subtle, layered approach.

From this 70s Prestige two-fer, which includes Benson’s debut as well as McDuff’s Hot Barbeque, we picked this lovely version of the standard “Easy Living” because it shows how much Montgomery influenced Benson’s style from the beginning.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Easy Living”

DSC07258

With a quartet featuring organist Lonnie Smith, Benson made his heaviest bop recordings in the mid-sixties for Columbia. In addition to his two awesome albums, Its Uptown and The George Benson Cookbook, the group recorded Finger Lickin’ Good with Smith as the leader, and Melvin Sparks as a second guitarist. Ronnie Cuber plays a baritone sax with the group, giving them a grittier, swampier feel than other organ/guitar combos which usually employed a tenor.

Columbia capitalized on the success of Benson’s soul jazz hits in the seventies by collecting tracks from these albums, plus some unissued material, on Benson’s Burner in 1976. Its hard to say what fans of his mellow style made of these tracks, but we think of his bop recordings as some of his very best. “The Cooker” was the opening tune on The George Benson Cookbook.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“The Cooker”

benson weep willow

Lonnie Smith took the band to record for Blue Note, replacing Benson with Larry McGhee, ending their successful five year collaboration and also effectively ending Benson’s bop phase. During those years he had continued to work with Jack McDuff, and also appeared on albums by Lou Donaldson, Hank Mobley and Lee Morgan.

From the late 60s on, his own albums started trending towards the style of Wes Montgomery, and away from contemporaries like Grant Green and Melvin Sparks. Its a shame his own quartet was not recorded more by Columbia, because the handful of records they did make are fantastic.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Benson’s Rider”

miles in the sky

While at Columbia Benson also made an appearance on Miles Davis’ transitional album, Miles in the Sky. So far as we can recall, his was the first appearance of an electric guitarist on one of Miles’ Columbia albums, presaging the fusion phase which began in earnest with In a Silent Way (with Brit John MacLaughlin playing guitar) and providing a bridge of sorts between Benson’s soulful Columbia quartet and his own fusion-leaning albums for CTI to follow. Benson’s solo, starting shortly after the 7:00 mark, is surprisingly restrained compared to either.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Paraphernalia”

DSC07245

Benson opened his first album for Creed Taylor’s CTI label with a Miles Davis tune (“So What”) but by the time he hit his stride there the music was far removed from the heavy fusion vamps Davis was recording at the same time. Still, Benson’s bandmates over the half-dozen albums he made for the label included, at times, three members of Davis’ second great quintet, in addition to soul jazz mainstays like Phil Upchurch, Joe Farrell and the Brecker brothers. His driven take on Paul Desmond’s “Take Five” has always been a favorite of ours.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Take Five”

DSC07247Few things had more tragic consequences in the world of jazz than the first time Nat ‘King’ Cole began singing pop standards over sugary string arrangements — the records sold so quickly that at most sessions he stopped playing the piano, leaving the world without one of the finest soloists of a generation.

The same could be said of George Benson’s string of hit singles for Warner Brothers starting with 1977’s “This Masquerade” (below). His albums became increasingly filled with smoldering rhythm and blues numbers, and his solos fewer and further between. He had, in fact, crooned a couple tunes several years earlier on his lush recreation of the Beatles’ Abbey Road. On “Golden Slumbers” he doesn’t even play the guitar he’s seen carrying across the street.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Golden Slumbers”

songs in the key

Another pre-Breezin’ hint at Benson’s prodigious vocal prowess was an appearance on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. where he sings some backup as well as playing guitar. His supporting role is pretty minimal, overshadowed by another guest, flautist Bobbi Humphrey — still, any appearance on one of the most revered records of all time is pretty awesome. Stevie’s masterpiece beat out Benson’s Breezin’ for the album of the year Grammy, but Benson’s single “This Masquerade” won record of the year. “Another Star” was released as a single but it didn’t sell as well as “Sir Duke” and “I Wish,” both of which topped the charts.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Another Star”

DSC07256

Breezin’ set a new standard for crossover jazz, cultivating previously unrealized commercial potential. Record collectors know this as one of the most ubiquitous seventies jazz albums, taking for granted the likelihood there’s already a copy somewhere on our shelves. Although he only sang on one song, a cover of Leon Russell’s “This Masquerade,” its success as a single became the turning point in Benson’s career. Although this was his first album for Warner Brothers, it followed the form of his CTI Records and even included some artists regularly heard on his albums there, like Phil Upchurch as keyboardist Ronnie Foster, whose solos provide some of the album’s best moments.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“This Masquerade”

DSC07248Erotic Moods is the orphan of the George Benson catalog, having hardly been released and even less enthusiastically acknowledged. At its raunchiest the record’s loosest jams are downright dirty, especially the enthusiastic sex sounds throughout “Sweet Taste of Love” — one of two tracks featuring the sultry sounds of Willis “Gator” Jackson’s sax. This dancefloor gem has a hot lead vocal by Ann Winley, whose husband Paul ran the label which ran the range from doo wop to pioneering hip hop. Winley also produced a sweet soul jazz album by Willie “Gator” Jackson on which Benson played some of his most R&B styled guitar. Wikipedia’s Benson discography specifically omits this one, but Erotic Moods is essential Benson.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Smoking Cheeba Cheeba”

DSC07259

The live album Weekend in LA features Benson’s regular backing group: Phil Upchurch, Ronnie Foster, Jorge Dalto, Stanley Banks and the double drumming team of Harvey Mason and Ralph MacDonald. Its four sides recorded at the Roxy in 1977 are split pretty evenly between instrumentals and vocal numbers, and the band is in great form — the set also introduces “On Broadway,” the Drifters tune which Benson would sort of adopt as a signature tune. Our favorite track is tribute to Wes Montgomery.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“I Remember Wes”

DSC07244

Give me the Night first appeared here on the Hymie’s blog when we posted our proposal for a biopic about producer Quincy Jones, and its also a regular in our “make-out music” section. This is probably Benson’s most pop-oriented album. His take on James Moody’s “Moody’s Mood,” on which he’s joined by singer Patti Austin, is particularly silly. Still, there’s something irresistibly enjoyable about this album.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Give me the Night”

DSC07257

This two volume bootleg of Benson and a new band is a mellow affair compared to Weekend in LA. Most tunes are stretched to ten minutes or more, and the solos are subdued and thoughtful. Benson is certainly a fan of Miles Davis’ modal masterpiece Kind of Blue (who isn’t?), having recorded several of its songs. This long version of “All Blues” includes some great interplay between the quartet and a memorable, extended solo by Benson. Drummer Al Harewood, who passed away around this time last year, was a frequent side-man for Blue Note in the sixties. Here he comps Benson’s solo with the same flair he showed on albums by Stanley Turrentine and guitarist Grant Green.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“All Blues”

DSC07255

Benson sang “The Greatest Love of All” for the 1977 bio-pic The Greatest, in which Muhammad Ali played himself — lyricist Linda Creed wrote the song as she suffered through the early stages of breast cancer. When Creed passed at the tragically young age of thirty-seven, her song was a #1 hit as re-recorded by Whitney Houston. Another song Benson sang on the soundtrack, “I Always Knew I Had it in Me,” also had an inspiring message. It seems like the perfect place to end our tribute today.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“I Always Knew I had it in Me”

RockMachineTurnsYouOn

The Rock Machine Turns You On was the first budget-priced label sampler record. Columbia Records (CBS in the UK) produced it to improve sales of its contemporary rock, folk and blues lines, which on the jacket were called “underground” music. Ironically, the compilation contained artists like Bob Dylan, Blood Sweat and Tears and Simon & Garfunkel. Columbia’s idea was to compete more actively against labels which offered a more progressive catalog, like Elektra.

Labels had made promotional samplers for years, but this album was the first to be marketed to the general public as a marketing campaign. The original price was fourteen shillings and eleven pence, which seems like a lot of coins for a record but is actually only £0.75 in real money, which is half the usual cost of an LP. It sold very well and likely influenced the growing careers of the lesser-known in Europe artists included, like Spirit and Leonard Cohen.

The rock machine on the jacket was designed by Milton Glazer, the artist who also created the iconic poster inside Dylan’s Greatest Hits and the “I ♥ NY” logo. Columbia’s competitors quickly caught on and copied the idea, and similar collections were soon produced by Capitol, Warner/Reprise, Elektra and others. Record label samplers often had fun covers, which is our favorite feature. We’ve collected some of the coolest ones in the shop below.

We’ve got wide selection of them at the end of the compilations section here, but collectors of labels samplers are few and far between. The albums give you a good glimpse of the era, and sometimes feature tracks from records you’re unlikely to find without a long search. There’s one we’ve kept in our collection for years because of its great Tony Joe White song.

DSCN0633

Hard Goods from Warner/Reprise, about 1973. Features great songs by the Talbot Brothers, Deep Purple, the Beach Boys and Frank Zappa. Also a song from Osibisa’s “Happy Children,” which is a pretty hard album to find!

DSCN0634  DSCN0631Collectus Interruptus, from Warner Bros. and Sire Records in 1978, has a hilarious image on the jacket of, well, a collector interrupted.

The back of the jacket reads “twenty-six earbinding songs of unique delight, derring do, heartbreak, scandal and lurid sensations.” The song selection is not as great as other samplers, but it does put “God Save the Queen” next to Bootsy Collins’ “Bootzilla.”

The 1976 People’s Album doesn’t get much more political than Nazareth singing “I Will Not be Led” but it does have an awesome jacket.

DSCN0632

This very unusual Captiol sampler features three complete albums: Music from Big Pink by the Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service’s self-titled debut, and Sailor by the Steve Miller Band. All three are great albums and the artwork in this package is cool. It also features some really trippy poetry (uncredited) and weird liner notes.

DSCN0630Return to Casablanca kind of captures the limited range of the label, which was founded by Neil Bogart (get it?) who previously had run Buddah Records. The collection is from 1978, and consists of mostly disco and pop hits like Meco’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” And Kiss.

 

 

Five years ago we moved the record shop five blocks east, and we’ve celebrated the anniversary each year with a block party on 39th Avenue! It also happens to be Record Store Day.

Saturday April 18th we’ll present fourteen of the best bands in town on two stages, and welcome a wide variety of local artists to set up on the street outside the building we share with the Blue Moon Cafe. We’ll have an awesome selection of special, limited-edition Record Store Day releases, plus all kinds of rare records we’ve been saving for the occasion.

iigLQ0T

Our new neighbors, Peppers & Fries, will be providing delicious scratch-made burgers and burritos, as well as pouring tasty pints on their patio across 39th Avenue. What’s more our old friends at the Frattallone’s Ace Hardware across Lake Street will have all kinds of fun, family-friendly activities.

Once again the awesome sounds on stage will be mixed by Mother of All Music, and the one and only DJ Truckstashe will spin every jam you can imagine between sets, and those local music lovin’ folks from Radio K will be here too!

As we’ve done in the past we’ll be clearing out the storage space and put crates n’ crates of FREE RECORDS on 39th Avenue!

Local artists you’ll find at the block party will include cartoonist and printmaker Dwitt, ceramic artist Benjamin Krikava from Fire on the Greenway and Vinyl Afterlife.

Best of all will be the bands…there’s not a single person performing this year we wouldn’t call a friend, and there’s not a single act we wouldn’t call one of the best in town. Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, our Record Store Day 2015 lineup…

HymiesRSD15 Chastity Brown

Nato Coles and the Blue Diamond Band

The Dumpy Jug Bumpers

The Ericksons

Barbara Jean

Jack Klatt

Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade

Lutheran Heat

Jake Manders

Mike Munson and Mikkel Beckmen

Pennyroyal

Southside Desire

Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band

Wizards Are Real

Once again, that’s Saturday April 18th. Free live music on two stages throughout the day, plus crates n’ crates of special Record Store Day releases!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

“Record Machine” by Pennyroyal

« Older entries

This site is protected by Comment SPAM Wiper.