photo (4)School starts early in Minneapolis this year — between the cool weather and the rumble of school busses, you’d think it was already September. Kids are waiting on street corners all over the city, with cold lunches and new shoes and their annual tithing of school supplies. Usually this is when we post a classic anthem of rebellion like Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” or “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” by Pink Floyd.

This year we thought we’d go in a different direction…

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“Teacher Drives me Crazy” by Prentice Moreland

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“Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen

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“West” is from the upcoming second record by OAKS, Animal Life. The video was directed by Carlos Lamas. There’s a release show for it at the Icehouse on Friday night, and we’ll have it in stock later this week!

The Hymie’s crew is DJing a wedding tonight for a local musician who is a friend — so we’ll be zipping out of the shop right away today to the reception. We didn’t have time to find something new for the blog today because we’re busy picking records our friends will enjoy, so here’s a silly rerun from earlier this year…

Don’t hire this guy.

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“Marriage is For Old Folks” by Nina Simone

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“I’m Not the Marrying Kind” by Elvis Presley

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“Separate Ways” by Elvis Presley

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“When Did I Stop Loving You, When Did You Stop Loving Me?” by Marvin Gaye

School is starting very early this year, so you won’t see our little boy and girl eating lunch in the booths here in the record shop again until MEA weekend. We’re going to miss having them here, and biking around the neighborhood together. Laura likes to compare our home here on East Lake Street to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and it’s a pretty good explanation for how we feel. We could wear our arms out waving to everyone on our walks to work. Even the mail carrier is our friend, and she came to our tenth anniversary party last year and brought a growler of great beer made right here in Longfellow. One of the best things about living in this neighborhood is how many good friends we have right here. It’s a pretty great place for two kids to grow up.

i believe in youHere is a song introduced to us by someone who we miss very much. It’s message is very positive, as are most songs by the “Gentle Giant” of country music, Don Williams. This one was written by the duo of Roger Cook and Sam Hogin, who were successful Nashville songwriters. Cook is probably best remembered in pop culture* as one of the three who invented the “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” jingle while sitting in an airport. “I Believe in You” was just another huge country hit for Williams, but remarkable in that it was his only single to make it onto Billboard’s “Hot 100” list, too.
(*see what we did there?).

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“I Believe in You” reminds us of Paul McCartney’s “Too Many People,” a song on Ram considered to be a slight directed at John and Yoko’s activism. McCarney acknowledged as much in a October 2010 interview for Mojo.

The first line is about ‘too many people preaching practices.’ I felt John and Yoko were telling everyone what to do. And I felt we didn’t need to be told what to do. The whole tenor of the Beatles thing had been, like, each to his own. Freedom. Suddenly it was ‘You should do this.’ It was just a bit the wagging finger, and I was pissed off with it.

In both songs, the messages of “you should do this” are dismissed, and in “I Believe in You” flatly refuted. Williams had good reason to not let anyone tell him how to live his life: the song was recorded around the same time he and his wife, Joy, celebrated their twentieth anniversary. This April it was their fifty-fifth. And while he had to reschedule some shows earlier this year, Don Williams will be back on the road again in September. Seems like he’s doing just fine on his own.

 

 

photo (4)This song from an early album by Pharoah Sanders contrasts his role in John Coltrane’s band, where he was known for his style of over-blowing and dissonance.

Thembi is also the last recording on which Sanders’ collaborated with pianist Lonnie Liston Smith, who launched his own career as a leader with an album featuring this song.

In this 2007 interview, Smith explains how he found a Fender Rhodes piano stored in the studio, and this was his first experience playing it.

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“Astral Traveling”

photo (5)We heard this song for the first time in a long while recently when this compilation album turned up. The title — The Music You Don’t Hear on the Radio…at Least for the Time Being — is probably as apt today, although you may hear some of the artists on this collection (including Pharoah, Archie Shepp, Chico Hamilton and Ahmad Jamal) on KFAI’s great Saturday morning program, Mostly Jazz.

 

We love the text on this old Columbia inner sleeve. And it’s only partly out of date.

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HERE’S HOW RECORDS GIVE YOU MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT.

1. THEY’RE YOUR BEST ENTERTAINMENT BUY. Records give you top quality for less money than any other recorded form. Every album is a show in itself. And once you’ve paid the price of admission, you can hear it over and over.

2. THEY ALLOW SELECTIVITY OF SONGS AND TRACKS.  With records its easy to pick out the songs you want to play, or to play again a particular song or side. All you have to do it lift the tone arm and place it where you want it. You can’t do this as easily with anything but a phonograph album.

3. THEY’RE CONVENIENT, AND EASY TO HANDLE. With the long-playing record you get what you want to hear, when you want to hear it. Everybody’s familiar with records, too. And you can go anywhere with them because they’re light and don’t take up space.

4. THEY’RE ATTRACTIVE, INFORMATIVE AND EASY TO STORE. Record albums are never out of place. Because of the aesthetic appeal of the jacket design, they’re beautifully at home in any living room or library. They’ve also got important information on the backs — about the artists, about the performances or about the program. And because they’re flat and not bulky, you can store hundreds in a minimum of space and still see every title.

5. THEY’LL GIVE YOU HOURS OF CONTINUOUS AND UNINTERRUPTED LISTENING PLEASURE. Just stack them up on your automatic changer and relax.

6. THEY’RE THE PROVEN MEDIUM. Long-playing phonograph records look the same now as when they were introduced in 1948, but there’s a world of difference. Countless refinements and developments have been made to perfect the long-playing record’s technical excellence and insure the best in sound reproduction and quality.

7. IF IT’S IN RECORDED FORM, YOU KNOW IT’LL BE AVAILABLE ON RECORDS. Everything’s on long-playing records these days … your favorite artists, shows comedy, movie soundtracks, concerts, drama, documented history, educational material .. you name it. This is not so with any other kind of recording.

8. THEY MAKE A GREAT GIFT. Because everybody you know loves music. And everyone owns a phonograph because it’s the musical instrument everyone knows how to play. Records are a gift that says a lot to the person you’re giving them to. And they keep on remembering.

AND REMEMBER … IT ALWAYS HAPPENS FIRST ON RECORDS.

red foleyRed Foley based his song “Old Shep” on Hoover, a German Shepherd he had as a child which was poisoned by a neighbor. He recorded the song three times, but the song is most known for a different reason.

Elvis Presley first public performance was on October 3, 1945 at the Mississippi-Alabama Farm and Dairy Show, when he was ten years old. He stood on a chair to reach the microphone, but came in fifth place winning fair tickets and five dollars. Elvis had been encouraged to enter the contest because his Sunday school teacher was impressed when he sang it.

Elvis performed the song again at a high school talent show in 1951, and recorded it at the 1956 session for his second album, Elvis.

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“Old Shep”

Rolling Stone named “Old Shep” one of the saddest country songs of all time in this entertaining list. Our own previous post about dogs on record covers included the happy fella sitting by Neil Young.

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