"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

This Is Your Vinyl Warning (2/28/13)

My nephew was on campus so we met up for an early dinner.  I told him there was a new record store I wanted to visit and I asked him if he wanted to go.  

Who am I kidding?  The kid loves music as much as I do.  Actually, he might like music more.  He'd already received his tax refund and was ready to spend money.

Off we went.

This particular record store is a reboot of a vinyl shack I used to frequent back in the mid-'90s.  I worked at a bookstore near campus, had an apartment nearby.  There were four record stores in my neighborhood (three indies, one chain), all within walking distance.  

Remember the record store Cusack ran in High Fidelity?  The clerk played by Jack Black?  This place was like that.  Three or four Jack Blacks behind the counter, humiliating and harassing as many customers as they could.  I knew the owners casually.  I browsed once a week, spent money once or twice a month.

Eventually, I started dating a woman with a record store of her own.  I moved out of the neighborhood.  One indie closed, and then the national chain went belly-up.  Two record stores were left, within blocks of each other.  Eventually, the place with all the Jack Blacks shut down.  One owner put his records in storage.  A few years later, he opened a little pop-up store.  Now he's back in business.

While my nephew browsed, I went through the new arrivals.  Right off the bat, I found this Beau Brummels album (Beau Brummels '66), their first album for Warner.  It's strictly a covers album, but I like it a lot, particularly their cover of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."  They also tackle Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel, The Rolling Stones, Nancy Sinatra, and Sonny & Cher, among others.  Very nice.

I looked at a lot of records before heading over to the used comedy section, which is where I found three more must-haves.

Suffice to say my fondness for Don Adams goes back decades.  I owe a lot to Get Smart.  If you're a fan, there's a chance we'll be friends.  If you're not, if you don't get what's funny about 86 and 99 or KAOS and CONTROL, we're going to have a tougher time seeing eye to eye.  Sorry about that, Chief.

The Detective (Roulette SR 25317)is a reissue of Don Adams' eponymous debut.  It's not great, but it's a Don Adams album I don't own.  Now I do.

I used to visit Chicago once a year to buy books, one of the perks of my job.  Just off Michigan Avenue was a terrific record store, and I used to pack light, knowing I'd need room in my suitcase for new vinyl.  I found a copy of Musically Mad (RCA Victor LPM - 1929) one year, but I put it back for some reason.  Damage to the sleeve?  Too expensive?  I can't recall.  All I know is I don't have it and I want it. This copy was $2.99.  What the youngsters call a no-brainer.  The record isn't all that great, but the cover art by Norman Mingo is priceless.  

The last album I bought was Jackie Kannon's Live from the Ratfink Room (Roulette SRLP 505).  The shrinkwrap was still on it. 

Ratfink was an expression my dad would use.  That's one of Kannon's jokes:  "You know what the definition of a ratfink is?  That's a guy who lets you drink 12 beers then locks the toilet door."  

Shakespeare it ain't.  But like the other records I bought, Live from the Ratfink Room is something I need.

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