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Archive for July, 2007

Rotten Pumpkin

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

It is hard to stay optimistic about the future when each day seems to bring more and more catastrophe.The other day I was driving and happened to turn on the radio.   I randomly scanned the dial only to land on a station playing a new Smashing Pumpkins song. The good mood that I was in was crushed by the horrid whine of Billy Corgan and his crap sounding guitar.

Sounding much like they did over a decade ago, the Smashing Pumpkins have established themselves as the Sha Na Na of alterna-rock.

Trawling the bins

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

I have a love/hate relationship with record shopping. I am not talking about perusing the orderly bins in clean, well lit shops with listening stations showcasing whatever is cool for the week – but down and dirty record shopping at thrift stores. I have spent hours of my life in Savers, Goodwill and the smaller mom and pop thrift stores (which tend to have better records).I have flipped through thousands of discarded LPs. There was a time when I would flip through these stacks of records with excitement but not anymore. Such titles as “A Firestone Christmas” do not make me feel merry, Al Hirt’s many records now make me hurt and seeing copies of “Sing Along with Mitch” cause me a great sadness when I think of all the deceased individuals who will never sing along with this LP again. Herb Alpert’s “Whipped Cream” does not incite in me a craving for whipped topping but rather disgust in its abuse of dairy products.

If the collective amount of records that I have browsed were gathered together and doused with gasoline (an event I could only wish for) and ignited I am sure it would create a fire so big that it could been seen from space and its black smoke would blot out the sun, disrupting photosynthesis and hastening the death of our planet.

I am sure that the time spent on the pursuit of vinyl could have been used better. These hours could have been spent building ships in bottles, joining a pyramid scheme or watching reruns of “Life Goes On.”

What keeps me going are the good finds, 50’s Jazz on thick vinyl, weird hippy folk or a stash of original Sun Records 78’s. Just last week I was scored some great 60’s female pop stuff – with Francoise Hardy and Jacqueline Taieb being the best of the bunch. Too bad I had to pay the emotional price of competing with an Ebay guy who looked at me with pure hatred as I pulled out each record.