Good Album Hunting April 28, 2016: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

The Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library moved the semiannual book sale from a location about fifteen minutes from me to a location about forty-five minutes away, plus or minus fifteen minutes with traffic. So I’m only going once this year, and I made a beeline to the record albums. I knew I was going to be in trouble when the second album I touched was Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos More Amor.

So I bought a lot of LPs.

Don’t bother counting. That’s sixty albums. They had a large number of Brazilian albums, mostly samba and MGB, so I ended up with a pile of them now.

Here’s what I got:

  • Angela Bofill Angie
  • Artie Shaw Tiara Spotlight Series
  • Bent Fabric Alley Cat
  • Beth Carvalho Sentimento Brasileiro
  • Beth Carvalho Suor No Rosto
  • Billy Ocean Love Zone
  • Boots Randolph Plays the Greatest Hits of Today
  • Burl Ives Christmas Album
  • Burt Bacharach Bacharach Baroque: The Renaissance
  • Charlie Barnet Presents a Tribute to Harry James
  • Chick Corea Touchstone
  • Clara Nunes Sucessos de Ouro
  • Dean Martin Favorites
  • Dean Martin Welcome to My World
  • Donna Summer Bad Girls
  • Eartha Kitt The Fabulous Eartha Kitt
  • Elba Ramalho Coração Brasileiro
  • Elis Regina Nada Será Como Antes
  • Elis Regina Vento de Maio
  • Eric Gale Touch of Silk
  • Estela Núñez Uno…
  • Eydie Gorme and The Trio Los Panchos More Amor
  • Gal Costa Fantasia
  • Gal Costa Baby Gal
  • Ginny and the Gallions The Two Sides Of
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Baddest
  • Grover Washington, Jr. Skylarkin’
  • GRP Live In Session
  • Harold Gomberg The Baroque Oboe
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Going Places!!
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Summertime
  • Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass What Now My Love
  • Herbie Mann Waterbed
  • Hiroshima Third Generation
  • Jackie Gleason The Best of Jackie Gleason Volume 2
  • Jean-Pierre Rampal Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano
  • Johnny Mathis and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Live It Up!
  • Kiri and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Blue Skies
  • Leny Andrade Leny Andrade
  • Les Elgart Half Satin Half Latin
  • Linda Ronstadt and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra Lush Life
  • Maria Bethânia Alteza
  • Nelson Ayres Mantiquiera
  • Pete Fountain Salutes the Great Clarinetists
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 Herb Alpert Presents
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66 Look Around
  • Simone Amar
  • Stargard Stargard
  • The Commodores Midnight Magic
  • The Commodores Natural High
  • The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen
  • The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen Volume II
  • Tony Bennett The Many Moods of Tony
  • Tony Bennett Who Can I Turn To?
  • Toshiko Akiyoshi Notorious Tourist from the East
  • The Baroque Trumpet
  • Baroque Fanfares and Sonatas for Brass
  • Voices of the Middle Ages
  • Sucessos Inesquecíveis Da M.P.B.
  • A&M Records Million Dollar Sampler

I got three albums (Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Going Places!! and What Now My Love and Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66 Look Around) because they had better covers than the ones I already have. I got two albums (Blue Skies and Live It Up!) because of the “and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra”.

And I’ve got a couple weeks worth of listening for about $60.

I got three books, too, as you can see. And my children found a Perry Como title in the CDs for me, but when I got home, I discovered it was a copy inside, so I discarded it. I try to be careful about that, but I was too busy worrying about the records to check the CD I guess.

Also, I tested my beautiful wife’s love as never before as I brought in this ten inch stack of records. Followed soon by the greatest test ever of my furniture making skill as I try to create a storage solution for my hundreds of LPs.

How To Tell What Brian Is Listening To

At the gym, I’ve finally entered the late 20th century and got myself one of these new Walkmans that play computer files, so I’m always jacked in to something playing at a level too high for my ears.

In case you’re wondering what I’m listening to, here’s a cue:

If I’m turning my head side to side while mouthing the lyrics, it’s Billy Joel’s “I Go To Extremes”:

I fancy myself to be Liberty DeVitto in those moments, I guess.

Everything I Thought I Knew Might Be Wrong

So I’ve heard what I thought were Stacy Kent songs on KCSM lately.

Not this one, which is from The Boy Next Door, which I have around here someplace. I know this is Stacy Kent:

So I’ve been hearing what I thought was Stacy Kent on the station lately, and although I didn’t recognize the song, I thought I recognized the voice.

But, wait a minute: Could it have been…. Cyrille Aimée?

I have a new mission: to learn to distinguish easily between the two vocalists.

On a single listen of Cyrille Aimée, I cannot easily.

Eat the Soap for Digestive Health

At a place we recently stayed, they provided a very large digestive health aid in case our weekending dining took a turn for the worse:

There are two types of people in this world: those who have the song stuck in their heads now, and those who don’t.

This long distance dedication goes out to those of you in the second category.

Welcome to the party.

Good Album Hunting: Red Racks Thrift Store, December 27, 2015

When last we left my Quest for the Metal Queen, I foolishly left behind an awesome looking 80s metal record at Relics Antique Mall. And I vowed to return for it.

The next day was a Sunday, and I couldn’t remember when Relics opened. I have an hour between 9:30 and 10:30 where the children and my beautiful wife are in Sunday School and I’m in the corner of Springfield by Red Racks. Monday through Saturday, Relics opens at 10; on Sunday, though, it doesn’t open until noon.

Still, I was hungry for LPs, so I stopped by the Red Racks thrift store nearby.

Red Racks has a decent collection of LPs for sale, eight or ten orange crates full, but the turnover isn’t that good, so I end up seeing the same or very, very similar sets of records every time I go there. A lot of Mac Davis, a lot of gospel, and enough Tennessee Ernie Ford to fill Tennessee.

I passed on a Steve Lawrence title or two (although based on intelligence gleaned from Dustbury’s comment to the post linked above, I might start grabbing some of them as I come across them. I also passed on a Claudine Longet LP that I don’t have because I didn’t really glom onto her work when I’ve listened to the other couple I got (from Red Racks, appropriately enough).

I found this pair:

Maynard Ferguson’s Hollywood; I’ll buy any Ferguson on sight.

Richie Cole’s alto madness; now this is the sound I associate with jazz. A light, airy, saxophone heavy bit of background music. I’ll look for this artist in the future.

But no Metal Queen. Yet.

Good Album Hunting: Relics Antique Mall, December 26, 2015

One of my Christmas presents was a gift certificate (well, two) for Relics Antique Mall. Which meant I could get something old and/or nice and/or overpriced (like common Atari 2600 cartridges for $8 each, although someday that will be a bargain).

So, of course, I got records.

I got:

  • Eydie Gorme, Let the Good Times Roll. This is a collection of gospel/soul standards, and probably my least favorite Eydie record.
  • Eydie Gorme, Eydie. A later 1960s outing.
  • Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Two on the Aisle. It’s a collection of movie themes. It also contained an extra platter that I didn’t notice–I thought it was a two album set.
  • Steve Lawrence, Portrait of My Love. The aforementioned freebie.
  • Pete Fountain, Bateau Lounge.
  • Pete Fountain, Licorice Stick.
  • Pete Fountain, Music to Turn You On.
  • Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Ye-Me-Le.
  • The Crosby Bros, Presenting the Crosby Bros. Bing’s kids. They did better backing him up on his various endeavors.
  • Longines Symphonette Great Vocalists of the Big Band Era, a compilation record including Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and so on.
  • Linda Ronstadt, Greatest Hits. So that sound was a thing in the 1970s, apparently: Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John sound a lot alike, as do Claudine Longet and Lynda Carter for that matter.
  • Linda Ronstadt, Living in the U.S.A.. This 1980s effort features the high and tight curly perm that some women wore in the 1980s. Me, I’m still a fan of the big, teased hair, but the tight curls doesn’t impress me. Perhaps, Dr. Freud, it’s because my mother would sometimes get this when one of her friends would give her a makeover and make her look like a zombie with tight curls.
  • Jackie Gleason, Silk ‘n’ Brass.
  • Sammy Davis, Jr., and Carmen McRae, Boy Meets Girl.
  • Henry Mancini, Mancini’s Angels, a collection of Mancini’s later themes.
  • Switched on Bach, Bach run through a Moog synthesizer.
  • Bach’s Head, a collection of Bach’s works apparently targeted to the marijuana using public.
  • Lo Mejor del Año (1983), a collection of Spanish language pop from 1983.
  • Die Große Starparade Folge 14 a collection of (West) German pop from the 1950s. It sounds like American pop of the era infused with polka and with the vocal tracks run backwards.
  • A Greek pop album whose name I cannot reproduce for you right now either because I’m too lazy to rekey it using Greek symbols or because I’m afraid in doing so I’ll summon an ancient evil.
  • Perry Como, No Other Love.
  • Perry Como, And I Love You So.
  • Perry Como, Como’s Golden Records. That’s what I get for saying you never see Como. Now I see him everywhere, and I must buy them all.
  • Roger Wagner Chorus, The Songs of Stephen Foster. I got this one because it was in the sleeve for Perry Como Swings, which is one of the first things I picked up. Somehow, I failed to double-check it, so now I have an extra sleeve for a Como album and an album I would not have otherwise bought.

Overall, not a bad haul. For free with the gift certificates. Had I known, I would not have put down the copy of Lee Aaron’s Metal Queen which I put back because I don’t tend to listen to rock on the turntable, but as the night went on, I vowed to return for it.

Good Album Hunting: Vintage Stock, Mid-December

In the middle of December, we hit the local Vintage Stock, which sells old comic book, video games, movies, and, I discovered, LPs, to see if they had a Game Boy Advance Legend of Zelda game. They did not, but did I mention they have LPs, many as low as a dollar each?

So I bought a few.

Here’s what I picked up:

  • Eydie Gorme, Eydie in Love. This might be my favorite Eydie Gorme album now.
  • Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, The ABC Collection.
  • Sade, Stronger than Pride. I love Sade and have a couple of her CDs, but this is my first LP.
  • Maria Muldaur, Southern Winds. I never heard of her, but I took a flier because she might Diana Maldaur’s sister. Well, no, she’s not, but they have the same last name. The LP is 80s songbird pop, a little more electrified version of Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton John circa 1976.
  • Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, Look Around. I like this band, but when I put the record on, I thought perhaps I already had it. But that’s because the band’s music sounds very similar on most their albums. Also, one of my previously purchased albums came in the wrong cover, so I might already have it and not recognize it.
  • Dan Hartman, I Can Dream About You. I originally had this on audiocassette that I bought as a cut-out. I’ve played the Fletch soundtrack which features a couple of these songs a bunch for years, but this album includes the title hit.
  • Natalie Cole, Don’t Look Back.
  • Dean Martin, Hits Again.
  • Dean Martin, Gentle on My Mind.
  • Dean Martin, The Hit Sound of Dean Martin.
  • Ray Parker, Jr., and Raydio, A Woman Needs Love.

They were only a buck each, and one of the Dean Martin covers came with two unrelated platters in it. When I pointed it out to the kid behind the counter, he said “Freebie.” As I said, many of the albums are only a dollar which is cheaper than the thrift stores, and the dollar ones are the ones in my wheelhouse. Others, such as 1970s and 1980s rock, are more than that, but they’re not the sort of thing I listen to on LP.

Hours of listening pleasure, and I ran out of Mylar album protectors after this batch. I know, you’re saying “Did he use four hundred-packs or only three?” Well, to tell you the truth, in all the excitement, I lost track myself. So the question you have to ask yourself is, “Did he order more, the punk?”

Well, yes, I did. And I’ve used over a quarter of the new pack already, but that’s a Good Album Hunting post for another day.

Life Precedes Dustbury

So amid the monsoon, I’m listening to the rain thunder on the roof of the industrial-plant-turned-antique-mall and the occasional thunder actually thunder throughout the building. I’ve got a couple of gift certificates that I received for Christmas (this is an antique mall, after all, and not a resale shop or used content venue), and I’ve put a stack of (24) LPs on the counter for the woman behind the counter to begin laboriously typing in the tags from each booth where I collected the records, and the man in the CHICAGO BEARS jersey dares to speak to me about vinyl coming back.

It seems he’s a collector, too. He had some 50s, 60s, and 70s stuff before he went into the service, he gave it all away and then spent years trying to recollect what he’d given away. He said he had about 300, which is a number my beautiful wife wishes I’d held to. The fellow also mentioned that Columbia House was restarting because the millenials are discovering vinyl.

I thought he meant Columbia, the recording label, but as Charles points out, the Columbia House record club is resurrecting and selling records.

Briefly, I predict.

On the other hand, I spent less than a penny for my twenty-four records with judicious application of gift certificates and gift cards.

Christmas Album Review: Merry Christmas by Bing Crosby (ca 1955)

Book coverThis album differs from some of the other Bing Crosby compilations (such as Christmas with Bing) because it’s a Christmas album as a Christmas album, not a collection of other songs from other records. This one features more swing to it, as it was recorded in the 1950s while Bing was relatively young and not later as he grew to be an elder statesman of music and television host. Several tracks feature the Andrews Sisters as well to give you an idea.

The track list includes>

  • Silent Night
  • Adeste Fideles (Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful)
  • White Christmas
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Faith Of Our Fathers
  • I’ll Be Home For Christmas (If Only In My Dreams)
  • Jingle Bells
  • Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  • Silver Bells
  • It’s Beginning To Look Like Christmas
  • Christmas In Killarney
  • Mele Kalikimaka

The song “Faith of our Fathers” is new; the others, although standards, have a little zip on them and are festive. Overall, it’s a good listen for the holidays and breaks out of the normal Bing Crosby ouevre. Which, I suspect, many Bing Crosby albums do once you move beyond the often-anthologized.

Good Book Record Hunting: October 22, 2015

So I snuck off to the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale on Thursday to raid the LPs.

Here’s what I got:

This includes:

  • Pete Fountain The Sunsetters $2.00
  • Sergio French La Dolce Italy $7.00
  • Brass Impact Going Someplace $7.00
  • Roger Blackburn Barbershopping in Brass $5.00
  • Henry Mancini 10 $0.99
  • Pete Fountain Plays and the Angels Sing $3.49
  • The Brass Connection $4.50
  • Steve and Eydie Together on Broadway $4.50
  • Perry Como Hello, Young Lovers $0.68
  • Dinah Washington What a Diff’rence a Day Makes $0.99
  • Jackie Gleason Presents A Taste of Brass for Lovers Only ?
  • Maria Callas Arias I Love $4.54
  • Dean Martin Greatest Hits Volume 1 $0.50
  • Dresden State Orchestra Wagner Overtures ?
  • Jim Howard Pat Sullivan Jazz Orchestra No Compromise $9.99
  • Jackie Gleason Presents Lazy Lively Love $1.25
  • Jackie Gleason Presents Lush Musical Interludes for That Moment $1.00
  • Quincy Jones and His Orchestra The Quintessence $1.50
  • Billy Butterfield and His Orchestra Blows His Horn $4.49
  • Artie Shaw and His Orchestra Moonglow $1.00
  • Pete Fountain Something Misty $0.90
  • Boots Randolph The World of Boots Randolph $0.51
  • Living French $3.00

All the LPs were a buck each; the thumbnail values above are courtesy of Discogs. They’re a quick lookup, represent what others are selling the items for and not what people will pay for them, and in no way shape or form should be used in tallying my personal wealth.

Still, Discogs leads me to believe I might have come out with $40 more value than I spent. Of course, they’ll give me hours of enjoyment so it’s more than that.

I also picked up a couple dollar books on the way by: A short bio sketch of H.G. Wells and a dollar collection of chapbooks grouped about their common theme of humorous accents. No doubt you’ll see some of them reported on biemby.

I don’t know if I’ll hit the Better Books section of the sale on half price day (Saturday) or bag day (Sunday). It’ll have to depend upon how flush I’m feeling on the weekend and how the scheduling shakes out. But I notice that the Friends group has wisely scheduled bag day on the Packers’ bye week. Do they know me or what?

Ancient Philosophers Answer Pop Music Questions

Miss Ford asks:

If I close my eyes forever
Will it all remain unchanged?
If I close my eyes forever
Will it all remain the same?

We turn to members of the Eleatic School, Parmenides and Zeno, to answer.

Parmenides: Yes indeedly do (Μπορείτε να στοιχηματίσετε γάιδαρο σας). How could what is perish? How could it have come to be? For if it came into being, it is not; nor is it if ever it is going to be. Thus coming into being is extinguished, and destruction unknown.

Zeno: That counts quadruple for semi-forgotten 80s hair metal. Then it counts double. Then it counts once. Then one half. And so on into infinity. If everything when it occupies an equal space is at rest, and if that which is in locomotion is always occupying such a space at any moment, the flying arrow is therefore motionless.

Parmenides: [What exists] is now, all at once, one and continuous… Nor is it divisible, since it is all alike; nor is there any more or less of it in one place which might prevent it from holding together, but all is full of what is. So get over yourself.

I Don’t Want To Make You Feel Old, Old Man, But…

The baby that the poet-narrator of Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” didn’t give up would turn 30 next year.

What a strange world we live in, professor. The film garnered some controversy in the 1980s by its frank portrayal of teenaged pregnancy. I remember, if my aged memory serves, much of the hubbub was because some said it promoted teenaged sex which, I’m told, occurred amongst some of the population when I was teenaged. However, in the twenty-first century, it might garner more controversy for the poet-narrator deciding to keep the baby instead of producing post-conception raw materials for profit.

New Thrift Store Record Finds

Perhaps I should start a new series called Good Record Hunting to account for my trips to thrift stores looking for LPs (and, in my defense, a cheap television to hook up old computers).

Yesterday, I visited the DAV Thrift Store and briefly browsed its LPs, but they were poorly arranged for browsing and cost $2.48 each. I also visited the Salvation Army thrift store next door. There were fewer, they were easier to browse, and they only cost $1 each, so I got:

This group includes:

  • The Opera Society’s small disc version of Rigoletto’s Verdi. Or Verdi’s Rigoletto. Sometimes, with these modern things, it’s hard to tell which is the band name and which is the song.
  • Keely Smith, Be My Love.
  • Perry Como, In Italy. To be honest, I didn’t look close to see if he sings any Verdi.
  • Dean Martin, Everybody Loves Somebody (The Hit Version).
  • Perry Como, Just For You, a Sylvania-branded record.
  • The Czechoslovakian Philharmonic Orchestra doing some Mahler.

It’s funny when you go to thrift stores and book sales, you seem to find more LPs than cassettes. I don’t know if this is only a perception thing because they’re bigger than tapes, but it’s probably because the LP sale prominence lasted for decades and audio cassettes only sold for, what, twenty years, mostly in parallel with LPs and then CDs. Also, they’re small and easy to throw out and LPs are big enough to think they’re worth something.

Also, I don’t think I’ll start a whole new category of posts, as I don’t imagine I’ll do this that often. Although it might prove to be more often than I go to book sales these days.

Also, please note I use Discogs for my record research (and I poach images of the LPs from them). It’s a cool site. If you dig records, you should check it out.

Down the Slippery Slope

The critics predicted it: Gay marriage becomes the law of the land, and people would start buying albums of show tunes.

Although, in my defense in this case, it was a collection of Pat Suzuki singing show tunes:

If Mark Steyn can listen to show tunes, I can, too.

At any rate, the acquisition stems from a recent trip to the local thrift store. I was looking for a cheap television set to hook a couple of old computers. I didn’t find any, but I did find the shelf with the crates of LPs on them. Ha, just kidding! I knew where it was all the time, and I went right to it after realizing that thrift stores generally don’t have old televisions any more.

At any rate, check out what I have in a sort-of Johnsonesque roundup:

This includes:

  • Quincy Jones Explores The Music of Henry Mancini.
  • Boots Randolph Yakety Sax. My children will never equate this song with sophisticated British comedy that our fathers all enjoyed.
  • Boots Randolph More Yakety Sax.
  • Boots Randolph Boots with Strings.
  • Boots Randolph Sunday Sax. I figure, if I buy one from a new artist, I should buy all that I find. Just in case I like the artist.
  • Claudine Longet Claudine.
  • Claudine Longet The Look of Love. Claudine Longet, at first blush, seems a little soft and breathy for LPs. I tend to put on a record and listen to it from the next room, so stronger voices tend to sound better. Longet, like Erin Bode, might be better for CDs and closer listening. Longet appears on A&M records, Herb Alpert’s label. I’m enjoying exploring its catalog as I gather records.
  • Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass The Beat of the Brass. I bought this one, a title I already owned, because the cover is in better condition. If I put the better record in the better cover, is that like mixing serial numbers on a collectible car or gun?
  • Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme We Got Us. I will buy Steve and Eydie albums because of Eydie; I left a couple of Steve Lawrence solo works in the bins.
  • Benny Goodman and His Orchestra Let’s Dance Again. Pete Fountains is leading me to appreciate the clarinet. How many people in the 21st century would say Pete Fountains led them to give Benny Goodman an audience? Very few. Or one.
  • The Isley Brothers Do Their Thing. Not to be confused with “It’s Your Thing” which the Isley Brothers do. The Isley Brothers do all things.
  • Olivia Newton-John Making a Good Thing Better. Because as of this spring, I’m apparently a collector of Olivia Newton-John albums.
  • Louis Armstrong and His All-Stars I Love Jazz!.
  • Perry Como Season’s Greetings from Perry Como. Because I’ve recently started finding Perry Como albums in the wild (after I said one rarely does), I’ve started buying them.
  • Dean Martin Winter Romance. This is the other Christmas album, the one with “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” on it. (The non-other album, of course, is The Dean Martin Christmas Album.)
  • Bennett & Basie Strike Up The Band.
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford Sixteen Tons.
  • Harry James and His Big Band Mr. Trumpet. I’ve never heard of Harry James before, but apparently he played for Benny Goodman before starting his own band at 23. I’ll look for more of his work in the future.
  • The McGuire Sisters May You Always.
  • Eydie Gorme Vamps the Roaring 20s.
  • Natalie Cole Unpredictable. When I first say it, I thought the word was Unforgettable, and I was confused as to why the song was not actually on the album. Danged cursive.
  • Pat Suzuki The Many Sides of Pat Suzuki.
  • Pat Suzuki Broadway ’59. Again, when I see multiple discs from an artist I don’t know, I’ll tend to buy them all in case I like the artist. This turned out well, as Suzuki has a strong voice and belts out some songs. These two discs represent half her catalog, which is a shame.

It was a fruitful trip, except for the no televisions. I think I’ll use the search-for-televisions thing to hit one or more other local thrift stores and see what other LPs I can gather, at least until my beautiful wife becomes my beautiful-when-she’s-angry wife.

It’s A Shame They Broke Up; Neither Love Nor Rockets Found Much Success Solo

The Love and Rockets song “So Alive” has entered the playlist of about 200 songs that the local “Most Variety” radio station runs through in roughly the same order but at different times during the day. Almost as though making the programming run on an 18 hour cycle will mask the fact that it’s canned and looping.

I don’t particularly care for the song and didn’t when it was on the radio as a hit; I remember hearing it come on as I was up late on summer vacation, typing computer programs from magazines into a computer room at the house on the gravel road deep in the Heads Creek valley between House Springs and Otto, Missouri, after the rest of the household had gone to bed. The reward was seeing a terribly low resolution ball bounce in a terribly low resolution maze if all the typing matched the checksums at the end of the line.

Now, I hear the song on the radio, and I quip to my children, “It’s a shame when they broke up, because neither Love nor Rockets had much luck solo.”

They don’t get it.

And back in those Commodore 128 summers, we didn’t actually have a way to easily look up whatever happened to those guys. They cut a couple records after the one that spawned their biggest hit, but did not have the same success and they broke up in the 20th century and briefly reunited in the 21st century for a bit of nostalgia.

Good Book Hunting: June 12, 2015 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church

The Catholic church down on Republic Road had its annual garage sale this weekend, so I sneaked off on Friday afternoon to see if there was anything for me. I don’t know why, but I’ve been a little down on going to garage sales of late. In the past, I’ve found things I could use in crafts or around the house; I’ve found things to sell on eBay for a bit of walking around money; I’ve found things I collect myself, like old computers and electronics; and I’ve found books and music.

However, I’m not doing the crafts or the eBay much these days, and I’m stuffed to the rafters with books to read. You don’t find old electronics in garage sales these days, as they’ve already found their ways into collections by this point. And the household stuff available is generally ticky tack, and although I’ve been a bachelor and once had a cable spool covered with shag fabric as a central piece of furniture in my loving room, I’m entering the age of my life (that is, married a while) where I’m moving away from pressboard if I can. We’re even down to only two secondhand (garage sale, natch) Sauder printer stands as central pieces of furniture in our house. So the only thing I’m really interested in is maybe some music or records. But I’m still drawn to garage sales for old times’ sake and because, hey, who knows. But I favor the church sales because normal garage sales are rife with kids’ things and things young families want to get rid of. I’m not in a young family, so I don’t need what they have to offer.

At any rate, I did find something:

Among the books, we have:

  • A Norwegian-English dictionary, just in case I ever get to greet the members of a-ha in their native language.
  • Four books in Andre Norton’s Witchworld series in a box set.
  • A book of holiday jokes to scan during fall football games and then to pass onto the joke-loving children.
  • Two of the Richard Marcinko Rogue Warrior novels whose names I didn’t recognize.
  • The Book of Useless Information, another to flip through between football plays on Sunday afternoons.
  • A couple books of manga. I don’t know anything about manga, even how to pronounce manga. I want to pronounce it with a j sound, like mangia, but that’s because I did an open mic night at a little restaurant called Mangia Italiana a couple times back in the day. I’m not sure whether to try it like mango (as Americans pronounce it) or mango (like it’s properly pronounced by Spanish speakers). Given that I spoke Japanese with a Spanish accent back when I tried to learn it from a text-based computer program and pronounced all transliterated Japanese words with Spanish phonemes, I’ll go with the latter until I embarrass myself and say it in front of someone who knows how it’s pronounced.
  • Mele Abbey a guidebook for a landmark of some sort to flip through during football games. Hey, it’s OTA time for the NFL. I have to prepare for the season, too.
  • The Road to Serfdom by Hayek. For fifty cents.

As to music, I got:

  • The Denver Brass, Misbehavin’ on CD.
  • The Best of Romance of The Spanish Guitar on CD.
  • The Dave Brubeck Trio, Time Out (1959) on vinyl.
  • Pearl Bailey, Saint Louis Blues on vinyl.
  • A 78 rpm picture record of Joan Edwards singing “More than You Know” and “Go West Young Man”. It lists on eBay for 40-80 dollars. W00t! And it sounds good.
  • A couple of Bing Crosby 78s. It’s the binder for songs from the film Going My Way, but of the 3 platters, only one is included, and its spindle hole is damaged and requires repair; another disc is “White Christmas”.
  • A 78 song and story book for “Little Toot”.

Additionally, I picked up two videocassettes: Crocodile Dundee and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown along with a book about drawing heroes that I’ve passed onto my children.

The total cost was $17.50. I was tempted to return today to buy the rest of the 78s for a buck (it’s a dollar for a bag at noon), but I’m resisting it.

That Other Londonbeat Song

In 1990, a band called Londonbeat charted a song called “I’ve Been Thinking About You” which you sometimes hear on the radio even today. Well, I assume somewhere, you might; here in Springfield, it doesn’t fit into the three radio formats and the 1000 songs on their combined playlists at any given time.

In 1990, Londonbeat charted a follow-up single. Deb, a woman I hung around with and would eventually date briefly, loved Londonbeat, but I was just then growing my mullet and listening to album oriented rock at the time (which survives as classic rock, one of the three radio formats in Springfield–the other two being country and the greatest hits of all time which means music from the 1980s and 1990s and, when they’re feeling saucy, a Bruno Mars tune (but don’t worry about that program director who went a little too far–he’s fired!)).

Where was I before I digressed two sets of parentheses deep?

Oh, yes, I made light of Londonbeat, especially their second hit, which includes the lines:

On the harbour bridge
The rain was gently falling down
On a lazy summer day
Your face appeared
There on my windscreen
You smiled and slipped away

“My God, he just hit her with his car,” I said because I have always had this grim sense of humor. Also, because it was the 1990s, a dark age, so I apologize for expressing the thought that the poet-narrator was talking about a woman.

So, at any rate, I made light of the song, and in the infrequent times I thought of Londonbeat over the years, I mostly remembered “I’ve Been Thinking About You” and could not remember the name of this song. Sometimes, I’d think that the last time I thought about Londonbeat a couple years ago, I could remember the name of the song, but I probably did not.

I know, I know, some of those times were in the 21st century, and if I’d been at a computer, I could have looked it up to see the name of the other song. Why, this sometimes even occurred in the smart phone era, where I could whip out a portable computer and I could look it up. But I didn’t, probably because I thought of Londonbeat while driving or in circumstances where I didn’t want to stare at a portable computer screen while life occurred in front of me.

However, this morning <fanfare>>fanfare<, I was at my computer thinking about Londonbeat, and I looked it up, and (re)discovered:

“A Better Love”:

Now, more than twenty years later, I listen to it, and I think, Hey, that sounds okay. Maybe I’ll pick up a Londonbeat album now that I’m an old man and am branching out from the AOR.

Now, the challenge that will follow me around for the next twenty years: What was that other song by Soul II Soul? Like Londonbeat, Soul II Soul charted more than one song, so you don’t hear “Back to Life” on the radio on the One Hit Wonders special programming.

Help Settle A Marital Dispute

There’s a little contention at Nogglestead about which version of the song “Radioactive” is the best.

First, the original by Imagine Dragons:

Second, the cover by Within Temptation:

My beautiful wife thinks one is the definitive version, and I think the other is.

Please, let me know which you think is the better.

I don’t want to bias you, but clearly one version is slower and building, which is appropriate pacing for a song about waking up and reinvigorating, and one is up tempo and nice and all, but it doesn’t convey that same sense of awakening.