Good Album Hunting, Saturday, June 8, 2019: SEAS Sale and Relics Antique Mall

So yesterday, I found myself at the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton annual sale, and they had a couple of boxes of records. I found a couple that looked interesting and bought them along with a couple of glass vases to etch.

Then, I found myself at Relics Antique Mall as my wife is looking for some wall decorations for the guest room that we painted three years ago and have had bare walls since. While she looked for something to match her tastes, I flipped through some bins of records. Some of the bins are getting nuts as far as pricing goes–one of my go-to end caps had some priced at $14 or $24 dollars (although the sign said half off of everything, that’s still a little much for my taste). However, another stalwart end cap still had records for $3 each, and I’m getting more comfortable with buying records at that price.

So here’s what I got:

  • The capstone is Blow Your Own Horn by Herb Alpert. After the 1970s, his music was selling more on cassettes, I guess, so it’s rare to find something of his from the 1980s. Unfortunately, it skips a bit on the first song.
  • Knock on Wood by Amii Stewart.
  • Stephanie by Stephanie Mills, best known around these parts for singing “Bit by Bit” on the Fletch soundtrack.
  • Uptown by the Neville Brothers. I just got an Isley Brothers album, and I sometimes confuse the two acts. By building my collection, I’ll get them straight.
  • Welcome Back by John Sebastian. I’ve seen this on this end cap before and thought I’d buy it someday for his rendition of the Welcome Back, Kotter theme song. Today was that day. I also noted some albums that I’ll buy later, someday, but I’d better make it sooner rather than when the prices go up to $5 each and I won’t be so inclined to explore.
  • Fred Astaire’s Greatest Hits. I’m not sure what his greatest musical hits are, actually, and the album cover itself does not say (and, like a fool, I did not look at the album itself, so I hope it’s in there).
  • Today’s Romantic Hits / For Lovers Only vol. 2 by Jackie Gleason. Someday, I might have a pretty comprehensive collection of these.
  • Jackie Gleason Plays The Most Beautiful Girl in the World. Ditto.
  • I’m Looking For A Four Leaf Clover by Jo Ann Castle. It features a comely lass on the cover, so I expected a songbird from the middle 1960s. Apparently, the artist is the ragtime piano player from the Lawrence Welk show and is not the young lady on the cover.

So it was about $20 total.

I also bought a new circular saw so I can continue on my construction of the new record shelves today. Unless I spend the whole day blogging, I guess.

A Downside of Nogglestead

If I still lived in Old Trees, I could walk to two jazz festivals this year.

There’s the Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival, which I visited a long time ago and saw a set of Erin Bode’s show. She’s not there this year, for some reason, but trumpeter Jim Manley is.

And due to a dispute with the local parks, the U[niversity] City Jazz Festival has moved to Old Orchard this year.

You know, sometimes I wonder if moving to the country really was best.

When In Ridgedale, Drink As The Norwegians Sing

Book coverI cannot understand why this is not an aphorism. Perhaps it’s better as a koan: What does it mean?

It means that, when choosing a wine to go with our meal at the Devil’s Pool restaurant at Big Cedar last week, I selected the wine that goes best with Norwegian heavy metal covers: Frog’s Leap Zinfandel.

Frog Leap Studios, of course, is the name of Leo Moracchioli’s venture. Here’s a recent song of his, a cover of Madness’s “Our House” that advertises Leo’s house for sale:

I looked into it; the house is roughly $300,000 in real money. Located in the balmy southeastern part of Norway, if I lived there, I’d expect to bump into Morton Harket, Pal Waaktaar-Savoy, and Tine Thing Helseth all the time.

But, alas, I am a man of modest means and cannot afford tiny little houses with awesome recording studios in the shed. Or castles closer by.

Where was I? Oh, yes, the wine. Very nice.

Apparently, I have a thing for wines that remind me of heavy metal bands. Or just a thing for wine.

Triple Effect Narrator

So I might have mentioned that the country and western station that I can get on my lawnmowing headphones has gone back to playing older country songs as well as a couple beach or bro country songs, so I just spent an hour and a half marinating in country.

I heard a Kenny Chesney sing “I Go Back”:

and I heard what I thought was a Lee Ann Womack song, but it turns out was Pam Tillis singing “Shake The Sugar Tree“.

But they got me thinking about a post I did just a little while ago about Kenny Chesney’s “Young”, Lee Ann Womack singing “Mendocino County Line” with Willie Nelson, and Eric Church singing “Springsteen”.

Except that little while was almost seven years ago.

As I said then:

The strangest thing about it is the double-effect nature of it (I am Mr. Double Effect Narrator right here). When I first heard it ten years ago, I was a little wistful appropriately for my teenaged years (although briefly and only at a surface level, of course, but that is the will o’ the wist).

Now, of course, I can be both wistful for its content and wistful for the time when the song was new.

I think I have achieved the rare condition of triple effect narrator. Because I’m now nostalgic for the time when I wrote the post, the time when the song came out, and my younger days.

I need an emergency infusion of Toby Keith, stat.

Okay, maybe not that Toby Keith.

More likely I should step away from the YouTube and spend some time with my family.

Other Repeats in Brian J.’s Life

Yesterday I mentioned films I had seen more than once in the theater, and it got me thinking (but not right before bed) about other things I have seen more than once.

Plays

  • Table Manners, one of the three in Alan Ayckbourn’s The Norman Conquests. When I was at the university, the Milwaukee Rep played all three on a rotating basis (Table Manners one night, Round and Round the Garden the next, and Living Together the next, and repeat), so I decided I would go to each of them with a different girl. However, because I misread the schedule, I had to go see Table Manners a second time. I actually saw it a third time when the Chesterfield Community Theatre in St. Louis played it by itself.
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I think I’ve seen this a couple of times, but I might be conflating the play with the symphony, both of which I’ve seen.

Musical Acts

  • Richard Marx (twice on the Repeat Offender tour: once in Milwaukee, once in St. Louis).
  • Poison
  • Warrant
  • Dar Williams
  • Ani DiFranco

The last two were under the influence of my beautiful wife, naturally.

The musician I’d like to see most again: Herb Alpert. The play I’d like to see most again: Sight Unseen.

Eydie vs. Keely: The Musical Smackdown

A poor unenlightened soul refuses to acknowledge the primacy of Eydie Gorme in all things musical, so I feel the need to offer a direct comparison.

We’ll take Keely Smith on her home turf, with “I Wish You Love”, the title track from her 1957 debut album.

Here is Eydie Gorme doing what she does best, which is everything:

As I had said to Friar, I’ve got another Keely Smith album (Be My Love) that hasn’t really stood out, and I think it’s because Keely sounds like a lot of other female big band vocalists I’ve heard, where the delivery is flat and a bit projected since there’s generally an orchestra behind them whereas Eydie is more pop/jazz influenced, where the notes are rounder and the presentation more intimate.

Your actual mileage may vary, but understand that no matter what scientific measurement you apply, Eydie Gorme is always the best. Because no matter what your subjective understanding of reality is at any given time, reality is as it is.

A New Jazz Crush Has Entered The Arena

WSIE played Ashley Pezzotti’s version of “We’ve Only Just Begun”, and I was taken with it, so I bought her debut album of the same name.

I was a very low order number on her Web site.

Here she is singing her own composition “That Way”:

She’s already learned the secret to not losing head-to-head musical competitions with Eydie Gorme here on MfBJN: Write your own material.

So, how many times have you listened to that CD so far, Brian J.? you might ask. I shall simply say “More than once.”

I Know Where That Background Vocal Line Comes From

So I was doing the evening chores, and I found myself singing a bit of “Ew wah ew wah ew wah ew wah.”

Unlike when I found myself ruminating on the melody of Marty Balin’s “Hearts” in February, I knew where this came from.

Dwight Yoakum’s “Pocket of a Clown”.

Although I did have to search for it to make sure I wasn’t crazy (“Pocket of a Clown”? No way that’s a real song.).

I had Dwight Yoakum’s This Time album when it was fresh. It’s weird; I think of my college years as mostly steeped in pop music, but I listened to my share of country at the beginning of the 1990s as well.

Why it came up in my mind’s rotation, I have no idea. I am pleased, though, that the radio station that I can listen to while mowing the lawn has, after a couple of years, backed off of the all-bro-country format and returned to a mix of today and oldies. And by “oldies,” I mean things current when I was an adult.

Good Album Hunting, Saturday, May 4, 2019: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

Friends, somehow this spring’s book sale sneaked up on me, so I only found an opportunity to visit it on half price day today. Which worked out all right for me, as I only spent thirty some dollars on records.

Which is 61 LPs, double-albums, and boxed sets.

I got:

  1. Asilos de Abandonados Miguel Aceves Mejia
  2. Entre Copa y Copa Miguel Aceves Mejia
  3. Canta…Los Huapangos de Oro Miguel Aceves Mejia
  4. Con Mariachi Los Panchos
  5. Midnight Time The Three Suns
  6. Help Is On The Way Melissa Manchester
  7. Romantic Jazz Jackie Gleason
  8. Trumpet A Go Go James Last Band
  9. El Nuevo Trio Los Panchos Trio Los Panchos
  10. Greatest Hits Boots Randolph
  11. Court and Ceremonial Music of the 16th Century Roger Blanchard Ensemble with the Poulteau Consort
  12. Songs of Italy 101 Strings
  13. Sings Spanish and Latin American Favorites Connie Francis
  14. 1100 Bel Aire Place Julio Iglesias
  15. The Sound of Boots Boots Randolph
  16. The Best of Vicki Carr Vicki Carr
  17. The Yakin’ Sax Man Boots Randolph
  18. Heart Like A Wheel Linda Ronstadt
  19. Songs of the Seasons in Japan 101 Strings
  20. The Manhattan Transfer The Manhattan Transfer
  21. Maynard Ferguson Maynard Ferguson
  22. Forever Gold The Isley Brothers
  23. Fall Into Spring Rita Coolidge
  24. Love Me Again Rita Coolidge
  25. Everything Under the Sun The Three Suns
  26. Men of Brass Massed Brass Bands of Foden’s, Fairey Aviation and Morris Motors
  27. 1980 Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson
  28. Como Swings Perry Como
  29. Miriam Makeba Miriam Makeba
  30. Lead, Kindly Light The Three Suns
  31. Cocktail Piano Frankie Carle
  32. So Early in the Spring Jackie Collins
  33. 30 Hits of the Tuneful ’20s Frankie Carle
  34. Look to the Rainbow Al Jarreau
  35. El Gallo Colorado Miguel Aceves Mejia
  36. A Treasury of the Award-Winning Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass The Longines Symphonette Society
  37. Lo Mejor De Miguel Aceves Mejia (box set) Miguel Aceves Mejia
  38. Lo Mejor De Amalia Mendoza (box set) Amalia Mendoza
  39. Lo Mejor De Jose Alfredo Jimenez Jose Alfredo Jimenez
  40. It Must Be Him Vicki Carr
  41. Le Monde Musical de Baden Powell Volume 2 Baden Powell
  42. Ecos de Cuba Trio Matamoros
  43. Even in the Quietest Moments Supertramp
  44. Sweet Talk Boots Randolph
  45. Spanish Fly Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
  46. Love Is A Season Eydie Gorme
  47. Louis and Keely Louis Prima and Keely Smith
  48. Cocktail Time Frankie Carle
  49. The Fantastic Boots Randolph Boots Randolph
  50. Portrait of My Love Steve Lawrence
  51. Golden Saxophones Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra
  52. Come Waltz with Me Steve Lawrence
  53. Cantos de Amor Campriano Miguel Aceves Mejia
  54. Para Cantar Yo Naci Miguel Aceves Mejia
  55. Classical Cats
  56. A Man and a Woman (Un Homme et Une Femme) Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  57. Die Große Stereo-Starparade – Folge 3
  58. Soulful Dionne Warwick
  59. The Road to Romance Dorothy Lamour
  60. Bourbon Street Pete Fountain and Al Hirt
  61. Also Sprach Zarathustra Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Honey, I didn’t buy 100 LPs, I told my beautiful wife via text message to soften her up.

I am not sure it worked.

I jumped on someone’s former collection of Miguel Aceves Mejia; on first listen, it’s more traditional Mexican music than the pop that I have tended to favor. I got a couple of other box sets akin to his that will likely prove similar.

I got some more Frankie Carle, The Three Suns, Boots Randolph, and Vicki Carr to add to my catalog of their LPs.

I’ve also started the slide into 80s pop (Supertramp and Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam) since that music is coming on 35 years old now. As close to today as Sinatra was to us. You might hear a song or two on the radio from these bands, maybe, but I really need to pick up the source material because the stuff on radio playlists is so shallow in breadth. Can you be shallow in breadth? On this blog, you can!

I also got some books, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what I got.

A Triple F Musical Throwdown

Harold Faltermeyer was quite the instrumentalist for movie soundtracks in the 1980s, including two from that movie that had a Saturday Night Live alum portraying the title character, an investigator who assumes various comic roles as part of his investigation.

I’m talking about Fletch, of course.

I’m talking about Axel Foley, of course.

I prefer the former due to racism, of course. Also, because it is a little more than the synth progressions of the “Axel F Theme”.

It also made me start enumerating the films where a Saturday Night Live alum starred as a wise-cracking cop or investigator. Between the Fletch and Beverly Hills Cop movies, we’re already up to five. Throw in Taxi, and we’re up to six. Surely there are more, which I’ll give far too much thought and investigation to.

The Only Styx Song I Can Stand

You know, my beautiful wife owns a number of Styx albums, including at least one on vinyl, but I really don’t like many of their songs.

But one, “Show Me The Way”, struck a chord with me.

It came out in 1990, when I was transitioning from an awkward high school student into an awkward college student. I moved from small town Missouri back to the city of Milwaukee, and I certainly could have used some guidance.

I still can.

I often think of Styx as a seventies band, but this hit was from 1990.

Kind of how I think of the Rolling Stones as a sixties band, but they charted records well into the 1980s. But the radio playlists really focus on the greatest hits of both bands, which are the early hits.

Mr. Keith Begs To Differ

An ad on my Facebook feed makes an assertion that country music science does not support.

The ad:

The study that refutes it:

Why this ad appeared on my Facebook feed, though, I have no idea. One would expect with all the data that Facebook harvests from me that they would know we don’t host many gatherings here at Nogglestead.

We still have blue and orange disposable cups from my oldest child’s fifth birthday party, almost eight years ago. The bags are gone, though, so I could not tell you if they were Solo or Hefty in nature.

Current Status

It sure is Monday.

You know, my knowledge and appreciation of popular music from the middle 1990s is strangely lacking. I think I was listening mostly to country at that time or something.

Speaking of Monday morning, this line of Keats in “The Eve of St. Agnes” which I finished reading this morning stuck with me:

But let me laugh awhile, I’ve mickle time to grieve.

Mickle means “a large amount.” You can bet I’ll use this word on a call today, if not the whole line.

Gimlet’s Right: I Don’t Listen To Enough Iron Maiden

Well, Gimlet didn’t say this recently. He mentioned in 2012 that I was not familiar with Iron Maiden’s “Phantom of the Opera”.

You know, when I worked in an office, I played Iron Maiden at my desk all the time. My beautiful wife’s Iron Maiden, if I must confess all.

But working remotely, I haven’t listened to much Iron Maiden in the home office. Sometimes I do, but it’s not the go-to metal. Perhaps I rely a lot on my latest metal albums too heavily. I don’t even have any Iron Maiden on my gym playlist.

I should probably listen to some now. Care to join me?

Iron Maiden’s repetoire is so literate.

As I Was Saying To My Beautiful Wife…

on a warm spring night, a little chilled white wine is a treat.

You know who agrees with me? Ned Flanders from the Simpsons.

And a Ned Flanders-themed metal band.

Don’t look for Okilly Dokilly on my music balance lists any time soon, though. It’s a bit of a shame that some metal bands have to do a gag or something to get attention.

But if they’re having fun with it, go with it. They got to make an appearance under the closing credits on a Simpsons episode, so they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.

Better Than A Classic Rock Coffee Album Cover Quiz

This week’s Bleat by James Lileks has a banner image of a comely woman reclining on a scattered collection of LP covers (and, presumably, LPs, but it’s a drawing, so we’re actually assuming everything).

Last year, I did a couple of posts about the album covers hanging at Classic Rock Coffee and how many of the albums I have (I and II).

So how did I do vis-à-vis the Bleat banner?

2. Frank Sinatra’s September of My Years and Dean Martin’s Houston.

She’s No Steve Tyler

And that’s a good thing.

A new jazz crush: Morgan James, here with Postmodern Jukebox, covering Aerosmith’s “Dream On”:

I may not have used Amazon’s official social media buttons, but I’ll share with you, gentle reader, that I just ordered her albums Hunter and Reckless Abandon.

What can I say? When I fall, I fall hard.

A Tale Wherein Brian J. Drew Strength From The Spice Girls

Last night’s triathlon class was brutal: We started with some hill running and then cooled off in the pool with some timed intervals. Let’s be honest: I have not improved in swimming in two years, and last night the swim about killed me. During drills, I focused on too many things and lost my breathing rhythm, which meant I breathed and swallowed a lot of air and a lot of water, both going to the wrong chambers in my torso.

But then, The Spice Girls’ “Wannabe” came on the music piped into the pool.

Another fellow in the remedial swim lane has a strategy of walking most of the laps, and he was finishing a length of the pool not far behind me as I did whatever it is I do that is almost as fast as walking in water.

“I’m not going to drown and have the Spice Girls be the last words I hear,” I announced to him.

And I did not drown.

So consider me inspired by the Spice Girls.

Looking back on this blog, I see the other mention of the Spice Girls comes from 2005, where I boasted I could name them all even though I’d only listened to a complete Spice Girls song once. I think fourteen years later, I could go four out of five, maybe. Also, back in, what, 1997, I wrote about them in The Cynic Express’d.

In 2019, that might count as an obsession.