Good Album Hunting, April 29, 2022: Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library Book Sale

As I mentioned, I made it out to the Friends of the Springfield-Greene County Library’s book sale yesterday and hit the dollar record bins. The selection was smaller than the last sale’s–I guess everyone is realizing the value of old records, or perhaps the old, old records in the genres that I like have worked their way through the resale markets already.

At any rate, I found a few things.

This includes:

  • Al Jolson Volume 3, a 10″ record (Discogs minimum price: $1.55).
  • Mexicali Brass South of the Border. Man, Herb Alpert really spawned a genre, ainna? I am constantly finding new examples of it. ($6.00).
  • When You Come to the End of the Day by Perry Como. I don’t think I have this one, but I have so many now that the odds of me buying a duplicate are getting higher. On the other hand, Perry Como put out a lot of records. I saw his Christmas album with another variant cover. ($0.98).
  • Ready for the World, self-titled debut. Probably more pop than soul/funk. ($1.08).
  • Natalie by Natalie Cole from 1976. ($.40).
  • Warm and Willing by Norrie Paramor and His Orchestra. The first entry today with the Pretty Woman on the Cover (PWOC). ($3.99).
  • Emotion by Samantha Sang. 1978 Funk/soul/pop, or so Discogs says. PWOC. ($.25).
  • Sound Ideas by Les and Larry Elgart. I have a couple by Les and/or Larry, including one I bought last weekend. I would have had another today, but it was only an Elgart cover with another record in it. ($1.00).
  • Night Rider! by Tim Weisberg. Not my favorite flutist, to be honest (top three are my beautiful wife, Herbie Mann, and Amber Underwood). ($.79).
  • This Land Is Your Land by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Philadelphia Orchestra. Pops renditions of American folk songs. What was I thinking? ($.25).
  • Burnished Brass by the George Shearing Quintet with Brass Choir. PWOC. And I like the George Shearing groups, to which I was exposed because the records often have PWOC. ($1.50).
  • Four Rococo Quartets. Classical, but a bit obscure. ($2.50).
  • Highlights from Saint-Saëns’ Samson and Delilah. ($10.32).
  • Holy, Holy, Holy: Hymns We Know And Love. Some hymns, but some pop hymns. This record is not on Discogs, so it must be really collectible.
  • The Music of the Caribbean by the [WIRL] Steel Band. ($1.69).
  • Lightly Latin by Perry Como. Pretty sure I didn’t have it. Everyone released a Spanish-language album in the 1960s, ainna? ($.98)
  • Holidays in Portugal by Lídia Ribeiro. The cover for this record is actually a brochure for a hotel and casinos in Lisbon, with photos and amenities of each. ($5.26)
  • Country Boots by Boots Randolph. Apparently, everyone also put out a country album. So it’s not too different from today. ($1.00)
  • Della on Stage by Della Reese. ($1.25)
  • Tijuana Voices Sing Merry Christmas. I own more mariachi Christmas music than you do. This is not my first. ($1.90)
  • The Holly and the Ivy by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We already have a MTC Christmas record, and my wife really likes it. So now we have another, which means our record player or receiver is scheduled to flame-out around the holidays again. However, thanks to my mother-in-law’s recent move and downsizing, we have spares.
  • Today by Perry Como. This is a 1987 record, so in my lifetime. ($1.00)
  • The Way of Today by Vikki Carr. Of course, as with the previous listing, Today in the title is now The old days; this record is sixties hits. ($.63).

So that’s 23 records; according to the Discogs marketplace, I paid just about what they’re worth from collectors, although the covers on many of them are in rough shape. But I’m not doing this to make money: I am doing this to see how much weight the floor of my parlor can take before collapse.

So we will see whether I get back up north today or spend my time on something productive.

So far, though, my purchases at the book sale have been fairly responsible. Which is unlike me.

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Good Album Hunting, April 24, 2022: Relics Antique Mall

This afternoon, my youngest son had one of his few remaining middle school youth group activities; his activities are an hour and a half long, and the ride into town is 20 minutes, so instead of coming home and going back to get him, I killed the time at Relics Antique Mall.

As you might recall, gentle reader, I received four $25 gift certificates for Christmas, and they’re not gift cards–they’re old timey gift certificates, but the antique mall does not give change on them, so the best strategy is to spend a little over the face amount and pay the difference. Well, that’s the theory.

So I got some records.

Including:

  • Sundown Lady by Lani Hall, aka Mrs. Herb Alpert, but a noted singer (and author) in her own right. I actually own this album on CD, but now I can spin it in the parlor.
  • The Shape of Things To Come by Larry Elgart. I’ve got some of his other works and they’re okay, so I’ll spend $2 on another.
  • Steve & Eydie Together on Broadway by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. Apparently, I bought a copy in 2015, but if I’m not sure, I’ll spend the $2 to make sure. Besides, this is a radio station copy, so more collectible?
  • Family Portrait, an A&M Records sampler collection.
  • Watch Out! by the Baja Marimba Band. I probably already have this one, too, as I own a lot of this A&M band’s recordings, but it was gift certificate money, man, and I don’t see it in a quick search of previous Good Album Hunting/Good Record Hunting posts. Something interesting about this: It was in a different booth from the tag, and it had two Longine Symphonette records stuck in it. I took them out and left them at the booth where I was shopping, but this will likely cause all sorts of mayhem and perhaps my picture on the Relics Wall of Shame.
  • Artie Shaw and His Gramercy Five
  • Crash and Burn by the Pat Travers Band because someone, I think it was Jack Baruth, posted about him once upon a time recently, although a quick search of his blog does not come up with a post about the band.
  • Hot Pennies by Red Nichols because he’s blowing a trumpet on the cover, and trumpet music is always in fashion at Nogglestead, home of the prettiest trumpet player in the world (leaving Cindy Bradley and Tine Thing Helseth to battle for the #2 spot).
  • Meet the Five Pennies by Red Nichols, because if I like him, I should buy all of them available right now.
  • Swing Along With Jonah Jones by Jonah Jones (a copy of which I bought two years ago at Relics.
  • Swingin’ ‘Round the World by Jonah Jones. When I bought the first album two years ago, I mentioned a second album that I did not buy. There’s no telling if it was this album that I saw. Certainly not this copy.
  • Brazilian Bird by Charlie Bird, another duplicate–I bought a copy in September 2020. This is the first record I picked up, so my trip was snakebitten with duplicates from the start.

So that’s twelve records with 3 or 4 duplicate copies and one an album I already had on another format. So maybe that’s not actually good album hunting.

Jeez, maybe I do really need to organize my record collection so I know what’s in it.

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Not Depicted: Who You Are

I guess there’s a comedienne coming to town, but the Facebook ad does not say who it is:

I guessed correctly Margaret Cho even though her name was not listed on the advert, and even though I was not familiar with her work on the listed programs, but I remember she was a big deal from the television program All-American Girl. Twenty-eight years ago. Right about the time I stopped really paying much attention to television or stand-up comedy. So, yeah, I could not really name any comedian under forty.

On the other hand, at least Facebook presented me with an ad for a show in Springfield. Other times, I get ads for artists I’d like to see, like Joss Stone, but she’s performing in Memphis.

Other times, I get bands I’ve never heard of performing nowhere near me.

The who? In Memphis?

And the other who? In LA?

Someday, I would like to have more money than sense. But until then, no jetting off to see unknowns. Given what I’ve heard on the “free” CDs and downloads I’ve seen advertised on Facebook, I’m not even inclined to take those low-cost fliers, either.

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Proving the Rule

Speaking of artists who try to cross types of art, Severian sez:

Indeed it seems the only “artists” who won’t stay in their lanes are actors. I can’t even count the number of actors who have released shitty albums (and no actors who have released good ones).

C’mon, man, I know William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and most of the other actors who appeared on Golden Throats compilations (full disclosure: I own three of the four) fit this description, some actors/actresses did release records that did not suck.

It might not be high art, but Bruce Willis’s The Return of Bruno was fun:

I like it so much I am disappointed there was never a follow-up.

I am not sure I ever saw an episode of E.R. in its entirety, but Gloria Rueben had a role in it somewhere, at sometime, before she started releasing jazz recordings:

Of which I have two so far, and they’re pretty good.

And, as you might recall, I ordered Pier Angeli’s record, which is not half bad:

She was a movie actress in the fifties and sixties linked romantically to James Dean and Kirk Douglas. She, too, looks to only have released this single album.

And Chris Jericho’s band Fozzy rocks:

Alright, alright, alright, so he’s a professional wrestler, but you know that’s not real, right?

So, most actors recording music (and a lot of contemporary “musicians” recording music which is their voices, corrected, dubbed over computer renderings) are vanity projects of dubious quality. However, using the logical square, or rectangle, or quadratic equation (it’s been decades since I’ve formally studied logic, so I’m a little fuzzy on the particular geometrology of it), to disprove Severian’s All assertion, I need only to prove One is not, which I most certainly have.

But one must have sympathy for Severian, who apparently thinks the Lenny Kravitz version of “American Woman” is superior to the original by The Guess Who. Clearly, this marks him as a closeted fan of 1990s music.

UPDATE:I was talking this over with my beautiful wife this evening, and I said, “You know, there are some actors who fronted bands, like Gary Sinese and Kevin Bacon. And…wait…. Jared Leto’s band, Thirty Seconds to Mars…”

Which doesn’t suck, although I haven’t listened to a lot of them. Here’s a recent track:

Jared Leto strikes me as a moonbat. Which is better for a rock star than an actor anyway.

So maybe this will evolve into a series of posts over time.

By the way, my beautiful wife suggested Jennifer Lopez, but I demurred, saying she was a dancer, so she was in music first. But her timeline on Wikipedia indicates she was an actress first and a singer second. However, gentle reader, I cannot in good conscience put her forward as an example as I am unconvinced as to the merit of her music. Strangely enough, for a guy who owns a bunch of Paulina Rubio and Shakira CDs, not to mention jazz artists like Rocio Durcal, Rocio Jurado, The Triplets, and, yes, even Selina (for whom Jennifer Lopez got noticed when she acted in a movie about the young songbird), I don’t know much of Jennifer Lopez’s music.

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I Knew Which of The Three He Meant

Last night, on the way home from Maundy Thursday service, my oldest in the back seat said, “‘Learning to Fly’ is a pretty dope song.”

“Coming down is the hardest thing,” my beautiful wife said, quoting Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

“He doesn’t mean Tom Petty,” I said. I know the young man. He did not mean the Foo Fighters either.

No, the young man, my son, meant Pink Floyd’s “Learning to Fly”:

You know, it’s the oldest of the three; it came out in 1987 on A Momentary Lapse of Reason which I first got on audiocassette early in college. Tom Petty and the Heartbreaker’s version came off of their 1991 album Into the Great Wide Open; I am pretty sure that I bought the song on a cassette single, but not the whole album. The baby of the bunch, the Foo Fighters song, came out in 1998; I bought the CD for There Is Nothing Left To Lose based on this song. They all came out within, what, eleven years of each other, each an aspirational sort of song about trying and succeeding.

Do they even make pop songs about that any more? Don’t ask me; I don’t listen to pop, and Brazilian death metal is not quite so aspirational.

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Seems Backwards

Ad on Facebook:

Wait a minute: A Pink Floyd tribute band, and Living Colour is the opening act?

What kind of parallel universe is this? Living Colour is the lesser of the acts in a major amptheatre?

Sweet Christmas. I have been wearing a beard (despite my pronouncement last summer that I was done with facial hair for a bit) for a couple of months, but I shaved it off just to see if I can somehow put this universe aright.

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Another Soundex Heard From

In addition to showing me ads for every individual song that Misa1 (not to be confused with Maysa or Misia) has released, Facebook has started showing me ads for Messa:

Who the heck is Messa? Apparently, the genre is described by Messa as Scarlet Doom.

Messa emerged on the first day of 2014. The extreme diversity of their musical background immediately proved to be essential in the construction of the band’s sound: Prog, Black Metal, Punk, Dark Ambient, jazz, Blues and Doom… all those influences have been channelled into a sonic cauldron that the band defines “Scarlet Doom”.

Here’s what they sound like:

Facebook sure seems to think I like some odd and disparate music. I’m not helping that I often purchase the odd and disparate music that Facebook shows me. But my Facebook feed is now 60% music offers, 25% other ads, and 15% posts by three or four people I worked with fifteen years ago.

Also, getting music from this disparate sources is going to make my next musical balance way out of whack, as well as tricky to compile and probably incomplete.

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MfBJN Gets Results

Last week, I posted about confusing Misa and Maysa (not to mention Misia.

This week, Misa1 posts:

I need your help. I have decided it’s time to shake things up and change my name. Now as much as I’m a change maker, I wanted to change my name quite simply because many of you find it challenging to find me on Spotify, itunes, Youtube and across other social media channels.

Brian J.: Major influence on emerging artists, or merely a coincidence?

Yeah, coincidence. But interesting confluence nevertheless.

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Know the Difference

Misa (pronounced like Jar Jar Binks would have you pronounce it) is a London-based “trip hop” artist.

Maysa (pronounced like it looks), an American jazz singer.

Only one is currently in my library so far, so expect Maysa to appear in a musical balance post sometime soon.

Although, to be honest, you might be more likely to confuse Misa with the Japanese singers of the same name or American rapper of that name or Maysa with the Bossa Nova singer who also went by that name. To clarify for my own expertise, perhaps I will have a lot to report on that future musical balance post.

There is only one Sade, though. Although maybe not; apparently, Sade is the name of the band named after the lead singer. Perhaps I should stop my research before I discover a little learning can be a bad thing.

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The Football Game Monday Night

So my oldest boy came home from school and said, “Roll, Tide!” over and over. Apparently, one of his friends is an Alabama fan, so he caught onto the chant and kept repeating it. Loudly.

At the dinner table, the youngest expressed his confusion. His brother helpfully said, “Roll, Tide!” louder and with a misshapen Southern accent.

“They call Alabama the Crimson Tide,” I explained to the youngster, who might have had a brief glimmer of understanding lost when I followed with the apparent non sequitur, “Call me Deacon Blues.”

That might not have made sense to anyone at the dinner table, but it made all the sense in the world to me.

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No Hobgoblins In This Small Mind

As I have mentioned, gentle reader, the one genre of music I do not like much at all is not rap or hip hop (although I don’t like much from that genre either) is the seventies folk, especially male folk singers like Dan Fogelberg and John Denver (women like Linda Ronstadt, Lynda Carter, Olivia Newton-John get a pass because, well, PWOC).

Explain to me, then, how I have come to enjoy the vocal stylings of Michael Franks?

I could probably go into a paragraph talking about his distinct vocal stylings, but I’m not that smart, or I could point out that he is more smooth jazz than folk, but….

Really, it’s because WSIE provides a steady diet of a couple of his works, and I tend to pick up my jazz recordings based on what WSIE plays. I have not picked up any of his CDs, but I have gotten a couple of records when I’ve found them in the wild.

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An Uncomfortable Conversation At Nogglestead

Honey, former crushes of mine are sending me pictures of themselves in bed.

The Triplets sent me an email wishing me happy holidays, along with the above photo, and invited me to join their email list. I did. Strangely enough, I had listened to their Christmas album, Christmas Time Is Here, earlier in the day.

Time was when I could tell Sylvia, Diana, and Vicki apart. But that was thirty years ago. Also, in this picture, they’re upside down. Although I can read a book upside down–the product of a lot of practice reading books to children so they could see the pictures–I cannot easily recognize an upside down face. Which is why I am pleased that gravity works for all of us, and special effects from Doctor Strange movies are just that.

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An Album I Need To Own

KCSM, the Bay Area’s Jazz station, posted this on Facebook:

Great, now that’s something I must own.

I actually bought Canta en Español and Cuatro Vidas on CD about ten years ago when I was adding to my Spanish language CDs (the time I bought a lot of Claudia Acuña, Rocío Dúrcal, Rocío Jurado, Paulina Rubio, Shakira, and José José among others), and I have picked up a couple of the records since then. But there’s a Christmas record? I really, really want to find that out in the wild now.

Probably more likely that finding Ella Wishes You A Swinging Christmas by Ella Fitzgerald. In the original, anyway; apparently, there’s a reissue on vinyl, so I might run across one somewhere, but one does not find Ella Fitzgerald records in the wild, like almost at all.

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Apparently, YouTube Thinks I Like Sirenia

As I have mentioned, one of my methods for finding new bands is to search for a video from a band I like and run through some of the suggestions that YouTube provides to keep me engaged and watching ads. Although my ad blocker means I don’t suffer through the ads.

At any rate, Sirenia has come up a couple of times, and I like it.

Well, maybe not. The videos I see look to be a couple from the band’s 2006 album Nine Destinies and a Downfall which was the only album by the band to feature lead singer Monika Pedersen. The band has had four female lead vocalists over the years. Maybe I just like Monika Pedersen. Continue reading “Apparently, YouTube Thinks I Like Sirenia”

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Good Album Hunting, Saturday, December 11, 2021: Christmas Shopping Done Wrong Edition

So I had a couple of hours today between dropping my son off at an event and picking him up, so I thought I would do a little Christmas shopping. As such, I stopped at Mike’s Unique antique mall/flea market. I saw a Marine Corps emblem made of LED lights that I thought I’d get my brother, until I thought, “What kind of Marine would want a Lite Brite eagle on an anchor?” And although I told myself, I would only go through the records at a single booth (and not the records-centric booth at the back), well…

I got:

  • Noël by Nana Mouskouri, a Greek singer. The album itself looks to be German.
  • Communication by Bobby Womack. I already have this one on CD; now I can spin it along with The Poet I & II on the turntable.
  • The Exciting Voice of Sergio Franchi.
  • La Bella Italia by Sergio Franchi, whose Christmas records I’ve been playing and enjoying this season.
  • Romantic Love Songs by Sergio Franchi. And now when I see his other records, clearly I pick them up.
  • Robert Mitchum Sings by Robert Mitchum. The tough guy actor. One day, I will have all the songs from the Golden Throats series on the original records, werd.
  • The Lamp is Low by Marilyn Maye.
  • Made in France by the Surrey Strings. Which looks to be songs about France, not songs in French or French singers at all.

Well, I did find a single gift at Mike’s Unique, but my ratio there of gifts for others/things for me was 1/9. Far below the ideal 1:1 ratio I strive for. In my defense, some people are hard to shop for, but I always know when I want something.

The records ranged in price between $2 through $8 (the Bobby Womack record); most were $2 or $3, and some discounts were applied. It’s becoming fairly standard, unfortunately, to find records by artists whose names you recognize at about $10. But I’ll still find something inexpensive to take a flier on.

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The Same Story From Two Different Points of View

This morning, as I was taking my youngest into school, one of my favorite Elton John songs, if not my favorite Elton John song, came on the radio:

“Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road”. I asked him what he thought it was about; he said, “The Wizard of Oz?” I said it was about a guy of humble origins elevated by a relationship with a wealthy person, but who comes to think that the wealthy person does not care for him, but rather likes the novelty of having a partner of lower origin. So the poet-narrator (if they have such things in songs) is breaking it off and returning to his roots. I pointed out how Elton John and the brown dirt cowboy (Bernie Taupin) used a lot of metaphor in the song, which gives it depth you don’t find in much modern pop.

I changed the radio stations; after we caught the last chorus off “All Star” by Smashmouth, “Don’t You Want Me, Baby?” by Human League came on.

“That’s basically the same story, but from the other perspective,” I told him. A partner with a better station in life elevates a cocktail waitress, but she breaks it off with him. This song presents both sides of the story, though, so one gets sympathy for both sides of view. But it’s not as deep as the Elton John song, probably because of the metaphors and imagery in the former.

Tomorrow, on the way to school, perhaps we will talk about the monomyth in love songs. I mean, the young man has a mind to an engineering track and career, but there’s no reason I cannot infect him with some comparative literary criticism skills for fun.

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A New Answer To A 2017 Quiz

Well, since no one played along with this post from 2017 called Is That the Name of the Song or the Band? wherein I challenged readers:

I’ve often asked this when presented with the written title of a song and a band I’ve not heard of. Mostly, I’m joking.

But when I learned that Fozzy has a song (and album) called “All That Remains”, I thought that was funny because there is actually a band called All That Remains (whose album I bought before I bought Fozzy’s Judas this autumn).

So I got to thinking: What other bands have songs that are actually the names of other bands?

A new band has come to my attention: Plush.

As you might remember, gentle reader, Stone Temple Pilots had a hit with a song called “Plush” thirty years ago:

You know, I will grundgingly admit that STP might be the only decent grunge band, but this song annoyed me. Thirty years later, I’m still not really sure what they’re talking about. Probably drugs.

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On My Watch List, I Guess

I guess the world wants me to look for Pete Metheny records at book sales.

  • A couple weeks ago (I thought, but actually a month and a half ago), Jack Baruth posted about his relationship with the artist:

    My relationship with Pat Metheny is about as complicated as an entirely one-way thing can be; obviously Pat has no idea of who I am or what I might be thinking about him at any given time. I bought Letter From Home in 1989 and was a compulsive customer of his from then till 2019 or thereabouts. I have pretty much everything he has ever recorded, in multiple formats. Bought all the sheet music. The practice-exercise book. T-shirts, guitar picks. Hell, I bought Zero Tolerance For Silence, a repulsive cacophony of noise that was meant to be a final middle finger towards David Geffen. Have seen him in concert more than a dozen times, including three separate episodes when I caught the same gig twice in a week, at different places. You get the idea.

     

  • One of the marching bands I’ve seen in competition recently based part of their program on some piece or another from the artist; he was mentioned by name in the introduction. It’s not like I could tell Metheny’s music from any other bit of marching band music.
     
  • Today, Lileks mentioned him:

    If you call the number, you are warned that we are experiencing high call volume, and have not adjusted staffing levels at all; why would we? At least that’s what they should say. I was on hold longer than the actual length of the flight I was calling to change, it seemed. At least the hold music was unobtrusive. Meandering jazz. It made me wonder how much demand there is these days for smooth jazz – you know, the stuff secretaries put on the stereo in 1983 when someone was coming over for dinner for the third date. I was listening to some Pat Metheny the other day, and wondered: is this stuff just over?

    I mean, it seems to be over for Pat Metheny, inasmuch as I don’t hear him doing this type of music any more, so perhaps that’s a clue.

So I’ll watch for some of the early work of the artist on records when I hit the book sales and whatnot.

Of course, the mentions of the artist accumulating in my subconscious would have made me pick up something even if I didn’t say on my blog like a blood vow to the unheeding Internet that I would be looking for the artist in the future.

I’m not convinced to pay full freight for it, though, unlike that hard rock album Lileks told me to get.

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