Sunday, January 26, 2014

Recent Acquisitions: January 26, 2014

It's been a while since I've posted recent acquisitions. The report from the field is the continuing change of the record-buying demographic. The kids have us middle-aged guys out-numbered, at least in the Bay Area record shops. What is most encouraging among the kids there are an equal number of gals as guys buying records. Among my own age group, it's probably 98 percent guys. So, what are the kids buying? Of course, current bands, who are releasing albums on vinyl as a matter of course. But the kids are also raiding the classic rock bins. On my last trip to Amoeba, the Pink Floyd bin was empty! I had never seen it empty before. The Led Zeppelin section was almost empty as well. Common albums by classic rock bands that sold for $5 five or ten years ago are now fetching $15-20. Fortunately, rocky is stocked up on his classic rock LPs, and in search of more exotic fare.

Here's rocky's haul from the past couple weeks:

Mark Murphy, Stolen Moments (Muse, $2). Mark Murphy is the coolest jazz singer most non-jazz listeners have never heard of. That's because he's a true bop jazz singer, with all the characteristics of jazz artists that turn off the general public. He's no Frank Sinatra or Diana Krall. That's a shame, because more people should listen to Mark Murphy. He really lifts me up. This album recorded in the 1978 is among his best, as good as his classic albums from the 60s. For the title track, Murphy wrote lyrics to the jazz standard composed by Oliver Nelson.

Beck, Odelay (ORG, 4-LP deluxe limited edition, $10). This was released by an audiophile label a few years ago. I almost bought it last year when it was on sale for $50, but decided not to since I had two copies of the original pressing. I wasn't sure getting the bonus tracks was worth half a Benjamin. Well, I was kicking myself when it went out of print and the set was selling for $150 on ebay. Finding this near mint copy for $10 was a true act of divine intervention on the part of the vinyl gods. Had I know how good the bonus tracks sounded, I wouldn't have hesitated buying it for $50.

Dolly Parton, Coat of Many Colors (RCA original pressing, $5). This is about the hardest hitting album I've listened to in a while. Dolly sings about growing up poor, a mother cheating on her daughter, a woman in a twisted, abusive relationship, and other tales from the white ghetto. What a great album from a deceptively tough singer!

The Slits, Cut (Antilles original US pressing, $28). An album by an all-female band called the Slits with a cover featuring the band members topless with torsos covered in mud. It's got to be great, right? Yup.

The Feelies, Crazy Rhythms (Stiff Records original pressing, $28). I missed the boat on this classic album when it came out. One of the pop-rock best albums ever!

The Zombies, Odessey and Oracle (Date Records original US pressing, $29). I've always wanted to own an original pressing of this classic psychedelic album, but never came across a decent copy for less than $100. Can you say score? Score. Again. Score. I feel whole now.

Arcade Fire, Reflektor (Merge Records, $21). This album sounded promising--brainiac band releases dance-oriented album. I was thinking classic Talking Heads. It might be great album. But I can't fucking tell. The production and sound quality suck so much it makes me want to hurl.

Drake, Take Care (Cash Money Records, $17). The first LP is great with Drake mixing the usual rap braggadocio with actual tenderness that makes the whole more real. The second LP of this 2-LP album is rather pedestrian. Arcade Fire needs to take a lesson from Drake on how to put out good-sounding vinyl.

The Swans, The Seer (Young God Records, $25). I can't remember the last album that bore deep beneath me and stirred all sorts of primal emotions. It makes me want to strip off my clothes, cover my torso in mud and howl at the moon. It's music for the end of the world.

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