Categories
Album Reviews interests

Treasures From Record Store Day

10287335_10152353614699670_1684510085_n

About ten days ago I went to a local record store called Kiss The Sky at 5:30 in the morning to get a lottery ticket. My number was 63. What does that mean? (You might ask) Well when the doors officailly opened at 8:00 a.m. I had the right to be the 63rd person to be let into the store and buy records. Not just any records but rare limited editions of various vinyl pressings. 45’s, 7 inches, LP’s and special box sets.

I went and had breakfast after I got my number. Then I returned to the shrine of pressed wax that us enthusiasts enjoy spinning on our turntables. It was really crowded inside the store. But I struck up some conversations with other fanatics, like myself.

I walked away with a 45 of Frank Zappa’s “Yellow Snow,” a special Joy Division record containing their first 4 songs and a small box set of eight 45’s entitled “The Space Project.” This box set featured artists like Youth Lagoon and Beach House. It was a rare find and definitely was a limited pressing.

My questions for my readers out there……Did you go? What did you buy? Where did you go? How much fun did you have?

Long Live Vinyl!!!!

Categories
Playlists

April Showers Bring My Playlist

4592535_orig

For this month, I was inspired to devote the entire playlist to RAINY DAY related music. In fact the picture posted here is a painting I recently did. A muse came over me and I was compelled to work on this art piece to represent these feelings about this type of music.

I love those rainy Saturdays from my childhood and teenage days. They were wonderful times to play games, watch tv or listen to music while doing homework or trading baseball cards with my friends. What is it about the sound of the splashing water against the house or the crash of thunder and lightning that fascinates me? I really do get so relaxed from such wonders of nature. Not only is there the calm before the storm but there is this sense of beauty that the earth will not let the rain stop coming down until it has refreshed the soil and allow the trees and the birds to have a pleasurable drink.

The music I would listen to taking a drive with my dad to the hardware store or going out to the movie theater with my friends had a soothing effect on me when it rained. I used to stare at the wiper blades and the telephone poles and pretend they were chopping them down. It was the imagination of a child that I once was.

Of course my point here in this post is to share my rainy day playlist because these songs represent those feelings of sitting on a rocking chair enduring late night conversations with my mother. Splashing in the puddles on my paper route while I listened to my walkman is something I treasure.

So I chose songs that have this soothing and melodic sense to them. Memories from my youth but also tracks from films and tunes I would hear in the background at memorial day parties are some of what is represented here. For example the song “No Rain” by Blind Melon reminds me of high school at the sock hops while it stormed outside. “Here Comes The Rain Again” by The Eurythmics tend to bring back the 80’s era sitting in the back seat and being driven to a pediatrician for my usual check up on a cloudy day. Sometimes these tunes just simply are perfect background music during a summer shower.

Finally Jimi Hendrix’s “Rainy Day ,Dream Away” first awakened my sense when I was 18 during my first summer working at the movie theater just before college started as I would blare it in my mom’s minivan driving to work. So why not check out my playlist. Maybe there are some songs not represented here that should be. Anyway here’s the list. GO find these songs and give them a spin.

Categories
Uncategorized

Dum Dum Girls “filled” me with joy at the Empty Bottle

IMG_3946

The Empty Bottle is simply a dive bar and a surprisingly relaxing and fun music venue located in Chicago, Illinois. This is one of the coolest venues for Chicago’s alternative music scene. The place hosts several kinds of music. There is plenty of indie-rock, punk, metal, rock’n’roll, hip-hop, electronic, experimental, ambience and jazz. This club/bar opened in 1992 and was originally a regular neighborhood bar. There’s plenty of CHEAP beer too! It’s like being in a large basement with brick walls and little coves that sneak around corners.

Pinball games, Ms Pac-Man arcade for only a quarter, a pool table and several water jugs strategically place all around the place with plastic cups stacked near them too. Its a nice gesture to offer free water to someone low on cash but just plain thirsty. They also just have a really nice space that’s conducive to having a lot of different experiences. It is hard to have a bad view of the stage where artists perform, whether you are early or late to the show. I definitely need to return.

Now let me cut right to the chase. My wife and I celebrated a special anniversary on this day of March 31st. We met on a train 7 years ago and celebrated by attending a Dum Dum Girls show. Who are they you ask? Dum Dum Girls are an American rock band, formed about six years ago. In the beginning, it was a bedroom recording project of lead singer and songwriter Dee Dee Penny in Los Angeles. She is currently living in New York City. I try to keep up with today’s music. These four talented females have very nice glossy melodies that you don’t hear from today’s bands. It rocks, it waves, it pounds through awesome songwriting!

This music they play is slick and focused. Post punk, garage punk, dreamy and pouty 80’s pop. That’s essentially how I would describe their music. Fuzzy guitar riffs, eyeliner distortion and 1960s girl-group sensibilities.Too True, their newest album, toggles between ethereal and punk, gothic and 80s dance party, and provides a strong and welcomed addition to the Dum Dum Girls catalog. The name pays homage to The Vaselines’ album Dum Dum and an Iggy Pop song called “Dum Dum Boys”. Dee Dee Penny’s stage name was not inspired by Dee Dee Ramone. It’s a coincidence.

Appearance-wise onstage they are quite a sight. Short skirts and long legs. Leather outfits. I am reminded of those imfamous Robert Palmer ADDICTED TO LOVE videos. You know? The ones with the sexy girls pretending to play guitars? Only these girls are most definitely playing vintage Silvertone guitars through glorious RAT amps. The stage is smokey blue with christmas lights dangling from the ceiling. A large BLUE lit up cut-out heart is draped in the background. Their microphones are donned with fiberoptic roses and spare red picks arranged all pretty-like. The whole thing was mesmorizing and a real nice trip back in time to that underground gothic-like and dreamy-like club.

Songs like “Too True To Be Good,” “Rimbaud Eyes,” “Lost Boys & Girls Club” and “Are you Ok” were intense highlights! DEE DEE and the ladies are obviously a big fan of the cooler music that came out of 80s/early 90s and it comes through in their music. Sometimes I am reminded of Chrissie Hynde (of the Pretenders) vocals. Penny’s voice is quite stellar. She opens up her sound on large and gorgeous ballads like “Coming Down.” The show hypnotized me and then I had to drive home at 1:00 a.m.

But I was left with incredible memories and hard rocking chicks! Here’s a video that gives you a better idea of their awesome sounds going down: