Every summer, I try to make a pilgrammage to the Princeton Record Exchange. My affiliation with Barry and his floor-to-ceiling crates of vinyl goes back to the spring of 1980, when I was a wide-eyed high school senior who happened into this used record store that just opened on Nassau Street. I never looked at Sam Goody the same way again. Since moving out of the Princeton area, trips to the (somewhat) new and highly expanded Record Exchange are now something of field trip proportions, requiring planning, a plan, and time to enjoy the spoils.
Planning: Retrieve all of the DVDs and un-wanted, duplicate and non-imported (into iTunes) CDs sitting in the basement. This typically nets somewhere from a dozen to a hundred trade-in items. Plan: A list of obscure items, obscure artists and things I won’t buy new (or via the iTunes store) that would thorough rock my crappy speakers for, say, $3.99. Lots of jazz, random classical, and the sometimes “best of” collection make those lists. Time: music to listen to until Labor Day.
This year’s haul:
Chickenfoot, debut album. Swap Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani, and in ex-RHCP drummer Chad Smith, and this rocks. It’s not rock(et) science, but it sounds good with the windows down.
Burton/Metheny/Swallow/Sanchez Quartet Live. I adore Pat Metheny, and the Peter Max cover sold me. Good vibe, literally.
The Name Of This Band is Talking Heads, for about half of retail, and the recent issue includes a half dozen previously unreleased tracks.
Dream Theater, Black Clouds and Silver Linings. I’m still searching for a somewhat current Yes replacement.
Nickelback, Dark Horse. OK, I like Nickelback (strong hockey association since they played the NHL Awards ceremony back in 2004), but I almost passed on this when the above-wrapper label proclaimed “11 new classics”. Huh? Doesn’t something have to be popular for a while, and then acheive a certain cultural stickiness, before it’s a classic? Although there’s stickiness in abundance, or at least references to it, here.
Marillion, Season’s End and Holidays In Eden. I picked up a British prog-rock magazine on a newstand, and it had a sampler CD of a bunch of bands with strong UK roots but almost no US following. Marillion, Panic Room, Mostly Autum, Godsticks: Hit the first, got the others on amazon.com
Phish, two live ones.
Steve Howe, Homebrew 3. Perfect example of something that I like but not enough to pay full boat. Something Bubba and I can enjoy in the winter.
Others making the cut: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jeff Beck (not the electronica-emo-whatever guy, the guitar guy), Bucky Pizzarelli, Mike Stern, Miles Davis, and a Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis 6/12 string man) blues release. I have finally counter-balanced about three years of ignoring the Nick Santoro rule of buying music: get one jazz release for every three rock records, because it will keep you open-minded and sane.
Given that the Devils’ off season is only slightly more tedious than raking seaweed off of a Jersey beach, I’m opting for sanity through guitar therapy.