This Is Our Music

Fortunately, I didn't have to rob any banks or max out my credit cards this weekend. I didn't even have to travel to Africa. The crazy heat and humidity (Footnote for Jaclyn Gooding), however, made it feel like high noon in the Kalahari Desert. Simply sitting at my kitchen table, my laptop (Footnote for AlexO) open and our April 2008 issue turned to page 155, was a kind of dull, hot torture.

I looked up through the heat to find that the blades of my ceiling fan had turned into circling vultures. The ice in my tall glass of water quickly melted, and then the glass melted, too. Outside, I could smell the charcoal from my neighbor's barbeque grill, I could hear the sounds of classic salsa. Ismael Rivera was telling stories about young girls, playing on the long, sandy beach. Frisky squirrels raced up and down the old wood siding of my apartment building, stopping at my kitchen window just to laugh at me. The entire world seemed to be taunting and teasing and laughing.

I couldn't take it anymore.

I had had enough. I had had too much. I shut down the laptop and separated myself from my sticky seat.

Iris Records is only two blocks away from my apartment. Someday, I will count the exact number of steps. I gave myself a $40 budget. I only went over by $5. In addition to a 12" single from the Straker's Calypso label (the very first piece of vinyl to catch my eye, just seconds after walking into the shop), these are the albums I bought:

Music of My Mind: Stevie Wonder
Talking Book: Stevie Wonder
What's Goin' On: Marvin Gaye
Free Your Mind…: Funkadelic
Songs From A Room: Leonard Cohen
Ol' Waylon: Waylon Jennings
This Is Our Music: The Ornette Coleman Quartet

The first four are undeniably beautiful gatefolds, and all are in excellent condition. While I may give each a spin on Rosie, my VPI HW-16.5 record cleaning machine, they sound absolutely lovely, just as they are. A once over with the Hunt EDA brush removed all of the visible debris, and a shot from the Milty ZeroStat 3 (Footnote for you all) eliminated the static.

When Omar and I initially walked into the shop, it was empty. Store owner, Steve Gritzan, thanked us for suffering through the severe heat to visit his small shop.

"I live just around the corner," I told him. "So, it's no problem at all."

By the time we had left, the placed was packed with many happy people shuffling through the thick stacks of vinyl, finding relief from the oppressive weather and celebrating their discoveries.

"Thanks again," said Steve.

"Thank you," I said. "I'll be back often."

***

Footnote for Jaclyn:
Dear Jaclyn, I spoke too soon. A day after I bragged to you about our pleasant weather, things took a sudden turn.

Footnote for Alex:
I still don't have a computer. The laptop belongs to Source Interlink Media.

Footnote for you all:
I will have some more fun with the ZeroStat gun later. Among other experiments, I plan to see how well it works on squirrels.

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Comments
Stephen Mejias's picture

Hi Jeff.
Thanks very much for the tip. I will give it a shot!I've actually been wondering about how to keep my Hunt brush clean. The compressed air seems like just the thing.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Where was the briefing held?At the glorious, old Waldorf-Astoria.

Ron's picture

I'm assuming the store was well air-conditioned?Still, any excuse to buy vinyl is good.

AlexO's picture

Is this why you didn't come out with us on Tuesday? You ate through your entertainment budget? For that matter, it sounds like you ate through your AC budget as well. I think you need a better paying job.

Stephen Mejias's picture

Is this why you didn't come out with us on Tuesday? You ate through your entertainment budget? For that matter, it sounds like you ate through your AC budget as well. I think you need a better paying job.I love my job. Last night, we attended a press briefing and demo on PSB's newest loudspeaker, the $2000/pr 2.5-way Imagine floorstanders. With the usual qualifications regarding room, ancillaries, and source material, the speakers were outstanding. Outstanding.

Jeff Kyle's picture

Stephan, about your Hunt procedure, I have found that, while it takes a bit of time, sweeping the record in 1/4s repeatedly (use a little preasure)until no dust is visable, will lift the dust VERY well. After each 1/4 has been swept clean, hit your Hunt with comresed air. Once you are satisfied with this procedure give the vinyl a quick blast, then fallow up with your Zero Stat. You would be surprised at how much is lurking in those groves, even an album that looks clean, and yes, Zero Stats work very well on small animals and bill collectors.

Anonymous's picture

I love my job. Last night, we attended a press briefing and demo on PSB's newest loudspeaker, the $2000/pr 2.5-way Imagine floorstanders. With the usual qualifications regarding room, ancillaries, and source material, the speakers were outstanding. Outstanding.Wes told me about those. He said he was very impressed with them. I'll have to check them out. Where was the briefing held?

AlexO's picture

We should have had our get together there!

john devore's picture

agreed!

Paul S.'s picture

I'm getting into Ornette Coleman myself. I just purchased "Free Jazz" which was recored around the same time as TIOM. What an intense album it is!

Stephen Mejias's picture

Amazing stuff, isn't it, Paul? Amazing to think that he was only 30 at the time, and his bandmates were in their early-20s. I also have his The Shape of Jazz to Come. Confident titles, but I guess he was right. I always have my eyes out for his albums when I go hunting for vinyl.

Paul S.'s picture

"Amazing stuff, isn't it, Paul?"Yes, it is. I must admit that when I first listened to "Free Jazz" I was a little put off. It sounded a bit "up tight" compared to other free jazz that I have heard. But, after about 15 minutes in, I started to "get it" and it started making sense to me. There is a point there where all of the musicians start to loosen up and get into the free jazz mindset. The part with the dual bass solos[oxymoron?] at the end is stellar!

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