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.