My Story of RSD 2015 or Insanity Blooms Eternal

Over ninety minutes early and the line is more than one hundred deep. The old roomy and I meet and catch up as some dude directly in front of us chain tokes his way into the sonic abyss that is Record Store Day 2015. Music geek conversations drift through the air only interrupted by my backfiring joke at the length of the line.

“Maybe everyone is here to pick up that One Direction record…”

“I am!” says the woman just two people ahead. Her boyfriend starts laughing at my dumbfounded look.

I think to myself “I haven’t actually met a One Direction fan over the age of twelve” but I hold my tongue; after all, it isn’t even 9AM and pissing people off shouldn’t happen so early on a weekend.

The line moves forward in a civilized manner, which seems rather odd considering that I’ve had vinyl literally rain down upon my head during past RSD’s. Seriously, it is an odd sensation when a bunch of seven, ten and twelve inch records start smacking your cranium. Mild pain followed by anger and a quick burst of panic because you just don’t want any of this very sweet vinyl to get broken.

As usual, there is that group of people trying to look through the bins of records while the people behind them are giving them the “pick your record and get the fuck out my way” stare. It would be amusing if I wasn’t trying to get my hands on the same record as … well, the guy in front of me who just grabbed the last Otis Redding record that my fingers were reaching for.  Fortunately, I do get my hands on some of the stuff I wanted.

otisbluersd

The White Stripes – Get Behind Me Satan in gatefold cover with coloured red and white 180 gram vinyl

GBMSlenticular2

The Dandy Warhols – Eponymous – first time on vinyl in double gatefold cover and white vinyl to boot

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George Thorogood & the Delaware Destroyers debut without bass as it was originally recorded. Also on blue vinyl

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Ride – OX4: The Best of – In glorious 180 gram red vinyl with a double gatefold cover

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Yeah I missed out on Social Distortion, Joan Jett, Small Faces and as mentioned, Otis Redding, but still had a pretty good time despite the competition and jockeying for best vinyl position. I jump into the vehicle and head for the elderly mall on the west side of the city figuring maybe I could grab some of what I lost out on. When I arrive the employees are praying mallrats will finish the free coffee they had for their customers. I manage to pick up a couple of the 7 inch’s I missed out on, namely Alex Chilton’s “Jesus Christ” and the Lemonheads/Gram Parsons split “Brass Buttons” on pink vinyl.

gramsplit

Now, I’m looking at the clock and considering the likelihood of finding a few things at some record stores I’ve never tried before.

Do I really want to spend more?

It’s the best haul I’ve managed but the little music geek in the back of my brain is whispering, “find more… you must find more…”.

Then I remember, I have stuff on the way… other awesome pieces of vinyl in transit from places abroad.

Afterall, if you look around in the right places, any day can be a record store day. Yeah, right, who am I kidding, I’m heading to another record store.

Remember that great classic record… that never happened – The Deepest Soul of Otis Redding: Lonely & Blue

A number of years ago I stood in front of a very large glass case. Wreckage from a plane and a name on the wall beside it was the sheer bullshit that the rock hall had displayed… as if this was some kind of legacy worthy of the talent that had been Otis Redding.

As I looked around this Cleveland cathedral there was no explanation as to who he was and why he was in the hall of fame. The man who had put the mighty Stax on his back and commanded that you listen; the soul king who had the greatest band, Booker T & the MG’s as his own personal musicians in the studio; this giant who was arguably the strongest voice to emerge out of soul music’s greatest era (that saw the height of careers such as Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and James Brown); was reduced to a ridiculous display without context.

Message to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame…

If you are going to reflect on the legacy of a music “god”, you don’t create a display – “YOU BUILD A MOTHER FUCKIN’ ALTAR! SHRINE! & PYRAMID!”

Keeping that in mind, how would you create a new record worthy of that legacy?

Somehow the people at Stax records have managed just that… well, sort of.

otislb

http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B009A87VW8/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1JWAS4V7MX5GJ846RN77&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1949527442&pf_rd_i=915398

Obviously Lonely &Blue is a compilation of previously released material, but wow, it was done right. While being a new collection it looks like a record put out in 1966. This includes a back cover testimonial about the potency of Redding written by the fictional Marty Hackman at WDHG Detroit and overall cover artwork that has the appearance of  ‘record wear’ and stains.

The music itself is made up of Redding’s more ‘heart breaking’ material. Some of the songs are his more famous hits like “These Arms of Mine” and “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)”, but of far more interest (to me) was the inclusion of lesser known tracks like “Waste of Time” and “Everybody Makes A Mistake” which had not been included in the 1993 Definitive Box Set. While playing a rather sad tone throughout the entire record, it also displays the emotional depth that Redding seemed to tap with ease.

In addition to the great music, Lonely & Blue was put together with the turntable in mind. Once you open the vintage style package you find yourself looking at a beautiful piece of blue translucent vinyl.

This compilation isn’t just a great introduction into Otis Redding, but it also stands out as a wonderful exploration into his well mined theme of sorrow. So grab a glass of red wine, turn the lights low, and let a genuine soul Titan take you away to another time and place… that seems very familiar all the same.