Monthly Archives: June 2012

…and We Are Into The Second Year

This little blog is just over a year old…I missing the actual anniversary by a few days but it don’t matter. When I started this thing I really didn’t have much of a plan and it is still growing and evolving. I am kicking around adding a podcast (or webmix) every couple of weeks…and maybe a weekly vinyl treasure posting…more book reviews…more pictures…more random thoughts on musicians and music…more useless crap.

Happy Anniversary little blog of mine. Feeling like the King…

 

 

Capture the Moment in a Photograph…

The mighty Ween at the Warfield in San Francisco on November 10, 2007

Weekend Record Sale

I tend to listen to National Public Radio on my morning and afternoon drives unless I am blasting music. Morning Edition and Fresh Air are just good informative shows. For the past month my local NPR station, Capitol Public Radio, has been accepting donations of used records, cds and video games for their annual used record sale fund raiser. My youngest son heard this plea for donations and told me to give them my records but keep my hands off his video games. When I explained to him that the station would be selling all the donated items for cheap he decided that this was one sale he was not going to miss. He told his brother and they were both up for going. They are gamers and the thoughts of cheap used video games drove them mad with anticipation. Which was fine with me…used records?…I am there.

This past weekend was the big sale…Saturday and Sunday. We had planned on getting an early start on Saturday, but with the boys being out of school they tend to sleep in just a little later than normal and it being Saturday I tend to sleep in just a little later than normal. So we didn’t get on the road till noon, but that was fine. It was going to be a fun outing with just us boys…video games for them and records for me. As we made our way I told them I didn’t know what to expect (or if they would have much of anything) as I had never been to one of their sales before. My oldest mentioned he didn’t expect anything good as this was going to be all donated items. I had to agree…and secretly hoped that there would be something that they would be interested in.

When we arrived and walked into the store front I saw rows and rows of tables with records. And people everywhere. I told the boys to walk around and find the games as I dug into my first box of records. Before I was finished looking through that box they were back informing me there was nothing for them. Well that sucks for them, but there was more than enough for me to look through. I told them to give me some time and I would take them to a video game store when we were done.

They gave me space and time to look through about half of what I wanted to, but they were putting on the sad faces and I beat a retreat. I had time to look through about three quarters of the rock and folk section…never made it to the jazz section or the tables of 45s. The boys told me that there was only one box with games…all computer games…from the 1990’s…GASP!

But this was heaven to me…all this vinyl was a dollar each. Nothing really rare, but there was a wide variety of records. Some stuff that I hadn’t seen when I have looked through the local record shops. I ended up grabbing twenty-five records and thought I would take the kids to get a game, drop them off at home and head back to browse in my leisure.  Alas, it was not to be on that day as other things more important came up.

On the following day my wife asked me if I wanted to go back and see if there was anything left I might want…I thought for a second she was joking. So we dropped the boys off at their Grandmother’s house (no way did they want to go back) and drove down to the sale. My wife was a pro…digging through dusty records and pulling out stuff she thought I might like.

I made it through the jazz and all of the rock/folk stuff. Most everything was heavily picked over by now, but for a buck each I picked up some stuff I didn’t already have. Grabbed an additional twenty-two records on Sunday. I didn’t see anything that was rare, but I didn’t get there early so I don’t know what sold before hand. I won’t make that mistake next year…

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Muddy and the Rolling Stones

Back in 1981 the Rolling Stones were on a tour of North America and when they found themselves in Chicago with a night off and  a few members of the band (Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ron Wood and Ian Stewart) decided to check out Muddy Waters and his band at the Checkerboard Lounge. It didn’t take long into Muddy’s set before he was inviting the Stones up on stage to join him in working out his classic blues.

This is stuff musicologists go crazy for. Audio and video has been making the bootleg rounds for years and I have never heard a great sounding version of it, but that looks about to change. Eagle Rock has set a July 10th release date for a DVD and a deluxe edition with a CD/DVD combo. Upgraded sound, which has been remixed by Bob Clearmountain, in 5.1 surround sound.

Muddy Water and the Rolling Stones, Live at the Checkerboard Lounge, Chicago 1981 looks to be a must get. And even more intriguing to me is the DVD/2 LP VINYL set that will be released later on September 11.

Song For the Rough Week Ahead…

…and now for something completely different.

Ryan Adams and the ‘Live After Deaf’ Release Fun

Last week I mentioned that Ryan Adams was releasing a vinyl boxset called LIVE AFTER DEAF and that it cloaked in secrecy. In the typical cryptic Ryan Adams style he first let the public know about this project via a facebook post on Wednesday evening. By Thursday all the big music news blogs – Stereogum, Paste, Consequence of Sound, and even Jambands.com – had picked up on the story and had reported on it. All of those music blogs stated that it was a 15 disc vinyl set that would have only one pressing and also that it was a ‘super-duper’ limited number of units. The buzz started to build and the ‘flippers’ saw an opportunity to make some money.

Come the planned on-sale time on Friday and the website crashes. I watched people posting on Ryan’s facebook page with amusement. At first it was light-hearted banter about how all his fans broke the internet, but as the site was still down after an hour the tone of the postings started to take a turn. The darkside of people was starting to show. Then there was a new post from the Ryan Adam’s camp telling everyone to hang in there as they were working on the servers and the site would be fixed in about 15 minutes. A full two hours after that message they decided to postpone the on-sale date till the following Monday. The comments on facebook turned vicious on the merchandising company that Ryan uses for the shipment of his goods and then on Ryan for using them. People were complaining about missing work and all the wasted time spent hitting the refresh button every 10 seconds.

All this over a release that most people had no clue what it contained. Was it studio outtakes? Was it live music from his last American tour? For all anybody knew it could have been just about anything as everything was kept top secret.

But artwork and the track listing for the set was leaked over the weekend before the new scheduled on-sale date. It looked like a beautiful release, a heavy weight cloth slipcover housing all that gorgeous black vinyl. The albums were actually chronicling his 15 date European tour from June of 2011, which marked the singer’s return after a two year break from performing due to a hearing disease…hence the title Live After Deaf. These leaks may have dampened or set fire to one’s desire to own this set depending on one’s level of fandom or the insatiable collector that lives inside some of them.

When Monday rolled around I waited to see what would happen. About an hour before the on-sale time Ryan’s camp posted a message on his facebook page to remind everyone about it, as if his rabid fans had forgotten over the weekend. I watch the replies to that posting. It started out with fans thanking him for releasing this and other general praise, then later a few ‘I got one!’ posts and then it went into the ‘sold out – damn it’ section.

And then the angery posts started. Anger at Ryan for not making more, for not putting this out on CD, for not having a digital download available, for not putting this out in stores instead of using an unreliable web service…it went on and on.

The people that had invested time to get this only to be told it was sold out within minutes were severely pissed. And then to add insult to injury, LIVE AFTER DEAF started to appear on ebay. At last check there were 31 listings on ebay ranging from $217 to $999…that really set people off. There were posts asking Ryan to do something about it. People complaining and complaining even more.

Then there was another facebook post by Ryan’s people which read…“First the bad news. We are now officially sold out of “Live After Deaf” boxsets. Now the good news. We have been listening to your requests & reading your comments. Pax Am are now planning to release an abbreviated version of the boxset digitally. This digital release will include all of the album tracks but fewer bonus tracks. To respect our physical buyers, Pax Am will not be putting anything up for sale digitally until the majority of physical boxsets have reached the hands of those who bought them today. Please stay tuned for the release date of the digital version, we will let you know ASAP. Sorry for any disappointment for people who weren’t able to purchase a physical boxset. THANK YOU guys for being cool & for everyone’s enthusiasm for the collection.”

Then the venom started again in the comments…it was very entertaining for me to hit my refresh button and read the next batch of new bitching. So who’s fault is this mess? Ryan? The drop-shipping merchandise company? The flippers?

Ryan put out an unusual and totally cool item. He limited it and made it a highly collectable set and he created a huge buzz in just a few short days with only a facebook post. But with all of that he also caught the flippers attention. Anything that they think they can buy and sell for a profit will draw them like sharks to blood…be it concert tickets, posters or other limited edition merchandise. There was a huge buzz building and the drop-shipping company should have been ready for all the web traffic , but they could not handle the thousands of fans and flippers hitting the refresh button every 10 seconds. But stuff happens and they seem to have gotten it right on the following Monday.

So really there is no blame. There was a demand and a limited product. Not everybody was going to get one. Some people were happy but many more were left feeling letdown and some even feeling cheated. Feeling cheated because of all the time they invested on Friday and again on Monday only to be denied. You can’t blame a fan for wanting their artists latest release. But you can’t blame Ryan for making a highly collectable item either. More power to him and I hope he and other artists keep it up.

My only gripes were that he keep the info on the release to a minimum. If I were going to shell out big bucks on an item I would really like to know what is on the release. And how limited ‘super-duper’ really is. We still don’t know what the final number of this ‘super-duper’ limited release is. It is the details that need to be given out to let the fans decide if they want to buy before it goes on sale, not going in blind and having to make a split second pressured decision that they might regret.

Did I get one? Nope, didn’t even try…but it was fun watching it unfold.

Capture the Moment in a Photograph…

black and white jazz sax photo

Song For the Rough Week Ahead…

Capture the Moment in a Photograph

The weekend of October 1, 2005 my girlfriend and I were in San Francisco for the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival. If you ever find yourself in Northern California on the first weekend in October you should check out the Festival. It is a three day affair in Golden Gate Park and it is totally free. No tickets needed. Bring low back chairs, blankets and a cooler full of food and drink. It makes for a nice day or two out on the cheap.

And like the name implies it is not just Bluegrass (although that is the main emphasis) the line up has varied from Buckethead to Elvis Costello to MC Hammer to Steve Martin to Hot Tuna…and every year the lineup seems to get a little more diverse.

Below are a few pictures from Saturday of the festival. I remember it was foggy, cold, and lots of fun. It was a good day…my girlfriend even accepted my clumsy marriage proposal on that day.

Main Stage in Golden Gate Park

Doc Watson…RIP

Del McCoury Band

Earl Scruggs…RIP

Steve Earle and the Bluegrass Dukes

Ryan Adams to Release Boxset…shhhh

…and he’s not giving out much information. Here is what we do know…

  • It is a VINYL boxset
  • Fifteen records in the set
  • 144 tracks in the set
  • It will include a download card for all 144 tracks, plus an additional 74 digital bonus tracks
  • It will be available Friday, June 15 at 1:30pm EST on bis website on his Pax-Am record label
  • The title of the monster is Live After Deaf

The things we don’t know….

  • Price
  • Track names and where recorded
  • How limited is the pressing

I will assume this is a collection of live acoustic material from last year’s world tour. I guess we will find out on Friday.

Update – We now know the price…”Live after Deaf is a steal at 130 US + cost of shipping. It is heavy. Box weighs 13lbs. You can check the shipping price before you check out. We will ship everywhere in the world while supplies last.”

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