Thursday, August 27, 2009


It's Thursday and the sun is shining. The fact that I am stuck indoors in a temporary building with utterly useless air conditioning should be a mere detail, but it's not, it is a defining factor. It is hot and shitty and my arms keep sticking to the desk.

If I was in Sonic Youth I would be fine because by default I would be totally, utterly and completely cool rather than being able to feel my balls sliding around against my legs. As a side note and I don't know this for a fact but I imagine Thurston Moore to have the greatest record collection on the planet (I wonder if Kim Gordon keeps hers seperately?). Anyway my choice of words might indicate I am hot as a motherfucker right now, the air is stale and the t-shirt on my back peels from my chair when I sit forward.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I was reheating a hearty portion of ravioli when I realized I hadn't listened to Stereolab for a while, that in mind I plucked this from the racks and fired up my turntable. 'Switched On' came out the same year as the band's debut 'Peng' and is a rather pointless compilation of the first two 10inches and the 'Stunning Debut Album' 7inch.

The album's release set a steady pattern that continues until present day where the 'groop' pretty much match every album release with a compilation of somekind - Not that I am complaining for a second. I hate 7inch singles and without this considerate marketing ploy I would be without much of the band's better work.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


After years of trawling Jazz sections and mistakenly getting excited about finding a copy of this album before turning it over and finding yet another Italian BASE re-issue, I have a copy.

Eventually I cheated and went the way of the American Ebay but it was worth it. Not so much because of the music (It's not his best - but more of that later) but because this has to be one of the greatest and certainly top 3 Sun Ra record sleeves ever. It's not actually the original sleeve... or pressing. The first ESP Disks press had a black and white mess of shapes across the cover, I have actually seen that fairly recently but I could hardly justify owning both and with this crazy cat still out there....

Monday, August 24, 2009


I was out on business last week, following that I managed to tack on a few thoroughly enjoyable days back home. Although record shops and record shopping were not a particular focus, I did manage to have a cheeky peek in a couple of stores around Amsterdam. Well actually one store and a couple of market stores on Waterlooplein. There is little to say of Waterlooplein re: record shopping. It has been reduced to a damp graveyard of used Beebop Delux albums, one of the last places on earth that a Christopher Cross record might reach mid single figures. In fact, unless you are in the business of buying bike locks, spray paint or getting shouted at by drunk Kanye West types I'd probably give the entire area a wide berth.

Friday, August 14, 2009


Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall and the concequent end to communism in Europe there is one question on everyones minds:

'In the record shop featured in the 1986 film 'Pretty in Pink', why is it that the Laurie Anderson album on the wall is censored so you can't make out her name?'

They did the same to the Mighty Wah! Album as well changing the WAH! into WA8!. Why?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


So the good news is that Thom Yorke (I believe pronounced Tee-Hom York-E) of Radiohead has announced that the band will not be recording any more albums!

The champagne was already flowing accompanied by a ticker-tape filled sky and celebrations akin to those of V-E Day by the time I got to the end of the article and discovered that they would sadly still be recording singles and EPs.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


If i was say seven or however old enough you have to be to do that thing where you sit on Santa's knee at Christmas time, that thing they do in department stores the world over (Israel and Muslim states excluded) where Santa asks you what you want for Christmas in his deep and bearded Santary voice. If I was of the correct age and in said knee based situation I would probably say,

'A bike Santa, what I really want for Christmas is a bike!'

And Santa would laugh his big Ho! Ho! Ho! laugh and then say something like,

'But you already have a bike, isn't there anything else you want?'

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Is it wrong to buy an album solely because of the standard of the screen printing on the sleeve? Polish film posters have long been the thing of wet dreams for the designer types and the sleeve this Budka Suflera album seems to belong to a similar school. The contrast of the matt silver on the off white card is really strong even if the stock used to produce the sleeve is symptomatically thin.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Tom Waits is a great actor. His turn in Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts' remains one of the finest supporting roles I have ever seen on film. I have tried with him on record a few times before: As of writing this I have owned 'Swordfishtrombone' twice, I have owned 'Heart Attack and Vine' and I have a recollection of owning 'Small Change' although that might well just have been a strange and random record shop based dream.

So hear I am again, sitting down and listening to one of the most critically acclaimed singer song writers of our time...


I remember the first mass 'reconsidering' of Fela Kuti's work in the mid to late 90's, (it was also around that time that I first heard Sun Ra.) Suddenly he was the name to drop, his records became expensive and in demand and shortly thereafter box sets and bootlegs of every last shit he took flooded the market. Well I say flooded, it wasn't so much of a flood as a trickle but we are talking relative terms here, relative terms.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Like most record shops in SF, this record shop is on a hill. I very nearly didn't go in it. Not because I feared a sweatly back from the steep climb but rather beacause Grooves are breaking one of the ten record shop commandments in what can only be described as a truly flagrant manner.

Thou shall not ever, ever, ever display records without sleeves, regardless of how pretty the coloured vinyl is, regardless of whether they are part of that cosmic joke that is known as the picture disc... Not even if the record is worthless. Thou shall not prettify your shop with records without fucking sleeves!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


So 1999, I am on holiday in the deep South with my then girlfriend and two friends, our driving holiday had taken us out to Baton Rouge and back round again to the infinitely less fun tourist ridden part of Florida. We spent the day in Tampa, everybody with the exception of me wanted to go to Busch Gardens to ride amongst other things the Spiderman Rollercoaster. I haven't really had any love for ammusement parks since working at Six Flags Great America in the mid 90's. The fact that I was employed to work 'safety' on a rollercoaster after a mornings training kind of put me off ever risking my life to any kind of Final Destination 3 scenario type death... That plus theme parks are gay.

Monday, August 3, 2009


If this blog was about CDs I listened to in my car I would be reviewing the 20th Anniversary edition of the 'Dirty Dancing' soundtrack. I would be telling you about how it's kind of patchy and not much of an improvement on the original and how 'Hungry Eyes' and the theme from 'Dirty Dancing' are still the two stand-outs. I would also be lamenting about how I remember watching the film for the first time at a house party, the same house party which acted as my gateway to adolescence by means of the game 'Spin the Bottle'. It was at Francesca Reynolds' house in Sheffield and it was a Saturday night, facts which mean absolutely nothing to anybody unless they were there.