This year my girlfriend Julia and I spent our summer vacation in the US, visiting old friends of Julia in Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. We arrived in Washington, D.C. and, because none of us has a driver´s licence, took a train to Greenwich to meet up with Elisabeth who took us to her parents house. We spent a wonderful week there, going to the beach, sailing, and we even made it to a library sale, that I had read, also had records for sale.
The sale was huge and we arrived late so I had about 45 minutes to go through some 20. 000 books and records but I came away with some nice stuff, though only LP´s and some paperback cartoon books for 25 cents each. No 45´s yet.
A couple of weeks later into our trip I discovered that Elisabeth had recorded a 45 with her band THE SARNOS when she was living in San Fransisco. Somebody else has already posted their music on his blog here.
After this week Liz took us to Brattleboro, Vermont to meet Lisa and Chris.
Brattleboro is a real cool small town where I felt at home right away. Its two main streets have nice cafés, thrift-shops, book-stores, a art-supply store and two really cool record-stores. Lisa and Chris produce Bingo Granola, great tasting organic granola that they sell at the Brattleboro Farmers Market. We spent almost 2 weeks in Brattleboro and really enjoyed our stay.
Chris was one of the founders of WVEW 107.7, Brattleboro community radio and does a Thursday morning show, the Moose Haas show together with John Singer. John also plays in the Zip Code Rapists. On August 6, 2009 I was invited to be the guest on the show. From 8 to 9:30 am I played some of my favourite records that I have posted here over the past 2 years.
I bought a whole bunch of LP´s for 25 Cents each at Experienced Goods, a thrift-store that serves as a fund-raiser for the Brattleboro Hospice, and a lot of 45´s at Turn It Up Records, mostly between 50 cents or a dollar. I finally found a copy of the MAD “Twists” Rock´n´Roll LP there.
But my favourite store was In The Moment Records. I bought a whole lot of fine Rock´n´Roll 45´s there and also some weird stuff that I will probably post in the future.
This one I´ll post right away because it is a advertisement record, a Twist record and it even came with a sleeve. Just the kind I like the best!
Al Henderson, born in Owensboro, Kentucky, recorded a fine Rock´n´Roll 45 (Ding Dong Dandy/Mary Jane) for East-West in 1958, recorded with Boyd Bennett‘s Rockets in 1960 and another record for King in 1963.
This record was issued by All Star Dairies to promote the Lemon Twist Ice Cream. Lemon Twist is a pretty average take on Let´s Twist Again but All Star Boy is a fine rocker with a nice guitar break.
Plus this little fella is makin my mouth water. I wish I had some All Star Ice Cream right now. The company still operates today though…
While I´m at it, here´s another record I got in Brattleboro. Chris gave me a bunch of records and this was one of them. This record fits right along a couple of Berlin records that I posted here before: not punk, not new wave, not hard rock but a little bit of everything. I love it!
This is what wikipedia has to say about Poughkeepsie:
The name derives from a Native American word (roughly U-puku-ipi-sing), meaning “the reed covered lodge by the little-water place,” referring to a spring or stream feeding into the Hudson River, south of the present downtown area. Poughkeepsie is known as “The Queen City of the Hudson.” During the late 1980s through the late 1990s, Poughkeepsie suffered from severe socioeconomic turmoil, serving as a symbol for urban decay in the Hudson Valley.
This is a great ode to a declining small town and a great, silly novelty rock´n´roll song!
Again many thanks for this, Chris!
After spending a couple of days in Vermont, Lisa drove with us down to Provincetown to meet our friend Nicholas Kahn, one part of the kollaborative duo KAHN & SELESNICK, who was having a gallery show there. This was before the show:
I had my doubts about Provincetown but only a couple of hours later the town had me convinced. On the main street Julia met her old friend painter and cartographer Marc Adams, who was also having an opening at the Schoolhouse gallery the same night. I asked him if he knew of a new fiction book about the life of a cartographer called The Selected Works of T.S. Spivit by Reif Larson and he said that he had just bought it. I then said that I had done the lettering for the German edition of the book, but I was dumbfounded when he told me that the father of Reif Larson was also going to be at the opening. And I did. It´s a small world.
We spend a wonderful time in Provincetown and at the beach in Truro. After a couple of days Nicholas took us with him to Brooklyn.
Nicholas and Sarah and their cats put up with us for more than a week in their Brooklyn apartment during the insanely hot New York City Dog Days but we still managed to cram a lot of activities into every day.
Took lots of trains to Manhattan and back to Brooklyn. One day this amazing group came onto the train:
Went to high-brow Barbara Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea to see the retrospective of legendary MAD cartoonist Basil Wolverton. I tried to capture a couple of those famous images how they were presented:
Nicholas introduced us to Brooklyn based cartoonist Josh Neufeld, whose new book A.D. New Orleans after The Deluge just came out. It was very inspiring to meet a fellow cartoonist, especially one whose work seems to be so close to mine. Josh already wrote about our wonderful encounter here. . You do indeed have a place to stay in Berlin anytime, Josh. We hope to see you soon.
And then eventually I got around to do some record shopping. I bought a bunch of new 45´s of local Brooklyn groups at Academy Records and also a bunch of cheap old stuff. And then I found The Thing.
The middle of the summer was probably the worst time to check out THE THING, a legendary thrift store located in the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn on 1001 Manhattan Ave. Here are two short videos that we made there:
Julia left me for half an hour and then returned to see how I was doing. When I saw her I gasped: Thank god, you´ve come to release me!
It was too much, especially with the heat and the busy days that we had had in NYC. There are more than 100.000 records in that basement. I bought only about a dozen 45´s.
Now, THANK YOU SO MUCH to all our friends who let us stay at their places, fed us and drove us around. You are the GREATEST! Please come to Berlin soon and let us take care of YOU!
I bought close to 200 records on this trip, 180 45´s and 20 Lp´s. The most I´ve ever bought on a trip. The majority were 50 cents to 1 dollar. And because airlines let you take only one bag I had to carry most of them onto the plane. It was real work getting those records home.
On the last day in Brattleboro the nice owner of In the Moment offered me another 50 records for 2 dollars that came with a record rack. I already had 150 and wasn´t sure about that, but then Julia gave in and I got them. Now I´m happy I did.
Also in this metal rack were seven Discount Disc 6-song EP´s, typical drugstore records. Not in the best shape, but for less than 5 cents a piece, I´m not complaining. That´s less than one cent for a song. Try to beat that iTunes!
Discount Discs were manufactured by Pickwick International Records, the originators of budget records. Lou Reed got his start in the music-business, working as a staff songwriter for Pickwick. He didn´t write any of these though, because they´re all cover versions of hit songs. You will probably recognize most of them.
So, give these 45´s, that seem doomed to be discount records forever, a chance. The songs are great!
Not as blazin´fast as the James Brown 1962 version but still real cool instrumental version of Night Train:
Pretty close to the Orlons original:
Get it. It´s good and it´s free:
Nice instrumental version of Chubby Checker´s hit record:
Again pretty faithful cover of the Dovells:
Instrumental version of the Blue Belles:
Nice rough version of the Contours hit:
Sounds more like Frankie Lymon than Chubby Checker:
Despite the name this version sounds more like the Isley brothers:
Dee Dee Sharp recorded the original:
Originally sung by Johnny Western, from the TV-show Have Gun Will Travel: