Monday, July 19, 2010
I've been a fan of DC's Tereu Tereu for quite a while now and so, with the impending release of some fresh vinyl and the launch of a summer tour, an opportune moment arrived to spend some quality time with the band for a full week.
We'll get you up to speed on the vinyl and the tour tomorrow (with ways to win some stuff into the bargain) but to kick things off Brendan Polmer, the band's drummer and resident vinyl enthusiast weaves a lucky tale that has me more than a bit envious... —Ed.
Dumpster Diving for Vinyl | About a year ago, I stumbled upon a vinyl goldmine in the unlikeliest of places– a dumpster inside a freight elevator of a self-storage facility on H St NE, Washington, DC.
I was in between apartments and checking out a storage unit to hold some of my crap while I searched for a new place to live. The building had once been used for storing cars, and thus had two large, industrial car-sized elevators that were now being used to haul large, heavy items to the storage units on multiple floors. As the storage employee who was showing me my potential unit lead me onto one of the elevators, he apologized for the mess that greeted us as he opened the elevator’s vertical barn-door gate. There was a mattress or two, a broken chest of drawers, a portable clothing rack and a large plastic dumpster on wheels, about five-feet high and equally wide, filled to the top with a ton of crap. “What happened? Someone didn’t pay their storage bill?” I asked jokingly.
“Yea, it’s all goin’ to the dump man,” he said. “Happens all the time. Sometimes people fall behind on their rent and can’t pay no more. Sometimes they just die and nobody comes to claim their stuff. Either way, we gotta toss it.”
As the elevator jerked upward, I peered over the ledge of the dumpster to take a look at what exactly was being thrown out. The first thing that caught my eye was a vintage AKAI reel-to-reel tape recorder. Now, I’m quite the hi-fi nerd, so my first instinct was to ask if I could check out this obsolete yet glorious instrument of music playback technology. “Yea, go ‘head man, it’s all goin’ to tha dump anyway.” I reached into the dumpster and pulled out the ancient relic. It was heavy as shit, about 40 pounds, but it was gorgeous. I then looked back into the dumpster and what I saw next gave me the chills—a painting of Stevie Wonder’s face peering up at me in front of a bright orange background, smiling behind a pair of sunglasses. It was the LP cover of his 1980 release “Hotter Than July.”
“Woah! There’s vinyl in here!” I yelled. I was so excited, all I could think about was what else could be underneath all the layers inside the dumpster of what appeared to be books, newspapers, old photographs and other personal items. The elevator stopped. I didn’t want to leave the dumpster, but I had to look at a storage unit. Five minutes later, after checking out the unit, I asked the employee if I could hang out for a while so I could, um, dumpster dive for vinyl. He said it was cool, as long as I put everything I didn’t want back in the dumpster when I was through.
Two hours later, covered in sweat and sneezing from the dust I stirred up, I salvaged an impressive 150+ records! The poor bastard who couldn’t pay his storage bill (or, for all I know, was dead) had quite the collection at one point in his life, with most of it ranging from blues, funk, sixties and seventies soul, and r&b, as well as some early go-go and hip-hop.
Most of the records were in decent shape, others not so much. But from what I was able to save, I created several mixtapes of epic proportions, recorded samples into an MPC for my amateur attempt at beat production, and kept others solely for their glorious album artwork appeal.
So now, without further ado, I present to The Vinyl District with my Dumpster Diving 4 Vinyl! mixtape. Enjoy!
—Brendan Polmer, Drummer, Tereu Tereu
(Ed. Note: Stream with option to download each Mp3 by clicking links.)
Otis Redding - Guilty Of Being Poor
Lou Rawls - Tobacco Road
James Brown - Cold Sweat” (Acoustic Jazz Trio)
Jackson Five - You Made Me What I Am
The Neville Brothers - A Change Is Gonna Come
Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers - Run Joe (Live from 9:30 Club)
Diana Ross & The Supremes - A Hard Days Night
Marvin Gaye - You
Aretha Franklin - You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Stevie Wonder - Master Blaster
Gil Scott-Heron - Whitey On The Moon
Freddie Hubbard - Backlash
Funkadelic - Field Maneuvers
The Nighthawks - Floyd’s Guitar Blues
BONUS! YouTube video of my sampling Marvin Gaye’s “You” into an MPC and creating a gangsta-ass beat with it!
Posted by Jon at 9:47 AM