Monday, September 27, 2010
Things seem to be manifesting themselves in odd arcs for me recently. For example, last Friday afternoon I was invited to do a short spot on local TV—NewsChannel 8/TBD Network for those of you in DC (which was bizarre as you can imagine) to promote yesterday’s DC Record Fair. I was asked to bring a few diverse records to hold up and chatter through, and in a calculated arc I brought the first record I ever purchased with my own dinero at the Two Guys in Neptune, NJ with my dear ol’ dad. Seemed like a karmic, completed circle at the time.
In addition, if you had asked me way back when at the inception of this time suck – er, blog – what I’d aspire to, it’d be having my absolute favorite bands chiming in about the music they dig and revealing the ins and outs of their own record collections. Big goals set, you’d think.
Well, allow me to present another of those karmic, completed circles:
This week The Posies release their first LP in seven years, the simply stellar BLOOD/CANDY (which you’ll have a chance to win later today) and in full 360-degree mode for us at TVD, they’ll be with us all week discussing the ins and outs of their own record collections.
All this week, it’s The Posies’ Vinyl District—and Ken Stringfellow kicks us off...
The Hobbit. On Vinyl.
We had a few good record stores growing up in the small city of Bellingham, WA. I moved there with my mom in 1978, and it was there that I started to choose my own records, as opposed to just listening to my parents’ collection or accepting the children’s records they bought me. I went into a pretty cool record store in downtown Bellingham with my mom, and asked the guy behind the counter about a soundtrack album to a movie I’d seen. Yep, it was the Rankin-Bass animated film of The Hobbit, and it came in a multi-LP box that had not only the songs from the movie (“the greatest adventuuuure....is what lies aheaaaaad”) but dialogue etc.
People had their heads down in the crates, flipping thru titles of Jethro Tull and Donna Summer. The guy behind the counter shouted out to a colleague “man, this kid wants, like, the Hobbit Soundtrack—do we even HAVE that?” All heads in the shop in unison raise up and turn, smirks emerge. Yes, I am the fat kid with glasses who wants to listen to Hobbit music instead of Houses of the Holy.
I immediately detect that I have crossed over into a magical kingdom called LOSER LAND. But I stuck to my guns and walked out with the thing, but still, like, completely ashamed. Even my mom was affected—somehow my subsequent trips to the record store were done alone and with pocket money. I’d get on the bus, go downtown, and come back with precious cardboard squares that had seductive, black discs inside, all importantly sheathed in plastic (if you bought the Japanese imports) so it was like, “should I be opening this in a clean room?” or at least paper, like...this was an Important Cultural Artifact.
ELO’s disco masterpiece Discovery was the first purchase I made with my own will and my own money combined. It was rock, of a sort. I had left behind the comfortable colors and shapes of childhood, and was piloting a course into darker waters—soon burning Zeppelins, the withered hand on “Plastic Surgery Disasters,” the wail of “Zen Arcade,” etc. would be the portholes thru which I could look beyond the confines of a small town and imagine what kind of weird, fantastical possibilities might be out there.
Posted by Jon at 10:12 AM