Crate-digging is a most wonderful pleasure.

presented by


Nothing posted here will be found on a compact disc.

You will, however, find it waiting in the ether
if you click on the underlined album title at the end of each post.

In deference to the artists who make their joyous noise for us
if something becomes available on CD
I'll remove the link from the post
& then you can have the fun of finding it on your own. . .

Presented as is - the vinyl isn't cleaned, I love to hear it crackle
on that charming odd occassion.
Folders are large as all vinyl is ripped into Logic
& then bounced to MP3s at VBR.

Enjoy, barbarians!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Before Miami

Here's another dirty digging gem, literally - found sitting in a pile of "garbage" on 109th St. between Lexington & 3rd.  As I saw the owner of the Botanica throwing his records away, I verified that he wasn't looking to sell them before scooping up about 50 on my way to a meeting.  Nothing like showing up to discuss contract negotiations and tenure with both arms stacked full of dusty wax...

A couple of duds on here when Roy pushes the schmaltzometer to 11, but otherwise full of fiercely funky nuggets; this album as such is unavailable in its correct running order.

Come on, shake your body baby, do that conga

Rapid Eye Movement

Not quite as deep as Jazz Raga, not nearly as low-key as Bacchanal, Gabor Szabo's Dreams fits into his oeuvre - and the spirit of the times - perfectly, a lovely fusion of jazz hipness and psych weirdness.

Cello orchestration, flamenco overtones, lengthy suites, and one of the best Donovan covers ever. . . Dig in. . .

I Don't Recall. . .

Little-known but uber-groovy electronic soundtrack from the mid-80s La Mama scene: drum machine, MIDI sequencers and early computer programming. . . ah, heaven. . . 

Ricci has been on the scene since the late '70s, though his early works still remain unissued.  Diverse instrumentation and thoughtful arrangements, placing him in the later pantheon of electronic/minimal/Avant-Garde classical composers.

Many of his more recent works are available for minimal cost directly from the composer himself here, so go ahead and support!  Sealed deadstock copies of Music From Memory were available for a short time (and 60 bucks) from Invisible City Editions, but no longer. . .  so follow it here to head down the rabbit hole with Ricci's blippy mnemonic device. . .

Monday, October 1, 2012


          September 30, 2012

          Dear Jack,

          I've been with you for a while now, having been a fan from the first note of the first song of White Blood Cells back in 2001.  Even as you made music or musical choices that I didn't love, I always tried to come see you play when you were in New York.   More than once I've called you our generation's only living guitar god.

         Saturday's show at Radio City Music Hall was bullshit.

          I respect any musician's decisions about his or her music.  No one should place expectations on how long a musician should perform for.  But when every other set on your tour has been twice the length of this sold-out show of 5,000 people, paying an average ticket price of $61, you're getting paid to perform a service.  That's called WORK, brother - around $300,000 for a single night ain't bad (yes, I know you don't get it all).  Playing half a concert and then sprinting off the stage means you're shirking your duties.

           I'm a teacher; if I show up and half my class is off the wall, won't listen, or talks over me... I don't get to walk out of the room and go home.  I have to figure out how to make it WORK, to do the best job I can for my students; they're the people I'm working for.  That's what people do at WORK - they do their job.  

            You did your job lazily, poorly.  Bad sound is a disappointing fact of live music.  Bad will towards the people who put you where you are is a disappointing, weak character trait.       

          You're an inventive, DIY kinda guy.  If it was, in fact, a sound issue, then fix it. You get to choose your venues.  You get a soundcheck.  You get a sound guy for the stage monitors, and another one for the audience.  You don't like the sound?  Fix it.  Don't pay Radio City their exorbitant venue fee for a hall that sounds like shit.  But don't charge your fans for something that's not their fault.  Tell us, the ones who helped make it a sold-out show, that you're gonna power through, because that's what rock n' roll's about - persevering, & rocking the fuck out of whatever bad situation you find yourself in.

            For the record, I was trying to start cheers of "Come back, Jack!" even when I knew by the house lights, the roadies turning off amps, that it was futile.  But by that point, the confused and dispirited audience wasn't into it - they were just ready to boo you.  Standing around for thirty minutes like a bunch of hopeful assholes, wondering why we just gave up our Saturday nights - and a fair amount of money - to see someone who doesn't seem to care about how our evening ends... it didn't sit well with people. That's the way to lose a lot of fans. 
          Anyway, you just lost this one.

          Long live the good times,


Friday, September 28, 2012


A while back I stumbled upon this in a box of random buys - you know, the kind where you're thumbing & thumbing, thinking, over & over again, "Why did I buy this huge lot of crappy records?" until you pull out the one that has all these weird-ass Fluxus folks doing spoken word, recordings of semiotic theory lectures & out pieces like "Typewriter in D" and "How To Make Love To A Sound."  It's got William Borroughs and Buckminster Fuller. It's called Revolutions Per Minute (The Art Record) [Charing Hill 1982].  That sounds promising. There are gnomic, philologic-philosophic pangyrics scattered among post-punky musical selections & even some country.  So you think, "Hm... this isn't so crappy..." Then you see that it's signed by the producers, Jeff and Juanita Gordon; then you check up on it & you see it's worth a good couple-a Benjamins.

What, you mean you never have those kind of days?

This was about two years ago.  Then, just this summer, my good friend Christopher Z. Gordon (you might know him better as the manager of the fiery Randall, he of deep, unending animal observations) sent me a press release for a gallery show that his dad was curating.  It was based on the similarly-assembled Andy Warhol tribute titled 15 Minutes, which was released as an art-and-music multi-disc set last spring by Sony (and which, coincidentally, I reviewed briefly in conjunction with the opening).  That set was co-produced by Jeff Gordon, the same one (I assumed) who'd produced Revolutions Per Minute.

Wait - Chris Gordon... Jeff Gordon... I'd always known his dad was an artist.  But such a common last name that I never made the connection.  A few emails later, & it turns out I'd been drinking & smoking & playing punk rock with Jeff Gordon's son for the last decade.  Crazy, man, crazy.

Also turns out that Jeff doesn't have his own copy of R.P.M. and isn't so hip to turntables any more, but the request came through for a CD copy - one I was more than happy to oblige.  In so doing, I figured there was no reason not to help spread the brilliance & include it on the List.

True to form, there are indeed many revolutions - as well as devolutions, evolutions and convolutions - every minute on this behemoth of a collection.  Thanks to Jeff & Juanita Gordon for assembling 30 years ago, & to Chris for helping me get it together in the 21st Century to post!

Turn the beat around.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Free Life's self-titled debut [Epic JE-35392, 1978] is yet another platter from the land of how-we-like-'em: groovy & with pretty much no information available at all.  About all one can ascertain is that this, the band's only full-length offering, was produced by Phillip Bailey, just out of Earth, Wind and Fire and a few years before his solo career (which spawned possibly my favorite soul/pop hit of the '80s, his "Easy Lover" duet with Phil Collins).

Musically, Free Life drew from the same disco-funk well as EWF, but on the slightly lighter side.  Not consistently my cup of tea, but there are enough good moments and strong tracks to keep the listener's interest ("Dance Fantasy" was released in a couple of different versions and is a mildly sought-after 12").  Even with the backing of a known R&B quantity on one of the most major of major labels, the band did nothing after their debut (save for "Dance Fantasy" also being a split single with Billy Ocean's hit "Nights" in 1980).

But don't let their lack of success slow you down... live the Free Life!