Ghosts of Record Stores Past and Present

Much of my youth was spent hunting for and playing vinyl. I have created this site to remember many of the stores I've visited. Don't try and visit them without calling first, as many of them are no longer with us. If I've posted a picture of a store that you want me to delete please let me know and I'll take it down. To see a particular store just open the photo album with its name on it or click on the green (open) or red (closed) marker in the map below. Expanding the map will reveal more stores in the same city.

The site also contains links to interesting articles and information on record shops and record collecting and fine musical suggestions and playlists for your listening pleasure (with You Tube links so you can check them out for yourself). The Playlists can be found by scrolling to a separate section of the index under the heading musical resources. And our latest addition, Song of the Day, a glimpse at what's playing on my stereo today, appears there as well.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Song of the Day

Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky

Today's song of the day is one of the greatest one-hit wonders of all time - Norman Greenbaum - Spirit In The Sky  From 1969, the song features heavy fuzzed out guitar over a gospel ode to God.  According to Wikipedia, the lead on the original was not actually played by Greenbaum, but instead by Russell Dashiell, who came up with the interesting fade in/out sound by switching between his guitar's pickups, with one on and one off.  Recently feature in the movie The End. There is also a cool YouTube video that will teach you how to play the guitar parts, if you're so inclined.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Rainbow Music

Rainbow Music East Village New York City
   130 1st Ave.  East Village, New York 10009 - still open, but not for long (when I originally posted this in January 2014).
   and now, not long has passed.  Closed

Rainbow Music Record Store East Village New York City Store Front

Its quite an experience.  Records, cds, tapes are stacked from floor to ceiling, and cover the entire floor, with the exception of a single aisle running from the entrance to the rear of the store.  No discernible order to any of the stock, the owner Bill Kasper - who goes by the nickname the Birdman -  advises he won't be there long, as the landlord has visions of bigger and more profitable things.  Give him a visit before he goes - right down the block from Kim's.

Here's a  link to the blog Messy Nessy - The Last Little Music Shop In East Village an August 23, 2013 story about the store and its owner. 

A documentary filmmaker - Jessie Auritt, made a short film of the store and its owner.  You can watch it on the Messy Nessy blog post, linked above.

And here's a September 2015 story from the Times East Villages Birdman Abandoning His Nest Of Cds And Cassettes reporting on the Rainbow Music's imminent closing.

Song of the Day

Sly & the Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime/ I Want To Take Your Higher

Today's song of the day is a live medly by Sly & the Family Stone - Hot Fun In The Summertime/ I Want To Take Your Higher  From 1969, when the group was full of voices that could sing and play, and Sly was inventive - bringing funk, psychedelic guitars, horns, and a great big beat to the masses - along with all those voices.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Rolling Stones - 2000 Light Years From Home

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is British psychedelia from the Rolling Stones - 2000 Light Years From Home  The you tube video is perfect, with the band performing the track on tape with some great psychedelic effects.  From 1967's Their Satanic Majesties Request - the one with the 3d cover if you've seen the original.  Brian Jones is still with the band.  The song has some great effects, but still the Rolling Stone beat to drive it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sugarcult - Los Angeles

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is a change of pace - something a little harder Sugarcult - Los Angeles  From 2006's Lights Out, this is punk-pop song with a bit of grit - more punk then pop, but still enough pop to satisfy.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin - Spirit In The Dark

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is a smokin' live version of Spirit In The Dark by Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin  Taken from Aretha's double album Live At The Fillmore, this is part of Aretha's performance of that song at this concert.  If you want to see the whole 25 minute version, which also features Aretha doing the song first by herself, you can see that here.  Soul doesn't get much better than this.  The band is crack.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Litter - Action Woman

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is the incomparable Litter - Action Woman  The definition of 60s punk, snarling vocals, snarling fuzz leaden lead guitar, from Minneapolis.  Originally released in 1967 on their Distortions lp.  Good luck finding that on ebay.

Play It Again, Bethlehem, Pa.

Play It Again, Bethlehem, Pa.  
Closed (and it was not open on Sunday and Monday) - 129 W. 4th Street, Bethlehem, Pa.  18015

When my son went to Lehigh, and I visited in January 2014, the store was open and full of records. Unfortunately, its 30 plus year run is ending this August, 2016.  Here is an article Record Run Ends As Play It Again Closes in Bethlehem that appeared on July 20, 2016 in Lehigh Valley Live interviewing the store's owner Joe Hanna, discussing both the store's history and its closing.

Play It Again Record Store Bethlehem Pa. Store Front

Monday, January 20, 2014

Song of the Day

Shins - New Slang

Today's song of the day is the Shins - New Slang  No secret here, this is the official video, so excuse the ad.  Led by James Mercer, this is from 2001's Oh Inverted World.  Indie pop by a band well known and loved.  The band, and album, have many good songs, so if you like this one, give some more a listen too.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

David Lindley - Quarter of a Man

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is David Lindley - Quarter of a Man .  From 1981's El-Rayo X, this is Jackson Browne's sideman first solo album.  This song is reggae, and quite good reggae at that.  The album too is quite good, featuring another very good reggae song, She Took Off My Romeos, and a rocker Mercury Blues with great slide guitar.  Dig the cover, particularly the alien shadow.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Belle and Sebastian - Like Dylan In The Movies

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is from Belle and Sebastian - Like Dylan In The Movies .  Perfect indie pop from a Scotish band that started out as a school project.  Led by Stuart Murdoch, this song is from the perfect album If You're Feeling Sinister from 1996.  I could have picked any number of songs from this album (Stars of Track and Field, Mayfly), but the video for this was perfect, especially for a band that does not feature itself on the cover of its albums - just remember its not Dylan singing this song.  I've read Mr. Murdoch favors Love, always a good place to start.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs Tears

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is Billy Bragg - Levi Stubbs Tears  From Talking With the Taxman About Poetry from 1986.  A great story with a sad ending, played over a single guitar and a perfect trumpet ending.  This is a live version from 1991.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison - Gloria

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is a live version of Gloria - John Lee Hooker and Van Morrison .  Live from the Beacon Theatre in 1989, its hard to decide who gets top billing for this collaboration - but we'll go with age before beauty.  A 60s garage rock classic from Van Morrison's days with Them, this is reworked by Hooker into a typical Hooker vamp.  Classic.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Song of the Day

Los Lobos - Don't Worry Baby

Today's song of the day is from Los Lobos - Don't Worry Baby .  From 1984's How Will The Wolf Survive, this is a straight ahead rock n' roll stomp with two excellent lead guitars each offering a quality solo.  They sound here alot like the Fabulous Thunderbirds.  The band (Latino) learned to play in the bars of East LA, and this is bar band music at its finest.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Chob - We're Pretty Quick

Song of the Day

For today's Song of the Day we're going back to the garage to unearth the Chob - We're Pretty Quick .  Everything you want in a 60s garage punk song, snarling lead vocals, Farfisa organ, snaking thin reverb drenched lead.  From New Mexico 1966, produced by Lindy Blaskey who both produced some other fine garage singles (Burgundy Run - Stop) and recorded some himself (You Ain't Tuff (Baby)).  The original single is worth a pretty penny (or quite a few pretty pennies) as it is no. 139 on the G45 list of rare 60s garage singles.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Feelies - Fa Ce La

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is the Feelies - Fa Ce La .  From 1980's Crazy Rhythms, this was the first single off the album.  If you don't know the album, or the group, you should.  With a heavy Velvet Underground influence, rhythms are king, with the drone strum, and Anton Fier's drums, and a good interplay been Mercer and Million's guitars.   Many favorites here, and the band reunited in 2011 to put out a new (and good) album - Here Before - favorite song there is Time is Right.  Many fine choices on Crazy Rhythms, including the first cut - The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness, and a fine cover of the Beatles Everybody's Got Something To Hide (except for me and my monkey).  Originally from New Jersey, always one of my personal favorites.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

David Bromberg - Sharon

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is by David Bromberg -  Sharon .  A shaggy dog story about a girl who walks, and talks and crawls on her belly like a reptile - oh Sharon, what do you do to these men?  You know the same rowdy crowd that was here last nite is back again.  From 1972's Demon in Disguise, on this track he's backed by most of the Grateful Dead.  I guess I'd call it folk/blues.