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.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Louie Louie - Various Artists

Song(s) of the Day

Certain songs are covered over and over by different artists - some over different time periods and music genres.  Built to last, numerous artists try their hand, hoping to leave their mark.  One of those is the early rock n' roll classic Louie Louie.  Today, I thought I'd give you a series of videos by some of the many who have given it a go.  There's a garage rock version, a reggae version, a punk version, a doo-wopish version, a rap version, a version by a new wave band, a ballad version (with strings!) and several just plain rock n roll versions.  Let me know which is your favorite.

Kingsmen - Louie Louie
Richard Berry and the Pharaohs - Louie Louie
Toots and the Maytals - Louie Louie
The Clash - Louie Louie
Blondie - Louie Louie
Fat Boys - Louie Louie
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts - Louie Louie
Black Flag - Louie Louie
Rockin Robin Roberts - Louie Louie
Otis Day with the Dexter Lake Club Band - Louie Louie
Paul Revere and the Raiders - Louie Louie
Julie London - Louie Louie

Monday, February 24, 2014

Song of the Day

Johnny Rivers - Secret Agent Man

Today's song of the day is Johnny Rivers - Secret Agent Man.  From 1966, this song, written by P.F.Sloan and Steve Barri, was originally (as a much shorter version) used as the theme of a British spy series - called Danger Man in England, and subsequently Secret Agent in the States - starring Patrick McGoohan.  It reached number three in the US, and has the guitar sound typical of 60s garage rock.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is by the kings of alternative rock - Pixies - Monkey Gone To Heaven  From 1989's Doolittle, this to me has always been the best Pixies' song - featuring the original lineup with both Black Francis and Kim Deal.  Great bass, great guitar, both singing.  This album has been well praised by the critics, listed as number 226 on Rolling Stones list of the 500 best albums of all time, among others, as well as by alternative musicians, who routinely cite the Pixies as an important influence.  The album has a number of great songs, including Debaser and Gouge Away.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Song of the Day

Jose Gonzalez - Killing For Love

Today's song of the day is Jose Gonzalez - Killing For Love .  Don't be confused by his name - his parents are from Argentina, but he was born in Sweden.  This is acoustic indie pop, with a classical influenced guitar, congos, and light harmony, in a minor/sad key.  All Music reports he sounds, among others, like Nick Drake and Elliot Smith, which makes sense to me, as I had already put them all together on a playlist, and like them all.  From the 2005 album Veneer, which features a number of additionally excellent songs, including Crosses.

This is a live version - still quite good - which apparently appeared on TV.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Little Walter - My Babe

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is by the Chicago Blues Harpist Little Walter - My Babe  From 1955, Little Walter was one of the greats, crafting a sound on harmonica that was truly visionary.  His first hit was Juke, a harp instrumental of the first caliber, which was followed by many others.  Here, his doing a Willie Dixon tune, itself based on a traditional gospel song This Train (is bound for glory).  Little Walter spent much of his career working along side Muddy Waters, which produced some excellent results.  Unfortunately, he died way too young, at 38, apparently after losing a fight.   I have also included a video of Little Walter performing Jump live with Hound Dog Taylor.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Young Aristocracy - Don't Lie

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is a premo 60's garage song by the Young Aristocracy - Don't Lie  Not much is known about this group, from Tulsa Oklahoma, but this is why you crate dig, to find songs like this.  Great vocals, perfectly cheesy organ, 5 star garage.  And I do have the original single.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

R.E.M. - Driver 8

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is my favorite R.E.M. song,   R.E.M. - Driver 8.  From 1985's Fables of the Reconstruction, they were one of the first successful alternative bands, rising from college radio with ringing guitars (called by some Southern jangle) and vocals buried in the mix.  Here, the vocals are coming forward, but the ringing guitars are still there.  Per Wikipedia, the song is about the Southern Crescent, a passenger train operated by the Southern Railroad.  the band was from Athens Ga., the home of the B-52s, among others.

Apparently, I can't embed the video version I wanted (you can see it via the link above) and so I give you this version instead.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is from Big Mama Thornton - Hound Dog.  Before Elvis got his hands on it, this song was a No. 1 hit for Big Mama, spending 7 weeks at the top of the R&B charts in 1953.  Per Wikipedia, the guitar is by Pete Lewis of Johnny Otis' band.  The song is part of the birth of rock and roll, with Big Mama belting the song in a blues style, but the riffs somewhat like Dale Hawkins' Suzy Q.  She might not be much to look at, but boy could she wail.  We give you two versions - the record itself, and a live version of Big Mama with Buddy Guy on guitar. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Us3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is Us3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)  A marriage between Jazz and rap/hip-hop, this is from 1993's Hand on the Torch.  The jazz is Herbie Hancock's Cantaloupe Island, originally on Blue Note.  Diggy-diggy bop.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Song of the Day

Queen/David Bowie - Under Pressure

Today's song of the day is the classic collaboration between Queen and David Bowie - Under Pressure  Reaching number 1 in England in 1981, this song was co-written by Queen and Bowie, with the vocals shared by Freddy Mecury and David Bowie.  A classic, with its classic bass line intro.  To me, more like a show tune than rock.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is the Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun.  From 1983's debut album, the Violent Femmes, this is acoustic punk, written while (most of) the guys were in or just out of a Milwaukee high school.  The video features excerpts from the 1997 classic Grosse Point Blank, starring John Cusak as a hitman on a job who returns to his home town for his high school reunion.  The movie also stars Minnie Driver, and Alan Arkin, and features a great sound track.

Here is a link to a September 2013 interview with the band that appeared in the Village Voice.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Shirley Bassey and the Propellerheads - History Repeating

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is by Shirley Bassey/Propellerheads - History Repeating From 1997, this is big beat and jazz meets James Bond - in the form of Dame Shirley Bassey.  Then 60 (and looking quite good, as you will see in the video), her voice is well-known, including but by no means limited to, her rendition of Goldfinger for the Bond movie of the same name.  The Propellerheads - half her age - wrote the song specifically for her  - and it fits quite well.

According to song facts - "Veteran Welsh singer Shirley Bassey ...  she was asked to participate after Propellerhead Alex Gifford wrote the song with her in mind. She explained in the Miami New Times, November 19, 1998: "He said he was asleep, and he thought about me, and these words came out. And I asked, what's a 35-year-old man doing thinking about a grandmother? I couldn't imagine!" The Propellerheads sent a demo to Bassey, who loved it but thought it might be more appropriate for Tina Turner, but the Propellerheads persuaded her to record it, arguing they wrote it specifically for her."

Monday, February 3, 2014

Tommy Tutone - 867-5309 (Jenny)

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is Tommy Tutone - 867-5309 (Jenny).  Perfect power pop from a classic one hit wonder.  Don't go looking for another, because there ain't none, but quite a tasty morsel. The number, according to the band's lead singer, was the Buffalo Chief of Police's daughter's phone number. Care to give her a call?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is from Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy  From 1998's In An Aeroplane Over The Sea, this is indie pop with surreal lyrics - a truly great album from Jeff Magnum, this album was critically hailed as a major work, but then Magnum couldn't or wouldn't repeat. Rumoured to have had a nervous breakdown, he has recently been touring and hopefully will send us some more music.  This is said to have been inspired by the diary of holocaust victim Anne Frank, which explains some of the bleak lyrical references.  Highly recommended.  And produced by Rob Schneider, of Apples in Stereo and the Elephant 6 collective.