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.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett - Monster Mash

Song of the Day

Its Halloween, so there can only be one song of the day - it's Monster Mash by Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Crypt Kicker 5.  Actually a number one hit in 1962, that's Leon Russell in the backing group. Doo wop, before Little Shop of Horrors (as a musical), with Bobby doing his best Boris Karloff imitation.  Hey baby, care for a jolt from my electrode?

Want some more?  How about Science Fiction Double Feature from the Rocky Horror Picture Show?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Julieta Venegas - Casa Abandonada

Song of the Day

Today's Song of the Day is from Julieta Venegas - Casa Abandonada (Abandoned House).  From 2000's Bueninvento, I found this record on a list of top 10 Latin rock records from Rolling Stone magazine.  Here, Venegas is a alternative rocker, before she moved more main stream later in her career, to great success. Below are two versions of this song - the first is a live version from 2009, where she accompanies herself only on piano - she makes some mistakes, but personally I like this version better than that on her album, where she plays the accordion, instead of the piano.  Either way, a great alternative  song.  She hails from Mexico.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Elastica - Stutter

Song of the Day

Today's Song of the Day is from Elastica - Stutter.  Originally released in 1993, this could have been released 15 years earlier and fit right on the charts.  Britpop with heavy punk (think Buzzcocks/Wire) and New Wave influences, this is about a guy who, ahem, can't perform, from his lovers point of view. From their 1995 self-titled debut.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Three Dog Night - One

Song of the Day

Today's Song of the Day is Three Dog Night - One.  From 1969's Suitable for Framing, Three Dog Night is a dirty pleasure - disrespected when I was growing up because they didn't write their own songs, they featured three lead singers, each of whom lead the band with a number one hit.  Here, they cover Harry Nilsson's One, with Chuck Negron taking the lead.  They had a knack for finding excellent material by others, and producing chart topping versions.

This song has also been covered more recently by Aimee Mann, who's version appears in the Soundtrack for the movie Magnolia.  The song begins with Harry Nilsson saying ok Mr. Mix, from another song he wrote.

And of course, Harry Nilsson's version, for fun.

All versions are provided, below.  Which is better?  You be the judge.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Leo Kottke - Louise

Song of the Day

Today's Song of the Day is Leo Kottke - Louise.  From 1972's Greenhouse, Kottke is the master of the 12 string guitar, and he does not disappoint here.  While his deep baritone is an acquired taste, he uses it to great effect here on the Paul Siebel song of the sad Louise, a moving saga of a wasted life.
On this video, Kottke plays it by himself, a folk song by a truly accomplished player.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mississippi Records, Portland Oregon

Mississippi Records, Portland Oregon
  Open - 5202 N. Albina Ave. Portland Oregon  97217

Made a trip to Portland Oregon this summer, and visited a number of record stores.  Thought Mississippi Records was the best.  A small shop, but a lot of great records (and plenty of traffic in the store). Good selection, many genres and, most important for the discerning record collector, cheap prices. They also sell vintage equipment, and have a record label.  And you can give a listen before you buy.

Portland is a very friendly record store town, with a number of good ones to choose from.  Portland's stores also have chipped in to provide a handy guide to all the local stores.

Have to thank The Vinyl Record Collector Blog, who did a great post on Portland record stores which I used as a helpful guide to my own local tour.  You'll find a link to their article on Portland's record stores, below.

This record store was also listed in a post on Buzz Feed - 27 Breathtaking Record Stores You Have To Shop Before You Die as well as a recent article in USA Today on the Ten Best Record Stores In The USA.  Heady company.

Found some really good records, as you will see below.  Most happy with the copy of Elliot Smith's Either/Or - haven't seen one before or since.

An article informs that Mississippi Records got its name because it was originally on Mississippi Avenue when it was opened.  It isn't now.

Another good store I visited on my trip was The Vinyl Resting Place.

Mississippi Records Record Store Portland Oregon Store Front

Vinyl Record Collector's Blog wrote this most helpful article about Portland's record stores.  Their recommendations were spot on.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Gomez - Girlshapedlovedrug

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is Gomez - Girlshapedlovedrug.  Sunny alternative pop from 2005's How We Operate, Gomez is a British band (ok, some members now live in the US) which does not feature anyone named Gomez.  Go figure.  But the song is light, airy, and cheerful.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now

Song of the Day

Today's song of the day is the Libertines - Can't Stand Me Now.  From 2004's The Libertines, the band was fronted by Carl Barat and Pete Doherty, and one never knew how long they could stay together.  Two albums worth seems to be the right answer at this point.  This was their most successful single, reaching no. 2 in the UK, and produced by Mick Jones of Clash fame.  Its indie rock, with influences of punk and garage - the guitars are not polished, nor are the harmonies - but the two sing well together, and this song describes their touch and go relationship.  We can only hope for a third go.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter

Song of the Day

Today's Song of the Day is the Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter.  Written largely by Keith Richards, it features one of his best guitar riff intros, which is quite a feat given the many great intros he has written.  The chick vocal is by Merry Clayton, who tells quite a story about the recording session.

This is from 1969's Let It Bleed, and to me has always symbolized the end of the 60's - gone are the tight harmonies of mid 60's AM pop, the love power of 1967, and the psychedelia that followed,  It is replaced by dark images of the Vietnam war, and assassinations.  One of my all time favorite Stones' songs, it has always been number one on my personal Stones playlist.

The video below is very interesting, featuring a number of disturbing images from the late 60s set against the song.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Song of the Day

The Band - Unfaithful Servant

Today's song of the day is one of my favorite songs by The Band - Unfaithful Servant.  From 1969's classic album, the Band, it is a sad ballad sung by Rick Danko, featuring a great guitar solo from its songwriter Robbie Robertson, and a nice horn chart.  The album generally featured songs about the South, circa the Civil War, as is this one, which tells a tale of an affair between the Unfaithful Servant and his mistress.  The Band was a great, if too short lived group, that featured three separate lead vocalists.  Nowhere are they better represented then on this album, which contains any number of great songs.  The version here is the studio version - they also released an excellent live version of this song on Rock of Ages.