Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shrub and Kara Hit The Haunts

I missed out on the chance to hit the haunts with Shrub and Kara this year, but through their website, Goblinhaus, and through their new video posts I feel like I'm there.

Denizens Of The Top Five

What is the only thing from my youth that I would love to get back besides the usual youthful physical attributes? I wish I had kept my Top Five lists. I only compiled my Top Five lists for a season or so when I was in 8th grade. I typed them out on an ancient Royal typewriter in the converted den of the house we lived in on Prindle Drive in Smyrna. I recall yellow shag carpet and dead flies scattered by the sliding glass door that led to the covered back patio of pebble stones. This room was oppressively hot during the day, so I didn’t use the room except late at night. This made it perfect for compiling my Top Five lists.

I would compose them once a week right after I arrived back home from an evening of roller skating in Murfreesboro at Jack’s. Roller skating was one of the major ways to socialize in an extracurricular way and for many of us this was a weekly ritual of delight. I’d get home around 10:30pm, since my parents never let me stay for the late skate which lasted until midnight, and I’d head for the den in an excited state to put the latest Top Five’s into posterity. What were the Top Five’s? It was quite simply a list of my favorite songs and girls of the week. Some weeks there might be no variation and then there might be a chaos of changes depending on events. I might meet a new girl at the roller skating rink or maybe at a pick up baseball game (that happened once) or perhaps a new song like “Another Bites The Dust” would come out and shoot straight to number one without ever being in the Top Five before. I took it as a serious task, but somewhere along the way the documents were lost. Maybe they’ll be found in an archaeological dig somehow preserved and the names of Pam Gilley, Christy Davenport, Jennifer Taylor, Lisa Sowell, and Sharon Bevel will be judged great since they were definite denizens of my 8th grade Top Five lists alongside such musical luminaries of the day as Pete Townshend, Queen, Kenny Loggins, AC-DC, and John Cougar.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Living For The CTI

It was back in the mid-90's when I first started buying old CTI releases. They were abundant in the dollar bins of Phonoluxe and Great Escape and at the local Nashville thrift stores. They were not regarded highly by the jazz snobs I knew who felt that jazz had died the moment Miles Davis released Bitches Brew. They felt jazz had been corrupted by rock and roll and commercialism. But they held an allure for me and fellow Phonoluxe co-worker Chad for many reasons. Artists like Bob James, Grover Washington Jr., Patti Austin, and George Benson were the sound of radio jazz during the 70's so there was a nostalgic appeal. Then there was the fact that many of our most beloved rap records from the 80's had copiously sampled the CTI catalogue. Keep in mind this was before the internet had completely taken off so we had to rely on word of mouth to find out what records had the sweet samples that made the difference in an okay hip-hop record and a great one. Plus rap records from the 80's didn't have to list what they had sampled back then. So when we would crate dig the CTI releases were always high on our list and often we would hit paydirt with them. Another thing about the CTI releases was their cover art which seemed like a total break from the cover art of the jazz that came before. This can be attributed mostly to the incredible photographs of Pete Turner. I've sold most of the CTI albums I purchased from back then. They, along with lots of other records and compact discs, helped pay for a vacation to London and other bills over the years. But there's no shortage of CTI on the web. You can find CD reissues here. If you're not too concerned about the legality, there's also the blog The CTI Never Sleeps which is in the process of providing download links to the CTI and Kudu discography. So pay them a visit....for sampling purposes only.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Beard Time

Well, actually I almost always wear a beard. BUT with the world in tumult I think it's time I grew myself a prophetic beard.