Hello, and welcome to another episode of B-Sides in the Bins where the author deals with the eternal battle of collecting records versus managing a personal budget.
My wife had a doctor’s appointment in Iowa City that Friday, so I took the opportunity to make a run to the Record Collector. It was pouring down rain so that was kind of a bummer, but I set out to make the best of it. I had an hour’s worth of change for the parking meter.
The Record Collector has a prominent used CD table in the middle of the store, so that is usually where I start, and then move to the racks around the sides where the new CD’s and vinyl are. A small haul this time, but some gems, I think.
Aphrodisiac – Andre Williams with The Diplomats of Solid Sound (CD Pravda PR 6383, 2006) ($7.00) This was in the “Recent” section of the used bin. I hadn’t had a chance to hear this record, yet. I know that the guys in the Diplomats have been playing shows with Andre recently. A pretty fun CD, really. Reminds me a lot of RL Burnside. Andre evidently has the distinction of being the earliest recorded rapper with his hit single “Bacon Fat.” He’s had a career that spans 50 years in recording, writing and producing. It’s great that he’s still recording at 70.
“Do You Remember?” b/w “Prove It To Me” – Andre Williams and the Diplomats of Solid Sound ( 7″ VampiSoul 45032, 2006) ($4.00) I had actually not noticed the Andre Williams CD in the bins until I found this 7″ in the singles section of the store. I really like this VampiSoul collection. The Diplomats released a single last year on that label. The label calls it their “jukebox series” so I guess that means they don’t need to have cool sleeve art. No matter it is still cool to get these singles. These two tracks are on the Aphrodisiac CD, no rare b-side, here– too bad. It might have been cool to even get a 2006 version of Andre’s “Bacon Fat” with the Diplomats backing him.
“Hayloft Stomp” b/w “Can Your Frug Do The Boogaloo” – The Monroes split single with The Diplomats of Solid Sound (7″ Speed! Nebraska Records, Speed A-300, 2006) ($4.00) The boys in the Diplomats had been busy in 2006! More 7″ fun. I haven’t had a chance to throw this one on the turntable, yet. Nifty classic purple-on-silver screening on the label. The A side says “Punk!” and the B side says “Funk!”
Manna – Bread (LP Elektra EKS-74086, 1971) ($1.00) While the guys in Bread made their big hits with soft-rock songs like Manna’s “If”, and “Guitar Man, “Make It With You” and “Baby I’m-A Want You” they actually fancied themselves a more edgy rock band than AM Radio would ever have given them credit for. You can tell that the band has a rift in it as the big singles are the ballads penned by vocalist David Gates, and the more uptempo rock songs are written by the partnership of James Griffen and Robb Royer.
This was an album that got a lot of play at the Roeder house in 1972. We had just moved back to my mom and dad’s hometown and into a new house. Both sets of my grandparents lived there and I had a lot of aunts and uncles and cousins there. After a big gap in my dad’s record collection starting around when he was in college in the mid-60’s, he started buying records again and this was one of the first ones he got. This record reminds me of those times and in retrospect it was a new life for our family and a more optimistic time. The track “If” really is still as schmaltzy as it has been– but the great tunes on this record are the uptempo tracks “Let Your Love Go,” “Take Comfort,” and “Truckin’ (not the Grateful Dead song).” Beautiful harmonies layer through the soaring “Too Much Love.” This album was out of print for a long time. In the early 90’s there was a Japanese release on CD. I bought a copy for myself and one for my dad as a gift– complete with OBI strip. In 1995 Elektra released the entire Bread catalog including Manna and it has since fallen back out of print in the US. Apparently a new pressing of Manna occurred in the UK in August.
Days to Come – Bonobo (2 CD Ninja Tune ZENCD119, 2006) ($15.00) This was playing in the store and I really liked it. I paid full price for it! I’d heard of Bonobo, but really hadn’t heard anything from him. I would categorize this album as Drum and Bass or maybe Trip Hop. Not to sound all-1997 or anything. The album reminds me of Roni Size and Reprazent’s landmark Newforms album or Morcheeba. The vocals of Bajka have have that lazy, lispy quality that Bahamadia brought to Newforms and a little like Skye the original singer for Morcheeba. I knew that my wife would really like this one, so I picked it up. One of the reviewers on Amazon says that this release– while great– will fall through the cracks of the releases of 2006. I certainly hadn’t heard much about it.
What I put back : Pyramids by Pit Er Pat– brand new release, I hadn’t had a chance to hear anything from this, so I held off. In retrospect, I should have grabbed this one. Sherry and I saw Pit Er Pat open for Tortoise on their Minneapolis stop in 2004. Sherry thought the lead singer sounded like Bjork. The couple of tracks I sampled on the Thrill Jockey site sounded like they have matured. Songs and Other Things from Tom Verlaine– another relatively new release on Thrill Jockey. He released two new albums this year– one with vocals and one without. This one is the vocal release.