This past Spring, Rocks Off attended her first record show in the meeting room of the Hilton Hotel on the Southwest Freeway at Westpark. Before then, we'd been content to find vinyl in the $1 bin at Salvation Army, at garage sales, or in the junk closet of our grandparents' living room. But our search for LPs had become more specific. After all, you can only want so many copies of Whipped Cream & Other Delights. Our preconception was that record shows would be filled with the bastard love children of Seymour and Jeff Alberston, but instead we met guys like DJ Shorty, who helped us realize that record shows are the best places to build a niche collection. Which is why we're headed to Austin this weekend for the Austin Record Convention. We've made a list of records we've always wanted but have yet to find, and our plan is to stick to that list and only the list so that we leave with enough gas money to make it back to Houston. After the jump, a few of our picks.
Mel Tormé, Comin' Home Baby Say what you want about the Velvet Fog's looks, his voice is warm milk, pure sex, and melted chocolate. (He hated that nickname, by the way, but we can't think of a more appropriate moniker.) In the middle of his career, before he became a standards-bearer, Tormé performed swingin' jazz full of skats and beats that made even Quincy Jones jealous.
Klaus Nomi, Klaus Nomi A year ago, Rocks Off was at the Mauermarket, a huge outdoor flea market in Germany near the remains of the Berlin Wall, when we came across the self-titled 1981 debut by operatic alien Klaus Nomi. Nomi albums have been hard to come by since the documentary about his life premiered in 2004. (We didn't know about him until then either.) The chance to buy an original Nomi LP in Germany was quite overwhelming, but we passed it up because of the price, about €12 (almost $20). We've regretted it ever since, as we've never found another copy.
Liz Brady, Palladium Brady's songs are easy to find on 60s French girl compilations, like Girls in the Garage, but a full album of Brady's work is nigh impossible to come by. Unlike the other yé-yé girls, we love Liz for her infections catcalls and fuzzier sound.
Morphine, Good Yes, yes, we already have this on CD. But Morphine, the 10-year-old band that ceased to be after one-third of its lineup had a heart attack and died on stage, has a kind of dark yet soft sound that was made for vinyl. We wonder why no one ever thought to combine those instruments with that style of music before. We're especially eager to hear the sax and bass straight form the groove.
The Seeds, The Seeds The Seeds have been stuck in our head ever since Rocks Off's eulogy for Sky Saxon this summer. You know the best way to get rid of an earworm? By listening to the song over and over ad nauseum. We'll see if we can make this record ours.
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The Houston record shows are quarterly. Check theHouston Press
regularly for info on the next one.