Come and gather all around me Listen to my tale of woe…

Zero records bought.

At present there have been no adverse affects I am aware of no shakes, chills or fevers.

For the life of me I have no idea why I never managed to get to these two records before today. There can be no real reason apart from the sheer volume of records in the way. It would be hard to deny that Ry Cooder and John Lee Hooker are essential listening. Looks like someone has spilled coffee on Mr Cooder though and scrawled all over the cover with a marker.

I’ve got time things will work out fine…

I am going to give it a go, no records in the month of February. Just writing the words is causing some sweats and shaking, however it is a good idea to detox and let’s face it, it is the shortest month. I am also ashamed to say that there are a couple of hundred unplayed records on the bottom shelf waiting to be played and put away.

I have no idea how this is going to go. I am a fairly impulsive person when it comes to buying records, late night shopping on the internet, I drive by or rather don’t drive by a Goodwill on the way home and downtown the junk shop has just turned into a used record store.

I am going to use this time to consider what I am doing with this impulsive hobby. It is fun to search out lost titles and new treasures and even new music. However lets be honest I spent most of my teen years and early twenties with about 200 records and never felt cheated. What happened that I now feel the need to own entire discographies of musicians that were of marginal interest to me in the past.

Last year I toyed with the idea of having a year when all I was allowed to buy was new releases, I then got caught in my own web of trying to decide what “new” meant. Did reissues count? Was it just new albums by new artists? This way was madness. Eventually I just went with just buying on some random magical need to buy, this may explain the lack of structure to my current collection and let’s be honest past collection. Woody Guthrie sits next to Black Sabbath on the to be played stack and they seem tone getting along.

I have already failed on the no records in February plan and it is only the 5th. Of course who could turn down the Kate Bush collection sitting there, not to mention the Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal? In my defense today I strolled into Goodwill, realized what was going on and left today. Things are looking up.

So now the attempted project only to play the newly bought stuff and not to buy any new to me records until I am done. Of course this type of resolution has cause insanity and mayhem in other bloggers. I am however strong of will and will not crumble under the temptation of the purchasing gods, and if I do I shall confess and seek forgiveness here.

So here is my first neglected purchase, Canned Heat from 1969, boogie with a slightly blurred hazy feel. I may have said before, Canned Heat just make me happy, they are no frills good time music by fans for fans and Bob the Bear Hite has a sweet voice. What’s not to love apart from that strange cover image, some sort of back to the country domestic kitchen scene from the prairies. This has almost nothing to do with the stoner LA boogie band playing the music. Perhaps it is more of an ideal that the band felt they had left behind, or it just felt like a good idea at the time.

when the night is come, and the land is dark…

I looked out across the wasteland of my yard this morning, the mud and mole hills, the scrubby grass and the creek meandering it’s way through the cedar trees and sipped my coffee. Ry Cooder was singing the Ben E. King song Stand By Me in the background from the album Chicken Skin Music and I had a sense of dissatisfaction. In an hour I would have to go to work with all the things that brings right now, trying to run a social service agency in the Newmerika we all live in.

Today however is Friday and I can put my shorts and sweat shirt on if I want to, go get lunch with my wife and hopefully make it to the weekend without a crisis.

I had turned the TV off an hour ago. Another democrat was entering the primaries and CNN was excited, the US had pulled out of another meaningless nuclear deal, this one truly so, and the tweeter in chief was just warming up for the day. The atrocity show was about to start and it would be easy to be dragged in.

“You should know I was never untrue…” was sung by Ry and I pondered what fidelity and ethics mean in the land of the free.

So today as the calming balm of Ry Cooder pervades the quiet house I can commit to trying to make someones day a little easier along with all the other difficult choices to be made.

So I found this record in the junk store, it had obviously been part of the Newport Oregon library collection, it was very important to the librarian that borrowers care properly for the records and so these helpful hints are stuck to the front.

There is a real history to library records. Personally the local library was how I broadened my own musical horizons, and I am sure this is true for many people. Also normally when you buy a used record it may have belonged to 2 or 3 people, a library record belonged to the community and may have touched hundreds of peoples hands and record players. This may cause problems for hardened germaphobes and audiophiles, for me though it connects me with the hundred of others who had sat there listening to Ry sing Goodnight Irene at the end of this album and felt calmed, happier, sadder or more connected.

It was community property. It’s a little sad that it’s days of being passed around are over in some way, I am sure the Newport library has moved on to CD’s now. The other thing to ponder is what journey it took to get the three hour drive inland? How many hands did it pass through heading east from the coast? A truly well travelled record, and with very little damage.