Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Put Your Records On


This last Saturday across our great land was “Record Store Day,” celebrated by hipsters and audiophiles alike in musty smelling shoebox sized buildings masquerading as retail establishments. 

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Cactus Music even got into the spirit with live music!


One of my prized possessions is a record player I got several Christmases ago.  When I informed my parents it was what I wanted they seemed perplexed.  “You mean… … … like vinyl?”

record player

It’s like the iPod version of a record player


One of the best things about this one is that it is completely portable and can work off batteries if needed.  It has it’s own speaker so in a pinch you don’t have to plug into anything else to listen.  I have many great memories on the screened-in porch at the Broadway house in Ann Arbor with this lil’ biscuit providing the entertainment. PLUS, I can hook it up to my computer and digitally transfer the record into mp3’s which is buh-mazing because a lot of the records I have aren’t available on CD at all.


Very appropriate, I might add, seeing as how all my friend’s Facebook wall’s in Michigan have been lighting up because of the recent snowfall there this week!


I’ve amassed a nice little collection since then and take any opportunity to at least peruse stores when in another city. Ann Arbor had a really great store, Encore Records, and when visiting Jeremy, Clinton, Nate or Jamison I always reserved at least three hours for Cheapo Records.   Luckily, Houston has a handful of them and I spent several hours just hopping across the city and looking at their choices. 

There are some albums that I will ALWAYS buy, and on the top of that list is anything that Martin Katz has played on.  For those of you not in the know—Martin Professor Maestro Katz, called “the gold standard of accompanists” by the New York Times, is the professor of collaborative piano at the University of Michigan.  Oh, and he’s played with basically every great opera singer of the last thirty years, written a book, and is basically a musical genius (and I’m not just throwing that word around willy-nilly). In the four years I was a student at Michigan I had the privilege of taking every one of his song classes and being conducted by him in two operas (Puccini’s La boheme and Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin).  Needless to say, any chance I see one of his records I snnnnnnatch it up, and on this most recent trip I got TWO!

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                  It’s the return of Flicka!!!!!                             Martin Katz + Stephen Sondheim= BUH-LISS!!


One of the other reasons I really wanted to get out on this day was that Adele was releasing a special edition remix of some songs from her album just for “Record Store Day.”  I’ve extolled my love for her before (here and here) so it should be no surprise that I was on the hunt for the disc! The first three places I visited had sold out and it was at the last stop that I was able find one—and it was their last copy!!! 


And, if anyone out there is making a list—though to be fair, I am still waiting on that watch—if you ever run across Astor Piazzolla records puh-lease get it for me and I’ll pay you back.  The guy who owned Encore in Ann Arbor was a big fan and would always hoard them away for himself whenever someone brought one in!


Artist: Corinne Bailey Rae/ Album: Corinne Bailey Rae

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