Twenty Dollars in Hand

Aug 6, 2012 by

(Editor’s note – Today begins a three part series in which Wes Money, Matt and Alan venture into a local record store armed with twenty dollars and nothing else.  We’ll write about what we end up with.  Enjoy! – Alan)

Twenty dollars in hand, I strode into Earshot and the first thing I saw at the front of the used vinyl was Nick Lowe’s “Pure Pop for Now People.”  The record was covered in its original cellophane with a sticker on the back giving the highlights from a 1977 review in a publication called “Trouser Press.”

Even though I already had a well worn copy of Nick Lowe’s greatest hits (the appropriately titled “Basher”), I couldn’t refuse the opportunity to explore the deep cuts.  Unfortunately, this album wasn’t the place to do that; I realized after I got home that I already had seven of the twelve tracks.  But what a great seven they are, leading off with “So It Goes,” one of my favorite songs of all time.  I have no idea what this song is about, but the general sentiment from the title is one I have often adopted to preserve my mental health.  When confronted with “hey, I think your kid just shit her pants” or “that little prick Rivers just buried a three at the buzzer” it helps to just shake my head and say “so it goes.”



While the rest of the album doesn’t offer such sage advice, it has its share of rockers, including “(I Love the Sound of) Breaking Glass” and “36 Inches High.”  In spite of already knowing most of the album, I love hearing it on vinyl and in a mixed up order.  I scored on this one.

The jury is still out for my second purchase, Buffy Saint-Marie’s “Illuminations.”  The record sleeve convinced me to give this a spin.  The long flowing hair, bandana, and acoustic guitar suggested this would be a 1960’s folk album a la Joan Baez.  And yet on the cover Buffy was looking sort of fucked up and mystical, with font that was one part regal, and one part psychedelic.  And yup, that pretty much sums up the music: folky, fucked up, and psychedelic.  Accompanying Sainte-Marie’s strong voice that warbles with emotion are looped sounds and echoing production, reminding me of a stripped-down Grace Slick on peyote.  I like it, but unless your guest list includes Davendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom it’s not one to let spin at the barbeque.



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