Tee-hee! GotR are playing De Melkweg in May, and tickets go on sale today. I think I'll just nip out on my lunchbreak, then. I downloaded a few sample snippets from their website last year and wasn't too impressed, but it's only 20 euros and I should give them a chance, shouldn't I? Especially since I'll be seeing them again at MR2004 -- might actually be more fun if I can recognise a song or two...
Les Gray died last week Thursday, of cancer. He was lead singer with Mud, one of the early 70s teenybopper bands. I was never a fan, but I do come over all nostalgic when I hear one or other of their songs play on the radio once every so often. He was only 57.
I stopped off downtown when I went to see my Dad on Sunday. These are the last days of the winter sales and I just wanted to make sure I hadn't overlooked anything while making the rounds of all the best shoe shops in town. Unfortunately, I hadn't. There really was nothing to tempt me, and there hasn't been all this winter. It's been a very bad year for shoes, is all that I can say.
Foiled in my objective, I turned to the next best thing: CDs! There's this record shop that sells rare releases, that I like to frequent...but in order to make ends meet, they also sell the occasional 'Best Of'-CD. Years ago, I wouldn't have even looked at the compilation album rack, because 'compilation albums are for dummies', or such was my conceit. Now, I do rummage through that particular rack occasionally, because you never know what you might find.
I used to have an extensive record collection (though not half as extensive as my mother's, who at last count had something like 5,000 vinyl records), but switched to CDs some 15 years ago. Stupidly, I then gave away my record collection, thinking I'd replace it on the new medium in no time. But somehow that never really came to pass. For one thing, I've never seen any of my former bootlegs, or little known indie-label (punk) bands, out on CD. For another, I've been too busy buying new stuff. But sometimes, I can find one or two songs I remember from way back when, in among the dross on a compilation album CD. And then I want it.
But wanting it and purchasing it are two different things entirely. It depends in large measure on who's minding the shop. If it's the occasional Saturday help or work experience student, I don't mind, and I'll go up to the counter and have them ring up my sale. If, OTOH, it's the guy who almost lives there, and who looks uncannily like The Young One's Neil except with far more attitude, then I'd rather die than to show him what I've got. Because he'll only snort. And he might actually say something like "You don't really want this shite, do you?" and make a face. He'll sigh, and slump, and I'll feel so guilty and humiliated.
Last Sunday, he was minding the store on his own. I went through the racks and found a Paul Weller release I don't own (yet), of him playing songs by other artists...but the price tag put me off: 26 euros? Regretfully, I put it back where I found it.
For the last few weeks, the thought of The The and their 1983 album Soul Mining, one of the records I lost in the great spring cleaning of 1989, had been going through my head. And frigging hell, but I only found a copy priced at 10 euros! That one was mine.
And so was Beth Orton's The Other Side of Daybreak, which at 17 euros was about as much as I'm willing to pay for any artist's new(ish) release. But on my way to the counter, I couldn't resist having a look at the compilation albums. Oh horror of horrors! There was a 'Best Of' Rod Stewart: The Early Years. (I know) I'm Losing You, Handbags and Gladrags, Gasoline Alley, Rod Stewart in the early 70s before Sailing and all the rubbish he came out with after he moved to America. I could hear his gravelly voice in my mind, I could hear the bluesy rock treatment, and I. wanted. that. CD. But the Neil lookalike was behind the cash register. I stood there warring with myself for 10 to 15 minutes, until finally, I scraped all my courage together and dumped Beth Orton, Rod Stewart and The The in front of him, silently daring him to make one of his infamous comments...and he didn't! He must have been distracted by something because he never said a word.
It'll be a long time before I'll show my face in there again.