Record Store Day, the aftermath

I dropped into Rhino Records on Saturday for the festivities, managing to miss the in-store bands who performed earlier and later. Too bad, as during the noon set by the soul-inflected Eli “Paperboy” Reed and the True Loves, an incident occurred.

“Local town color Ray Collins (of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention) interrupted their set to tell them that they sounded great, but the horns were too loud,” general manager Dennis Callaci said. “I don’t think that is going to happen in the aisles of a Circuit City anytime soon.”

At least Collins didn’t say they needed more cowbell.

Despite missing that scene, I shopped happily, traded some discs and enjoyed the day’s 10 percent discount. So did everyone else: It was Rhino’s busiest day of 2008.

I picked up Van Morrison’s new CD, “Keep It Simple,” which is the best I’ve heard from him in 20 years. My other purchases, which I haven’t had a chance to play yet, are CDs by new bands Vampire Weekend and Los Campesinos and best-ofs from bluesman Jimmy Reed and R&B singer Ruth Brown.

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  • meg

    I adore Vampire Weekend — I hope you do too!

    I didn’t realize that Ray Collins was a splash of local color in Claremont…


    Hi David,

    On behalf of Lost Highway Records, many thanks for plugging Van Morrison’s new album and, if your readers want good quality, non-pirated, preview tracks, full versions of “That’s Entrainment” and “Behind The Ritual” (along with album track samplers) are available for fans and bloggers to listen to (and link to) on Lost Highway’s web-site at .

    Up-to-the-minute info on Keep It Simple and Vans 2008 shows is, of course, also available on and and, for a limited period, you can still hear Van’s exclusive BBC interview and special concert at and .

    Thanks again for your support.



    [“Behind the Ritual” is my favorite track so far, but it’s still early. — DA]

  • “Hal Linker”

    Dave said: I picked up Van Morrison’s new CD, “Keep It Simple,” which is the best I’ve heard from him in 20 years. My other purchases, which I haven’t had a chance to play yet, are CDs by new bands Vampire Weekend and Los Campesinos and best-ofs from bluesman Jimmy Reed and R&B singer Ruth Brown.

    Dave, I’d say it’s too soon to call on the Morrison album. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been a Van fan forever. But, as prolific as his album output has been, I find myself having to weed through a lot of inconsequential (by Van standards), boring and sometimes unsuitable stuff. And haven’t we heard this “best in 20 years theme” regarding many of the “revered” artists everytime they come out with a new album?

    Also, good luck with those critics’ favorite flavor-of-the-month bands that are too cutesy for their own good. With regard to Vampire Weekend, I’m sorry, weenie Soweto with incompatible lyrics don’t make my grade. Their amped Graceland for smug nerds belongs on the heap with other lousy “nothing” bands’ output like They Might Be Giants or Barenaked Ladies.

    But don’t forget that I thought the Police were overrated as well. Great musicians (at least in the case of Summers and Copeland) playing beneath their abilities to “cash in” is the way I saw them. De-Doo-Doo-Doo, I mean, c’mon! How’d they ever get so big? I guess the early Eighties really sucked!!!! How come no one got the memo (in the bottle).

    Ruth Brown and Jimmy Reed give you cred. Hopefully you got the 18 track Vee Jay Jimmy Reed comp. With Ruth you really need to get two discs. Soul On Fire and Rockin’ In Rhythm – The Best Of Ruth Brown. She died a couple of years ago but was still performimg at the Long Beach Blues Festivals in the 1990s as well as doing a couple of albums. A friend of mine contributed a song or two.

    You shoulda bought Jim Lauderdale’s year and a half old Country Super Hits, Vol. 1. 13 tracks, none over 3:30, and all hook-laden Honky-Tonk killers. That is, if you don’t already have it.

    I saw him perform many of these songs at the Watusi Rodeo at The Mint with a dream one-off pick-up band of Eddie Perez, Rick Shea, Dusty Wakeman and David Raven. I danced with the vivacious Pamela Des Barres during the performance. We all met “Jesus In a Bar” when I kissed the tattoo of said Messiah on Pam’s right shoulder blade.

    As Lauderdale’s lyrics said, “Once she’s goin’, buddy, you can’t stop her! She’s not hesitating or standing there and waiting. So fast you can’t clock her! Once she’s goin’, buddy, you can’t stop her!”

    By the way, Lucinda was getting wined-out in the corner booth with Polly Parsons and the ebullient Shyla in her entourage. Luckily “Hadla” stayed home.

    I left my cell phone at the Mint for over two months. Nice of them to keep it in a drawer next to the register. Even though I was there about six times during that two months, I kept forgetting to ask for it. It was 60 days of ecstasy without it. Damn those invasive things! I retired mine last July for good. Don’t even miss it a little bit.

    P.S. Ray Collins a splash of local Claremont color?

    If the color is yellow, I suppose, and is splashing against walls and trees and park benches. Is he STILL bitching about Zappa ripping him and the others off?

    P.S.S. – Secure a copy of The Rolling Stones Now! if you haven’t done so already. It’s timeless!

    [“Hal,” I hear ya about musical comebacks. In Van’s case, his last one, “Magic,” was touted as a major return to form and it didn’t do much for me. Van’s new one IS the best I’ve heard from him in 20 years…but I should quickly note that I’ve only heard a handful of his records from that time, none of them impressive. I didn’t say it was another “Moondance,” but it’s good. My Ruth Brown purchase was “Rockin’ in Rhythm” and Jimmy Reed was the Vee-Jay comp you mentiion. — DA]

  • nomore

    Thanks for the Ruth Brown reference. Check her out on YouTube.