Sunday, November 05, 2006

What Becomes of All the Little Boys?


I love me some Amoeba Music. For years, I’ve spent my not-so-disposable income at their wonderful Haight-Ashbury and Berkeley stores in San Francisco, their used section being a virtual cornucopia of out-of-print treasures and in-print undeniable adorableness.

This past Thursday, after speaking to Eric Kroll, who was in NYC, but traveling to LA that very minute and invited me to hang with “some dominatrixes” that very evening at 1:00am, I ventured inside the Los Angeles store on sunny Sunset Blvd.

This is what I came away with, all from the used section:

• Bongwater “The Big Sell-Out”
• Bongwater “The Peel Session”
• David Bowie “Heathen”
• Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan “Ballad of the Broken Seas”
• Ray Davies “The Storyteller”
• Mojo Magazine Tribute “The Genius of Ray Davies”
• Guided By Voices “Do The Collapse”
• Red House Painters “Untitled”
• Red House Painters “Red House Painters”
• Red House Painters “Down Colorful Hill”
• Red House Painters “Ocean Beach”
• Sleater-Kinney “You’re No Rock ‘N’ Roll Fun” UK CD Single
• True Believers “Hard Road”

That’s $121.10 (with tax), bag full of half the CDs that I wanted, walking out into the Sunset sun.

Some annotations:

- Bongwater: I was a huge Shockabilly fan, still am. Saw Kramer’s Bongwater back in 1987 when I lived in Norwell, MA, up in Boston @ Johnny D’s Uptown and Ann Magnuson didn’t show. So it was just Kramer. Then I saw Kramer’s BALL a year later. Then I invited him to be in a film I was pre-producing. He accepted. Then I moved to NYC. Met Kramer (for the first time) through a mutual friend and we became friends. Dated a girl that he wanted to date and basically gave her to him (don’t know the outcome of that one). Remained friends, talked to him about scoring another film I was working on, and ate rice and beans with him many times. At the last peace rally here before Bush plunged us into his fantasy money war, I took a picture of Kramer and his daughter. He now lives in Florida and I miss his madness. Anyway, these were the two out-of-print CDs that I didn’t own.

- Bowie: Adolescently, my favorite. When I was 18, Dave was the man. “Space Oddity” to “Scary Monsters” still is pertinently primal to me. Everything after that – whatever…A friend of mine just did an internship with the guy that took the photos for “Heathen.” And some DJ on WFMU (see link to the right) played something from it several weeks ago that I kinda liked. And it was $7.99.

- Isobel & Mark: This one is for my girl. She loves Mark. Isobel was with Belle & Sebastian. It’s sea shanty songs.

- Ray / MOJO: Out-of-print career retrospective briliant idea that spawned a thousand other bands to do really bad episodes on VH1. The MOJO thing is Kinks covers, including one by Mark Lanegan.

- GBV: If you’ve read this thing at all you know how much I love them.

- RHP: Had them all, lost them, gave them away or misplaced them. Someone in LA sold them and I got them all back for $6.99 each. Sweet.

- Sleater-Kinney: My girl’s favorite band. Period. End of story. From Olympia, both of them (the girl and the band). I love searching out rare CD singles with two unreleased B-sides and shit for her, ‘cause she just doesn’t, and I do. This is one of them.

- True Believers: Alejandro Escovedo’s seminal LA post-punk band from 1983-86. Their one album has been out-of-print for years – I think the last time I heard it was when I lived with John Williams in 1989 on his turntable. In 1994, RYKO released that album and the never released 2nd album on CD, which immediately went out of print. Travesty. This is the jewel of my quest.

The title of this entry is from Tom Waits’ “On the Nickel” which is one of the most profoundly beautiful songs ever written. Glen Jones (WFMU – see link to the right) played it while I was typing this and it almost made me cry. Glen obviously loves it and so do I. James Walker IV was the first person to ever play it for me. Thanks, Jim.

Photo is a self-portrait/light test in the Downtown Hollywood Motel on Hollywood Boulevard shortly before the proprietor asked Ariyana and I to “stop taking commercial pictures.”

Fair enough: She was topless on the balcony with a host of my lights shining on her…now if I could just work on the "commercial" part...

1 comment:

mockingbird girl said...

The Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan album is one of my absolute favourites of 2006 - good taste Mr. Graham. But then again, who's surprised? ;-)