Peanut Butter Knife

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Dig, Part II

Another weekend, another dig. This time, we decided to head a few miles east to Kent and see what the record stores and thrift stores there had to offer. I was extremely disappointed. Not so much in the selection, but the prices were shocking to say the least. The Temptations LP I mentioned in last week's dig that I picked up for $2 at Square Records was $16 at Spin More in Kent. That's obscene. Nevertheless, I did manage to score a few choice finds this weekend:

Wilson Pickett Hey Jude (Atlantic, 1969) The world lost one of the great vocalists when Pickett passed away last month. Pickett's voice was able to shout, scream, beg and plead all while somehow remaining on key and in control of the song. Pickett's cover of the title track starts out nice enough, but really gets going in the coda where he lets loose on McCartney's tune, turning it into an anthem of lust and desire. Duane Allman's guitar playing is spine-tingling, matching Pickett's intensity and egging him on to greater heights. The electric guitar is in dire need of rediscovery by today's modern R&B producers, the analog buzz can do so much to accentuate a great soul singer.

Joni Mitchell Clouds (Reprise, 1969) I found this one at a very strange store called Turn Up Records off the main drag in downtown Kent. It was run by what looked to be a couple of anarchist hippies and had a small selection of new & used CDs and a few scattered cardboard boxes of vinyl. In the back of the room, there was a curtain and there were a bunch of kids sitting around watching the Lemony Snicket movie. The place definitely had a strange vibe. In any case, I've long been a huge fan of Mitchell's Blue, but have never really checked out her other material as deeply as I'd have liked. This album is a certified classic however, "Chelsea Morning" and "Both Sides, Now" are achingly gorgeous tunes. Listening to this on pristine vinyl (this looks to be an original pressing that has NEVER been played, SCORE!), I almost feel like I'm hanging out in Laurel Canyon and its 1969 all over again. Scoring this record also has me psyched for the next installment from The Numero Group, Ladies of the Canyon, a collection of rare private pressings of late 60s female folkies. Sounds delicious!

Isaac Hayes The Best Of... (Enterprise/Stax, 1974) This 8 song collection looks to be a budget bin release designed to cash in on Hayes' post-Shaft success. The cover is a lot different than the other Hayes Best Ofs I turned up on a google image search. "Walk On By" has been sampled by dozens of hip hop artists through the years and its easy to see why with the slinky lead guitar and funky drum breaks, still nothing matches the original with Hayes' deep voice presiding over the whole affair. Its easy to underestimate how ahead of his time Hayes was, but he led southern soul into a deeper, darker direction in the 70s and we still haven't caught up today.

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