10 July 2009

The Music Store

On our visit to San Francisco we encountered this lovely spot a half block from the West Portal Muni station. They actually called themselves "The Music Store." They sold vinyl, mostly, and I remarked to one of the youngsters behind the counter that I had no idea vinyl records were still in such demand. He smiled and said "it's the best way to listen to music." He was half my age! They also had--wait for it--cassettes. Alas, I did not see 8-tracks. But they were stocked with used CDs and we had a lot fun rummaging through the bins. I didn't find anything by The Pogues, or Sam Cooke, or John Prine, or a bunch of other folks I was searching for. But I did find a terrific Townes Van Zandt double album, Live at the Old Quarter, Houston, Texas. The late Mr. Van Zandt's songs have been covered by the likes of Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, and Lucinda Williams. Check him out if you don't know his stuff--he's kind of weird hybrid between Doc Watson and Hank Williams, with a little Bob Dylan thrown in. Over in the rock bin I scored two CDs: 12 x 5 by the Rolling Stones and Beneath This Gruff Exterior by John Hiatt and the Goners. Mr. Hiatt is still pounding out smart, soulful stuff after all these years. The early Stones is mostly covers, with "Around and Around" by Chuck Berry being a particularly good one. "Under the Boardwalk" is lackluster, but, doo-wop is not their style. Can you imagine what Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention could have done with that tune? Back in the C & W bin I found a Best of Dolly Parton collection from 1975 with all her original hits like "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You." I think I did pretty well, don't you?

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