I splurged yesterday at the Music Coop in Ashland. They have a new location right on the main drag and I had to check it out. The owners were happy and in a chatty mood. When I walked in Bob Dylan's Together Through Life was playing. I hadn't heard it, but it sounded much like the stuff from Love and Theft and Modern Times, both of which I like, so I bought it. CD #1. Then I rummaged through the Dylan section and found New Morning, one of my favorites ("If Not For You," "Day of the Locusts," "Went To See The Gypsy") and in need of replacing as the LP is almost shot and the tape made from the LP sounds terrible. CD #2. In the new releases bin I saw Low Country Blues from Gregg Allman and decided to take a chance on it. I've always loved his voice and the Allman Brothers Band made some of my all-time favorite music "back in the day." If the old survivor is going to sing the blues I want to hear it. CD #3. Remember Ronnie Montrose and "Rock the Nation"? Well, that album was up in the display area in the M's and got me looking through the 13th letter of the alphabet. I came across Mink DeVille's Le Chat Bleu, remastered and re-released with oodles of bonus tracks (including an interview with Doc Pomus). Willy DeVille unfortunately passed away in 2009, but his music lives on. "Venus of Avenue D" (from Cabretta) was one of those minor FM hits that got airplay in the Bay Area on stations like KSAN when I was in high school. My older brother Brian had a classmate who was tuned into all the hippest and coolest music, he turned us both on to acts like The Tubes, Patti Smith Group, and Mink DeVille. Thank goodness--I was fixated on Journey, Robin Trower, and Fleetwood Mac at the time! CD #4. I'm always on the lookout for good be-bop recordings, and the so-called Rudy Van Gelder Series from Blue Note is usually a solid bet. I got interested in saxophonist Hank Mobley because of his work with Miles Davis, and I previously bought the excellent Soul Station. The latest addition is Roll Call and features the same band (Paul Chambers, Art Blakey, Wynton Kelly) as well as trumpeter Freddie Hubbard. It was recorded on 13 November, 1960, my 1st birthday! CD # 5. My namesake Mark O'Connor is a man of great musical versatility, and any album with my name on it is likely to garner my attention. I love his jazz forays and the one I picked up is called Live in New York and features his Hot Swing Trio. CD #6. The final disc in the shopping spree was playing when I left the store. The owner kidded me about how he wasn't trying to sell the CDs he was playing, he just played what he liked. Yeah, sure. Worked on me. It was a recent Sam Cooke collection called Portrait of a Legend and contains over 30 tracks. No one has a voice like Mr. Cooke. If you looked up "soulful" in the dictionary there should be a picture of Sam next to the entry. Another brilliant artist and performer who died too young. CD #7.
Not a bad haul, eh?
The Giants Infield - FanGraphs has a season-preview feature called "Postional Power Rankings" where they look at all 30 teams and rate them by position. The infield portion is ...
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