Years ago, while still ensconced in my former life as a music industry stooge (and proudly so), I was in a meeting with legendary polka bandleader Jimmy Sturr. Sturr’s got more Grammies than Whitney Houston and Madonna combined, by the way. Bluegrass music was cresting its post-O, Brother wave of popularity and interest, and there was some marketing-driven discussion about the differences and similarities between bluegrass and polka.
Let me open with an apology: The metaphorical pause-button had to be depressed onto VinylSighting for a few weeks whilst I relocated. And, as any record-nerd will tell you, the worst part of accumulating vast vinyl reserves is moving it all. It has serious mass. Lugging it across town in endless successive carloads only prolonged the agony.
The contradictions reconciled so expertly by audio auteur AUGUST DARNELL (aka KID CREOLE) ensure that his stuff has weathered the years supremely
well: skeletal (bass and drums to the fore) yet strangely lush, melodramatic
yet blasé, drenched in a sort of bygone sophistication yet edgy and clearly
up-to-the-minute – regardless of whatever minute it is at this moment.
In the steady march from the 12-inch square LP and the
7-inch single to the 5-inch CD booklet and, lastly, the 300x300 jpg, certain
effects no longer resonate in quite the same way. This week I found myself
dwelling on the space, clarity, and immediacy achieved by simple, uncluttered
design that maximizes impact by minimizing graphics.
Welcome back to VinylSighting, where the celebration continues with a random sampling. I
wracked my feeble, heat-addled brain for a while trying to uncover some sort of
theme to build upon, to unite this disparate little troupe, before I realized
that what interests me rarely crashes to reality in a series of sortable
It’s an image no one really wants to be associated with: pasty and hunched beneath a bare light bulb, in the basement of a house you don’t own (but your parents do), squinting at the numbers etched into the runout groove of a 45 that is valuable because it is scarce – not because it is remotely good, musically speaking.