Here In 1975 - here in 2011    
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2Juke3.jpg - 111.52 K So, ya ready for more sleaze-o-rama? Three spins for a quarter. At least that's what it used to be in the Juke Boxes. Remember the diners that had little juke boxes right there in the booth, with LP covers? Ya got to listen to the Stones while the schmuck in the booth next to ya tried to suck up Julius La Rosa. I remember well in to the 80's there bein' one at the Pig 'n' Whistle diner (or the Grunt and Groan) over on N. Beacon St. near Market in Brighton.
    When they were tearin' them out I was able to salvage a lot of the cards from the chrome encased viewer windows that you made your selections from. The little mini LP's were cool, always cost more, but hearing Martin Denny in Living Stereo (as advertised, but only one speaker, "hey, what gives!?") while some slob's sweatin' over your hash and eggs, on you're a weekend whirlwind of whiskey, women and whattayacallit up the nose. The simple joys of life. Now it's iPods over your iEgg White Veggie iOmelets. Ok, enough of waxing nostalgia.
2BookCoverAnnM35.jpg - 52.15 K Let's read about the reads. I just read Wade Miller's Murder Charge, set in San Diego, Nov. 1949. Real choice, Grade A piece of meat here. Gun running, dope running, womens running all hot up from TJ while Private Dick, Max Thursday's trying to keep D'ago on the straight and narrow from the boys back east. Lottsa shoot 'em up and knock 'em downs, a bevy of beauties and enough odd-ball characters to fill the soul's hole with soil. The clock's runnin' out on Max and he's on his own, what with the mob, the local scum, the cops and a delicatessen of delicious diabolical dames dyin' to do him, and do him in.
    Wade Miller is a pseudonym for a pair of writers who met at violin lessons as kids, went into the service together in WWII (the Big one) and spent their lives working together as writers under various names, including Whit Masterson, whose book, Badge of Evil was made into an Orson Welles gem, Touch of Evil. Read anything by these guys, they rarely disappoint. No spoilers here, read it for your selves, it's worth it. There's a publishing house called Hard Case that is reprinting some good pulp and ya can grab these at Borders, oh sorry, they just went Chapter 11, well Barnes and Nobles, careful though, they're closing soon, or maybe even Urban Bookfitters, but hurry, I hear books are goin' outta style altogether.
2BookCombatZone.jpg - 40.24 K Make room for kindle. Yeah, great lets burn the books, put more great shops outta business and feed electronic pablum to....oh, wait a sec, that's what we're on now. Never Mind. Buy Books, read'em, borrow from the Library and return 'em. I read a staggering statistic recently, over 60% of the population of Philadelphia cannot read above the 6th grade level. I've got ADD and dyslexia, I couldn't read well all through school. It took an hour to read 2 pages. These afflictions were not diagnosed or even known about back then. Over 40 years of wondering what was wrong with me. Now I've been on meds that help it, for the pastt 8 years. I'm reading 14 or 15 books a year, which still isn't alot by most standards, but I gotta tell ya, what a difference in my world. Read. Read all ya can. The world gets bigger and smaller at the same time.
    Borders just went Chapter 11 today. Think about that. I am. Now I can read and bookstore chains are closing due to lack of interest. How's my luck. We are being dumbed down. Tower records closed. Virgin, gone. Now Borders and soon Barnes and Noble. Are the companies all bracing for something only they can control? Is this because daughter Judy burned the Eminem CD for her friend? Oh, that's too Science Fiction. What happens when Waldo trips over the plug and the power goes out? Or cute little Cameron in Des Moines hacks into something that freezes all your Kindle, iTunes, Blackberrys, bank accounts, kids school records, ID's....? Nationally. Oh, they have back-up? Right....... OK, same rant different topic.
Speaking of shops and goin' outta business. Buy Vinyl. I'm sorry, I don't know why I'm ranting....oh, cause that's what's expected of me here...!? Cool.
    This whole record business scare of the last 15 years has me laughin. OOOooOhhHhh CD's....gotta get hip and get CD's....and the record companies go berserk and shut down all but a few pressing plants. The CD market did create many good things; it forced record companies to dig into the vaults for unreleased or alternate takes, it recreated interest in more obscure artists to a wider market, and was more portable and easier when moving out of state. (I know. I had 8,000 LP's and 10,000 singles when I moved to, and from Texas almost 20 years ago.)
    Then came, digital on-line, like OMG, it's sooo easy and only suckers pay. Download was suddenly a controversial word, like payola in the 50's. Suddenly little girls in the suburbs were getting arrested for downloading and burning Eminem for their BGF's. That was great Public Relations campaign. But it too had a good side, besides shaking the foundation of the recording business. It created a world that circumvented the labels. Bands would get hip and make on-line only recordings. Made at home, marketed on-line, sold on-line. Good move actually, at that point. Some bands even give them away. Anarchy!!! The record companies were committing mass suicide.

2OffBeatPercussion3.jpg - 58.57 K     Fast Forward to; Present time, back in the dorms, Vinyl is BACK in BLACK. At shows bands are selling records, they have some CD's but records are selling. I've been known to frequent such antiquated emporiums as Used LP shops, even working in some, and even spending untold hours, not to mention wrinkled Hamiltons, in search of such sacred establishments, and I have noticed' tons of college kids scarfin up ALL kindsa records. When asked, and man you know I do ask, "hey, what gives?!", I get a plethora of replies. "CD's are like sooo old". And "digital? sounds so sterile." Did I hear that right? One lovely lass was sweet enough to inform me that "well records are way cooler, you get to read all about it on the back, and it makes ya actually listen to the music, and then ya have to turn it over and hear the rest, it's so special."
    OK, listening to it, and socially inner acting in response to the music, AND reading about it while you hold imagery in your hands. Very interesting concept. Dare I say revolutionary. I thought I was in heaven and met a real human being. "Oh really, tell me mo', tell me mo'" I feign. "Well digital is just like background music, no one ever really listens" and "Yeah, LP's sound so much better" Am I high? Is this really the thinking today? Is there hope? Go on girl. "And then ya get to watch them go 'round and 'round' on the turntable" she said straight faced. OK, makes sense now, you're high. But, OMG like whatever, just get in there and buy em. She bought 6 LP's, of varying genres ( I won't ruin it by saying exactly what, but to each his or her own) and more power to 'em. which brings us up to turntables. Used ones were goin for cheap 2 years ago, they are double that now. And now, Urban Illfitters is selling turntables to hook up to your PC to digitize your new used LP's. "Hey, what gives?!" once they're digitized, ya can't watch them go 'round and 'round?!?!??

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    Once again those powermen in tassled loafers at record companies are OD'ing on perscription pills outta panic. "What did we do wrong?" they sold licensing rights to groovy labels like Sundazed who are selling Byrds LP's to college kids, brand new, and making a profit. i love it. Support indie record and bookstores. This is not a test. This is a national emergency. Do right by yourself. Do right by the person next to ya. Read, listen to records. eat yer friggin' veggies (yuck) and don't try No-Doz cause ya don't need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows. Google it.
   Wow, that's some ranting.
    I gotta get laid.
"Don't take life too seriously; you'll never get out of it alive." - Elbert Hubbard

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