Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Elizabeth's Records: Adventures In 'Recordteering'

I found a cool blog today. Check it out:

Vinyl Faqs


vinyl records sold in the United States 2007

1.6 Million

records sold in the United States last year

1.9 million

projected sales for 2009

45 million

compact discs sold last year

36 percent

increase in new LPs shipped from 2006 to 2007

48 percent

percentage of teens who didn't buy a CD last year

58 percent

percentage of consumers who illegally downloaded music

Sources: Nielsen SoundScan, Recording Industry of America, NPD Group

Vinyl Records Going Mainstream?

Rock LPs filled the bins at Hymie’s Vintage Records on Lake Street in Minneapolis. Vinyl record sales have been increasing at a healthy clip since 2004. Records nonetheless remain a drop in the musical bucket, pulling in just 0.2 percent of total sales last year. CD sales still make up 90 percent of the market.

Best Buy will be adding more vinyl records to its stores in late 2009. Amazon.com has begun used and new vinyl sales. Target and Costco are selling new turntables; one of their most popular holiday item. Is this the beginning of a full scale vinyl comeback? Well...read these articles:



Monday, March 30, 2009

Johnny Francois: Hot 45 Mix


I really enjoyed this set. I liked the way Dj Johnny Francois took us on a "trip", mixing multiple genres. As a plus, he was spinning mostly vinyl 45's. He would have done an all 45 (or 7" Record) set except for the fact that we had just lost our 45 spacers for the Technics 1200 turntables. The video excerpt is about 12 minutes of an 45 min set. I kinda caught it right in the middle. He was warmed up; switching from rare groove to neo-soul and hip-hop head bangers.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The "Fab" Four

Anyone that has ever went "crate digging" at a used store, book store, or yard sale knows that their are a sh*t load of Cosby , Stills, Nash, and Young ( or any combinations of these artist) used albums in this world. These guys have a huge discography with lots of great music. They also have some pretty dated recordings as well.

Just as I was about pack away anything and everything with these guys name on it, I bumped into a cool podcast that is over an hour of song from these artist. I really enjoy listening to Kirk Degiorgio mixes on RED BULL MUSIC Academy. This one, Volume 20 really showcases what is good about these artist and the many groups they were involved with.

*Check out the Mix*


Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth - Atco
Buffalo Springfield - Four Days Gone - Atlantic
Neil Young - The Loner - Reprise
Neil Young - String Quartet From Whiskey Boot.. - Reprise
David Crosby - Laughing - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - Questions - Atco
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Wooden Ships - Atlantic
Stephen Stills - Love The One You're With - Atlantic
The Byrds - Renaissance Fair - Columbia
The Byrds - Tribal Gathering - Columbia
The Byrds - Dolphin Smile - Columbia
The Byrds - Draft Morning - Columbia
David Crosby - Traction In The Rain - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - The Hour Of Not Quite Rain - Atco
David Crosby - I'd Swear There Was.. - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Long Time Gone - Atlantic
Graham Nash David Crosby - The Wall Song - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - Rock and Roll Woman - Atco
Manassas - Johnny's Garden - Atlantic
Buffalo Springfield - Pretty Girl Why - Atco
Manassas - Both Of Us (Bound To Lose) - Atlantic
Neil Young - The Old Laughing Lady - Reprise
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Guinnevere - Atlantic
David Crosby - Orleans - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills & Nash - All Along.. (Live) - Unreleased
Crosby, Stills & Nash - You Don't Have To Cry - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Carry On - Atlantic
David Crosby - Tamalpais High (At About 3) - Atlantic
Neil Young - Don't Let It Bring You Down - Reprise
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Find The Cost.. - Atlantic
David Crosby - Song With No Words - Atlantic
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Taken At All - Atlantic
Stephen Stills - Do For The Others - Atlantic
The Byrds - Everybody's Been Burned - Columbia
The Byrds - It Happens Each Day - Columbia
Neil Young - There's A World (Live) - Reprise
Neil Young - Old Man - Reprise

Cool Records....Sold At Today's Sale

These are some of the LPs I found while digging around @ The Electric Tea Garden:

"Ms." David Oliver 1977

"Moskow Disco" Telex 1979

"Bamboo Child
" RYO Kawasaki from the album "Juice"

It is amazing what I put into storage. I am wondering why I didn't keep some of these records in my home collection. Most of the music I purchased in the early '90s were records I was buying to "sample" for original hip-hop tracks or just cool stuff I wanted to use in mixes.

The David Oliver record has some cool sexy vocals with a nice "disco" beat. It is some of the better stuff from that era (late '70s Disco).

The song by Telex was one of my brother's records...he passed away over 10 years ago. At first I did not want to sell the records I got from him. He was older than me and had lived in Europe during the mid-late '80s. He was in London when a whole lot of cool things were going on...Soul to Soul...Acid Jazz...beginnings of Jungle and D&B styles. He was also there when house was the center of electronic music. "Moskow Disco" is some fun Electro-boogie stuff...reminds me of Kraftwork.

Now this Ryo Kawasaki LP, "Juice" is a BANGER!!!! It has lots of cool, moody tracks on it. I remember this guy from Tarika Blue, a late '70s jazz fusion project from New York (I think). This record has one of the coolest covers I have seen in a long time.

I hated to part with these records: they all sold at today's sale. I have one more copy of "Juice". I may need to hold on to it. : )

5000 More Records.....Wow!

5ooo More Record Dropped Off This Morning

Its early Sunday morning; just me and the birds are awake. I am sure that church folks are getting dressed to go and pay homage to their faith, community, and such. In some ways I guess I am doing the same thing. Records and music have been sort of a 'religion' for the last 2 weeks or so. You know that in all matters of faith, there is this fine line that separates the fanatic-the perversion of what was once sacred. I stand here in the Electric Tea Garden, surrounded by undeniable proof that I am a fanatic; the boxes and crates of records spread out across the room. It is both awesome and embarrassing.

Awesome becasue I think I have owned more records than most folks I personally know...except for maybe Vitamin D or Supreme La Rock. To be honest, I envy their collection. These are true digging collections...bought mostly piece by piece. I started out that way and quickly got into buying collections from other folks, book stores, etc. Yeah...I guess it is incredible that a guy could own and maintain a collection of 30,000 + records.

It is also embarrasing becasue aside from some eBay sales I haven't really done anything with these records...until now. They have sat in storage or mom's basement for a decade or so. I have 10,000 of them that are packed into a storeroom in the back of my cafe (Brewhahacafe).

That is where the Recordheadz.com projects come in. I have worked for over a decade in non-profits around town (Youthcare, Ryther Childcare, Central Youth & Family...) and I have also ran a few small businesses. I see this project as a way that I can do both in a sustainable way. I realize that I am "mission minded" and promoting music in schools, community programs, etc is a issue that goes "deep" within my soul and my psyche.

The big sales are lots of work and can be expensive with all of the manual labor needed to sort, set-up, and move around a collection of this size. It seems that it is hard for 'regular folks' to get to the big sales. I guess I wanted to make something that was more stationary and had more hours where records would be availible for purchase and listening.

With all of that in mind, it felt logical for us to create a 225 sq. foot 'permanent' record section in the back of Electric Tea Garden (1402 E. Pike Street). I am not sure about the details...they are still being developed. I do know that they will be availible from 3pm till 9pm Tuesday till Saturday.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

DJ Shonuph

Probably one of the realest B-Boy I know is Shomari Shanks a.k.a. DJ Shonuph. I have known "Sho" since he was in 8th grade. I was a Sophomore at Rainer Beach H.S. and he joined our marching band. He went to middle school a block away.

About 7 or 8 years ago Sho and I started working on music projects and record digging. Since that time I have learned so much about music, hip
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-hop, and community service just from hanging out with him.

Here is Sho doing his thang:

Zulu's Going Digital @ RecordHeadz Sale

DJ Sureal and Shonuph of (206) Zulu on the Serato "ones and twos". It is cool that true "recordheadz" can adapt with the times and technologies. I haven't personally used Serato or Final Scratch but I plan to get into it soon. I just loaded the software on my laptop and need to get some cool mp3's.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Capitol Hill Record Sale EXTENDED Mar. 27,28,&29

We have decided to extend the Capitol Hill Record Sale for another weekend. March 27th, 28th, and 29th we will be set up in the Electric Tea Garden's main room for more 12" bliss (oh my...).

We sold lots of records last week and we are not looking forward to hauling scores of record boxes (at 50-60lbs each) down a flight of stairs and into a storage unit. I am going to sell like I am one of those crazy used car guys..."NO PRICE IS TOO CRAZY for 'Mr. 12 Inch Johnny' (er...that would be me) ... push pull or drag your wallet down to Pike Street and we'll give ya a deal".

Look at the events calendar to see our weekend schedule.

*NOTICE: If I got your email address at the first sale...give it to me again. I have misplaced the sign up sheet from that day. You can email me at recordheadz@gmail.com. This way you will know about our sales, events, and community projects.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

BBC's First Female DJ, Annie Nightingale (circa 1970)

Recordheadz: Community Projects...With Class

Now that we are done with the "big sale" it is time to start working on the RecordHeadz community projects. I am interested in developing DJ and music production classes or workshops that can be offered to school aged kids and young adults. There are lots of programs already developed and being used in larger cities. Here in Seattle, groups like WAPIFASA and (206)ZULU have been doing variations on the workshop theme for years.

I was hoping to design an actual curriculum that could augment an existing music class or operate in place of one. The cultural phenomena that is "deejaying" has spanned five decades...from the radio station personality just putting on a record--one after another to the modern DJ, working with laptops, samplers, two turntables, and the "kitchen sink".

Shomari (Shonuph) and I have both worked extensively with kids in various community programs. Informally we have used our knowledge of music and hip-hop culture as a bridge between the programs objectives and the interest of the kids. The need and desire is there...but not the funding or the time. Most school classrooms past the 9Th grade are crammed full of testing based activities that leave little room for outside music programs to come in and borrow the teachers precious time.

I think that for now, our targets will be:

  • After school programs within the community
  • Group homes and youth centers
  • Middle Schools and Alternative High schools
  • Late night programs
I'm really excited to work with the "at risk youth" and there are lots of great programs here in Seattle like Youthcare's Orion Center, Ryther Childcare, Seattle Children's home...etc that targets street involved and youth at risk for drug abuse, crime, and other social issues.

I will be updating this idea as I learn more. I have been contacting the DJ's I already know and have also made contact with many new ones on Facebook and Myspace. I am asking folks to share their knowledge about DJ and music production curriculum.

Another focus I have is how to outreach to women (of all ages) and get them involved with Deejaying and musical production. Just think...if 10% of all producers and deejays were women...what would music (especially Hip-Hop) sound like? What if that number was 50%? As women seem to be 50% of the subject matter in today's hip-hop and R&B music (the other half being the latest dance moves, high priced intoxicants, cars, clothing, self praise, and the need to "represent" for various crews and neiborhoods) I think that they should be better represented in all forms of the music industry. Even if 25% of the deejays were women, I think that it would have a dynamic effect on what is popular...what is played...and what is acceptable for men to say within the hip-hop culture.

We are planning to have a once a month class at the Electric Tea Garden sometime in April. I would like to do some weekly classes in the summer when school is out. We will probably find another location for that...Jefferson Park Community Center...Miller Community Center are the first that come to my mind. Right now we are trying to collect equipment: turntables, mixers, headphones, needles, and of course vinyl. It helps if we have music close to the type that the kids are already listening to...my hip-hop crates stop at about 2004-5.

The questions I have are:
  • What is the skillset a begining DJ needs to have to get started?
  • What is the basic vocabulary?
  • Who are the iconic DJ's that should be used as an example?
  • Should digital DJ formats (CDR or Serato) be introduced right away?
  • How log should each session be?
  • How often should a class meet?
  • What are things a student can work on WITHOUT a turntable at home?
  • Should they learn basic audio (signal path, cabling, routing, eq'ing)?
  • When should scratching be introduced?
  • What is the best way to teach mixing, beat matching, and blending?
I could go on...but I wont. If you have any questions or ideas feel free to comment on this posting or email me at recordheadz@gmail.com

Monday, March 23, 2009

Vinyl Music: The Comeback Kid!

I have read several blogs and seen the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) reports that show that the vinyl music format is coming back. Sales are up 20-30% from previous years. Many new artist are opting for vinyl pressings of their singles and remixes...instead of CDs.

Eliot Van Buskirk of Wired.com blogged about this and wrote:

"According to the RIAA's recently-released 2007 sales report, the American music industry sold 36.6 percent more Extended Play (EP) and Long Play (LP) records than it had in the previous year, increasing vinyl sales revenue by 46.2 percent. CD unit sales, on the other hand, declined 11.7 percent with revenue dropping 20.5 percent during the same period."

You can go to Wired: Listening Post to read the full article. Or google "RIAA VINYL SALES" and a host of information will pop up...20 or so articles at least. I'll give you the summary...they mostly say that VINYL IS BACK !!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sold some of my favorites....

If you love something...set it free. If it comes back, it was meant to be. I say this because I sold two of my favorite records during this sale. "Spaced Out" by Enoch Light and "Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse" by Eugene McDaniels. I plan on writing more about these two records. They are full of samples from Tribe Called Quest...Jdilla...and the Beatnuts.

I let them go for a "song and a smile". I was glad that others get to enjoy them; they sat in a dusty box for years. I especially love the song "Headless Heroes". Just listen to the words for a moment and think about today's politics. It is a trip that this record was written and recorded back in the early 1970's.

The Enoch Light records are often "slept on" but have really great recording quality and some cool licks. Check the classic Beatnut's sample on "A little fugue for you and me".


People Make The World Go Round

My mantra for the moment...people make the world go round indeed. Thank you to all of you that have been sending me emails and giving me ideas about what direction to take RecordHeadz.com. After this sale I will be meeting with folks to discuss some new project possibilities. The first project we take on will really help to shape and focus my concept of what Recordheadz can do within our community. I am looking forward to meeting with groups like B-Girl Bench, WAPI, Voices Rising, Human Harmany, and (206) Zulu.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

On The First Day...

First Day Of Weekend Record Sale.

One down...one to go. Our two day sale seems to be a hit judging by the scores of collectors, deejays, and music lovers that stopped by to support our cause (or just get the best deal in town on records).

Our co-founder, Shonuph had a lot to do with the success of this day; passing out handbills, hanging posters, and texting his wealth of contacts within the Hip-Hop, D&B and Dub-Step worlds. We had other volunteers that came through and really made a difference to our success as well. Ato Kambui; Hannah and Liz Fretz, we could not have done it with out you. *DJ Man-At-War spun one of the best old school hip-hop sets I had heard in a long time...thx.

I have to admit that I was surprised at what sold and what didn't. I spent lots of time working on my 80's and 90's hip-hop 12" crates...the cool 80's MTV generation stuff....classic rock staples (Beatles, 'Stones', Clash, Doors). Yeah?!? I sold some of that stuff indeed. It was a surprise how many people wanted 80's R&B...Soundtracks...Lounge... even K-Tel records were being sold today. Man...I was like "what da
F#@?" Somehow I thought that I was the only music "nerd" that liked that stuff.

It was no big surprise to me was how many folks brought our 45's. I didn't put anything on the market that was super rare. If you we willing to dig, there were quite a few boxes of good condition 80's pop, soul, disco, and R&B standards that were selling for as low as $1.00-2.00 a disc.

I am sure some cool stuff slipped by me. No sweat...its tuition if learned something. I feel like I am still a "baby" at this record game compared to the talented customers I learn from. Yeah...there are the the known deejays, producers, and hardcore music collectors that came by and shared their knowledge but what impresses me the most are the seemingly "ordinary peoples" that turn me on to "new music" from my own record collection.

They will walk up really excited and hand me a record that I thought I knew all about. I am thinking... O.K, what's so cool about [blah, blah, blah] then they will tell me about that "one" track...with the bass player from [blah, blah, blah] the one they did before they were [blah, blah, blah]...or this drum break was sampled by [blah, blah, blah] and was used for that new hit song....you get the picture. I am excited to learn about records from anybody as I am a true "recordhead".

Important notice: I had told folks that I was bringing in 1000s of new records for Sunday's sale. That didn't happen as planned. My apologies. I had only managed to bring in a box or two of new music. If you come...I hope you find something you didn't see on Saturday.

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Recordheadz co-founder Shonuph and DJ Sureal: Two ZULUs on the Decks!!!

* Left to Right: Deejay's Sureal and Shonuph, (206) Zulu

The Universal Zulu Nation, or UZN is a pioneering force that has been in effect since the inception of Hip Hop itself (1974) and continues to represent and innovate while striving for worldwide peace, equality and empowerment. The four main elements of Hip-Hop are deejaying, emceeing, b-boying/b-girling, and graffiti.

We were bless to have two of Seattle's top "record heads" spinning and helping with the record sale (March 21-22nd @ ETG) We were "chopping it up", talking about records, breaks, and the state of hip-hop today. I am impressed with Seattle's chapter of Zulu Nation because of the work they do with in the schools and the positive presence they maintain within the hip-hop community.

Right now, we are looking for a way RecordHeadz.com and (206) Zulu can work together on a project. Hit me up on my email...recordheadz@gmail.com....I am interested in folks suggestions. Feel free to educate me about your programs or community groups if you work with youth in some sort of musical or artistic project. I am trying to assess the needs out there and how a couple of guys selling off an insanely large record collection could help.
Record Sale

@ Electric Tea Garden
1402 East Pike Street

March 21st - 22nd
10 am till 6pm

$3.00 suggested donation at door

1000s of records of all genres have been carries up a flight of stairs...out of basements, attics, and storage units; cleaned and prepared for their new life in your record collection. Well, that's how I like to think about it. I am excited about this sale...and at the same time I have the morning of jitters as I have forgot to do a bunch of things because I was away in LA right before this sale.

I hate the idea of this sale being so disorganized; the tables I ordered are not coming as well as some of the volunteers I had lined up last week. Booo hooo hooo!!!

No need to cry. This sale is going to be great despite all of my stress. The records are there! Deejays from (206) Zulu have agreed to come and spin with DJ Sho-nuph (one of Recordheadz.com founders). I just need to "chill out".

Songs on my "Mindpod": Organized Konfusion "Stress" and EPMD "You gots to Chill"

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Celebration" 1976

One of the ones I may part with at our next sale : (

Karma released the album "Celebration" in 1976 on the Horizon label. The LP has a "soul jazz" feel, but with some real complexity in the compositions as well as the performances. Overall "Celebrations" has a bunch of stunning moments but was not a hit commercially.
When you consider the all star talents that was on board; saxophonist Ernie Watts, trombonist George Bohanon , trumpeter Oscar Brashear, and vocalist Syreeta Wright and Denice Williams...the project was only missing a solid danceable song that could double as a radio single.

Great at balancing Jazz's thoughtful complexities and Funk's playful simplicity, Karma has a lot to offer. The group had a sound that was identifiably mid-70's and "big-urban", much like the same era's music from coastal city soul jazz bands like LA's Earth, Wind, & Fire and NYC's Tarika Blue. Similar to those bands 1970's works, you will hear the rhythm section play its "gradient" layers of soul, Latin, and funk in the background with jazz and rhythm and blues of various "shades" in the foreground. I brought this record for a $1.00 at a T.E.S.C. record sale, maybe 10 - 15 years ago. Listening to it today, I realized that I didn't really listen to it much. Maybe because it was lost for awhile. I had just found the record in a box of stuff I moved from my mom's house. Checking around on the web I see that this record is out of print, but not to hard to find. Compact disc of "Celebration" are available as well. If you see this record at one of our August 21st and 22nd Record Sale...definitely grab it! *Hmm...Let me make sure I have an extra copy ; )

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Getting Into The Groove.

Getting Into The Groove:
Creating a record funded community organization.

This week I had to fly to LA. My best friend had a wedding to go to. I had practically forgot that I agreed to go until the last minute. I am glad that someone else handled most of this or I wouldn't of had any tickets. Originally I did not want to go...I am preparing for a huge record sale and I have hundreds of records on the floor and thousands of records in boxes. I was convinced that I needed a vacation so with that I went to LA...not much arm twisting needed.
We got there in one piece. The whole time I was carrying a pad and pen, writing notes on what I wanted RECORDHEADZ to accomplish. Of course, I want to sell records. I have collected close to 40,000 LP's, 12" Singles, and 45's in various conditions from rare to raggedy.

I had never really thought about what I wanted to do with all of the records. To be honest, I never set out to own all of them. They just kinda found me...at least in the beginning. I use to produce house and hip-hop tracks, and i started researching records with certain drums, bass lines, or horn licks. I was a deejay and I brought lots of disco, funk, and danceable tracks. I played electric and upright bass with hip-hop and jazz groups. I brought lots of records just for the baselines or the solos as I was studying jazz by following the records that highlighted its great players.

Off the subject...I think LA was a great place to go and think about records as they have some pretty cool shops. I have to remember that parking in LA is different than here in Seattle. We drove around for a while to find parking at every stop we made. All that driving and walking was a good "meditation".

While thinking on the flight, I realized that I really wanted to help young musicians make music. I wanted to figure out a way to support and sponsor organizations and events using only or mostly funding created from the sale of my record collection.

Great idea I thought...but what does it look like in the real world? Where do I sell them? Are the records I own enough? If not, how do we get more? Do we sell cheap and fast or hold out for big dollars? Do I need to hire a staff or do I get volunteers? As you can see, I had lots of questions to answer to myself first.

Since I was thinking so much about records and vinyl, I might as well take a look at what Los Angeles has to offer. I grabbed the phone book and went to work. LA has more people, more stations, and no surprises...more records. I am noticing that most of the Deejays I see are using Serato, Traktor, or some other computer based solution.

This could mean good things if you are looking for records...not so good if you are selling them. It seems that many Deejays and hardcore collectors still have a lust for vinyl as well as a new generation of music lovers that were not even born when records were first taken out of the major sales outlet and replaced with "soulless" and sonically inferior compact disc. I think the MP3 was the "last straw" for real music lovers. Yes, you can have thousands of songs on your phone or MP3 player...but they will mostly sound like crap (if your the type that cares about stereo imaging or bass response). I think that after Napster (of the '90s and early 2K) many folks just can't pay for a MP3 after getting them for free. You get no art, no lyrics, and nothing that you really own because of user agreements and copy protection.
Believe me...I own my records. If not, quite a few record companies owe me lots of $$$ for moving and storage.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Steve Davis "Music" 1970 RCA

Who the F*ck is Steve Davis!?!?!

Steve Davis "Lalune Blanche" 1970 RAC Records

This is one of the best record I have heard by a guy I've never heard of. Sonically this project is mature, fat, but never crowded. The songs are varied in style, dancing in the space between the major genres (rock, soul, country, jazz) without ever really landing on any one of them long enough to be branded.

The hip-hop duo Gangstarr sampled the cut "It's All Because You Are Gone" on Daily Operation. I am surpised that other groups have not taken riffs from this gem. Every song I heard had something good...either a breakdown, a fat bass line, or some cool horns. This LP was made to be sampled--with the drums and bass being isolated to the left stereo channel and the horns and vocals landing moreso on the right. It is easy to gram clean snipets.

The song in the video clip, "Lalune Blanche" has been featured on many rare groove compilations. As for the other great songs...I have only really heard them played on the LP I had bought at a yard sale years ago.

The Cover is simple, yet very artistic. There is lots of information on the back...just not enough for me to figure out who the hell Steve Davis was and what other projects he had during the same period. The search continues.....

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dorothy Ashby "Dororthy's Harp"

Best Finds
Dorothy Ashby's "Dorothy's Harp" 1968 Cadet Records

This Dorothy Ashby album is one of my favorite records and one of the best jazz works of the 60s. Backed by groovy yet lushness string arrangements from Richard Evans this record is unusual that it features a harp as a soloing instrument! It also features Odell Brown on the Fender Rhodes. Evans and Ashby efforts and talents are seemlessly mixed together as bits of R&B, jazz , and psychadellic soul in this late 60s Cadet Record.

As songs go, "Truth Spoken Here" and "Tornado" are great. The gems on this album are "Cause I Need It", and "Just Had To Tell Somebody". The Brazilian numbers "Reza" and "Canto De Ossanha" are sexier as transformed by Dorothy's intersting syncopation and cadences. I also enjoy the covers like "This Girl's In Love", "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", and "Windmills of Your Mind".

Listening to it....all I can say is WOW!

Economy 2009: Will the Vinyl Record Store Survive?

For the last 5 years the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has reported steady increases in vinyl music sales. This is remarkable considering that records were pulled out of most major music outlets more than a decade ago. Despite being regarded as a "dead" music format, vinyl has been kicking the Compact Disc ass up and down the street, as its sales have decreased by single and now double digits every year since 1997.

So why has the record held up so good against the CD, MP3, and other formats? For some it is the superior sound quality or the cover art, for others it is the nostalgia of reading liner notes, and for folk like me, its just simple: they are just cooler than all the other formats (yeah try to get into a lengthy conversation with folks about the CD format...without talking about the music on it....good luck).

Just as records are making a bonafide come back, the global economy is going haywire and folks are cutting back on there luxuries...records included. I am going to go around to local record stores and ask them whats up. I know that on EBay, this is a great time to buy records as folks are parting with the good stuff, and selling it cheap. I also know that a whole new generation of record buyers are buying up lots of cool 80's and early 90's stuff that I couldn't give away just 4 years ago. This group is really caring about the economy because of the constant Mom and Dad stimulus package they get on the regular.

Used records may fair pretty well with the change in economy when you consider that $1.00 will get you one song from Itunes or some other cite, but it will get you a whole LP at most used stores (*10 LPs if you catch one of our record sales...and you like older music). You can always sell or trade your records, sometimes for close to what you paid for them. I like to think that I am pretty good about getting more for my records than what I had paid. I shop mostly in the dollar record sections...after doing some homework. : )

Sorting all of the junk

We are sorting through all of the "junk" so you don't have to. We have "exiled" all of the Neil Diamond, Mich Miller, Readers Digest Compilations from 1950, and polka records to a box in the corner. Our March 21 - 22 sale will be mostly junk free--with exception to the 10 for a $1 corner.

Sometimes I like to get an Enoch Light album or an old Sesame Street LP. That stuff is fun to sample and scratch with. I just hate going record digging at garage sales and used stores because there is usually too much junk to sort through.

Our sale should be fun for most types of collectors because of the diversity and volume of records on site.

We have priced the records to move. Even the classic Hip-Hop singles and well known rock LPs are going for "buddy" prices. Our goal is to raise enough money to start the first crop of RecordHeadz projects in the community. I have talked to many groups, deejay's, and promoters in town and they are excited about this new project.

One of the first projects will be digitizing some of the classic records and 12" singles, saving them to *.mp3 files so that we can use them with Rane's Serato Scratch and other software programs. This is very labor intensive and time consuming...but will allow us to share files with music programs that we are working with. I am checking with the RIAA to see what are the legalities and if we qualify for an educational exception. Stay tuned.....

B-Girls Bench

B-GIRLS BENCH @ Electric Tea Garden

All women's monthlies! B-Girl Bench Workshop every last Monday of the month at Electric Tea Garden (1402 E. Pike St., Seattle, WA 98122) from 6-10pm. Workshops in 2 different hip hop elements each time! All Ages, $5 per workshop Ladies First - All womens' hip hop performances every first Saturday of the month at Hidmo Restaurant (2000 S. Jackson St., Seattle, WA 98144) from 8-10pm. Brought to you by C.A.R.A. All Ages, $5 Cover
WAPIFASA is a non-profit agency serving youth, ages 10-20, in the Asian and Pacific Islander community in King County helping youth deal with chemical dependency and substance abuse issues. They provide services for families, school and King County Officials that meet the cultural needs and expectations of the community we serve.
Its mission is to provide and advocate for culturally competent and age-appropriate prevention and substance abuse treatment services for Asian Pacific Islander Youth and all Youth of Color.

What is unique about this organization is how it uses Hip-Hop as a tool to fulfill its mission. WAPIFASA sponsors the Katalyst project which teaches youth how to rap, dj, produce their own music using readily accessible computer hardware and software. What is amazing is the type and level of local talent that is involved with this project, most notably DeeJay B-Girl (Mia Beardsly) and Emcee Gabriel Teodros.

If you live in the Seattle area and consider yourself a producer, emcee, dj, turntablist, b-boy/b-girl or you just love Hip Hop AND you want to work in the community, please call the Katalyst Project!!

For more information on any of WAPIFASA's programs,
call them at (206) 223-9578.

Turning Old Records Into New Music

Sunday, 8:00 am and the U haul truck drives up to our cafe. Packed in the back like sardines are over 10,000 records...LPs, 45's, and 12" singles. In someways it was a Deejays dream...until you realize that you had to carry them up stairs and each 13"x13"x17"box of records (100 in all) weighed over 70 lbs.

The record came from several storage units, basements, and all other places people put the things they once loved but no longer need. For months I have been asking folks to give me their vinyl records that they don't want and I will make sure they are played or used in some fashion.

For many of the records, the task would be easy...Rolling Stones, Rush, The Beatles, James Browne...no problem. But what about Olivia Newton-John? Montavanti? Lawrence Welks? Air Supply? I wasn't sure how I would keep my pledge...but I figured I could always make record bowls and plates with them.

It took three guys plus myself to move 100 boxes of records out of the trucks, up the stairs, and stacked--ready to get sorted, alphabetized, cleaned, and priced to be sold at our record sale. It is my hopes that the sale of the records will make enough money to seed a new organization, RecordHeadz.

I got the idea one day while talking to my mother, a social services director and long time activist. Part of her position is to review grants and to act as an intermediary between the federal, state, and county level funding sources and the agencies that perform community services.

We talked about the changes that are happening on a federal level. Simply put, there is less money being given to the states and counties. The trickle down effect is less money at the community level as well. Every one will feel this change if they already haven't.

The big causes like United Way will have some support as they have a great outreach network and lots of good PR. The big artist organizations like the opera, ballet, symphony, and the theater will feel the crunch, but also have a great network of supporters that give donations.

I worried about groups like "Voices Rising", "Katalyst Project", "B-Girl's Bench", "Human Harmony", and "(206) Zulu"? These very small organizations do very big things in the community--working with kids in schools, at risk youth on the streets, and inspirational performances that bring awareness to their various causes.

It was in that same conversation that she reminded me that I needed to move all of my junk out of her garage and the back of our cafe. The majority of the junk being about 40,000 records I have collected over the years. The thought of giving them way passed my mind along with selling them to a record store or another collector. It was at this point I realized that I could create an organization to sell my records and use the proceeds to support small music groups and sponsor performances within the community..."turning old records into new music".