Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Sweet child(ren) of mine
A day in the life of a record store employee (luckily I have a normal job during the week to keep me sane, but this used to be my full time gig): You've got the seasoned vinyl professionals (old men with pit stains and bad breath). Then you've got the washouts selling stolen Starbucks CDs for meth. Can't forget about "The Wack Pack" - the guys that don't have jobs and hang out in the store all day, every day, talking about really boring shit you don't care about and then every so often they'll mention something cool, like they were at the first Germs show in San Diego. Or you have the weird-o co-workers. One guy I worked with looked exactly like Ric Ocasek (sans supermodel wife) and would talk to customers in a robot voice (not joking, he even acted like a robot and would move his arms like a robot when he talked to people). It got so bad that we had to have store meetings where the manager would have to tell "everyone" (him) to "not talk like a robot to customers because it makes the customers uncomfortable." Those meetings didn't deter his actions in the slightest. This dude eventually got fired for selling stuff he stole from the store on eBay and then, to "get back" at me, signed my name up for both online and "snail mail" mailing lists, but since he didn't know my last name, used the name Kelly Preston (John Travolta's wife). I was still getting stuff sent to me in the mail years after he was fired... that jive turkey even signed me up for a mastectomy magazine. Seriously, who does that?
Regardless, working at a record store does have its perks. I was fortunate enough to discover strange and unique music that I probably wouldn't have been able to discover if I was a "norm" working a 9-to-5'er.
One of the things I discovered was The Langley Schools Music Project, a collection of recordings in a school gym from the late 70's, sung by various Canadian childrens choirs. It was released on a small/unknown record label in the late 70's, then discovered in a thrift store in 2000 and re-released in 2001 on CD and as a 2 LP set, creating buzz worldwide. The second I heard it, I fell in love. The entire album consists of cover songs by The Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, David Bowie, Bay City Rollers and Phil Spector's first group The Teddy Bears, just to name a few. The music is strange, sweet and innocent. It sounds like "it was recorded by some strange cult of youngsters who were gathered somewhere in a dungeon late at night and singing the songs as part of some ritualistic ceremony." Perfect for fans of Daniel Johnston or The Shaggs. My favorite song on the album is The Eagles' Desperado, sung by an 11 year old girl... it's a tearjerker. Check out the documentary below! It's great!