The hubby and I took a trip way north to see College Girl onstage and, since Toronto is one of those fabulous cities that has real brick-and-mortar record stores, I happily spent some time in one, browsing for stuff I didn’t even know I wanted and trying to discover new Canadian artists.
Since I wasn’t sure I’d have a chance to visit both the HMV and Sunrise Records stores near the hotel, I went with the latter, since I liked the independent store vibe. First thing I saw coming in was a rack of recent releases that also featured a vertical Row of The Recently Deceased – Whitney Houston, Davy Jones, Ronnie Montrose, Etta James (Cesaria Evora was off to the side on another rack).
On a happier note, I really dug the Joan Jett Barbie-style doll.
I was keeping to a pretty small budget so, after a lot of mixing and matching, I came home with the following:
SAID THE WHALE – Little Mountain (Factor/Hidden Pony) $11.99. Genuine Canadian-made music. Drawn by the name (Noah and the Whale, anyone?), the cover (nice die-cut) and the vague sense that I had heard good things about them, I asked a clerk to tell me more about them and she ripped the plastic right off the copy I was holding to put it in a player, no obligation. The first quick listen made a good impression, as did a full album’s worth on the ride home. The Noah and the Whale echo isn’t as strong as a Mumford & Sons one, but that’s cool, too.
BELLE and SEBASTIAN – The BBC Sessions (BBC/Matador) $13.99. A double disc from the used section, with the second being a 2001 BBC concert broadcast from Belfast.
JOHN ADAMS – Naïve and Sentimental Music (Nonesuch) $9.99. Been a long time since I’ve heard new Adams (and this one’s actually from 2002) but we were big fans back in the BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) days. Also listened on the drive home but can’t say it made a mark. Pastoral, somewhat drifty…
PATTI SMITH, KEVIN SHIELDS – The Coral Sea (PASK ?) $7.99. Also used, another 2-disc set, each one documenting a performance (one in 2005, one in 2006) of Smith’s spoken word tribute to Robert Mapplethorpe, with guitar accompaniment by the guy from My Bloody Valentine. I learned that after the fact, buying simply on the name/price/curiosity value and haven’t listened yet. Need to have time to really concentrate.
The FREE DESIGN – The Now Sound Redesigned (Light in the Attic) $6.99. There was a buy 3, get one free deal in the used section, so I chose this as the bonus, drawn by participants like Stereolab, Dangermouse and Kid Koala. A very strange brew of cheesy 70’s pop and self-consciously hipster knob-twiddling. It killed time on the road but appears destined for the trade-in store.
MUSIQUE VS. U2 – New Year’s Dub (Serious Records) 99 cents.
A trippy, beat-heavy 3-track take on the U2 hit with the DJ dude talking where Bono used to sing. Quite good, actually.
So, add these 6 to the rest and
YTD O/CD Tally: 35