Freddy Hubbard - The Body & The Soul (Impulse, 1963)
I managed to hit six stores: Amoeba Berkeley, Rasputin Berkeley, Groove Merchant, Streetlight SF, Amoeba SF and Recycled Records, but I made the vast majority of my purchases at Amoeba Berkeley, where they unveiled one of the most amazing collection of jazz albums I've ever seen. (The images above are all from the Internet, but believe you me, those first 14 records look almost unbelievably close to new.) Every shop I visited was full of people and in some cases, there was a wait to check out, so at least in the Bay Area, Record Store Day 2011 was a huge success. You probably have to have the vinyl bug to really appreciate it, but it was an all-around fantastic day. If you made it out to your local record stores, I hope you had luck finding whatever records you're looking for, and just as much fun as I did!
Posting links to other articles is really the laziest form of blogging, but a friend forwarded this article from the East Bay Express to me and I think it's "must" reading. A large majority of Americans have been conned by Republicans, the Tea Party and the Neo-Con propaganda machine into believing that lowering taxes for the wealthy actually benefit the middle and working classes by creating jobs. It's bullshit, and there are now roughly 30 years of statistics to back up the fact that supply side, trickle down economics simply do not work.
We live in a strange world when working people can be persuaded that the Republican Party's current drive to ruthlessly cut spending and destroy labor unions' right to collective bargaining is good for the country. That world seems even stranger still when one considers the G.O.P.'s continued insistence that it's the liberal left intent on fomenting class warfare.
Maybe some people don't quite get what class warfare looks like, but it more or less works like this: The Republican Party has zero interest in reducing deficits. Instead, they want to cut off funding to the government agencies that regulate corporations and destroy the labor unions that protect workers so they can reward the rich with more tax breaks. They do this under the guise of fiscal prudence, claiming that gutting the federal programs that millions of American need just to get by and cutting taxes to the rich will increase job creation and stimulate economic growth. It won't. More Americans will be pushed to the brink of poverty and lose their health care coverage, their jobs and their homes. The middle class will continue to shrink, while the working poor get ever poorer and the richest amongst us get even richer.
During the last decade, President Bush pushed through a series of tax cuts that rewarded the nation's highest tax bracket at a time when our country had just embarked on two expensive and ill-advised wars. He claimed he was pulling us back from the precipice of economic collapse. But were new jobs created? Was the deficit reduced? No, the deficit continued to skyrocket and people continued to lose jobs, but Bush and his cohorts continued to work overtime giving their corporate masters what they craved: Higher dividends and a better bottom line. Worked out great for them until the financial crisis hit in 2008.
It's not hard to follow the money. Republicans don't want to cut spending because it's going to dramatically reduce the deficit, they want to cut because the programs they cripple will then be unable to effectively regulate big business. The Republicans can then claim they cut spending while the corporations who underwrite their campaigns save big. Ordinary people, the working men and women across this fine land, will be the losers, driven further and further into the black hole of economic despair.
That's how class warfare works, and you know what? We're losing.
Anyway, that's me ranting.
You can read that East Bay Express article over here.
These are from a few years ago and not my most recent trip, but here are several attempts at getting a decent shot of the legendary Soho cafe immortalized in song by Jarvis Cocker and Pulp. The scooters were a happy accident...
Tomorrow is the 4th annual Record Store Day, and if you're living in the San Francisco Bay Area, you're in luck, because there are a number of great shops participating in the event. If you can't make it to all of them, try to at least visit one – we have some of the best record stores in the country here and they deserve all the support they can get!
If you were lucky enough to pick Spearmint singer and songwriter Shirley Lee's solo debut back in 2009, you'll be heartened to hear that his second long player is due out this summer – and it's a 30-track double album. Winter Autumn Summer Spring will be available digitally, on double CD and heavyweight double vinyl as of June 13, and it sounds like Shirley will be playing some solo acoustic shows around the same time.