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Dad, this one's for you.
October 14, 2013 10:48 AM   Subscribe

This mix was made using only my dad's records. Every one of them an original pressing, stuff he bought when he was about as old as I am now--give or take a decade. My dad never played an instrument really, and my mom always joked that he was actually tone-deaf. But man, what a taste in music--and in his own way, what an ear too. "Plays Pretty Just For You" is a new mix by Dave Harrington of the band Darkside, which has just released its debut album Psychic. Previously
posted by Going To Maine (26 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Holy cow, everything I've heard so far is exactly the sort of thoughtful, intelligent, jazzy instrumentals I have been looking for without knowing it. And the bit starting at around 18:00 is my new favorite anything anywhere.
posted by scrowdid at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2013


Wow, and available to download as WAV, to boot!

I look forward to this doing the rounds and sticking up for a while so we can get proper track IDs. (I like mysteries in general, but mystery music makes me itch for the answer.)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:31 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mom sounds like the kind of idiot who thinks that people who can't sing are "tone deaf"
posted by thelonius at 11:43 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I look forward to this doing the rounds and sticking up for a while so we can get proper track IDs. (I like mysteries in general, but mystery music makes me itch for the answer.)

The album art provides a few starting points. Green Onions is in there somewhere near the beginning.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:46 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is really charming. Makes me wish I still had my parents' records, but the result would mostly be Queen and John Denver tracks - perhaps charming in a different way.

Also,

'Mom sounds like the kind of idiot who thinks that people who can't sing are "tone deaf"'

Or "my mom always joked that he was actually tone-deaf" could be interpreted as playful marital joking rather than something that means she should be labeled an "idiot".
posted by thedaniel at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2013 [7 favorites]


Right, just a friendly little repeated joke, belittling what seems to have been a major interest of her spouse
posted by thelonius at 11:58 AM on October 14, 2013


If you like this, go out and get yourself some Yusef Lateef, and you'll be happy. Eastern Sounds is great.
posted by sutt at 12:14 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


thelonius: "Right, just a friendly little repeated joke, belittling what seems to have been a major interest of her spouse"

take that, mom.
posted by boo_radley at 12:24 PM on October 14, 2013


Right, just a friendly little repeated joke, belittling what seems to have been a major interest of her spouse

None of us have heard him sing, so speculation is useless.

However he has good taste in jazz. I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music, pre-internet and the media all extremely fragile.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 12:27 PM on October 14, 2013


Let's face it. It's clear that his family was just one step away from a murder-suicide, due to the wife's inability to understand her husband's latent desire to become a musician.

Either that, or we're just making shit up.
posted by sutt at 12:33 PM on October 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I used to listen to Voice of America (Europe). There was an American presenter no one in the US has probably ever heard of, Willis Conover.

He hosted an hour-long programme called Voice of America Jazz Hour. It was broadcast to Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union. (I learned much later Mr Conover was more famous in the USSR than most other "famous" Americans...)

Anyway, Mr Conover introduced this young listener in the mid-1960s to Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, Coleman Hawkins, Thelonius Monk, Art Tatum, Ben Webster, and a host of other jazz greats. Still a teenager, the first jazz album I ever bought was a second-hand copy of the Charlie Mingus album Tijuana Moods.
posted by Mister Bijou at 1:01 PM on October 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, the thing I though was Green Onions is at 9:39, but it isn't, so...
posted by Going To Maine at 1:05 PM on October 14, 2013


One of my favorite presents i ever got from my parents was their decent sized record collection. It included basically everything James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and other soul/funk greats.

You know how they say when you go through a natural birth your mothers gut bacteria transfers to you to "kick start" your digestive system? I feel like this did the same for me with my love of music.

They gave them to me at the age of 10 or so, right after i bought a crappy 70s department store record player/tape deck/receiver combo and speakers at a garage sale for $5. Which incidentally, despite it's questionable pretty much everything was my favorite stereo i've ever owned. I played albums like songs in the key of life and even the entire Smithsonian jazz collection 1000 times.

To this day i still have almost 100% of those records. Some of the best ones were mysteriously lost in moves or seemingly stolen over the years, but fairly often i go back and pull them out and play a couple of them again.

I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music, pre-internet and the media all extremely fragile.

If you go LP shopping at a good store today it's exactly as it used to be. You grab something you've heard of from a friend, that you've heard of in passing, or just that sounds interesting, or is by a band you like but an old album you haven't heard yet, etc. Then they have a beat up turntable connected to a little amp/receiver with some gnarly headphones saturated in hair and face grease that you slap on. You listen to it for a bit, and if it sounds interesting you throw it in the "keep" pile.

My dad described the exact same process to me when i asked, and my mom has definitely mentioned it once or twice too.

In addition to that, if you knew the record store guys(which used to be a lot more common if it was the good shop near your house, i'd bet. Hell i've made friends with a couple guys) they'd get to know what you liked and go "hey man, check this shit out" or just recommend good stuff they'd run across in general.
posted by emptythought at 2:05 PM on October 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music, pre-internet and the media all extremely fragile.

In addition to the methods outlined above by others, people used to read reviews in printed magazines they subscribed to, like Downbeat. I can name at least one person who still does that who lives in my house.
posted by JimInLoganSquare at 2:16 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


> I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music, pre-internet and the media all extremely fragile

Radio shows, friends, newsletters, record stores. In Keith Richards' Life he describes the clubs (as in, people meeting in someone's room: not clubs as in discos) he went to to find out about blues records when he was a teenager.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:48 PM on October 14, 2013


I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music, pre-internet and the media all extremely fragile.

In many ways, it was kind of more fun.

*wistful*
posted by carter at 2:56 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


psycho-alchemy, you're making a whole lot of people feel bad about how old they are.

(ps: down beat. Check it out.)
posted by ardgedee at 4:00 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't feel bad about it; I am amused.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:08 PM on October 14, 2013


Once upon a time, in a land far away, I used to listen to Voice of America (Europe). There was an American presenter no one in the US has probably ever heard of, Willis Conover.

You may be interested in my fellow radio producer David Goren's piece on old Willis and his VoA show, Jazz Hour, produced for Jazz at Lincoln Center.
posted by mykescipark at 6:29 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


(Also, I produced this piece [MP3] about the jazz record clubs of the early 20th century, and how they inadvertently led to the first bootlegs.)
posted by mykescipark at 6:32 PM on October 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I am not even sure how people used to go about finding such music, pre-internet and the media all extremely fragile.

I used to read Rolling Stone, Billboard, and Creem Magazine religiously. Record stores would play albums they thought were good as in-store music. At a party, friends of friends would play stuff you'd never heard. Radio DJ's were given a lot more leeway to play what they wanted, and especially late at night, they would play new stuff they thought was cool. Entire radio shows would be devoted to "this week's new albums". Entire radio stations existed that only played "underground" music. It was pretty awesome, actually.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:46 PM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I want to do this with the cassettes of my step-father actually playing music (almost all covers in crappy little bars around town). But I need to get my hands on them. And transfer them to something digital. And learn to use audacity or something. And then develop some sense of timing and/or musical inclination beyond "I like how that sounds."

Really awesome find.
posted by DigDoug at 6:29 AM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


> my [M]om always joked

The music is great, but why capitalize the [M]? The original form was perfectly correct, since it's being used as an equivalent of "my mother" rather than as direct address; notice that "dad" is exactly parallel (and has not been capitalized).

/grumpy copyeditor
posted by languagehat at 7:02 AM on October 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Actually, the dads were capitalized before. A mod kindly went through & fixed the [D]ads, but missed the [M]om, and I have been lazy about sending a memail.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:54 AM on October 15, 2013


sorry for the tone-deaf derail, that is a pet peeve

I can sing just fine, in a range of about three half-steps
posted by thelonius at 11:29 AM on October 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Putting this here and in another thread: the New York Times magazine has a profile of Nicolas Jaar that includes a full stream of Psychic.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:30 AM on October 21, 2013


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