Tag Archive | digging

I’m not a reblogger, but

Daym. Saw a new post on Wax Poetics that made my jaw drop. One, because it’s a digging report that features some insane bargains. Two, because the writeup’s excellently done and…Three, because it’s, like  a bird innit.

Zappa? Mantronix? Mandrill for three bloody dollars?!

I dream of writing dig reports this good. My last one was weak, and I look TERRIBLE in a floaty white sundress.



Digger’s Diary – Manchester 24/03/2012

Having been blessed with a giant ball of yellow fire shining directly on Manchester’s fat, smoky, head, I decided to get myself to Gigg Lane in Bury to take in the atmosphere of a game of association football. Specifically FC United of Manchester (Google it!) versus Matlock.  The result was the right one and the game itself electrifying, but I’ll spare you the details, seeing as you don’t come here to read about that kind of thing.

I found myself in town beforehand with an hour to spare took the rare opportunity to rifle through the bargain bins outside the legendary Empire Exchange on Newton St.

This has been around for…ever? and sells records, thousands of old copies of magazines, football programmes, curios, memorabilia, VHSs, DVDs, CDs, MDs and YMCAs. And a massive load of porn in the back room.

I scurried through the little crate outside, the sun beating a tan into my pale, Saxon hide, only stopping to brush off the advances of two men trying to sell me a stolen phone. What I came out with, for my £1 spend was nothing short of a treasure trove.

#1 Tina Charles – Rendezvous b/w When You Got Love

Kind of generic poppy soul pre-disco from 1976. It’s not blowing me away. This one scores 4 sunny smiles out of 10.

#2 Lol Creme and Kevin Godley – 5 O’clock in the Morning b/w The Flood

A side is a real 10CC-esque piece about working life. If you don’t already know, Godley and Creme were the creative force behind 10CC. Lots of harmonic vocal blasts, haunting solo bits and key changes. Sometimes you get the feeling that they pull their production tricks out of the bag because they can, rather than because they should. The B is a weird instrumental featuring what sounds like a dripping tap but which I suspect is them playing with a synth and a sequencer. It goes round the houses before kicking into a rocking rhythm about 30 seconds before the run-out groove. There’s sample fodder in this for sure.

the version on the 7″ isn’t exactly like that; it’s a bit shorter.

#3 Pussycat – Mississippi b/w Do It

I was expecting (optimistically) some kind of chilled lounge, exotica, funk or something based on those names but I got pop country weirdness. Did not like.

#4 Steve Miller Band – Rock ‘n’ Me b/w The Window

I found it! I’ve been after this The Window forever but it doesn’t come up on eBay so often. The A side isn’t that great but the flip is *insane*. Ridiculously sample-able bassline intro, Zappa-esque bridgey thing (sounds just like part of Florentine Pogen) and a redonculous vocal performance by Steven himself.

All-in-all a very well-spent quid, I feel. Keep an eye-out for one, all or none of these in my upcoming “forty five 45s” mix (release scheduled January 2018).

Digger’s diary: the charity shops of South London, 11/02/12

Yesterday I was bored so I equipped myself with £20 and went on a trawl of my local charity shops from Balham right up to Clapham North.

Pickings were slim. Apart from a good amount of spoken word/comedy/novelty in one shop which would have been perfect for my next Bleepmix, it was the same old same old of 80s pop, crap 90s dance and classical boxset after classical boxset. I think half of any charity shop’s stock is 90s dance and classical. The classical comes in when old people die. The house from when middle aged people clear out their loft and chuck out the 10 dance 12″s they had, their Kam decks and their popped inflatable chair.

There was also a bizarre amount of Shakespeare’s Sister knocking about.

Anyway, I did pick up one curio: Doug E. Fresh’s The Show b/w Ladi Dadi. This seminal rap double-A-sider was one of my first favourite records but I’ve only ever had it on 7″ so I parted with TWO WHOLE POUNDS for it. In a charity shop. I know right!

Listen to the tunes now:

Look how young Slick Rick (reppin’ Wimbledon) is!!

Discogs tells me there were two runs of the record I got (COOLX 116).

There are two pressings of this release with the same sleeve and label. The only way to tell them apart is to examine the run-out groove.

The first run has a printed (stamped) catalogue number followed by a slash then 1 420 (a-side) or 2 420 (b-side). The second run has a hand-written COOLX-116-A or B catalogue number and no other numbers are shown.

It is important to differentiate these pressings as the second run features an edited version of “La Di Da Di” which, for licensing reasons, lacks the interpolation of A Taste of Honey’s “Sukiyaki” (“It’s all because of you, I’m feeling sad and blue…”). It has also a radio-edited version of “La Di Da Di” in place of the instrumental of “The Show”.

But get this! My version is labelled as having Ladi Dadi and then an instrumental of The Show on the B-side. However, it just has the same version of Ladi Dadi twice! ZOMG!

I’m probably sitting on a super rare mispressing here. I shall alert Record Collector first thing tomorrow. For the time being this blog post shall serve as proof that the record exists so if the house is broken into tonight and they find my mutilated body slumped over my crates in the morning, you’ll know what they were after!

Digger’s Diary – Music and Video Exchange, Berwick St., London

In these times of reduced means, one must find pleasures in the small luxuries. That’s why I armed myself with 25p and a large stick and hit the sordid streets of Soho to find a bargain 7 inch. I mean a cheap thrill. Uh, I mean I want to look through some bins and find a dusty old relic I can take home and slip out of its plastic casing and – [that’s enough tedious sexual references, ed.]

Music and Video Exchange has several branches and most have a proper bargain basement full of absolute tat they can’t shift hidden gems.

So what did I go for? Well I didn’t choose one of the dozen or so copies of Alphabeat’s Big in Japan (because I already have the 12″) and I didn’t go for a cracked copy of Heart’s Alone but I did see something I liked the name of: the A-side is called Slip and Slide and the reverse has tune called Cajun Kick and the band is called Medicine Head. My zydeco side convinced me to lay down the quarter pounder on this baby and I wasn’t disappointed. Observe!



Forgotten gems – I’m On FIYAH!

I had a little browse around my local charity shops this weekend and found a copy of Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA for a quid.

This isn’t exactly a rare record (it was number 1 in 10 countries and went 15x platinum in the US alone) but I’ve never owned a copy. I knew most of the tracks on there but had totally forgotten about the existence of I’m on Fire which brought memories of my dad’s car tape flooding back.

This is one of those rare songs that actually leaves you wanting more as it fades out.

It’s a perfect expression of desire and yearning – equal in my book to The Smiths’ Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want which also tails off half way through leaving you begging for another verse.

The beans are not salted!

Come on down to the bayou! Grab yourself a plate of gumbo and goad an aligator into biting your feet off! Today we plunge balls deep into the world of Zydeco music.

Zydeco is a kind of roots music native to soutwest Louisiana and southeast Texas and combines influences of blues, rock and roll, R&B, soul, brass band, reggae, hip hop and ska. That means absolutely nothing to me and you so let me describe it in my own terms: it’s like uptempo cajunny swampy dance music with all accordions and washboards and stuff. And they often sing in cajun French.

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture, they say, so pack some of this in your ears:

If you were wonderign what the title was about, the first Zydeco song was called “Les haricots sont pas salés” meaning “The beans are not salted”. The name zydeco presumably came from a contraction of “les haricots”, which is pronounced “layz arico”.

If you care to watch the film The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid, this is set in New Orleans and features the band Buckwheat Zydeco at one point. The OST is also totally boss. My dad once forced me to watch The Big Easy, having gone on about it for weeks. As the end credits were rolling he said glumly: “that wasn’t the film I was thinking of”.

So I hope you enjoy! I rarely (so never) get to play this kind of stuff when I DJ. If you have the good fortune to live in the US there are lots of festivals for Zydeco but there is only one that I know of over here – The Bristol Cajun and Zydeco Festival in October.

Laissez les bon temps rouler.

Some of my worst records spark worst meme ever

I made this short video to showcase some of my worst/cheesiest/most embarassing records back in July this year

That’s what you get being a charity shop scrounger with too many 50ps to spend. A friend has recently commented that the zydeco record on there sounds like “fruit machine music”. Bang on my friend.

My mate Chris who runs the rather excellent gear and music site Oh Drat! posted up a reply

…which sparked the most minor internet craze ever. I say internet craze, it was more like a funny turn. After a reply from MR Texas Pete of El Paso Switzerland, the old and decrepit (or wise and venerable, depending on whether you want him to do you a favour) DJ Sigma posted the vid on the sadly forgotten DJ Forums which elicited a single, final death throw for the genre.

What a whirlwind few days.