Category Archives: stickers

Sad to leave Mississippi but not without a Trace…

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so long Mississippi (hello Tennessee)

Natchez Trace Parkway — Tennessee River

Natchez Trace Parkway — up the hill from the Tennessee River

Natchez Trace Parkway — Colbert’s Stand

could not wrap my head about the correct pronunciation of this place. kept using the Colbert Report pronunciation…. Damn him!

this was definitely cool. i’m glad i took the 5 minutes to check this out….

Natchez Trace Parkway — trees

Natchez Trace Parkway — one of the scene views

Natchez Trace Parkway — Information Center just north of Tupelo

spent the night in Tupelo — god i love saying the names of these towns — and then headed down the Natchez Trace Parkway towards the “quad cities” (Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield, Alabama).

Alabama

Alabama cotton fields

i was supposed to go back onto the Trace and head up to Nashville that way but after a bit of frustrating dithering around in Florence where i hit at lunchtime and it was a madhouse where i wanted to eat so i got the now gross to me junk food, i decided to scrap that and hustle up to Nashville.

when i crossed into Tennessee i was definitely a bit heartsick. i have gotten to see many nooks and crannies of Mississippi and it has been a good thing.

Grimey’s

stickers!

yeah yeah yeah. impulse control. blah blah blah. just bought a bunch of CDs yesterday. i know….

but this is Grimey’s — a store i’ve heard about for what seems like forever. and the guy who owns it, i’ve seen him play with Bobby Bare Jr. a bunch of times. it was the only reason i even dipped into Nashville on this leg of the trip. so i’m okay with it, though it was probably one of the last record buying splurges i’ll have in a very long time. when i get home the reality of a new job / career shift is going to make this look like the fantasyland that it is.

Grimey’s — Nashville, TN

so this is what i picked up. i truly needed more rocking — less mellow and flowy — music than what i got at Oxford. not that there’s anything wrong with that of course. but i was a bit horrified to realize i was almost falling asleep at the wheel this morning driving the Trace because i needed coffee, didn’t get enough sleep, and the music wasn’t energizing me. so i feel like i’m going to just accept this as part of my trip and move on.

  • Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Now Here’s My Plan
  • Divine Fits, A Thing Called Divine Fits
  • Dwight Yoakam, 3 Pears
  • Father John Misty, Fear Fun
  • JD McPherson, Signs & Signifiers
  • JEFF The Brotherhood, Hypnotic Nights
  • Kelly Hogan, I Like To Keep Myself In Pain
  • Menahan Street Band, The Crossing
  • Shuggie Otis, Inspiration Information
  • The Sugarman 3, What The World Needs Now
  • Sun Kil Moon, Among the Leaves (deluxe)
  • Waco Brothers & Paul Burch, Great Chicago Fire

the scene of the crime

i got help and awesome recommendations from a couple people at the store, but i ended up chatting with Noah Uman, a recent NYC (well Jersey City) transplant to Nashville. loved talking with him. much thanks for the kind conversation and geeking out about music. that was fun!

Noah Uman, former WFMU deejay (Coffee Break for Heroes and Villains) and really smart guy

Yo La Tengo promo material at Grimey’s. love this

Kopecky Family Band – in store at Grimey’s

when i was picking out my CDs all of a sudden these people started bringing equipment into the store with a purpose. turns out Kopecky Family Band was doing an in-store. yeah, more serendipitous timing / experiences. i stayed for this. they were really enjoyable. beautiful harmonies and you can tell they are really doing

Fud: Edley’s BBQ

grateful thanks to Clay Wallace, Nashville postcarder extraordinaire, for the recommendation of the closest bbq that did not suck.

Edley’s — Nashville, TN

Edley’s BBQ — Nashville, TN
Shrimp po boy with a bunch of sides

Kentucky

so now i’m holed up outside of Louisville, KY. onwards and upwards towards home.

Kentucky. yeah, that’s where i’m at!

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a little bit of Oxford and the beginnings of the Trace at Tupelo

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apocalypse now

“…one look at you and i know it’s going to be hot”

while i appreciated the camp — a word i like about as much as the word “edgy” — of the Shack Up Inn specifically i already know it was not the highlight of this roadtrip. and the environs of Clarksdale, well i was pretty much sick as a dog and didn’t have the energy or enthusiasm to go delve into the museums and blues clubs like i should have and/or would have if i had been healthy. i have such a love affair for Mississippi at this point that i’m almost 100% certain i will be back, so i hope that i will be able to do a more thorough visit to these places at then.

Clarksdale is this somewhat large (comparatively) and sprawling metropolis in the middle of what i can only describe as a post-apocalyptic flatland hell. the arid cotton fields were some of the grimmest looking scenery of my trip thus far. and i forgot to mention that driving in from the south i saw at least three dead dogs on the side of the road (among other assorted roadkill). and to top that off, there were at least a handful of very skinny looking dogs wandering around the side of the road as i zoomed on by, thankfully only going 55 mph. at first i was like, “what the hell?!?” but then it seemed to make sense for where i was. this part of Mississippi has got to be a challenging place to survive in environmentally. living here seems difficult. it made me a little blue, no pun intended.

music for this leg: Elmore James, morphing into Centro-matic’s Candidate Waltz

very important t-shirt update™: Duquette Johnston‘s Club Duquette in olive with black type

Oxford!

so after more than a few cough-filled nights i am thrilled to be back on the road, albeit baby steps. not going to do a lot of long hauls but needed to get out of that temporary rut and mosey slowly north to see what awaits me in my messed up, molested by the storm, home of New York City.

Memphis was part of the original plan — and was not far from Clarksdale — but i’m pretty sure i’m still contagious / sick so a museum would knock me right back into bed so i’m going to conserve strength and cancel that leg. i’m sorry i won’t be able to meet up with a good family friend there but it sounds like the timing isn’t meant to be for either of us, so i’ll let the guilt go, as much as possible.

that’s one thing that i have noticed on this trip. i’ve had some real serendipitous happenings on this roadtrip from the start. not to jinx things or anything but i’m feeling truly blessed at some of the things i’ve seen and places i’ve been and people i’ve been able to spend time with. i’m very thankful. from Wigginstock 2012 on down to being where i am tonight it’s all feeling very connected and meant to be. don’t want to belabor this too much but it has been at the forefront of my mind when i’ve been making decisions about where to go and what to see. i find it comforting.

Oxford serendipity 1: Big Bad Breakfast food

Big Bad Breakfast — Oxford, MS

when reviews on Yelp say “trust me” and talk about the bacon being infused with yummy things they pretty much had me. if anything i think the reviews were a bit modest. some of the best breakfast i’ve had on this trip — and i’ve had a lot of breakfast.

BIG BAD BREAKFAST PLATE
Two eggs cooked to order and choice of bacon, patty sausage, chicken sausage, andouille, or country ham; grits or home fries; gravy (red eye, sausage, or tomato); and toast or biscuit.
Big Bad Breakfast — Oxford, MS

i got the red eye gravy (three types of gravy!!!), which the waitress said has a bunch of cool stuff, including Coke, in it. it was amazing.

since i knew i was just going to drive a little today and then crash / rest up for tomorrow, i got THE LAST GENTLEMAN (two piece plate of Coca‐cola brined fried chicken with potato salad and cole slaw) for dinner, plus a side of fruit salad. i’m very much looking forward to that later on.

wanted to mention that i’ve not heard so much laughter and what sounded like happiness (yeah, THAT) coming out of a kitchen before. i think that sinks into the food.

Oxford serendipity 2: The End of All Music record store

since this leg of the trip has been extended as i drag my feet up towards whatever havoc exists in New York City, i decided that it was okay to stock up on some supplies (i.e., music).

The End of All Music (sticker!)– Oxford, MS

supremely happy to have stumbled upon The End of All Music, a small but mighty record store in Oxford, MS. they sell mostly vinyl but their CD selection was robust enough to get me into a medium flop sweat.

my retail flop sweats — especially those reserved for record stores — are legendary (at least to me). while listening to the sweet sounds of Will Oldham‘s new EP, i tried to be surgical in my choices. this is what i picked up.

  • A.A. Bondy – American Hearts
  • A.A. Bondy – Believers
  • Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
  • Chris Knox – Seizure*
  • Dent May – Do Things*
  • Destroyer – Kaputt (dang it i have this already oh well)
  • Grizzly Bear – Shields
  • J Dilla – Jay Dee Donuts
  • Lee Baines III & The Glory Fires – There is a Bomb in Gilead (embarrassingly late on this one)
  • Phantom Limb – S/T*
  • Reigning Sound – Live at Goner Records 6.26.05
  • Smith Westerns – Dye it Blonde

the guy at the store helped me choose some of these, which i think are local*. which i’m always happy for, as i’ve discovered cool music via record store expert recommendations in the past. i have a good feeling about this stuff.

booty

in addition to the sticker i got this cool tote with my purchase. happiness!

cool tote from The End of All Music — Oxford, MS

as i look into the prospective job market, the fact that i fell for a town like Oxford, MS — home of the University of Mississippi — was super reassuring. it’s likely i will need to relocate for my first few library science jobs. if it’s a place like Oxford with great food, awesome record stores, and nice folks, well i’m happy to leave the bubble that is New York City. at least for a little while….

next steps

going to trip on up the Natchez Trace Parkway a bit, then dip into Alabama maybe, then head on up to Nashville, Louisville, and maybe Pittsburgh before hustling to vote in New York City next Tuesday. that’s my only deadline.

Natchez Trace Parkway

returning the car rental to LaGuardia looks like it’s going to be a challenge. plus i want to bring back groceries and supplies as it looks like those are not easy to find right now — and i left my cupboards pretty bare.

Stickers!

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apologies for the grody keyboard shot — it’s hard to take pics without getting glare and my trusty old keyboard(1) was the perfect prop.

got the new District Attorneys record and the new Matthew Sweet record yesterday. it’s like Christmas in September. yay!

(1) Love my Microsoft Natural Keyboard — which they don’t make anymore. i always joke when folks make fun of how yellow and old and clunky it looks that they will have to pry it out of my cold dead hands when i die.

swag

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buying so much music in a big burst like this has got me thinking about the stuff i like about buying music.

as is my wont, i usually store up a wishlist for a while and then go and buy a bunch of stuff. i don’t know if i enjoy it more doing it like this, or if it would be cheaper and more enjoyable to just purchase in a steady stream. but at the end of the day i am just glad i can afford to buy music — and hopefully pass some of the moolah on to the bands. who i think need it more than ever now that records are going the way of the dinosaur. or are a luxury goods item…

here’s some obsolete audio format pron for your pleasure. it’s from my NYPL internship at The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound that i kept a blog for, if you are interested it is here.

Sad DAT

Meredith Monk DAT en masse

and while i will leave my gripes about the format wars / insanity of audio obsolesence for another post, it’s occuring to me that it’s not just the records anymore that excites me about music buying. i also enjoy the swag, in its many uh formats. a lot.

i have come a long way from my weekly Tuesday bike rides to Peaches Records & Tapes (R.I.P.) in Lincoln, Nebraska during the early and late 1970s. god i loved that record store downtown.

when we moved to the “big city” (Omaha) from Lincoln, i didn’t feel the same connection to my local record store. i bought music but it wasn’t the same. later, as i got older and lived in other places beside Nebraska, i would frequent record stores like Peaches. stores like the Sunset Boulevard Tower Records (R.I.P.). and the crack-den like Homer’s Records and Tapes on 132nd and Center (location R.I.P.) in Omaha. where i would sneak off and go into an immediate flop sweat of excitement at being in a great record store where i could talk to the clerks and get great recommendations.

thankfully Homer’s still survives, i’m sure just barely. i don’t go back to Omaha as much. and the record stores in New York City are really crap now, compared even to how they were 10 years ago. it makes me really sad. i still remember getting paid on fridays and going to the record stores in the village and just being so happy.

but back to the swag…

my friends at Bloodshot Records — who have been instrumental in turning me on to much of my foundation long-term love affair with music — sort of really understand the swag thing.

Jon Langford screenprints these super cool workshirts:

and i have this super cool temporary tattoo that i got when i bought some Scott H. Biram CDs:

another cool thing i love is the buttons that sometimes come in my packages as little surprise goodies.

flair (a la Office Space)….:

Destroyer, Split Lip Rayfield, etc.

Iron & Wine (before they started to annoy me), Low, etc.

The Whigs, Spoon, The Clientele, etc.

and my super prized ones: The Sadies, Tandy (R.I.P. sob!), Nebraska Speed! that i got from Rob at Bloodshot, Split Lip Rayfield, bella union

if you make it i will definitely come

well, you know what i mean. i just want to encourage bands out there that if you are taking the time and effort required to release physical product, things like stickers, temporary tattoos, cool handmade things, and surprise gifts like buttons in the order make me come back and buy more. again and again.