5 Records for Under $5


Two Sundays ago, I went to the WESU record fair and checked out some of the vinyl they had on sale. I chose 5 random records for $5 or under. My choices were purely impulsive in that I chose the records based on the aesthetics that attracted my attention and interested me. I then went on to listen to them as a kind of experiment. Here they are:

Donzelli Group- Donzelli’s group (1974) $4:

This is a lounge pop album from an Italian group. There is little to no information about them on the internet, let alone on the album sleeve. The top search for “Donzelli Group” on google is an Auto Service company. From what I can tell they only made the one album, an amalgamation of covers and original songs. Shame, kind of. It’s ok. My grandparents would like it, I guess.

The Furious Five- Step Off 12-inch (1983) $5:

I like how the cover depicts a multi-colored road to a kind of “Emerald City”. The fact that it says “Sugarhill” on it (a highly regarded hip-hop label of the 70s and 80s), should have been a big enough clue that I was buying something special. Here’s a brief old-school rap lesson for everyone who is as ignorant as I was: Keith “Cowboy” Wiggins, a member of Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five actually coined the term “Hip-Hop”. This 12-inch is seminal and as someone who is not super familiar with hip-hop, I feel unworthy of owning it. The song “Step Off” is awesome. It features the 80s synthesizers we all pretend to hate and lyrics like “Chaka Khan let me rock you, let me rock you, Chaka Khan.” Listen to it.

Bill Nelson- Banal 12-inch (1979)$4:

I had heard a little Bill Nelson before, but I chose this particular EP because I was very interested in the origins of 60s/70s décor featured on the front cover. I regretfully cannot find anything about it, anywhere, but I really like the music and especially the song “Banal”. The guitar solo at the end of it has reignited my love for new wave.

Johan Dalgas Frisch- Symphony of the Birds (1966) $1:

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The title of this record is very apt. To put it briefly, the album is pretty much recordings of singing birds from Brazil, played over “man-made music” (acoustic guitars and so on). The clerk at the record fair told me it was “funky”. I realize now that he might have been warning me. Wins the award for the weirdest thing in my vinyl collection.

Ramsay Lewis- Ramsay Lewis Golden Hits’ (1973) $4:

The sound of this album did not capture the sort of chaos I expected from looking at the muddled, detailed artwork depicting a complex musical machine. It was boring as hell if I’m honest. Ramsey Lewis, a jazz pianist, has received 3 Grammys in his career so I felt like I should have liked it. I didn’t.



Like clockwork, the first weeks of October always plague me with a sense of homesickness: for my bed; for a house that doesn't have a keg in the kitchen; and for my parents. Of late, especially my Mom. See, sitting the other day talking the car insurance company (another story for another time), I realize I owe my Mom an apology or two or forty.

Sorry about that time I locked the babysitter in the garage, on purpose. Sorry about breaking the crystal candle sticks. And the other set of crystal candle sticks. And that other thing. Sorry about locking myself in the bathroom and crying so hard I couldn't get myself out. Sorry for never getting out of bed. Sorry for getting stuck in the baby swing, and sorry you had to saw it in half. Sorry for that one time I made you miss the exit in Virginia, and sorry for not telling you how grateful I am that you're my Mom. 

Here's the playlist you asked me to make you for our trip in May. Sorry it's late.



yung michael

yung michael

It's the twilight of summer. Though it may not seem like it, these muggy days are numbered. Summer will fade into fall, and all this sweat will be but a stain you can't get out because you forgot Tide-to-Go even though your Mom reminded you. Four times.

Until then, turn on your fan from Rite Aid, and tune in to Michael Roth's sweet, sweet tunes.




In late July, I met up with a pair of German siblings from Munich. The youngest of the two, Darian, told me he was an Abercrombie model/employee for Munich's flagship store. When I asked him what his position entailed he handed me a card with a link to his Spotify, "check out my mixtapes," (he probably meant playlists). Turns out he creates the playlists for Abercrombie Munich's stores.

Here's what he called the "END OF SUMMR" playlist. It (surprisingly) doubles as an awesome, up-beat, "WELCOME BCK 2 SCHOOL TURNUP" playlist. Check it out. 




It's that time of the year. Sweat. A lot of it. The sun does not shine; it beats, down, unrelenting till you begin to reverse your initial derision of Sartre's Nausea, realizing, "He may be onto something," as your hand slips down the F train's pole covered in the grease and grime of the other nameless and unwashed masses who have tried, unsuccessfully, to steady themselves against the smogged humidity.

So, in short, it's hot. Here's some music I've been listening to distract me from the sweltering and melting and the unnecessary encounters with moist bodies. Also, I had ice cream for lunch yesterday. So, yes, Mom, I'm a real adult. 

The 7:13

The 7:13 is the first alarm (of several) on my phone that (sort of) wakes me up. After various attempts with those 'natural rhythm' apps that wake you up according to your lunar cycle or zodiac sign or menstrual period or whatever, I had to resign myself that I am one of those individuals who needs to be woken up the old fashioned way: a single time every morning. Thus, the 7:13.

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What makes a good makeout playlist? Something that is able to conjure instant nostalgia, while treading the line of not too sexy, but sexy enough. The playlist shows you're sensitive and misunderstood but also gets you into that special someone's skinny jeans. D’angelo? Too sexy, just put it away. Mac Demarco? Not allowed after the sun sets. And seriously no Wilco, like no one wants to hear about your issues with your mother when you’re trying to MO.

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