Jim Johnson has worked in the record business since before there were records and is one of Columbus, Ohio's best known drummers. Click here to check him out on The League Bowlers Some Balls Deluxe. Or click here to read an interview.
This Saturday, April 21, is Record Store Day: a great reason to visit all your local record stores. That is, if you’re hip to the vinyl resurgence, and really, if you’re reading Pencilstorm, you’re already sorta hip. Vinyl has basically saved the record industry from going down the tubes, an industry - I must admit - that has given me a job for most of my life. It was touchy there for a while, in the early 21st century, when Napster and Apple decided music should be cheap or free, and kids got a kick out of stealing music through the internet. Luckily, people still like to hold a piece of music in their hands, and what better to hold than a round groovy piece of plastic, often in a multitude of different colors?
But I digress, back to Record Store Day. There’s always something for everyone, regardless of your taste. I thought I’d do you a favor, and cut through all the goofy bands you’ll have to sort through, to find the good stuff. After all, does anybody really need any more crappy Phish or Grateful Dead records? I think not.
Here’s my picks:
Chuck Berry’s Greatest Hits. A record everyone that loves Rock & Roll should own. It all starts here.
Blue Oyster Cult / Rarities. You gotta delve deep into their catalog to find the good stuff, so I’m hoping this has some cool early tunes. These guys were way ahead of their time.
Smithereens / Play Tommy. RIP Pat, you did good on this.
Good Rats / Tasty. If you’re not hip the the best band out of Long Island in the 80’s, you’re not really hip.
Kinks / Phobia Their last studio album. Kinks collectors, take note.
Nilsson / Pussycats. Classic Nilsson, produced by John Lennon.
Neil Young / Tonight’s The Night, Live At The Roxy. Classic Neil, in a club. As close to hearing him in a garage as you’re gonna get. That’s a compliment.
The Who / The Kids Are Alright. Soundtrack to the movie. These songs were meant to be heard on vinyl.
Coupla others that look interesting: Steve Earle & The Dukes / Live; Living Colour / Live At CBGB’s; Dream Syndicate / How We Found Ourselves. That’s my picks. See ya at the stores, get there early!