Monday, October 27, 2008

Miles Of Vinyl and more...

Saturday, John and I traveled to New York City for the annual WFMU-FM Record & CD Fair ... one word; amazing.

The location was the Metropolitan Pavilion- located on 18th near 6th - is a vast hall that WFMU (easily one of the best indie stations in the country) rents out each year for their annual fundraiser record fair.

For $6 you walk into a sea of dealers - each with boxes and boxes of music! Everything from 10-for-a-buck CD deals to vinyl releases marked for $100 and above. This along with live performances, live broadcasts, an a/v room showcasing concert video recordings and - on this one day, an actual WEDDING!

Seems the bride is a DJ and felt what better place to tie the knot than in a hall filled with music and surrounded by music geeks and fans alike. The ceremony was broadcasted live on WFMU and had a Halloween theme - complete with ghoulish go-go dancers! Very nice indeed

John, of course, got the most of the group of us - but he finds some great deals so I continue to tip my hat to him. I bought a bagful of 12" singles from various 80s bands - as well as a few discs. Spending the afternoon at a record fair is a test of wills, especially since one could easily spend hundreds of dollars if left alone; thankfully we were both on a cash budget and that made it a little easier!

We got back to Philly in time to regroup and head out to see The Magnetic Fields at the Merriam Theatre. Prior to their performance, the opening act was Shugo Tokumaru - who is a 28 year old Japanese singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. His style and influences incorporate elements of pop, folk and electronic music and was truly hypnotizing to watch! His first solo record, Night Piece was released in 2004 and his second record, L.S.T., was released in 2005. His latest album, Exit is now available internationally and he's been touring with The Magnetic Fields to help showcase his unique musical diversity. Even though we had bags upon bags of music waiting at home, John picked up his first two discs (since they are unavailable domestically) and yesterday we listened to them during a quiet Sunday afternoon - - highly recommended as perfect chill sounds.

He plays all of the instruments heard on his CDs but on stage he was joined by fellow musicians to create the same levels of sound; complete with a toy piano, mouth organs, ukulele and other acoustic instruments. This is an artist that - as much as it was great to see him live; deserves to be at a venue like World Cafe Live where the acoustics for an acoustic musician are second to none!

The Magnetic Fields took the stage and explained that many of their instruments were lost in flight to Philly; so thankfully they were able to find a loner acoustic guitar and cello - but you could tell that they were out of sync just a bit; besides not having their own instruments they also didn't have their earpieces - which really threw off the female vocalist since she wasn't able to hear the band as well as she liked; even with a wedge speaker by her feet.

They performed a set and took a 15-minute break - then came back and played a much tighter second set, which I felt was far superior to their opening sounds. A vamp highlight was when founder and lead Stephin Merritt pointed to the darkened balcony to proclaim 'Look - its an angel - a blue angel has arrived to witness our performance! Oh - no its just someone checking their fucking email!!'


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