Entry 0050: A Side/B Side Vacation 2015


LP: Grande Liquidação by Tom Zé

2011 Mr Bongo MRBLP075, Rozenblit LP50.010

Favorite Track: Quero Sambar Meu Bem

On the way to the airport in Hebron, KY, the TANK bus broke down on the side of the highway. My head drooped onto the crook of my elbow, hair pricking my skin keeping me awake. Not now, I thought and stared at the flat surface of grass alongside the hot pavement. Nobody else seemed to mind as if this kind of thing happens regularly.

Within minutes, a new bus pulled up and we got on and sat in identical seats. The next exit, the bus veered into the road leading to the airport. I had plenty of time before my flight to eat and to start reading Tampa by Alissa Nutting.

I was about to go on vacation: to get away from the frustration of failing to land a full-time library position; to see my parents who were traveling from Alaska on that same day; to visit a host of friends living in Portland; to go record shopping; to hike through the tall hemlocks and douglas firs; to simply not be in Cincinnati for a week.

The vacation started in Seattle at the Maxwell Hotel, wound itself around the Space Needle and throughout the family parks and museums to the dining district of 2nd avenue where I lost myself at Singles Going Steady record store, busied itself at Pike’s Market, enjoyed all 11 floors of the Central Library, and returned to its origin via a long walk down the waterfront. The vacation continued early the next morning with a drive south through Tacoma and the outskirts of Olympia (where I saw Sleater-Kinney Road!) and turned paths in Aberdeen until the beautiful 76 mile drive through the Olympic Peninsula to Ruby Beach and the Hoh National Rain Forest. There I stretched my legs at the rocky beach and wrote a couple of post cards while dipping my feet into the crisp water. Amid the two hundred feet hemlocks, spruces, and bigleaf maples covered in spikemoss, at the Hall of Mosses, I let the phantasmagorical copses play with my mind like I had entered the very pages of the Dungeon and Dragons quest I was writing. At the fallen spruce, I envisioned the hill giant picking up a large stone and throwing it at the gnomish cleric…and then we were back in the car to race around Crescent Lake and wait in line for a ferry ride from Bainbridge Island in the dark of night with the twinkling lights of the city blinking underneath the International Space Station while waves lapped the great steel boat.

We left Seattle after one last delicious breakfast at Citizen and drove to Mt. Rainier to battle gravel roads, heights, and a one-lane bridge over a river to find secluded Lake Mowhi. To beat the falling sun and the incoming traffic, we drove to Portland where my heart was hammering in my chest as I thought about all the people I know who live there. I wouldn’t have a chance to see them all, but I had to try to see as many as I could. And I could not be any luckier because BEETS, most excellent BEETS, went out of her way to accommodate my crazy demands to show my parents around and then be lead around Portland while driving my mother and father to the Japanese Gardens, the Rose Gardens, the Shakespeare Garden, the Oregon Zoo, Vita Cafe and its still lip-smacking tofu buffalo things, and more. And I ran around to Powells, Mississippi Records, Jackpot Records, Lovecrafts, Holocene, White Owl Social Club, and others laughing, gaming, and drinking myself into a state of sated euphoria. BEETS and I went to the Art Museum to witness the first Monster Drawing Rally where both of us scored weird and eldritch drawings. The sun beat down on us heavily but we endured late into the night. Like an aged photo album, yellowed pictures of familiar faces stood up, shook the dust from their hair and brows, regained their color and focus, and smile upon me over drinks as we traded stories since the last time I saw them. There was FALAFEL in her sharp suit jacket laughing at my recent outrageous interactions. ZITI and PENNE forgot ten years of silence for music, board games, and a photo booth. However, did I really erase the smudge of time lapse upon our friendship in that short four days? I truly hated to leave although the last day offered us a smokey view of Mt. Hood.

As I scored lots of good records before and during this trip, I felt like making a mix tape with all the new music I acquired. Then, as many of them were 7-inch singles and I visited two cities, the whole A-Side/B-Side connection flared inside my thoughts. So why not make two mix tapes: one for Seattle and one for Portland. There will be no true “flow” to either mix tape as many varied genres of music are being tapped: Brazilian tropicalia, Germany krautrock, British punk, American hardcore, Malian Sahel and Ngoni sounds, and Black American rhythm and blues.


A Side: Seattle: Morning Mist, Citizen, Climb the Mountain to the Hidden Lake

  1. Ammassakoul ‘N’ Ténéré – Tinariwen
  2. Non Alignment Pact – Pere Ubu
  3. Strawberry Julius – Bikini Kill
  4. Tomorrow’s Girls – U.K. Subs
  5. Will You Love Me Tomorrow? – the Shirelles
  6. Shoplifters of the World Unite – the Smiths
  7. My Perfect Cousin – the Undertones
  8. White Lightning – the Fall
  9. Curso Intensivo de Boas Maneiras – Tom Ze
  10. Papa Was a Rolling Stone – the Temptations
  11. Problem Child – the Damned
  12. Reclamation – Fugazi
  13. Identity – Xray Spex
  14. Down at the Tube Station at Midnight – the Jam
  15. Shake Rattle and Roll – Big Joe Turner
  16. Luzifer Ghlom – Amon Duul II
  17. Hour of Need – The Sound
  18. Harmony in My Head – the Buzzcocks
  19. Come Out into the Open – Penetration
  20. Musow For Our Woman – Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
  21. Jennifer – Faust
  22. Hey Joe – Patti Smith

B Side: Portland: A Late Night Out Among the Brightest Stars and Friends And Firs

  1. Plastic Man – The Temptations
  2. Half a Person – The Smiths
  3. It’s a Bit of Pain – Faust
  4. Land – Patti Smith
  5. Real World – Pere Ubu
  6. Let’s Submerge – Xray Spex
  7. Ladon – Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba
  8. Jeopardy – The Sound
  9. Living Too Late – The Fall
  10. Quero Sambar Meu Bem – Tom Ze
  11. Binocular Images – Penetration
  12. Boys – the Shirelles
  13. Don’t Wanna See You Again – the Undertones
  14. Long Division – Fugazi
  15. Scum of the Earth – UK Subs
  16. Aldhechen Manin – Tinariwen
  17. Rah! Rah! Replica! – Bikini Kill
  18. You Take My Money – The Damned
  19. You Know I Love You – Big Joe Turner
  20. Something’s Gone Wrong Again – The Buzzcocks
  21. Phallus Dei – Amon Duul II
  22. The Night – The Jam

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