Entry 0076: Downs and Ups


EP: Hey Senorita by the Penguins

1980’s reissue DooTone Records DOO-348

Favorite Track: Earth Angel


Who knew Earth Angel was a b-side hit? I found this gem on a good record shopping day. It was the classic twist: go down into the basement, search around, find nothing, feel slightly disappointed, go back upstairs to look at the seven inches and there is one of your dream records: an original Factory Records Procession single by New Order, the orange color! Oh, and here is one of your favorite doo-wop songs as well. I left the store feeling pretty good.

And that has been the story of my life recently. After a series of downs, a whole lot of ups have happened. I can barely take it all in. The shift was fast. To make a silly analogy, it was like buying a completely unknown album, hating the a-side but just for completion sake, throwing on the b-side and discovering your new favorite song.

I recently had a chance to be on television, which was an exciting opportunity. I was promoting the library’s 50 Years of Star Trek exhibit and I was interviewed on a morning show. It was somewhat different than I envisioned. First, the green room is the same as a waiting room at the dentist’s except with coffee, which I don’t drink. Then I was told to come to the studio where the host was being filmed live while I set up the Star Trek toys. I was fascinated how at ease he was with being on camera. When they cut to a commercial, he was quick to start making jokes with the cameramen and other staff while they counted down to ten. Then, after being miced, we were on and the whole thing lasted a fast three minutes. The host was a little bit difficult to get words in but a lot of co-workers agreed that I did a wonderful job. I don’t know about that but I certainly had to think on my feet. I thought I would be asked what the exhibit was about and had a small speech prepared. Instead, I had to wing describing the toys and showing him how the communicator had a secret calculator inside of it.

I also have found a lot of good records lately, including some new bands. I am not known to staying hip to current music but lately there has been a wonderful surge in post-punk music that has captured my ears. The two front runners are the bands Shopping with their surf-style bass-heavy anti-consumerism rants that sound straight out of 1981, and the Savages, a gothic train rolling into a bleak futuristic station and who I am going to see in Cleveland in May. Other bands that I enjoy are Ought, a Canadian band where Mark E. Smith and David Byrne have merged into one happy singer and the Nots, a snotty smashing good time.

To top off the goods things happening in my life, I ordered an original US version of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures to make up for the biggest record regret I’ve ever had. I will probably order an original Closer in the sometime future. These two albums have gotten me through some tough times and there is nothing better to celebrate getting through the rough times than by listening to your favorite band.


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