May 17, 2017

Don’t you miss the feeling the wrecka stow gave you back in the day?

So in the movie Under the Cherry Moon, Christopher and Tricky are at an upscale restaurant with Mary Sharon and she is talking about knowledge.  Christopher tries to show her that since they grew up on the streets, they have more knowledge than her.  He takes a pen and writes the following words on a napkin, “WRECKA STOW.” He then asks Mary Sharon if she knows what it is and she reads it aloud a couple of times much to Christopher and Tricky’s amusement. They have her repeat it and ask her again if she knows what it is. She repeats it a couple more times and then says it is nothing and they are being childish.  Christopher tells her “It is something and you’re being childish because you won’t admit you don’t know what it is!” Finally, she asks what it is and Christopher asks, “If you wanted to buy a Sam Cooke album, where would you go?” Mary Sharon looks beaten as she says, “a Wrecka Stow.”  Both Christopher and Tricky burst out dying with laughter.  In case you haven’t figured it out, wrecka stow means a record store. 

Ahhhh, the wrecka stow.  Man, I miss the feeling from back in the day of walking into the neighborhood record store.  You remember those times? Nothing beat that feeling of anticipation of what vinyl gold you would find.  You could walk in and there was this certain musty smell that accompanied the store.  I’m talking about the neighborhood, locally owned stores.  Not those chain stores that you found in shopping malls.  You remember the stores I’m talking about! You walked in the front door and the staff knew your name.  Not only that, they knew the kind of music you liked too.  As soon as you walked in, they were telling you, “Hey, you have to check out the new joint by Earth, Wind and Fire.” Or they were asking you, “Hey, have you heard that new Prince record?” I really miss those days.  You would go in and spend an hour just digging through the vinyl looking for something that piqued your interest. The whole time you would be jamming to whatever jams the employees had decided to play.  At times, you would hear that one joint and it would blow you away. You would run up to the closest employee or to the counter and ask, “Hey who is this?” or “Yo, what song is this?” and then after getting the answer, yep, you would set off in search of the album.  Once you found it you held onto it like it was gold! Those were the days, I’m telling you.  

"Don't you miss the feeling
music gave ya back in the day?"
Let's groove, September,
Earth, Wind and Fire.
Hot Pants by James,
Sly's gonna take you higher.

Nowadays, it’s all Apple Music and Amazon telling me what they think I like.  They have no clue what real music is. It’s all pre-programmed computer-generated cyberpop guaranteed to melt your brain and turn you into one of the minions populating the matrix.  C’mon, you don’t mean to tell me you don’t miss that feeling music gave you back in the day? James stopping on the one and telling us to get on the good foot? How about George challenging you to free your mind and turn on the flashlight? And we were all like Marvin wondering what’s going on? But now, are there any “stars” that make you think? Any that actually have a message? Any that actually play their own instruments? If so, there aren’t many of them.  I want real music by real musicians.  Prince used to talk about it in concert and he was right.  I have seen too many shows where they use pre-recorded vocals and a lot of lip syncing was going on. Part of the reason is that the record has so much computer automation on it that it can’t be reproduced live on stage.  So they have to rely on the recording or else we would know the certain “stars” can’t really sing. 

Hmmm, sorry, I seemed to have gotten off track there.  Where was I again? Ummm… record stores, employee’s selection, yeah ok, got that. Let’s see… oh yeah! Finding that new artist or song and running with it.  That was where I was.  So, let’s try and get back to the record stores, what few are left.  I know that a couple of times a year they have Record Store Day and that some cities even promote a Record Store Crawl but don’t wait for those days.  Go out right now and visit your locally owned record store.  Even if you don’t buy anything, do it for the experience because one of these days, they will all be gone.  They will all be replaced by digital downloads and we will plug in for a neural dump into our cerebral cortex or something and we will never again get to experience the feeling of walking into a wrecka stow!

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