Sunday Morning! Hammer City Records

Rufus F.

Rufus is a likeable curmudgeon. He has a PhD in History, sang for a decade in a punk band, and recently moved to NYC after nearly two decades in Canada. He wrote the book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (2021).

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12 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    A million years ago, I had a record store. I could go in there and talk to the guy behind the counter and he’d ask me “wait, you like Lenny Kravitz… here…” and he’d hand me Maggie’s Dream.

    And it was the hippie music I didn’t know I’d love but he *KNEW* that I would love it. Oh, you like this guy? Here, try this. And I’d find myself hip deep in some music that I never, in a million years, would have encountered otherwise.

    Sure, now I know about Pitchfork and College Radio, but when I was a kid, I had no idea yet.

    But the guy at the record store knew.

    And I did the Pitchfork thing for a while and now I don’t bother. Hell, I can just listen to Lenny Kravitz and Maggie’s Dream and they’re better than trying to engage with some weird crap that I’ve never heard before.

    But, dang… I miss my record store.Report

    • Rufus F. in reply to Jaybird says:

      Yeah, the best ones are the record stores where they see you picking something up and say, hey, if you like that, have you listened to this? You might really like it. Algorithms will never quite replicate that.

      Incidentally, remind me and I’ll tell you sometime about time in Eleuthera where me and my friend had to avoid certain parties because Lenny Kravitz’s “boys” wanted to beat him up, supposedly.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Rufus F. says:

        A million years ago, I remember buying Liz Phair’s 4th Album after her sublime Exile in Guyville and Whitechocolatespaceegg albums and being vaguely disappointed with it. Pitchfork did its thing and a 19 year old gave the album a “0.0”.

        I’m sure that if you were into Liz Phair back in 2003, you remember the review.

        Well, I recently found out that Matt LeMay *APOLOGIZED* to her for it.

        Anyway, Pitchfork still strikes me as more like this weird reactionary response to music (in the bad way, I mean… not the good way) than something that will help me find an album. (Though, I’ll grant, it has helped me find a handful.)

        All of the worst parts of going to the record store, none of the good ones.


  2. This is beautiful and relatable on so many levels.

    I am currently spinning this weekend: The Band–s/t, Conor Oberst & the Mystic Valley Band–Outer South, Dwight Yoakam–Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc., Los Lobos–…And a Time to Dance, and Elvis–In Memphis.

    I visited my local record shop on Friday because I noticed they had a couple of new releases in I wanted for my collection, The Descendants–Liveage (OG pressing!) and Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young–So Far a German pressing.Report

  3. Slade the Leveller says:

    This was based on you, right? 😉

    There is nothing like popping down to the local record shop to prowl the bins. Sadly, for a variety of reasons, that activity has ground to a near halt for me this year. If Canada ever lets Americans back in I’ll have to bop up to Hamilton to do some crate digging. I love Canada, and the exchange rate is always good.

    In response to your question at my end, I have an interesting answer. When my wife and I first got married, I would sometimes read books to her. I read Stephen King’s The Mist, which she loved, and Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, and 1984, among others (now that I write this I realize how bleak they all were). She always like the sound of my voice,.

    When the kids got older, and we got busier, that kind of fell by the wayside. Turning on the boob tube or looking at Facebook was just easier.

    Early last year, my wife was diagnosed with glioblastoma, which did some not so nice things to her brain. She was still able to read, but didn’t really have the power to concentrate on a book anymore, so I started to read to her again. She belonged to the church book club, so those books were read. I read Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice (not bad), and Hillary and Chelsea Clinton’s The Book of Gutsy Women (terrible, but I’m pretty sure it was written for a younger audience). The last book I read (but didn’t finish) was Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky, which I started after reading about it in a recent Sunday Morning post. We had gotten about halfway through when she passed. It’s a pretty melancholy book, so I interspersed it with some David Sedaris essays to lighten the mood. He’s a good palate cleanser.

    I’ll finish the Bowles book, but I’m sure my next read is going to be a lot lighter.Report

  4. Rufus F. says:

    Probably should have included this in the post, but here’s a cool video that was shot in the store after hours a week or two ago by a longtime friend of ours. (I painted the mural)