Misty misty morning here in the City of Roses, low visibility and hushed sound. The mist ate so much sound it made my crappy iPod headphones sound like Bose Noise Cancellers. That’s one of the prime joys of peripatetic music-listening: the way the environment can change the music completely. Just two nights ago, bundled up against the chill night air and on my way to the grocery story, I walked through a moist blast of fabric softener air mixed with a perfume that was caught inside the air and suspended thanks to the cold. The perfume was one of those simple trendy and cheap guys circa 1994 (Not CK1 or CKB but pretty durn close) and honestly the olfactory one-two-punch hit me like a Proustian Madeleine and literally transformed the iPod into a yellow plastic Sony Walkman “Sport” containing a dubbed Jawbox cassette.
(Someone recently complained about the lack of captions on the photographs here on the Miltonian, so we’ve been trying to include a little more information. The one up top is from Philadelphia, Old City in particular, standing outside this spot that used to be Revival way back when. What was the other venue it was. Um. Upstages, I think. I remember seeing Lungfish there way back then. Yep.) The 2nd photograph is downtown Portland, just a few nights ago. Hence the Christmasy vibe. And below? That’s also downtown Portland, just walking around in the winter sunshine.)
It’s no secret that we’re completely batshit crazy here about Mississippi Records. If we were only allowed to buy records from one label, no question this would be the label. In fact, these days, it pretty much is the only label we buy our records from, well, at least the new ones. And the tapes. Dear God in Heaven, the tapes. We’re getting The Anxiety now, just thinking about the record store, shrouded in fog, and the little shelf where they keep the new tapes, and we’re wondering: are there new tapes? Will we get there fast enough to buy them, own them, keep them, listen to them, cherish them, share them? Keep Calm. Don’t Panic. Breath deep. Phew. One of the recent ones discussed upcoming tapes. A Goth Tape. A 3rd volume of the Kinks. The metal one which we got. That’s right. The metal one. The title? Satan is Real. We also recently picked up a “mystery” tape, likely not from MR, but by a friend. All spy music. Like no joke put the tape on and POW you’re a spy, you’re a secret age, a double agent, hell maybe even a triple agent! It’s that real, and it’s that good. These tapes are playing on our cassette deck at the Lodge at any time, at all times. Doing the dishes, listening to the tapes. Reading the newspaper, listening to the tapes. Playing the Xbox 360, volume down, tape volume up. Listening to the tapes!
Speaking of the Kinks, why didn’t you tell us about Muswell Hillbillies? Were you hiding this from us? Have they hidden it from you? No one seems to talk about this record, but maybe that’s because it never mattered more than in December 2009, the last days of the First Decade of the 21st century. We don’t have the wax version of this yet, but we’re looking. Let us know if you see it in a bin somewhere and the price is right! You could come over and we’d play the record and make popcorn in a pan. We’ll doctor the popcorn with nutritional yeast and Spike seasoning and a little bit of cayenne pepper. Oh yes we would. With sparkling water, touch of lime. Of course if it’s way too misty/cold out we can scratch all that and just hit the hot cocoa. You feel me. [Above photo: SE Portland].