Monday, January 9, 2012

The Bins Trove of December 2011

I've made several trips to the legendary "Bins" lately -- you Citizens of Roses know what I'm talking about -- and on one of them I finally succumbed to the logic that:
  1. I have a record player.
  2. Vinyl records are basically free.
  3. It is amusing to listen to vinyl records, and
  4. The vinyl format is an excellent defense against the evils of prolonged sitting.
So of course you'll want to know what I picked up.

A perfectly cromulent recording of core piano repertoire by a Big Name Pianist of a few decades back.  Reason for grid on cover not immediately apparent.

The Brahms Violin Concerto, with notes by Deems Taylor, a minor league composer and major league musicologist of a few generations back.  You remember him (Taylor, not Brahms) for his stilted, dimwitted blathering in Walt Disney's bizarrely overrated Fantasia.

Like the Brahms, this recording of Mendelssohn's 3rd is a "Book of the Month Club Music-Appreciation Record."  Mrs.5000 and I consider this concept a bit of a hoot.  Note that the performance is by the "Music Appreciation Symphony Orchestra" under the baton (Classical Music Tip: always say "under the baton of" and, for extra points, swallow the "n" in "baton") of Thomas Scherman, whoever he was.  A pick-up band, in other words, which provides the kind of workmanlike performance you would expect from pros putting in a day's work.

Nowadays, of course, we do not refer to the Mendelssohn 3 as the "Scotch." We refer to it as the "Scottish." Especially around large, muscular, politically minded Scotsmen.

This is actually the record that made me decide to make a space in my life for vinyl again.  Brubeck Time?  Just sitting there naked and sleeveless at The Bins?!?  I couldn't let that happen.  It's a pretty sweet record.

And, because there's no reason not to gamble on long odds at Bins prices, I Remember Sweden by Nils Flacke, his accordion, and orchestra.  Which turns out to alternate between pleasant-enough accordion polka tracks (almost all of which are in the basic metrical and harmonic structure of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game") and vocal tracks which are, alas, schmaltzy without being either a remarkable display of talent or amusing in an ironic fashion.  But just to own it is worth the quarter I paid, although whoever eventually has to deal with my estate may beg to disagree.

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