Saturday, May 27, 2023


Several months ago I was told that my favorite record store here in San Diego had closed. It was my favorite because it was well rounded. I really don't give a shit if a record store gets the latest release first, if they have all sorts of Record Store Day bonanzas or is a hipster hub. What I value in a record store is their overall selection and how well they know the music they're selling. The store nearest my house is big on new releases but either don't know music or are really shitty at curating. Their reggae section absolutely blows and they have nothing good in jazz other than the Miles Davis or Coltrane records that you already have. It kills me because they used to have a much better selection. (One of the buyers went to another record store.) So, yeah, I was bummed about the good record store closing. Even though they were a hassle to get to, I always left with multiple selections.

Last night I thought I'd see if I could find out why they closed. Within minutes I found out that they hadn't closed, they moved. Even better, they moved to a spot that's between me and the grocery store that I go to, so I don't even have to go out of my way or plan a half day excursion. Fu-huck yeah. I went there today and was in heaven. One litmus test for me is to check for lesser known artists. Today I checked for Fela. They had eight different Fela LPs on vinyl. That was a good sign. I move to the reggae. They had a shitload of good reggae, probably the best selection I've seen locally outside of a specialty reggae record store (RIP). I had to limit my time because I had plans but I still left with three solid keepers, all reggae. One was a compilation of Sound Dimension, the house band at Studio One (the cream of the crop in reggae studio players), for seven bucks. Another was a reggae DJ collection (U Roy, Prince Jazzbo, Big Youth, I Roy, and a few that I never heard of (!). That one was eight bucks. The killer deal was one I couldn't pass up. Dr. Alimantado's Best Dressed Chicken In Town, one of my favorite reggae albums of all time. For whatever reason, the album has gone out of print and then reissued a couple of times. When that happens I don't take chances, I have to have a back up copy (see also the Monks' Black Monk Time  and Gene Vincent's first two LPs). I already have it on vinyl and CD, so this was a CD I already had, but it was only six bucks. I couldn't pass it up, if only to push it in a friends face. Here are a few from the LP, these recorded in the mid-seventies at King Tubby's. Those of you that know reggae will recognize a few of the riddims. Man, I can't wait to go back to that record store. This could be dangerous.

Dr. Alimantado - Poison Flour mp3
at Internet Archive
Dr. Alimantado - Just the Other Day mp3
at Internet Archive
Dr. Alimantado - I Killed the Barber mp3
at Internet Archive
Dr. Alimantado - Plead I Cause mp3
at Internet Archive
Dr. Alimantado - I Shall Fear No Evil mp3
at Internet Archive


espege said...

That cover! Remember distinctly being WTF-ed by the anti-aesthetics of «Best dressed chicken..» while flippin thru cd’s at a local record store in the ’80s. This was prior to me being hepped to Jamaican music by my friend Thor (he of Prince/King Jammy know-how), so I never listened to it, but I returned to that cover, for a WTF chuckle, anytime I was back at that store.

And, fast forward from the eighties, «Poison Flower» was spinning here just yesterday (off a so-called «Made For You Mix» on my Spotify account)… waddaya know!

Hshhw said...
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Tom G. said...

That cover indeed! That was the lure for me, After seeing the LP a number of times I couldn't resist. At this point it's one of my favorite reggae LPs and "Poison Flour" is my favorite song on it.
What's your Spotify account under? I want to check it out.

espege said...

Hey, Tom! Try searching for espege. That's my profile name.