Saturday, May 13, 2006

My friend Jon Stich is not only a kickass human being/bookselling god with the quirkiest selection of t-shirtery on this planet, but a mighty fine artist as well. Currently on his website he is showing what can only be described as political porn portraiture. Here's a taste of one of my favorite subhuman pin-ups:


















Jon does some really top-notch work. And he's from La Canada in SoCal, which means he has suffered for his art. From what Jon says about La Canada there are probably no worse places in SoCal other than the IE (sorry Bartletts!) or Bakersfield (no apologies -- everyone I know from there says it sucks). I never knew how to pronounce La Canada until recently, when Jon told me how. Which I felt bad about, until Jon told me that he used to get out of country residency forms regularly when he was in college in California. LOL, I'm not that bad.

By the way, did I tell y'all that I finally got a turntable? I have been searching for a proper one, and decent speakers, for months (after moronically selling my old one when I moved to Japan -- while keeping my vinyl, duh...). I really wanted to get a late 1970s or early 80s model, but I really wasn't ready to drop enough for two tickets to Japan at The Soundwell, as badass as they are. So yesterday, my honey-pie was surfing Craigslist and found a post for a "record player with speakers" for $60. In Mountain View. He calls and the guy is like, yeah sure, it plays perfect. Nothing wrong with it.

Now, I am a big old suspicious skeptic. I wasn't about to drive to Mountain View (a sweaty 45 minutes on the worst freeway in California, the 880, and then a crawl through the joy that is the endless downtown Peninsula ) for a "perfect" record player for $60. But lured by my man's insistence that this guy sounded really nice, and the promise of a trip to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz should it be bunk, I acquiesced.

So, we drove to Mountain View. Go to this guy's house, and we find a pristine, yet behemoth, SoundDesign system circa 1985 with turntable, amplifier, and tape deck encased in a ginormous "wood grain vinyl veneer" fibreboard box with a glass cabinet. It was the size of an efficiency apartment refrigerator! Oh, and ginormous speakers. For $60. The guy bought the system new after he moved out of his parents' house 20 years ago, and he said he pretty much just used the tape deck and the radio. It was no Sony, but there was no way we were going to pass it up.

I don't know how we fit it all in our little Civic, but we managed. When we got home, we pulled all the components out of the narsty fibreboard shell, chucked the shell, and set up the guts in the far side of our studio. Cranked that sucker only up to 3 and did a hallway check -- yep, Trevor could hear In Fear of Fear and make out David J's bass and Peter Murphy's voice in the hallways below and above our apartment. Oh beautiful ginormous speakers! Oh lovely equalizer! But also...boo. So, until we move into a house again, it looks like we're keeping the dial at 2 or lower.

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2 Comments:

Blogger bunny said...

Yay! Turntabley goodness. You have already played those Jazz Butcher records, right?

Also, I know I need to re-record some vinyl for you now that I finally got a record cleaner (and hopefully the songs won't skip this time), but now I can't remember what besides Sex and Travel (since you now have Can't Shake this Shadow of Fear/War Game). Remind me?

May 14, 2006 at 9:13:00 AM PDT  
Blogger saudade said...

I am, in fact, listening to my Jazz Butcher Real Men 12" as I type! Quality!

I actually picked up Sex and Travel about a month ago (just got finished listening to that one). Very excited to see that one in the bin. Hmmm, I can't remember exactly what I was coveting of your vinyl goodness. Give me a day here and I'll email you. Thanks sweetie!

May 14, 2006 at 11:03:00 AM PDT  

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