The Return of Lunch Break Lacquer (Boston Edition): Inhabiting Planet Records
At my old job I used to work in the London borough of Camden. Right next door to Camden is London’s Soho. There are all kinds of used record shops in Camden and Soho. During lunch I would head out of the office…not to eat, mind you, but to visit some of the nearby used vinyl vaults. Hey, I have my priorities. Food…vinyl…vinyl…food…I’d eat vinyl if I could taste the music.
Whenever I made one of these lunch time record runs, I would write a blog post about it. I called it: Lunch Break Lacquer
. It is about time we trotted out that segment again.
I’m in Boston for work this week. I am staying in Harvard Square in Cambridge. I usually stay in this same hotel when I visit Boston. Harvard Square is full of activity, nightlife and good bars with great beers on tap. Everything I need is within walking distance: gym, bars, sushi and, best of all, Planet Records
…a used vinyl joint.
This is one of my first stops as soon as I check into my hotel. I arrived here Sunday night and by the time I checked in and ran over to the shop, it was closed. Crap. Plan B: get a ridiculous amount of takeaway sushi and watch the Eagles vs. the Redskins back at the hotel. Tomorrow is another day.
Tomorrow is here and today I decided that I would drop by
Planet Records at lunch time; a perfect opportunity to post a Lunch Break Lacquer update…U.S.A style.
Planet Records has been in Harvard Square for almost 30 years. They also have an eBay
shop; convenient, but nothing beats flipping through vinyl bins. I flipped through bins for close to two hours today. I found some buried treasure, too. I am curating a vinyl collection
that focuses on two things: breadth and album quality/vinyl listening worthiness. I want to have a variety of albums that are either classic, multiple listen albums and/or albums that are great vinyl experiences.
I think I covered that criteria for the most part. Here is what I picked up today.
- Astral Weeks, Van Morrison: I have the recently released, “Live at the Hollywood Bowl” version of this classic; it breaks my mind every time I listen to it. I had to get the original studio version…long overdue. (I just paused from typing to put this on the headphones. Damn, I love this album…cue the chicken skin). I am seeing Van on the 24th of October at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Can’t wait to hear his pipes fill that palace.
- More Real Folk Blues, Sonny Boy Williamson II: I always check the blues section of any vinyl vault first. I have a “list of finds” with a number of blues albums on it. This one by Sonny Boy wasn’t on it, but nonetheless, it was a no brainer. Sonny Boy…original Chess pressing…the blues. Yep, had to be done.
- J.Geils Band, J.Geils: Hey, I am in Boston…gots ta buy some J.Geils. Actually, I have made it a tradition to buy at least one Boston band used vinyl when I am in town. This album cooks with gas. It has so much raw energy, you could power a small village with it. There are two bands that I would have loved to have been in: early Geils and The Band.
- Leon Russell and the Shelter People, Leon Russell: this is the guts-balls of Ol’ Leon. If he was a cow, this would be his prime cut.
- Easy Tiger, Ryan Adams: I am Ryan Adams fan. I’m not a fan of all of his schitzo-efforts, but I think this album ranks near the top of his heap. Halloween Head is a sick track.
- Trans, Neil Young: When I was here last, I almost bought this from Planet Records. I have been thinking about it ever since. Now I don’t have to. I love the album cover. The name of my macbook pro is “Syscrusher“. Yes, I am a fool. Neil is fucking cool.
Speaking of Neil Young and Trans…have you ever seen this video of Neil & Devo slashing and dashing through “Hey, Hey, My, My”. NO?! Buckle up ’cause the ride is about to get treacherous. This is 9:53 of some sick shit. “This is a story of Johnny Spud” and Devo and Neil tell it like it is. The story of how this came to be
is cool, too. Devo thought Neil was an old fart…Neil showed them otherwise. Listen to Neil just hammer that riff into submission. YES!
So, all these albums for less than $40. Not bad, eh? Believe you me…the damage could have been significantly worse. I put a half a dozen more of these black beauties back on the racks. Not too worry, I’ll be back for more.
I am sitting in the window of my hotel room typing away. It is raining. The neon lights of the street below are reflecting off the puddles. I am halfway through Astral Weeks. Life is good.