Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Willie and the Bumblebees

Alright, I feel a little guilty about turning my mp3 blog into a lame travel blog, so I'm going to make it up to you right now. Right before I took off from Guatemala I headed over to Amoeba Records here in San Francisco. I kind of have a love hate relationship with that place. I go there all the time and I'm always buying records. Since I buy so many records at places like swap meets and such I end up with a lot of crap. Well, not really crap, but stuff I don't want and don't have the room for in my shitty one bedroom apartment. Often, while browsing through the records of Amoeba I encounter these same crappy records at fairly high prices. Prices definitely higher than the measely one or two bucks I spend at the swaps. Every few months my stack of crap records becomes so big that I decide to take it down to Amoeba. At Amoeba I wait in line until the record nerd motions to me and my records. He sorts my crap records into various piles while I try not to worry about his judgement of my musical taste. Then, I'm offered a rediculously low price for my records. I know, I know they're my crap records. What am I complaining about It's just that after selling my records to them I feel like I've been reamed.

So, the last time I was at Amoeba, right before I left for my trip, things finally evened out. I was browsing through the stacks of new records and came across something I thought I'd seen before. The record was called Willie and the Bumblebees and had a picture of some goofy looking guys with even goofier sunglasses. Unlike most of the records in the pile, there wasn't a nice plastic protective jacket over the album. Also unlike the rest of the records in the stacks, this record was priced at $1.99. Why did I know this record? I knew I must had seen it on or something, but that can be tricky because people post about crappy records almost just as much as they post about good records. Well, I bought the record and headed home to do some record nerd research on the internet.

What did I learn? Willie and the Bumblebees is a private press record from Minnesota that routinely fetches 40 bucks on Ebay. There hasn't been a reissue or boot, so I made a good 38 dollars from Amoeba that day. Ha ha record nerds working at Amoeba!

So, to celebrate my victory over the record buyers at Amoeba I bring to you what I think are the three strongest tracks from Willie and the Bumblebee's Honey from the Bee. I hope you enjoy them.

Honey from the Bee by Willie and the Bumblebees from Honey from the Bee
Dipstick by Willie and the Bumblebees from Honey from the Bee
Sahara by Willie and the Bumblebees from Honey from the Bee

Back from Hiatus

Damn. I haven't posted in three months. I know everyone out there was totally worried about me and disappointed that I wasn't posting up free music. Thanks for the ONE comment asking why I hadn't posted.

So, why haven't I posted? Well, I'm a teacher and the end of the school year is one big strees out. So, I tried to focus on finishing the school year. Then, once school was out I jumped on a plane and spent six weeks in Guatemala and Belize. Now, I'm sure you are all excited to hear the rare latin heatrocks I collected during my travels but there is one problem. There is no vinyl in Central America. At least during my entire six weeks I didn't see one round piece of vinyl anywhere. I tried too; trust me. I used my weak Spanish to inquire at every record shop I encountered and was basically laughed at each time. It's all about the compact disc in Central America and I could go on to explain why, but I'm sure you could all figure it out.

Don't worry my friends. My trip was not entirely devoid of music. Every bus ride was a look into the music of Guatemala. If you look to the left of the rear view mirror in the picture to the right you'll notice a bird's nest of wire and a nice radio amongst it all. Truthfully, there wasn't that much music that excited me. In fact, after being on a few busses that simply played static at loud volumes, I became convinced that most of the people on the busses weren't paying attention.

There was one song that caught my attention. It seemed to be on the radio every time I was on a bus that was not playing static. Each time it came up I worked up the courage to ask someone who the artist was. I was usually told it was reggaeton, like I was some sort of alien for not knowing that. I then replied by explaining that I knew it was reggaeton, but wanted to know who was playing the song. Again, reggaeton was the answer.

Eventually with the help of a fellow traveler and a bootleg CD salesman on the side of the street, the mystery was solved. Yeah, this song may be old news to many of you. In fact, I related this story to my partner when I returned. I played her the song, but she wasn't too impressed because she'd been watching the video all summer on the Spanish channel here in California.

Sorry, no mp3 for you this time. Just a youtube video link. Don't worry. It won't be another three months until my next post.

by Calle Trece