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New Vinyl Day #1: 5/18/19

sons of kemet your queen is a reptile and dark night of the soul album covers

Yikes. Been a bit! Let’s get to it.

Life has been crazy lately due to the fact that through a series of events not necessarily fit to discuss on this forum, Ev and I are bailing out of the PNW and heading back to New England. Currently the plan is to buy a house in Maine, but a number of factors could mean that doesn’t happen. We’ll see.

At any rate, this evening, I am boarding a redeye bound for Boston and not planning on returning to Washington in the near future. I’ve spent my last two nights here with Nikki and Bonnie and Beckett, having packed up all our belongings and turned the house over to the realtor. This afternoon, Nikki suggested we go to the record store as our last outing for a bit. I thought it was a fitting time to debut this type of post to honor my time near the Puget Sound – forever the inspiration for this blog name.

The first one we hit was Silver Platters in Lynnwood, which is a pretty typical shop. I found two records to buy, so let’s talk about them.

First is Your Queen Is a Reptile by Sons of Kemet, an album I have heard exactly once and not even all the way through. It is incredible. I knew I had to buy it immediately. Partially this is informed by my obsession with an album by Shabaka Hutchings’ other outfit, Wisdom of Elders by Shabaka and the Ancestors. My vocabulary for this kind of music is limited, but I’ll call it jazz-adjacent, which is wholly inadequate. You just have to hear it.

sons of kemet your queen is a reptile

I also picked up the 2010 release from Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse Dark Night of the Soul, which featured guest appearances from just about everyone. It’s a great, chill, dark, very Danger Mouse-y production. I recommend it.

dark night of the soul album cover

dark night of the soul liner notes

dark night of the soul back cover

After Silver Platters, we plugged “record store” into Google just to see what we’d find. And hoo boy, did we find A Thing. It was called The Vinyl Garage, which we suspected was just a clever name. It was not. It was about 20,000 records in some dude’s garage in the middle of a cul-de-sac.

It was mostly 60s-80s rock, with the requisite sections for jazz and blues. The proprietor was exactly the right amount of loud and crazy with outdated views. He’s the dad of the judge-y record store clerk you imagine, but somehow it was fine.

I couldn’t dial in my classic rock brain enough to find something to buy, but Nikki found about $75 worth of cool stuff including this:

howlin' wolf evil album cover