Monthly Archives: March 2022

TVD Live Shots: Pixies with The Clockworks at the House of Blues, 3/16

While we were away.Ed.

Fans, concertgoers, and music lovers of all kinds were treated to a spectacular show by the iconic band at a sold-out performance Wednesday night, 3/16. The Pixies’ setlist spanned their entire career and highlighted why they have withstood the test of time. From classics like “Bone Machine” to newer tracks like “All the Saints,” the Pixies put on an unforgettable show. If you weren’t able to make it to the House of Blues in Anaheim, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge Pixies fan. Their indie/punk sound resonated with me during my formidable years and still, to this day, they continue to hold a special place in my heart. When it was announced they would be kicking off their world tour with a small set of warm up shows—one being here in Southern California—I knew I had to go. It would be my first live Pixies show, and I was fired up to be front and center to catch this legendary group in all their glory.

Kicking off the evening was a killer band out of Ireland known as The Clockworks. This four-piece ensemble has taken the European post-punk music scene by storm and are making a name for themselves here in the US through raw, engaging music that immediately translates into highly energetic live performances. They come across as very unassuming when they take the stage, yet immediately transform into high-octane rockers that bring it from the very first note to their final bow onstage. And if you don’t believe me, take a quick listen to “Endgame,” “The Future is Not What It Was,” and “Fingers” on your favorite streaming service. I think you’ll immediately find that The Clockworks are the real deal and worthy of the high praise they are beginning to experience.

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TVD Live Shots: Sevendust with Tetrarch and Dead Poet Society at the House of Blues, 3/15

While we were away.Ed.

As soon as the lights went down, the packed Anaheim House of Blues started chanting “SE-VEN-DUST!” in anticipation of one of Atlanta’s most successful hard rock bands taking the stage. The band did not disappoint, opening with “T.O.A.B.” and continuing to rock the near capacity crowd all night long. Sevendust proved why they’ve been around for over two decades—the energy was palpable from start to finish as singer Lajon Witherspoon urged the crowd to get louder and guitarist Clint Lowery inciting moshing and headbanging. 

Sevendust ripped off a blistering 16-song set on Tuesday night (3/15) that included 2001’s critically acclaimed Animosity in its entirety. Their inspired performance was just what the doctor ordered and allowed—if, just for a few fleeting moments, fans from all walks of life were to feel human again in spite of all the tension the world faces today. And who doesn’t want to feel good after a good old-fashioned rock and roll show? Let’s dig into the evening’s festivities.

Opening for Sevendust on Tuesday evening was Dead Poet Society and Tetrarch. Dead Poet Society took the stage first as legions of Sevendust fans were initially flowing into the House of Blues. While the opening of their performance seemed a bit docile, the energy from their set increased 10-fold as the floor began to fill in. These guys fed off the crowd’s energy and the last few songs of their performance were excoriating. You could tell fans were into it, and Dead Poet Society reacted in kind. Overall, a solid set from DPS and I’m looking forward to digging into their latest release sooner than later.

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TVD Live Shots:
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis at the Orpheum Theater, 3/10

While we were away.Ed.

PHOTOS: JULIA LOFSTRAND | If you want to see the original hipsters and their contemporary counterparts, copious amounts of black, and the counterculture royalty of Los Angeles all under one roof, the Nick Cave and Warren Ellis show at The Orpheum was the place to be. A few Vampire’s Wife dresses, a formal line designed for the edgier woman by Susie Cave, Nick Cave’s Wife, floated across the art deco theater setting a certain elegant mood.

In our seats, the crowd aware that it was there to see a legend, settled into a reverent mood. A sedentary Warren Ellis sat with his synthesizer strewn across his lap bringing forth the somber arrangements of “Spinning Song” for the opening as an imposing Nick Cave, in his as expected black suit, appeared to much applause, making his way to a small platform illuminated in neon pink lighting built off of the main stage for him. A three-person choir swayed behind him.

From his preacher’s podium, the 21-song set was comprised mostly of Ghosteen (2019), an album referred to by Cave as a “migrating spirit” that delved into the loss of his son; and Carnage (2021), the first album that Nick Cave and Warren Ellis recorded together as a duo/side project during the lockdowns. A Bad Seeds member since the mid-1990s, Warren Ellis is an exceptional multi-instrumentalist who has fused a symbiotic relationship with Cave over the years. Without the weight of heavy instrumentation, the dichotomy between the cathedral-like beauty of Ghosteen and the more violent Carnage captivated the venue from beginning to end with a resplendent spiritual-like presence in this non-denominational service.

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TVD Radar: Bon Iver,
Bon Iver, Bon Iver 10th Anniversary 2LP white vinyl in stores now

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A decade later, a decade of gratitude: Today, Bon Iver, Jagjaguwar and 4AD release the 10th Anniversary Edition of 2011’s pivotal and widely praised album, Bon Iver, Bon Iver.

In addition to all ten of the cherished, self-titled record’s original songs, the commemorative reissue features five performances from Justin Vernon and Sean Carey’s beloved AIR Studios session, available in physical formats and across DSPs for the very first time. Sitting at opposite ends of grand pianos, rearranging album highlights such as “Beth/Rest,” the Blood Bank EP’s “Babys,” Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” and more, the two longtime Bon Iver bandmates and breathtaking vocalists not only capture the grand spirit of Bon Iver, Bon Iver, but distill it into sharper focus.

Featuring a reimagined, blind embossed version of the album’s cover art—as well as a personal essay from devout Bon Iver fan Phoebe Bridgers, delving deeper into the “massive, sprawling, unbelievably complex” collection of music—Bon Iver, Bon Iver (10th Anniversary Edition) is out now on CD, 2x white vinyl LP, and digital platforms.

Next week, Bon Iver will return to the road for their first US tour since a 2019 series of arena shows supporting the band’s latest album, i,i. Beginning March 30th in Mesa, AZ, the run of two dozen dates will span spring and summer, including stops at NYC’s Forest Hills Stadium, Nashville’s Ascend Amphitheater, a sold out Moody Amphitheater in Austin, TX, and many more, with support from Dijon and Bonny Light Horseman.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dekker

Dekker—aka Brookln Dekker—is an American indie-folk artist now based in the UK and he definitely deserves your attention. Having just dropped his new single “Supposed To Be A Friend” and with a new album on the horizon, now seems like a better time than any to feature this fine fellow as our next Artist of The Week right here on The Vinyl District.

Reminiscent of the likes of Bon Iver or Nick Mulvey, there’s a warm sense of familiarity oozing from Dekker’s music instantly. His honey-like vocals fit in perfectly with the rich indie-folk sensibilities, whilst the hypnotic drums beats and celestial harmonies integrate the single into more contemporary soundscapes akin to the likes of RY X.

“Supposed To Be A Friend’” is taken from Dekker’s upcoming sophomore album I Won’t Be Your Foe, due for release on 20th May 2022 via Useful Fictions / Wagram Music. Dekker’s next single “Let’s Pretend” is in stores on 7th April 2022, so watch this space…

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Graded on a Curve: Duquette Johnston,
The Social Animals

Birmingham, Alabama-based singer-songwriter Duquette Johnston has released a handful of albums in the 21st century, with The Social Animals his latest, available now on LP, CD, and digital through Single Lock Records. Although its contents are heightened by a sharp band that includes Emil Amos of the Holy Sons on bass and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth on drums, it’s ultimately Johnston’s songs, vocals, and guitar that shape the contents into an emotionally cohesive whole.

Back in the 1990s, when he was in the Merge Records indie act and eventual Capitol Records’ signees Verbena, Duquette Johnston was known as Daniel Johnston. Upon exiting that band and striking out on his own, he adopted a fresh handle, and anyone familiar with “Speeding Motorcycle” will likely agree that his choice was a sensible one.

Johnston’s solo debut Etowah arrived in 2006, but only after it’s maker navigated personal struggles including incarceration (the album’s title references the Etowah County Correctional Facility where Johnston was sentenced in relation to a drug charge). Two more albums followed: the digital-only Ragged & Fancy in 2010 and the multiformat Rabbit Runs a Destiny three years later, with the promotion of the latter impacted by the serious bacterial infection his wife suffered after the birth of their first child.

As Johnston focused his attention on caring for his wife and raising his son, he opened the art gallery-clothing store-performance venue-community space Club Duquette in Birmingham in 2016, and was writing songs along the way that became The Social Animals, the album cut in 2017 with John Agnello producing and keyboardist Seth Brown and guitarist David Swatzell rounding out the core band.

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In rotation: 3/29/22

Macon, GA | ‘A bigger, better’ Fresh Produce Records moving to new downtown Macon location: Fresh Produce Records has found a fresh spot in downtown Macon, and vinyl fans can soon grab merchandise at a discount as the store relocates. They’re not going far — from 451 MLK Jr. Boulevard to 567 Cherry St. — but store staff said they’re getting more square footage. “I just want to let people know that we’re still the same record store that they always loved, just getting bigger and better and we are working to be everyone’s favorite local online record store,” said Fresh Produce Records manager William Rutledge. During the COVID shutdown, Rutledge said they focused on expanding the online business and built up inventory. “With all these operations really growing into something formidable, we needed a little more space and we had the opportunity to invest in some real estate downtown so we could grow in a bigger space and get some more foot traffic,” he said.

Boston, MA | Good Taste Records gears up for North End opening as surge in vinyl sales continue: According to industry analysts, the vinyl resurgence accelerated in 2021. For Coty Smith and his wife, Lindsey, it seemed like the perfect time to open their own shop. Day-to-day, Coty Smith operates primarily in a digital landscape. As a director of product management for a software company, he has spent more than a decade honing his e-commerce, digital marketing, and product marketing skills. But in the background, away from the glare of a computer screen, lies a deep passion for something more tangible — collecting, spinning, and listening to vinyl records in all their rich analog glory. “I’ve always just been a vinyl guy,” Smith said. …Now, the 35-year-old Kansas native is combining his professional expertise with a pastime that’s been a large part of his life for years. Next week, Smith and his wife, Lindsey, will open a brick-and-mortar record store, called Good Taste Records, in the North End neighborhood where they live.

Bristol, UK | A new record shop is opening on Bristol’s Gloucester Road: The new record shop, called Disk Frisk, is coming to Gloucester Road in Bristol. Run by local DJs Kane Orchard (aka Kayne the Hermit) and Corey Miller – otherwise known as Morey Cillar – Disk Frisk will specialise in second-hand vinyl from the 1970s through to the early 2000s. The shop is set to open toward the end of April or in early May. The pair, who also host an NTS show as Disk Frisk, started out selling digitally via their Instagram page and recently announced the plan to open a physical shop. The store will be housed in new creative space The Old Drumbank Studios. Following the announcement, they also held a pop-up record store at Bristol venue The Love Inn earlier this month. Sharing the news, Orchard and Millar said, “We want to thank all the people who have bought from us and supported the Instagram which has ultimately allowed us to get this far and make the jump to a physical space so soon!”

West Bend, WI | The Exclusive Company now the Beat Goes on Records & More: The owners of the Beat Goes on Records & More announced Thursday that as of April 6, The Exclusive Company will reopen under the new name. “Our goal is to keep serving the music lovers in this music-loving community, and continue the tradition of selection, quality and service we’ve all come to love and expect,” said owners Joe, Mary, Tommy and Lyla Zaremba in a social media post. “We also have some new ideas to engage the community more, and partner with our downtown neighbors and other organizations and businesses — all with the hope that we do our part to help make West Bend and Washington County a cool, music-relevant destination.” They also stated they have been customers of The Exclusive Company since the 1980s and have a passion for music. They thanked The Exclusive Company for their help during the transition. The store will open as the Beat Goes On & More on April 6.

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TVD Live Shots: Gary Numan with I Speak Machine at the Lincoln Theatre, 3/15

While we were away.Ed.

The elegant Lincoln Theatre in Washington, DC hosted Gary Numan on March 15, where Numanoids young and old, goth and bureaucrat, gathered to greet the electronic pioneer during this stop on the Intruder tour. After four decades, he demonstrates he is still as creative and fascinating as ever.

Along for the tour is Tara Busch, performing as I Speak Machine, an experimental music and audio-visual project. I Speak Machine is due to release a new album in April (War) which is described as visceral and honest. As an example, the single “The Metal Of My Hell,” examines Busch’s battle with addiction. On stage, Busch managed to command the audience with her presence and charisma during her 30-minute set, an impressive feat given her minimal stage setup of computers and synths.

Taking the neon lit stage shortly after 9PM, Gary Numan and his fellow musicians dressed and sounded like a house band from a Bartertown bar, which felt fitting given our modern times. Long gone is the “android” look from yesteryear; it is a visual signal of his ability to evolve as an artist. After all, he is known for not only influencing younger bands like Nine Inch Nails, he also is open minded enough be influenced by those musicians in return.

This tour is in support of Numan’s latest album Intruder, which Numan has characterized as something of a companion piece to 2017’s Savage (Songs from a Broken World); both albums address themes of the Earth’s pending climate disaster. The set list was sprinkled with songs from Intruder, including the title track. While it’s exciting to hear Numan perform his early songs like “Cars,” “Films,” and “Down in the Park,” in concert his more recent work more than holds its own. The song I was the most stoked to hear, “My Name is Ruin,” is from Savage (Songs from a Broken World) and happens to be one of my favorite songs of the last ten years by any artist.

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TVD Live: St. Paul and the Broken Bones and Thee Sacred Souls at the Lincoln Theatre, 3/8

While we were away.Ed.

“It’s been two and a half years since I’ve been able to be with an audience,” Paul Janeway, the venerable saint of the soul band St. Paul and the Broken Bones, told the crowd at the Lincoln Theatre. He wasn’t talking about performing; the band had played dozens of shows since the pandemic hit, getting back on the road in August 2020. He was talking about really being with the audience, plunging down in it and walking among them as he performed.

So he gingerly stepped down from the stage and strolled up an aisle unmolested as he sang another one of his songs that blended gospel feel with soul yearning, “Sanctify.” Up to the back of the hall, up the back stairs across the balcony, singing down to where the first floor crowd was turned around and looking back, the seven-piece Broken Bones churning away on stage.

Accompanied by a roadie who wasn’t so much providing security as he was being pressed to do lighting—shining a flashlight on the singer’s face, Janeway made his way finally to the boxes overhanging the stage—a nice perch for him to sing and reach out at the climax of the song.

He was only a few songs into their set—one of two nights in DC that would conclude at the nearby 9:30 Club Wednesday. But that was also the extent of his performance outreach, at least until he high fives a toddler on her dad’s shoulders in the encore. He spent the entirety of the following instrumental—inserted more to kill time than to showcase soloists—trying to get back onto the stage.

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TVD Radar: The Rolling Stones, Live At The El Mocambo 4LP black and neon vinyl editions in stores 5/13

VIA PRESS RELEASE | A legendary event in the incredible 60-year history of The Rolling Stones is being released in full for the first time on Friday, May 13th. Live At The El Mocambo marks the first official appearance of the group’s two famous secret concerts at the 300-capacity Toronto club in March 1977.

The album will be available on double CD, 4 LP black vinyl, 4 LP neon vinyl, and digitally. It features the Stones’ full set from the March 5 show, plus three bonus tracks from the March 4 gig, newly mixed by Bob Clearmountain. Only four of the performances found their way onto the Love You Live album that followed in September 1977, which was dominated by tracks captured on the band’s 1975 and ’76 tours, with the full set having never been heard before.

As The Rolling Stones gear up for their 60th anniversary celebrations, Live At The El Mocambo is available for pre-order now. It is previewed by the release of two powerful tracks from the shows, “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Rip This Joint,” available on all digital services today.

As the Stones took to the stage of the “El Mo,” a fixture of the Toronto music scene since the 1940s, punk and disco were both rearing into full view, supposedly ready to see off a band who had already been at the top of their game for 15 years. Over two nights, in an intimate space in one of their favourite cities, they were about to make that prognosis look foolish indeed.

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TVD Radar: The Podcast with Evan Toth, Episode 67: Ìxtahuele: Eden Ahbez’s Dharmaland

America is very fortunate to have supported many different genres of music: there are composers of every stripe scattered throughout all 50 states. However, there is one style of music that has been long taken for granted and that is Exotica. The genre became popular during the American mid-century and is often associated with the Tiki bar scene and maybe Pee Wee’s Playhouse; it consists of melodies that imbue a certain mysterious quality coupled with percussion and, sometimes, even animal noises and other common jungle sounds.

One of the main historical figures in the Exotica movement was Eden Ahbez, a songwriter and recording artist who made a name for himself in California during the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s. He was a prototypical hippie responsible for penning Nat “King” Cole’s big hit, “Nature Boy,” and in 1960 Ahbez released his masterpiece, Eden’s Island, the vinyl copy of which has now become very collectible.

Enter producers Brian Chidester and Johan Hjalmarsson and the Swedish musical group Ìxtahuele who resurrected unreleased and unrecorded manuscripts of Ahbez’s by creating a new album of his work titled, Dharmaland. On this program we welcome co-producer Johan, who also plays drums in the group, and another of the band’s talented musicians, Mattias Uneback. They both join me from Sweden.

So, listen to our conversation, but then enjoy the exquisite album that they released which really is capable of transporting you to a strange and mystical natural world accompanied by wistful melodies and dreamlike ambience. You don’t need any apps or screens to enter this alternate dimension, all you need to do is use something that you might have forgotten about: your imagination.

Evan Toth is a songwriter, professional musician, educator, radio host, avid record collector, and hi-fi aficionado. Toth hosts and produces The Evan Toth Show and TVD Radar on WFDU, 89.1 FM. Follow him at the usual social media places and visit his website.

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Graded on a Curve:
Betty Davis,
They Say I’m Different

Funk pioneer Betty Davis once summed up her music with one word—raw. That was a mild word for what she was doing. Friends of the sophisticated fashion model—who’d walked away from the glamour biz because she thought it required zero brains—were aghast at her on-stage persona; she was lewd and crude in her silver hot pants, leaning backwards, stance wide, cupping her hands around her crotch. Such outrageous behavior left the people who knew her wondering if the woman strutting her stuff on stage could possibly be their Betty Davis.

Davis was a symbol of Black Power and female empowerment—women weren’t supposed to behave the way she did on stage, or release nasty albums like her masterpiece, 1974’s They Say I’m Different. And she wasn’t playing the subservient woman; on “He Was a Big Freak” she’s the one wielding the turquoise whip.

On the cover of They Say I’m Different, Miles Davis’ second wife—who is credited with changing the course of his career by introducing him to the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone—is all legs topped by a spectacular Afro, and in her futuristic glam attire, different she definitely was. But it’s the music that matters, and the LP’s eight funk jams showcase Davis’ vocals, which range from the sultry to the flat-out salacious. The LP isn’t just a turn-on; it generates enough erotic wattage to light up Harlem.

She’s Black and proud of her roots; on the title track she sings “My Great Grandma didn’t like the foxtrot/Now instead she spitted snuff and boogied to Elmore James,” and he’s just one of her forebears she name checks on the track–she also gives shout outs to just about every blues legend from Big Mama Thornton to Bessie Smith. And when she announces she eats chitlins, it comes off as a dare—that’s her heritage, see, and fuck you if you think it makes her an unsophisticated lady.

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In rotation: 3/28/22

Youngstown, OH | Local record store owner mourns Foo Fighters drummer: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member and Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has died. Local connections to the band are mourning the loss. The band was scheduled to play in Bogota, Columbia, Friday. Seven years ago, the Foo Fighters played at Record Connection in Niles for Record Store Day. Owner Jeffrey Burke said they’ve seen him along the way at concerts he’s been invited to. “I got the call last night. I had already gone to bed, actually, a friend of mine called at about 11:19 last night and shocking news. I couldn’t get back to bed for quite a while,” Burke said. Burke remembers Hawkins as a very approachable and nice guy. He says his loss will be felt throughout the entire community and world.

Nashville, TN | Ernest Tubb Record Shop entangled in recent legal battle: The current and former owners of Ernest Tubb Record Shop were engaged in a legal battle before the recent jointly made announcement of its impending closure this spring. As first reported by the Nashville Business Journal, Davidson County Circuit Court documents filed in the summer of 2021 outlined allegations including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and conversion made through the conservatorship of previous owner David McCormick against current business owners JesseLee Jones and Emily Ann Cousins regarding events leading up to and during the sale of the 417 Broadway property in August 2020. The original civil complaint made by McCormick’s conservatorship, headed by his brother Phillip since July 2021, alleged Jones and Cousins took advantage of McCormick’s deteriorating mental health, brought on by a diagnosed mental illness, and their friendship for personal benefit on occasions.

Cedar Falls, IA | Vinyl Cup Records, RAYGUN officially open their doors in Cedar Falls: Two new stores opened their doors on Main Street in Cedar Falls on Friday. Vinyl Cup Records, a music record store, and RAYGUN shirts, a popular t-shirt store in Iowa, celebrated their grand openings on Friday. The two stores share the building in the 200 block of Main Street Vinyl Cup Records. RAYGUN owns stores in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City, Chicago, Kansas City, Des Moines, and Omaha. “I never considered coming to Cedar Falls until Raygun reached out so that they had a location. We partnered with them in Omaha with the same type of layout, so we decided that it was worth looking into,” Vinyl Cup Owner Luke Dickens said. “I researched and realized that Cedar Falls Waterloo area didn’t have this type of experience for the record collectors.” Dickens started Vinyl Cup Records in his basement four years ago, with two crates of records and a Facebook group with 40 people.

Milwaukee, WI | The Exclusive Company on Farwell will close, be replaced with new record store, Lilliput Records: The Milwaukee location of The Exclusive Company, 1669 N Farwell Ave., will close “in the next few months.” The news was announced Friday night on the record store’s Facebook page. “It is with immense sadness that we share The Exclusive Company on Farwell Avenue, Milwaukee will be closing at a yet to be determined date in the next few months,” reads the message. “We have loved every minute of serving the East Side community and thank you endlessly for the support you have given The Exclusive Company at this location over the past 30 years.” Happily, a new record store will take Exclusive’s place, Lilliput Records. The new store will be run by current Exclusive managers Tanner Musgrove and Brian Kirk. “With every ending comes a new beginning,” continues the message. “We are excited to welcome Lilliput Records as the newest record store to Milwaukee. The new owners may look a little familiar, as they have been with the Exclusive Company for 17 years. The current managers, and new owners of the Farwell Ave. location, will continue to bring the East Side the selection, variety and quality of music our loyal customers deserve and expect. Same location, same model, new name, new owners. Welcome Lilliput Records.”

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We’re closed.

We’ve closed TVD’s HQ for our annual spring break. While we’re away, why not fire up our Record Store Locator app and visit one of your local indie record stores?

Perhaps there’s an interview, review, or feature you might have missed? Catch up and we’ll see you back here on Monday, March 28.

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TVD’s The Idelic Hour with Jon Sidel

Greetings from Laurel Canyon!

She says, baby everything is alright, uptight, out of sight / Baby, everything is alright, uptight, clean out of sight

She’s a pearl of a girl, I guess that’s what you might say / I guess her folks brought her up that way / The right side of the tracks, she was born and raised / In a great big old house, full of butlers and maids / She says no one is better than I, I know I’m just an average guy

No football hero or smooth Don Juan / Got empty pockets, you see I’m a poor man’s son / Can’t give her the things that money can’t buy / But I’ll never, never make my baby cry / And it’s all right, what I can’t do / Out of sight because my heart is true

Stevie Wonder’s “Up Tight” has always signified unrest. The first notes bring back childhood memories of ’60s and ’70s New York City driving through Harlem in my parents car, eventually playing football in Franklin Park, the only white kid on the East Harlem Chargers. I never thought of myself as a tough guy or was much for fighting, but I smoked some of my first joints in Central Park with Vietnam vets.

Something about those shell-shocked Nam vets. I guess they felt more comfortable hanging with hippie kids. Many still whore their army jackets. Some had an unforgettable distant look in their steely eyes. There were those too who came undone on the basketball court. We knew on those occasions to stand back and keep our mouths shut.

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