Vinyl Party! I have no idea who started, Scott I suspect but I do not know that for sure but it’s the most brilliant idea ever for a party, and I mean ever. Now granted I don’t have a lot going on other than the music I play, the music I write about and the stories and bits of poetry and fluff that I piddle with now and again. I will have joy in my heart for weeks after probably a lot longer than anyone else.
So what is a vinyl party you might ask? Now I will say this, sustaining a party like this requires you to have people fairly committed to the process. It requires music lovers and when I say music lovers I mean music lovers who know back stories and connections and a real genuine love of music which binds the group but also for everyone there. I have never really felt awkward at a vinyl party never felt that I didn’t fit in and that truly is a people thing and not a music thing at all. I have been wanting to take someone for a long time just to have them witness the thing to have them feel what a beautiful thing a vinyl party is. Now the obvious other condition that has to be met is that you have people who have a fair chunk of music on vinyl, you know, records. If you don’t have that you don’t have a party.
I was really happy to introduce my friend Gwen to the party. She is an artisitic soul and she is probably out there buying vinyl so that when the next party comes around in January she will be ready. This party also had Scott’s son Gunnison and his fiancé Paige so it was a packed house. As everyone starts to arrive the first thing we do is eat, we always start with a meal and this time Scott and Genia who were hosting threw down a spread of appetizers, Yes of course this was all Genia’s handiwork. I must say the food is always divine and diverse and completely delicious.
About now my 5.4 readers are asking so what’s the concept here? My readers ask the very best questions don’t they? So the host picks a theme and sends an invite out. The invitee’s job is to go through their vinyl and select songs that meet their interpretation of the theme. Now you can interpret the theme anyway you choose unless the host stipulates this but mostly that’s the way. Now all of your songs don’t have to have the same interpretation. You pick 5 songs and it’s always good to have backups just in case someone goes before you and uses your song. This also applies to albums. I will give you an example this party’s theme was Got Wood?. I instantly thought about the album Chicago 5 because the album looks like a giant piece of wood. Got it? So with this theme you could have songs with wood in the title, with performers named Wood, with instruments that were wood based, like a song done in acoustic guitar. Apparently there is a sexual connotation to this theme but no one explained it to me so I am still at a loss. There are a few ways you can present your music. You can tell a story related to the song, or maybe what the song means to you or that it just fit the theme and you were out of ideas. There are no judgments, none. This is an amanzing group of people who have a genuine fondness for each other and for music and let’s face it we are also usually liquored up. We have a strange ritual of doing a shot of apple pie moonshine sometime during the night, some of us (me) do two. So someone has to go first, and sometimes there is some jockeying for position out of concern that someone might snatch your song away leaving you with dipping into your back up songs.
So Cindy went first. I love the way Cindy looks at themes, always seeing an angle that I just never imagine and she always brings a song that is just cool and different. I am not going to sit here and repeat stories it would take up acres of space. She started us off with one of my all-time favorite songs from one of my all-time favorite albums although she used a live version which was awesome The Beach Boys Wouldn’t it Be Nice. I love it when vinyl party gets going with a great song. Her second song was Rocket Ride by Kiss (one of Cindy’s favorite bands) and proof that a previous blog I had that Ace is the most important Kiss member. No he’s not, un huh he sure is, and I am arguing with myself. Next up the Unforgettable Fire by U2, and then came the surprise of the night and a candidate for a Rosco award Away in a Manger and I never really did get who this was by a bunch of kiddoes singing but it had us smiling and laughing and Cindy’s list said it was David Frost and Billy Taylor. She then went away from the theme to honor and show respect to Ginger Baker who recently passed away and played Strange Brew by Cream. The night was off in all the right ways.
Next up was our rookie making his first vinyl party appearance Gunnison, Scott and Genia’s son. Personally I think using the excuse “I was in law school” for why he couldn’t attend earlier was complete bollocks. I was really looking forward to what he might present as its always interesting to see new perspectives although he stole my word angst which is ok because he helped me through a blind moment, more on that later. He did not disappoint me introducing me to some new music and some new perspectives; I might be wrong but he was the only one to select a song because of the absence of wood in the title, which was brilliant. He started us off with the song Leaf by Title Fight a little bit punk which I am all over. Then he went in the opposite direction with Live Oak by Jason Isbell reinforcing my belief that Scott and Genia raised a great young man even if he did steal my word. His next selection was Long Hot Summer Day by the Turnpike Troubadours which was brand new for me too and was a great song. He surprised me going old school with Cross Tie Walker by Creedence Clearwter Revival. Now we were all a rocking. He closed the show with Cement Clay and Glass (see no wood at all) by New Riders of the Purple Sage. A really nice five if I may say so.
Next up and she is not chopped liver, Denise. Denise is up for multiple Rosco awards because Rosco likes her. She is one of his favorite humans. Denise can be deep with these themes, she is really clever finding new angles but she played this one pretty straight. She only brought 3 songs but 3 good songs. Everyone loved a couple of her 3 songs. So someone had to do it so Denise stepped right up to the plate and knocked it out of the park. She brought Knock On Wood by Amil Stewart and now the disco lights were up. We had a line dancing and Scott was leading us around. It’s in the blog so it must have happened. I think I pulled a muscle. Her second selection was Billy Joel’s Say Goodbye to Hollywood. She closed her three out with Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood using a non-vocal mix version of the song and naturally we provided vocals. Down the street there was a children’s party and they thought someone was being murdered so they called the cops. After they took the handcuffs off we all laughed.
We now come to the technological marvel section of our program. We usually have moments that are remembered at every vinyl party. We had a couple of moments this night. Now this particular moment did not win moment of the night, that belongs to someone else but it does warrant its own award. Next up was Greg who brought 4 songs and did with three of them what I had been trying to put together for a month and failing but I will get to that. For his first selection he brought the Trees by Rush but the disc was actually done as with the entire album cover a 40th Anniversary release and you literally could not see the lines to cue up the songs so Greg was having trouble so Scott tells him to use the headphones which I think Scott bought in 1973 or something and truthfully he might have bought them used in 1973 as all the padding was gone and even though there was no actual duct tape involved it certainly defied logic how there wasn’t. The picture taken should now be used for every invite. So on plays Rush and then Greg played 3 songs that were all related to each other and the theme Got Wood; Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix, Proud Mary Creedence Clearwater Revival and Piece of my Heart by Janis Joplin. What ties the songs, these artists together, they all played at Woodstock. Good stuff.
Those headphones, seriously!
So next up was little old me and I just picked songs that fit the theme in various ways beginning with Snowbird by Elvis because the songs are listed on little logs of wood. My second selection, because nothing goes with Elvis better than Dokken, was Into the Fire. Around this time our moment of the night happened. Genia has that moment but no need to re-live it here but we have long memories. My next song was Chicago’s Saturday in the Park and I thought I had a touching little story here. Then came what I was sure would make Scott just cringe or vomit but he did neither when I played Morris Day’s Oak Tree, come on now shake a leaf. I ended my five with Mother Love Bone’s Chloe/Crown of Thorns. And as always thanks to my cue man since I can’t see to cue my songs Scott.
Oh and me and Cindy both Love Elvis.
Scott being the host closed the show. Scott always has an interesting five. He has the ability and the know how to select five songs that no one else has ever heard of and don’t think he won’t do it. I look forward to Scott’s selection the same way I look forward to everyone else’s. They are all so passionate and Scott kicked his five off with Stay With Me by the Faces. He then said he used the sexual connotation of got wood which I still don’t get with the song My Sharona by the Knack. He had us bouncing a bit in our chairs. He then played an artist who I think is just universally loved John Denver and Rocky Mountain High. It is such a good song. Then he told a wonderful happy story about his next song George Winston’s January Starts which is a beautiful song that he wanted played at he and Genia’s wedding but he could not find the sheet music. So he wrote the publishing company and the artist himself sent the music with a note signed which of course they still have. It was a beautiful story Scott. Scott ended the night with Stargazer a very old Rainbow song.
What a night and now its awards time.
The Rosco award for best usage of a word goes to Paige for her use of the word atrocious
Best use of a technological device without getting electrocuted goes to Greg for his use of the home improvement style rewired 1973 headphones brilliant
Blind Moment of the night goes to me since I have an advantage for filling my plate with food none of which I could see including the buns for the sliders. When I sat down I was wondering why Genia made meatless sliders and then Gunnison helped me out.
The best new convert award Gwen because she might be hooked. I am sure she is shopping for turntables and 1970’s headphones
Best New Music Gunnison gave me a couple of new artists even though he stole my word angst
Song of the Night goes to Cindy for Away in a Manger, it was audacious.
Best Song I wished I had played Denise for Knock on Wood
Best legal advice in a musical moment Jason to Denise telling her that half of Greg’s albums are now hers and she should pick the ones she likes best brilliant
Best use of the Theme I loved Greg’s putting 3 songs together. Brilliant (obviously my new word)
Story of the Night Scott’s wedding story. Scott and Genia are two of the most amazing people I know. I loved this story.
Moment of the night goes to Genia, and all I can say is Greg Giuffria. I am betting she hears this again
For all who attended thank you from the heart. I know everyone has a good time but the event means more to me than any blog could ever describe because words will never do those kinds of feels justice.