Thursday, March 22, 2007

Shopping For Music On Bleecker Street

Last weekend saw a blizzard in New York. Airports were closed and inches of snow fell throughout the city and suburbs. The sun came out over the weekend although temperatures were freezing. I finally ventured out late Sunday morning into Greenwich Village to Bleecker Street Records. An hour browsing through their impressive stock of hard to find rarities, vinyl and bootleg CD’s is as good as it gets.

I came out with a live Ray Davies concert in Berlin from the middle of last year. Ray is the consummate Englishman, and one of the world’s great storytellers. The two disc album mixes his latest stuff with Kinks classics. With nostalgia reigning, I also picked up a great Springsteen album from August 1975. Recorded in Atlanta, Georgia, the week before the Born to Run album came out, and before Springsteen hit the cover of Time as “Rock’s New Sensation.” It’s a two-CD live concert with all the upcoming tracks from Born to Run. Some of them played in real-time with great Springsteen stories introducing songs that feel like movies (‘The E Street Shuffle’, ‘Kitty’s Back’, and Fourth of July, Asbury Park’). The show is memorable because it was the last time Springsteen ever played ‘And Then She Kissed Me’. The disks also included covers of ‘Twist and Shout’, ‘When You Walk in the Room’, and ‘Pretty Flamingo’.

Completing my morning were two hard to find Dylan shows; the last solo acoustic performance from 1 June, 1965 played at the BBC TV Theater in front of a live audience at Shepherd’s Bush, London. It was straight after this he went electric. And then from 1976 the Rolling Thunder concert from Colorado State backed up by Scarlet Rivera, Joan Baez, Roger McGuinn and Co. This is Dylan’s voice at its most powerful.

Bleecker Street Records has a sister shop on Thompson Street in Soho called Generation Records. they are both must visits when you are in New York.