VPotD: Beatnik Pharmacist

I’m going to liven up this week with another vintage photograph from the stack.  Yes, it’s Beatnik Pharmacist!

beatnik pharmacistI can’t say for sure if this man was a beatnik.  I also don’t know if he was a real pharmacist.  All I know is he’s got funny sideburns, a sharp sweater, and is standing in front of a door that’s advertising these two things:

bromo quininepuretest aspirin

I’m going to completely ignore the fact that the sign above the laxatives says, “SEE THESE RAVING BEAUTIES”.  I’m not at all sure what to make of that part.

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VPotD: Jimmy Stewart-style GPS

I bought these two photographs because they show direction signs that should allow me to figure out the exact location where the shots were taken.  I’ll need to dig out my atlas and find a compass.  Then I’ll trace some circles and see where they intersect.  Do elementary school children still use compasses?  If so, I’ll buy a cheap one the next time I’m at Target. It should be fun.

I’ll need to find a location that’s 128 miles away from Portland and 60 miles away from Seattle to figure out where this young woman ate her lunch.
viva seattle tacoma viva viva
This next one might be a bit more difficult due to the generic names of the towns listed on the sign.  I’ll probably have to start with Avella in order to figure out what state I’m dealing with.  Then it should be easy.  How many of the Independences out there are one mile away from an Avella?  Probably not many.  Once I’ve got it narrowed down a bit, it should only be a matter of a traced circle or two to determine where these stylish girls did their leaning.
washington -->
And sure, I realize there’s probably an app that could spit out the exact locations in a second or two.  I’d rather use a compass, thank you.  Or maybe some string.  Yes, I think I could probably do it with string.

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VPotD: Kamerakids

I don’t usually purchase photographs of children, but I ended up with five of them this time around.  It all started with the shot of the sister and brother eating ice cream cones.  I have a couple other ice cream pics, so I thought I’d add them to that collection.  Then I found the hilarious little girl striking a pose on the front lawn.  Her crazy hand cracks me up every time.  Then came a gigantic bunny, a little plumper in a wagon, and a couple tricycles.

(This was the third post in my new Vintage Photograph(s) of the Day series.)

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VPotD: Sweet and Lowdown

Until I get that mysterious item I won on eBay, this website will be entirely dedicated to the stack of vintage photographs I got at Fairlook Antiques last month.  I’m calling this second post in the series “Sweet and Lowdown” after my favorite Woody Allen movie.  I love it when Sean Penn falls off the moon.

Speaking of Sean Penn, here he is as a young man practicing for his role as Emmet Ray, the second best guitarist in the world.  You may ask why he’s playing the banjo instead of a guitar, and I will suggest that you shouldn’t dig too deep into things like this.  They all fall apart upon close examination.  He’s playing a stringed instrument…that’s what matters.

sweet and lowdownAlso, is this girl playing a clarinet?  I think she might be.  I sure hope she is as I’ve called this second photo “Bonnie Goodman.”  I think that’s rather clever.  Of course, it all falls apart (again) if it’s really a piccolo or an oboe.

bonnie goodmanI try to avoid knowing too much about the man, but I think Woody Allen might also play the clarinet.  See, it all comes together when it’s not falling apart.

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“Oh no, must be the season of the…

…spooky woman from the 1940s wearing long robes out in the woods next to a boulder, yeah.”

seasonI purchased the above photograph for $3 at Fairlook Antiques during my most recent trip to Seattle.  There was no way this one was staying in the store.  I had to take it home with me so I could figure out what the picture reminds me of.  I’ve had it for three weeks and I still haven’t figured it out.  Here’s what I know:

  • Sometime within the last decade (5 or 6 years, more likely) a band released an album that featured a similar image on its front cover.  A long-haired woman wearing robes outdoors.  I think she might’ve had a sword held upright over her head.  Or pointing toward the foreground.  That sounds like death metal imagery, but I think the release in question was fairly mainstream.

I don’t remember anything else.  Does that sound familiar to you?  I hope it rings a bell with someone out there.  If not, I’ll probably have to carry the photo around with me and show it to all the area record store clerks.  I really don’t want to be that guy.

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The Month in Music & Books (7/16)

Last month I bought the ugliest LP I’ve ever seen.  It’s Beaches and Canyons by the Summer Hits.  I’d never heard of the band before, but whoever wrote the blurb on the front sticker made them sound like something I’d enjoy.  The vinyl is brown and yellow and reminds me of that time I got sick after eating a Grand Slam Breakfast from Denny’s.*

The Summer Hits were good, but an even better record was the one a couple over by the Resonars.  Another band I’d never heard of, I bought this one because I thought the song titles sounded promising.  Other highlights from the month include a surprisingly terrific album by the Monkees called Good Times!, a compilation of old Bangles tracks, and a couple CDs that I’d been trying to track down for years.  Those last two were Mantra by the Roswells and The World Turns All Around Him, a power pop tribute to Gene Clark from Sweden.  The CD is from Sweden, not Gene Clark.  I think he was from Missouri.

first part of july

(music for July)

As far as books go, I read four more titles from the New York Review Children’s Collection, the latest Sidney Chambers book, and a time-traveling love story by Daniel Clowes.  I also read Nine Stories for the fifth or sixth time.

One of the children’s books, Alfred Ollivant’s Bob, Son of Battle: The Last Gray Dog of Kenmuir was very dull in places and just as long as its mess of a title would suggest.  It was the first dud-ish book I’ve read from the Children’s Collection.  Fortunately, everything else I finished in July was enjoyable.  The Wind on the Moon and Mistress Masham’s Repose were the highlights.

recent july books2

(books for July)

Although this post features all the books I read in July, it only includes the music I purchased before going to Seattle on the 21st.  I bought an entire DJ case worth of tunes out there; those items might show up in another post later on.

* = I have never eaten a Grand Slam Breakfast in my life.  That was just my polite way of saying the record looks like a mixture of poop and eggs.

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Richard Buckner @ MOTR Pub (8/6/16)

Probably the less said about last night’s Richard Buckner show down in Over-the-Rhine the better.  I arrived late to find him playing to a decent-sized crowd of people, but I soon realized that only about a dozen of them were paying any attention to what he was doing onstage.  The rest were drinking and chatting and ignoring him.  They were loud and disrespectful.  The situation made me grumpy and embarrassed for my town.  It made Richard Buckner angry.

Richard had just finished “When You Tell Me How It Is” and was starting in on “Before” when I guess he reached his limit.  He stopped the song a few lines in, stood up, and began packing his equipment.  He looked furious.  An oblivious man from the audience made the mistake of going up on stage to talk to him.  Richard yelled at him to “get off the fucking stage.”  I believe that may have been the last thing he said in MOTR Pub.  He packed his minivan in a barely-contained rage and was gone five minutes later.

blurry buckner with boxes

(blurry Buckner with boxes)

This was a rough concert to witness.  I don’t blame Richard Buckner at all, though.  I’m actually surprised he lasted as long as he did.  The audience was obnoxious and showed a complete lack of respect.  Still, I’m glad I went.  If nothing else, it’ll explain why Richard skips over Cincinnati the next time he tours the Midwest.

Here’s to happier times and better audiences:

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Richard Buckner @ the Columbia City Theater (7/24/16)

Although I’m always looking for an excuse to come out to Seattle, I usually plan my trips around a specific event like a concert or music festival.  I planned this trip around Richard Buckner’s show at the Columbia City Theater.  Not only is the theater one of my favorite local venues, but Richard Buckner is one of my favorite musicians (and has been for 19 years).  So it seemed like a good excuse for a visit.

Beth and I were the first people through the theater doors, so we ended up snagging two seats right in the middle of the front row.  That gave me an even better view than I’d had when Richard played a show in my house a couple years ago.  We listened to Hayden over the sound system while we waited for the concert to begin; I drank a beer and Beth drew a drawing of the stage.  I’d post it here, but it’s not mine to share.

The show eventually started at a little after 8:00.  Richard was great as usual, but I’m not going to go into the specific details as I’ve already done that three times in the Vox/WP era.  You should probably just go back and read those.  Sorry, I’m lazy.

Although I make setlist notes in a pocket-sized Moleskine during shows, I always clean them up and write them in the back pages of my proper journal.  I recently ran out of those pages for this year, so I had to write the corrected setlist in the rarely-used calendar at the front of the book.  I like the way it looks, so I’ve taken a picture and am posting it here instead of typing it all out as I usually do.  Here’s the setlist:


(27 days, 27 songs)

I did a bit of investigating and noticed that Richard Buckner played at least one song from each of his nine solo albums…going all the way back to 1994’s Bloomed.

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The red spines make them easy to find.

Beth and I went to two different branches of Seattle’s Third Place Books yesterday.  As a result, my Books to Read Shelf went from three titles up to eleven in less than a couple hours.  I was particularly happy with the stores’ selection of used New York Review Children’s Classics.  I’ve read seven books in the series so far this year, so I was happy to pick up six more…even if some of them featured sad personalized Christmas inscriptions written on the inside.


(six books!)

Here are those titles spelled out:

  • Barbara Sleigh – Carbonel: The King of Cats
  • Eilís Dillon – The Lost Island
  • James Thurber – The 13 Clocks
  • James Thurber – The Wonderful O
  • Esther Averill – The School For Cats
  • Esther Averill – The Hotel Cat

Those Esther Averill books will be re-reads as I went through a Jenny Linsky phase a few years ago.

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Mark Pickerel @ Sea-Tac Airport (7/21/16)

I swear I don’t plan my trips to and from Seattle around Mark Pickerel’s appearances at the airport, but I ran into the man there again yesterday.  He was performing as part of Sea-Tac’s City of Music program which features local musicians playing live music throughout the airport.  This was the second time that our schedules have overlapped.  This time I found him singing in the middle of the Central Terminal food court to an audience of travelers eating Qdoba burritos and something that might’ve been Chinese food.  I pulled up a chair and watched the rest of his set.

Here he is:


And here are the songs he played while I was there:

Setlist: … / Sway (Dean Martin) / Waiting on a Friend (Rolling Stones) / Solitary Man (Neil Diamond) / Forest Fire / Your Avenue / You’ll Be Mine / Mother of Earth (Gun Club) / One More Cup of Coffee (Bob Dylan) / Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone (Willie Nelson & others)

Much like last time, he played an interesting mix of covers and originals.  The highlights for me included a song I associate with Dean Martin called “Sway” and a cover of Neil Diamond’s “Solitary Man.”  As far as the original songs go, I particularly enjoyed “Forest Fire” and “You’ll Be Mine.”  I was happy to find both of these songs on the Snake in the Radio CD I bought as Mark was packing up after the show.  It’s an album Beth tried to give me years ago.  I refused the offer back then by saying,

I don’t want a CD by some guy you gotta crush on!

As you can see, I eventually came around.

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