Music Shopping in Duluth

I am drained; I just want to appreciate things today. It’s almost Sidewalk Days in Duluth. Makes me appreciate all I can walk to downtown. Today, I am gushing about music.

I was walking downtown enjoying the summer and stopped in to Electric Fetus. There, I picked up the new Jean Michel Jarre CD (a double-disc, actually), Electronica 1&2. On the set, Jarre collaborates with hip, exciting new artists I have never heard of, as well as Cyndi Lauper, Laurie Anderson, Edward Snowden, Edgar Froese, John Carpenter … an eclectic batch of voices. I look at the disc and see the Orb as a collaborator and realize the Orb is already “old school” to today’s music what my parents’ music was to me. The entire package is a reminder that I am (approaching) middle age. I said “approaching.”

But it also reminds me how lucky I am that the Electric Fetus is around. And it got me thinking hard about record stores in the Twin Ports.

I don’t know how I would have found this disc without The Electric Fetus. And without purchasing this disc, I would never have learned that Edgar Froese is dead. (I gushed about Froese and Tangerine Dream back when the Duluth Superior Film Festival brought us Sorcerer, the movie to which they composed one of the greatest soundtracks I know.)

So is Isao Tomita dead, for that matter. I read about that in BBC Music magazine that I bought at Barnes & Noble in the mall.

(Someone keep an eye on Tim Kaiser. I can’t stand losing any more electronic music geniuses.)

Where else do I buy music in the Twin Ports? I snag CDs from the artists when they play here, of course, but when The Bad Plus only had four discs for sale at the concert at the Red Herring, the Electric Fetus had the rest of its catalog in stock. (I’m compulsive.)

I only hit the Vinyl Cave on Record Store Day. The best find was the Florence and the Machine 7-inch single. Part of me wishes I had purchased the Katy Perry 12-inch from a few years ago, but that would be a little untoward for a man approaching middle age. Although John Oliver has professed to enjoying one Katy Perry song.

I have friends who hit Pawn America, but that feels too much to me like I am getting lucky because someone else suffered misfortune. Why I don’t feel that way about shopping other places with used discs, I don’t know. The used discs at Collector’s Connection and Globe-News sometimes have real treasures — a Mercury Rev CD single is not easy to find anywhere, and I found one last weekend.

Barnes and Noble has a nice selection of collector-grade albums (the CD selection is not much to write home about, once you have visited the Fetus). I bought a turntable just so I could listen to Tim Kaiser on vinyl. I’m afraid to start collecting more.

Am I forgetting something else, some other place to buy music on CD or LP in the Twin Ports? Is there someplace on the west side or in Cloquet that I have never visited? I don’t want to have to repeat Seth Langreck’s journey all the way to La Crosse from Superior along Highway 53.

But I want to appreciate more about my home town.

Sorcerer, the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream that made me go wild at DSFF.

Tim Kaiser playing Homegrown.



about 8 years ago

Mr Beard, dude, the Sorcerer soundtrack by Tangerine Dream is literally identical to that of every serial killer/shlock/sci-fi B movie from the '80s... However, oddly enough I purchased my first CD in years last night shortly after I almost took a lightening bolt to the brain in the parking lot of HermanGoeringtown's Goodwill where I found a nice copy of Pixies' Doolittle. So I threw that in, went for a spin, and my holy crap was that a seminal album from the (dream of the) '90s. There's humping and grinding, a man screaming like a baby, distorted harmonies, and all around bad-assery. Charlie Murphy would probably even describe it as 'mad-niggerish' or buck wild. Right up my alley in other words.


about 8 years ago

Doolittle came out in '89 but close enough.


about 8 years ago

The 90's ran from 1988-2000, the sixties from 1964-1979.

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