Shot Of Rhythm

[ Friday, September 08, 2006 ]


For your information

Here's a couple good reads on the Inner Sleeve fire.

First is a thoughtul and well-written editorial from the Wausau Daily Herald about the impact of the incident.

Second, and much more importantly, is information on how to contribute to an Inner Sleeve fund set up through a local bank. Even for such a good cause, I'm not gonna turn this blog into a shill for money, but I'd really like to ask anybody who can spare it to contribute whatever they can. Anything would help:

Information can be found here.

(Thanks to Jeff Ash for the link info.)

On the box right now: Various Artists, ROGUE'S GALLERY, Volume 2. I'll be back to music-based posts tomorrow, and one of the first will be about this extraordinary collection.


Dove With Claws [1:06 PM]

[ Wednesday, September 06, 2006 ]


From the congregation

These very nice words were sent to me by Jeff Ash in reference to the previous entry. Jeff's a regular visitor of Shot Of Rhythm and - as you see - a fellow traveler:

"My story is the same as yours, only from a different time. It's the town where I grew up, too. I remember the Sleeve starting out in an ancient gray wood building on Grand Avenue across from Pine Grove Cemetery (about where Kwik Trip is now), then moving downtown, sharing a building with a bike shop just north of Prange's.

Every 2 weeks from the summer of 1975 to the summer of 1977, I bought 2 or 3 albums when I got paid from my job at the Pizza Hut on Grand Avenue. For the next couple of years after that, I'd stop every time I came home from college. Likewise, I'd stop every time I visited my girlfriend when she worked at the Wausau paper in 1980 and 1981. I spent a lot of money at the Sleeve, and I still have almost all those albums, complete with their special vinyl sleeves, which Mike gave away with albums. I was friendly with Mike as any regular customer would be, and spent plentyof time there, but was not one to have hung around the store for hours, shooting the breeze. Another friend did, and you did, and your lives are that much richer for it. No regrets, though. I still have all that great music and those great memories."

Thanks, Jeff. Very nicely put.

By the way, there are already three benefit shows in the works, plus an Internet fund drive. More info here as it becomes available, but it does appear that there's an Ella Baker-esque "beloved community" emerging around this sad event. It seems that Jeff and I aren't the only ones with "great music" and "great memories" from Inner Sleeve Records.

On the box right now: Various Artists, ROGUE'S GALLERY, Disc 1.


Dove With Claws [4:34 PM]

[ Tuesday, September 05, 2006 ]



Early on the morning of Labor Day, this happened in the town where I grew up.

As I was growing up, I literally spent hundreds of hours in Inner Sleeve, hours that often consisted of nothing more than talking with the owner, Mike Capista, and many of my friends (and his customers) who made their way through the doors. Of course, I did more than just hang out: I bought a significant amount of my music collection at Inner Sleeve, including many of the records that I now consider my favorite. Like any good indie record store (and like so few big chain stores), "the Sleeve" helped shape me as a music listener (and musician) in ways that I've still probably yet to comprehend. Still, beyond the usual help, insight and willingness-to-special-order that defines such places for music geeks like me, I can honestly say that - in a city that didn't always allow a lot of fun, free spaces for non-drinking age folks like me - Inner Sleeve was a communal space, one of the spots where my childhood and adolescence took shape and meaning. It's almost unfathomable to think that someone, burglar or otherwise, would try to burn the place down. It hurts, and it pisses me off.

I hope Mike'll rebuild, but I'll understand if he doesn't. I hope that his friends and supporters in the community, particularly the musicians for whom he has always been such an ally, will do their part, and I'll be right there beside them. I can give nothing less than my best to a place that holds such fond memories for me.

Sorry if this seems self-indulgent...but I frankly don't care. My heart's full, and - as I learned so often on lazy afternoons with friends and sounds in Inner Sleeve Records - it never hurts to kick out the jams.

Here's three songs, from three artists, that I'll always associate with my days in that store, and in my hometown:

The Stills-Young Band - "Long May You Run"

The Velvet Underground - "Rock And Roll"

Foo Fighters - "Times Like These"

On the box right now: Kate Campbell (w/Spooner Oldham), FOR THE LIVING OF THESE DAYS.


Dove With Claws [8:28 PM]

[ Monday, September 04, 2006 ]


Attn, Hall of Fame: Part 3

This should be a no-brainer, but the fact that Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five didn't make it in last year, their first year of eligibility, does not bode well for the way the Hall of Fame is going to deal with the incoming ambassadors from the hip-hop nation. Artistically and influentially, there is simply no way that Flash, Melle Mel and the rest shouldn't be invited, and - if the Hall of Fame fails to acknowledge the significance of hip-hop's first great recording artists, and creators of "The Message," still among hip-hop's greatest singles - I fear that the whole thing will become increasingly irrelevant as the years progress. (Don't even get me started on the Hall's disco problem...I'll write about Chic next time I do one of these entries.)

Just to remind everyone...

"The Message"

"White Lines (Don't Do It)"

"The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels Of Steel"

On the box right now: Various Artists, ROGUE'S GALLERY, Disc 1.


Dove With Claws [1:49 PM]