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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 57 - 06/06/01

Various Artists
The Winter Report: A Hype City Compilation
Hype City Records

My neighborhood had two record stores when I first moved to San Francisco two years ago. Rocket Records closed down after the owner was mugged and killed down in San Diego. It was Rocket where I found that old copy of XTC's Skylarking without Dear God on it. I'd been looking for that one for a while and he seemed genuinely happy for me when I told him so. Cool shop.

Foghorn Music wasn't hip. They didn't have the wall of 7"s that Rocket had, nor all of those collectibles in the case. But I found a used and mint Fleetwood Mac Bare Trees record for $1.25. And a double gatefold Andy Williams Greatest Hits with a picture on the back of him and Claudine and the kids walking in the grass. Bob always told you to have a great day. As in, "You have a great day!". That was nice and when he closed his doors a few weeks ago, everyone came and took advantage of his closeout sale (Original Jesus Christ Superstar LP w/booklet : $2.00!) and thanked him for being around and wishing him luck.

Usually, compilations are like hitting the stacks at your used record shop. You have to flip through lots of DeBarge and Tears For Fears records before finding that clear vinyl version of Low's Long Division. Not so here. A very consistent record. Psychy and silly and whistle along if you feel like it sometimes. I finally get to hear The Loch Ness Mouse! Excellent! And who is Ring? And why do I love that clunky song so much?

Frode? Are you listening? Your new label's first release is swell, I like it a lot.

There's a boutique where Rocket Records used to be. They paint stencilly designs on old furniture. Brown paper still covers Foghorn Music's windows.

I hope that Hype City is around for a long time.

Copyright © 2001 Alice Kenner e-mail address

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