Jiffy’s got a colourful new friend.

Meet Gerozino the Giraffe, who takes a strange pleasure in helping me alphabetize piles of vinyl records and has a thing for Stina Nordenstam. There were a few surprises along the way, along with a musical interlude from Gerry (I figure we’ll call him that for short, and maybe sometimes “Z” for extra short, plus implied street cred).

After Stina finished singing, I threw on Radio City by Big Star as the continuing soundtrack for record alphabetizing, and man…that’s a damn fine album. I’ve never heard another example of “power pop” that I like even half as much. For more than a decade now, every single time I listen to “Back of a Car” I think I hear the phone ringing during the mid-song instrumental break. Must be something about the frequency of the electric guitar part or something. Even today, I ducked into my bedroom to make sure the phone wasn’t ringing during that part.

There isn’t a song on the album that isn’t great, but it’s an especially eyebrow-raising crime that “September Gurls” wasn’t a smash hit. Alex Chilton’s guitar break in the middle of that song, and again at the end, has to be one of the most joyous musical moments you’ll ever find on an album that sits buried in the “pop/rock” section of a record store. It is for me, anyway.

The album was ending just as our work was over.

After that, I went back to a few tracks on #1 Record (the album that came before Radio City) and was struck again by the thought that, much like Lennon and McCartney, Chris Bell and Alex Chilton were born to harmonize with each other. There’s something magical about their vocal interplay on a song like “Thirteen”, or Chris Bell’s own “You and Your Sister” (which shows up on his own lone solo album, cobbled together and released posthumously). Maybe at some point I’ll attempt to write something here about Chris, who was — and, though no longer living, remains — another woefully unsung songsmith, singer, and guitarist.

Hey, it’s time for the CJAM Jammy Awards once again. You should be able to vote over HERE for your favourite shows, along with the best local music venue and best local band/artist. I’m not saying you should vote for me. Obviously the best band/artist to ever come out of windsor is Betrayer. Come on. I don’t have to tell you that. But if you’re a Windsor-dweller and/or a CJAM fan and/or a fan of any of the music that comes out of the armpit of Ontario, you should vote and stuff. Voting ends sometime in mid-April.

I was told last year I was actually in the running to win the best local artist award thingy (which still kind of boggles my mind) before The Locusts Have No King took it home for the second year in a row. They ended up changing the rule after that so no one could win it twice in a row. Would have been nice to be the beneficiary of that rule, since I’m unlikely to ever have a shot at that sort of thing again, but what can ye do?


  1. oh I love giraffes! adorable toys. I’d like to see more of mister z.

    that pink vinyl looks awesome…but reminds me how ashamed I am to not own any records, let alone a record player. closest thing I ever had was a fisher price record player, haha :p

    1. There’s no shame! I grew up with records and then spent many years without a record player. Depending on where you are, a good turntable can be hard to find. But records are pretty spiffy, and it’s fun to build up a collection of them. It’s also fun when surprises fall out of them.

      And I wouldn’t count out Mr. Z…I imagine he’ll be popping up from time to time.

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