Archives: The Brain

record swap

Recently we’ve been writing a lot of lists and organizing around here.

First on the list was to sort through our record collection, and weed out some of the non-essentials i.e. Milli Vanilli and STYX.  There’s probably still a ton of records left that could’ve gone in the “sale” bin but alas for now they will stay in our newly organized and sorted (by genre/era) record shelf.

Over the weekend I headed on down to The Brain for the bi-annual Deep Groove Record Swap.  It was a casual scene.  The regular crowd of afro-funk, soul, reggae and ska sellers and traders were not there in full force like I’ve seen a previous swaps, so I have to admit I was a little sad.  I didn’t pick up anything new but I managed to make one $5 sale from my “sale” bin; a lovely Roberta Flack album that we had a double copy of.

deep groove record swap, april 28 2012

I loved seeing all the different record enthusiasts swapping and flipping through records and chatting.  The best was watching a dad school his young daughter about vinyl.  He was happily showing her his awesome finds of Joy Division and New Order.

If you’re not into the record purchasing and swapping but maybe into some vinyl listening, there’s always Jazz Chess on late Sunday afternoons.   You could swing by for a beer, wine, cocktail or juice, jazz, chess and a nice ol’ cheese platter.

*The Brain, 199 James St. North, 289.396.8508

dj disaster

For one of the weddings I went to this summer I had been asked to be the DJ.  I was super excited to take on this task (my 2nd time DJ’ing ever) exclusively with records.  I spent days going through my vinyl collection and thinking about songs to play, while weighing out their danceability.

In university I once put a raging dance party to screeching halt by trying to cue up a song on a 5 CD changer but instead I accidentally cut the music mid song and dance.  If there had been a record for the needle to go skipping across when everyone stopped dancing and the room went quiet, it would have.  So for this wedding I wanted to be sure to have zero DJ disaster moments.

Having the ultimate dance party has always been an eternal dream of mine, so when the dance party was rowdy, collars turned up, ties on heads, and people were getting sweaty, I felt that I had done my duty.  I moved through the eras and genres of ska, soul, surf, calypso, funk, disco, 80′s rock, pop, and new wave. I even managed to squeeze in a little Wu-Tang.  One of my favourite parts of the night was when I turned to see the bride’s parents dancing to Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang.

Dusty Springfield, record, vinyl, A Girl Called Dusty

My two favourite tracks from Dusty Springfield’s 1964 album are Mama Said, and Do Re Mi.

Depeche Mode, The Singles, vinyl, record

Two songs I adore on this album, Just Can’t Get Enough, and Dreaming of Me.

records, vinyl

The Spinners, surf music, records, vinyl, Party -My Pad, After Surfin'

The killer song on this album that just makes me want to die and go to heaven is Barracuda, which has an uncredited mind blowing trumpet solo by the legendary Rafael Mendez.

Duke Errol, vinyl, record, Calypso

The song that I love on this album is a cover of A Hard Days Night, which was the entire reason why I bought the record.


Some of the songs that I played at the wedding a few people specifically came up and asked about after.  Those particular songs came from the 2 albums in the pictures above, which I had picked up in Hamilton from the Deep Groove Record Swap hosted at The Brain.  So if you’re into collecting records especially of the soul, jazz, funk, ska, afro, calypso, disco, rock variety you should definitely go by The Brain this Saturday from 1-5pm to do some record swapping and/or purchasing.  I’ve been to 2 swaps so far and have always managed to pick-up a few amazing finds.  There’s no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon with a coffee, or a pint, flipping through records and listening to great music.

Deep Groove Record Swap, Saturday, September 24th 2011, The Brain, 199 James St. north

*The Brain, 199 James St. north, Hamilton, Ontario

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