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Thursday, April 18, 2013 01:58 pm

Heil, high and hi-fi


Epsom rides into The Pharmacy, Saturday, April 20 at 7 p.m.

During a recent conversation with Illinois Times blogger Scott Faingold, I mentioned that National Record Store Day coincided with what has become national “weed” day (Huffington Post has a good reference article on how 420 became significant in pot culture). Scott, utilizing his acclaimed collection of facts and figures, added Hitler’s birthday to the April 20 amalgamation and that explains the rather odd collection of words making up this week’s headline.

Speaking of Master Faingold, he’ll be playing with his latest band, Epsom, Saturday, 7 p.m. at The Pharmacy, an art gallery and studios for area artists on South Grand and Pasfield. The original trio features Steven Sgro on guitar, Tim Harte on drums and Faingold on lyrics and vocals. Watch a live online stream at (Faingold at Large) or place yourself in The Pharmacy to see the show in person.

Let’s leave Adolph and Mary Jane out of the conversation for now to discuss Record Store Day. According to, the idea, “was conceived in 2007 at a gathering of independent record store owners and employees as a way to celebrate and spread the word about the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the U.S. and thousands of similar stores internationally.” Now a very cool, big deal featuring exclusive vinyl releases and in-store events, our entry in the record store story is Recycled Records, owned and operated by Mark and Gary Kessler, located downtown at 617 East Adams and as independent as a record store can be.

Doors open at 9 a.m. sharp (banging on the door does not get you in earlier) and Mark advised quantities and varieties may vary, but he ordered plenty of merchandise for the day. Expect a diverse bunch of 7, 10 and 12-inch records from artists dead, alive and in between, ranging from the Black Keys, Billy Bragg, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, a “South Park” picture disc, John Coltrane, Captain Beefheart, The White Stripes, Frank Zappa, and many more. Our community radio station WQNA-FM 88.3 broadcasts live from the storefront open to close, while Café Moxie supplies some tasty goodies and Recycled Records some fruit, as you enjoy Record Store Day all day now, and every day with your continued support. I could suggest buying a copy of Mel Brooks’ The Producers soundtrack or a Cheech and Chong record to complement the other parts of April 20, but that decision is yours alone.

The first annual Crowe Fest takes place at Crow’s Mill Pub on Toronto Road from 7 to 1, Saturday night with Micah Walk, Gary Fifer, Theresa O’Hare, myself, Murder of Crowes and Randy Charles and the Western Angels participating. We’ll play some outside in the beer garden then move indoors after ten. It’s always a pleasure to revisit the popular and influential live music venue of my younger days (thanks to then owners Nat and David Radwine). Long live Crow’s Mill!

Nearby Crow’s Mill, on the friendly campus of University of Illinois Springfield, visit the Sangamon Auditorium on Friday at 7:30 for a Spring Concert Music Showcase of the UIS Chorus, Chamber Orchestra and Band. Special mention goes to guest artist Phil Hemmo on guitar and the world premiere of a musical composition by Dr. Sharon Graf, founding member and developer of the UIS music department.

If you’re looking for a true-blue 420 connection what could be better than hooking up with China Ryder on Saturday at the Celtic Mist for a night of the Grateful Dead music? These guys deliver the goods and always light up the crowd.

Happy Record Store Day and more. Marina V is Friday at Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Congregation, too.

Contact Tom Irwin at