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The Cadets – Bird of Paradise

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Once a record store burned down.

It was that perfect kind of record store where you could find exactly what you wanted every time, new or old, and everything sounded like a classic. A  record store like that is as special and sacred to the record buyer as the girl he marries, and isn’t to be taken for granted.

45s, LPs, Singles, Albums, Elvis, Chuck Berry, The Sonics, The Clash, Dolly Parton, The Sex Pistols, The Ronettes, Hall And Oates, Frank Sinatra, The Bee Gees, Frank Sinatra covering The Bee Gees,  Dolly Parton covering The Sex Pistols, and even a Deion Sanders rap album (more on that sometime later…)  and all other artists that sounded magnificent with the scratch of a record needle- all fell prey to the raging flames. The fumes from the melted vinyl were so strong that the coffee shop down the street, where all the kids went to talk about their recent purchases and sometimes attempt to take one another home to lay on bedroom floors together and listen to The Pixies or  Radiohead or Wayne Newton together, had to close down for two days straight. Not only could the heart-struck kiddies not buy records anymore, but there were no mochas to drown their sorrows in. Truly, there was not much to live for anymore in this poor town.

The second day of those two miserable days, when the need for a mocha was most urgent, a wizard appeared in front of the smoldering ash pile that ached and belched smoke where the record store used to be. People will argue to this day over what he was wearing  or what he looked like, or if it was in fact a wizard at all, and not just a vagrant who smelled the melted vinyl and hoped there might be a strange barbecue going on. Whatever the case, as the townspeople watched, the wizard boldly walked into the smokey rubble.  Several minutes passed and the few myriad depressed onlookers assumed he had fallen prey to the wreckage and the fumes.  Nay, the wizard stumbled out, hunched over and coughing loud, deep, gooey sounding coughs. His hands were coated in a slimey shiny black phospholipid. Steam rose up from the mass. It maintained its form mostly, except for the small droplets of it that slid through his fingers like he was carrying a bundle of wet sand.  It was slowly realized by all watching that it was a clump of melted vinyl. It would certainly have to be as hot as lava, yet the wizard showed no sign of pain. Slippery droplets of molten vinyl splashed onto the pavement and instantly hissed and cooled like hot candlewax on tender flesh.  As the townspeople gawked, the wizard leaped away giggling, prancing away in long strides, never to be seen again.

As the legend follows, the great Record Store Wizard went back to his cave, or basement, or alley, depending on the teller, and used his vinyl goo-bundle to press a perfect record. A hint and a trickle of every section of the record store he had scraped up had a gelatinous representative in the shapeless bubbly amalgam he had scurried off with in his mystical hands.  He pressed a record, presumably with some hubcaps and his fingernails. The wizard fashioned and created  a sound that everyone could love and  from which you could hear hints of every old favorite you may have ever had, as long as they were awesome and worthy of showing up in the old beloved record store. The record was a full spray can of American Graffiti. It carried the disembodied soul of the great rock lords.

And the legend would have continued, but the author’s girlfriend called him for dinner. She had prepared a homemade meatloaf, and that was not to be taken lightly. There is a metaphor somewhere in here, only it escapes me now. Maybe the record the wizard made was Bird Of Paradise? Maybe The Cadets are the wizard? It’s really up to you.  So long story short, keep that wizard story in mind when listening to this song. And if ye be of good taste and testicular fortitude, come see The Cadets play at the UNF Student Union Ballroom Saturday April 21st at The Suntier Music Festival.  Now…NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM! You can also download The Cadets full-length album, On the Death of Science As a Major World Religion, for FREE on Synconation Records’ BandCamp page.

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