Friday night at Wynwood cafe Lester’s is Singles Night, not a mixer for the unhitched but an old-fashioned listening party. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., a handful of Miami musicians and artists will be spinning some of their favorite records for your ears to hear (see the Events section listing for full details). The Singles Night organizers are promising “eclectic selections and smooth transitions” with a blunt caveat: “We apologize for nothing.” To get a better sense of what to expect, we went ahead and asked three of the participating DJs to list some of their favorite singles of ALL TIME. First up: multimedia artist Kevin Arrow, who wrote all of the song blurbs on this page.
“Baby Scratch My Back” by Slim Harpo (EXCELLO RECORDS, 1966)
Excello was the first blues label established in Nashville, Tennessee. I found this scratchy copy like most of my LPs and Singles, in a dusty record bin in a South Florida thrift shop.
“Gouge Away” by Pixies (live recording Caberet Metro, Chicago, 1989)
Given away with Issue No. 38 of The Bob Magazine, 1990. Eva Tone soundsheet flexi disk Promotional Copy. I love flexi disks I wish I had more.
“Gimme Indie Rock” by Sebadoh (HOMESTEAD RECORDS, 1991)
Clear vinyl. The song “Gimme Indie Rock” is Lou Barlow’s confessional bio-song that takes the piss out of everything. It was hard to listen to anything seriously after hearing this. Also, the song “Ride the Darker Wave” is brilliant.
“Eight Miles High” by Husker Du (SST RECORDS, 1984)
I probably purchased this at the legendary Open Books & Records in North Miami after seeing Husker Du play live at the Fireman’s Hall in Ft. Lauderdale in the mid ’80s. My ears are still ringing!
“The Jerk” by the Clarendonians (Studio One)
One of the reasons that I love Miami. Finding Studio One singles and LPs in thrift shops!
“There Must Be Something” by Cathy Davis (TAURUS RECORDS)
Meeting people in thrift shops is an important part of the discovery of singles and LPs. This single and a trunk full of others came from a nice old lady who informed me that her husband used to be a DJ in Opalocka, FL, in the mid ’70s. Say no more!
“It Keeps on Raining” by Gwen McCrae (CAT RECORDS, 1975)
I love this song, which was written by Miami treasure Clarence Reid, aka Blowfly. This also came from the nice old lady in Opalocka.