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Al Howard

It started about 3 years ago: An African seller at the swap meet would always say “Lee” when I approached and we’d embrace like long lost brothers. There’s a certain unspoken camaraderie that black folks have while existing in a Caucasian sea. Read more

Black Gold

Before I write another word, let me just say that in no way do I want any harm to ever come to Stevie Wonder. Read more

Black Gold

On this day, however, it wasn’t fatigue pushing me away from Qualcomm. It was the oppressive third-world heat on the black asphalt. Read more

Black Gold

This was a dope 45 to find and, when lightning strikes, it’s totally worth nearly knocking an elderly man over to get where you need to be. Read more

Black Gold

I desperately wanted to call this column “Negrotiations,” but I couldn’t find a race angle to tilt the title toward such juvenile cleverness. Read more

Black Gold

I would have gambled on this record for $10 so 50 cents was a huge success. Sometimes, a little less sleep ends up paying off. Read more

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I threw it on the turntable and discovered a hidden gem. It’s a cover of the Sonny Henry song, which was made popular by Santana. It was pretty standard until the instrumental break where the percussion and piano lift off with frenetic energy. Read more

Black Gold

A few years ago, I was one of the Black folks in Utah. I was passing through the town of Moab for a gig. I had arrived early and my favorite way to pass the hours has always been to dive headfirst into nature. Read more

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We were having a pleasant conversation while I checked the condition of the records but as I gathered up a pile, she nonchalantly mentioned that Hillary Clinton had murdered someone in Colorado. Read more

Black Gold

It’s not all thousand-dollar records and sweet soul music. There’s a word a lot of vinyl record enthusiasts use and that word is “chud.” Read more

Black Gold

“You think they’d let me work at a record store and not know who Zeppelin is?” I asked this despite the fact that I wanted to bewilder him by asking, “Is that Puff Daddy’s backing band on the song ‘Come With Me’ from the Godzilla soundtrack?” Read more

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How did I end up in a house in Clairemont grabbing bargain first pressings and having knives thrown by my head? Well, a week prior, I had met this lady piggybacking off of someone else’s yard sale in Ocean Beach. Read more

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The storage unit door opened and I immediately had that Christmas Morning pulse of a spoiled child. Read more

Black Gold

Most records are only as valuable as the joy they bring when someone listens to them. That’s probably the lamest Hallmark sentence I’ve ever written, but it’s the truth. Read more

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Estate sales are the ultimate tease. They show a little leg when the estate sale organizers start posting delectable photographs of the contents on the website weeks in advance. Read more

Black Gold

I dig for records. Not to romanticize it, but there are moments when I feel like an archeologist participating in the last gold rush on the frontiers of America. Read more

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On this episode of STP we feature San Diego musician, producer, raconteur and goodfellow, Al Howard. Also on the program, Ask Sordid Tales your Dumbass Question, Ed Decker's Mandatory Audio Gem of the Month and a reading and discussion of the... Read more

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