Week 11 (November 9 and 11)

Busy busy busy with Boddie Recording Company: Cleveland, Ohio and Eccentric Soul: The Nickel & Penny Labels.  We knew that we’d be getting pallets of CDs and LPs of both releases, so to prepare I tightened up whatever pallets we did have, shuffled them around, and made space for deliveries.  A pretty easy wednesday morning.  I spent the rest of the day starting an ongoing project researching rare funk and soul tracks for a future compilation.  Before starting this project, I received some serious schooling from the Numero staff about finding and sourcing rare records.

Fresh Boddie CDs in need of some stickering.

As soon as the Boddie CDs were delivered, I set off on stickering as many as possible to immediately send them off to the distributors.  Also, check out the review of the box set featured in an issue of the Chicago Reader.

Friday morning resembled my preparations for WFMU record fair, pulling stock–LPs, CDs, tapes, shirts, card sets, posters, etc–for the March to North Carolina.  This time, I compiled a stock list for the staff to take with them, as they intended to distribute merch at various stores across the region.  So, they also had me update Numero’s master stock list to reflect the addition of new releases.

We also received two separate deliveries of Nickel and Penny LPs, Boddie acetates (bonus for subscribers), and Boddie Recording Company vinyl box sets.  Receiving is pretty basic.  We go out in the alley and help direct truck drivers driving backwards, quickly make room in the back, and help push these massive pallets into place.

Other than what I’ve mentioned, I just did various odds and ends like scanning certain trading cards for preservation.  Speaking of cards, I forgot that I have a digital proof sheet of all the trading cards.

"No Hitters" proof sheet.

Pretty rad.  Seems like my first days at Numero working on these cards were years ago.

From Boddie Recording Company

Creations Unlimited “Chrystal Illusion”


More Syl 45s

Week 10 (November 2 and 4)

As far as work went, my work consisted mostly of finishing up the remaining Syl 45 box sets–described in the previous post–and helping out with customs forms.  By this point, I sort of became the go to person for completing customs forms.  I never really mind doing them.  They’re easy and I can burn through them quickly.

On the 4th, Ken, Tom, and Nate worked on a promo video for Numero’s March to North Carolina, a trek taking them through the Midwest and South ending in the Eccentric Soul Revue in Durham, North Carolina on November 19th.  Anyway, you can see me in throughout the first minute of the promo.


I made the tape bandolier!

All of my posts so far have featured Numero’s soul and funk discography.  To change it up a bit, here are a few tracks from Wayfaring Strangers: Ladies From The Canyon, a compilation of solo female singers a la Joni Mitchell.  Check out a review over on Dusted for the scoop.

Collie Ryan “Cricket”


Linda Rich “Sunlight Shadow”


Shira Small “Eternal Life”


Record Fair

Week 9 (October 26 and 28)

On Wednesday, I prepared stock for a few Numero employs headed to New York for WFMU’s annual record fair.  So, with a list I prepared along with Zach Myers, I pulled every single release that Numero has to offer, both on LP and CD.  Then I packed them up in an orderly fashion to assist in finding certain releases once in NYC.

Friday was pretty slow, due to WFMU, so I mostly helped out by finishing up mailorders and filling out customs forms.  I also started a project that lasted for a week or two, assembling Syl Johnson 45 box sets.  There were already a good portion of these already assembled, but my goal was to use whatever free time I had to finish the rest of these.  The task was easy enough: take a full run of syl 45s (ES-021, ES-022, ES-023, E-024, E-025) put them in a 45 box, slip in a trading card, and tape the box up with our special “Syl Johnson” packing tape.

Sockin' Soul Power

Here’s side A of disc 2, Syl Johnson “My Funky Band”

And here are a few tracks from The Final Solution: Brotherman OST at the top of the post.

The Final Solution “Brotherman”

The Final Solution “Gotta Get Through To You”

Organizing, Mailers.

Week Eight (October 17 and 21)

Following the yard sale, there was a bit of cleaning to do: re-shelving stock, organizing the garage, consolidating Ebirac stock, and then restocking.  I spent most of the 17th doing these things, especially making space in the garage for deliveries of new releases.

On the 21st,  I assembled media and promotional mailers for the upcoming release of NUM 039 Eccentric Soul: The Nickel and Penny Labels (pictured above).  Promotional mailers mainly go out to various industry related companies, like other reissue labels, bloggers… I think.  Media mailers are sent out to NPR, Chicago Tribune, Rolling Stone, Vogue, etc.  The two are pretty much identical.  Both got a few pages giving an explanation of the release accompanied by a promotional copy of the album.  However, the media mailers typically get nicer, color copies of the info sheets–you want to impress, ya know?

I can’t quite remember, but I think that it I also Gracenoted Nickel and Penny on the 21st.  “Gracenoting” just means submitting album information (track titles, artists, genre) to an online database.  That’s how all your track names appear magically when you insert it into your computer–interns!

Here’s a cut from Nickel and Penny

The Matta Baby “Do The Pearl, Girl”


Delivering on the Promise

Week Seven (October 14)

Most of my time this week was dedicated to preparing for Numero’s Yard Sale, held on Saturday, October 15.  Besides thinning out some stock, the sale adds to the sense of community around Numero and crate-diggers by hosting a small scale record swap.  In preparation of the event, I pulled a good portion of Numero releases, as well as some Ebirac crates taking up space in the garage (Ebirac being the salsa label featured on Cult Cargo: Salsa Boricua De Chicago).

I also assembled the first batch of trading card sets, “No Hitters.”  In total, there will be 300–“will be” since as far as I know, we’ve yet to complete all of them.  Its a long and arduous process to make sure all the cards are there and in order.  After doing it the first time, I have avoided it like the plague.

Assembling 50+ trading card sets.

The final product.

Now for some tunes.  Pictured at the very top is Eccentric Soul: Twinight’s Lunar Rotation, featuring tracks from Chicago’s own southside record label, Twinight.  Its an awesome 4LP compilation documenting Chicago’s R&B scene.  Also, its one of the records the entire Numero staff agrees is the best in terms of the musical content.

Sidney Pinchback “Soul Strokes”

Renaldo Domino “Let Me Come Within”

Renaldo Domino still performs today.  You should really check him out if you’re not already familiar.  He’s often backed by Chicago’s J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound.

Catch Up

Clearly, I’ve been neglecting the blog.  So, get ready for a blast of updates about the past 5 weeks or so over the next few days (if I don’t get them all up today).  Unfortunately, due to the passing of time, I cannot remember all of the tasks and the details of each week.  Thus, some of these updates may be fairly brief.

Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving.

Buster Benton’s Catch Up With the World

Subscription Time

Week Six (October 9)

This week, I only had one task: putting together subscription mailers.  A handful of Numero fans pay a subscription to get early copies of new releases with a few bonus materials, and due to the release of Titan: It’s All Pop! on 4LP vinyl, the subscriptions were a bit backlogged.  The task was simple enough; box up a copy of Titan, throw in a copy of Little Ed and the Soundmasters, a Titan 10″, along with original business cards from the Titan label and an original LP or 45.

Titan: It’s All Pop!, Little Ed and the Soundmasters, and The Boys 10″

I think in total there were about 150 boxes to assemble, split between myself and whoever else had time to help out.  So, it took quite a while to put them all together, all day in fact.  The weird thing about it though, was the way time passed.  I still am not clear exactly how long it took to assemble one box.  In my mind, it was either five minutes or half an hour.  Just one of those tasks that totally messes with you mind and its perception of time, I guess.  The time-consuming factor wasn’t pulling records, but physically boxing them in a way that ensures the records remain stationary, minimizing any abuse USPS can inflict upon them.  At first, I had to box and re-box a few before I got the hang of it.

At this point, I think I may have made it clear the scale of the project, but just to drive it home… here’s a picture of some boxes!

At this point, I am renaming my blog to… something that involves “boxes” in the title?

Yep… guess what you can’t see out of frame?  Stacks of more boxes.  It’s nice, the sense of accomplishment you have after finishing a task like this.

Onto some music.  I thought I should change the music up a bit with some Bahama-funk, since I seem to be posting mostly low-key soul and Motown.  With that, I give you some choice tracks off of Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay

Jay Mitchell’s “Funky Fever”

Sylvia Hall’s “Don’t Touch That Thing”

From Dusted Magazine about the above track:

“But it falls to a church lady to make the most explicitly Bahamian music on Grand Bahama Goombay. It’s also one of the collection’s best moments. Sylvia Hall’s “Don’t Touch That Thing” is based on an indigenous children’s rhyme that prescribes a just-say-no approach to birth control:

‘Don’t touch that thing, your momma’s gonna know.
Don’t touch that thing, your momma’s gonna know.
How’s your momma gonna know? You’re belly’s gonna show.’

The track’s rough, raucous funk groove speaks the lingua franca that American pop music had spread around the world, but can you imagine hearing these words on ’70s AM radio?”