Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Now, um, usually I dont do this, but...


A couple of years ago, back when we were in the earlier stages of this filmmaking quest, Koko and I had a discussion about financing in which I ran down some of the creative methods through which other indie upstarts had raised the capital for their debut productions: Robert Townsend and the string of maxed credit cards that powered Hollywood Shuffle... Robert Rodriguez donating his body to science to make El Mariachi... Darren Aronofsky pulling together the completion funds for π by bumming $100 off of everybody he knew... Kevin Smith pawning a good portion of his cherished comic book collection to finance Clerks... Then Koko says to me: "You still have all those old records, don't you?"

"Yeah," I says. "Why?"

"You said a lot of collectors would pay good money for those things, right?"

"Yeah, I did mention that."

A tense silence fills the next few seconds, though it feels like hours. Finally, I speak: "I'm not selling my records."

"Why not? Don't you have multiple copies of a lot of them?"

"I have multiples of some of them, yes. And God willing, I will keep it that way!"

"FOR GOD'S SAKE, WHY?"

(Mind you, Koko was not asking why I was keeping multiples; he sincerely wanted to know why I kept ANY of them at all. As I've mentioned before, he has never had anything but contempt for the vast majority of Nigerian popular music and remains puzzled by my need to collect these records that he considers pure garbage.)

"You think I don't want to raise this cash, too? It's just that... Some things are more important than money."

Koko is genuinely bewildered now: "LIKE WHAT?"

At this point, I launch into a long spiel, the content of which I cannot remember. I am fairly certain, though, that it contained the phrases "guard our cultural heritage," "sell our birthright" and "FESTAC mask."

Koko is silent for a while, and then he says "Seriously... You have got to be the most un-Igbo Igbo man I have ever met in my life."

And that was that.

Well... Not really. Time and time again, the subject would intermittently re-arise, with Koko goading and pleading (and Enyi occasionally chiming in, asking what I had against making money while rhetorically questioning my Igboness), but like the eyebrows below Sylvester Stallone's Botoxed forehead in the new Rambo movie, I remained unmoved.

Flash forward to now: Some of you who shop for records on eBay might have noticed that over the past two or three months, I've occasionally been up on there hawking vinyl.

To what can we attribute my change of heart? Well...

1) Back when I first started (seriously) collecting old Nigerian records about 8 or 9 years ago, it was mostly a barren landscape. These things were hard as hell to find--even in Nigeria--and I had to go to often absurd and brutally taxing lengths just to find someone who remembered these records, let alone who could grant me access to them. Under these circumstances, I actually entertained the possibility that I was in possession of the last surviving copies of some of these albums, and I was like an ethnomusicological L.S.B Leakey digging up and preserving the fragile remains of a disappeared culture.

But with time, I've learned that it's not that deep. As the popularity of African pop music of all kinds has exploded over the past few years, all these rare vinyl nuggets have continued to come to light by the truckload, so it's not like I have to hoard and curate that much; there's enough vinyl to go round... provided you're willing to pay for it. And if so, why should you not pay me? Because, you see...

2) Comb & Razor, Inc. needs to acquire a few pieces of fairly expensive production hardware, and it's not like we can just charge it to the game. Also...

3) The amount of clutter in my pad is getting ridiculous. My sister visited this past weekend and threatened to call Niecy Nash on my ass.

So yeah... Let me officially state that I am indeed selling records, so if you want to buy them, come see about me.

Check back frequently, and add me to your favorite sellers ("combrazor" is the ID), as I'll be putting up more stuff with time. It'll probably be mostly Nigerian records of the type I post about here, though I might occasionally throw in other stuff, too. Also, feel free to hit me up with requests; I can't promise I'll be able to fill them all, but I'll try!

For some reason, I feel the need to apologize for placing this advertisement in this space: the idea of selling or shilling on this blog for my own pecuniary profit makes me cringe more than a little. But hey... The original raison d'etre of the blog was to document the making of TOO MUCH BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, and this is kinda part of that saga, so I guess I can get a pass here.

(Look at me, expressing embarrassment over mercantile activity! Seriously... What kind of Igbo man am I?)

Let the sell out begin!

24 comments:

Moni said...

How about just eating ramen noodles for a long while? ;)

But seriously though, I understand completely. I've also felt the same about the records possibly being "last surviving copies."

Good luck w/ the ebaying. The market can be flakey, but I've also seen things go for $500+

Comb & Razor said...

sheeee-it.... what makes you think i'm not eating ramen right now?

anyway, yeah... the market has its ups and downs, but like anything else, it's usually all about having the right product at the right time!

i'm not trynna be greedy here... just trynna get a little bitty slice of cake!

Moni said...

My guy, pele o... I troway salute go your side :)

Have you decided on the gear you're getting?

Comb & Razor said...

i was pretty sure for a while, but some recent developments have had me reconsidering a bit.

nevertheless, there are some things that are pretty much constants no matter what, so i'm aiming to get those things first... stabilizers and a couple of other things like that.

Perrie said...

Hi Comb & Razor –

I recently came across an old post that said you had managed to get the rights to an old James Hadley Chase story.

I'm a student film maker, Chase is one of my favorite authors, and I'm looking to get the rights to one of his stories. How did you manage to find the contact info for his estate lawyer and publisher? Any tips would be AMAZING and so appreciated.

Great blog btw. I'm glad I came across it in my search!

Thanks,

Perrie
perrie.briskin@gmail.com

Duck & Cover Sounds said...

I know it can be tough to part with things you worked so hard to get (or hear!) But atleast you can say you've found them, heard them and can give someone else a chance to do the same. And remember they weren't always yours to begin with. And as always thanks for sharing.

Comb & Razor said...

Duck & Cover...

you know, that is pretty much exactly how i feel, too. none of this stuff belongs to any of us... we just hold on to it for some time, and then let it move on!

the music wants to be free... so let it!

(well, in this case, not "free"... auctioned!)

Bigdaf said...

Hey comb & Razor, long time no hear, ol'boy de record sale wan give me heart attack oh. I had a look and there are real gems there.

Good luck in the auction

Bigdaf

p.s if you still remember the Gbubemi Amas record - Ereyon, remember me before you sell it!

Comb & Razor said...

hey Bigdaf!

funny enough, i was thinking about you just this morning... feeling kinda bad i hadn't hollered at you in a while!

i didn't forget about the Amas, either (thought about that this morning too!). i'm gonna do a post on him soon... just need to find the time to get stuff together...

Joe said...

So out of curiosity, are you digitizing what you're selling? That would offer a way to at least hold on to the sounds, if not the objects, which, though cool and magnetic in their own way, are really just vessels.

Good luck raising enough to move forward with the film.

Comb & Razor said...

Joe--

oh DEFINITELY.

i mean, i'm the kind of guy who has an attachment to the vinyl artifact itself, but i would never dream of disposing of a record without at least copying it first!

in any case, for now i'm mostly going to be selling stuff i have duplicates of. as time goes on, though -*choke*- we shall see!

(let it not be said i do not suffer for my Art!)

Comb & Razor said...

(er... maybe i shouldn't have that out loud; i know some collectors are turned off by the idea that the seller is keeping mp3s of the record they're paying for, but come on... let's be real. it's 2008 now: OBVIOUSLY the seller is gonna keep a copy of that shit!)

Anonymous said...

Hello everybody,

I am Nicolas Moncadas and maybe you heard of me on Voodfunk last post (Beware mp3).

Her my link on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/MONCADAS

Best regards.

Nicolas

Comb & Razor said...

thanks a lot, Nicolas!

hope to see more of your work soon!

B2V said...

HI C&R

what is your movie project about ?
is it for TV or DVD ?

thanks for the music !
good luck for ebay biz

benoit

Comb & Razor said...

hey Benoit...

let's see... what is the movie about?

well, the earliest entries in this blog talk about it, like this one

it's definitely not for TV, but we're looking at DVD and (God willing) theatrical.

we shall see.

thanks for the good wishes!

John B. said...

The prices for some of those Ebay items are pretty high - you might make out like a bandit.

Comb & Razor said...

no comment! :-)

naijarecords said...

Comb&razor, I am looking for any album by the Wings Of Aba. This is the best pop/funk band that has ever come out of Nigeria. You can name your price if you can get me the "Kissing you so hard" album.By the way you are not an Igboman, you are either Efik or Ibibio, so where does this so call Igboman mentality come from.Keep up the good work.

Comb & Razor said...

naijarecord -

i do indeed have a copy of "KIssing You So Hard"... i just need to clean it up.

and i'm neither Efik nor Ibibio, btw... i grew up in Calabar, but like the Wings, i am from Aba!

FireBrand said...

Peace. Good luck on the project. I can't wait to get a chance to see it.

Comb & Razor said...

thanks a lot, FB... hopefully it will come to light sooner than later!

Indigenous Productions said...

Its too bad that you have to sell your records. If only you could donate them to a museum for like ten years and they could keep them for you and display them. Then you could get them back after the contract is up. You know like the African art that comes from individual collections that we see in museums all around the world.

Because the thing about selling the records is that they are gone forever but if you can get them in a museum or gallery or something where they can be fetching you continuous income then that would be tight.

Either way good luck.

naijarecords said...

Whao! I am very happy that you have this album. I went to Aba for this album, but after four hours at pound road I gave up. so please contact me at olomu66@hotmail.com so that we can talk. So you are an original Igboman. Kedu