Joseph Powell may be guilty of these crimes, but he and two other Music Exchange employees have instituted a new cultural-enrichment program that allows them to share their vinyl treasures with the rest of the LP-grubbing population, thus assuaging their guilty consciences. Actually, their guilt wasn't the impetus behind Paris of the Plains, the new Tuesday night affair at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club; rather, it was their desire to spread the word of good music -- with no cover charge.
Powell, Darrell Edwards and Ben Juneau came up with the idea while "dorking around" at work, pulling the event's name from a record cover, Powell says. Out of that dork session arose a plan: Powell and Edwards would spin vintage jazz, funk, soul and blues LPs between live sets by Juneau, whom Powell classifies as a sort of barroom singer-songwriter somewhere between Tom Waits and Loudon Wainwright III. Unfortunately, back problems are keeping Juneau temporarily off the bill.
Until he recovers, Powell and Edwards will spin old records on old record players in that strange, cavelike alcove in the back of the main barroom. Selecting LPs the day before, Powell (who also goes by the handle DJ Radionics) chooses mostly jazz and funk, ranging from Curtis Mayfield to Charles Mingus. Edwards supplies the blues and soul portions of the spectrum.
"We try to keep it all vintage," Powell says. "Records are just way cooler. They really curate an air in the whole room." Which is nice, because breathing inside Davey's can be a bitch.