Spring cleaning and numinous leanings

A few items from the spring-has-sprung file:

— At a time when everyone and their goofy uncle has a band, recording career, and/or MySpace Music page (ahem), it’s nice to know that there are still a few hardy souls out there who take the business of listening to — not making — music seriously. Few take it as seriously as one Tom Daffer, the mythic independent record store hound whom Treehouse Records’ Dan Cote calls, “something of a cult hero in our record store/thrift store community.”

To be sure, anyone who has trolled the used vinyl shops is well acquainted with the sight of the 40-something Daffer making his rounds at Treehouse, the Electric Fetus, Arc’s Value Village, Half Price Books, and more. His bartering skills are as legendary (“Why so much?,” is his standard retort to clerks citywide) as are his backpacks overflowing with used vinyl and encyclopedic knowledge of all things pop music.

Cote and others call Daffer (who often can be found curled up and napping near his beloved vinyl bins) “our favorite customer.” Which is why it’s no small news that, as the nation celebrates independent shops with Record Store Day (www.recordstoreday) on Saturday, April 18, Daffer will make his professional deejay debut at 9 p.m. for The Treehouse Record’s 8th Anniversary Party at King and I Thai restaurant (1346 LaSalle Ave., Mpls. Reservations recommended; 612-332-6928.)

— W.H. Auden famously wrote, “We are all actors who cannot become something before we have first pretended to be it.” That wise instruction echoes the title and intent of Black Blondie’s “Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be,” another trippy swath of jazz-sex-soul-hop that has more in common with Nina Simone and Morcheeba than anything else in the current musical ether. To be sure, this is chill-out music of the highest and most erotic order; opium dens and leisurely strolls through the Rose and Peace Gardens beckon.

Behind many of the Black Blondie jams is one Samahra Daly, who, around these parts, is better known as the superheroine barrista behind the counter at Java Jack’s. If that description seems a bit over-the-top, well, so is she, what with her bright red lipstick and matching glasses, and a zest for life and people that is genuine, broad, and crazy generous. Don’t believe me? Stop into Java Jack’s one of these fine afternoons and join the rest of the blissed-out Samahra stalkers who regularly belly up to her counter to get a shot of her energy with their caffeine.

Which is nothing compared to the sight and sound of her full-on stage persona in Black Blondie (Daly, Tasha Baron, Liz Draper, and Kahlil Brewington), who celebrated the release of “Do You Remember Who You Wanted To Be” at the Triple Rock Social Club on Friday, April 17, and at Java Jack’s on Saturday, April 18.

— Finally, in celebration of the return of the sun to these parts, I leave you with this e-mail I received from my friend and South Minneapolis resident Chuck Lofy, after a conversation we had about life, money, the world, and all things spiritual. We were talking about reverence, awe, and inspiration, and searching for a new word to capture it all. After reaching out to an old friend of his, Chuck came back with this:
Numinous: “A word first coined by a German theologian Rudolf Otto in his work ‘The Idea of the Holy.’ It describes that sense of awe-inspiring wonder, which one might feel in certain places or situations where one senses the presence of God or spiritual beings — the sense of ‘other-ness’ about the situation. Having spiritual, mysterious, or holy qualities.”

Use it, early and often. Happy spring.

Jim Walsh lives and grew up in East Harriet.