A Cosmic and Earthly History of Recorded Music

Here at THE THING, we listen to albums from Mississippi Records almost everyday.  So we are extra excited to welcome the man behind the label, Eric Isaacson, who will give a whirlwind but all-encompassing presentation on the history of recorded music.

We hear he doesn't give these talk very often, and our space is small, so make sure you get your tickets soon!


  • WHEN:  Thurs Nov 12: 6:30-8:00PM
  • WHERE: TTQ Headquarters (447 O'Farrell Street in San Francisco's TL)
  • TICKETS: $10 includes refreshing beverage.  GET THEM HERE.
  • BONUS: Limited run cassette tapes by Eric Isaacson available at the event only.


This admittedly whirlwind presentation attempts to sum up the entire history of recorded music starting with the birth of all stars in the universe and ending in the dark ages of the 1980's.  To tell this story, Mississippi Records representative Eric Isaacson uses 45 minutes of film, 166 slides, and many audio samples.  The program is designed to engage folks with short attention spans and in the end, should be regarded as entertainment far more than educational. Footage featured includes transcendent performances by Bo Diddley, The Staple Singers, Rev. Louis Overstreet, James Brown, Skip James, The Swan Silvertones, Willie Dixon, Mahalia Jackson and much more. Some of this footage has not been seen anywhere since the 1960's!  Also being shown are many novel and strange pieces of film that drive home how high and  low culture can fly.

All told, the presentations goal is to inspire artists and musicians to keep on struggling against the powers that be and their own inner demons.  Beyond telling the history of recorded music, the presentation will also touch on the history of Mississippi Records and the personal feelings of the presenter.  Other subjects touched on will include -

- The cosmic patterns that resemble music generated by stars being born and dying.

- The musical patterns in the natural world that work on the same principals as music.

- The untold early history of recording technology (including tales of Archeoacoustic technology that allows us to hear recordings from 2,000 years or more ago, cat pianos, the phonautogram which reproduces sounds from dust and much more)

- The rise of the blues, rock and roll, and other revolutionary American music forms and their subsequent destruction by the powers that be

- Hopeful messages about the future

Here's a preview - 


Eric Isaacson has run the Mississippi Records label and retail space for the past 13 years.  The Mississippi label has produced over 200 LP's and over 106 cassette compilations featuring  soul ,blues, folk, punk, rock, international, classical, gospel, esoteria and much more. Artists on the label include Irma Thomas, Dead Moon, Michael Hurley, Abner Jay, Fred McDowell, Pandit Pra Nath, Peter Buck and Mahmoud Ahmed.

The store and label have never had any internet presence, have never advertised in any way, and have distributed their goods only through DIY channels.  The Mississippi Records retail store has no answering machine, does not take credit cards and only uses a calculator and notebook as its tools of commerce. Both the Mississippi label and store have tried to operate largely as a community trust and art project mores than a business, with varying degrees of success.

Eric has traveled the world giving psychedelic presentations on music and film history.  Currently, he is looking to sell the whole Mississippi operation and become a sushi chef and/or movie theatre usher.

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