Sunday, August 6, 2017

Value Village [Mississauga Ontario]


I have finally been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take this blog international! I had 4 nights spent in Mississauga while I worked in nearby Brampton.  My first stop here at Value Village was a pleasant accident.

I was told we would be working somewhere between 11am-11pm everyday so I wanted to make sure I had beer available to myself because the last thing you want to do after a 12 hour shift like that is to find out that there are no nearby places to get alcohol.  So I got off the plane and immediately took an Uber toward the nearest Beer Store.  I stopped for a delicious lunch I will not soon forget (and often miss) at Watan Kebab.  Then as I rounded the corner into the strip mall which housed the Beer Store, I saw Value Village.  I had already laid out a couple places on the map that I planned to try and make time to see but somehow I had missed this.  I wasn't even 100% sure that it was a thrift store initially.  And even if it was, did they have vinyl? I'd learn quite a few things pretty quickly.


Yes, it was a thrift store.  I had a hunch that this place was somehow affiliated with Savers and I later found that I was correct.  In fact, there are actually a handful of Value Village stores in the USA.  I also just realized I have been to one before, in North Carolina a couple years ago.  And as you can see above, yes, they have records and plenty of them!  Most interesting were what I immediately recognized as Canadian pressings of two vinyls I already own.  I was tempted to buy one or both of them but left them both behind, to some small amount of regret I still continue to be haunted by.

The pseudo hype sticker on the Roger Miller album immediately made it stand out to me.
Same for the yellow A&M box logo on Whipped Cream.  Both Canadian, through and through.
At a level not recently seen, or perhaps ever, this place had so many Goddamned Engelbert albums it was staggering.  Because I have some sick form of OCD I had to lay them all out on the floor in order.  The fact not revealed by this photo is that there was heavy traffic all around me as I attempted to first lay them out, in as close to order as I could conjure up under the circumstance, then to back away enough to get the angle I wanted.  No one said a word but no doubt they were inconvenienced for my sick pleasure which is this blog!


And as a footnote, his non-Parrot releases, save for the live album which I have of course categorized incorrectly.  You NEVER see 'Love Letters' in the wild, this was overwhelming to find.  Bear in mind these were all scattered through the bins so I don't know that a singular donor brought them here, perhaps all of Ontario just loves Enge that much? Does Enge love them right back, just as much? With the close proximity of vinyl, beer and kebabs, I know I do.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

South Jax Antique Mall [Jacksonville IL]


Man I love antique malls.  I love having a nice afternoon to myself, after my work is done, when I am out in the middle of nowhere and an antique mall to dig through.  It is relaxing and the kind of 'smell the flowers' activity we all need to take in for ourselves regularly, one way or another.

I love looking at old stuff, call it what you will: 'antiques' or just 'junk'.  But there are always the odd bin of crummy vinyl lurking around corners in these places.




Jacksonville is a nice place, quiet and peaceful.  The most remarkable thing about it perhaps is that my cell phone actually is 'roaming' when I am there (I have since been back), and I've taken my phone many different places and to two other countries without incident! I don't care about the roaming so much as I don't pay the bill, but data transfer (even small stuff) takes ages.  A good time to 'unplug' and just relax.



I did come out of here with some Pyrex, as I have mentioned many times both my girlfriend and myself collect.  I dug all the records you see here but didn't come across anything worthy of note.  No matter.  I just like the adventure.  I already have over 700 records.  How many more do I need? I could retire entirely and be happy (and have trouble getting through all this vinyl) or I can try to take a step back and enjoy the process.  Which I think I do!





It is something of an antique mall tradition that when you get rung up, the person behind the counter uses this old school table to calculate your tax because they almost never have legit cash registers.    They had one here and it looked like it had been in service for a long, long time.  I know I've said it above, but my #1 memory of this place is peace and serenity.  I long to go back.  I hope I do before long.




Goodwill [Woodhaven MI]


Got to make a trip up to Detroit, an area I have almost never traveled to in my decade plus of jetsetting around the midwest and beyond.  We were working out in the middle of nowhere, about 30 min south of Detroit and we were staying in Woodhaven.  Was able to sneak away and check out some vinyl.


I'll cut to the chase - there was nothing here.  But now it's come to this - timing myself to see how long it takes to go through all these junk records.  As you can see above, there are 6 bins or stacks and let's conservatively say there were 30 records in each.  So minimum 150, again being conservative.  The time required to dig that junk, individually inspecting anything that stood out? You can see below.  Now thats 'chops'.







Sunday, July 9, 2017

free vinyl



The Bollweevils / Ripcordz - North America Loud Punk Series
I saw the Bollweevils live a few times at the Fireside Bowl back in the 90s.  Some of those times were when they were playing with another band that I liked, I was never an outright fan though they are good and a classic Chicago punk band that has to be respected.

Beastie Boys - Intergalactic / Peanut Butter & Jelly
I saw the Beasties in 1994 I think at the Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena).  At that point I had already been to some dangerously packed, death defying punk shows at small venues where I had been crushed up against the stage, etc.  But this show was totally exhausting.  It was so hot and claustrophobic I could not wait to get out of there even though I was a huge fan at the time.  Obviously this single came out a long time after that.

White Kaps - Wooly Bully
This one has is missing it's picture sleeve.  My only real experience with White Kaps was on an old video from back in the days that we used to watch again and again.  There were some great songs and videos on there from some of my favorite bands.  But the video gets worse as it goes on and this is the last song.  The video is beyond low budget and its ridiculous.  We used to just laugh at it and looking back I'm laughing at it again now.

Rage Against The Machine - No Shelter
This one is missing it's extremely creepy picture sleeve.  I have to figure out what that photo is from.  I was exposed to RATM when their debut came out when I was in high school and we played it constnatly.  I preordered the follow up at my local record store and got a shirt and a poster with the CD as a reward.  The third album (which this song is from) came out when I was in college.  I never bought that album though I have listened to it at length and it is excellent.  My biggest memory of that album is that I was working at a restaurant at the time and there was a younger kid there named Corey.  We used to drive around in his car after we closed up, we listened to this album a lot and we'd smoke cigs and one hitters as we drove around in the dark.

The Larry BrrrdsLynyrd's Innards - Split 7" 
My friend told me he got this at the Fireside after a show and even got Lynyrd's Innards to autograph it.  I never listened to these guys or even saw them live, even though they were very active at the time I was going to punk shows constantly.  I'll have to give this a listen.

Lynyrd's Innards - Your Ass Is Grass
Ditto above.

Oblivion (12) / Apocalypse Hoboken - Oblivion / Apocalypse Hoboken
Ditto above - two more Chicago punk bands from the 90s that I never saw live even though they were active at the time I was 'active' in the scene, I'm familiar with both but never listened to either.  Now I will.

Voodoo Glow Skulls - Land Of Misfit Toys 
I played the hell out of their first album as it came out right during my 'golden age' of punk rock.  I still love it.  I have their second CD also but I got it from someone because they lost the case and wanted another copy, so I have it tucked in a book sans insert.  I see now they have many more albums and I've never listened to any.  I can't remember when they came to Chicago (I'm sure they did) but I've never seen them live and I don't think I know anyone who has, though they would be an awesome live show.

Here are all of the above, mixed for your enjoyment, with commentary.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Estate Sale, Bensenville



I believe this is something called 'work life balance' that entails not working yourself until your mental and physical health suffers, not attempting to do the work of more than one person, working off hours voluntarily, etc... I think this is part of a science fiction novel or something because it is laughable to think I could incorporate this into my life.  But on a Friday, I just sped away from the shop for a while and hit up an estate sale with the promise of vinyl, on a warm summer morning just a few miles from the shop.


Estate sales always kind of bug me out, I don't have a problem digging through someone's personal possessions when they have decided to share them for their own profit, but when it is someone else's possessions being sold because they are dead, it is a bit morally questionable I feel, for me to profit off of their death.  Not profiting in terms of money of course, but by my own personal gain.  Then again, I suppose these events earn money for the family to defer the costs of burial and what have you.


I have lived and worked in the area my whole life more or less and while I felt I had a firm grasp of the boundaries of Bensenville, I was shocked to find this small pocket off of 83 which felt very much like a rural area from another state.  The roads were very narrow, especially so for my large truck and of course it was garbage day.  So I was challenged by even more mammoth vehicles.  At one point I watched one just reverse down a long and winding side street as it was a dead end and there were no possible way for a tank that large to spin around.

                                       

                       

In a very cluttered basement with just enough room to maneuver down the stairs, I came across a 16-cube bookshelf which had about 4 1/2 cubes filled with records.  I also located an old wooden crate on the floor.  The crate was loaded with filler of the worst kind; the bookshelf initially did not prove to be at all superior.  But soon after I did start to dig up some country.  I gasped audibly when I located the alternate cover to Roger Miller's debut.  I have never seen one in the wild and I was even happier to see it was the mono version.  Shortly after that I found two copies of Dwight Yoakum's second album AND a copy of his first.  I already own the debut but I was very tempted to buy it again as I so rarely see it.  I did eventually return it to it's bin but I did not walk away from the follow up.  Most regrettably, I also did a catch-and-release on the Del Fuegos debut, a band I know almost nothing about except for the mention in a song of my teenage years, some 90s alternative gold.  But as I walked away with two new vinyls and a Pyrex for my girl, I couldn't help but to be satisfied.  They weren't going to give me a receipt (they kept them for their records) so I had to ask the cashier to let me take a photo.  They indulged me, thankfully.