Sunday, January 19, 2014

Marklund Resale, Georgetown Square, Wood Dale

A five minute ride to the train station turned into a 45 minute jaunt all the way home when conversation got too involved to notice that I should exit the car and get onto the platform.  No matter - it gave me a chance to follow up on a tip I got that this thrift store had a small cache of records.

Indeed they did - nothing I purchased but found some decent stuff in there (most of which I have).  A handful of Herb Alpert records, 'Wolf Creek Pass' by C.W. McCall which had me absolutely incredulous (it was pretty beat up, though) and not one but two copies of  A Star Is Born.

They also had a couple other records from Babs that had me half interested.  Or maybe the cover art is what had me interested.

Custom fabricated turntable flightcase stand

In the past 2 weeks I have built a record bin and also a framework to hold the flightcase for my turntables.  Both units weigh in excess of 120lbs (each) and were built entirely from salvaged wood.  I only spent money on the paint.  These 2 units replaced a very inept system that was pushed to its limits (no room for new vinyl) and was generally inefficient.

The level of happiness these two items have brought me, both during the build and also now being able to use/appreciate them, cannot be measured.

Return to Logan Hardware...

Sort of spur of the moment and towards the end of a respectable snow storm I grabbed Pace 331 up to the Cumblerland blue line at about 5pm on a Saturday after a long nap.  I rode to the California stop and then walked east on Fullerton before I stopped at Papa Ray's for a Florentine calzone.  I knew I needed fuel before I spent some quality time in the shop.

I had returned to pick up an Azymuth record I passed on last time around (I did come away with Telecommunication during that visit).  Of course, it was gone.  I was also hoping to find a copy of Still Life (Talking) - not that I had seen it last time or anything, I just had my fingers crossed.  Also crapped out.

Failures aside, I picked up three records:

-Wes Montgomery - A Day In The Life
I have held this in my hand more than once, most recently at Reckless Records, Lakeview.  I am in love with this album cover, and the format used for the cover design on these CTI/A&M late 60s jazz releases.  It is used notably on three Wes albums: this one,  Road Song (which I have) and also Down Here On The Ground.  All three were released between 1967-68.  George Benson's Shape Of Things To Come from the same time frame also uses this cover.  Got to have it!

-Pat Metheny Group - First Circle
As I said above, I came looking for 'Still Life (Talking)'.  There were only two records in the bin for Pat: this one and The Falcon And The Snowman (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).  I was initially disappointed but decided to grab this anyway as I knew it was from the same era and part of a handful of records where Pat was exploring Brazilian styles, which is surely my bag.  This morning as I write this, I am going through my second listen and it is growing on me quickly.  I am a fool not to have investigated Mr. Metheny previously.  The epic title cut on side A is irresistible and its crescendo of power and volume will give even the most decidedly non-Jazz fans a shiver.  On its first listen it caught a skip during the intense drum break after the piano solo and was looping perfectly to the exotic (to an American punk rock musician) South American time signature.  Took me a minute before I thought that perhaps it was a lengthy section of the song and may be a technical problem.  I gave the counterweight another gram and all was well.
-Flora Purim - Open Your Eyes You Can Fly
Flora released 7 albums on Milestone between 73-78 - I now have 5.  In 77 she departed that label briefly for a single release on Warner Bros. I think I'd like to use that as a break to give myself an excuse not to seek out the last 2.  I don't remember if this was there last time or not but I know I did walk away with Butterfly Dreams during my last visit.

I literally crawled on my hands and knees around the entire store checking the spines on every single common record they had looking for the three Engelbert releases I am looking for, or anything else good.  I did come across my second CW McCall record of the day (wow!) and about 14 copies of Breezin'. (Not ironically perhaps, there was yet another in the 'George Benson' bin).

They had not changed the arcade code and I played a hell of a lot of Missile Command and Berzerk.  Missile Command gives me some kind of anxiety shakes after a while, having unlimited credits doesn't help either...if you were paying, you'd eventually walk away and get the hell out of there.

only 53 credits left!!!

I departed about 20 minutes before close and weighed my options on getting home.  It was going to be about two hours until the next Metra back to RG and I knew the Western bus would get me there (even with waiting) in probably 30 minutes.  I delayed by stopping into Bucktown Food and Liquors for and liquors! I just wanted to get home and lock the door and crank my new wax and eat/drink.  With the closure of my local grocery store a few weeks ago, I've begun shopping at places like this when the occasion calls for it.  I initially grabbed a 6 pack of Bell's Winter White....then put it back when the similarly styled Hoegaarten was $2 less.  That also was left behind when I saw they had 12 pack cans of both Founder's All Day IPA and the Centennial IPA.  Easily toted, I didn't care about the price.

I prayed they had some kind of quality 'food' and my prayers were answered.  I scoffed at the Creamettes and grabbed an LB of Barilla elbows and a jar of Classico marinara.  Total cost was $28 - desperate times call for desperate measures.  I hung out chatting with the cashier about the weather for a bit then walked back out towards Fullerton/Western to make my way home.

As I stood there in the cold the bus tracker told me a southbound bus was 'approaching'.  I checked the time again and thought of the eons I've wasted at the Western Ave. Metra station waiting for trains and decided no way I was going to do that.  Even with my Chicago Card in my hand and the bus before me, I bailed and walked north.

I walked past the Mutiny and glanced inside at the drunken Karaoke singers (I heard this place was shut down?) and moved north to Elston, then northwest towards Belmont.  I saw zero other pedestrians and almost no vehicle traffic.  There was plenty snow underfoot on unshoveled sidewalks and it was cold, but I was content.  I made it to Belmont/California just as the bus was approaching and rode all the way west to Cumberland with about 5 other passengers.  I cracked a beer around Narragansett and enjoyed the ride, leafing through my new vinyl in the rear most seat.

My bike was still at the RG station from Thursday and I rode it the west of the way home through some sloppy conditions.  Had a wonderful night in which I took down about 4 more beers and ate my pasta with some marinated Omaha Steaks salmon I quickly defrosted.  Hit the rack at about 1230am and slept like a bag of rocks.  Perfect Saturday!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Custom record bin

After years of storing my vinyl 'bookshelf style' (spines out, vertically) I was running out of room and tired of the frustration of not being able to quickly find what I wanted.  I thought about how at a record store, I can go through 100s of records in a short period.  I knew I need a 'bucket style' bin -- so I made it myself.

This was built using 100% repurposed scrap wood.  I accumulated it from huge custom skids we get shipments on at work.  I had to pull out 100s of screws and nails.  The only thing I paid for was the paint.  My initial design was to have the bin section be totally independent of the frame of the unit.  Technically, I did achieve this - there is not a single screw that actually attaches the bin to the frame.  However, due to something being not quite square or other minute fabrication problems, I had to bash it into the frame with a rubber dead-blow hammer.  The 'caps' on the top edges are to hide the joint (cosmetics) and also prevent the bin from being removed (again, not that you'd easily get it out, considering the force that was required to get it in there).

The small 'plates' on the front and rear facing corners are to prevent the bin from being able to come out front/back.  It weighs over 100 lbs and I figure its capacity is at least 200 records though I am not sure.  Bottom line is that its only about 50% full and it looks great and it was custom built to fill this wall.  It was a blast to make!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dave's Records, Lakeview

Just up the street at Reckless, I realized I was near Dave's and wandered the .6 miles over.  My kind of store!  Picked up another Engelbert album - afternoon well spent!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Reckless Records, Lakeview

I received a $30 gift certificate (shown in previous post) for Christmas from my brother's girlfriend who knew I was a vinyl addict.  I took a Saturday afternoon jaunt up to Lakeview to spend it at the final of three Reckless locations.

This location is on par with the Wicker Park location or slightly bigger.  There were a handful of people in there but not critically packed levels and no one was in the jazz section.  Having $30 to burn was a large budget for me, initially I thought about volume since generally my purchases are modestly priced.  I started logically in the 'A' section hoping to find another release or two from Azymuth - nada.  While in that same letter, I thought of all the Dorothy Ashby records I had passed up before due to cost - now is the time! Of course, I struck out there as well; nothing in stock.  Damn!

I did not make it far before I determined that I was not going to find anything costly enough - or even more than $10 - to spend this gift certificate quickly.  I started to become annoyed with myself, and this stupid blog and blamed the location.  I knew I could not get 'change' or spend it in more than one trip and I was half tempted to leave and go to Wicker Park or the Loop.  I came across an old copy of 'Giant Steps' for $15...I used to consider purchasing these all the time until I got the box set but part of me still wants an old (even if beat up) Atlantic copy.  I put it back then returned to it when pickings were growing slim - when I realized it was an 80s reissue.  No thanks.

I was pretty disappointed with the jazz section and came up with a handful of records that still left me far from my $30 deadline:

1) Wes Montgomery Greatest Hits. As far as I can tell, this is one of four Greatest Hits albums A&M put out with the same cover format.  I already have the Tijuana Brass and Baja Marimba band - the fourth is The Sandpipers.  I've held Wes's release in my hand many times but always put it back as it is a bit superfluous. 

2) Stan Getz - Big Band Bossa Nova.  I still want to add Getz/Gilberto to my collection - I held a pretty beat copy in my hand not too long ago but returned it to the crate over condition issues - this was in good shape and at $8 would take a nice bite out of my budget.  I do regret not being able to pick this up but as I changed my strategy (described below), I'll have to come back for it someday.
3 and 4) The last two Tijuana Brass albums I need to complete my limited discography (minus compilations and miscellaneous releases and anything after 1969) are 'Warm' and 'Ninth'.  Found these both for about $4 combined.

However this still put me way under my $30 limit and I wasn't too excited about some of these, even if I did need them.  I held 'Road Song' in my hand for a moment before I realized that it was 'A Day in the Life' I needed (already have 'Road Song', purchased at Wicker Park Reckless, ironically).  And this got me thinking about another release from Wes I had come across and passed up....

Original 1960 copy - Wes's first release 100% credited to him as band leader and not a side man or member of a group - 'Movin Along' At $30 I wouldn't even consider it normally (not THAT much of a Wes fan either) but I figured that spending free money in nickels and dimes on budget vinyl was silly - be frivolous! It is a great record too, interesting to listen to Wes material where the guitar isn't totally at the forefront of the arrangements.  A very different recording from a very different era, in comparison to the other release I already have (and mentioned above).  Victor Feldman's credit on the cover also caught my eye.  I knew he played the electric piano solo on 'Black Cow' and the vibraphone on 'Aja' but I did not know he played on every track of (one of my favorite) albums - albeit 17 years later!

So I paid the tax (minus one cent!) and moved on.  A cold, horrible day with mushy terrain underfoot I started moving back towards the red line when I realized that I was near another shop I had never before visited......