Monday, June 30, 2014

Disc Replay, Crest Hill

Had some downtime in the Joliet area (again) so I did a quick search on the old phone to figure out where I might be able to cop some vinyl.  I checked out a couple thrift stores and this place kept coming up.  Barely out of my way but I had nothing better to do.

The place has books, videos, tons of CDs and quite a bit of vinyl as well.  They have the one huge rack depicted above in the rear of the store but beneath all the CDs tubs are loads of crates of vinyl.  They are somewhat organized but not perfectly well.  But I've never been adverse to crawling around on all fours digging through the bins so I got to work.

I pulled out a couple records that I am very happy with:
1) Jerry Harrison - 'Casual Gods' - my uncle is a huge music influence in my life, he played me all kinds of good stuff when I was young and impressionable.  Lots of that stuff I still enjoy today or even consider classics.  He was a big Talking Heads fan and he probably got this right when it came out.  I remember him taking the time to explain the lyrics of 'Man With a Gun' to me and I was transfixed.  It is a great track musically as well as lyrically...I've had the mp3 for ages, so glad to add a hard copy of the whole album to my collection in any form.  One of the best album covers and like all records, most impactful on the epic stage which is a 12" x 12" piece of cardboard.  The explanation of the album art on the inner sleeve hits you like an uppercut when you read it.  Powerful stuff.

2) Ray Price - 'Welcome To My World' - this is a 2x12" giant compilation.  Besides a horrible album cover (reminds me of those tattoo failures where people get a face of a loved one inked into their skin and it looks like a bad comic book).  Has so many good tracks....'Little Green Apples', 'By The Time I Get to Phoenix', the title cut (got hooked on that one via Elvis Live in Hawaii).  But the biggest one for me is a track I wasn't already aware of, 'Night Life' which kicks off the first side A.  Not surprising to find that Willie Nelson actually wrote this song (and was forced to sell it for $150!) as potent as it is.  I have to get my hands on the album its pulled from ASAP.

I did not have the patience to really go through everything but I'll bet I could pull out a few more diamonds the next time around.  Nice spot!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

harlem/foster flea market

Last second score brought me up to Jefferson Park for an impromptu but rewarding little jaunt.  There were probably 20 vendors but I was nearly half way through before I encountered any records at all.  And even that was a palty 10-12 beat down old platters.  Junk - no thanks.

 I continued to endure the brutal sunshine that threatened to melt both myself and the resident vinyl.  And in great dramatic fashion, it was the final vendor in the last row that revealed some scores.  The first heap was positive enough and I immediately found a Roger Miller compilation I had come across more than once before.  Didn't hesitate this time and immediately set it aside as I continued to index through the heap.  The proprietor called out that they were 50 cents...and the others were a buck.  Others?

He beckoned around the corner of his little stand to a more rock oriented pile.  Here I found a copy of a Loggins/Messina album (compilation?) that I can find no information on now. I nearly pulled the trigger before determining having my own copy of 'King Of The Road' would suffice for that day.

That song has special meaning to me.  I remember as a young lad by dad explaining the lyrics to me a little bit and pointing out the more ridiculous parts.  As as adult I found other lines I like even better.  And a couple years ago when my work related travel began to spiral out of control, my brother sent me the below video which was immediately endearing for the motivation behind the transmission from my sibling, and more so due to Roger's outstanding live performance.  His accent is so likable as are his mannerisms.  And I was greatly impressed to see that he wrote all the song on the comp.  I wouldn't have held it against him if he hadn't but it was a huge bonus.  Already, some of the other songs (previously all unknowns) have begun to grow on me to large extents.  Longest bike ride for a 50 cent record ever and ironically well worth it.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Duo of garage sales, Jefferson Park

Set out for a 14 mile round trip bike ride on a Saturday morning.  After a couple weekends without any hits for 'records' in my search results on, I found two just about a mile away.

I arrived at the first only to be told 'sorry' when I asked where the records were.  Nice waste of time.

I made my way over to #2 and found about 10 records total in a box.  A truly pitiful selection that yielded only one of bare moderate interest (though there was one TJB album, which of course I already have) by Maynard Ferguson.  I probably should have bought it anyway as a souvenir.  I told myself that if I recognized any names from the credit list, I'd buy the album.  I did see Ralph MacDonald but determined it still wasn't worth it.

I did swing through a couple other sales I came across during my journey but came up short.  I stopped for a giant bowl of pho on Lawrence Ave which was excellent, then got caught in a brief rain on the way back.  Stopped at Jewel afterwards to get some tomatoes and cheese for foccasia (which is rising now) and called it a day.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

Blast From The Past, Bensenville

I have gone past this place hundreds of times to/from work and always wondered about it.  Not even necessarily in terms of records but because it looks so odd.  It is a house that has been converted into a thrift store.  While it stands on a major thoroughfare, it is cloaked in foliage and the exterior is definitely in disrepair.  It was not until a couple weeks ago that it crossed my mind it would be worthy of trying to see if they had any vinyl.  I enlisted my girlfriend to look into the matter and she sent me this email:

OK, so I look up the # and call, and the first # is disconnected.  Then I find the FB page you mentioned and called the # there.  An older lady answered... "hello?."  Anyway, all retardation aside, she sells most of the stuff on Ebay now, and are open by apt only.  She says she has a crate of albums, which I'll be viewing by apt Tuesday @ 1230.
Its getting weirder and weirder.
I love it.
I immediately recommended that I would come along as one of our favorite lunch spots is directly across the street.  So "it's a date!"

We got there a bit before 12:30 and waited.  And waited.  At about 12:45 we called to find the proprietor was 'on their way, stuck in traffic'.  After about 30 minutes tardy, she arrived.  We entered to find a somewhat cramped but not necessarily messy/hoarder level space.  There were about 35 LPs in a bin and 20 or so 7" records loose nearby.  She immediately offered me the whole entire bin for $25 I believe.  I laughed and said no thanks - I've gotten offers such as this from thrift stores before.

I did unearth a copy (my second) of 'My Love' and we spent $14 on that record, a couple others and an old glass peanut butter jar of buttons.  I think the owner was purposely punishing us for not taking all the records off her hands, we surely did pay a toll. She allowed us to leave the car in her lot while we ate across the street however, and that was worth a buck.  Fun trip.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Appleton Import Records (Revisited)

I had stopped by this store a couple weeks prior but found it to be oddly locked up and closed during their published business hours.  I found myself back in town and decided to give it another try.  This time when I approached, the door was propped open so I was excited to get inside.

This is not a record store, I would say the inventory by physical space is 20%.  The rest of the store is filled with junk and the area has an interesting smell to it, vaguely reminiscent of piss.  I got done on the floor and started digging through the bins only to find another bin behind me, hidden amongst some old flannel jackets.

The prices on these records are truly outlandish.  Think of late 70s LPs that are worth less than $5 in reasonably good condition and maybe $20-30 if they were totally sealed (and that would be a stretch).  Well these were priced at $20-30 alright, but in 'reasonably good' condition at best.  I saw a used copy of Billy Joel's 'The Stranger' for $20+ and almost laughed out loud.  A truly classic album no doubt, but a periphery check of pricing anywhere on the internet will demonstrate this is just one example of truly retarded pricing.  There was a sign up marked with the jist that the store is open to bargaining but to start that transaction at $20 and try to bring it down is laughable.  

I dug and dug and was coming up with nothing besides a couple laughs.  I noticed another hand written sign near the records to let patrons know that they also sharpen chain saws.  Surely good to diversify when your record selection and pricing is so bad.

There were bins on top of bins and I shook my head in wonderment that whatever is at the bottom surely hasn't been looked at in a long while (not that any of this is looked at with any regularity).  I dared to lift one of the bins off and the proprietor jumped out to stop me, saying its 'just house music' and that I 'probably wouldn't like it' since I told him my vague tastes are centered around the late 60s-late 70s.  

I commented to him that I had stopped by previously and the store was locked up.  He echoed the poorly spelled notes left on the door that said if the store was locked he was off 'care taking'.  I asked him to expound upon that and he bristled at my inquiry, telling me only that he 'takes care' (really?!!?) of some old folks in the area.  He then later clarified that it was only one person.  He also commented that he had been 'care taking' since 'before it was called care taking'.  I told him I still didn't understand....was this a volunteer type program? Did he work with some organization? He did not.  And I cannot help but wonder - as wonderful as his deeds may be - that he could probably just lock the store up and not mention why or where he had gone.  Or if he felt compelled, perhaps to just leave a note saying 'something had come up'.

No matter - there is nothing to see here but some old junk that smells like urine.  I'll pass.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lazy Dog Antiques, Roscoe Village

Two bins hidden in the bowels of this Roscoe Village store.  Nothing of interest.

RG estate sale

Spur of the moment estate sale Sunday AM yielded a Little River Band album and an Engelbert Christmas album which my girlfriend grabbed up moments before I could stick my mitts into the stack.

Can't believe I found this just a few doors away! 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Goodwill [Appleton WI]

Smallest record selection I've ever seen at a Goodwill before.  Granted, others had more records but they were all junk - but I was shocked to see so few.  Nothing of interest.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Reckless, Wicker Park

Stopped in very quickly before grabbing some 'za at Piece around the corner.  Couldn't find anything worthwhile, then found the record you see glaring at you above as the last item in the 'new arrivals' for jazz/blues.

Q is the only artist in the CTI repertoire with a record in the 3000 series (two releases actually) that do NOT use the layout seen otherwise. As such, this was not necessarily on my legit want list, but it was in the back of my mind.  The musicians that played on it is a sickening array of talent: Toots (on harmonica AND guitar!), Pretty Purdie,  Hubert Laws, JJ and K...they weren't messing around! Not to mention Bob James first gig arranging for Creed Tayor. A nice score for a quick little hunt in a store long since familiar.

Goodwill Glendale Heights...and LP #300!

About half way between origin and destination, came across this Goodwill.  Stepped inside to a mess of disorganized records.  Walked away with the record you see the cashier handling below - the debut from RTFs Lenny White and his backing band, Twennynine.

I already have this record, albeit in beat down condition.  However, this is a promo copy and its in very nice condition.  But most importantly, it is my 300th LP.  That includes a couple 10" records but excludes all my 7" vinyl.  I knew #300 was approaching - never would have guessed it would be here and this item.  Can't say I am displeased however.