Saturday, May 30, 2015

Lunchbox Records [Charlotte NC]

A while back I got stuck in Charlotte on a lay over when my flight was canceled.  I hit a trio of thrift stores in short order and got back to business.  This time, my destination was in fact Charlotte - I had four days in town but was overwhelmed with work.  Luckily, I made time on the first day to head over to Lunchbox Records.  (I also slammed on the brakes at an S.A. just a few blocks away).  I'm glad I did as the rest of the week gave me no time except to try and regain my strength in a lonely hotel room, preparing for the next day's onslaught.

Lunchbox sits in a busy and seemingly trendy neighborhood where parking is at an absolute premium.  Traffic was bad even at close to 7pm on a Tuesday and I struggled to find anywhere to park with my remaining hour or business dwindling.  I eventually found a free lot and had to squeeze myself out of the way until a spot opened, then quickly back into it before it was stolen by another unlucky soul.

I got back over to the store and got to work.  I spent a few moments getting the layout of the store's categories straight and finally found the jazz section in the rear of the shop.  Not wanting to impinge upon another browser, I dug into the new arrivals section where I found another trombone masterpiece (or so I gambled).  Being so happy with finally getting my own copy of 'Rainy Day' after coveting my girlfriend's copy (which I bought her, no less) I knew it would be safe to roll the dice on any Verve offering from 'K'.  I have not been disappointed after getting it home and spinning it a few times.  Herbie Hancock's funky and soulful influence have infiltrated the record making it quite different from 'Rainy Day' but just as enjoyable.  Reminds me very much of the 'generic' soul-jazz on another much wanted compilation (I've had the digital tracks for over a decade -- I'd love to have a physical copy but that remains unlikely due to the cost).

I was happy to score some stickers from the place which have since been applied to my locking record box I grabbed out of the garbage a few months ago.  Lunchbox Records is a small but world class (compared to other larger cities) shop that is worth a stop.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Salvation Army [Charlotte NC]

You knaw the selection is bad when a Johnny Mathis album provides a kind of relief. Something familiar amongst many, many religious recordings, only in the worst shape imaginable. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Village Discount Outlet, Addison

Village Discount Outlets are essentially clothing retailers that stock en masse...they are spread throughout Chicagoland.  I distinctly remember stopping in one somewhere on the north side and after about 20 seconds getting the hell out of there.  Chaos - screaming kids - and clothing EVERYWHERE.  No way they had records.

Until my girlfriend got a tip recently that the outlet near Addison St. V's DID have records! Seemed impossible buy by God it was true!

Too many scores to count, I threw some back and my girl did the same, then we both bought some stuff as well.

Returned to the bin included the Brasil 66 comp you see on the floor there (I already have it, this one was MINT).  I am marginally regretting letting an 80s soft rock LP go; I have its mate and should not have passed this one up.  Also inexplicably MINT.  Back to Serge - my girl did grab their 4th, apparently having been stored in a time capsule.  Who's records were these??? And just as you were tiring of my raving about condition of LPs, she grabbed a dupe of 'The Stranger' that I may have to smuggle out of here.  It is so clean I want to eat it, like a delicious piece of candy.

But I don't write this blog to tell you all about what I do NOT buy, or what my girlfriend buys.  I picked up a sax man's first two on Kudu (hey that rhymes!).  One even has the original label inner sleeve - delightful!  I am pretty sure his own releases account for about 1/2 of the total output from that CTI sublabel.

After that we made the mistake of stopping into St. V's just around the corner - what a shithole.  At least they upgraded to a proper record bin and not the revolting concept of vertical storage in a bookshelf as they used previously. Vince would not be pleased.  But I am - what an overwhelming weekend for big eats, barrels of beer and many wonderous platters of music.

Something Else Resale, West Chicago

Made my move on a tip a few weeks after the fact.  The only thing better than new record stores is when they are just steps from the train.  Better yet, I saw that this one was basically next door to a St. Vincent thrift which was an added bonus.

I did my homework and carefully reviewed the train schedule to plot my course to and from the stations.  I'd have about exactly an hour to walk the 1/4 mile to the store(s) and do my diggin'.


I tried to give both stores a ring just in case the info I found online was bogus and they were not open on a Sunday.  I got a voice mail at the resale store and St. V's did not answer at all.  But I got a call back from 'Jason' promptly who assured me they were open and just got in 'about a thousand' new records from an estate sale.  I told him I was on the way.

We were led into a back room that had at least 10 crates of vinyl, at least half alphabetized and the other half stored horizontally.  Some were priced, others were '2 for $5', etc...

Found a fair amount of Tom Jones stuff for $2, much of it Parrot but none of the mono versions I needed or the couple remaining discs I need.  Grabbed a copy of an early 80s metal classic but put it back when I saw the outrageous $18 price point.  I knew that could not be a valid price given its condition and also its popularity/number of copies in circulation (not that I've even come across it before) but now that I look I see that in order to get something beyond 'fair' condition (and to make sure it comes with a sleeve!) you are going to pay about $20.  So they probably priced it on discogs anyway...but I am still not spending that kind of dough on anything unless it is Merry Christmas to me day, which only comes once a year.

I bought all my RTF records on ebay many years ago before I was a 'serious' vinyl collector and some of them are pretty in particular is uniquely warped.  Only the center label makes contact with the turntables on one side.  This creates a super low friction condition given that I use felt slip mats so I get odd warble on that side.  In desperation I long ago put a couple of strips of hockey tape on the label to try and create better 'grab' which marginally worked and only ruined the record's condition further.  I found a very clean copy of their funkiest release (I hardly even listen to the copy I have, and that one is in good condition).  I let it go and shortly after my girl found a really nice copy of the horribly convex (or is it concave?) record described above for only $2.  For a long time I swore I would not replace records I already own but I couldn't resist and at that moment I could not find much else to satisfy me.

That changed shortly after when I found the Larry Carlton record I've been hunting for a long time...and its in really clean shape too.  I picked up an different LP for NOTHING a while back (no better deal than that) and I have enjoyed its music so many times since. I first grabbed a what I thought was a live record and did a catch and release when I finally saw my prize.  I won't snob out and claim I bought the album for anything but A1 but the following cut is crazy, crazy good as well.

The cashier stopped back to ask if we needed anything a couple more times than I can tolerate as 'normal'...don't know if he thought I was jamming records into my socks or what.  At one point he even stuck in his head and said 'did you say something?'.  Anyway, despite his obvious paranoia he did reveal that there was some additional vinyl in the back.  Three bins but aside from one release NOT in mono it was all as notated by the marker stuck half way though one crate.

My girl refused to take part in the price gouging and turned back a few she was already verbally regretting by the evening.  Did I also mention that St. V's was closed as I predicted? Oh well.  We alotted just enough time to dig everything they had and get back to the train - two hour round trip and well worth the adventure, not to mention the vinyl.

After a wild weekend that garnered 9 vinyls in 2 days at 3 different spots, I am sitting in my girl's basement on a marathon blog writing and record listening private party.  We made some potato salad for a BBQ we will be departing for shortly (it is now chilling away in the fridge).  I have been here all weekend and just got done with the following records and they are all highly recommended, though they have nothing to do with this post or this store:

We ran through the local St. V's yesterday on a lark.  Again, I bought nothing, this store is regularly so tore down you couldn't rub two decent records together if your life depended on it.  But we found this and I recommended she grab it for 50 cents and she did.  I cranked up side 1 yesterday and just did side 2.

Listened to side A then moved on through her collection.  Funny I even know where she got this one as well - I was there,  The horns to open the album are pure gold and the narration on A4 is too much to bear, yet too much to turn away from either.

I am so highly satisfied with the Mexican import I grabbed in Indiana late last year but this will work as well.  Don't miss the cartoonish laser light show cover or THAT BEARD.  Still, I miss '747'...

And now, more of 'Perfect Peace'.  Hope you share the same on this Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Garage sale, Melrose Park

Came up short at this one - only about 20 Mexican albums but no narcocorridos.  

A couple K-Tel comps were sprinkled in there but they leaned a little too far toward disco for my liking. I did however do some networking with a guy from nearby Northlake who has 'a thousand'records. He took my phone number and hopefully calls soon. Fingers crossed.....

Garage Sale, Wood Dale

I never bother with garage sales without using at this point.  Call it laziness but I get tired of rolling up to ask 'do you have any record albums?' (and then sometimes having to explain what those are) just to get a 'no'.  But I was stuck at the Wood Dale train station on a Saturday afternoon with about an hour to kill and I had seen a couple garage sales on my 8 mile ride over.  So I turned around and went back to investigate.

The first one gave me the response outlined above.  But I never even got to ask the question at the second one as I saw a card table full of vinyl before the words could be released from my lips! In a townhouse on a very short dead end street, the resident had some serious taste in music that veered from pop to quality jazz.

I have 'Heavy Weather' along with 1600 others - grabbed it long ago over at a store I keep meaning to revisit.  This had a different inner sleeve, which had a promo for a comp called 'Limo'.  It was promptly discarded - inner sleeves for other companies are a major pet peeve of mine.

Just recently lamented that I still don't own this die cut gem when I picked up a live record.  I have seen sealed copies for way too much, all the way to super beat down copies for a few cents (and still not worth it).  The jacket is clean, but the vinyl is MINT.  So glad to finally own this.

This makes five Herbie albums.  His CTI 3000 release being the cherry-buster for me in that label/series.  I picked it up over a year ago (can't believe its been that long) and now I have nearly all the Pete Turner covers.  I've seen this one come up on some 'most outrageous covers' lists before but I just couldn't resist the die cut.  Or that hairy Jewish chest.  Rest in peace, Herbie.

Must have passed on this 100 times before.  This also had a swapped inner sleeve (since replaced). A necessary piece of my burgeoning soft rock discography. 

The last piece of the Stranger-Innocent Man trifecta though I'll admit I bought it largely for 'Zanzibar'.  I want a tab there, too!

Had to check if I had this already - got it confused with a vinyl I grabbed in Oak Park a while back.  Glad to have some more classic Gord.

And for all this....only six bucks! Better yet - today I took my old fridge (it died earlier this week, already replaced) to a scrap yard in Cicero and they gave me (you guessed it) the same amount.  Old appliances for vinyl? Yes please!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thrifty City Sales, Franklin Park

A coworker was rolling down Green St./Franklin Ave. on his normal route home from work one day when he told me he saw what looked like a yard sale.  Strange, as this portion of the road is purely industrial.  When he saw a drum set (he is a drummer), he pulled over to check it out.  He said the drum set was junk but that they had some records and that I should check it out.  He gave me the name 'Thrifty City Sales' and I checked out their website.  It did not look like they were a retail operation but they did have a store so I shot them a message and got a response from Mike:

Hi, tomorrow or Thursday works. Let me know. 

On 05/10/15, 11:33AM, satan165 wrote: 
How about 530-6pm one day this week? 
On 05/10/15, 08:35AM, Thriftycitysales wrote:
Hi! Cool, we are at the corner of Franklin and Dora in Franklin Park. Call me to set up a time.

On 05/06/15, 07:06AM, satan165 wrote:

I live in river grove and work in wood dale. A coworker goes down green street every day after work and told me about your store. I know you specialize in online sales but I'd love to come in and go through your bins.

If possible, let me know when I can come in.

Thanks a ton! 

So that Monday afternoon after work, I stopped in at home and had a bite to eat, then left again immediately.  The place is totally unmarked so when I got to the intersection, I gave Mike a call and he stepped outside to direct me in.

I immediately asked if he had any records besides the 400+ that were on discogs and he said he did; they were 'junk' (too invaluable to waste time listing them) and I said that is what I wanted to dive into first.  I had 5 or 6 huge Rubbermaid totes to dig through and I pulled out an array of scores! He insisted on giving me not only a perfectly short stool to sit on but also a rectangular crate to put the totes on and bring them to eye level.  Ergonomic crate digging!

I have listened to my stereo copy 1000s of times and I grabbed the mono version a while back though its pretty beat.  I was pleased to find this - another mono - in real nice shape and still in its slightly tattered wrapper.

Could not resist the 10 minute live version of the side B lead track and the packaging is really cool.  Been a fan of Traffic since my dad got me into 'Low Spark' as a youngster.

I walked away from two Eric Gale records last summer and its haunted me ever since.  However, I am pleased to have grabbed this one amongst the three and it does not disappoint.  The lead track on side A was kind of strong in the blues department which was neither expected nor appreciated but the title cut has been in heavy rotation around these parts ever since.  Great album.

I also grabbed a really screwy release for my girlfriend's daughter who is a bit young to understand the premise of the show, but loves the theme song.  Once I was done with those heavy totes, I dug through the jazz section of Mike's discogs store and found something I've been waiting to turn up for a while.  This 60s classic is a bit off the beaten path from the straight ahead jazz Kai is known for...I grabbed this for my girlfriend a while back as she likes both K and JJ but it wasn't until I put it on during one of my visits that I was shocked at what I heard.  The vocals and overall arrangements were pretty dated and peculiar, and totally irresistible.  The opener is so addictive I think I need an intervention. Mike had these all bagged up and highly organized so I let him grab it:

Mike hooked me up with all this good stuff for just $10 - what a guy! I would have liked to dig around in his shop for the rest of the night.  Give him a holler on discogs and find some new vinyl today!


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Avondale Garage Sales

I jumped on the Belmont bus before noon on the warmest (as of yet) Saturday of 2015 en route to Avondale to check out two closely located garage sales that claimed to have some vinyl to dig.  The first one was a yard sale with one cardboard box neatly filled with finds.

I nearly went for the Phase 4 record you see (based on the awesome success I've had with the other two I have) a glimpse of but religious and holiday records aren't my bag, regardless of whatever wonderful technology was used to record it.  I found two nice Eng records (one shrink wrapped and the other the 'boring' stereo version) mixed in but in the end walked away with a Chicago polka comp which I am quite happy with.  My Eddie B. fascination is now branching out to lead me further down the road.

Sale #2 was just about 2 miles away and I flew over there.  They also had a single crate for me to dig which held some Glen Campbell stuff (some live, some not).  Best of all was an excellent late 70s pop-comp but alas the jacket was empty.  What a shame - I left this one empty handed.  I rode north on Kedzie to Semiramis for a 'special' falafel which I ate in Jensen Park, then headed home.