Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Back At Village Discount Outlet

VDOs are around the city but many (most?) do not have vinyl, they have limited housewares and mostly just clothes.  I have picked up some cool threads from Addison's store and I have also pulled some vinyl out of there.  Before I went in on this day, I commented aloud that since the first time I had been in there, it hadn't been the same, and just seemed to be more and more bombed out with busted up vinyl and just a general mess.

I did not buy anything but I was tempted by a few.  And I figure these records do appeal to many collectors so before you are certain that your local hell hole thrift store has absolutely nothing, check again.  I remember checking out that Supertramp album on vinyl from the local library, I must have been about 10.  I've got a couple Traffic records already which I am pleased with and I almost added this one to the collection - still in shrink.

BTW, I stopped in St. V's down the street before I went in and half of their 'premium records' were gone, presumably sold.

Sunday, February 14, 2016


I check the pitiful stats on my blog regularly so that I can feel a mix of disappointment and disgust that about 25% of my all-time page views are based in Russia and the only referrers are from google searches.  Never a mention in another blog, a facebook post...nothing.  Until now!

Looks like a bunch of people on a message board got to bitching about the sad state of Chicago vinyl (more on that below) and fittingly, my blog came up.  I registered to post my responses in the thread but its been over a day and they still have not 'approved' me to post.  I'd be willing to wait but the thread has also now been dead for a couple weeks and no one appreciates bumping an old topic anyway.  So I'll respond here, where I am protected from cruelty and rudeness! 

Well for the record, I don't just go to thrift stores.  But I appreciate someone recognizing the passion I have in the context of people complaining, where I could be complained about just as much.  I wish I could say that I only started collecting Engelbert records because that was all I would come across so I threw in the towel and decided I better collect what I had access to.  Not true - but no matter.

Glad you enjoyed.

Yes, I did.  But worse yet, the record looks like someone did some mafia style tortures on it with a pliers and a blowtorch.  And it wasn't a flea market, it was an antique mall.  Not sure how someone new to the blog got started with a post that old.  That was a fun day though.

Well that sums it up pretty well.  The issue here is that I don't have any friends or people to chat about my records with.  Worse yet, my tastes lean towards artists and titles that happen to hold little rarity.  So little of what I collect or purchase has any value.  And yes, my girlfriend does collect records and while I may have pushed that interest along a bit, I'd say she is an independent entity and not just tagging along to 'support her man'.

So thanks everybody for the props and for reading in general even if you disliked it.  But I am astounded by the negativity towards an entire city.  That doesn't mean I'll defend it necessarily, but I didn't know that the fun of the hobby/obsession was supposed to solely come from your scores.  And I've echoed that again and again at the end of the many posts where I came up empty handed, that it was worth it anyway.  Paying $11 for a record I could get for $3 on discogs right now (plus have it in better condition) is obviously worthwhile - if your only purpose is to be an efficient buyer.  I don't have a rule book and I surely never had anyone else to tell me how it is supposed to go but I have fun everytime I go out.  I had a blast that day! I was by myself digging for over a solid hour and I couldn't wait to tell the tale on here.

I have dug in too many Goodwills to count, I continue to occasionally pull stuff out of there and if not, I just like being around records and leafing through bins of them.  I wish that I detected that the entire thread was a huge sarcastic joke but it doesn't seem to be.  What is the ideal record store? Where they have everything you've ever wanted for $1 each? If I wanted to just get every record my heart desired, I'd buy them all online right now.  I am not an eternal optimist but I never go out to hunt then get bitter and claim that an entire metropolis sucks.

I was on the swim team for 3 years in high school.  I did not join senior year because I wanted to drink beer and be cool and getting up early to swim before class, then practice after class, and have meets, and swim in another league in the summer - no way.  So I told the coach I wasn't going to do it and he asked why.  I said it just wasn't fun.  He had a longer response but I remember him saying 'you have to make it fun'.

The point is not to grit your teeth and do stuff you don't want to.  If it truly sucks, then bail.  But some stuff can be a lot of work with little reward so if you are doing it just for the end result, it is going to be a long time coming, and even then maybe not at all.  So I suggest you enjoy the ride, because it is going to be a long one, and the road is pretty bumpy.  Find some aspect of it then is attractive and focus on that or its a lost cause.  I don't have to remind myself of any of this, maybe I've just ingrained it into my head at this point.  But if you find yourself infinitely bitching about something you are supposed to be a practitioner of, perhaps it is time to take up stamp collecting to revive that baseball card collection from days gone by. Perhaps I am just speaking as the quiet 'loner' that I am but I believe that 'group-think' just leads to negativity and complaining.  Maybe our brains are just wired that way and looking for an excuse to go that route. So I am glad this blog and my interest in record collecting is just for me.  If anyone is losing the passion, I'd say to start doing things on their own and maybe they will get their groove back (pun intended).  Good luck.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Catapult Collectibles, Crystal Lake IL

Did some work up in Cary...on a previous trip I stopped at a record store on the way back.  This time, I got a little more daring and went to a...toy store? Yes I did, and it isn't the first time, or even the second that I've looked at records amongst Star Wars figures and the like.

Catapult was a clean area with a multitude of records, all individually bagged and priced.  Quite fairly too - Quake could learn a thing or two.  Anyway, I didn't have much time to kill and I only made it to the letter 'C' before I found the below record for my girlfriend, as seen below.  I just spun side A twice as I wrote this blog entry and the two before it.  She has exposed me to his work previously and while I was not a super fan (as she is), I am far more sold in his sound.  If I was such an evil man, I'd repossess it right now.  Delightful stuff.  

Goodwill [Thorndale PA]

After a wild Friday night and a rough Saturday night working, I woke up Sunday to an awesome breakfast and then a drive back east to the airport.  I had some time to kill and found Thorndale on the way.  Lucky for me, they had a Goodwill.

Unlucky for me, they best they could muster was a handful of Engelbert albums, all of which I have (some in duplicate).  Still, there are worse ways to kill 15 minutes on a Sunday afternoon.


I don't get out to the east coast very often.  I did check out Albany a while back...and New Hampshire was a blast.  I have been to PA years ago but it was so long ago that I didn't collect records then (did such a time really exist??) and I was closer to the Pittsburg area.  Worst of all, I drove! This time I flew into Philly to do some work about an hour west of there.  I didn't have to be on site until Saturday at 3pm but I've been in the game long enough to know that I could fairly justify flying in the afternoon before.  So while Saturday night I stayed out in Coatesville, Friday I stayed in Midtown.  I got my rental at the airport and sped downtown where I parked, charged my phone and headed out.  There were so many record stores around it was difficult to choose as my time was limited - I had a full evening but that time also needed to be devoted to my other pastimes, like eating/drinking like a glutton.  So I settled on two shops that were geographically close enough and looked interesting enough.  First up was Molly's - it had only a couple reviews and was just under the radar enough to entice me.  So I headed out on a brisk ~1 mile walk and just as I hit the Italian Market, there it was.

Truly a 'hole in the wall', this store had exactly what I wanted in terms of selection.  Concise enough not to be overwhelming to a man with an itinerary and a nice enough jazz section that I only made it to 'B' before I found something I want.  I can't believe that my 3000 series collection had been neglected for a full calendar year! I accumulated so much in 2014 and before and kind of put it aside until this February.  I have come across this one a few times, most memorably at the record dump when I found the jacket with no record inside.  I've seen it a few other times, always beat to hell and/or overpriced. $6 was quite fair, especially considering how much OT I knew I'd pull over the weekend.  The clerk (owner?) commented that CTI 'never does anything bad' and while the critics may disagree, I don't.  Stickers are almost a bigger bonus than good vinyl - I'll have to post an update on my locking record case soon which is beginning to accumulate what can only be compared to the stamps on a passport.

In the interest of time (and it only cost me $6, the driver was pretty ballsy), I took an uber to my second stop.

Long in the Tooth was a serious record store, this is the kind of place that you see in films and read about in books, where people hang out and discuss music and whatever else comes to mind, where thoughts mingle and people truly interact.  And me, the stranger in a strange land? I grabbed my security blanket: the jazz section.  And again, I found another reasonably priced 3000 series platter, this leaves only a few remaining...

1) Tamba 4 - We And The Sea
Tamba 4 is a pretty mysterious band.  It does not shock me that in the prime of the bossa nova craze, Herb Alpert or Creed Taylor sent some scouts down to Brazil to bring back some of that 'real, authentic bossa nova', like a baseball team going to the Dominican Republic to find young men who can swing a bat.  But this is real bossa nova, with an emphasis on jazz and improvisation...a real samba/jazz hybrid.  I have listened to this album too many times to count (mp3) but I have never ever seen a copy anywhere in a thrift store or a record store.  I always wonder if it will be stuck in the 'World' or 'Latin' bins (and I always check those anyway for this or other exotic delights) but I have still struck out.  Of course I could cop a copy on discogs or ebay for a few bucks, but what fun is that?

2) Tamba 4 - Samba Blim
Same as above, however I refuse to even check out mp3s until I can buy the record.  Never listened even once, and you know I am enticed to do so.

3) Nat Adderly - Calling Out Loud
I've read that the silver foil that covers this singular 3000 series release is known to flake and peel off.  I've seen a copy, once, at Logan Hardware, but it was a promo and they wanted too much.  If I saw it again for that price (promo or not), I'd buy it.

4) Paul Desmond - From The Hot Afternoon
Saw this once over at Raffe's a year and a half ago.  I'm sure I won't get back till the spring.  And I'd half bet that it might still be there.  I already went back to get a record after some months and it hadn't moved.

4) J &K - Stonebone
Probably the rarest album I've ever added to discogs, still can't believe that it hadn't been added already.  But it's just a little outside of my price range...

After that I hoofed it back to my hotel to deposit my records, then walked down to South Philly to devour cheesesteaks (Pat's is far superior, no contest) and drink many beers at Garage and Ray's.  The work Saturday went a full 12 hours, until 3am when I finally got into my hotel bed.  But it was worth it.