Saturday, June 24, 2017

Goodwill [Plainfield IN]

I've had a bad habit of neglecting the Plainfield Goodwill while I have showered the Avon Goodwill with attention during my numerous visits over the past couple years.  It wasn't intentional - the Avon store is right next to my hotel and I honestly forgot there was another one just a couple miles away.  I'd say that often times I was tired after working and didn't feel like driving over there but there were definitely some times the work was light and I had time.  But again, it just didn't dawn on me.

Well it did on this trip.  I found a junk heap of records stuffed into their bins and I dug them all, and even pulled a couple out.  And of course had to artfully line up all the Enge records I found.

When you have dug thousands and thousands of junk records you start to develop a skill to recognize the same junk you see again and again.  This is what allows you to move through 100s of records quickly.  Because I am not looking for the good records, I'm looking for the bad records, and ignoring them.  So things stand out easily, there is a huge contrast when you see something that doesn't belong with the same old thrift store junk.  When I found this Braziliaan record, it stood out for many reasons besides the artist name and cover art.  For starters, the record label logo was unfamiliar.  Once I removed it I noticed instantly the quality of the jacket stock and then the strange way it opened like a gatefold, but not to reveal anything but the record inside - only the spine held the jacket front/back together!  This seems like a great example of people trying to seize upon the Bossa Nova trend (it is dated 1969).  I say that because the musicianship isn't very good, and I qualify that opinion with the multitude of bossa nova albums I already have in my collection.  But it is almost in an endearing way and regardless I'm glad to have such an odd import in my collection.  I did some research on the group and can find almost no information about them, though I did locate a number of other releases which I also added to the db.

I also grabbed another Foursider, I have the Sergio Mendes edition which I picked up long ago and I realize now I have to keep my eye out for the Baja Marimba band release.  I already have just about every A&M release for each of these three artists and I'm surprised I never came across this one before.  Glad I was able to scoop it up.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Let Loose in Lexington

Had a solid block of downtime during a recent trip to Lexington.  I already outlined my visits to some other local stores but the exciting news is - there's more! I was able to hit two record stores as well, the second of which being a questionable distance to walk, especially in the heat, but I did it anyway.  And well worth it!  First up was Pop's Resale which despite the name is actually (mostly) a record store, though they do sell some other goods.  It was in the same strip mall as Goodwill and the Meadowthorpe Antique Mall.

It is kind of a sprawling layout with the meat of the record collection about midway towards the back of the store.  They had the 'snake' alphabetized layout that continues around corners, etc until you reach 'Z'.  The very back of the store has racks of clothes (???) and there looked like perhaps other mixed goods further in the corner.  Apparently I am not that adventurous as I did not dare break the threshold of the record racks to explore this area.

Not the first time I've seen this knid of art.  This was a larger collection but I am still partial to my friends way down in Texas.

Kind of an interesting way to price records, as you can see on my receipt below I walked out with a 'blue' and a 'black'.

I wandered around in there for quite a while, sans any other customers I had the bins to myself.  But I was having some serious trouble locating anything.  Seemed like what little I could recall that I actually wanted to dig for wasn't there.  Now that I scored my holy grail, I have another Joni album I'm looking for.  As it is mass market, major label I thought maybe they'd have it.  But they didn't have ANY of her albums at all! So I returned back to the 7" bins and was able to locate not one but two Parrot 45s I need! One from Enge (a promo, wasn't even in the database and pushed me to create this list) and one from Tom.

When I was done at Pop's, I took a look at my options.  It was early in the day and I had nothing to do.  I saw that CD Central wasn't exactly around the corner but I figured I could take an Uber.  I started out walking and figured I'd see how I felt.  Despite the heat, I ended up hoofing it all the way there.  As soon as I walked in, I was more than pleased to see some good local barbershop, which I found straightaway (and had to add to the db!)

I wandered around for a while and I pretty quickly got a hold of a Kai Winding Verve offering which I toted during my perusal.  Not that I wasn't excited by it, but it almost felt like it was too obvious a choice.  Something inside me longed for a deep cut, something special.  Soon after, I found it.

Most record stores don't have a polka section.  Those records get mixed into 'ethnic' or 'world', if they aren't just chucked into the bin.  Well not only did CD Central have a polka section, I instantly found the record in front (I placed it there for the pic, the discovery wasn't quite that sweet) and knew I'd be putting the Kai album back (I did).  Even more appropriate that I personally added the LP to the database a few months ago.  I guess on some level I knew I'd find it!

this old pup was just curled up on the floor taking a nap

Rod waved me goodbye.......
After all this good fortune, the best I could do was wander to a gas station and grab an iced tea - I had walked a few miles at least at this point - and figure out the public transportation system.  I found my bus stop and tracked the next bus, soon after I was dropped off not 1/4 mile from my hotel where I took a well deserved rest, scores nearby.  Thank you Lexington!

add this to the list of places that have custom brown bags

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Last 10 Records, June 2017

I've been trying for a while to figure out how can I use this tool which is the best.  I've done mixes of my records many times there but I needed something that gave it a sense of duty and allowed me to share my insights on why I wanted these records as well as share the music.  And I needed a way to make myself do them with more regularity.  Well I came up with an idea and I'm pretty happy with it.  I have some room for improvement but I'm happy with this and I hope you are too.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Meadowthorpe Antique Mall [Lexington KY]

Just spittin' distance from Goodwill I found a treat in the Meadowthorpe Antique Mall.  And antique malls ALWAYS have vinyl.  It may be overpriced - it may be junk, but vinyl nonetheless.  And I'm no snob.

There isn't much out there that is more fun that wandering through an antique mall looking for records and other interesting things, especially when you are in from out of town and have time to kill.  This place was big enough that it becomes difficult to make sure you cover it all and don't miss a back corner or something.

Magazine racks are often jammed with a handful of old platters, you have to keep your eyes open at all times so you don't miss anything!

When you're at the end of the supply chain, I understand that you are going to mark up your products highly to stay afloat.  I also understand that many people that shop in places like this will allow ridiculous prices (and even pay them) when something is considered (in their mind) as an 'antique'.  You can't zoom in enough here, but that picture disc is marked at $30.  On 10 copies sold over two years in the marketplace: $5.97 Average $4.19 Median $16.17 Highest $2.57 Lowest.  So WOW.  And that picture sleeve can currently be had for 70 cents on discogs as well!

I'll save you the accounting analysis and breakdown on this release after you sat through it on the picture disc above.  I'll also save you $6 by telling you to go down to your local Goodwill and get this for $1 like I did so long ago.

This one is intriguing.  It was inside of a glass case, hiding in the corner.  I can't find out much about the artist besides that he put out this single and a full length as well.  I think he is also a Christian musician also but I might be wrong.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Goodwill [Lexington KY]

I've been through Kentucky a number of times over the years.  I have been in and around Louisville a few times, though at least one of those instances was long, long ago, before this blog existed.  I drove through Kentucky on my way back from Mobile Alabama a while ago and stopped in Louisville again where I found at least one score.  I was on a 10 day road trip that took me through Carrolton and Ghent earlier this year.  And last November I flew to Lexington where I was picked up by a colleague (who was coming from Louisville) and then we both drove out east to Pikeville. He dropped me back in Lexington again afterwards where I flew home the next day.

So on this trip I was working in nearby Versailles which made lodging and a flight yet again to Lexington convienent.  I hit up a number of spots on my day off throughout the city, the least worthy of mention was the Goodwill on Leestown Road.  They did have a nice cube of vinyl stacked up and ready to go but I found nothing worthy of note.  But as I sit here days later recounting the trip, I questioned why I didn't check anything out last November.  I was digging through Google Photos looking at all the photos I have ever taken in Kentucky and found that I actually did check out a Goodwill (a different one on the other side of town) but I never posted about it! I didn't find anything there either, apparently.  But here you go, over a half a year later, the junk vinyl at the Goodwill on Clays Mill Road:

Monday, May 29, 2017

Goodwill [Avon IN]

I've spent quite a bit of time in the Avon/Plainfield area.  I worked on a job site in Avon twice about 12-18 months ago, now I have worked twice at a totally different job site which is about 1 mile away, but across the border in the adjoining town of Plainfield.  All of these times I stay in the same hotel in Avon which has a Goodwill right next to it.  Part of my tradition is walking over there and navigating through the thorny bushes that separate the empty lot next to the hotel from the Goodwill parking lot.  On my last trip, this wasn't so bad but now that spring has arrived the foilage has increased big time and it is chock full of brambles and other sharp horrible things.  I wouldn't want to try this in shorts!

Everytime I visit I remember the first time I came to town - its been over a full two years now.  I found a bunch of scores at the Avon store and even checked out the Plainfield Goodwill which I think I forgot existed, I don't think I've been back.  Anyway, I've been into Avon three or four times now but never had much luck.  Well this time they actually scaled back their records and put them into flippable 'bin style' organzation, a far cry from the horrible ground level 'bookshelf style' storage they had going.  This very much looked like a Savers bin.

Just touching on the records you see in the front of the stacks (which I placed there), the first religious record was autographed and well personalized (should have taken a pic).  The 5th Dimension debut did not have anything inside the jacket but it was in crazy beautiful mint condition (I already have their first 8 LPs).  That greatest hits actually intrigued me just a little but I did a catch and release on that one.

But in the last bin I did find something that I grabbed right away.  It is a promo but not in the true sense, but does have a pretty big promo sticker on the jacket itself.  (Not sure if Nemperor did legit promos).  Many, many years ago my Uncle Rick used to make me mix tapes (on cassette) from his expansive record collection.  He got me into some jazz fusion and other stuff that I still enjoy to this day back then.  He used to write 'A Rick Slick Production' on the tape.  He put the title cut from this LP on one of those tapes and I listened to it millions of times.  Years later when I found out who played on the album I was so excited to hear that it was Jeff Beck of all people who played the awesome leads on this song.  But then I found out he wasn't on this track, it was someone else who I never heard of but who is obviously super talented.  The record actually turned out to be pretty beat, its mostly really dirty, no violent scratches on it but it does skip a little bit.  

A long time ago I was at my uncle's house for a holiday or a party or something.  I was probably around 20 and thought it would be a good idea to take some LSD before the party.  I did this other times at family events, don't ask me why.  So I went down into the basement to kind of hide out and my cousin was down there.  At this point my uncle had put all his CDs into CD books so he took all the inserts and tray cards and taped them around the perimeter of the basement up near the ceiling like crown molding.  I spotted  the tray card for this one which has the awesome rear jacket seen below (along with some Indiana beer, in my hotel room).

So I was pretty out of it and I was obsessed with this pic because I remembered the mix tape from when I was younger.  I told my cousin I wanted it really bad and I was going to rip it down off the wall.  She told me to leave it .  At this point I don't remember if I told her straight up I was on hallucinogens or if she kind of knew or what.  But I was begging her for it and she kept laughing and saying to leave it alone.  So as you can see I have a very special attachment to this release.  My uncle got me into Return to Forever via one of his other mixtapes which remains one of my favorite groups ever.  He bought me a copy of a Manhattan Transfer album on cassette (I found it on my birthday a few years ago).  Pretty heavy stuff for a pre-teen to be jamming out to.  The record had a weird stamp on it which is kind of smeared and hard to read, I did a bunch of google searches but couldn't come up with anything.  All in all another nice run through Avon and I already scheduled yet another trip in a week!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Goodwill, Kewanee IL

Visited the Kewanee Goodwill a number of times with varying results.  Had an interesting visit on this late April afternoon as I dodged a tough rain storm.  There were a nice selection of legit 70s-80s rock albums, just one after the other, I was surprised to find them all together in any Goodwill and definitely here, way out west.

I ended up going for Double Fantasy and the Player s/t debut.  The latter is an important bookend to my well rounded soft rock collection; the Lennon/Ono collab I grabbed just because the condition looked good and I knew this would sell for more in any record store (and you just aren't going to encounter this in a thrift store).  The Aerosmith doesn't interest me but surely would entice many other customers.  The America album was released just after their peak but still not something you run across every day.

But it was the late 60s comp that caught my eye.  Unfortunately, there was no vinyl inside the jacket but this gem contains a number of hits which I have been prowling for 45s on for a good while.  All The Buckingham's hits from my home town are favorites since childhood and track A2 is no exception.  Track A4 is a lesser known semi-hit for an obscure band who's biggest smash is far more well known.  Track A9 is a garage rocker that I don't think many people outside of that generation (and many who were part of it) are aware of, I surely am - that raucous and dirty sound is a real turn on for me.  And the opener for the second side is a really solid track that I only really became acquainted with in the past half a year or so.  Even more intriguing is an alternate version of this release with no record company info anywhere on the jacket or center labels, and an different cover to boot! Definitely on the look out for either.

I was a bit disappointed when I reached the counter to find that these records were individually priced, apparently Goodwill knew they had some nice platters on their hands and wanted to take advantage.  Had I known, I'd have left the Lennon LP behind.  After all, I already have the single that most interests me.  But as they didn't attempt a downright rape, I anted up and got out of there, dodging the rain drops on a sprint to the car with my new scores.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

St. John's Lutheran Thrift Shop [La Porte IN]

La Porte is kind of a grimy old town, new customer I never visited before and while I've been all over Indiana (and NW Indiana specifically), never been here before.  My work was pretty pleasant, there is nothing better then hitting the road for a day trip on a Friday, it's like ending your week early.  So afterwards I ducked into this little thrift shop in search of vinyl with low expectations but a good attitude nonetheless.


Well, nothing to see here.  Mostly religious junk with a smattering of useless orchestral tunes to fill out the crate.  But a nice quiet store with a couple other people digging through their collectibles of choice and a lady behind the counter who gave me a friendly, small town smile as I exited the premises empty handed.

The coolest part about the trip was that there was an old abondonded school across the street, here in this residential neighborhood.  Lots of windows were busted out and the date above the door says 1893! It's a shame that in this day and age there surely isn't enough cash to go around in a place like La Porte to turn this place into something useful or maintain it somehow.  I'm sure that the church that ran it still exists but that is a big undertaking to get a place this big functional.  But what a waste, this building was built to last.  I waited about 10 minutes for a couple parked cars to leave so I could get the angle I wanted.  I took many others and none were great, I had some fun processing this one in my truck and I'm happy with it.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

'Vinyl Day' at Goodwill Elmhurst


Even Goodwill celebrates their vinyl culture and wants to get in on the RSD madness and I have no problem with that.  Or maybe I only feel that way when they load their bins with rare Chicago polka vinyl prior to my visit.

The Naturals album is a no brainer: great condition and it is a mono version, which I did not know exists.  I already know a stereo version exists, so this opens the door to two versions of many Chicago Polkas albums and is worthy of further research.  The Lil Wally albums I can pass on but the Eddie Zima stuff is a revelation.  Eddie has plenty of LPs on Dana, but I was not aware he had more than one on Jay Jay.  The second one had to be added to the db (I did this from Goodwill, waiting while my girlfriend shopped.  I'd had just bought it but side B had a pretty big, deep scratch).

I dug and dug for the jacket to this Ampol album but to no avail.  Very sad.
I also came across three Norteno albums, none in their jackets.  Maybe they were kidnapped and tortured by a cartel? One was by LTDN and I'd have grabbed it, I even searched.  What a shame.  I just grabbed the US version of one of theirs after waiting for months for a good price on discogs.

Record Wonderland, Roselle (RECORD STORE DAY 2017!)

I don't celebrate Record Store Day as perhaps people feel I should, given my work on this blog.  But I also don't celebrate record stores, an opinion I unabashedly hold, I much prefer the grime and total gamble of thrift stores and garage sales.  But when I found that a new record store had opened not 1/8th mile from my parent's house (where I was dogsitting/housesitting for a few days) - and when I realized it was Record Store Day (yes, I had no idea), I couldn't say no to that.

Record Wonderland is at the end of a pretty crappy strip mall that contains an array of crappy stores, besides a pizza place I went to once (and it was good) which no longer is a resident.  This must be a new store as they only have a couple Google reviews.  The store was filled moderately or more and the RSD crowd was evident.  As usual, I had no idea where to start and had a 'record store blackout', as the well organized bins forced me to remember what I wanted/needed, lest I search the entire place.

I fooled around for a bit in a couple boxes of picture sleeve 45s and found nothing except a feeling of awkwardness as I stumbled around the place.  Then I decided to just dig through the entire jazz section as it was totally neglected and is a place I feel relatively at home.  I still have a couple CTI 3000 series vinyls I need and thought maybe I could find one.

I did come across a $20 copy of the other Paul Desmond LP I still need but even with the 20% RSD discount the store was offering, it was too rich for my blood ($20) - I know I can get it for half that (though this one did appear to be time-capsule style mint condition).  I came across a Cal Tjader album that looked good and I found a couple Bob James albums but none I needed.  I found a reissue of a Verve classic with what I thought was a novelty fake OBI strip that I couldn't bring myself to pay for even though the price was fair.  Later found out while it was a reissue, it was legitimately Japaense.  Still, I'd rather wait on my own beat up US copy.

I could not believe the price on this one - it did not look like a reissue at first glance.  If this wasn't so 'ugly' (I couldn't bring myself to view the horror first hand), it would be worth 10x their price).  Too good to be true, as always.
I glanced at the country section and was getting ready to just grab the Desmond LP when as a last ditch I figured I'd check for Joni Mitchell's live album that I've been looking for for so long.  I've never actually seen a copy in person.  Well I found's MINT, and its a promo! It was only $25 which comes down to $20 with the discount.  This is beyond a deal!

At the counter I glanced at a $50 presumably first press of Kill 'Em All and a copy of Ride The Lightning autographed by the whole band including Cliff for $250.  I did ask them to unlock the case so I can check out a weird RATM 7" then I had a very pleasant chat with the clerk about the record.  He told me that he personally brought it into the store, and that it was his uncle's record! He also told me (I did not know this) that it qualifies as an audiophile example to test your hi-fi with (I was aware of this rep for even my non-mono version of Casino Royale which I inherited from my Aunt Betty [RIP] so long ago).

I heard at least two people qualify for the shirt just in the short time I was in the store.  RSD mania overtakes even the level headed! (or maybe just novelty fans).