Sunday, August 6, 2017

Value Village [Mississauga Ontario]

I have finally been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to take this blog international! I had 4 nights spent in Mississauga while I worked in nearby Brampton.  My first stop here at Value Village was a pleasant accident.

I was told we would be working somewhere between 11am-11pm everyday so I wanted to make sure I had beer available to myself because the last thing you want to do after a 12 hour shift like that is to find out that there are no nearby places to get alcohol.  So I got off the plane and immediately took an Uber toward the nearest Beer Store.  I stopped for a delicious lunch I will not soon forget (and often miss) at Watan Kebab.  Then as I rounded the corner into the strip mall which housed the Beer Store, I saw Value Village.  I had already laid out a couple places on the map that I planned to try and make time to see but somehow I had missed this.  I wasn't even 100% sure that it was a thrift store initially.  And even if it was, did they have vinyl? I'd learn quite a few things pretty quickly.

Yes, it was a thrift store.  I had a hunch that this place was somehow affiliated with Savers and I later found that I was correct.  In fact, there are actually a handful of Value Village stores in the USA.  I also just realized I have been to one before, in North Carolina a couple years ago.  And as you can see above, yes, they have records and plenty of them!  Most interesting were what I immediately recognized as Canadian pressings of two vinyls I already own.  I was tempted to buy one or both of them but left them both behind, to some small amount of regret I still continue to be haunted by.

The pseudo hype sticker on the Roger Miller album immediately made it stand out to me.
Same for the yellow A&M box logo on Whipped Cream.  Both Canadian, through and through.
At a level not recently seen, or perhaps ever, this place had so many Goddamned Engelbert albums it was staggering.  Because I have some sick form of OCD I had to lay them all out on the floor in order.  The fact not revealed by this photo is that there was heavy traffic all around me as I attempted to first lay them out, in as close to order as I could conjure up under the circumstance, then to back away enough to get the angle I wanted.  No one said a word but no doubt they were inconvenienced for my sick pleasure which is this blog!

And as a footnote, his non-Parrot releases, save for the live album which I have of course categorized incorrectly.  You NEVER see 'Love Letters' in the wild, this was overwhelming to find.  Bear in mind these were all scattered through the bins so I don't know that a singular donor brought them here, perhaps all of Ontario just loves Enge that much? Does Enge love them right back, just as much? With the close proximity of vinyl, beer and kebabs, I know I do.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

South Jax Antique Mall [Jacksonville IL]

Man I love antique malls.  I love having a nice afternoon to myself, after my work is done, when I am out in the middle of nowhere and an antique mall to dig through.  It is relaxing and the kind of 'smell the flowers' activity we all need to take in for ourselves regularly, one way or another.

I love looking at old stuff, call it what you will: 'antiques' or just 'junk'.  But there are always the odd bin of crummy vinyl lurking around corners in these places.

Jacksonville is a nice place, quiet and peaceful.  The most remarkable thing about it perhaps is that my cell phone actually is 'roaming' when I am there (I have since been back), and I've taken my phone many different places and to two other countries without incident! I don't care about the roaming so much as I don't pay the bill, but data transfer (even small stuff) takes ages.  A good time to 'unplug' and just relax.

I did come out of here with some Pyrex, as I have mentioned many times both my girlfriend and myself collect.  I dug all the records you see here but didn't come across anything worthy of note.  No matter.  I just like the adventure.  I already have over 700 records.  How many more do I need? I could retire entirely and be happy (and have trouble getting through all this vinyl) or I can try to take a step back and enjoy the process.  Which I think I do!

It is something of an antique mall tradition that when you get rung up, the person behind the counter uses this old school table to calculate your tax because they almost never have legit cash registers.    They had one here and it looked like it had been in service for a long, long time.  I know I've said it above, but my #1 memory of this place is peace and serenity.  I long to go back.  I hope I do before long.

Goodwill [Woodhaven MI]

Got to make a trip up to Detroit, an area I have almost never traveled to in my decade plus of jetsetting around the midwest and beyond.  We were working out in the middle of nowhere, about 30 min south of Detroit and we were staying in Woodhaven.  Was able to sneak away and check out some vinyl.

I'll cut to the chase - there was nothing here.  But now it's come to this - timing myself to see how long it takes to go through all these junk records.  As you can see above, there are 6 bins or stacks and let's conservatively say there were 30 records in each.  So minimum 150, again being conservative.  The time required to dig that junk, individually inspecting anything that stood out? You can see below.  Now thats 'chops'.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

free vinyl

The Bollweevils / Ripcordz - North America Loud Punk Series
I saw the Bollweevils live a few times at the Fireside Bowl back in the 90s.  Some of those times were when they were playing with another band that I liked, I was never an outright fan though they are good and a classic Chicago punk band that has to be respected.

Beastie Boys - Intergalactic / Peanut Butter & Jelly
I saw the Beasties in 1994 I think at the Rosemont Horizon (now the Allstate Arena).  At that point I had already been to some dangerously packed, death defying punk shows at small venues where I had been crushed up against the stage, etc.  But this show was totally exhausting.  It was so hot and claustrophobic I could not wait to get out of there even though I was a huge fan at the time.  Obviously this single came out a long time after that.

White Kaps - Wooly Bully
This one has is missing it's picture sleeve.  My only real experience with White Kaps was on an old video from back in the days that we used to watch again and again.  There were some great songs and videos on there from some of my favorite bands.  But the video gets worse as it goes on and this is the last song.  The video is beyond low budget and its ridiculous.  We used to just laugh at it and looking back I'm laughing at it again now.

Rage Against The Machine - No Shelter
This one is missing it's extremely creepy picture sleeve.  I have to figure out what that photo is from.  I was exposed to RATM when their debut came out when I was in high school and we played it constnatly.  I preordered the follow up at my local record store and got a shirt and a poster with the CD as a reward.  The third album (which this song is from) came out when I was in college.  I never bought that album though I have listened to it at length and it is excellent.  My biggest memory of that album is that I was working at a restaurant at the time and there was a younger kid there named Corey.  We used to drive around in his car after we closed up, we listened to this album a lot and we'd smoke cigs and one hitters as we drove around in the dark.

The Larry BrrrdsLynyrd's Innards - Split 7" 
My friend told me he got this at the Fireside after a show and even got Lynyrd's Innards to autograph it.  I never listened to these guys or even saw them live, even though they were very active at the time I was going to punk shows constantly.  I'll have to give this a listen.

Lynyrd's Innards - Your Ass Is Grass
Ditto above.

Oblivion (12) / Apocalypse Hoboken - Oblivion / Apocalypse Hoboken
Ditto above - two more Chicago punk bands from the 90s that I never saw live even though they were active at the time I was 'active' in the scene, I'm familiar with both but never listened to either.  Now I will.

Voodoo Glow Skulls - Land Of Misfit Toys 
I played the hell out of their first album as it came out right during my 'golden age' of punk rock.  I still love it.  I have their second CD also but I got it from someone because they lost the case and wanted another copy, so I have it tucked in a book sans insert.  I see now they have many more albums and I've never listened to any.  I can't remember when they came to Chicago (I'm sure they did) but I've never seen them live and I don't think I know anyone who has, though they would be an awesome live show.

Here are all of the above, mixed for your enjoyment, with commentary.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Estate Sale, Bensenville

I believe this is something called 'work life balance' that entails not working yourself until your mental and physical health suffers, not attempting to do the work of more than one person, working off hours voluntarily, etc... I think this is part of a science fiction novel or something because it is laughable to think I could incorporate this into my life.  But on a Friday, I just sped away from the shop for a while and hit up an estate sale with the promise of vinyl, on a warm summer morning just a few miles from the shop.

Estate sales always kind of bug me out, I don't have a problem digging through someone's personal possessions when they have decided to share them for their own profit, but when it is someone else's possessions being sold because they are dead, it is a bit morally questionable I feel, for me to profit off of their death.  Not profiting in terms of money of course, but by my own personal gain.  Then again, I suppose these events earn money for the family to defer the costs of burial and what have you.

I have lived and worked in the area my whole life more or less and while I felt I had a firm grasp of the boundaries of Bensenville, I was shocked to find this small pocket off of 83 which felt very much like a rural area from another state.  The roads were very narrow, especially so for my large truck and of course it was garbage day.  So I was challenged by even more mammoth vehicles.  At one point I watched one just reverse down a long and winding side street as it was a dead end and there were no possible way for a tank that large to spin around.



In a very cluttered basement with just enough room to maneuver down the stairs, I came across a 16-cube bookshelf which had about 4 1/2 cubes filled with records.  I also located an old wooden crate on the floor.  The crate was loaded with filler of the worst kind; the bookshelf initially did not prove to be at all superior.  But soon after I did start to dig up some country.  I gasped audibly when I located the alternate cover to Roger Miller's debut.  I have never seen one in the wild and I was even happier to see it was the mono version.  Shortly after that I found two copies of Dwight Yoakum's second album AND a copy of his first.  I already own the debut but I was very tempted to buy it again as I so rarely see it.  I did eventually return it to it's bin but I did not walk away from the follow up.  Most regrettably, I also did a catch-and-release on the Del Fuegos debut, a band I know almost nothing about except for the mention in a song of my teenage years, some 90s alternative gold.  But as I walked away with two new vinyls and a Pyrex for my girl, I couldn't help but to be satisfied.  They weren't going to give me a receipt (they kept them for their records) so I had to ask the cashier to let me take a photo.  They indulged me, thankfully.

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.