Sunday, December 31, 2017

Time Capsule [Seekonk MA]

It was very exciting to come to work in Seekonk because it would allow me to check Massachusetts off of my list.  So I made plans to stop on the way from Logan airport because I assumed that there was nothing in Seekonk, and even if there was, I might not have time to stop.

Well I finished up early and as I got into my rental to drive away, not 1/2 mile from my point of origin I drove past Time Capsule and saw the sign that they had vinyl! Yet another toy/comic book store that carries vinyl! I slammed on the brakes HARD and swerved into the tiny parking lot so I could get inside and have a look.

They had a ton of vinyl and a nice jazz section where I concentrated.  I struck gold once I took a look at the jazz 'new arrivals' section and quickly pulled out two gems for really good prices.  I've always got my eyes wide for a particular Paul Desmond record, one of the last 3000 series vinyls I still need.  I didn't find that, but I did find a very nice 6000 series record from Mr. Desmond.

I have a nice bunch of Wes Mongomery jukebox EPs and I've long been looking for the LP version of the last one I needed.  Hell, I'm always looking for Wes Montgomery vinyl but especially Verve stuff.  Glad to find this one in beautiful shape, again, for a great price.  That makes eleven 6000 series platters in my collection.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Attleboro Attack!

I visited Rhode Island a while back on a personal getaway with my dad.  I actually had business plans to travel to Seekonk which is just across the border from Providence.  This was great because I knew I'd be able to check Massachusetts off my list.  But flights to Boston were much cheaper than Providence so I flew there.  I ended up not looking at any records in Boston proper (there were no shops in South Boston near where I was staying, and I got into town late).  But during my initial drive from Logan airport to RI I decided ahead of time to stop in Attleboro as I saw they had a Goodwill and a Savers right near each other, and it was all on my way.

First up was Savers.  Ah yes, the familiar, comforting old white wire rack that they have at every shop in the country (and beyond!).  I'd have scooped that Paul Revere record in a second but alas the jacket was empty.  Saw a fairly rare Engelbert vinyl and seeing some legit Chicago polka this far from home was very nice indeed!

After that it was just down the road to Goodwill.  They had a unique sign with a strange logo that I had never seen before.  But inside, same old stuff.  Nothing of note except for a very obscure 45 with a personalized autograph from the artist.  I did snag a CD for the rental car, an extremely worn copy of Candlebox debut.  The CD was mint but the insert was yellowed with age.  A really great album - that I seem to have accidentally left in the rental car! Well that is $3 down the drain, unless you figure I had $3 worth of enjoyment giving that album a spin while I drove around Massachusetts.  I think I did.

This is now state #27! I don't think I've hit a new state since I went to Connecticut almost a year ago! Vermont, New Jersey and Delaware are killing me.  I should have had a shot at Vermont during my trips to NH but never had time or was close enough.  It will be nice to tackle the entire east coast.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

MPC 1000 Stand

I purchased an MPC Studio about 3 months ago and I've been using it regularly and having a lot of fun.  I really started to want an older standalone MPC and decided that the 1000 would be perfect.  After watching many auctions on ebay and making offers, I finally bagged one.  I am pretty low on space (I have almost zero desk space).  I can disconnect the Studio when I use the 1000 but it is just like musical chairs.  I also looked at some cool stands for the 1000 that affected the angle so you can read the LCD more easily.  So I decided I'd build a standing 'holder' for the unit so it would be at good eye level when sitting and also add a few degrees of incline to make it more viewable.

I decided early on that I'd use a 4x4 for the main stand then I started grappling with different ideas on how to build feet.  As always, I have a ton of 2x6 so I figured I'd use those somehow.  So I cut four legs about 10" long and clamped them to the bottom trying to decide how to mount them.  I figured the Kreg would be helpful, figured I'd screw them all to each other, then I could drive some additional screws in to actually connect the feet to the 4x4.  

I got the clamps on after I drilled my pocket holes and blasted the whole thing together.  When I removed the clamps I was pleasantly surprised to see that there was so much compression it was actually squeezing the 4x4 so tight I didn't need any additional screws!  I'm sure I could bang it off with a hammer but it wouldn't be easy and as this joint will undergo zero stress, I was glad that I did not have to deface it with screw heads that weren't needed.


I ended up putting a 15 degree onto the other end of the 4x4 where I would mount the holder for the MPC.  I didn't test this or anything, but I knew that I didn't need much angle.  I also knew that the angle was related to the height: the lower the stand, the more obtuse the angle could be.  The higher, the more acute it would have to be.  I have been using the 1000 on  an old wooded TV tray table and it looked like my 4x4 was about that tall.  So I cut off the end and then got to work on the top holder.


Instead of starting with a piece of flat stock like plywood, I took some random 3/4" thick boards I had and Kreg'd them together.  I've never used the Kreg like this, to make one continuously flat piece of stock but I had seen people do it online.  Worked great though I did get confused a few times and put my pocket holes in the wrong direction.  Oh well.  The unit is 9" wide and my three boards added up to about 7 1/2", a little short but I didn't see how that would matter (it did, just a little, more on that later). I also left the back open for cables and the power cord.


After that I went and spent a few bucks on the only hardware I needed, one long lag bolt and a big washer.  I think it is a 3/8" lag, 4" long.  And I got the biggest washer they had for that diameter.  I figured if I was only going to use a single point of contact to fasten the top to the 'stem', it had better be strong.  I didn't think about it initially but once I got the drill out I realized I had to try and drill my hole at the same angle (15 degrees) as the cut on the end.  I did this freehand but by all accounts looks like I nailed it (lucky).  I countersunk the lag bolt head and washer with a forester bit while constantly measuring to make sure I did not shear away any more than was necessary.  Came out perfect! I bought two different washers (as you can see on the receipt below) because I was unsure on what size forester I had back at the shop.  And of course a Mountain Dew to stay fired up for these evening projects.


I should add that I did cut and screw on sides and then a front piece to keep the unit from sliding onto the floor.  I knew I wanted to avoid the headphone jack and CF card but as I was building without the unit in front of me to measure, so I built it to about half way across.  I figured that it didn't have to be super secured in this direction, not like it is going to funnel through the open side and fall out or shift.  So that night I did paint the top holder and left it to dry overnight while I brainstormed on further modifications or improvements.


The next morning I was very excited to get back to work.  I decided that I'd cut the legs on an angle just for cosmetics sake, that excess wood contributes little to stability.  I hacked one corner off free hand then used it as a guide for the rest.  Then I realized I had a red and blue can of spray paint just sitting there (left over from other projects) and thought it would be fun to paint the 'tips' of the legs alternating red/blue to match the classic colors of the 1000 (at least the one that I have).  So I taped it off and threw a couple quick coats on each foot.


Overnight I also had my OCD kick in and I decided that I needed to have something to fill the gap in the front.  I had left this open for the headphone jack, etc.  But it bothered me so much, I did some measuring and saw I had about 3/4" to the bottom of the CF slot.  I don't have any stock that small but I was able to carefully rip a piece down to that size and sand the hell out of it.  Just used two nails to fasten it.  Should have just done one continuous piece across the whole width.  And the piece I did use is useless anyway as since it is smaller than the stock next to it, it isn't even in contact with the MPC.  I would have had to mount it further back which would have destroyed that flatness I desired in the front.  Goes to show you that so much of my builds are functional but other parts are just references to my state of mental health! The really silly part is that I have no plans of using more than one CF card so I don't care of the slot is obscured.  Not like I couldn't briefly lift it out of the holder anyway.  And I bought enough cabling to make the MPC a permanent link between my mixer and the receiver/amplifier that feeds my PC.  This offers a number of benefits.  I can constantly use the same input on the receiver now, whether I am playing/sampling vinyl or playing back/editing the sample (or just playing a sequence, etc).  I was wondering if I could do this, my question was would the MPC pass the signal through (because with this hookup, I need it to if I am just listening to a record and not working on a song).  Turns out when it is in record standby mode, it does.  So I'll need to power up the MPC and put it in stand by if I am listening to vinyl.  Which is fine with me.  But back on topic, my work to keep the headphone jack is pointless because there is no reason I will ever be using headphones with the unit when I am at home.

I had planned to paint it black from the beginning as I had some left over black paint from another project (not vinyl related).  So after a ton of sanding (especially on that gnarly old 4x4) I layered on a few coats.  In the end I decided that it was way too high so I went home and took a measurement on my TV tray table.  I decided I would reduce the height of my new stand to 30" so I pulled out the lag bolt and cut another 15 degree about 4-5" down and drilled a new hole.  Came out great! Very happy with this.

My excitement in bringing my baby home was overwhelming.  The only issue was that I did not account for the rubber feet when I decided to make the holder a bit narrow.  I didn't care if an inch of the MPC hung off of the back, but if the rubber feet don't make contact then it won't sit flat and also might constrict the unit's ability to lose heat out of the bottom.  I didn't know until I brought the stand home (could not find dimensions for rubber feet centers on line).  So I peeled the back two feet off and stuck them back on again about 1 1/2" further forward.  And I already found a source for more feet ( sells them also).

The whole set up, including my turntable stand which I also built a long time ago.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Avenues Thrift Store

I've driven past this place so many damn times and wanted to stop in but never did.  This is largely because traffic on Touhy is a bit scary, there aren't quite 2 lanes in each direction, but there isn't quite a parking lane either.  Traffic moves fast and even if you can park in front, its pretty tight.  But I threw caution to the wind and finally paid them a long deserved visit.

I found one neat rack nestled towards the back of the shop.  I know of Steve Arrington's work with Slave through one of his biggest fans, Dam Funk.  And I as well am a fan of Dam - I actually got his autograph on a piece of vinyl years ago at a street fest in Chicago! I didn't have a smartphone at the time, I wish I had gotten a selfie with him.  But I do value the vinyl, even if the sharpie I brought with was dying at the time.

Also worthy of note was a single Engelbert record with some extensive notes on a post-it (no other vinyl in the bin had such notes).  Glad to see someone celebrating this great album!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Goodwill, Skokie

Not sure how I never hit this place even once before over the years.  Granted I don't get out there that often but it isn't very far from my standard stomping grounds.

Just a singular, clean bin with a handful of interesting finds as displayed here.  The Paul Young album is one shy of his big hit which followed up.  This one is notable for a Joy Division cover at a time that surely no one in the pop realm could have been familiar.  The Al Dimeola record...oh man, I'd be all over that.  But (did you guess it yet?) the jacket was empty with the wax nowhere to be found.  Damn!

At lower left you see some 60s garage rock.  I already have this (and mine is mono).  I was shocked to just see that it was almost a year and a half ago that I copped it, I swore that had to be this last summer.  Time flies... 

Last up is an electro-funk 12" not to be confused with the delightfully cute female garage rock group from decades before.  Interesting enough for me to have put it up front for the photo but it ends there.  As did my visit to Goodwill.  I have actually been back to the area twice since, in just a few weeks.  I'll swing back through before long in search of hot new warez...

Sunday, December 3, 2017

St. Peter's Gate (and four year anniversary!)

Had a hell ride down in Hazelwood just outside of STL.  I was staying in St. Peter which is about 10-15 miles away if memory serves.  I spent about 14.5 hours working and driving on day #2 but day #1 was just a 5 hour jaunt down to my destination.  This of course left room for some further exploration of Missouri and plenty of time to dig in St. Peter!

First up was a St. V, one of the nicest I've ever been to.  Spacious and well organized and with a wealth of records....from Brazil! And Panama? Yes indeed!

Videos hosted on blogspot never worked in the past but looks like they've made some upgrades.  Check out this South American gold below.


Did some kind of copyright legal crap prevent Mr. Ocean from singing his hit as written?
I should have bought this just to confirm, now it's driving me crazy.

I haven't stopped into a Savers in a while but there was one almost spitting distance from St. Vincent.  Found the same old wire wacks of vinyl that I've seen in every other store around the country.  This bin featured some more ethnic music as well as a friend who perused the racks alongside me.  Didn't pull anything out of there but had fun taking a gander at things.

A virtuoso? Whoa...I don't think most people even know what a taragot is (I didn't)

Proud to knock out another year with this blog! Up to almost 350 posts and 1900 photos! It's been hard work but a ton of fun and I have no thoughts of stopping anytime soon.  Upward and onward!