Sunday, January 31, 2016

Return to the Wild, Wild West

I visited West Chicago a while back when I heard about a new thrift store opening.  We took the train and came out on a Sunday so did not get to inspect the St. V's across the street.  This Saturday, we drove and hit up both.

After checking out some other new St. V's lately, I wanted to continue to check them off my list.  

In a back room I can only describe as a 'nook', I found the records.  A sign outside marked the room/nook as 'Books' and my experience led me there in search of vinyl.  I found a few of the bookshelves laced with vinyl on the floor level and I went through them all.

After my search was done, I came down to three records that intrigued me.  I also found a mint picture sleeve but the songs suck so I let that one go.  My Phase 4 collection has ebbed and flowed over the past year and recently I did away with a few.  Ronnie Aldrich is one of the major contributors to the series and the track selection definitely called to me but I decided not to heed the call.  Humba Humba is an odd German record and the third looked like some kind of late 60s hipster version of nursery rhymes.  I decided it would only been fun/interesting for one rotation, then it would just take up space.  So after all that diggin', I decided to throw 'em all back.

this young girl wandered into the record nook a few times with her phone blaring some kind of pop noise non-music.  Each time, I guess she was dismayed that I was making the room largely unvisitable with my large physical presence and bailed.  As we left, she may have passed away RIP or maybe just a nap?

I wasn't super keen on going back to Something Else.  I did grab some nice scores on my last visit but it wasn't a perfect visit.  They had the back of the store set up like a real record store which was cool - records in bags, organized alphabetically, individually priced, but the prices were a hint high.  But as it is literally across the street, I figured I'd check in again.  Glad I did!

I forgetfully did not take a pic of the new arrangement, but the records have moved to a new 'room'.  They are also in a new bin and are no longer organized.  It was 4 bins wide, 3 bins high.  In the third bin I inspected, I pulled out three sickening scores! First up is an Engelbert boxset I have gazed at lovingly on ebay many times but never, ever seen in the wild.  In fact, I bought it for my girlfriend for a gift long ago and I have looked at a copy for myself many times but never pulled the trigger.  Glad I didn't.  Then I found a complimentary album which I'm going to bet was marketed as an 'if you call now...' prize.  Last up I found an album I have looked at many times.  I probably don't need it very much considering most of the tracks can probably be found on releases I already have.  But ironically, just that morning, I was helping another user move about 75 releases to a new series he created - the same series found here.  I have seen this album around a new times and always wanted it just to collect the rest of the series - I only need one more.  I made a list a long, long time ago, before the series existed to help keep track.

My three records were marked at $18 total which I can live with since as I said, 2 of the 3 I have never seen before and one is a 5xLP set in really, really nice condition.  However (see below), they had signs everywhere saying that everything in the store is 20% off.  I did the math in my head and came up with about $14 in my head.  The guy behind the register pulled out his iphone to do the math and then charged me $10.50! I don't know if he screwed up or what - he didn't even open the register to get my change which was shady.  In the end - I don't care.  I don't know that I'll ever head out this way again, but this trip was worth it for sure!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

St. V's 'Premium' records

Apparently St. V's realized they need to snoop through those bins when they come in. I'd buy that Boston record for $1, but not 10x that. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

WI Circuit

Had a grueling 3-day trip through Wisconsin and Minnesota and took advantage of whatever I could find on the way, which in this case ended up consisting of entirely Goodwill stores.

Day #1 my work was in Sussex WI.  I stayed the night in nearby Brookfield.  This allowed me to hit Goodwill stores in Brookfield and also neighboring Waukesha.

Waukesha presented nothing but a bunch of junk, save a terribly out of place proto-hardcore release from a seminal group.  Of course, record was missing from the jacket and nowhere to be found.  I'd have grabbed this for sure.

After that I sped back to Brookfield before dinner to hit up that store.  Here I found a near half empty bin, however it contained some interesting stuff.  The Engelbert double album you see here is truly bad: disc one is a live album that contains none of his own recordings and disc two consists of re-recordings of his Parrot years songs which are terribly overproduced and ruined entirely.  That being said, I have only seen this album in the wild one other time and of course I bought it (at a garage sale in Franklin Park, before I even started this blog).  As I now own it, a sighting is noteworthy but that is about it.  Worse yet, one of the albums is missing from the sleeve as well.  You'd think things couldn't be anymore pathetic, but there was a saving grace.

I found first the booklet (which is easily mistakable for a concert program) which comes with the 'Just For You' compilation.  Of course, my copy was missing the booklet.  So that was a score.  But after that I found a totally unreleated Engelbert concert program!  This was a huge score.  But I knew I could not bring these items up to the counter - they were not priced and certainly were not albums, they would not sell them to me.  So I jammed them inside the sad old copy of 'All Of Me' and paid $1 for everything.

back cover of the excellent concert program I scooped

Remember how a minute ago I said that it could not get anymore sad? Well it does: the remaining album has a unique brand of warping that I can only suspect it totally man made, and manually done.  A while back I well overpaid for my favorite Elvis album (ironically also a double LP) and it too has one of the discs with this kind of damage.

did someone use a pliers on this thing or what??
On day #2 I drove from Brookfield to Hastings MN.  I did some in Tomah for gas and visited a Goodwill there but they had no records.  I have hunted in the Hastings area before, just a couple months ago.  I really wanted to get back to the Goodwill in Eagan as I left something behind there and have huge regrets.  However, the last time I was out there I flew in to the Twin Cities, which made a stop in Eagan more convenient - this time as I am driving, it would be too far out of my way as it was super cold out and I didn't have a ton of time.  So I stayed in Hudson and worked in Hastings at the end of day #2 I drove to Chippewa Falls to stay my final night.

Like my first night, I was able to hit up two Goodwills in short order.  The first stop was in Eau Claire.  I didn't see much there besides a ridiculous compilation who's contents does not accurately reflect the decidedly not-tough cover.  And an ABBA single I found on top of the shelf.

The final stop of this trip and the last place I went before I hunkered down in my hotel with a few beers was in Lake Hallie.  And alas, the last stop was a good one.  I decided to start collecting Bob James albums a few months ago, after looking at them for years in record stores and bins.  I am all too familiar with his work ( says I have 16 releases with his credits on them but less than half of those are his own albums) - I've had his early stuff downloaded years before I even seriously collected records.  Of course those early releases are prized and can fetch a few dollars so they aren't usually found in thrift stores.  He 'counts' through the titles of his first eight albums and I've been able to scoop that one as well as five and six in thrift stores in the past few months.  I decided that those first octet of records would be my limit, save the two collaborations with Earl Klugh (which I also have already gotten quite easily).  

Anyway, the Bob James lesson is done; the punchline is that I found a near mint copy of 'One' for $1, even has the original CTI inner sleeve.  No reason at all this should be in a Goodwill anywhere, best of all it was right in front, didn't even have to search for it.  You can see it sitting below where I set it momentarily to snap a pic.  I was tempted to grab the album, lower right, for its lead track (my jam of the moment, admitted unabashedly) not to mention the duet on track B1.  But my soft rock collection is good enough for now.  A man must have limits.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

St. Vincent, Morris IL

Hadn't stopped into the Morris St. V's in a while, so a quick fly through was in order on a trip out west.  I was a bit shocked to find that the bin of records had dwindled substantially since my first visit and now contained only a handful of 45s - no LPs in sight.

The 45s were junk but just as I had pulled a trio of jukebox 7"s out of there last time (with strips), when I removed all the records a beautiful menagerie of jukebox strips fell artistically into place.  Alot of obscure country here - I enjoyed looking up the artists I had not heard of  to read about their background.

I inquired at the counter about where all the LPs had gone...her answer was vague but she did tell me that she had a handful of stuff they kept behind the counter, due to its appraised value.  Generally I'd say that it wasn't too far off, considering the condition seemed to be pretty good.  None of them interested me however ($20 records rarely do) so I passed on the vinyl, then passed through town an onto my final destination.