They didn't have many records and there was truly nothing worthy of note. I did later accidentally find a Disc Replay in town but unlike the one 'back home' in Joliet, this one did not have records. Later still that night I realized that I was just a couple miles from Headstone Friends. I had to research my own life and try to figure out when and why I had been this way before. Sometimes it's just a blur. The next day on my way home I swerved to check out a Goodwill in Dyer. I walked inside and saw the place was under construction - zero signs (or how about locking the doors?) or anything. Not a very profitable trip!
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Sunday, June 26, 2016
The Union Pacific West Metra line has reaped some awesome rewards and adventures in the past. Way down at the Wheaton stop stands Mile Long Records just a stones throw from the station. The same goes for Stars Resale and the College St. stop. And I almost forgot about Something Else down in West Chicago. Or St. Vincent across the street, which I have visited, but by car. Or for that matter, Antiques of Winfield which I just noticed is next to the Winfield stop, though I traveled via automobile there as well.
Downtown Glen Elyn held two additional shops which could be navigated to with extreme ease from the Glen Elyn stop. But alas, they are both closed on Sunday and Saturday is often filled with too much mania to get over there. After talking about it for probably the better part of a year, we finally made our way down to the train and found our way over.
Gather and Collect was first up, less than a block away and essentially just across the street. It was decorated the way you see antique stores in movies set up - I think whimsical is the word. And yes, they did have records. Nothing of interest and I am not sure the Miami Vice soundtrack quite qualifies as an 'antique' (and I already have it). But a really fun shop!
Our final stop on this short trip (which still cost $15 round trip for 2 people for what would have been a 15 minute drive each way) was Treasure House. I was excited to see it was a non for profit when we approached, a fact I was not aware of. I knew this meant that their standards for what they bought (and in turn, sell) would be greatly reduced which might be the difference between zero inventory on vinyl and a nice stack.
I got in there and started wandering around. A worker with some energy blew by me (politely) and said 'how are you...its a good day....we just sold a bunch of stuff!' and as a result she was moving some inventory around to fill the newly opened real estate. I would encounter her wonderful smile and glow again shortly.
As I went further and further towards the back, my worry increased as I still had not found that one thin box of vinyl I expected, or hoped for. In fact, I roamed all the way to the rear wall and turned around as my journey had ended in failure when I was face to face with a giant rack of vinyl!
Unfortunately about 50% of the inventory was 78s and the like. I did spot two nice records I already have - and even remember where I got them! You can see both peeking out on the left hand side. The first I scored at an estate sale almost 2 years ago. The second (double LP) was at a St. Vincent up north (this, a rare mobile post sans text. The pics tell the story vividly!).
I did spot one record that stood out but I passed it up as I already have a comp containing the one song I adore. But yet there was more! Without hesitation I grabbed an obvious reprint with an alternate cover. I had a hell of a time securing the original...not that is has much rarity but it was just one of those elusive vinyls I couldn't get a hold of. This puts me up to 14 Ray Price LPs so normally I'd maybe back off just a bit but the title cut is one of my favorite jams of all time, hands down. When I looked, this variant did not even exist on discogs so I added it afterwards at the Starbucks down the street as I got wired on a giant iced coffee.
But back to the then-present (now past)...as I waited in line my old friend the energetic worker greeted us again. She commented on my girlfriend's tattoo and how much she liked it and asked if we needed anything. We said that we were just waiting to pay (there were a couple people ahead of us with large loads of goods for purchase). She commented that it was going to cost me a whopping 20 cents for my new score. I remembered the sign I had seen near the vinyl rack:
I had been a bit worried because my record did not have a sticker on the back, but I couldn't really find any that did. Still, I've gotten burned more than once in the past by thrift stores that refuse to sell unmarked items and Goodwill has a long standing policy on this (though that doesn't apply to vinyl so my mention is a bit inappropriate). Anyway, I was glad to hear that apparently they intended to sell it to me and let the bulk rule (5 for $1) apply but I was also surprised that it DID apply as 20 cents seemed quite unfair to me (for the store). I said that I would be glad to pay the full dollar or whatever other price she could come up with (within reason). She said to just give her the 20 cents and I wouldn't even have to wait in line (of course, this would never do, as I must have my receipt for this blog!) but I not only did not have any change but I did not have any singles either. So she kind of laughed and said to just take the record and leave! I said there is no way I can allow that, I would gladly wait. So I did, and I paid what I owed and took the change and put it into a big jar on the counter which is apparently additional donations. Money well spent!
I have been to a couple combination record/toy stores. It is a strange combination but it is more common then logic would have you believe. I am sure that this store must be somehow related to the Quake store just a couple miles away and have found fleeting evidence to support that, but nothing concrete. This is really close to my parent's house, and I go there every Thursday if I can but alas, they are closed on Thursdays! This week, I made it on Wednesday so I knew I should take advantage when I could.
The setup is so identical to Quake that it's like I was teleported. A very similar selection but about double the quantity. Prices are often at a premium but that is to be expected when you are buying records at a....toy store. I saw a 70s prog-rock classic I have been consistently on the lookout for for years but I wasn't willing to part with $20 for it. Even half of that would be on the high end unless this was in staggering condition. I also found the exact same (I even checked if perhaps it was mono, not that this would add much value, or any) box set I just purchased a week before for $1....for $15!
I did not purchase anything but the owner chased after me to give me a card and let me know to keep an eye on Facebook for updates on new arrivals which was really nice.
My adventures in central Wisconsin's metropolis of Appleton are long running and well documented. Normally I only should be up here once a year if that, but in recent years I've had the excuse to be up here a few times.
On this trip, Monday was a travel day. I left home about 1pm with a 4pm ETA. However, I stopped in Sussex on the way to buy a bike for $75 (it is only my 6th bike, who's counting). I got up there about 5:30pm and had a quick bite to eat before I had the rare chance to embark on an around town mission via bicycle. What a treat!
There are so many places to choose from up and down College Ave. and beyond, not to mention my eventual need for beer (plenty of bars and liquor stores to choose from). However it was getting into the evening and many of my spots for records were closing, so I had to choose wisely, and quickly. I decided on Fox Valley Thrift where I had good luck in the past. I only had about an half an hour before they closed and they were 4 miles away. I knew I could pull that but I'd have to move briskly.
I headed west on College Ave. from my hotel and quickly determined that this was a road which is extremely not bike friendly. So I headed south a block to find a parallel street with hopefully less (and slower moving) traffic. I stopped and checked the map and decided that Spencer would take me most of the way there and hopefully was a bit more calm.
Things were indeed more of a joy to cycle down on my new wheels...I made it a couple miles before I saw a sign for Goodwill! I've been to (a) Goodwill in Appleton already - but I knew this wasn't it. I have been to many cities with more than one but somehow this seemed odd. I soon found out why. I knew this would make a visit to Fox Valley impossible but I only would have had a few moments in there anyway before they began harassing me and the other lurking clients to get the hell out so they could lock up for the night.
I've only been to a couple: one in NC and another that didn't have any records so I did not post about it (don't even remember the city at this point). The trick is this, people: these facilities will often not even appear in your Google Maps searches for 'thrift store' or 'resale store'. They are listed under 'outlet store' and while I am not certain I agree with that name, the meaning is the same: these places sell in bulk. They have giant bins on wheels about 8' long filled with all manner of things, but most often clothing. They actually have scales at check out and sell clothes by the pound. Nothing is labeled, you have to dig around through the busted DVD players and someone's old undies to see if you can unearth some ratty old vinyl. In North Carolina, I actually hit it big - I grabbed a couple 45s and also an LP that I have since found again, but at that time never before.
It was literally in the last row, back of the store, opposite the entrance that I found the stash. At first, I only saw some VHS tapes but my vinyl intuition tells me that that is usually where the books and records and located. I was (as usual) correct. It was a mere two half filled tubs, but I'll take it.
As expected, they were riddled with junk. But wait - what is this? a 5xLP Longines Symphonette boxset of Herb Alpert? I already have every A&M release through the mid 70s, but I have no problem adding this mint condition set, replete with all the original documentation inside. The records even looked unplayed! I drug it to the counter for checkout and the clerk started at it, tossing it over and over in her hands and started to try to slide the records out when I realized the source of her confusion. I said "it's a record" and she replied with a simple 'ah' before she rang me up for $1. I was nervous that had she realized that this was actually five records she would charge me $5, or perhaps hold up the entire sale as it would then perhaps not mesh with the concrete rules for pricing that the Goodwill organization had posted on the wall:
After that, I stepped back outside and checked the time. Now everything seemed to be closed, which was a shame since I was full of energy and eager to ride my new bike to hell and back in search of more platters. I scanned through the map yet again and besides the many that just locked up at 6, others were about to at 6:30 or 7:00, and others still closed entirely on Monday. I began to prepare myself for the contingency that this visit may be my only one. Then I found Bethesda Thrift about 3 miles north, where I scored a nice barbershop record before. My visits since were unfruitful but at least they were open. I was off!
When that led me nowhere besides a visit with Mantovani and friends, I figured I'd briefly glance at the books when I found the relocated magazine rack, with yet more records! Here I found one worthy of note, and I hold just a hint of remorse for letting it go. I already know that I have the best Jack Jones LP available (courtesy a very kind Santa this past year) but this might be a close second for the opener/closer. I am very curious to hear it...but I decided I could do that via other methods that did not involve adding another record to the landfill which is my collection. I'm listening now on YouTube and while I dig the tropical vibe lended by the guitar, but his voice is a bit thin in comparison to Engelbert's. But I already knew that even the best pale when contrasted - it isn't easy to top the king!
After swinging by my most recent Goodwill escapade, I found this unnamed thrift store just about a mile away. I called - they had records - I was en route. I thought that maybe Google Maps just had the store named wrong, but the sign (and the clerk's shirt) said otherwise. The name is Thrift - and that's all.
I found a crate of records about 20' inside the front door, right next to the checkout counter. It had a bevy of classic rock albums including the one you see here as well as a proto-metal classic; for that, the asking price was $15. Not necessarily a bad price, but no thanks. I did however find a relatively rare Engelbert comp (which I grabbed long ago) for my woman, which she happily scooped.
I was ready to move back out to the sunny summer street and exit Des Plaines when we found a large cache of additional vinyl in another room!
I found nothing but my girl came away with two nice ones, one upon my recommendation. 'Partners In Crime' is one of the best overall thrift store LPs I've ever come across and I wasn't about to let her pass it up. The other, she owns a version of already on 7", the LP she grabbed here was still in it's (opened) shrink.
We prowled the back room upon the clerk's recommendation but there only found a towering stack of 78 box sets and an Asian couple lounging on the couches (sorry, no pic of the Asians).
Monday, June 13, 2016
Somehow this one had gotten skipped one million times during my weekend rounds. Still can't believe it, but the truth is the truth and it is everlasting. So I investigated the records at Des Plaines Goodwill. Didn't buy anything but saw a number of interesting items.
I was never familiar with GTR but I saw Steve Howe's name right away, and I am a solid Yes fan. Interesting piece of prog rock alchemy.
Caught a beat old 12" from a local hero, next to a promo 12" for an Aussie combo. I now see that the Bad Boy Bill single is his first release and I am very tempted to go back and get it. I don't mess with house music much, but I do have a few DJ International releases.