Thursday, September 6, 2018

Burlington Records [Burlington VT]



Vermont - the last state on the entire east coast I have not been to, stopped in, had a meal, worked in, slept in.  The circumstances that set this one up probably will not recur, so I knew I had to take advantage.  I arrived on a Monday set to work on Tuesday about 30 min north.  My colleague picked me up and off we went.  With nary a record in sight to my knowledge in St. Albans, I knew my best bet (only bet) would be Wednesday morning before I got back on my flight.  I took a bus early Wednesday morning south to Burlington and rode around on a bike share for a while, killing time until one of the handful of record stores opened.

After coffee and a scone, I walked over to the shop. I was a bit early so I lollygagged around until 11am for the doors to be unlocked.  I was beginning to toe the line on how much time would be required to get back to the airport and get through security.  I wondered about everyone I saw - was this the owner? But alas they would walk on by.  Finally the proprietor did arrive and I jolted through the doors, the day's first customer.




I have to admit, I didn't give this place a good look over, I had cut it too close so I probably wasn't in the store for more than 10 minutes.  I gave the jazz section a once over but that was about it.  I will say it was a well organized space and clearly popular because even in that 10 minutes a number of other potential clients had already arrived and got to digging themselves.  This was such a cool, fun area I long to return to drink more coffee, ride more bikes and dig yet again in a state so unique and full of joy (at least in my personal memories) that it will be a special time to recount forever.


STATE #35 - COMPLETED!



Goodwill [Plainfield IN]


I have been through this store and this area too many times to count at this point - I just created a new label to keep track of all these trips so you know it is getting serious!.  I pulled some scores out of here over the years and even when I strike out I enjoy the hunt.  That could be said of all places as I am an optimistic and realistic digger, but especially here in central Indiana as I am almost always in a great mood when I get the opportunity to travel here.

I am a sucker for 12" singles and I love alternate remixes and that kind of stuff.  So it was a no brainer to scoop up this guy.  At work we use this sometimes as a triumphant theme song when we complete a big job (even though it is actually a forlorn love song).  Both versions here are interesting to someone like myself who has long enjoyed and analyzed the song.

What an awesome record.  The vinyl itself was totally covered in cat hair and dust but the grooves aren't dirty, just surface filth.  Took that off easily with a microfiber rag and my custom 99% isopropyl/distilled water mix.  Nice to see that someone actually used an inner sleeve with a generic outer sleeve, often it seems like people think that because they don't have a legit outer sleeve it isn't needed.  Neglect! Ironically it looks like this did come with a proper outer sleeve, which leads me to believe (hope?) that this was used by a DJ or something somewhere.  The outer sleeve isn't beat up like it was abused, but the corners are so soft and worn it looks like it had been rubbed and touched and used thousands of times.  I just used it again to dub both sides and what a delight they are! The instrumental is truncated and is really more of an instrumental of the remix on side A than the normal LP cut.  Also pretty awesome that I was only charged for a 45 so I saved a few cents.  I don't care about the few cents but it is nice to keep it under a buck and not have to carry around a load of change the rest of the day!



Monday, August 27, 2018

Repo Records [Philadelphia PA]


About 2 1/2 years ago I got to hit up Philly under the same circumstances (same customer in Gap PA).  Once again, I made sure to budget an extra day into things to get around.  I had three cheesesteaks (along with the two I had on my first trip), as well as a pork sandwich, and besides the light weight record hunting I did in nearby Delaware and New Jersey, I did get into the city to check out a legit record store where I did strike a jackpot!

Repo Records is a chill spot in a hip neighborhood of which I do not know the name.  I came out this way to check out Woodrow's cheesesteaks which I heard (read) were solid- they were.  But I happened about Repo Record as I strolled down the street.  So after I went and devoured my cheesesteak, I went right back the way I came to see what they had going on in there.

                            

I dug around a while then even went and checked out the T-shirts.  They had quite a selection and I did not bring enough clothes as I sweat through everything in the sweltering heat that laid itself over the coast that week.  They didn't have much in an XXL, I did see one decent Iron Maiden shirt but I decided against it for $23.  So I got back to the records and finally found the jazz bin, so I tore it up.


If you know me, you know my predisposition toward CTI, and you know love for the 3000 series.  If you look in the lower left hand corner you will see the 'A' section, and of course some Cannonball.  And if you look even more closely in the upper right hand corner ('Z' section), you will see Cannonball's brother, Nat.  What he was doing in the 'Z' section I do not know, but it is that old adage for crate diggers: if you don't take the time to go through everything, you will miss something, maybe that which you desire the most.  In this case, it was just about the only thing I desired but man did I desire this one! I have seen it once or twice in the wild over the years, most memorably long ago at Logan Hardware as a promo.  Well here I only paid $8 compared to the $20+ I saw as a price tag on that day (which quite honestly, isn't that bad of a deal for the promo).  I have seen since that they did manufacture this album in a plain white sleeve as well so I am glad I got the real deal with the silver foil.

I later located the dollar bin in the back of the store and half heartedly went through it
but didn't come up with anything much of interest.






Saturday, August 11, 2018

Village Thrift [Pennsauken Township NJ]


After driving from Coatesville Pennsylvania to Wilmington Delaware, I made the trip north to New Jersey.  I was rolling the dice that this place would have some vinyl, I couldn't find a phone number that anyone would answer and I was low on time to find anything further east from Pennsylvania where I needed to return to.  So onto Village Thrift!


Village Thrift was enormous and had a gigantic packing lot.  My eyes darted left and right in search of vinyl.  If they didn't have any, it would take some doing to find somewhere else on such short notice.  

Well I won and I lost.  They did indeed have vinyl, but only the saddest selection you could imagine, I think there were 5-6 platters total and all junk.  I kept thinking 'there must be more' but alas there were none to be found.  So I made my way back to green pastures in Philly.


So while I came up empty handed, I was able to legitimately check state #34 off my list and I hope I get back to explore what NJ has to offer in terms of vinyl soon.  I already have a trip planned to Vermont for the end of the month which will entirely complete the east coast - Maine to Florida! Stay tuned!



Goodwill [Wilmington DE]


It took me until I was all the way in Pennsylvania again to realize that Delaware and New Jersey were really close by! So I made some adjustments to my already packed itinerary to check these states off my list, as who knows when I will have the chance again!


I decided on a regular old Goodwill as time was so limited.  While I didn't find anything I was impressed with the nice selection of Eng records so I displayed them nicely for the world to see here.


So that would be state #33 for anyone keeping track - so glad to know that I was able to zoom through and handle some vinyl during my jaunt!




Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Goodwill, Downers Grove


I swore I had never been to this place.  I was tooling around and had to make a run to Trader Joe's.  The local grocery stopped carrying the coffee that my girlfriend likes and Trader Joe's is is other favorite.  I don't mind going as I drink the coffee as well and I also like to buy myself some random stuff there.  I normally go to the Trader Joe's in Glen Elyn but due to my aforementioned 'tooling around', the Downers Grove store was closer.  As I pull up I was shocked to see a Goodwill in the same strip mall.  How could this be? Turns out I have been there before, but it has been over three years!

The wall of records I saw back then was gone, replaced by the standard issue LP bin.  I found a load of Engelbert I haven't seen in a while and some other gems.  Largest of all (which I walked away with) was another Marion Lush album.  Great condition too! I have spotted the mono version of the Brasil 66 debut a few times, I got my own a while ago, but it is always temping to just pile 'em up.  I passed.

Two soundtracks - both with great title cuts, did a catch and release on both, though it was difficult.  Up at the counter, they even had a couple REO albums hidden back there.  I've seen Goodwill do this before, but then when I asked to see they were labeled quite cheap.  Who knows.  A worthwhile stop!





Friday, July 20, 2018

Estate Sale, Wood Dale



Been a solid minute since I hit up an estate sale.  I got a tip from a coworker that there was not only one down the street, but that they also had records! I was swamped at work and didn't think I could get away when I decided - you only live once! So I dropped everything and sped over on my bike.

The best part was that I just had gotten my new GoPro camera about an hour before.  So I took it with and even wore it inside! The bad news is that someone came through and scooped all the vinyl a half an hour before I got there! Damn!


                                           



Friday, July 6, 2018

Goodwill [Greenfield IN]


Nice to get back in the swing of things after a short while of inactivity.  I drove 4 1/2 hours to Cambridge City Indiana, did my work in only about 2 hours, then drove back west to spend the night in Indianapolis.  This was on the way and well worth it.


Roger Miller ‎
I scooped this in Michigan about 2 1/2 years ago.  Don't see it too often.

Arnett Cobb Is Back
Not familiar with Mr. Cobb but this one did look interesting.  I had terrible cell reception so I was having trouble doing any kind of research on artists and releases.  I wonder if it was this misprint (linked here) I found, I might have grabbed it in that case.

Force Majeure
I was sure this was a 12" single due to the short track list (either durations were not listed or I did not see them), which did seem odd given the limited info I had on this groups genre.

Let Me Party With You
Fairly outrageous disco album in beat condition.

Solid Gold
This one I have a little regret on not grabbing, it is nearly 50 years old.  The track list is solid and something about the font and the colors on the cover called out to me.  Again, I couldn't do any research, not sure if it would have mattered, maybe the lesson is to go with my gut once in a while.

Good High
Something about Mr. Brick here makes me uncomfortable.  Maybe it is that he seems very uncomfortable, despite his efforts to look like he is having a pleasant day.  This gives me bad vibes.

What A Diff'rence A Day Makes

Finally one I did grab.  I wouldn't pass on much Kudu stuff, it is an extension of my CTI obsession.  Nice bunch of sidemen here.  Still has the original inner sleeve to boot.  The price did seem low and now that I look closely, it seems like the lazy cashier accidentally charged me for a 7" and not an LP!


Tuesday, June 26, 2018

First Baptist Church Thrift Store [Oakdale LA]


I write this while I sip a cold Abita after one of the longest, hardest days of work in my life.  I got into town yesterday (flew to Alexandria) and desperately wanted to check Louisiana off my list.  I sped to a Goodwill and they had no vinyl! I knew that I wouldn't have much time today to look around but I was banking on that possibility.

Well I was right as I did not get to my hotel until 10pm! But I snuck away for lunch and had one shot at a small church based thrift store and I struck gold! Well not exactly, as it was all junk, but I hardly care about that.  One more state done!


I took each stack out and dug through them all.  The lady at the counter not only answered my question regarding the presence of vinyl, but insisted on walking me the 10' to them.  Really nice small town vibes.  But man was it hot out there! I don't know how people live in this day after day.


There were a couple albums from Mr. Gray.  It looks like he passed away back in 2005.  I figured he must be a Louisiana since I saw more than one record.  Funny thing is, it doesn't look like he was.  Looks like he was a Dallas based musician but when I dug a bit deeper, it said he grew up in Little Rock, but was born in New Orleans! 

STATE #32 COMPLETED!



Monday, May 28, 2018

more barbershop

Well it sure has been a slow May.  I got down to Texas but missed opportunities to check out a record store in downtown Dallas and more.  I did stop into a thrift store in Plano Texas but they had no vinyl.  I made it back to Buffalo NY as well as the Detroit area but I've covered those areas before.  However I do have some interesting 'mailbag' topics that relate once again to my extensive documentation of barbershop vinyl.


As a kid I had a couple Shel Silverstein books and more recently I've watched my girlfriend's daughter discover his work.  This message was a real thrill to get.  I knew the album referenced right away and knew I did not have it but excitedly wrote back regarding the Four Renegades album where the arrangement was born, as well as the Vagabonds album where I first noticed this song.  Alas, I was told that they already had those albums in the archive.  Especially painful since I have not one but two spares copies of the Four Renegades record.  So I am keeping a keen eye on ebay hoping to find this one so that I might donate it.


I got this message quite a while ago as you can see here but never mentioned it.  The only thing better perhaps than an autographed copy is knowing you made this kind of contribution and got to chat (albeit electronically) with someone who knew the quartet closely.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

RIP

In nearly 5 years of writing this blog I have visited many, many thrift stores and record stores looking at vinyl.  Unfortunately I've seen many great shops close for various reasons.  Time to give respect to some legends and remember their awesome tenure selling vinyl.  There are many more honorable mentions but here are the biggest in my experience and memories.

Marklund Resale


Can't count how many times I've visited Marklund over the years.  Looks like the last time I blogged about a visit was back in 2015 (wow, time flies) but I'm sure I was there at least a handful of times since then.  Unfortunately they shut the doors back in the summer of 2016.  Great shop that supported a good cause.  The funny thing is that now after reviewing all these old posts, it doesn't look like I ever bought anything there! Still, it was a nice relaxing Sunday jaunt for a long time.  They will be missed. (note: my girlfriend did once buy some cutting boards there (they were new).  One of them cracked and fell apart after a year or so, the other one is still doing well and just last night I coated it with mineral oil).


Knick Knack Paddy Wack


I checked out this store a few times in the early days.  Really cool shop run by a couple that were always swell to chill with and have a chat.  They even used to call me when they would get new vinyl in.  They expanded even at one point and scooped up the shop next to them but then a year or so later they were gone from both.  I found this video above on the website of a local news station and have uploaded it here.


Savers, Franklin Park


It was really cool having a legit thrift store with vinyl (sort of) in my neighborhood.  Stopped by many times and grabbed an array of nice vinyl.  They shut down last year and the site is now a Salvation Army.  They will definitely be missed.


Fantastic Andy's


I always had an awesome time in Andy's, grabbed vinyl and just had such a nice relaxing shopping trip every time I stopped in.  My time there is filled with nothing but good memories of riding my bike around Kewanee, pounding beers and BBQing and looking at dusty vinyl in a dusty old shop.  I consider it an honor that I got to prowl around in the place after it was long closed, thanks to some local vandals that shattered one of the windows.


Affordable Thrift


Only paid a single visit to this place, the only time I've looked at vinyl in a pawn shop.  You even had to get buzzed in.  This was right down the street from my place of work, and I clearly remember the day I stopped in on my bike ride from work to my girlfriend's house and grabbed a Jeff Beck classic.  I took this photo just yesterday while eating at the deli across the street.  Nothing sadder than seeing a place full of colorful signs and later just boarded up with white paper.  What a shame.


Blast From The Past


Had a legitimately odd visit to this place back in 2014.  For some reason I did not take a photo of the place then, the one above was taken yesterday 2 minutes after the photo of Affordable Thrift (they are literally one block apart).  It used to say 'Blast From the Past' on the upper portion of that wall, and I don't know if it was painted black either.  There was a real estate sign out front, I think it's been there a while and probably will continue to be for some time.  Funny because even during our visit the proprietor probably would have taken an offer for all the goods in the store, and maybe the building itself.


Kstarke Records


I visited this place twice, both times around my birthday, in 2014 and 2015.  It was during my first visit that I had my order rung by Mr. Starke himself.  He gave me a vinyl for free because I was a 'new customer', and I still enjoy that album regularly (just put it on yesterday).  I should have gotten back into there more but I'm glad I visited what I think many people consider to be a Chicago vinyl landmark.

Bel-Aire Enterprises


I saved this one for last because it is the most special.  I first visited almost exactly two years ago after wanting to check it out for a while.  It was a really special experience.  I grabbed a bunch of stuff and couldn't wait to get back.  I did get back at least once (maybe twice?) but never blogged about it.  I got the bad news around the end of last year from Beverly Records who snatched up a bunch of their inventory for probably pennies on the dollar.  I was in the area a couple months ago and figured I'd cruise by.  The parking lot was so filled with snow that I could barely get it and out.  The store was papered up and the sign...well, you can see it's sad refrain above.  It has been the wallpaper on my phone's lock screen since I took it and will remain there for a while.  I am very, very fortunate that I got in there to check the place out because now all we have are the memories.



Sunday, April 22, 2018

Salvation Army, Clearing


I generally will not go out of my way to hit an SA anymore, they are always sad barren places devoid of any good vinyl, and often it seems, don't carry any vinyl at all.

As part of an especially relaxing morning, I got my work done in Marquette Park (where coincidentally I also hit an SA, long ago) in record time.  I saw this place as I approached the intersection and figured what the hell.

The vinyl was junk, save for one semi-interesting (though beat) jazz platter.  I figured I'd glance through the CDs quickly before I left.  I should divulge a short tale regarding CDs.  I have 100s at home in CD books.  Recently at work, we were trying to find information on some storage boxes we bought long ago because we wanted more.  After much internet sleuthery, we found the cases and saw that they must have been purchased at Office Depot.  So my boss ran over to grab another one and he grabbed an extra one for my truck upon my request.  Because as it turns out, these were actually CD/DVD cases (not at all what we were using them for).  So I made a pact with myself to fill that case with some classic albums and then stop there. 

So I've scooped up some interesting stuff at thrift stores and online and I'm a little over half full (I think it holds 20 jewel cases).  Well would you believe I found the first Pat Metheny Group CD here? This is now the 5th PMG album in my little case.  I've had this on vinyl and I shouldn't admit it, but I honestly never listened to it in depth.  Well I have listened to it now extensively, again and again, and realize what a classic it is.  So overall, this was a huge score in a dumpy little store that was, as usual, bereft of good vinyl.





Sunday, April 15, 2018

St. Vincent [Billings MT]


As already described, I stepped out of a Billings breakfast and stumbled into a record store.  Just before that, I came across a St. Vincent.  Alas, it was permanently closed but they left a forwarding address.  So I started to walking across Billings to my destination. 

It was a 1/2 mile or so I think and the neighborhood got quieter, less traffic, no pedestrians, I was all alone.  I finally arrived and saw the clear distinction between the floors, evidenced by the crowd that had formed outside (which included the fellow I later saw chilling under the sign with his coffee and rucksack).




Alas, it was nothing doing as they had nothing of any interest, save for a book of sheet music for a Neil Sedaka album I've had for a while.  As alluring as it sounds to try and learn 'Laughter in the Rain', I left it behind for another hunter deep in Montana, as I was on that morning.