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Archive for the 'Trawling the Bins' Category

Quite a Bounty

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Usually afterwork I hit a couple of thrift stores for a quick run in, look at the records in disgust and then run out. Last Friday I had no intention of going to any of these as I had been pretty sick of seeing the same crappy records for the last few weeks.

Usually the first four records are all I need to flip through to determine if is going to be worth my time to darken my fingers with disgusting dirty record dust. Usually its something like Jim Naybors, Boston Pops, Chuck Mangione, Barbara Streisand and I am out the door. On this day the first record was Led Zeppelin II, which was a good sign, meaning that these records had not entirely been picked over. The next one was The Who – once again not a bad start. I flipped through a few unremarkable records and all of a sudden there is a Charlie Parker record then a Mingus record, then a Pharoah Saunders record. I started making a pile of all the records that were a go. There were old mono Rolling Stones records, Brian Eno, The Kinks, Love….I could feel the sweat forming on my brow as I feverishly flipped through the stack. I started glancing around quickly to make sure that no one else was approaching. I was like a Hyena and I was scavenging the vinyl remains of someone’s musically open minded youth.

I exited the thrift store with 36 records, all marked at 99 cents a piece. I loaded up my car and headed straight home so that the Arizona sun would not lay its final claim on this stack of vinyl.

Trawling the bins

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

I have a love/hate relationship with record shopping. I am not talking about perusing the orderly bins in clean, well lit shops with listening stations showcasing whatever is cool for the week – but down and dirty record shopping at thrift stores. I have spent hours of my life in Savers, Goodwill and the smaller mom and pop thrift stores (which tend to have better records).I have flipped through thousands of discarded LPs. There was a time when I would flip through these stacks of records with excitement but not anymore. Such titles as “A Firestone Christmas” do not make me feel merry, Al Hirt’s many records now make me hurt and seeing copies of “Sing Along with Mitch” cause me a great sadness when I think of all the deceased individuals who will never sing along with this LP again. Herb Alpert’s “Whipped Cream” does not incite in me a craving for whipped topping but rather disgust in its abuse of dairy products.

If the collective amount of records that I have browsed were gathered together and doused with gasoline (an event I could only wish for) and ignited I am sure it would create a fire so big that it could been seen from space and its black smoke would blot out the sun, disrupting photosynthesis and hastening the death of our planet.

I am sure that the time spent on the pursuit of vinyl could have been used better. These hours could have been spent building ships in bottles, joining a pyramid scheme or watching reruns of “Life Goes On.”

What keeps me going are the good finds, 50’s Jazz on thick vinyl, weird hippy folk or a stash of original Sun Records 78’s. Just last week I was scored some great 60’s female pop stuff – with Francoise Hardy and Jacqueline Taieb being the best of the bunch. Too bad I had to pay the emotional price of competing with an Ebay guy who looked at me with pure hatred as I pulled out each record.