Recollections of the hunter and his prey

About this blog

This is a blog describing the descent into madness brought about by record collecting. It is primarily about the hunt, the smells, the disappointments, the excitement, and the random occurrences surrounding vinyl records. I listen to them too, a lot, but from my perspective the hunt is what makes collecting records an exciting hobby, although it may be maddeningly frustrating and incomprehensible to those around me.

On the hunt for:

  • Articles of Faith-Give Thanks LP
  • Bhopal Stiffs 10 song demo tape
  • Black Cat Bones-Barbed Wire Sandwich LP
  • Blues Creation - Live LP
  • Freddie Hubbard-Black Angel LP
  • Henry Franklin - The Skipper LP
  • Herbie Hancock-Flood LP
  • Mount Everest Trio - LP
  • Neu!-75 LP
  • Revenant - Prophecies of a Dying World LP
  • Sam Cooke-Ain't That Good News LP
  • Sam Cooke-Night Beat LP
  • Strike Under-Immediate Action 12" EP
  • The Effigies-Haunted Town 12" EP
  • The Virgil Lights - (anything else out there besides the 45?)
  • Watchtower-Energetic Disassembly LP
  • Witchcraft-s/t LP

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Black Friday finds, part 2

Alice Coltrane-Journey in Satchidananda
Funkadelic-One Nation Under a Groove
Isaac Hayes-Shaft Soundtrack

So Black Friday was almost over, but my wife and I happened to notice that a local comic shop was having a sale, so we decided to check it out. I've been going to this shop for a couple years, but I tend to skip it on my normal digging routes because the vinyl selection hardly changes, the owner doesn't give a crap about condition, and a lot of records are really overpriced. But, this time I was pretty lucky and scored the above three records. The Coltrane record is a reissue, but a very nice one and much cheaper than an original anyways. Besides the records, we also picked up a few Godzilla toys, to add the collection sitting atop my Expedit where most of the records are stored.

All in all, not a bad day of hunting.

Black Friday Finds, part1

Brian Auger's Oblivion Express-Second Wind
Billy Cobham-Shabazz
The Galaxy Trio-Saucers over Vegas
Charles Brown-Legend!

Venturing out to record stores on Black Friday isn't nearly as exciting as waiting in line at 5am to get into a Wal-mart, but there were sales nonetheless and I had an alright digging day. The first stop was Mecca where they were having a 30% of all used merch sale, so I pulled all of the above 4 records for cheap. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Shopping through the interwebline

Hoover - s/t
The Crownhate Ruin - Until the Eagle Grins

I need to bring a little balance to this blog. Most of the posts up to this point have been in the jazz/fusion/blues/soul/funk vein, which is somewhat representative of what I've been currently listening to, but not at all representative of everything I listen to, nor what I've listened to for many years. 

I recently acquired the above records through a couple online shops that I frequent incessantly, even if I don't always purchase that often from them. The Hoover record I picked up from Vinyl Junkie Distro based in South Dakota, which carries a lot of punk, indie, and hardcore, including a great selection of used records.  I've come into the Hoover camp relatively recently, and all of their records are somewhat hard to come by. I was lucky enough to snatch this up out of the distro's used section. I'm currently waiting on another shipment from the Vinyl Junkie of a shotmaker 7", a three penny opera 7" and the guyver-one lp. 

The Crownhate Ruin record I found through Armageddon, a record shop in Rhode Island that also sells records online. I've made several purchases from this shop over the last year or so, and I've gotten some great deals. 

While I didn't listen to either of these bands when I was actively involved in the hardcore scene, I did listen to a lot of other bands in a similar vein, such as Twelve Hour Turn, The Red Scare, and Shotmaker. There is something about the style of all of these bands that really grabs me. It is hard to put into words...

Shopping online for records is a weird feeling. In one sense, I can really get the records I want, although many times I've been less than satisfied with the condition of the record I purchased. When buying a record from a local shop, I know exactly what I'm getting, there is no false advertising. Plus, the hunt online for a record is not quite as satisfying as the shock of finding some unheard of but amazing record at a shop, or finding something I've been looking for for years. The online hunt is a little too sanitized for me. I dread the days when nothing arrives in the mailbox, but I don't get the same type of satisfaction as I do after digging in a shop for a couple hours and coming home with some new finds. Even so, my online hunting has become somewhat fanatical, I'm always checking ebay for that great buy it now deal, or hoping that my major wants have all been posted for auction in the hour since my last check.  There is a list of online shops I visit almost everyday, if not several times a day, to see if somehow the holy grail of records has been posted since the day before. A lot of this fanaticism is due to my work. I work on my own in front of a computer all hours of the day. In between entering data, reading journal articles, keeping updated on the news, or writing a paper, I constantly check my list of vinyl sites. It's not healthy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friends selling their records!

A couple weeks ago I found out a friend of mine had decided to sell off his record collection. It took a little while before I was able to check out his records, but this was what I came away with.

After spending most of the night with another friend at the Dragonforce show, we headed over to a small party where some friends were trying to play the board game "Class Struggle." Luckily, the guy selling off his records had hauled them all over the party so I could flip through them and ignore the game. Unfortunately, he also had a Prince Buster record that he wasn't ready to sell, so I'm still waiting to see if I can get my grubby hands on that. But, still an fairly decent and cheap batch of records. 

The Stevie Wonder record is just ok, but it does have this great song Superstition on it. About a week ago, my wife had a found a bunch of Sesame Street videos, and one of them was an amazing live performance of this song. If only I could buy a record of the Sesame Street performance...

Anyway, I feel a little bad for my friend selling off his records. I went through a similar phase several years ago, and somewhat regret the decision to purge so many records. Hopefully he doesn't regret it down the road.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Organ sounds from Venezuela

Tulio Enrique León Ordoñez - Este es el ritmo

I know almost nothing about this record, but it is a pretty entertaining disc of organ music of Latin standards by a Venezuelan artist, and 2 originals. My guess from the back cover is that this was released in the late 50s or early 60s. The title track is definitely my favorite, as it has a sort of creepy lounge feel reminiscent of lucha libre movies from the 60s.

I picked this up about a week ago from a local thrift store that my wife and I happened to notice on our way to dinner. Generally, I stay away from thrift stores when hunting for records, but since my wife loves thrift stores, I always end up checking out the pile of shitty and unplayable records that typically inhabit these waste dumps. The last time I actually bought a record at a thrift store, about a year and half ago, I picked up some terrible Moody Blues record that I still regret purchasing. I may make it my goal someday to collect as many Moody Blues records as possible and invite all the record collectors I know (all three of them) for a cathartic burning of the plague of every record store.

Anways, this most recent thrift pickup wasn't too bad. I picked up this record, which is in great condition considering it is a Latin American pressing (anyone who has shopped for records in Latin America knows that Mint does not actually exist here), another record from Colombia of a group called Los Corraleros that is absolutely wretched, and a pristine copy of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Pictures at an Exhibition. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Today's finds, part 2

Chicago Transit Authority-s/t
Alice Coltrane-Transcendence

I found these records and the local Charlie's Records and Tapes. Right when I walked into the store there was really loud, Korn looking guy, that was talking to everyone he could in the store. As I started digging, he began talking to me and ended up being pretty nice, but a little too intense. Record digging is a very solitary activity that requires intense concentration, and talking to someone means I'm not looking at records. I found out this guy was in town from Alaska to see his friend fight in the Fightworld International match that was going on at the local convention center. Seems like a long trip to check out a fight, but I guess I can understand his enthusiasm at the record store as digging in Alaska is probably pretty disappointing. He told me the best thing about digging is meeting people and talking about records, and learning about new music from other diggers. Nope. The best thing about digging... is digging. If there is something great to be found, I don't want some other schmuck to find it before I do, or miss out on something while making small talk with some stranger. 

Ok, so I'm being a little sarcastic, but record store jabber is some of the most awful conversation that takes place in this world. This is a sample:

Korn dude: "Aww man! They got some Grace Jones records!"
Me: "that's cool..." (but thinking, I don't give a shit, don't talk to me)
Korn dude: "I wonder if they have any Kraftwerk records here, they got everything in this store!"
Me: "I doubt it, I occasionally see Kraftwerk records around town but its pretty rare." (but thinking, why don't you just look and shut up about it, besides the selection is pretty lame)
Korn dude: "Yeah, I bet everyone keeps those all locked up."

Then there is the awkward silence. Is it appropriate to turn my back on the guy so I can look at more records, or do I just dart for the counter and be happy with what I have in hand?

Anyway, the records I found were decent. I really dig the Chicago record, which is something 18-year-old me would have broken my kneecaps for saying. But, it has a great mix of catchy pop songs, hendrix style guitar jamming, all thrown in with some varying mix of soul, funk, and jazz/rock fusion. The Coltrane record was a little disappointing, her earlier material is much better, but its worth at least a couple more spins.

Today's finds, part 1

Quincy Jones-Walking in Space
The Ramsey Lewis Trio-Another Voyage
Miles Davis-My Funny Valentine
Milt Jackson-Sunflower
Freddie Hubbard-Red Clay

I had a really good day of digging today in some of my local shops.  These five all came from We Buy Music. This store was originally going out of business starting last spring, but then ended up moving his store across town because he needed to get rid of more of his records. The owner had a pretty decent sale going on for about the last six months, but now its ended, so it seems he is no longer retiring. I'll have to ask him about it next time I visit. But, lucky me, he said since I'm a regular he'll stick hook me up with the discount, I just have to wink and nod and say obscure things to him if there are other customers in the store until he remembers to give me the discount. Should be interesting... although there are hardly ever any customers in the shop, I can't wait to ask him about that one thing he talked about that one time he did this other thing, and so on...

Anyway, the real gem of this bunch is Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay. I had never heard any of these records before I picked them up, which is always somewhat exciting and nerve wracking. There is nothing worse than picking up five records that are all terrible. Red Clay is from 1970 and features most of Miles Davis' sidemen. It is a somewhat unique bridge between the hardbop of Davis' earlier quintets and the fusion of the late 60s and early 70s. While most of the tracks are in the hardbop vein, Herbie is playing electric piano on most tracks and there is the occasional funk and rock beat. I haven't been blown away like this in a while by a random find. I would definitely put this up there with other classics like Coltrane's Giant Steps, Rollins' Saxaphone Colossus or Davis' Round About Midnight. 

The Quincy Jones and Ramsey Lewis discs (along with the Miles Davis disc) were all dollar bin finds, and are pretty amazing themselves. I was completely unfamiliar with any other works by these artists, but I picked up the Jones disc based on the presence of Roland Kirk and Freddie Hubbard, and the Lewis disc had some electric piano. I am currently a sucker for anything with electric piano right now, and the Lewis disc does not disappoint. 

The Milt Jackson disc is definitely the weakest of the five discs. I hate the vibes, and I knew I wasn't going to like Jackson's vibe playing here easier, but I thought the presence of Herbie, Freddie, and Billy would make up for it. Not really. Its not a really bad record, but for me, the vibes are about as classy as blowing in coke bottles, and they are way too loud in the mix. Freddie's playing is decent, but Herbie is barely audible.

The collection

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last updated 05/17/09