Sunday, May 15, 2022

April Record Shopping in Los Angeles.

Alex Cameron's 2022 US tour is a short one - maybe it's still tough scheduling shows? - and it only contains one West Coast date, and that was in Los Angeles a few Thursdays ago, at the end of April. My wife and I made a snap decision to attend back in January when it was announced. We have some friends down there we wanted to visit, plus it just seemed like a good excuse to take a few days off from reality. We got in Wednesday afternoon and I made plans to check out the new Amoeba location Thursday morning. I took an Uber over there from our hotel and upon arrival was surprised at how nondescript it felt, but I think that's just in comparison to the previous building, which was ornate.

Inside, it felt a lot like the old store. Maybe not quite as huge, but still massive, especially by today's standards. And it was busy - at 11AM on a Thursday. I mention this because it's really a unique experience at this point, shopping in a record store that sees enough traffic to justify 20+ people working at the same time. I love it. Glad they're still there and I'm glad it feels mostly the same.
I didn't go quite as crazy as I feared I might, and part of that was due to their rap section being a lot smaller than I remember, with not a ton of used stuff or 12" singles, which is odd. Makes me wonder if I missed something, but man, I looked! I also just didn't find a large number of expensive records I wanted. Which is fine. Here's what I did get:
The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Electric Ladyland (1968)

I first saw this original UK cover in a record shop in Salem, OR when I was probably 15, and it's been on my list ever since. I came across a copy in Portland a few weeks ago so it was on my mind again and this one is actually in way better shape than that one, so it all worked out. My heaviest purchase of the day for sure. This is a 1973 repress with red Polydor labels.

Lilith - Boston Ride (1978)

All-female soul outfit from Boston. This was in the New Arrivals and I just grabbed it on a whim.
Blowfly - Blowfly's Party (1980) 

Includes the timeless classic, "Nobody's Butt But Yours, Babe."
Rappinstine - "Scream" 12" (1988) 

Bought this for the sweet Ruthless 12" sleeve (not pictured). Realizing I already have the white-label promo of this one. Produced by Dr. Dre in the same year Straight Outta Compton was released.
Jesse West - No Prisoners (1989) 

Rap from 1989 that I have to admit I've never heard of. It's on Motown!
Big Scoob aka Johnny Famous - "Can Du" 12" (2000) 

Aka Scoob Lover, one half of Scoob & Scrap, dancers for Big Daddy Kane. Scoob rapped on almost all Kane's albums and kept putting out music as the years went on. I've got a bunch of singles but I'm also missing many more. This is actually a really good song, produced by the 45 King, and that cover is a good time. I wrote about him a long time ago.
Maximum Balloon - Maximum Balloon (2010) 

Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio teaming up with different people to make a very cool side-project record. Haven't listened to this one in a while. Though I'll never forget what a hot leadoff track "Groove Me" is.
Blowfly - Oldies But Goodies (1976) 

Oh yeah, I got another Blowfly record.
I managed to spend a solid amount of time in the 7" section and again, didn't find a ton, but I did get these singles:

Zen Guerrilla - "Crow" 7" (1994) 

I saw these guys play with the Supersuckers in...1999 I wanna say? I guess this is the first record of theirs I've purchased. I do recall being rocked.
The New Pornographers - "Myriad Harbour" 7" (2007) 

Great cover on this one. I really need to get a hold of a nice copy of their first LP. And Twin Cinema.
Gas Huffer/Supercharger - "Bad Guy Reaction"/"Mystery Action" 7" (1993) 

Gas Huffer split single that I did not have.
I also picked up a small stack of $1.99 80's singles for living room listening that I don't feel like digging up images for, but here is the list:

Eurythmics - "Here Comes the Rain Again"
Eurythmics - "Would I Lie to You?"
Joe Jackson - "Breaking Us In Two"
The Escape Club - "Wild Wild West"
Big Country - "In a Big Country"
The Dream Academy - "Life in a Northern Town"
Artists United Against Apartheid - "Sun City"
Swing Out Sister - "Breakout"

And, I dug through their LaserDiscs and pulled out these:

Yoko Ono: Then & Now (1984): Hour-long documentary about Yoko's life before and after John Lennon.
8 1/2 (1962/1989): Criterion Collection two-disc edition with sweet artwork.
Drugstore Cowboy (1989): A Portland classic.
Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever (1983): So much great music on this special. 

Oh, and I picked up a copy of Butthole Surfers' Widowermaker EP on cassette.
My friends met me at Amoeba, and when we were done there we hit another spot in that same area called The Record Parlour. There was some good stuff in there but the prices were too high so I adjusted my expectations immediately. I did get one record and five rap tapes:

The Love Symphony Orchestra - Penthouse Presents Pulsating Disco And Romantic Moods For Loving And Dancing (1978) 

Disco 12" with two long-ass songs, put together by Penthouse Magazine.
The rap tapes I got are:

Queen Latifah - Nature of a Sista (1991): Didn't have this one. I still need Black Reign.
V/A - CB4 Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1993): Been looking for this one!
V/A - House Party 3: The Soundtrack (1994): My rap tape soundtrack section is getting deep.
Capital Tax - The Swoll Package (1993): Oakland rap that is pretty cool if I remember right.
Prince Markie Dee and the Soul Convention - Free (1992): RIP to Prince Markie Dee. I bet this one new jack swings.

And after that we pretty much saw Alex Cameron and went back home. Not a bad little trip.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

October Pandemic Record Shopping At Speck's.

The pandemic rages on, but the Goodwill bins are open and taking safety precautions, so I've been there finding stuff to trade. Got another fat stack toghether and took it to Speck's, where I can use it as currency for things I actually want. Like that The Last Dragon soundtrack cassette above that I picked up. Here's what else I got this time:

Ween - White Pepper (2000) 

I noted on my last trip to Speck's, after picking up a live Ween double LP, that I was finding myself thinking of a copy of White Pepper I passed by twenty years ago. And, as has been known to happen sometimes, I manifested it into reality, finding it on the top shelf upon my return. White vinyl, original UK issue. My favorite Ween album. Just a beauty.
V/A - Your Spirit Lives On: The Musical Legend of Harry Truman (1981)

Songs dedicated to the crazy ol' coot who stayed on Mt. St. Helens till the very end. My copy came with an accompanying book! Very excited about this one.
Oregon State University - The Faces of Oregon (1959)

Always on my Oregon shit.
Pooh-Man - "Run Brotha Run" 12" (1993)

AKA MC Pooh. Sealed and on the Scarface label. We got the street version, the radio version, and the instrumental. That's the goods right there.
Jr. Cadillac - Hamburgers to Go (1974)

Blues-rock bar band out of Seattle who I keep getting more into as I collect more of their records. This is the earliest one I currently own. They do a decent amount of covers.
Butch Paulson and the Rare Breed - Live At The Circle (1969)

Recorded live at The Circle in Seattle. There's also a Tacoma address on here. This NW rock is where it's at. What a cover.
Wheels - Wheels (1982)

Bar-band southern rock that ain't no joke. Here's a vid of them getting the job done.
Dangerface - Dangerface (1983)

Released on their own Sexual Records label. Just four songs, but I'm prepared to be rocked.
The Carolyn Hester Coalition - The Carolyn Hester Coalition (1968)

Had been looking at this one on the shelf at Speck's for a long time, and finally decided to pick it up. Great cover and it's in great shape.
Prince - "Sign o' The Times" 7" (1987)

Just got the super-deluxe reissue of this whole album. Not sure why I felt the need to buy this but here we are.
Wazmo Nariz - The EP 7" (1979)

Grabbed this on a whim because it contains the songs "I Hate My Life" and "I Just Want to Have Sex." Should be something.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

August Pandemic Record Shopping at Speck's.

I once again forgot to take any photos while I was shopping, so here's a picture of Mark Lanegan's new book, which I just read. He pulls no punches in this thing and it's a well written, extremely wild ride. Never been a huge Screaming Trees guy but this book's got me listening to them, and his solo work, more.

I took a Friday off work and armed with a fat bag of trades I rounded up from thrifting and thinning out my own collection, I hit Speck's and ended up spending a few masked-up hours there flipping through records and shooting the shit. Left with a bunch of great records. Here they are:

Franklyn Ajaye - Comedian (1973) 

I picked up my first Franklyn Ajaye LP in Chicago about four years ago and just happened to come across this one and thought I'd give it a go. He likes to talk smoothly about smoking reefer and being black in America in the early 70's. It's funny and relaxing.
The Howling Hex - Introducing the Howling Hex (2003)

Neil Michael Hagerty from Royal Trux on the solo creep. Limited edition of 500. And hey: if you hate the Trux, I'd be willing to wager you'll hate this, too. Probably more!
Harry Nilsson - Nilson Schmilsson (1971)

Been lazily looking for this LP for a while. Just to listen to. This is not an early copy; just a nice clean one to play while I do the dishes. Never got into this one.
Ween - Live in Toronto Canada (2001)

Original double white vinyl that's in real good shape. This is, believe it or not, the first Ween LP I've ever owned. I have always had their stuff on CD because the LPs are not cheap and I just couldn't even get started. But now I'm eyeing an original copy of White Pepper because I passed one by at Jackpot in 2001 and have never let it go.

David Cross - Shut Up You Fucking Baby! (2002)

Half of this album was recorded at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland at a show I attended and I've owned it on CD forever, but the LP has always been pretty hard to come by, I think. It's on red, white, and blue vinyl because American rules ironically.

Lenny Carr - Lenny Who? (197?)

Private-press LP from a guy who played organ at a popular restaurant in Lincoln City. My Oregon collection keeps getting more legit.

Laurie Brown & Rob McIntosh - A Touch of Sanity (1982)

Folk duo out of Eugene. This looks like it will be very gentle, indeed.

The Elements - Honest Enough (1985)

Rock trio out of Seattle who appear young and ready to get it done. The drummer wrote a good portion of the songs, and that's not something you see a lot. Good for that guy. And good for music. 

Tom Austin - Empty Nights (1977)

Soft rock out of Seattle that feels like it might be alright. Tom's just looking for love. Fill up his nights.

BLT - BLT (1977)

Trio out of Seattle who you would think would each have an initial that spells out BLT but they don't and I'm sure there's a story behind it but it's not clear and really it's a bit of a letdown.

Jerry Goebel - Dreamer (1980)

Recorded in Redmond, WA. That's a very contemplative cover. Very. 

Kidd Afrika - Kidd Afrika (1978)

Blues-funk out of Seattle. Private-press NW, that's how we do it.

Jamie DeFrates - Pegasus Inflight (1976)

Private-press post-hippie folk out of Jacksonville, Florida. Thought I'd give this one a shot.

The Nick Pyzow Band - The Dancers Let Me Down (1987)

What a great album title. Southern California rock. 

Mr Nice Guy - Mr Nice Guy (1983)

Rock out of Portland. This was mostly sealed and I cracked it open so I could get to the gatefold. Felt good. A lot of innuendo in this video.

Ken Roberts - The Start of Something New (196?)

My first song-poem LP. Not planning on going down that hole, but couldn't pass this one up.

On Wings of Song - On Wings of Song (1976)

Vaguely religious, possibly cult-y looking LP. Just sort of grabbed it because the dude on the back had a two-foot beard and was twirling on a mountainside. 

Bob Beland - Bob Beland (1982)

Early-80s rock out of California that I picked up because it looked possibly fun. We'll see.

Dice - On the First Throw (1978)

Country folk with fairly exciting album art for what will, judging by the mellow vibes of the duo on the back, most likely be some laid back music.

Dyslexic Artsehcro - Tomorrow Might Look Better In Someone Else's Eyes (1987)

This is a crazy record. Super dark goth-y, almost industrial noise? One of the more expensive records I picked up. I can see why people want it. It's nuts.