Thursday, October 6, 2016

Early October Record Shopping at Reckless in Chicago, Part Three: The Loop.

This is the Reckless location that was about five blocks from my hotel, but I made the last one I went to so I could just walk it back and not take another Uber. Though I did have a fun time getting rides in Chicago. Got the vibe that the drivers weren't usually picking up or dropping off people at record stores. But hey, that's me: I'm fucking cultured.

I had spent a good amount of my allotted dough at this point, so I went into the Loop Reckless - the smallest one; it's not cramped, but it's close - looking to get some bang for my buck. I ended up with a bunch of weird stuff, some of which I'm just now remembering buying. What a whirlwind!

The Halflings - "A Kiss for Christmas" 7" (1995)

Even more for my Christmas collection. This is on red vinyl, but of course there was a green edition, too. That's the spirit. And that's some 90's punk.

Richard and Willie - Waitin For Gas (1979)

Laff Records, of course. Ribald stand-up comedy, no doubt. With track titles like "Leon Spinks" and "White Dudes," I'm figuring this is right in my wheelhouse.

Jackie Kannon's "Prose from the Cons" (196_)

"A comedy album recorded live and featuring convicts of Southern Michigan Prison." Sounds hilarious.

Hal Masters - The Funny Side of the Street (1961)

This thing was in crazy good shape and there's a naked lady on the front, so I needn't further convincing. The back describes him as "controversial," and I'm a little scared to find out what that's referring to. Probably a number of things, but really, isn't he just pointing out our differences?

Victor Buono - Heavy! (1971)

Stand-up comedy that seems to focus on his weight. Should be uncomfortable!

Wildman Steve - Wild! Wild! Wild! Wild! (1970)

I've been lucking into these "party records" lately. Dirty stuff. Wild, even.

Franklyn Ajaye - Don't Smoke Dope, Fry Your Hair! (1976)

Another comedy record. This one's on Warner Bros. but I'd never heard of this dude. Great cover, weird title - I hesitated for a second but then made my move.

Bill Carty "Blasts Off!" (196_)

This cover is as terrifying as it was the first time I saw it. Jesus, Bill.

Wayne Juhlin - My Kinda Town (1975)

Private-press spoken-word/comedy thing from mid-70's Chicago. Looooove shit like this.

The Marillac Chorus Orchestra and Jazz Combo - Music from Marillac (1972)

This is another gem, a private-press LP of a recording of an orchestral and choral performance by a Chicago-area all-girls private high school in the early 70's. Looks like it's never been played. Nice topper to all the rando records I copped this trip.

And that was it. And thanks to Southwest's new no-fee baggage policy, I got it all home for free. Dude, I'm getting really good at this.

Reckless got some great stores, son.

Early October Record Shopping at Reckless in Chicago, Part Two: Lakeview

My last day in Chicago was a Monday and I had to be on a plane around 7. I got up early, checked out of my hotel, and by 10:30AM I was at the Reckless on Broadway, their biggest location and the one where I've had great luck over the last few years. This time around I didn't come up on any big scores, vinyl-wise, which was odd, but I did get a bunch of cassettes. I picked up a few the first night, too - this is all of 'em:
Not bad at all. They had tons more rap tapes the last time I was there, though, and I've been retro-kicking myself for the last 12 months, regretting not pulling that trigger. But what's done is done, and I'll come up on that King Tee tape some other time.
Here are the records I did get:

Mosquito - Mosquito 7" (1992)

Jad Fair and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley crank out some distorto-jangle weirdness. One dollar.

Rappin': Music From the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1985)

I am pretty sure I've never seen this movie but I couldn't pass this up for three bucks. Peebles. Never been cool. Oh he'll try, but he just can't get there. At the same time, the late, legendary Larry Smith ("My man Larry Larr, my name DJ Run") produced a bunch of tracks on this thing and I can't front on that.

Monie Love - "Monie in the Middle" - The Remixes 12" (1990)

Oh I'll get down with some Monie Love. This is a 3-song 45RPM 12" from the UK that features 3 remixes that are mad club-ready and seem more suited for overseas than here, but that was often part of her struggle. Though if you listened to her, you'd think she was from Brooklyn or some shit. A very underrated female rapper. Latifah knew.

MC Ren - "Same Ol' Shit" 12" (1993)

Three-song 12" single with a radio, album, and instrumental version. Ren in '93 on Ruthless. I bought this just so I could have it and flip by it and remember how awesome MC Ren is.

Edwin L. Baron - Relaxation and Self Improvement (1955)

This was made in Chicago and while I don't think it's a particularly rare or sought-after LP, I probably wouldn't have found it in Portland. More photos of this relax-master right here.

The Ravers - It's Gonna Be a Punk Rock Christmas (1978)

On Rhino Records with crazy festive vinyl. This was surprisingly cheap and it's in great shape. My Christmas-record collection is two crates deep at this point. I'm a force come December.

Chartbusters: Hit After Hit (1984)

I love K-Tel comps from the mid-80's. I keep records like this in the front room of our house. They make great mixes for cleaning or eating or just hanging out. And they sometimes have the deeper cuts that they thought would end up being big hits but weren't: This one's got "Adult Education" by Hall & Oates and "She's Strange" by Cameo. Pretty sweet.

And that was it for the Broadway shop. Here's a few more pics:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Early October Record Shopping at Reckless in Chicago, Part One: Wicker Park.

Chicago: The City On the Go. The Windy Apple. The Jewel of the Nile. Yes, I'm practically a Chi-land local at this point, so how 'bout dem DA BEARS, huh? Gimme a sec, just need to wring the kielbasa juice outta the ol' push-broom.

Well son of a fuck Ditka, I ended up back in Chicago again this year. The weather was mild, my leisure time was little, but I still managed to hit all three Reckless Records locations over the course of a consecutive evening and an afternoon. Was in town for three days before I had a chance to sneak off on Sunday night and hit the Wicker Park location, which I think is the newest one, but maybe not super-new. Either way, it's the one I hadn't been to before, so I wanted to check it out this time around if I did nothing else.
It's a great little store, essentially a slightly smaller version of the Broadway location, which is their big'n. It was my first record-shopping stop of the trip, so I had to limit myself a bit to leave room for two more stores worth of digging. I left an NM copy of An Evening With Wild Man Fischer on the shelf, and I'm feeling tinges of regret. But it's too late now. Here's what I did get:

Frank Zappa - The Old Masters Box Two Sampler (1987)

I used to own this record. I bought it when I lived in Eugene in probably '95 or '96, most likely at House of Records. I sold it on eBay in the mid-2000s along with a few other records that I immediately regretted getting rid of and have felt stupid about ever since, enough to ignite my ongoing mission to replace those records and make myself whole again. While I still haven't found the limited-edition Mr. Bungle picture disc I sold in a moment of true darkness, I did finally find this, a fairly inconsequential LP in the larger scheme of things, but one that is important to me. I feel good about it. And it's even got the catalog inside, just like my old copy did. Sampler of Zappa remasters with one unreleased Mystery Disc track.

Big Daddy Kane - "All of Me" 12" (1990)

This is my least favorite Big Daddy Kane single, and maybe my least favorite song from his entire catalog, though "I'm Not Ashamed" is always very tough to beat. "All of Me" is a duet with Barry White that is a huge whiff and overall really not good. And there's an extended remix on here! Fantastic. I somehow did not have this but I do have a test pressing of it. Deep.

Mykill Miers - "Raw Shit" 12" (2001)

Mykill Miers! This was a buck I think. Tracks from his second record. I loved rap like this in the early 2000s. Still sounds dope.

LA Dream Team - Kings of the West Coast (1986)

Sealed for three bucks. Before Dre and the Wreckin Cru, there was The Dream Team.

Side F/X - "A Swift Kick" 12" (1989)

I had never heard of these dudes but I liked their baseball uniforms and hey: that name is pretty clever. 5-song EP-ish type thing.

West Coast Crew - "Jail Bait" 12" (1985)

Electro-rap that is not quite as troubling as the title suggests, but certainly troubling nonetheless.

V/A - The Compton Compilation - Sound Control Mob "Under Investigation" (1989)

Catchy title! This comp is a year past Straight Outta Compton and features Lonzo from the Wreckin Cru overseeing the whole thing and eating some crow along the way. Cash-in? Eh, I guess. Features tracks from CMW and others not as notable. An answer to NWA and the Posse in a way. This was one of my more high-priced items on this trip, though it was only $15.

Teenage Talk-In (1969)

Hey kids, let's rap! Whatever's on your mind, though you know I'll be swingin' the ol' convo right back to Jesus every time! Here's a picture of The Beatles to make you think we might not suggest you ignore your overwhelming urges and instead channel that energy toward respecting your parents.

Yo-Yo - Total Control (1996)

Yo-Yo, deep into the 90's. Never heard this one. She's got a hot new look.

V/A - Rap It Up (1986)

A K-Tel rap comp that I don't think I ever owned, but definitely eyed when I was a kid. Two songs from Timex Social Club and one from Full Force was not sweetening the deal. Let's be careful what we call "rap" here.

And that was that for the first night. Much more to come.

Friday, May 6, 2016

April Record Shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, Part Two.

Amoeba is essentially a time warp. I have been in no other record store in the past 15 years that is so busy, has so many employees working, and is filled with so many people who seriously give a shit about physical media. I was in the VHS section upstairs and a guy looked in my basket and said that I got a sweet deal on the $1.99 Jane's Addiction "Classic Girl" CD single I was picking up. I told him I used to have it in high school but lost it somewhere along the line; he said he still had his from the same time. And then I told him how I liked the single because it has the "LA Medley" on it, which is one of my favorite tracks of theirs. And then we went our separate ways. And it was pleasant. And then I bought some VHS tapes.
Here's the other stuff I bought:

Daz Dillinger - Retaliation, Revenge, and Get Back (1998)

I've had my eye out for this one for like a decade. My friend lent me his 2-LP copy right after it came out and I got hooked on "Oh No," which is one of the greatest West Coast rap songs ever. He eventually retrieved it and though I've had a digital copy, I'd been wanting the wax back. Just watched a copy go for $28 on eBay. I got this one for 10.

True Love - I'm Bustin' Out (1988)

Wasn't gonna pay more than three bucks for this, and I didn't have to. My man's gonna love you up real good, girl. There is also a song on this LP called "You're So Fat."

Salt N' Pepa - "He's Gamin' On Ya" 12" (1991)

Back of this is just the Juice soundtrack cover but with no lettering. It's pretty sweet.

Kid Sensation - "Skin 2 Skin" 12" (1991)

Girl, Kid Sensation's gonna love you up, too, but it's gonna be a whole lot less romantic. Seattle's own, struggling to find his lane in the early 90's. Still decently dope.

The W.I.S.E. Guyz - eF yoU eN Kay E (1989)

Sealed. I had never heard of these dudes and the music's not quite as serious as that cover. Very '89. This video is ill.

Future Flash and King M.C./The Future M.C.'s - "State of Shock Rapp"/"Erotic Rapp" 12" (1984)

I grabbed this just to hear how blatant the Price bite is, and boy, is it just rap karaoke, but hey: it was 1984 and everybody was still getting this all together. The "State of Shock Rapp" is the same deal: straight cover of the original with rappin'. I knew the Future M.C.s sounded familiar to me, and it turns out I have one of their other records. It features a cover of "Take Me With U." Safe to say they found their niche.

Queen Latifah - All Hail the Queen (1989)

I've never heard this record aside from maybe the few singles. Queen Latifah can rap, man. And she's repping the original Flavor Unit on this one. She's a STRONG woman.

Oaktown's 3-5-7 - Fully Loaded (1991)

This was the second and final full-length from Sweet LD and Terrible T, and it's dipped in 1991. In their defense, they were proteges of Hammer, so it wasn't like they weren't blatantly going for mainstream success. I bought the 12" single for "Turn it Up," the lead single from this album, at some point in the last year or two. No telling how many high school dance routines have been performed to that one.

That was it for records. Here are the cassettes I picked up:

Some interesting stuff. I always thought "emotion lotion" was a Mr. Show joke, but apparently it is also an album by a band called Top. Or maybe it's both. I dunno. That Master Charge tape is crazy low-fi lean rap from Dallas and it is flat-out amazing. I can find no trace of it online. I think that King Missile promo tape might have the original title that contained "coming" before its removal before wide release. Also, this tape, in particular, is notable:
I bought this cassette for two reasons: First, the combo of that cover and the promise of a song called "Black Leather Maniac." Second, because I noticed Deen Castronovo played drums on it. He recently got let go as the drummer for Journey after a long time, but before that he played with a ton of people, like Bad English, and before that he grew up in Oregon and played in a Portland metal band called Wild Dogs. I passively collect local Portland music on vinyl, and I've got the first two Wild Dogs albums.

Turns out Dr. Mastermind is none other than Matt McCourt, the lead singer of Wild Dogs, and this was his project following the dissolution of that band. And I found it on cassette in Los Angeles. It's these cosmic connections we make, by brethren.

And yes: "Black Leather Maniac" is sweet.