I worked until 5 that day - sat through a conference, actually - and after informing my co-workers that I would not be attending the private Blues Traveler show that was part of the event's complimentary evening activities (seriously), I got in a cab and asked the driver to take me to Little Five Points. Traffic was a heaping pile of ass, so I didn't get there until after six, at which point I realized I was starving and had to urinate. Not a solid combo for vinyl flippery.
So, I got some food, drained ween, felt much better, and made my way to Wax n' Facts, which may officially be one of my favorite record stores on the planet. It's small, semi-organized, and the prices are extremely fair. I scored some cool shit there last time, and this trip was no different. If I had had more time in there, it could have been dangerous. As it was, they closed at 8, and I stayed there until 7:56, still not having gone through a fraction of the stuff that I would have liked to have checked out. But that's what happens.
I got a bunch of random, $1 7"s, and I'll start by telling you about those.
I looked at the back of this one, saw that it was all-girl trio, that it was on K Records, and that it came out in '93. Seemed like it'd be worth a dollar. And it is. The tracks here are "Wicked Ways" and "Things to Do," and they're both solid songs, in that mid-90's, lo-fi K way. This is either their first or second recording, and it looks like they ended up putting out a full-length a few years later. I probably won't rock this on repeat, but I'll be keeping it, for sure.
You know, I'm not sure I had ever even heard these guys, save possibly a few tracks via mixtapes my brother made me years ago. But I knew the name, and when you put that together with the Sub Pop label and the year 1994, it seemed like a decent risk to take. Turns out "Slick Talking Jack" is a great song, and the B-side, "If I...," though a little more sensitive, ain't bad either. Seems like these dudes have a bit of a Sebadoh thing going on, and you know I'm down.
From the little info that I could find on the internet about this band, I surmised that this was a side project of the guy who played bass in The Grifters, who I know nothing about. '97's a little late in the Sub Pop game for me, and though this single is by no means shitty, it is a little Archers of Loaf Lite for my tastes. But I love the name and the cover's pretty sweet, so that's why I bought it in the first place, and that's why I'm keeping it.
This is a particularly odd one. I saw four Japanese names, the year 1994, and the Drag City label on the back, and I guess that's all it took. Clocking in at almost 13 minutes, they pack a lot of weird-ass jams into this thing, and they do it in the 33 on one side, 45 on the other style, which I always appreciate. It's tough to describe the sound, but it basically sounds like teenage Japanese kids trying to approximate early Mr. Bungle. So, yeah: it's all over the place.
This is a Dischord band, and I knew of them because they've appeared on a few comps from the label, most notably the 20 Years of Dischord mini-box set, which includes the B-side to this single, "Destructor." Like a lot of early Dischord bands, they formed out of some other short-lived groups, and ended up being short-lived themselves. These two tracks are not what I expected: they're more straight-ahead rock than I anticipated. A nice surprise, actually.
This one was a real gamble (the band name and title were dead giveaways), and it will reside in my collection as a mere oddity. So why did I buy it? It was a dollar, like all the other ones listed here, but it also is on the PopLlama label, which I recognized, and lists a Seattle PO box on the back. Yep, I'm that easy. "Love Plumbin'" is tongue-in-cheek grunge blues, but the B-side, "I Want Some Bud" is like King Missle, but without the structure and with lyrics that are all about how much they love reefer. Spotty.
This thing says "Mixed by Kramer" on the back, and I was hoping that meant the dude from Bongwater, but I'm fairly certain it's not him. But, again: a dollar. And you know what, these songs are actually pretty good. Kind of a thick power-pop thing with Sloan-y vocals. The title track would've made a mean mixtape track for me back in the 90's. As it is, I may still include it on something. I can't find much info online about this group, but I think they were a local Atlanta outfit. Here they are playing live a long time ago.
Speaking of songs that would have been sweet on a mixtape two decades ago, the A-side of this single is fantastic. This single's on the Bong Load label, and that's really all it took for me to give it a shot. "Aerosol" is scratchy pop, but the B-side, "Return to the Journey..." is Beck-level noise coupled with morphed voices talking about the Planet of the Apes movies. It's surreal. Oh, and it also has one of those endless droning runout grooves, which is always fun. You can check this thing out here if you so desire. And you should.
This was 50 cents, and it includes the rare instrumental version of "Snakes and Ladders"! Ah, I enjoy the awkward, late-era Men at Work stuff.
OK: On to the LPs.
This was one of the first rap cassettes I ever bought for myself, and though I don't remember what exactly compelled me to do so, I do remember listening to it quite a bit for a while. After I discovered N.W.A. this seemed like a joke, but I gotta say: when it comes to ladies rapping in the 80's, this record is right up there as one of the best. I've never had a plan to buy this, but this thing was five bucks and is in perfect shape, so I went with it.
More dope shit from '88. I'm not huge on Chubb Rock, and I've always been a little ashamed of that. So, here's Step One in the right direction. This is his first full-length, and not only is the cover stellar, but it also features two unlisted bonus tracks, one at the end of each side. This record is the perfect example of an LP that's just mixed in with all the other stuff at Wax n' Facts: no big deal. It's in great shape and was priced to move. I moved it.
This band is called Suplex Slam and there's a track on here called "Politics of Wrestling." So there was no chance I wasn't going to get this. I randomly came across it as I was speed-flipping through a bin on my way to the register, so yes: it's cosmic. Meanwhile, I can't find a lick of info about this band online, and the big promo sticker across the front makes me wonder if this thing ever even came out. The music's pretty good: they sound like a less coherent Mono Men.
I finally found this on vinyl. I hadn't been looking really hard (meaning I hadn't been scouring eBay), but I'm getting down to the nitty-gritty when it comes to getting all of Ghost's albums on wax, so it was soon going to become a priority. I thought this one might be elusive, but boom: there it was. A promo copy (whatever) in decent shape, with the original insert inside. And in the LP format, you can really see what a grainy, thrown-together cover that is! Hey, remember when he was just "Ghostface" on this one? That was stupid.
I think I'm down to Ghostdini and Apollo Kids to complete my Ghost-on-vinyl collection, and I'm almost positive Apollo Kids never actually got released on LP, so now it's just a matter of forcing myself to pony up 15 bucks for the Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City debacle, which I'm not looking forward to. But, it'll be easy to find. More Fish isn't crazy rare, but I've never seen it used, so I was excited to see it. They also had a used copy of Fishscale. Seriously: this store is awesome.
More proof that this store is awesome: they had TWO copies of this. Crazy. The one I got is in sweet shape, and will look fantastic saddled up to Sex Packets on my shelf. This is a weird little group of songs which I'm assuming they were pressured to release to capitalize on the success of "The Humpty Dance." Not sure if it worked, though "Same Song" remains sweet. And this may be the first album cover that 2Pac ever appeared on. In crude drawing form.
Price a Naughty by Nature reasonably, and I will buy the shit out of it if I don't have it already. This is Poverty's Paradise-era, so it's when they were starting to try a little too hard, but there's a solid Kay Gee Remix of the title track on here that I'm enjoying quite a bit.
I don't think I'd ever come across this 12" before, and again, they had two copies of this thing. I didn't notice the cutout notch on mine until I got it home, but I'm not going to sweat that too hard. Some Run-D.M.C. 12"s are sorely lacking, but this one is pretty nice: It's got the album versions of the title track and "How'd Ya Do it Dee" (shouldn't that be "How'd Ya Do it D?"?), as well as a House Mix and a Miami Mix of "I'm Not Going Out Like That." Weird remixes. Booty bass.
I scooted out of Wax 'n Facts right as they were closing at 8, and headed over to Criminal Records, which I knew was open till 9. I'm sure I talked about this last year, but Criminal Records is a combo music/comics shop, so it's full of all sorts of records, CDs, books, comics, action figures, and other nerd gear. When I was there, there was a group of nerds in a circle in the back having some sort of comic-book book club. They were talking about DragonCon and shit. Most impressive: it was 50/50 male/female. Nice work, guys.
Anyway, I didn't find a ton of stuff there. They specialize more in new vinyl, and while I have a use for that, that's the kind of stuff I can get at home. I was looking for used treasures. I found few. But here's what I did get:
I always wanted to hear what this band sounded like, as they have one of the most ridiculous names in Sub Pop history. When I saw that the A-side of this single was called "Long Flat Pussy," I couldn't resist. Turns out they're mad noisy and somewhat Steel Pole Bath Tub-y. I'm good with that. I think the cover is supposed to be a parody of Elle magazine or something. It's mostly just confusing.
I haven't quite figured out what the deal is with this thing, but it's Kane and I didn't have it (I hadn't ever even seen it before) so it was coming home with me. It's a promo-only 12" put out by Scion (yes, the car company) and it features a track from BDK ("Give a Demonstration - Part 2") and Percee P ("International Hustler"), as well as the instrumental and a cappella versions of each. And I think they rap over a live band. This might be semi-rare...?
I rarely ever listen to Okkervil River anymore, but for some reason I keep finding sweet copies of their albums on the cheap, and for some reason I keep buying them. This one was sealed for six bucks, and it's the followup to the one album of theirs I really liked, so we'll see how it goes. I may have to wait till I'm alone and depressed. Shouldn't be long!
I bought Congregation around the time it came out, tried really hard to like it, and could just never get it to click. But, this was one of the songs that I really did like from that record, and at this point it wouldn't be a record-shopping trip if I didn't pick up an import, early-90's Sub Pop 12", and I didn't want to break my streak. This is currently the only music by The Afghan Whigs that I own. It may remain that way for a while.
I finally got the RTX record with the cover where Jennifer Herrema's holding the Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Buddy! No idea what's up with that. But this was the only RTX LP that I didn't have, so I was happy to find it sealed and discounted. And I'd actually never heard it until I digitized the LP. It's a bumpy ride. Can't wait to get to know it better.
And that's it. Here's a picture of the front of Criminal Records as I left and a lightning storm started.