Thursday, August 16, 2012

Friday Afternoon Record Shopping at Boom Wow, Mississippi Records, and Music Millennium.

I rarely have weekdays off work, and since I hadn't enjoyed a solid three-day weekend in a while, I made the executive decision to take this past Friday off and see where the day took me. Sleeping took to me to about noon, at which point I got up, handled a few things that needed handlin', and then decided to spend the rest of the afternoon hitting a few record stores.

My first stop was Boom Wow, formerly 99 Cent Records. I guess they changed their name earlier this year. That makes sense, because not all the records are 99 cents, and even the ones that are, aren't. They're a dollar. So: good move by them. This place has been around for a few years now, and it's getting nothing but better. And it was great to begin with. It's a small space, but they (I believe it's a couple that owns/runs it) do a solid job of keeping it organized, and the prices are always really fair. Never a hint of gouging at this place, and for me, that's huge. Seems like a lot of shops are using the "vinyl revival" news as a license to jack up their prices, and that is a lot of hooey.

Boom Wow is not about that. They sell their records for reasonable prices, and I always leave with an armful of vinyl and not the slightest twinge of guilt. I need to get there more often. They're keeping regular weekend hours now, so that should make it easier. They're moving up!

Here's what I grabbed:

Raw Fusion - "Freaky Note" 12" (1994)

This is the third slab of Raw Fusion vinyl I've picked up in the past year, and probably my least favorite. I'm all for Money-B's sex rhymes, but the ones he drops here are Penthouse-letter pornographic and not at all witty. The B-side, "Glockadoodayoo" is gangsta-y and substantially better.

Sir Mix-A-Lot - "I Just Love My Beat" 12" (1985)

The very first Sir Mix-A-Lot record. I've been looking for this for a long time, and though it's not particularly valuable, it is tough to come by. It contains the title track, which is on some old-school Arabian Prince shit, the original version of "Square Dance Rap," as well as "Let's G (Watch Out!)" and "Mix-A-Lot's Theme." I had never heard any of these songs, and though I won't be rocking them on the regular, it's awesome to hear where Mix started.

3rd Bass - "Pop Goes the Weasel" 12" (1991)

Look at Serch. What a nut. There's only one remix on this 12", and it's the SD50 remix of "Derelicts of Dialect" (though here it's called "Derelict of Dialect"), which was already included on the CD version of Derelicts of Dialect, so I had it. There's also some instrumentals and a cappellas. So, noting major, but still sweet.

High Performance - All Things Considered (1990)

High Performance were on Mix-A-Lot's Nastymix label, and I always wanted to hear this record when it came out. I thought maybe it would share some style with Mix. Aside from being NW (Tacoma, I think?) early-90's hip-hop, it does not. In fact, this is a really bizarre album. It's the farthest extremes of Public Enemy in a way, with half the songs being dead-serious political bangers, and the other half being fuck-it-all party anthems. Not sure I'll play it a ton, but I'm glad I finally got to hear it.

Naughty by Nature - "Jamboree" 12" (1999)

If this would have been more than two bucks, I wouldn't have picked it up. I do not like this song, and was hoping maybe the "Club Mix" would be worth something, but it's indiscernible from the album version to my ears. I should know better than to buy any NBN past '94. I may never learn.

Murs feat. Shock-G and Humpty Hump - "Risky Business" 12" (2003)

I had never even heard of this, and it's almost a decade old and on the Def Jux label, no less. Just goes to show: I'm clueless. I'm not the biggest Murs fan, but I'm always down for some Shock/Humpty interaction, and this track's good for that.

Admission time: Before Friday, I had never been to Mississippi Records. I'm not proud of this, and I just may have to go back a few more times to make up for my late start. Yeah, it's a little hipster-y, but I found out that means that no one fucks with the rap records. The girl behind the counter was SO excited that I was buying some hip-hop. And they actually had some cool shit. I may need to work it into my regular rotation.

Here's what I got:

Run-D.M.C. - Run-D.M.C. (1984)

Can you believe I didn't have this? It's the one Run-D.M.C. record that I don't see much of in stores, and when I do, it's usually pretty roughed up. This one is still in the shrink, clean as a whistle, and it was one of my two big purchases for the day. Absolutely worth what I paid for it.

Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike" & "Packet Man" 12" (1990)

Yet another gem that's still in the shrink, in great shape, and just generally all-around sweet. There are two remixes of "Doowutchyalike" on here, and one for "Packet Man." All of 'em have extra vocals and other stuff that aren't on the album versions. All rap 12"s should be like this.

Big Daddy Kane - "Looks Like a Job For..." Promo 12" (1993)

Promo 12" that was cheap. Guess I'm buying BDK shit like this now.

Eazy-E - "We Want Eazy" 12" (1989)

I've only come across this single a few times, and the copies I've seen have always been shitty. This one is in sweet shape, and features remixes of both the title track and "Still Talkin'," and they both have non-album vocals on them. I'm all about it.

Just-Ice - The Desolate One (1989)

I bought what I thought was a copy of this record earlier this year, only to get it home and realize the vinyl didn't match the cover. So, I was excited to find an actual copy of it, in good shape, at a good price. Just-Ice was one of those dudes who was often on rap comp tapes I listened to as a kid, and I think he's kind of a badass. And 1989 was a good year for being a badass.

After leaving Mississippi Records, I decided to hit Music Millennium on my way home, just to see if anything good was floating around in the New Arrivals. There wasn't much, but I did pick up a few things.

Smegma - "Boils & Carbuncles" 7" (1991)

I think this is the second Smegma single I own, and though I don't plan to stock up on their stuff (that would be an endless, possibly expensive task), I couldn't pass up this bad boy. Purple vinyl, weird creepy art and insert, music that's barely music: this thing has it all.

Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville (1993)

When Matador reissued this a few years back I thought about buying it, but I instead decided I'd wait to come across an original copy at a reasonable price. I finally did, and I'm glad to have it. I have listened to this record hundreds of times over the years, and I still love it. It was kind of sad that I didn't already own it. But now I feel like a big, accomplished man. Look out.

That was my other big purchase for the day, and the signal that it was time to call it quits. So I did.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Record Shopping at Crossroads and Exiled.

My wife is usually at school all day on Saturdays, so I'm used to sleeping until I wake up and spending the day dicking around at home. This past Saturday she called me at 10AM, told me her school was flooded, and that her and a few friends were coming home to turn our kitchen into a makeshift salon and color some hair (my wife's in school for hair design). That was all it took to get me up, moving, and out of the house.

After hitting a few estate sales in Tualatin (long story) and making my way over to the Everyday Music in Beaverton and finding nothing except a used copy of the Criterion edition of Dazed and Confused on DVD, I decided to ride the 32oz-iced-coffee buzz I was currently sweating through (it was 100+ degrees out, which didn't help), head over to Hawthorne, and see if Crossroads was air conditioned.

It was not, but it was way better than it was outside, so I kicked around there for a few hours, picking up a few things. These are those things.

Daddy Hate Box - "You Tell Me Nothing" 7" (1989)

Add this band to the list of groups in the original Teriyaki Asthma series who I desperately want to like for some reason, but can't really bring myself to fully enjoy. Much like My Name and Jonestown, this band is good at what they do, but the pop-slappy funk-rock thing doesn't really get to me. Still, it's on the C/Z label and it's from 1989, so I picked it up. And I will keep it. And if I come across the purple vinyl version, I will buy that, too. Mine's on black.

V/A - Teriyaki Asthma IX 7" (1993)

Apparently Steve Turner from Mudhoney is one of the dealers who has his stuff at Crossroads. I picked this record out of a section that I always find good stuff in, and then a few minutes later (as I was in a different section looking at a Fall-Outs record he plays bass on - cosmic), he walked in with an armful of stuff and started stocking it up. Thankfully I can say that his prices are more than fair, and I will continue to buy up the grunge god's overstock. Anyway, from what I can tell, this was the last TA comp to be released. I bought it because I love the series, because it has a Crackerbash song that I didn't have, and because it was two bucks. The other bands are Superconductor, Stymic, and Trash Can School.

The Real Roxanne with Hitman Howie Tee - "Romeo" 12" (1985)

The Real Roxanne is not the greatest rapper, but I grew up listening to some of her stuff on rap comps, and I guess there's a part of me that still gets a kick out of the shit she was doing around this time. Still, if this would have been more than three bucks, I probably would have passed. It features parts I and II of "Romeo," which clock in at almost 12 minutes combined, and then it's got some bonus beats.

Pixies - "Dig for Fire" 12" (1990)

My Pixies 12" collection is embarrassingly small, so if I see records like this in a shop or at a show and they're not priced ridiculously, I'll pick 'em up. That was the deal with this one. It's in great shape, and even has a little promo sticker in the top right that restates the name of the band and the song. The B-sides here are "Velvety Instrumental Version," "Winterlong," and "Santo." All awesome.

Pixies - "Planet of Sound" 12" (1991)

Same deal with this one. I think now I just need the "Monkey Gone to Heaven" and "Here Comes Your Man" 12" singles. I have them on CD, but that's just a placeholder for the inevitable. The B-sides on this one are "Theme from NARC," "Build High," and "Evil Hearted You." All weird and awesome.

MJG - No More Glory (1997)

I had been eyeing this dicey copy of MJG's solo debut for the past two years, in the same spot in Crossroads, and the price finally got low enough for me bite. Actually, other than the cutout in the top left corner, it's in fine shape, but I always have a tough time buying a record with a corner missing. But I listened to it yesterday and it reminded me that it's totally worth it.

Money Mark - Demo? or Demolition? (2004)

I think it's time to admit to myself that, despite his solid Beastie Boys connection, Money Mark is on some kind-bro, laid-back, Ben Harper shit, and I do not care for most of it. I've always enjoyed Mark's Keyboard Repair, but I even take breaks from that one for years at a time. I guess what I'm trying to say is that while I was digitizing this one, I felt dirty. It doesn't sound like it belongs in my collection. Lesson learned. But I'll keep it.

Ice Cube - "Really Doe" 12" (1993)

This is Lethal Injection-era Cube, which isn't my favorite time period for his music, but this was cheap, so I snatched it up. I already had the B-side, "My Skin is My Sin," on his Bootlegs and B-Sides comp, so this is pretty much for show. I'm cool with that.

Digital Underground - "No Nose Job" 12" (1992)

Digital Underground started out weird and just got weirder and weirder. This was the lead single from their second full-length, and it's bizarre. This 12" includes three remixes that are pretty sweet, and artwork that is definitely sweet. I need more DU on vinyl.

Young MC - "That's the Way Love Goes" 12" (1991)

This is not Young MC's strongest song, but the remixes and the dub version on this single are worth hearing. Still, it sounds a lot like Young MC trying to sound like Young MC, and that's never a good sign. But I'm not here to review this thing. I'm here to say that it will complement my copy of Brainstorm nicely.

After I left Crossroads, I decided to head up the street to Exiled, which I hadn't been to in a while. Steve Turner was also there, and I can't help but think this was yet another sign that he and I are soon going to be the best of friends. After eyeballing him to try to see what he was buying and then talking to the dude behind the counter for 20 minutes about what a load of bullshit the Elliott Smith Dreamworks reissues were, I bought these records:

Sonic Youth/Jim O'Rourke - SYR3: Invito Al Ĉielo (1998)

I bought #2 in this series a while back, and though I don't hunt these weird-ass records down, if I find them for a reasonable price and they're on the original colored vinyl, I'll pick them up. This one is on clear wax, and it was priced much cheaper than it could have been, so I grabbed it. Haven't listened to it yet. Have to prepare myself.

Vomit Launch - Boltcutters and Beer 7" (1991)

Larry Crane of Jackpot Studios/Elliott Smith/Tape Op fame played bass in this band, and it is exactly as goofy as the name suggests. There are four songs on here, recorded live, and it also includes a good amount of banter. Ridiculous, but fun nonetheless.

King Kong - Bring it On 7" (1990)

I may have all the King Kong 7"s now. I still have none of their LPs, but this is a process, so gimme some damn time. The three songs here embody the King Kong I enjoy the most: lo-fi, ramshackle, not trying too hard to be ironic or cutesy. Just some dudes who can barely play their instruments, barely playing their instruments. It's a treat.

Dwarves - "Drug Store" 7" (1990)

I already own this gem on the original, first-pressing black vinyl with the fold-open picture sleeve, but I did not have the second pressing, which features no pictures on the inside but is pressed on sweet purple marbled vinyl. That is this one.

Dwarves - "I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend" 7" (1991)

I guess these are old Dwarves songs from 1987 that never got released, but Sympathy for the Record Industry decided to put them out in 1991. "I Wanna Kill Your Boyfriend" is a sweet cover of a Seizure song, but it's the B-side, "Sit on My Face," a Dwarves original, where this thing really takes off.

Royal Trux - "Hero Zero" 7" (1989)

This may be the first Royal Trux 7". It may also be the first Drag City release ever. Not 100% on either of those claims, but that's what Discogs is telling me. Regardless, this record isn't especially rare, but I didn't have it, so I was excited about it. It's surprisingly listenable for early Trux, too. The dude who works at Exiled is a big Royal Trux/Neil Hagerty fan, which would make sense, because they always have their shit there.

Royal Trux - "Back to School" 7" (1993)

Case in point. This one is also a lot more listenable than some of the other RTX stuff from the era, though I'm pissed because the A-side skips about five seconds in and I can't seem to fix it. Should I just pound this no-good piece of vinyl with a hammer and then throw the shards in the garbage? Part of me thinks it's the only option.

Royal Trux - "Spike Cyclone" 2x7" (1990)

This was my big purchase for the day. It was really my only big-ticket item for the whole afternoon, so I'm not feeling too bad about it. I couldn't resist: it was under glass at the front counter, and when the guy showed me that it was a hand-numbered, limited edition of 500, I couldn't pass it up. This is their second single, and it's in this really weird, almost homemade-looking gatefold packaging, with ballpoint pen writing on the front and on the inside. It's not the rarest thing ever, but it ain't too common, either. I am shamelessly excited about this one.

And it was a good purchase with which to wrap up my Saturday afternoon avoidance-of-home record shopping trip. A quality haul.