Sunday, May 4, 2014

April Record Shopping in Atlanta, Part Two.

I had a spare few hours on Wednesday afternoon, and my main mission was to check out Full Moon Records, which had been recommended to me by someone who I must have trusted because I made a point to write it down in my phone.

(Side note: after having kind-of a bummer time taking taxis the day before, I decided to officially sign up for Uber, which I had first used the week before in Los Angeles. We don't have it in Portland for some cool Portland reason, so I'm behind the rest of the country on this. I used it for my trips around town and it was cheaper, faster, and involved no cash or tipping. Now I know why people want it here so bad. Made getting around town amazingly easy and not-uncomfortable-ever. I don't ever take cabs in my own city so I guess I personally don't care if it's here, but man: I'm all about that when I travel now. No going back.)

Full Moon is one of those annoying record shops with absolutely no online presence, so I was relying on Google/Yelp/whatever-popped-up-on-my-phone to get me where I was going and to get other info. I got all the way over there, said goodbye to my ride, walked to the door of the place, and it was closed. At 4 on a Wednesday. Turns out they're only open Friday and Saturday, even though the internet told me they were open weekdays. Not a huge deal; just more of a waste of my time, which is what I get stressed about when I'm in a city I don't know and I've got three hours to get to two more stores.

Someone had also tipped me off to Wuxtry Records, so I decided to hit that next. Had a little trouble finding the exact storefront because as you can see up top there, it's just part of a plain-ish little strip mall. Also it's actually in Decatur, which I have heard of because of Outkast songs. Here's a closer look:
Now that's what a record store should look like. I bought a handful of dollar records from here, and though I dug through all their 7" records and some other stacks, I didn't find a ton of stuff. Here's what I did get:

Salt-n-Pepa - Hot, Cool, & Vicious (1986)

Hey that's not the real Spinderella! Or is that the real Spinderella and the one we all know and love a simple imposter? Hard to say. Also hard to say why I have a soft spot for old Salt-n-Pepa records, but here we are.

Jungle Brothers - Done By the Forces of Nature (1989)

I've had this CD forever - I bought it from a cutout bin at Fred Meyer in 1991 - but I'm not sure I've ever come across the original vinyl. I may have paid about four dollars too much for this, but it's in great shape. And 1989.

Here's a shot of the inside:
They've been there for a while.

The Tards - "Pissed You in the River" 7" (1995)

The Tards recorded their debut 8" (yeah that's right) at Smegma Studios here in Portland. When my brother and I were getting our first album mixed at Smegma in 2000, that record was hanging prominently on the wall and we stared at it for two days straight. It became one of the many memorable things about that experience, and I actually bought my brother a copy of I'm Just Like You for his birthday a few years ago. I found their other two records at Wuxtry. This is one of them. SFTRI.

The Tards - "Rubber Room" 7" (1996)

This is the other. This one was recorded at Smegma, too. Were these lunatics a Portland band? Meh, I don't feel like doing the research. This is the third official release from the Man's Ruin label. Kicking it off big. Purple marbled vinyl.

I figured I had just enough time to make it over to Fantasyland, which I hadn't been to since my very first trip to Atlanta back in 2011. It's still there:
And it is still a great place. I had nowhere near enough time, but I stayed until they kicked me out at 7 and I did all right. Picked up two Urge Overkill cassettes (Jesus Urge Superstar and Exit the Dragon) as well as two other tapes: a really early 2 Live Crew album and They Might Be Giants' John Henry.

Here's a shot of the inside of Fantasyland:
Here are the records I picked up:

Best Kissers in the World - "Take Me Home" 7" (1992)

I had the black vinyl copy of this. This is the not-very-elusive red wax.

Steel Pole Bath Tub - Lurch (1990)

Complete with original 32-page comic. My SPBT collection is pretty sweet at this point.

Artless Motives - Peace Through Corndogs (1995)

Never expected to see this record for the rest of my life, and then there it is in a bin at Fantasyland in Atlanta, GA. These guys were from Eugene, OR, and friends of friends and it's a long story. I used to have this record and must have given it to my brother. It's actually a split with a band called Bicker. All inserts, and you know there's about 12 of 'em because it's a DIY punk-rock record from the 90's!

J.J. Fad - "Way Out" 12" (1988)

1988. Produced by Dre, Yella, and Arabian Prince. Executive produced by Eazy-E. On the Ruthless label. And it's just straight dance-rap good-time party music. The N.W.A. crew knew how to diversify.

2 Live Crew - As Nasty As They Wanna Be (1989)

I will never even listen to this, but for some reason I feel like I should own it on some acknowledgment-of-the-free-speech-struggle shit or something. Great copy of it, too.

MC Hammer - "Stupid Def Yal" 12" (1987)

Excuse me: "MC Hammer The Holyghost Boy and the Posse." Shit like this makes me realize I don't know anything about rap in the whole scheme of things. Never seen this before; didn't even know it existed. It is incredibly terrible, even if I picture Hammer busting hot moves on top of it.

And that was that. I'll leave with you a shot of one of the many back rooms at Fantasyland.
It really is a magical place.

April Record Shopping in Atlanta, Part One.

I got home from Los Angeles on a Saturday night, spent Sunday at home, and left for Atlanta at 10AM Monday morning. By Tuesday night I was in Little Five Points hitting the spots I knew I had to hit. I began at Wax 'N Facts because it remains one of the greatest record stores in the world. Wish I lived near there so I could properly go through that place. So many buried gems.

As it was, I had about 45 minutes there. Still found some great stuff at stupidly fair prices:

The Fluid - "Twisted and Pissed" 7" (1990?)

I'm not even a huge Fluid fan, but this live bootleg was one dollar. Saw it at a store the next day in a different part of town for 8. Would never have paid that. Four songs and not a terrible recording. Plain white label on black vinyl.

John Smith - High Arctics 7" (2002)

A 12-year-old 7" record from one of my favorite Canadian rappers, in a bin in Atlanta for $1.50. Oh, the adventures you have when you travel the country record shopping. Did not expect to find this really anywhere, let alone here.

I also found cassette copies of Naughty by Nature's first two albums. I somehow lost my tape of 19 Naughty III at some point in the last 20 years and it feels good to have it back. Now this, this is where I really shine at Wax 'N Facts:
Ohhhhhh just look at it. Hard-to-find records at prices that make you feel good about being a person who pays money for music. Got some great stuff:

Goodie Mob - World Party (1999)

I've never heard this album, and to be honest I've never heard anything but bad things about it. Price was right, even if it's sellout-era Goodie Mo-B.

Kool Keith - Matthew (2000)

This is the first Kool Keith record I've ever owned. That is sad, but I'm glad it's this one. "Keith N Bumpy" is a hot cut, and the cover of this is one for the weird-ass ages.

Mantronix - The Album (1985)

Why not. This isn't a particularly rare record, but it is old and a little bit tough to find a nice original copy for less than 10 bucks. This one was less than that. And I don't know if I've really heard most of this.

Eazy-E - Eazy-Duz-It (1988)

Been looking for a decent, original copy of this record forever and I finally found one. In great shape and they wanted 15 bucks for it. Straight-up fair. Still know every word to this record and I think I always will.

D.ST. - "Home of Hip Hop" 12" (1985)

Loved the cover, loved the dude's sideburns. Very 1985 - still railing on about how The Bronx needs more respect. Seven-minute title-track backed with a dub and another alternate version.

B-Fats - Music Maestro (1989)

The dude's name, his sweater, the fact that this was sealed with the original promo sticker from 1989 and only cost five bucks: couldn't not drag this home on an airplane. B-Fats. I mean come on.

I also bought some Billy Idol records, but I'm not trying to brag about those. Next I walked a block over to Criminal Records, which is becoming less of a record store and more of a comic-book shop every time I go there, but there's nothing wrong with that. And maybe I'm just imagining it.
Criminal has a lot of new vinyl, which is great, but I was mostly concentrating on used stuff. Only got a few things:

Mudhoney - "It is Us" 7" (2006)

One of those random semi-recent Mudhoney singles that I didn't already have. B-side is "Dig Those Trenches," an original non-album track.

Joybang! - "Wade Called" 7" (1993)

I bought a Joybang! 7" the last time I was in Atlanta. From what I can tell they were a local grunge-ish rock group in the early/mid 90's. This single is on blood-red vinyl and was not on Discogs so I went ahead and added it.

Digital Underground - "The Humpty Dance" 12" (1989)

My Digital Underground 12" collection grows ever more official. I was hoping this one would have more substance - the phrasing in the track listing makes it look interesting, but it's really just the radio edit, a version that is indistinguishable from the album cut, and a short instrumental thing. Still good to have.

De La Soul - "Say No Go" 12" (1989)

I thought every song on here would have ended up on the bonus disc for 3 Feet High and Rising, but the "Say No Dope" mix that leads this thing off is new to me. I'd heard the other remix before, but whatever. Still such a great song. And of course there's a picture sleeve on the inside with a special offer from Don Newkirk to get Dan Stuckie or whatever.

Here's a cool thing that was on the front window at Criminal:
Next up: I get mobile, try to check out two stores I'd never been to before, but only get into one.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

April Record Shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, Part Two.

I bought all of this stuff (including the previous post) in one five-hour stretch, the first night I was there. I ended up going back a few nights later, but I mostly stayed upstairs digging through the VHS tapes and DVDs. Here are the 12" records I bought:

N.W.A. - "Panic Zone" 12" (1987)

This was my big-ticket item for the day. So, this is the pre-N.W.A. and the Posse 12" that ended up having a picture sleeve that also ended up being the cover for N.W.A. and the Possse which made it all even more confusing. This is the promo version of that original 12", the one that got sent to radio stations. It's also the first N.W.A. record ever. Crazy old Ruthless logo and radio versions of "Dope Man" and "8-Ball" that aren't just edits; they have completely different lyrics. I couldn't not get this.

The Goats - No Goats, No Glory (1994)

This record is never quite as great as I remember it, but for some reason I've been looking for it for years and the more I couldn't find it, the more I wanted it. Not enough to eBay it, so it felt great to finally just find the shit out of it.

O.C.U. - Penitentiary Bound (1990)

You know how MC Ren used to always talk about groups that were biting NWA's style? Yeah, this is one of those. They straight jack the "I Ain't Tha 1" beat during one track. I was optimistic about this one, but now that I'm listening to it, I'm shifting my expectations. Though I continue to be fascinated by the short Asian dude on the cover.

Frank Zappa - All You Need is Glove (1985?)

Every once in a while I'll spring for a Zappa bootleg. This is from a somewhat iffy era, but the track listing actually looks somewhat promising.

Future of the Left - How to Stop Your Brain in an Accident (2013)

I tried to order this around the time it came out, somehow didn't manage to make it actually happen, and then kind of forgot about it. This copy was used, but brand-new. Gatefold still in the shrink and the vinyl is unplayed. So sweet.

2 Fly - "Sex" 12" (1989)

Somehow the words "Produced by Grandmaster Flash" appear on the back of this single and that seems really strange to me. Especially because this was 1989 and they spell it "Grand Master." No idea. But I had to hear what this sounded like. It's not that great. White vinyl and egregious sampling of "Sexual Healing."

3rd Bass - "Brooklyn Queens" 12" (1990)

Records like this epitomize Amoeba to me. Five bucks. If I ever found it in Portland - which I wouldn't - somebody would be trying to get 10 for it. 3rd Bass 12"s are always great: this one's got some nutso remixes on it.

Luke featuring The 2 Live Crew - Banned in the USA (1990)

I loved Luke when he was in Poster Boy mode, and this is smack-dab in the thick of it. I always wanted to hear this record. A great example of why Luther Campbell was successful: The controversy over As Nasty As They Wanna Be jumped off late in '89, and he dropped this 25-track response almost immediately. Dude went to work.

Purple Ribbon - Got Purp? Vol. 2 (2005)

I never heard this one or the first one. The cover on the copy of this I bought is a little ragged in one spot, but it was five bucks. Good enough. Plus, hey: Bubba Sparxxx is on this thing!

El-P - Fan Dam Remix'd 12" (2002)

Weird little 12" that has an RJD2 clean remix and an "original version" of another cut from Fantastic Damage. Couple of bucks for a couple of tracks I don't have. Def to the Jux.

Cash Money & Marvelous - "Find An Ugly Woman" 12" (1988)

I keep finding 12" singles by this duo and I only first heard of them four months ago. Now they're following me. Found this one sealed with the original promo sticker on it. So that's something but not really.

Digital Underground - "Underwater Rimes" 12" (1988)

Been wanting this bad boy for while. This is, as far as I know, the first official DU release. It's on Macola, not Tommy Boy, and features early (similar but different) versions of the title track, as well as a B-side, "Your Life is a Cartoon," that I'd never heard before. Great shape, totally fair price. My Digital Underground collection is bordering on thinking about stepping up and being legit.

The Posse - Chapter 2 (1988)

I guess this is supposed to be a follow-up to NWA and the Posse - the Fila Fresh Crew is one here, and so is Arabian Prince. Digital Underground's "Underwater Rimes" is here too, and so is a track from 2 Live Crew, which makes very little sense. Someone should write a book about Macola Records.

And that was the damage done. Feeling like I really accomplished something here. A parting shot of the Meebs:

Friday, May 2, 2014

April Record Shopping at Amoeba in Hollywood, Part One.

I didn't make it to Amoeba last year, after somehow ending up there for what must have been three years in a row. So, you know, I broke my sad little streak. I was very excited to get back there this year, and apparently used my absence as an excuse to go nuts. I'll start with the 7"s.

Psychotic Turnbuckles - "Crazy Times Ahead" 7" (1993)

I bought this like, "Oh, guitar-rock dudes with a wrestling gimmick." Turns out they're all actual Australian ex-wrestlers. Even better. Sympathy for the Record Industry. Just one of many two-dollar 7" records I picked up on this trip.

Kurt Vile - "It's Alright" 7" (2009)

Early-ish Kurt Vile single that features two non-album tracks on the B-side that are both just OK.

Maximum Balloon - "Tiger" 7" (2010)

Got a sealed copy of this for one dollar, so these must be floating around everywhere. B-side's not on the album, though, so worth it to me. Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio's other project.

Oswald Five-O - "Blue T.V." 7" (1995)

Fittingly enough, this was in the 50-cent bin. Eugene's finest! Early release for the UP label.

Built to Spill - "Don't Try" 7" (2008)

Live single on the Warner Bros. label that keeps it cool by including a noisy take on "The Source" on the flip. Very unrare and unsought-after by collectors.

Tomahawk - "Stone Letter" 7" (2012)

I always wish I was more of a Tomahawk fan. This song is pretty solid. B-side on this one is a crazy etching.

Urge Overkill - "Ticket to L.A." 7" (1990)

I somehow didn't already have this. B-side is "(I'm on a) Drunk," which sounds really familiar to me but I guess I've never heard it before because it seems to be exclusive to this single.

Captain Howdy - "The Best Song Ever Written" 7" (1993)

No, not Dee Snider in Strangeland. This is a band that Penn Jillette and Kramer from Bongwater apparently had during the 90's. Penn on vocals. Absolutely as weird as you would think. Shimmy Disc, clear red vinyl.

Tribe 8 - Pig Bitch 7" (1992)

One of my oldest and best friend's late sister had a record label briefly in the early 90's, and this was one of their first releases, and I think the first release from Tribe 8, which went on to be a notable queercore band. I was roommates with my pal when this came out and we used to get drunk and rock out to "Frat Pig." Been looking for this one for a while.

Ween - "I'm Fat" 7" (1994)

I'm not sure if this is a bootleg or what. High-brow 90's Ween on white vinyl.

V/A - Teriyaki Asthma Vol. VI (1991)

Still plenty of these for me to track down. Apparently I didn't have this one. Got the black vinyl version. Highly melodic music from The Thrown Ups, plus songs from Olivelawn, Pain Teens, and Unrest.

Kostars - "Hey Cowboy" 7" (1995)

Oh, Vivian Trimble. You can call me "cowboy" whenever you feel like it. Clear red vinyl, Grand Royal.

Blag Dahlia - "Let's Take a Ride" 7" (1994)

This record is a perfect example of why Amoeba is the best. It's a 7" that's not particularly rare, but you don't see it all the time. I've seen stores in Portland trying to get $8 for this record. Amoeba had it for 2. So noble.

Gas Huffer - "Mole" 7" (1992)

I have the white vinyl version with the pink sleeve. This is the clear green vinyl version with a green sleeve. Apparently there are a ton of these. Again: two bucks.

And that's where I left it with the 7" singles. Here's where some of them came from:
Next up: I buy a ton of sweet rap records.