Thursday, August 16, 2018

August Record Shopping in Arizona and San Diego.

I traveled to Arizona last week to visit my brother, see the Supersuckers 30th Anniversary Tour in San Diego, and do some damage at record stores along the way. The trip was a success on all fronts, as I returned home with a shameful haul of physical media. Had a pretty sweet Tetris game going in my suitcase. (Shout out to Southwest for free checked bags, even suspiciously heavy ones.)

I flew into Phoenix a little before 11AM on Wednesday, met my brother, and proceeded to get slammed in the face by 115-degree heat upon exiting the airport. Ohhhh doctor. Luckily all Zia Records locations are air-conditioned. We hit the one on Mill in Tempe after getting some pizza at the place nextdoor. I picked up a sun-faded copy of Frank Black's eponymous debut on cassette and these records:

Candy 500 - The Loretta Hogg Story 10" (1994)

All-female band out of Portland in the mid-90's on Sympathy for the Record Industry. Opening track is called "Keep It In the Hole." On 10" vinyl that actually sounds pretty good. I ripped the cover on mine, playing a game I shouldn't have with a deeply embedded, decades-old price sticker. I'm supposed to be better than that.

From the Soul - From the Soul (1989)

I cannot find a lick of information about this record online. Private-press 4-song EP out of Corpus Christi, TX. Possible high-school band. Pop/rock, now that I'm listening to it. Very earnest. Records like this are treasures.

We had time to hit one more Zia before we headed back to Tucson, so we stopped by the one on N Alma School Rd in Chandler. I did a little more damage this time around, starting with these cassettes:
They had all their tapes in those old plastic lockable thingies, some four to case, which was really weird. It also didn't allow me to properly inspect that Three Times Dope cassette, which, turns out, is a bootleg. Looking back, that explains why it wasn't very expensive. That Tone Def Crew tape is looking fresh to death. Florida bass thumpery and you know it includes "The Fart Game."

I thought that I might already have that Urban Dance Squad single, but it turns out I have a different version. But it's weird: it has the same catalog # and barcode, but the one I already had has a live version of "Deeper Shade of Soul" as the b-side and this new one I got has a non-album track called "Hitchhike HD." Covers are a little different, too. Here are the records I picked up:

Poison Idea/Angry Snowmans - "Santa Claus Is Back in Town"/"Sugar Plum" 7" (2013)

I believe this was an RSD 2013 release. I like to get Christmas music on the cheap in the summer and then tuck it away until the holidays. It's a cherished gift to my future self. Translucent red vinyl on this one.

Whirlees - "In My Groove" 7" (1991)

Rock out of Salem, Oregon in 1991. I don't think I ever saw these guys live but I definitely remember seeing their name on posters. A-side is let's-try-grunge and the flip is straight ass-rock. Purple vinyl and I'm missing the insert to this damn thing.

El-P - "Sunrise Over BKLYN" 10" (2003)

Single-sided 10" with a song off of El-P's 2004 High Water instrumental-ish album. Got it on the cheap.

Spike Jones Chorus and The Band that Plays For Fun - Let's Sing a Song of Christmas (1956)

Original 1956 release on Verve and the vinyl is in really sweet shape. Paid like 3 bucks for this. See you in December, Spike!

The next day we made our way to San Diego and after confirming the location of the venue for that night's Supersuckers show, we headed straight for Vinyl Junkies Record Shack, a little store with a lot packed in. I hit the cassettes pretty hard:
I figured I had the original Eddie and The Cruisers soundtrack on cassette but apparently I don't. Got that sequel locked down, though. That Hit Parader comp has a track list like a mix you'd make for someone new to the planet to give them a quick primer on what "metal" is. Yes, Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Night": a watershed moment in the history of heavy metal.

That Run-DMC tape has been sorely missing from my collection for far too long. That cassette was one of the first albums I bought with my own money as a kid (at the looooong-defunct Paramount Records in downtown Salem) and I managed to hold on to it for a long time, until some point in the last 20 years when I lost the cassette but still had the case, then held onto it, thinking I would find the tape, never did, and finally had to admit defeat and pronounce it dead. Feels good to be whole again.
Sort of the same deal with that Trompe Le Monde tape - I bought that right when it came out and listened to it for years, and then it was gone. Good to have it back, and good to have that Come On Pilgrim tape, which I never had and is real cool. That Penthouse Players Clique tape is some early-90's Ruthless stuff that I am not familiar with, but hope to be soon. Picked up a few records, too:

The Monkeywrench - "Bottle Up and Go" 7" (1992)

I always meant to listen to The Monkeywrench, but I never really made it a priority. This single is on translucent red vinyl and it's from a short-lived Seattle supergroup.

House of Pain - "Legend" 12" (1994)

Strange that this 12" doesn't have the standard version of "Legend," just a rap-rock Lethal remix and an extended mix that lets the beat ride at the end. Also features a few so-so remixes of tracks that would appear on Same As it Ever Was. Everlast talking about Kurt Cobain's death a little flippantly considering it was still '94. But that was Ev, man. Dude didn't give a fuuuuuu.

Three Times Dope - Original Stylin' (1988)

Ohhhhh this was a sweet find. Hype sticker on the front, original inner sleeve, and the vinyl is in great shape. Paid a fair price for it, too.

Those were the only two LPs I picked up there. Would have bought a few other things but the prices were just a bit too high all around. The dude who was working there was cool. We asked him about another store we were thinking about stopping at and he said he heard they just got in a crazy collection of old punk 45s, so we made the call to check it out.

What an experience Full Contact Rock 'N' Roll is. It felt like a house where a collector had been living for decades and was bringing in stuff faster than he could organize it, try as he might. It's the kind of establishment where most stuff is priced and t-shirts cost somewhere between 5 and 300 dollars. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of physical media that was haphazardly packed into this place.
We inquired about the punk 45s and the super-nice dude who was working there told us how he just sold some of them for upwards of $200 each. He showed us the 7"s that were left and it was serious shit, the likes of which we had no business even handling. Luckily there was no shortage of other stacks of things to sift through.
There were a ton of cassettes there, but nothing I was really into and after finding a few empty cases or mismatched sets, I gave up and hit the record room, which had some gems to unearth but the prices were all a little steep.
I did grab a few things, though. Definitely passed up a bunch of stuff I would have liked to cop, but nothing I can't live without.

Carbon 14 Wrestling Federation Presents: South Philly Streetfight 7" (2001)

4-song comp with a sweet photo of Bruiser Brody on the back and photos of Stan Hansen and others on the inside. Features the Serial Killers performing "Abdullah the Butcher." Also bought another 7" from this same series and thought it looked familiar so I checked my reference sheet on my phone, didn't see it, and bought it like an idiot because I already had it and can't make sense of my own shit. What a rube.

Music Minus One Drummer - Light Your Fire (1971)

One of those records where you drum your ass off to the hottest new jams. Great cover and it came with the booklet with all the charts and lyrics.

Dick the Bruiser Band - Meat the Bruiser Band (1984)

Props to my brother for finding this for me and props to me for paying too much for it, but whatever. Put together by a radio station in Detroit, this album features pro wrestler Dick the Bruiser on vocals, covering popular songs with comedic takes. It is maniacally insane. My copy still has a flyer for the station inside.

Next up we hit Normal Records, which was in sort of a swanky, unassuming little spot that was mercifully air conditioned and held a nice little stash of records and tapes. I hit the cassettes hard once again:
Look at that fat stack. That Ultramagnetic tape is big-time shit. The Snoop album is that weird one Death Row put it out after he left, with him in a red jumpsuit on the front. Yikes. I'm not sure I've ever heard that Jungle Brothers album. And that M.C. Pooh was a rare find, and so was that Leather and Lace. I got some records, too:

Smackdown - Smackdown 7" (2002)

This appears to be a wrestling-themed hardcore band from Sweden. That all sounds good.

Pat & Dusty Rhodes - Pat & Dusty Rhodes (1980)

Speaking of wrestling...what a weird find. My brother dug this one out and I bought it for a dollar. Private press out of Flint, Michigan. Appears to be traditional Irish music, "Danny Boy" style.

Barbi Benton - Barbi Benton (1975)

Playboy had a record label in the 70's and they put out a bunch of albums by Barbi, Hef's long-time girlfriend. I have her first one, so I grabbed this for a buck. Features a song written by Chuck Woolery.

David Bromberg - Wanted Dead or Alive (1974)

Great cover art on this one. I'll probably give it a spin while doing the dishes.

I got a bunch of Christmas records here, too, but they're nothing exciting and I don't feel like taking the time to post each one. Though I will say there are apparently still Christmas disco records I don't own. I keep finding new ones.

That was our last stop for the day before we hit the Supersuckers show, but we did manage to stop at one more place on the way out of town the next day:
M-Theory was a really cool little shop, though I didn't end up picking up much. Feeling good about these two tapes, though:
That Chill Rob G is from '89 and the Paris album is his debut, which is not often seen. Only picked up one record, but it's a good one:

Gentlemen Afterdark - Gentlemen Afterdark (1983)

Private press, 45 RPM 4-track new-wave EP out of Tucson, produced by Alice Cooper (?!). This is some good stuff and an impulse buy I'm glad I made. My brother dug this one up, too. He's got my number.

M-Theory was very pleasant to be in as far as record stores go (it was clean, air conditioned, and high-ceilinged), and we probably could have spent more time there, but we had what ended up being a brutally long ride home ahead of us, so we hit the road.

After seeing Pro Wresting From Arizona in Mesa on Saturday, we hit the road early on Sunday and made one last Zia stop at the Camelback location in Phoenix, before I had to brave that massive airport and go home. I ended up getting a bunch of good stuff and we were there for a few hours, so it was a nice end to the trip. Apparently I did not get a photo of the outside of this place, but the inside view actually does a better job of representing how expansive it is. So many DVDs and everything else.
They had at least three four-rowed sections of new arrival LPs, plus rows of used 7" records. I dug through a lot of it and got some cool shit:

Broloaf/Sanitation Squad - Seasons Beatings 7" (2014)

Holiday punk split from the Scottsdale area on translucent green vinyl with a download card made up like a gift tag. Features "Buy It, You Scum," a holiday take on an old GG Allin classic. Gonna fire this one up big-time 'round December.

Oswald Five-O - "Bred In The Bone" 7" (1995)

I think this is my third Oswald Five-O 7", and I'm sure I'll find more. Frantic indie-rock out of Eugene.

Third Leg - I Don't Know What To Call This EP (1991)

Punk out of Texas that is wildly serious on the first three songs and then goes proto-mall-punk with a rousing cover of Ah-Ha's "Take On Me" for the finale. I bought it for the guy in the wrestling mask on the toilet on the cover, but I'm sticking around for the Fugazi-ness of these songs.

Diamond Jim Brady - Brady (197?)

Private-press Elvis-y rock out of Phoenix in what looks to be the late 70's. Otis Blackwell produced this and wrote some songs for it and that just does not make sense, especially considering that I can't find a speck of information (aside from this listing) about this LP anywhere on the ol' internet. My copy was sealed, but I cracked it because I wanted to hear this dude. Production on it is way more big-time than I expected. Diamond Jim really enjoys Elvis, that is very clear. Great regional find!

The Village German Band - (Die Dorfkapelle) (1974)

I bought this for the terrific cover (dude on the left has a tap installed on his forehead) and the fact that it was private-press and out of Spokane, WA, but I'm just now realizing that it gets even more intriguing: apparently this had to do with the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane, where these guys were posted up and playing, and selling these records. You can see the back where they explain it here, if you zoom in. Another great find.

T-KASH - Turf War Syndrome (2006)

Rapper down with Paris and the Guerrilla Funk gang, who seems prepped and ready to be a Hard Truth Soldier. Paris on the beats throughout and also on a chorus, plus a feature from Boots from The Coup. Got a great price on this double LP.

The Strokes - Comedown Machine (2013)

Well, I held out five years and I finally found a used copy of this record. I think they were trying to get upwards of $25 when these were new, and you know, I just couldn't do that. Got this one for about half that and it's in great shape, so I'm good.

La Wanda - Mutha is Half a Word (1971)

I have a few other "party records" like this from the Laff Label, but I usually pick them up in L.A. so I was pleasantly surprised to come across this. The price was a little high but I was on my way out of town and said fuck it. This is La Wanda Page, who you know from many things. If nothing else, she's the "Well, fuck you" church lady at the beginning of Friday!

And that was that. I also picked up a gang of DVDs, both ones that I bought and ones that my brother gifted me. Not sure how I dragged all this home with me:
The good news is I"ll be back in Arizona in a few months to do some more damage. Maybe some damage I won't walk away from. Oh, and I'm going to Nashville next week and I'm gonna try to hit the streets and find some records to buy.

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