insert witty title here

As promised, here are some pictures of the records I’ve acquired in the past couple of weeks.

I decided to drive to State College two Thursdays ago on a whim (during my vacation, sigh).  The best things I found at my usual thrift stores were some Petula Clark albums, which I ended up leaving behind because I have a greatest hits CD of hers and that’s probably enough. 😛  I did find a new pencil box and a portable CD player at Goodwill, so it wasn’t a total bust.

Disappointed that I didn’t find any good records, though, I gathered up all my courage and decided to drive downtown.  (Driving in general makes me nervous, and driving in downtown State College surrounded by pedestrians who don’t always watch where they are going and drivers who are mostly from out of state does not help.)  Anyway, I sucked it up and found Webster’s. It’s a used bookstore that feels more like a library that has a coffee shop and used record store inside of it.  It’s pretty great. 😛

Anyway, I found this old Elvis Costello compilation in the “cheap thrills” bin and promptly grabbed it because I had wanted this.  It has all the tracks missing from the US versions of his early albums, plus some other interesting stuff.  I had heard this song a million times on First Wave when I still had Sirius and thought, “gee, that sounds like an Elvis Costello song,” but I only found out a few weeks ago that he actually wrote it.   Duh.  Anyway, his version is on here, too.

I started listening to Saturday Looks Good to Me again because I’ve been listening to the Pet Projects compilation (which is wonderful, btw) and some of the tracks made me think of this band.  They are the only “modern” band I know of that has made records that, to my ears, come close to sounding like the 60s productions they were inspired by.  I decided to buy their albums because I downloaded them all those years ago, and sending the band (and Calvin Johnson) some money seemed like a nice thing to do. 😛

So left to right we have All Your Summer Songs on white vinyl, Every Night on ridiculous pink vinyl, and Fill Up the Room on black vinyl.  I bought these directly from the record companies because the only other brand new records I own are defective and I got stuck with them because the seller woudn’t take them back.  The first two records came from Polyvinyl (they also sent a sampler CD and some candy) and Fill Up The Room is from K (who sent some postcards and a nice little note).

K also used this as packing material:

A Beck jacket?  Really?  There’s no record inside here.  I have had eBay sellers use old trashed jackets as packaging material, but never a brand new jacked from a more famous artist.

Then I hopped onto the K website and discovered that Beck no longer has a page on their website.  I’m guessing that with the financial issues K is having, they no longer have the rights to Beck’s recordings.  Same goes for all of their other artists who found mainstream/ish success: Modest Mouse, The Microphones, and Kimya Dawson.  I also couldn’t help but notice that most of their good releases are out of print.  Too bad, because I’d buy more.  I’d buy a Beat Happening shirt, too.

Lastly, we have this Left Banke album I found at Goodwill.  I nearly fell over when I found it.  Two bucks.  I had read about this album online and really wanted it.  This sort of thing never happens to me.  Usually I find things I wanted at the thrift store either after I buy them online or years down the road when I’m no long interested.  But here it is.

The two singles, aka the two songs that give the album its title, are the best tracks on the album by far.  The rest is pleasant but forgettable.  Musically they remind me a bit of Belle & Sebastian, but B&S have better songwriters.

The end!

KILLER BEES

We talked about Rescue 911 yesterday, so now let’s discuss Leonard Nimoy’s delightful 70s show In Search Of:

This is my favorite episode.  Scared the shit out of me when I was younger.  You can watch the whole series on YouTube, but the DVD box is a worthwhile investment if you love dated fashions, synth music, bad reenactments, and “theory and conjecture.”

I just read a report from January that the show is being rebooted again.  Maybe it won’t be terrible this time?  Yeah, I doubt it.  They tried it in the early 2000s with that dude from the X Files hosting, and it was bad.  It needs that dirty, funky 70s vibe to really be In Search Of. It needs Nimoy’s hideous wardrobe and all those lovable defects in the badly-preserved tapes.  Cute that they got Zachary Quinto to host, though.

Oh boy, the Shatner’s really hit the fan now.

So it turns out that there are a zillion episodes of Rescue 911 on YouTube.  They have become my new favorite thing to watch after work.

Some current faves:

In which a group of dumbass boys are playing around on a train and one ends up falling through into a boxcar when the train starts moving.  The kid’s parents think he is missing and his friends pretend they don’t know what happened to him for fear of getting in trouble.  The poor kid is found THREE DAYS LATER.

Runner-up:

In which Dad has to deliver a baby at home.  You’d think by now he’d know where babies come from.

One more:

Three boys decide to use a machete to chop the deck off of an abandoned house.  As kids do.  The deck ends up falling on one of them.  Surprise!

And, of course, the two segments filmed in my hometown:

This is like a piece of art.  15-year-old dumbass gets his tongue stuck to the inside of the freezer while babysitting.  His two-year-old niece gets the phone for him so he can call 911.  The dispatcher can’t understand the kid because his tongue is stuck to the freezer and thinks the kid is a woman who’s being beaten up.  The two-year-old was made an honorary police officer. 😛

I have talked about this before.  This happened at good ol’ Lakemont Park, which used to be a nice place, or so they tell me.  In this segment, the operator of this shitty little kiddie coaster gets run over by the coaster and ends up losing a leg as a result.

My cool story: not long after this incident happened, my family visited the park, and I got to ride this very same coaster.  I didn’t know that this had happened.  The ride was very jerky and felt like it might break down at any moment.  I screamed and cried (I was six) until the operator stopped the ride.  After I got off, my mom remarked, “no WONDER that thing took a guy’s leg off!”

Wait, WHAT?

Lakemont Park has been closed for “renovations” since last summer.  The park is owned by the county, and they have been selling off some of the rides.  Lakemont’s claim to fame is that it is the home of Leap the Dips, the oldest roller coaster in the world.  You would think that an incident that resulted in an employee losing a limb would shut the place down, but nope!  In fact, this coaster is still there!

Also, I used to work where a portion of this segment was filmed! It’s very, very weird seeing it on my TV, especially since it doesn’t exist anymore.

This has been fun, but the embedded videos in this post are making my computer freeze up. 😛

As a follow-up to my previous post: no mouth cancer, just an angry salivary gland. 😛  I also managed to injure the shit out of my neck somehow, so now I get to go to physical therapy.  Yay.  Will make another post with some kewl records I bought eventually.

more rambling about stuff I bought

So my mom gave me a little birthday money, and I went and spent it at the Antique Depot.  Of course, I was on the search for records.  I was in the place for two hours. o_O  On one hand, I did re-look at everything else in the place in addition to the records because the last time I was here, I had Brandon with me, and he’s too impatient to shop with.  On the other hand, here’s where most of the records live:

(Image nabbed from their facebook page, LOL)

So not only are there a ton of records to look through, but the ones that are stacked vertically on the ones standing upright make it even harder to browse.

I couldn’t look at everything, but I didn’t really expect to.  I came away with these:

Three Beach Boys and one Elvis Costello that I was genuinely shocked to find here. 😛

The copy of Party has a really warped jacket.  The record is fine, but the jacket is kinda rough. But it just so happens that I already have an empty Party sleeve that came from my parents’ house, so it all works out.

As far as Today goes…I really like Today and I have a duophonic copy of my dad’s.  So I found this nice mono copy that still has the shrinkwrap on it and decided to go for it.  Will I be able to hear a difference between the mono and duophonic?  I dunno.  I have an inner ear issue that sometimes messes with my hearing on the left side as well as hereditary hearing loss that I’m sure will eventually strike me down (it’s already started).  So meh.

I should mention that my dad let me take his records with the condition that I return the “good” ones when I’m done with them.  But you have to understand that my dad disassembled his stereo 15 years ago and his records (several hundred between both of my parents) have been sitting in several four-foot-tall vertical stacks in the spare bedroom for over a decade now.  One of the stacks is LEANING AGAINST A HEATING VENT.  They are covered in dust, and my dad has started stacking other crap on top of them.  But he’s convinced himself that the records are worth a fortune.  Spoiler alert: the vast majority of them aren’t.

Part of the trouble is that he didn’t define what he considered the “good” records, but I’m assuming he meant the Beatles stuff.  I’ve already given back half of his Beatles records because I find them to be pretty bland (I know, I know).  I am slowly working my way through the McCartney/Wings stuff (two boring songs for every great one), and I have yet to start the Dylan records.

***

On the subject of double-dipping on Beach Boys records, here is my dad’s copy of Pet Sounds.  Of all of the “good” records I took, this is the only one that realistically worth what my dad thinks it is.

The thing is, though, that the jacket is in horrendous condition.  It’s held together on three sides with tape (I think my dad did this–he should know better).  It’s got a name written on it, and there’s a holepunch on the upper right.  It’s not super visible on the front, but you can clearly see it from the back:

Oh, dear.

But the thing that has always struck me about this album cover is that the previous owner doodled on everyone’s faces.  I mean, look at this:

   

Brian is crying angsty black tears, and Mike is the Hamburglar.  I love it.

We never had a stereo set up through most of my childhood, but the records were all kept on shelves in the living room.  I would occasionally thumb through them to look at the interesting covers.  So I never had the chance to this thing as a kid, but the cover has been firmly burned into my memory. The weird title, the strange cover photo, the drawing on the faces. When my dad gave me the okay to take some records, this was the first one I sought out.

The other problem with this record is that, while the disc looks good and plays without issue, it sounds…muddy?  Staticky?  Noisy?  I dunno.  Anyway, I did a little reading online and discovered that this is a common issue with the original version of this album.

I followed the advice of the Internet and nabbed a copy of the album that comes in the two-set with the Carl and the Passions album.  This is supposed to be the best-sounding version of the album that doesn’t cost a fortune.  I paid a small fraction of what the original issue goes for, and it was well worth it.  It sounds completely different.  It feels lighter and brighter, and all sorts of little musical elements that were hidden before just pop out now.  I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it sounds better than the CD version Brandon got me for my birthday.  That CD, by the way, has spent half of its time here living in Brandon’s car because he keeps borrowing it. 😛  Here’s a family picture:

I own Pet Sounds three times over.  I feel like such a cliche. 😛

Another fun thing that happened today: I stopped at Goodwill after leaving the Antique Depot, and ran into my parents. 😛  My dad is now a full-time eBayer and makes a killing selling clothes from Goodwill online.  My mom assists and for her efforts, my dad buys her whatever junk she finds in the store.  They were there when I got there, and they were inspecting their selections when I left.  My parents were big-time into antiquing and such before they had kids, so now they’ve kinda come full-circle.

Anyway, I’ve written all this in an effort to keep my mind off of the fact that I have an appointment with an oral surgeon in the morning.  I may or may not have to have a biopsy of some weird patches in my mouth.  I am kind of looking forward to this because I’ve been waiting weeks to get this checked out, but ugh.  It’s probably nothing, but ugh.  I am so tired of scary medical shit.  Granted, I haven’t been through half of what other people have to endure, but the mental toll is really shitty.  Just ugh.

Oh, I almost forgot the best part of the Antique Depot records: the booths there are all owned by different people, and the items there all come with pricetags bearing the owner’s initials:

WTF, indeed.

More fun with 45s

I am currently on day three of an eleven-day vacation. If I didn’t have a headache that is slowly eroding my sanity, things would be pretty great. But here’s something that will surely make me feel better: pictures of things I’ve purchased recently.

More Thrift Store 45s

More 45s from the same collection at the same thrift store.  In this batch:

Yesterday and I Wanna Hold Your Hand by the Beatles
Brown-Eyed Girl by Van Morrison
Georgy Girl by the Seekers
Rain on the Roof by the Lovin’ Spoonful

Brown-Eyed Girl is one of those things that will forever make me think of my mom.  She called it “our” song because “men only write songs about blue-eyed girls.”  I had never noticed it before, and she wasn’t completely wrong.  Granted, at the time we didn’t know the song was originally titled “Brown-Skinned Girl” and had been changed to be less controversial because sixties.  Lovin’ Spoonful makes me think of my mom, too.

My ~*setup*~

So here is my current music area. 😛  I got a new turntable a couple of weeks ago because everything sounded “off” when listening to my old one.  I did some reading online, and discovered that my old turntable was kind of a piece of junk.  I bought this one as my birthday gift to myself, and the difference is extremely noticeable.  Previously I had thought that my cheapish speakers were to blame, but the speakers are pretty great for what they are.

The CD towers are recent thrift store finds.  A fair number of the CDs are, too.  I nearly always strike out when checking thrift stores for records, but I am usually much luckier when CD hunting.  I would pull out all of my recent finds for another group photo, but pulling everything out of its designated tower slot and then putting it all back is too much work, especially when I already feel like my head is about to explode. 😛