Part of being a record collector (especially an obsessed devoted one) involves spending a lot of time and energy finding new music to own. Walking into a finely curated record store is fine if I’m comfortable spending at least $10 for a single LP, but in most cases, I don’t particularly like spending a lot of money – even on records. There’s nothing wrong with spending time and money in a record store necessarily, but I’m not going to feel good spending money there as opposed to finding music I want at a thrift store or at a garage sale for tens of dollars cheaper. That’s part of what makes hunting and digging so fun – the bargains and the possibility of flipping a cheap record for modest profit.
I figured out overtime that Goodwill is a decent source for bargain hunting vinyl. Not all Goodwills will carry used vinyl, but the ones that do will eventually sell some really great stuff. I say eventually because about 98% of the stuff that hits the floors at Goodwill is complete garbage and it can be weeks before anything good is found. I see the same categories of vinyl all universally all thrift stores: Barbara Streisand, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, classical music, Neil Diamond, Christmas albums, Children’s albums, 12” hip hop singles, big band jazz, and Spanish mariachi music. Oh, and of course everything in terrible shape.
About 20% of the vinyl I come across is in non-playable condition. I mean, there’s G+ condition, which I can tolerate if it’s a rare find, and then there are albums in P condition with scratches so thick you would think the LP was intentionally rubbed with a cheese grater.
Some collectors tend to score at thrift stores. While selling at the KUSF Rock n’ Swap last year I struck up a conversation with the seller at the booth next to me. He was a veteran seller of over 20 years who told me he once found an LP at a Salvation Army by a group called Search Party. Search Party were a psychedelic Christian rock group from the late 1960s. He told me he was going through about 100 Christian / devotional LPs at a Salvation Army when he stumbled across it. He bought the LP for $2 and promptly sold it on eBay for $1600.
Sometimes I’ll find an LP without its jacket just floating in a crate or on a shelf. Most of the time I don’t tend to bring these kind of LPs home, although admittingly I have done it once or twice. I’ll explain later.
Then there’s the culture of people who I’ve come to see routinely digging for vinyl. With few exceptions, most of the people digging for vinyl have little to no social skills. They’re mostly middle aged men still looking for their one holy grail (after God knows how many years of digging for it) and they don’t come to Goodwill to socialize. Their personalities and mannerisms remind me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
To be honest, most things I come across at Goodwill or at thrift stores I end up selling. It makes more sense to spend $10 on vinyl I know I can sell for profit than to keep my finds. For example, below is a short list of things I’ve found at various thrift stores and then sold online. I paid about $9 for the ten items below, and made a net profit of $154.66:
Various Artists – Capcom vs. Marvel 2 Mix Tape. Bought for $1 – Sold for $45
The Capcom vs. Marvel 2 Mix Tape LP shown above I technically got for free. When I got home I found this LP crammed in the sleeve of an entirely unrelated album.
Beatles – Abbey Road. Bought for $1 – Sold for $16.50
Beatles – Beatles ’65. Bought for $1 – Sold for $10.50
The New Romans 7”. Bought for $1 – Sold for $26
Bobby Vee – Suzie Baby (promo 7”). Bought for $0.50 – Sold for $5
The Cure – Standing On A Beach: The Singles. Bought at a garage sale for $1 – Sold for $26
Maria Callas picture disc. Bought for $0.50 – Sold for $12.50
Marj Snyder – A Time of Peace. Bought for $1 – Sold for $7.16
Blind Spot – Blind Spot 7″. Bought for $1 – Sold for $5
Not everything I purchase from thrift stores turns out to be a good investment…
Randy and the Rainbows 7”. Bought for $1 – Sold for $1
With the money I made from these sales, I felt perfectly comfortable buying a copy of this very rare triple LP Pink Floyd bootleg set known as Cruel But Fair.
When the LP covers are put in the proper sequence, they make the image of this spooky looking owl!
The real icing on the cake of this rare triple LP set is the color of each vinyl.
I paid about $159 for my copy, with $24 for international shipping from Spain. So basically, I bought a very rare, very expensive triple LP bootleg with funds I earned from selling dollar bin records purchased from Thrift stores. All I had to pay out-of-pocket was the international shipping and a few extra bucks to cover the remaining cost. And if that isn’t enough, this triple LP set is now out of print and stupidly expensive to buy. On Discogs it’s currently for sale at the low bargain price of $525.
The things I keep from Goodwill are typically either rare, or are a very legitimate bargain and are worth keeping. For example, I was digging a few months ago and came across an LP floating around in a bin without a jacket. The labels were vanilla colored and simply read “SIDE ONE” and “SIDE TWO” on each side.
This, I knew, was more than likely a bootleg. I picked it up and read the deadwax which read TAKRL 1968. This was a copy of The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label’s live King Crimson album entitled Heretic.
According to Discogs, this albums sells between $20 to $65. I bought my copy (albeit the jacket is missing) for $1.
Additionally, I’ve come across some other decent finds at various thrift stores.
Jay-Z – VOL. 2… Hard Knock Life
KLF – Burn The Bastards 12″
Carol King – Tapestry
The very best of Chuck Berry
Various Wes Montgomery albums
and a handful of Bob Dylan Albums.
Like I said, most vinyl records sold at thrift stores are either in garbage condition or feature music NOBODY wants. But if you are patient enough and know what it is you’re looking at, it can become a rewarding experience.
In May, I bought only six records. Below are four of the six.
Pink Floyd – Pink Floyd
This is a very rare Pink Floyd bootleg – recorded live at Musikhalle in Hamburg, Germany on February 25, 1971. The front cover is pretty offensive – so I’m showcasing the back cover. The specific copy I acquired is a second state pressing from the original, first-ever bootleg recording of the famed 1971 Musikhalle performance. The differences in pressings are equally subtle as they are superficial.
This bootleg was known for a few things: its rarity, its really obscene front cover, and its excellent recording quality featuring outstanding performances of songs like Careful with that Axe, Eugenie, Embryo, and Atom Heart Mother (performed with a backing brass and choir arrangement). It was also known for a really loud, chilling scream during Careful with that Axe, Eugene. The scream is queued up below (not advised for playback using headphones):
This legendary record has been copied many times by many of the big bootleggers of the 1970s. It’s been repressed before with titles such as:
and then there’s the extremely rare version of all the Muiskhalle bootlegs – Embrwo.
Embrwo, pictured above, is believed to be from the infamous Los Angeles based bootleg label Trade Mark of Quality (TMOQ) and was exported from the US to the UK to another bootlegger known as Freddy Stomper (aka, ‘The Marked Hand’). For Freddy, locating a record pressing plant in London to manufacture bootlegs was nearly impossible. So the story goes that Freddy got in touch with the guys at TMOQ to have one of his tapes (Musikhalle ’71) pressed on colored vinyl, shipped to the UK without sleeves (as not to alert customs), and then packaged and stamped in London. He repackaged the records in thin white cardboard sleeves and rubber stamped them as Embrwo. ‘The Marked Hand’ most likely intended for the title to be Embryo, the name of a song performed on the bootleg. Shortly after the sale debut of Embrwo in March of 1973, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) raided many UK record stores suspected of selling bootlegs. In fact, one of the main stores raided for selling bootlegs in London was none other than Virgin Records – The exact same Virgin Records owned by billionaire tycoon Richard Branson. The last time a genuine copy of Embrwo appeared on ebay, the album sold for close to $2100. If you go on youtube and search for “Pink Floyd M502” you’ll come across the full recording of this legendary bootleg.
Green Is The Colour / Careful With That Axe, Eugene
Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
Saucerful Of Secrets
Atom Heart Mother (with brass and choir)
Leo Kottke – 6- And 12-String Guitar
I found an original first pressing of this at Amoeba in San Francisco in NM condition. It’s absolutely fantastic. The 12 string guitar musicianship on this album is really enjoyable. The acoustic folk sound makes me want to revisit Yosemite. Below is my favorite track from the album.
The Driving Of The Year Nail
The Last Of The Arkansas Greyhounds
Crow River Waltz
The Sailor’s Grave On The Prairie
Vaseline Machine Gun
Jesu, Joy Of Man’s Desiring
The Tennessee Toad
The Brain Of The Purple Mountain
Mike Gordon – Overstep
This is Mike Gordon’s (bassist for Phish) fourth solo studio album (excluding two other albums where he was joined by Leo Kottke). I really like the cover art on this album. The music itself is pretty okay. I’m not necessarily blown away. Not to say the music sucked, or that it wasn’t at all good, I just don’t see myself playing this one too often in the future. Side C was definitely the best side of this album. This was one example where the cover helped push a sale – for me, at least.
Tiny Little World
Long Black Line
Various Artists – Dumb and Dumber Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Shop Radio Cast, a record label based in Canada, re-released this quintessential 90’s soundtrack in May. There was a limited edition of 50 copies on red and white wax, which sold out quickly. My copy is on blue wax and is limited to 500 copies. The music on this soundtrack is hit-and-miss, but I dig the majority of the songs. Some of the tracks downright suck. The good songs definitely outweigh the bad songs in either case. I’ve had the CD of this soundtrack for a long time. I still listen to the songs by Crash Test Dummies, Green Jelly, Echobelly and The Primitives when I come across them in my iTunes library. Oh, and side D has an special etching.
I realize the etching in the photo above is hard to see, but hopefully the caption will help you figure out what you’re looking at.
April was great for my record collecting (and my wallet) because I was able to part with more records than I was purchasing them. My multicolored Stills-Young Band bootleg For What It’s Worth – Summer 76 Tour (one of the crown jewels of my collection) finally sold on eBay, and I traded in a few records to a local record store for store credit.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d be attending the KUSF Rock n’ Swap event in April, but after thinking about it, I decided it was probably best to pass. My spending allowance on LPs was pretty high last month as it was.
That said, I did bring home a few releases.
Mod Lang Record Shop – Albany, CA
This first one I picked up spur-the-moment. Casually passing through Albany while running errands I saw this tiny sign on the sidewalk and did a double-take. I’d never heard of Mod Lang. I parked and headed in.
Inside Mod Lang was an eclectic selection of LPs and CDs of all styles. Despite the great selection, it was kind of a mess. It reminded me a lot of Jack’s Record Cellar on Scott and Page in San Francisco. Dozens of boxes filled with records and piles of clutter (old Rolling Stone magazines, newspapers, cardboard cutout promotional displays, etc.) It was still an excellent shop. About half of the merchandise actually is organized and is displayed in a proper shelf, but many of the boxes are yet to be shelved or are simply left sitting in aisles. I overheard the manager talking to another customer that she had just received a bunch of records that had yet to be shelved – she explained that the shop isn’t usually clogged with boxes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sound like the boxed clutter is bad. I enjoy digging, anyway. It’s all part of the fun.
After about 15 minutes of box digging, I had three albums worth mentioning. Among them, a copy of the Pink Floyd dual bootleg Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love from Beacon Island Records.
I already own a copy of this, so I saw no reason to pick it up. This dual bootleg is actually two separate well known Pink Floyd bootlegs packaged in a single album. The two albums are Best of Tour 72 and the original release of Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label.
Best of Tour 72 is well recognized among Floyd fans and vinyl collectors alike as being one of the earliest (and best) live recordings of Dark Side Of The Moon. In fact, when this bootleg was first being sold in 1972, customers who purchased this album occasionally mistook it for being an official release from the band – on top of the fact that this album was manufactured almost an entire year before Dark Side Of The Moon would be officially released. The recording quality is excellent. To this day, it is still debated if the recording is sourced from the BBC Radio or if it was recorded directly from the soundboard, or if it’s from an excellent audience recording. This LP features a concert recording from The Rainbow Theatre in London on February 20, 1972. A handful of the songs recorded during this performance were never released on Dark Side Of The Moon (like the song entitled ‘The Mortality Sequence’, which was scrapped and replaced with ‘Great Gig In The Sky’). Below is the entire recording.
The other album shares the exact same title Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love. This record was originally from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label and was also released in 1972.
This bootleg features live performances from Pink Floyd at KQED Studios in San Francisco on April 29, 1970, BBC Radio in London on September 30, 1971, and a few B-sides not available to the US market during their initial releases in the UK (‘Point Me at the Sky’, etc…)
So anyway, the dual LP bootleg of Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love from Beacon Island Records is basically a “buy one get one free” package containing two classic Pink Floyd bootlegs. Like I had mentioned earlier, I already have a copy of this release so I didn’t bother buying it again. Plus, it was also in worse condition than my personal copy.
The other album I found at Mod Lang was a copy of The Grateful Dead bootleg Captain Trips, etc. from The Impossible Recordworks label.
For $20, I kindly declined buying it. It was in decent shape, but I was more content buying a copy of The Grateful Dead’s Fillmore West.
This two disc set was offered to me for $12.95. The general condition of the four sides is VG+. At it’s best, it’s Near Mint. At it’s worst, it’s VG. It’s a pretty enjoyable performance from The Dead playing at Fillmore West’s final night of operation in San Francisco on July 2, 1971.
Had To Move
Me And Bobby Mcgee
You Lied You Cheated
I Know You Rider
Playing In The Band
Got No Chance Of Losing
Ain’t It Crazy
Me And My Uncle
Sing Me Back Home
Big Boss Man
Johnny Be Good
Dedicated To Owsley
Apparently the tracks on this bootleg have been rearranged in a separate sequence than how they were originally recorded. Additionally, there are a handful of songs that were performed but were not included on this release. The real kick in the teeth is that the audio from this bootleg is off pitch – The band sounds slightly speed-up and cartoonish. There’s no real way of knowing the recording quality of a bootleg until you play it back.In either case, I ripped a personal copy of the record, cleaned it up, and resold it on eBay a week later for a little more than $30.
A week or so later I returned to Mod Lang on the weekend and dug through a few unorganized shelves. I came across this:
This is a New York Dolls bootleg entitled Dolls Live: Dallas ’74. According to the final edition of Hot Wacks (last published around 1992),there are only about 6 vinyl bootlegs of New York Dolls known to exist. It’s from a label known as Smilin’ Ears. The spine of the sleeve claims the record was manufactured in Venezuela. Bootleggers in the 1970’s often claimed their records were manufactured in far-off locations like Venezuela, Luxembourg, or Brazil as an attempt to throw off investigating authorities.
The sound of the recording isn’t particularly great. It’s muddy and noticeably softer sounding (quieter) than most concert recordings of rock and roll / punk bands. Discogs member bryan.white.9 said it pretty well when he gave a review of this bootleg:
Obviously recorded with a handheld cassette player, this bootleg recording documents a show at the legendary Mother Blues club in Dallas, Texas during [their] final 1974 tour, featuring the original line up. The Dolls were supporting the popular Texas band The Werewolves and facing a hostile/apathetic crowd. The band sounds discouraged, as the audience taunts them with cries of “We want the a Werewolves!” through their show, but gamely perform their set. The very poor sound quality of the recording and the “end of the line” feel of the performance-supporting a band most listeners have never heard of-make this a hard recording to recommend. I have no idea whether this was one of the shows performed in red leather & Soviet paraphernalia but it would go a long way towards explaining the audience’s hostility; Dallas in 1974 would have been the worst possible venue for such gear. Fantastically rare, this live album has practically nothing else to offer.
Lone Star Queen
Don’t Start Me Talkin’
Lookin’ For A Kiss
Give ‘Em A Great Big Kiss (Kiss Me)
At the counter I was offered the bootleg for $8 after a $10 trade-in store credit (I gave away some records from last month’s failed backyard rummage sale). The recording quality is really mediocre. It was admittingly purchased mainly for the rarity factor. I’ll probably flip it on eBay in a few weeks. Most copies have previously sold on eBay between $25 to $100.
All in all, Mod Lang Records is an excellent shop. They carry new music too!
Record Store Day 2014 – April 19, 2014
I didn’t particularly care for this year’s Record Store Day (RSD). I had no interest in spending part of my weekend participating in the festivities. Out of the 75+ exclusive releases, only two actually appealed to me. The first release being Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin’s double 10″ EP Songs From Common Ground. The other release was a 7″ split featuring Jason Lytle (frontman for Modesto based indie rock group Grandaddy) and Neko Case entitled Satellite Of Love. Both of these titles I ordered from eBay at face-value without having to even get out of bed Saturday morning. I realize it defeats the purpose of RSD to buy RSD releases from eBay, but honestly, I wasn’t interested in dealing with aggressive crowds and long lines early in the morning for two titles.
While browsing the exclusive RSD release titles online, one release from Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band entitled Solar Live 11.15.13 particularly caught my attention:
I imagine most people who see this album probably won’t recognize that this cover is directly copied from (or at least paying homage to) a Little Feat bootleg entitled Electrif Lycanthrope (Be-Bop Deluxe) from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label (TAKRL).
I see no resemblance between the two.
Last year’s 2013 RSD had a similar release trying to appear like a Trade Mark Of Quality (TMOQ) bootleg with a paper insert. This one was from The Greenhornes entitled Live At Shake It Records – Fall 2001. Note the “Shake It Mark Of Quality” logo in the bottom right corner:
Below is the original Trade Mark Of Quality (TMOQ) logo – sticker’d or printed on every original TMOQ release back in the 1970s – as well as some examples of typical TMOQ releases featuring this logo (just because).
Original Trade Mark Of Quality Logo
You get the point…
It’s kind of funny how some official releases in the last few years have been packaged to look like bootleg records taken right from the 1970s.
I was excited for March for a few reasons – new job, got a huge tax refund, planned a trip in a few months from now. But more than anything in March, I was excited for three separate vinyl rummage sales.
The Newark Music Swap Meet – Newark, CA – March 23, 2014
We were told about this sale by a gentleman over at Dave’s Records on San Pablo in Berkeley. He told us about the sale the day before it took place. I had heard from other collectors before that the Newark Music Swap Meet is not very good. Even so, on an open Sunday with nothing really going on, Hannah and I decided to make an afternoon checking it out.
Upon arrival, I suddenly understood why. It was probably the most underwhelming sale I’ve ever attended. Granted, we showed up at around 1 PM when it first opens at 7 AM and closes at 2, but there were only about 8 individual sellers and most of what they sold was either overpriced or in terrible condition. Hannah found a copy of Neil Young’s Harvest for only $1. The cover was split down the bottom of the sleeve and the record was very visibly warped. Figures.
Even the atmosphere inside the hall was not very pleasant. Contrary to other swap meets I’ve attended, there wasn’t the sound of bustling people chattering or the sounds of 60s surf rock playing over a portable turntable speakers. Instead, the hum of fluorescent lights and distant microphone feedback from a poorly connected house PA system was the tune. Okay, sure, I’m slightly exaggerating – there actually were people chattering, but it was a dull roar compared to inaudible bartering and shouting.
We didn’t see anything particularly worth buying. I did find a sealed copy of a Runaways bootleg entitled Live In Concertfrom Wizardo Records. But for an asking price of $35, and not knowing a single song of theirs, I couldn’t justify the purchase. Besides, sealed records like that are really only good when purchased as a bargain since their best value is being resold still sealed.
We eventually made our way to one of the final tables. A middle-aged couple from the Central Valley with four crates were mainly selling classic rock and some 60s psychedelia. I wasn’t seeing anything particularly interesting, up until I asked if he had any Pink Floyd (the bread and butter of my vinyl collecting). He presented to me a copy of the bootleg Dark Side Of The Moo from Trixie Records.
If you didn’t recognize this cover instinctively as a well known Pink Floyd bootleg, than you probably wouldn’t even know this record has anything to do with Pink Floyd at all. The labels on the vinyl itself reference The Screaming Abdabs, a name briefly used by the band prior to 1966.
This bootleg isn’t really a bootleg. It’s more like a pirated LP containing rare B sides and studio outtakes from 1967 to 1970. In fact, there is only one genuine studio outtake on this album which is Track A6: Scream Thy Last Scream. The rest are just a collection of officially released B-sides. Probably the best part of this record, at least for me personally, is the cover itself. I dig how it’s similar to the theme of Atom Heart Mother’s cover which also features a cow – yet it’s subtle and doesn’t have any text all over the place much in the way that most bootleg covers do. Plus, the photographer got the attention of this cow, which was then immortalized in a photo and used for an illegitimate record cover. For some reason, I find humor in that. As far as the content of this bootleg goes, the music on this record is mostly from an era of Pink Floyd that I’m not too crazy about (mid to late 60s). To be honest, I find a lot of these songs to be pretty nauseating. I can’t say I’m excited to hear a poor quality outtake of this:
See? Told you it’s nauseating.
Fortunately a few songs on this album are actually worth listening. My two personal favorites are The Crumbling Land and Point Me At the Sky (which sounds similar to Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds by The Beatles)
Candy And A Current Bun
Apples And Oranges
It Would Be So Nice
Scream Thy Last Scream
Heart Beat, Pig Meat
Point Me At The Sky
Come On Number 51, Your Time Is Up
Such is the case when buying vinyl bootlegs – you never really know what the quality of the recordings will sound like until you fork over $$$ and listen to them at home.
At the same table, Hannah found an excellent copy of The Beatles’ album Rubber Soul. It’s in great shape and looks like it had never been played before.
Her specific version is from Germany on Odeon Records (year of release is unknown). She already had a copy of Rubber Soul, but her other release is from the United States on Capital Records. The US releases left out many hits from this album which other versions from other countries contained in their releases. For example, songs like Drive My Car, Nowhere Man, What Goes On, and If I Need Someone were all excluded from US releases.
After buying our albums and chatting with the sellers for a few minutes, we left. There’s a good chance that unless I arrive at 7 AM at the next Newark Music Swap Meet that I probably will not return to this event.
Cavern Discos’ Rummage Sale – Albany, CA – March 29, 2014
Two years ago while browsing the garage sales section on Craigslist I came across a post from a gentleman who was planning on selling about 9000 records he had in storage. The ebay record store Cavern Discos, which specialized in funk, disco, and soul records, was officially kaput and the owner needed to liquidate all of his surplus records sitting in storage. So he posted an ad publicly on craigslist saying that he will be selling all of his records in his backyard and that every record was worth $3 each – regardless of rarity, condition or actual value. On the day of his sale about 100 people came into his backyard and tore apart his boxes of records (and his garden).
So flash-forward two years. A week before the sale, the owner of Cavern Discos sent me a message and told me that the very last of his records were moved from storage and were ready to be sold. It would be the exact same sale as last time – except this time the records were now to be sold at $1 each.
Saturday rolls around – and it’s pouring rain. California has been in its worst drought on record and the one time I actually was hoping sunshine and dry conditions I get the exact opposite. I arrived at the sellers house about 20 minutes before the sale starts. Unlike the last sale two years earlier, there was no one anxiously waiting around his front yard. I figured this was because it was raining and no one wanted to deal with the conditions. In actually what had happened was the buyers were waiting in his back yard and were helping set up two outdoor tarps and a bunch of plastic floor protectors to help keep the records and the buyers dry.
It’s about 10 minutes before the sale when the seller says, “Okay, it’s pouring and it’s freezing. So let’s just start now. Everyone go to my shed and pull out one box and drop it down on the plastic floor protectors under the tarps, and then you can start your digging there.” So I went into his shed, since I was actually the closest to it, and pulled out a box of about 100 records. It was heavy but it contained probably some of the best conditions of records I could have hoped for. The ones I picked out were mostly in near mint condition. After going through a few boxes it started to get kind of chaotic. Too many people, not enough protection from the rain, and not enough boxes for each person to causally browse though. It didn’t take long before it became more unpleasant than it already was.
Inside the shed wasn’t much better.
Nothing smells quite like a room full of wet, sweaty middle-aged men kicking up record dust. Fun fun fun!
So after 20 minutes, I realized that this sale was a waste of my time. I left with 11 records, but only had to pay $9. My selections, in brief description were:
Grateful Dead – Workingman’s Dead
I’ve never really listen to the Grateful Dead, but when they come on the radio on 94.1 KPFA on Wednesday nights, it’s pretty fun music. The condition of this looks like it’s G and it was missing the original cover when I found it, but to my amazement it plays like it’s VG+. For a dollar, this was a bargain.
Various Artists – Record Store Day 2008
I don’t know a lot about this album. All I know is that I found it brand new, sealed for $1 and it had artists like Bruce Springsteen, Rage Against the Machine, Patti Smith, Pearl Jam and others. Apparently copies of this have sold on ebay recently for about $50.
Terre Thaemlitz – Raw Through A Straw / Tranquilizer
I recognized her name from a few ambient songs that I heard from SOMA FM’s internet streaming station Drone Zone. Good ambient musician (although she’s kind of avant-garde and out there). Also, this vinyl is totally transparent.
The picture above is of the regular, studio 12″ release. The version I have has a label just like the above photo, but also reads, “DEMONSTRATION – NOT FOR SALE” just below where it reads Eazy-E. I’m not particularly a fan of rap, but a near mint Eazy-E demonstration disc for $1? Sure, why not.
Kiln – Sunbox
Not going to lie – this was a total impulse buy. I’ve never heard of this group, and their music is downtempo techno / IDM. But it’s got a white label with a hand stamped little ghost on it. I thought it might be cool, or at the very least valuable. I’m still not entirely sure if either of those are true, but on ebay someone is currently selling the non-white label release for $40. Again, not a great purchase.
The Doors – The Doors
Coincidentally, I bought a copy of this two years ago from the same backyard sale, except this copy is in a lot better shape. It’s also a stereo release. The other copy I bought was a quadrophonic release (which I also suspect may be a counterfeit release). Even in mediocre shape, an original stereo release of this album is valued at about $20 starting price.
Bob Dylan – Nashville Skyline
It’s Dylan for a dollar. Not a bad investment. Except this was a bad investment, because the condition looks VG+ but sounds like G+. Odd how that can happen.
Super Mysterious Test Pressing – ????
Too lazy to take a photo of this one, but it’s a test pressing of a 12″ hip-hop record. Another bad impulse buy. I saw a test pressing, with no real indication of it’s origin or even it’s genre, and I didn’t think to ask questions about it since it was chaotic and pouring at the sale. It could have been jazz, or some soul, or maybe something with value none-the-less. I bagged it and thought “at the very least, I’ve wasted $1.” I later found out it’s a test pressing from hip-hop artist Mr. Lif’s 2002 single New Man Theme. Even in near mint condition, it’s garbage.
Funkstörung – Post.Art
I bought this mainly because it was white marbled vinyl. It’s IDM / electronic music. Another bad impulse buy.
Pink Floyd – Animals
This definitely would have been the best of my purchases, had it not been in such terrible shape. It looked VG when I bought it, but it’s actually G+. Oh well, it’s an album I’m really not crazy about spending a lot of money on anyway. Fortunately for me this mediocre purchase only cost me $1.
David Bowie – The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars
For the 11 albums I bought, this was definitely the best purchase. It’s in VG shape, but it’s got excellent replay value. I wasn’t familiar at all with Bowie’s work, but I figured this was a good excuse to start.
All in all, the backyard rummage sale was a waste of my time. I plan on reselling the majority of these albums either on ebay or to one of the local record stores. Given that this sale was a joke, I was looking forward to the next day…
March Beat Swap Meet (#5) – Berkeley, CA – March 30, 2014
So Hannah and my father and I met outside the door for this event. Having never heard of it previously, I thought it might be fun for a Sunday afternoon. Getting in the door cost $5 and a canned good. I went to the store and bought five cans of expensive Progesso canned soup knowing that a good chunk of those attending would offer Hormel re-fried beans and other junk no one would actually want to eat. I give the Swap Meet that much – it was nice of them to ask for canned food as a requirement to get in the door. I think that’s an excellent way to have people actively donate food.
Once inside, there were about 8 vendors selling records. This was great, up until I realized that the sellers are almost exclusively selling rap and hip-hop only. It was disappointing to say the least. We went from table to table hoping to find some variety but did not find much. We left no more than 20 minutes after arriving. Considering Discogs was a major sponsor of this traveling swap meet, I was imagining a giant cafeteria sized swap meet with all sorts of different collectors with different specialties. Oh well.
We were bummed out with the Swap Meet, so we had lunch and decided to go to Amoeba and Rasputin on Telegraph Street closer towards UC Berkeley. Rasputin proved to offer a more enjoyable experience. In the Pink Floyd bin, I found something of interest.
Pink Floyd – Raving and Drooling
This is a bootleg from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label (TAKRL) featuring a performance of three songs from November 17, 1974 in Great Britain. I had been looking for a copy of this for a few months and was finally able to buy a copy at a reasonable price. The condition was VG+ but it sounds VG for the most part. The recording itself is pretty bad. It needs some thorough equalizing. Even so, it’s definitely worth owning. Raving and Drooling sounds amazing. Shine On You Crazy Diamond is also amazing.
Raving And Drooling
You’ve Gotta Be Crazy
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
March had some promising swap meets and a rummage sale that was impressive the last time it occurred two years earlier, but failed to really provide. It was still fun to attend these events. Today’s April 1st and the next KUSF Rock n’ Swap Record Event is in about two weeks. Hopefully there will be a lot more to brag about then…
I haven’t written anything in a while. I’ve been busy overhauling my website and have been actively job hunting. It’s a learning experience (both building HTML in Dreamweaver and job hunting). I’ve also been working on a bunch of new videos; namely time lapse videos from various locations in the bay area.
Other than that, I’m going to discuss music and vinyl records!
So here are some recent purchases:
Found this rare gem sitting at Grooves in San Francisco. As mentioned in an earlier post, I met a gentleman at Grooves who collected only bootleg records. He had to unfortunately sell his entire collection to an independent buyer (Grooves). About 99% of every bootleg record found at Grooves was from a single collection from a single collector. I picked up a copy of “Stairstep to Abandon” knowing the rarity of the label and knowing that anything on the shelves at Grooves is in great condition.
Vinyl bootleg title: “Stairstep to Abandon”
Label: Ze Anonym Plattenspieler
Catalog Number: ZAP 7874
B2 On the Run
B4 Great Gig In The Sky
Lineage: Unknown AUD > Bootleg vinyl LP “Stairstep to Abandon”
*Venue may possibly be Colston Hall. Colston Hall is what is listed on etree as the venue. Yeeshkul indicates it is indeed the Hippodrome.
More info on this can be found here: http://www.yeeshkul.com/forum/showthread.php?14318-1973-06-19-Pink-Floyd-Stairstep-To-Abandon
Fun fact about this recording: This was the final day of Pink Floyd’s 1974 Winter tour.
The recording quality is okay, nothing too outstanding for a bootleg from the mid 70s. I give it a B for recording quality. More information on the release can be found here: http://www.discogs.com/Pink-Floyd-Stairstep-To-Abandon/release/4238431
Another recent purchase: Daft Punk – Discovery
Bought this brand new at Amoeba in San Francisco for under $20. Definitely worth it!