With comic cons currently either saturated heavily with film/TV (like the San Diego Comic-Con) or appealing to the hipster/art comics crowd (MoCCA, SPX, etc.), record shows may now be the last bastion of sweaty misanthropic guys milling around and rummaging through old dusty bins of junk. Sounds great, right?! So, I just had to make the trek out to Greensboro for the record show there a few weeks back. The show was in a “convention center” that looked like a dumpy motel from the 70s and, much like a sort of “Victoria’s Secret in reverse,” the lobby was filled with bored women reading and doing crossword puzzles, while inside their husbands grazed the milk crates of wax, looking for that illusive VG+ U.K. pressing of Bradley’s Farm by The Beau Brummels (or whatever). I couldn’t stop thinking about the great “Don’t play my records, EVER!” scene from Diner.
Anyway, here are my finds from the show. As with comics shows where I generally stick to the dollar bins looking for finds, aside from the two items noted below, I pretty much confined myself to the cheapie crates. That’s the fun of it, right? I mean: if you’ve got $150.00 to drop on that pristine Everly Brothers platter, well good for you Richie Rich, but that’s not how I roll.
$1.00 – $2.00
Other Bright Colors – Endlessly Rocks The Cradle – This was a real find for me (and still sealed in plastic!). This band was out of Davidson, NC, where I went to college–although they were before my time–and were in the same musical vein as Southern “jangle pop” contemporaries like R.E.M. and the DB’s. They were poised for greater success and had a record in the can that they’d recorded with Mitch Easter (of the band Let’s Active, and who produced a ton of stuff including early R.E.M.) but they dissolved before it could be released, I believe. Sample track.
The Beach Boys – Holland – Along with Sunflower, Wild Honey, and Surf’s Up, one of the few really decent post-Pet Sounds Beach Boys records. It’s in great shape, so given its $2.00 price tag I’m guessing it’s maybe a reissue. Sample Track.
The Ventures – Walk Don’t Run – I absolutely love The Ventures and am slowly collecting all of their output on vinyl. This is their very first record and it’s in pretty good shape. Love that record cover! Sample track.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory – I almost overlooked this one because the cover is so beat-up, but I was pleasantly surprised by the condition of the record itself. Along with the criminally underrated Pendulum, this is my fave CCR record. Sample track.
Dick Hyman – Age of Electronicus – I’d never heard of this before, but I saw that it was a bunch of 60s rock songs by The Beatles, James Brown, etc. arranged for Moog synth by jazz arranger Dick Hyman circa 1969. For a buck I had to have it. Like a lot of early synth, this stuff can sound kind of hokey to the modern ear, but the one stand-out track here is a truly NUTS arrangement of James Brown’s “Give It Up Or Turn It Loose” that almost sounds like it could have been off the last Beastie Boys record. Here it is.
Neil Young – After The Gold Rush – A pretty common record, so I wasn’t surprised to see it in a bargain bin, but man what a great record. It includes one of my all-time favorite Neil Young songs, Don’t Let It Bring You Down.
The The – Soul Mining – This is the first record by The The. The follow-up to this, Infected, is probably their best record, but this one ain’t too shabby. I really think that this band isn’t given their due as a pretty obvious precursor–albeit a poppier/less-gothy one–to Nine Inch Nails (not to mention just making some great music in their own right). Sample track.
Jason And The Scorchers – Fervor – This EP is the major label debut from the amazing country/punk band Jason and the Scorchers. The record is split, with three covers on side A and three originals on side B. Their cover of Bob Dylan’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie” is one of the best ever. Here it is.
I’m Embarrassed To Tell You How Many $
The Pixies – Bossanova – I loves The Pixies and they’re definitely a band I’m trying to get a full vinyl catalog of, so when I saw this copy of my absolute favorite Pixies record still sealed in plastic, I had to splurge. I haggled a bit with the vendor and got him to knock a few bucks off both of these, but they were still well over my usual $10 upper limit for a record. Sample track.
The B-52′s – Wild Planet – You can pretty much just re-read my entry for the record above and substitute “B-52′s” for “The Pixies.” Along with Pylon, they’re my favorite Athens band. I know R.E.M. had a lot more mass impact, but I’d rather listen to the first two B-52′s records than anything R.E.M.’s done. They’re pretty much perfect records. Again, this one was unopened. Sample track.