I recently created a Soundcloud account for my songs, check it out!
This post is dedicated to the records that got away, ones I saw and did not buy due to being foolish and miserly. Life is short, and in many cases there are a finite amount of records left, so you should not feel conflicted about spending the money, even if it is difficult to justify. And buying records is difficult to justify for any rational person. But even rational people are attracted to totems, and the money that remains in your pocket is never enough to dispel the regret for letting something special slip away…
On a more general note, if there is something you find that you know is valuable, just buy it. We’re all going to leave this shit behind anyway.
The KLF – What Time is Love 12″
I will never find this record again, and its seemingly more and more unlikely that I will find any KLF records. I love The KLF, and they hold a special place in my heart since they served as one of my early introductions to electronic music. And for deleting their entire catalogue, and either making a spectacle of the money they had made or just outright burning it. I planned on returning to Rasputin a week later or so to see if they had marked it down, but it was probably sold soon after I found it. I even took a picture because I wasn’t sure if I would find it again and wanted to just have some record. I should have just bought that damn thing, but I didn’t think it was worth $6 and I was already buying a bunch of others. It doesn’t make a lot sense to buy records at all, but it makes even less sense to collect them and not buy KLF records on sight.
The JAMs – It’s Grim Up North 12″
Another KLF 12″, this time under the JAMs name. Slightly more costly at $8, but well worth it. If you’ve heard this record, you know the enormity of my mistake. If not, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwtSdJaPCSI!
Quincy Jones – The Dude
I found this at Amoeba for like $8, but it didn’t make the cut that day. There were 2 copies too… One week later they were all gone.
The Rasputin Music in Haight-Ashbury has closed, leaving me with only Amoeba records in that neighborhood. I found at least 75% of my collection at Rasputin, what a shame.
I want to share the best thing in electronic music right now, Australia’s Partiboi69. I don’t know much about him, but none of that really matters anyway. These sets are about an hour long, show what’s great about electronic music and are a true inspiration to us all.
This week, I took a trip to Rasputin to specifically pick up one album, A Taste of Honey’s self-titled debut. I had passed on it a week earlier or $4, and I really like the group, and I regretted not buying it because it seemed like $4 was too much to spend. I’ve since come around to rethinking what I am willing to pay for records and the chances I will take. And it has absolutely paid off, because I’ve picked up so many more records that I love and I rarely skip on records because they might be a few extra bucks. A Taste of Honey’s album is worth the $4, and has had a lot of plays in our apartment since it is right up Carla’s alley too.
Steely Dan is one of the reasons that I got into records, and after buying these records I want to buy a better record player to get as much out of these records as I can. The quality can’t compare to perfect digital versions, but with this band and its obsessive attention to the sound of the album, I am sure there is a lot that I am missing. What I am saying is, listening Steely Dan is a great way to test out your audio system, and for that alone they are a great purchase for any record collector. I love the group, and found a seller on Discogs that had Pretzel Logic, Katy Lied and Gaucho so I got all three, along with a couple others. Since I was only paying a few bucks for a Manu Dibango album and Miami Sound Machine’s Primitive Love, I thought I got a good deal on all five for less than $30.
After having little success finding dance tracks in record stores, I decided to grab a bunch on Discogs, finding this entire collection for about $25. I was happy to have about 20 minutes worth of dance tracks, and ones that audiences would recognize and have broad appeal. If I had to produce a bunch of music and only had vinyl records to play, I thought I’d be on my way to being covered. Especially if I had to DJ a wedding, an opportunity I should have insisted on but missed. I’ve collected more 12″ since this Discogs order, but this was fun to grab a bunch of records for a few bucks and collect some classic singles and get a couple classic albums while I could bundle some records to save on shipping.
At the end of June, I had a lot of new reference points for records that I wanted to buy. I also had good luck finding albums at great prices, which indicated that I should be more, ahem, uninhibited in my selections. For the price of a coffee, you can afford to be liberally selective, and at the end of the month I was really starting to build out my collection with these in-store purchases and other Discogs buys.
I was able to find great albums at Rasputin’s that week, including Joe Sample’s Carmel and Jean-Michel Jarre’s Oxygene, and George Benson’s Greatest Hits for one buck. I also found a bootleg Sergio Mendes record for $0.50. At Jack’s Record Store I found Cameo’s Feel Me and the Japanese jazz-fusion band Native Son’s self-titled, which really turned out to be an interesting record. I felt that I had good luck at the end of June and it was a good time, when record collection held so much potential for me.
Sometimes you have to pay the piper, and if you want a record you’ll need to buy it new. If I want to play some of my favorite albums or introduce someone to an artist I appreciate, I would like to have these records. I visited Green Apple Books in the Richmond with a gift card to buy a couple records, and after looking through their small collection I realized I was going to have to buy new. I found two albums that I listened to a lot in college as I was discovering new music thanks to a very active filesharing community. I was very fortunate to find it as it opened up all kinds of new music to me, including Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation and DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing…, and I might otherwise not be buying these records today.
I also purchased a few new records from Amoeba Music after not finding any used records on my first trip there. I hit the electronica section first and found Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works 85-92 and Boards of Canada’s Music Has The Right To Children, then picked up Parliament’s The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein. While I mostly go to record stores looking for secondhand records, there are some that I really want to have in my collection, and I doubt many people that buy these records will ever sell them.
Green Apple Books
I visited the Lower Haight to check out Jack’s Record Cellar, a record store only open one day a week with a great selection of 45s, 78s and old audio equipment. The place is cramped, some sections have only one entry and exit point and the records are priced to sell. I was able to find three records to take home, and the owner even discounted them. I picked up Ohio Players’ Fire, Chic’s C’est Chic and Earth, Wind & Fire’s All ‘N All, making it one of my best days since all of the records are fantastic.
First opened in 1951, Jack’s Record Cellar is my favorite store in San Francisco, and every few weeks I try to get there on Saturday. It is filled with regulars, the owner is very friendly and it has a variety of albums. If you are out here on a Saturday, especially near Golden Gate Park, visit this store.
I also went to Groove Merchant, where I found XTC – Drums and Wires, The Best of Wes Montgomery. This store has a lot of old rock, funk/soul and world music records, and is recommended if you are in the neighborhood. I’ve always been able to find something at this store and the boxes of $1 records they place outside on weekends draws in a lot of customers. I also visited Vinyl Dreams where I picked up Bootsy Collin’s Stretching Out In Bootsy’s Rubber Band.