Saturday afternoon, I was able to do one of my favorite activities, hitting up a record store. After being a bit hung over from the night before, I got my ass in gear and went to a “new” place (read: new to me) right in my own backyard. My hometown only has one independent record store, The Record Exchange, which has been my homebase for twenty plus years. Much to my surprise, when I went to a record swap a few months ago, I ran into the son of one of my dad’s coworkers from years past. He told me he worked at a little used bookstore that also had a fairly large used record section. I’ve been putting it off, for the obvious reasons (didn’t want to go in there and drop a hundo), but finally hit it up this weekend.
I haven’t done one of these “diggin” posts for awhile now. Mainly because, well, some laziness and some, I just don’t have the adventures here that I did when I lived in Denver. Just not as many choices here and not as deep of a pool of used stuff. I did leave out a monstrous trip I had to Denver earlier this summer and I experienced my first attempt at trying to fly home with a shit load of records on my person. A few things have changed since those early digging posts I used to do. In the past I was on some CD shit, and nothing wrong with that. I still have a large collection of CDs and probably always well. But over the last year, year and a half, I’ve been bitten by the vinyl bug. That also means no more strictly hip hop trips. I’ve been diving into some of the soul, funk and jazz stuff from years past. I’m still learning about those genres and the artists themselves. Its something I always felt like I lacked in my hip hop knowledge, where those beats came from… So my mission lately has been to educate myself and of course grab as much vinyl as I can in which to aide my self learning.
That’s where we jump into Saturday. I hit up the Yesteryear Shoppe that is located in the town next to where I’m living now. It’s a fairly large used book store and of course have a fairly large record collection. Not really all that familiar with the town its in (I haven’t been back that long and even when I did live in the area, I had no reason to go to this town that much). It’s a nice little artsy place in this town that is trying to become more modern than the little hick farm town that is it’s past history.
Walking into the place, I realized it wasn’t the most organized place in the world. Books and boxes of books littered the area and huge book shelves lined the middle of a large room like a library would. Then immediately to my right, there were a shelf full of records. This was right in the entry way, which made it kind of a pain in the ass to set up shop and start thumbing through the records. Also, I hate looking through records that are on a shelf and not in the coffin like shelves. I nonchalantly looked over the names and it appeared to be mostly big band type of stuff, so I kept it moving. Walking around the corner, I saw the majority of the record collection they had, which was rather large. Not as large as the Record Exchange, but enough to take a couple hours to go through. To the far wall, there was another large, more of the wall kind, of all Jazz records. Impressive, so it was here that I went to first.Like I said, going through records where you can only see the back spine of the record, causing you to have to pull out the record, is a major pain in the ass. Not entirely up on my jazz knowledge, I stuck to looking at artists I already knew, the Coltranes, Jamals and of course one of my favorites, Eddie Harris. When I jumped into the rather large (by my local accounts) collection of Eddie Harris records, I realized the first major downfall of the Yesteryear Shoppe, the prices. Not one Eddie Harris record was under $20 bucks. Which is unfortunate, because they had several that I didn’t have and wanted, including his 1973 “Excursions” LP that I’ve been wanting. The same was with Amad Jamal, another favorite of mine, everything that I didn’t have of his was $20 and more and I have a personal rule about spending more than $20 bucks on an LP or CD, I just won’t do it. I did end up picking up the first Weather Report self titled album along with Donald Byrd’s “Thank You…For F.U.M.L (Funking Up My Life)
After awhile, my head started throbbing from bending over and my hangover from the night before, so I decided to move over to the Rock & Pop section, which was really everything that wasn’t classical, country, jazz, or big band stuff that was already in other places in the store. Meaning, there was funk and soul scattered among the Kansas, Cream, and Grateful Dead records. There was a very, and I mean a very small, hip hop section. Not much there but an overpriced MC Hammer album, his debut. I would have liked to picked it up, but not for $10. There was also a very early 2 Live Crew single, “The Revelation b/w 2 Live” on Macola records that I think I’m going to have to go back and get. I did pick up a Sir Mix a Lot single, “Iron Man” b/w “I’ll Roll You Up”, that was mainly due to nostalgia than quality, since I owned the cassingle back in the day.
In the end, I spent a couple hours and $77 dollars on nine albums. Again, a little more than I wanted to spend, but it was fun going through a store I had never been in before. They had different LPs than Record Exchange, so that was nice to see. Yesteryear Shoppe is more expensive though than my beloved Record Exchange. Record Exchange, most all used records (except for rap, they like marking those up) are $3-$5 depending on what it is and the condition. All in all though, it’s a nice store that I’m sure I’ll check out once or twice a month in the future.
Warning: I’m not a seasoned collector. Obviously, hip hop is my main genre I’ve been into the past three decades and I know what’s what when it comes to digging for hip hop. But I’m still finding my way with music outside that genre. Meaning, I’m pretty new at this. I don’t always know what’s rare and what isn’t, I don’t know who’s album in their catalog is the good on or which is the bad one for the most part. I go with artist I know and like and head that way with it. I’m still learning.
I wouldn’t call myself the biggest Isaac Hayes fan, but I do like his music and when I find something I don’t have, I tend to grab it like I did this one. I have listened to it and coming in only at four songs, it’s alright. Some nice grooves, but too much talking at times.
I guess it’s my huge appreciation for the production found on the first three Redman albums that I tend to buy anything of Johnny Guitar Watson that I find (which is three albums now). This 1977 album is in the same vein of the first two albums I have his and is a fun listen. It also contains the sample King Tee used for “Bass” (remix), which is cool.
A couple months ago, my man Batsauce made a collection of funk and soul for our sister site, Souled On. On there was a Blackbyrds track from Cornbread, Earl & Me which I loved. I had heard the album before, but for some reason I guess my ears were not up to par yet as it didn’t stick in my mind. I ended buying a reissue of the said album on my trip to Denver earlier this summer. It caused me to go on a big Blackbyrds and Donald Byrd kick, so I was more than happy to see both of these albums sitting there, calling out my name. Lots of well known samples litter both of these LPs.
I’m almost embarrassed to call myself a hip hop head and say that I’ve never heard this album. Not that it’s like a hip hop classic or anything, I’m not even sure I’d label it “hip hop”, but it’s an important piece in the hip hop history. Especially when it comes to hip hop going global. I remember HATING “Buffalo Gals” the first time I saw it on Yo! MTV Raps so I stayed away from it for the longest time. I was happy to see this and give it a listen.
Getting my classic rock on. I’ve been a long time Steve Miller fan, from his very early psychedelic rock to his later bluesy rock feel. Besides his “Greatest Hits” album, this is probably his most well known album with lots of classics such as “Jet Airliner”, “Swingtown” and “Jungle Love”.
This is my fourth Weather Report album. The first two were pretty good, the last one I picked up pretty much sucked. I haven’t gotten around to listening to this one yet, so no report on it….no pun intended.
Brass Constuction is another one of those groups that I have multiple albums from with some being good and some sucking. They get a little too disco influenced for me, but this is their first album, so maybe we’ll get the good funk stuff going on here.
My only hip hop purchase. I guess I liked this back in my Run DMC sta
ge, which is pretty much where Mix ripped it off from. Maybe saying he ripped it off is a bad choice of words, maybe “influenced” is a better term. It’s not bad, but gets on my nerves in these days.
A1 Iron Man (Urban Street Mix) (4:20)
A2 Iron Man (Extended Video Mix) (4:50)
A3 Iron Man (True Metal Meltdown Mix) (4:52)
B1 I’ll Roll You Up! (Extended Mix) (5:15)
B2 I’ll Roll You Up! (Radio Edit) (4:22)