Play Records in Your Car!

You know you’ve wondered about it…why don’t they make turntables for your car? Well, they did, actually. But I suppose it’s not surprising that this idea never really caught on.

I just came across this video on YouTube and it’s the first time I’ve been able to see one of these babies in action. It’s really pretty interesting to see how it works– the needle tracks upside down(!), and when one record finishes, it drops down so the next one is ready to go at the bottom of the pile. Of course this will only play 45s…no LPs here!

I always figured there’s no way these things can actually work while you’re driving, the needle would be going absolutely crazy. You would think…but the person who uploaded this claims it’s “never skipped while driving!” Still, I’ll bet you anything he avoids the potholes.

Here’s the video:

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Beethoven’s Third (Second Time Around)

Beethoven - Bruno Walter - Symphony No. 3 "Eroica"This was a happy find for me. I’d come across a copy of this record before, but sold it off in a lot of classical LPs and realized afterwards I had made a big mistake. For a short bit I was reselling some things on Ebay, which is tricky for me because sometimes I would get attached to a record and have a hard time parting with it. I did listen to that first copy and really loved it. Had never heard this version of Beethoven’s Third before. I made myself sell it anyway, but then seriously regretted it. Temporary insanity I guess, especially considering how much I love this piece! So I was really pleased to find another copy.

Beethoven‘s Symphony No. 3 (also known as the “Eroica” Symphony) is possibly my favorite of Beethoven’s symphonies. Apart from the fact that it’s simply an astonishing piece of music, I’ve always connected with this piece. Back in my college days I played bass in the orchestra, and it was a real thrill when we performed this piece. The third (Scherzo) movement especially always does it for me. It’s a pretty wild ride– a blast to play and a blast to listen to. Which brings me to an unusual association I have with this piece. Check the video below and you’ll hear it come in at about the :57 mark.

Haha…okay, that’s a little silly, but as a huge Yes fan I had to at least mention it. :) This comes from a 1984 live video called 9012Live, that I practically wore out “back in the day”.

Anyway, back to the record…This particular recording is just terrific. An engaging performance and nice sound too (though definitely “of an era”). The copy I have now is the mono version, whereas I’m pretty sure the one I had previously was stereo. This is a nice clean copy with not too many crackles.

I’m back in business, baby!

The Verdict: SCORE!
My Cost: 50¢

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Bob & Ron’s Record Club!

Well, have I got a treat for you, fellow record lovers…I recently came across this outstanding podcast and had to share it with you all. If you’re a fan of 70s rock radio, and of course records, you will dig this show. Bob & Ron have got it goin’ on! These guys play the good stuff, the deep tracks– the stuff you just don’t hear at all on classic rock radio these days. In this episode alone we get some pretty choice cuts from Procol Harum, Family, Steppenwolf, Small Faces, George Harrison and a whole lot more…all from vinyl of course. It’s like having a record player and two crazy guys inside your computer! Check it out, I’ll definitely be sharing some more stuff from these guys in the future.

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Lucky Dube – Trinity

Lucky Dube - TrinitySome days you get lucky and find a CD or LP that you’ve been looking for forever…other days you come across something that you know nothing about, but are willing to take the risk for $1 or $2. This CD falls into the latter category for me. I’ve certainly heard of Lucky Dube, and I’m sure Trinity has crossed my path before, but I really didn’t know what to expect on this one (apart from expecting a little reggae). Picked it up at a local thrift just to try it.

My first reaction when I put it on was a bit mixed, probably because I usually like my reggae more on the “raw” side in terms of production and musical content, while this one is a fairly heavily-produced product with a more modern sound. And it leans strongly towards pop and gospel. Probably should have expected this to some degree, just from looking at the booklet.

Having said that, this has definitely got some compelling tunes on it, and some nice grooves. My favorites after one listen are “My Brother, My Enemy”, “Life in the Movies”, and “God Bless the Women”. Judging from the Amazon reviews, people seem to love this CD. I can definitely appreciate it, but at first listen I’m not sure it’s my taste. Will give it some time and see if it grows on me.

The Verdict: Mixed but good
My Cost: $1.99

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Not Dead Yet

Nope, I’m still here…but “life” has taken over and it’s been difficult to keep this blog up to date. Still, I’ll keep it here and will try and add new posts now and then as time allows. In the meantime, I’ve just found another cool “thrift store records” blog here: Thrift Store DJ. Features some pretty quirky records and sound samples too! Enjoy, and keep spinning that vinyl…

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Don Adams – Get Smart

Don Adams - Get SmartI used to be a big fan of this show. As a kid I watched more than my share of Get Smart reruns, and still make references to the shoe phone and the cone of silence. Surprisingly, most people seem to know what I’m talking about. I guess that’s a testament to the popularity of the show!

I came across this record in the Goodwill not too long ago and figured I had to pick it up, just for the novelty & nostalgia of it. Wasn’t actually sure what to expect…I didn’t read the liner notes carefully, just grabbed it and put it in the pile. Turns out it’s basically a collection of bits from the show, with Don Adams linking them together (in character, of course) via an unrelated story. Sort of like when they would do those “greatest hits” type shows on sitcoms when the cast would gather together, remember old times, and then play the clips from previous shows. Of course in this case, you get only the audio. It actually works pretty well for most of them…the clips all make sense without the visuals and you can even see how this might have worked as a radio show. Still, I ultimately missed seeing the facial expressions of Adams and the rest of the cast.

So, this one will probably end up on Ebay…not really worth another listen. That’s okay though, it was still fun hearing some of it again.

The Verdict: missed it by that much
My Cost: 99¢

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What Goes Around… (LPs Still Spinning After 60 Years!)

Vinyl LP RecordsRecently came across this video on YouTube. It’s from a couple of years back (2008) and there’s obviously been a slew of attention in the media since that time, given to the “vinyl renaissance”, so already this (oddly) seems a bit out of date. By now it’s fairly common knowledge that LPs, while still a small percentage of the overall music-buying picture, are growing in popularity, while CDs continue to fall. Interesting to think how much has changed though, even since 2008: at one point in the video the interviewer mentions the fact that you don’t exactly see records in a lot of stores, yet in 2011 it seems nearly all of the smaller stores are carrying more vinyl, and some of the bigger chains like Best Buy and FYE have adopted it too.

I love finding stuff in the thrift store, and generally buying used, but I have to admit there is still that thrill of buying a brand-spankin’ new LP…providing, that is, that the sound is good. But that’s a whole other discussion!

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE:
http://youtu.be/tggLYE87Ed0

(No embedding allowed on this particular video, so you’ll have to watch it at YouTube.)

By the way, more thrift finds to come soon…been too busy to update this blog much in the last few months, but there IS more to come!

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Thomas Dolby – The Golden Age of Wireless

Thomas Dolby - The Golden Age of WirelessCame upon this CD in a local thrift awhile back. Immediately noticed it was an early West German pressing and that it was in terrific condition. Autobuy! And of course, the price was right, as it always is in the thrift shops.

I’m not terribly familiar with Thomas Dolby, apart from “She Blinded Me With Science” (which happens to be on The Golden Age of Wireless). Well, I thought I wasn’t familiar anyway…but as soon as I put this CD on, the memories came flooding back and I suddenly remembered owning this one on LP a million years ago (or at least 20). Let me tell you, the mind is a terrible thing to waste. But I digress… It was a real treat to hear these songs again. It’s kind of a shame that Dolby often gets reduced to “Science”, his biggest hit. While it is a great song, listening to the rest of this disc gives further clues to his brilliance: “Airwaves” and “One of Our Submarines” are hauntingly beautiful songs, and alone worth the price of admission. “Radio Silence” has a great, hooky chorus…in fact, everything here is loaded with strong melodies and wonderful songwriting.

The 80s have been unfairly written off by many. People remember the bad keyboard sounds, bad clothes, and bad attitude. But I remember the 80s as a terrific time for music, when melody and creativity were still finding their way into the mainstream.

The Verdict: Yessir!
My Cost: $1.99

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Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition

Mussorgsky - Pictures at an ExhibitionFound this LP of Mussorgsky‘s Pictures at an Exhibition at a Goodwill last week. Honestly, what sealed the deal for me on this record was the cover. Amazing! I do love this piece though. Was skeptical about whether this would be a good rendition, but in fact it sounds very good. This was recorded by the Nord Deutsches Symphony Orchestra conducted by Wilhelm Schuechter. A very nice performance, as colorful as the cover artwork, and the sound quality is really pretty excellent too. This copy does have its share of pops & crackles, but not enough to keep me from enjoying it.

Now I’ll be honest– it was Emerson, Lake & Palmer who first introduced me to this piece of music. I know, the true classical lovers are rolling their eyes now, but it’s the truth and I gotta come clean… Progressive rock was definitely my doorway to classical music and I’m not ashamed to admit it.

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this record today, and it reminded me that classical is best served on vinyl. Sure, I have some nice sounding classical CDs too, but somehow records just bring out the best in a well-recorded piece of classical music: the warm sound of a french horn, the crisp attack of the trumpets and the deep resonance of the cellos and basses. It doesn’t get much better than that.

The Verdict: SCORE!
My Cost: 99¢

I’ll be honest here– it was Emerson, Lake & Palmer who first introduced me to this piece. I know, the true classical lovers are rolling their eyes now, but it’s the truth and I gotta come clean! Progressive rock was definitely my doorway to classical music, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
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Signs of Spring: Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, Steve Winwood, McCartney & Wings, etc…

Wings, Fleetwood Mac, Simon & Garfunkel, Steve Winwood, Kiss, Jethro TullWow…it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. It’s been a busy several weeks. I did, however, manage to get out to the thrifts a few times. Spring is definitely in full swing and it looks like folks are now starting to bring in their LPs by the boatload. Of course a large percentage of them are worth less than nothing, but there are a few gems.

Had this nice score at a thrift shop a few blocks away. It’s a small store, they don’t usually have too much, but that makes it easy to pick through. Actually, I had all but given up on this place– they’ve had pretty much the same records for the last 3 months or more. But on this particular visit I could immediately see that things had changed in the vinyl department: the presence of new LPs was obvious. And amidst some of the usual crap– Neil Diamond, Air Supply, etc., I did manage to find these:

  • Paul McCartney/WingsVenus and Mars
  • Paul McCartney/WingsBand on the Run
  • Fleetwood MacMystery to Me
  • Simon & Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits
  • Steve WinwoodChronicles
  • Kiss - Dynasty
  • Jethro TullHeavy Horses

I actually can’t wait to check out that Kiss LP especially, because the curiosity is killing me. I own no Kiss records or CDs, but I did see them live some years back when they toured with Aerosmith.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to spinning all of these very soon! All of the records look VG+ to NM and I’m gonna call this one a “score” even though I haven’t listened to a single one yet.

The Verdict: SCORE!
My Cost: $3.50 (50¢ each)

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