A few years ago, Egon, wrote a piece for NPR’s Funk Archeology about picking NYC on $100 a day. He ended up with 5 slices of vinyl for $100 dollars total. I have a deep appreciation for Egon and the artists he has helped to expose, and he is digging a much different level than I am, but I thought on my recent trip across the sparsely populated state of Pennsylvania I would try my own $100 a day challenge.
On my adventure I popped into eight thrift, junk, second-hand and antique stores (which I have mapped out over the years) and 1 private reseller. I have to say it was a much more successful trip than I expected. I ended up with 23 albums, the most I paid was $15 for an LP. Here is what I picked up, they are organized in order of my excitement level:
Townes Van Zandt – High, Low and In Between ($15)
This is an album I did not expect to find – a mint, or any, copy of Townes on Poppy records. I have been looking for Townes for many years and this is the first one I have come across in the wild, and it was almost the one that got away. I dug it out of a second hand store that had most of their records priced, but there were a few boxes underneath a table that did not have prices. Most of the records in the boxes were junk, but this one was stuffed in the middle.
When I brought the record to the counter, the owner was reluctant to sell it to be because it was not priced and might go for a lot on eBay. Most of the records were between $5-$8 and I had a little pile of other things (listed below), so I offered $15 for the record and with a little negotiation the owner agreed. I was super pumped. The thought of leaving this one behind was heartbreaking.
Television – Marquee Moon ($3)
A classic, master piece. A few years ago I gave up hope that I would find a reasonably priced original and purchased a used copy of the 4MenWithBeard’s re-issue. Today, that all changed. This is a beauty.
Television – Adventure ($3)
Right next to Marquee Moon, was this prefect copy of Adventure. Finding this style of music at discount prices is rarely achievable these days. It was a bit of luck.
Miles Davis – Tribute to Jack Johnson ($5)
I don’t know an tremendous amount about jazz, especially beyond the icons. This Miles record is very accessible to rock n’ roll converts. John McLaughlin, rips away on the electric guitar throughout the 1st (and only) track on side one, and too my knowledge it is the only album that has rock tones.
Bloomsbury People ($10)
This is an album I took a chance on. I thought I recognized the cover, but could not remember it was for good reasons or bad reasons. I liked the psych feel and have had luck finding psych folk bands on the blue swirl MGM label, so I rolled the dice. The band was from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The most notable person in the band is Sigmund Snopek III, who later when on to be a sideman and member of the Violent Femmes.
From the first listen, I’m very happy with the purchase. The album has range, it is difficult to place it in a single category.
Gil Scott-Heron – Pieces of a Man ($5)
This is a great album. Everyone knows it. I’m glad I have it in my collection.
Here Comes Shuggie Otis ($5)
Shuggie is a master blues-funk guitarist, and this was the only LP of his I was missing from the collection. His father Johnny wrote many of the tracks and played on several backing instruments. Shuggie was 15 when this was recorded.
Kenny Burrell & Art Blakey – Live at the Five Spot ($5)
This is a nice combination. The guitar of Burrell and the drums of Blakey. This is a nice copy on Blue Note.
Art Blakey – Buhaina ($5)
Blakey is an icon of jazz. I have been aware of his name for a long time, but never spent a significant amount of time with his work. I hope to continue to add Blakey records to my collection. His drumming is amazing.
Hawkwind – Hall of the Mountain Grill ($10)
The last album with Lemmy Killmister, and the influence is apparent. Up until this point, I did not have any Hawkwind on vinyl.
Hawkwind – Warrior on the Edge of Time ($7)
The Warrior album is a solid album full of space rock jams, it did not receive a great critical review and Lemmy had left the band, but I still think it is a solid effort.
Earth Opera ($5)
I did not know this band, but knew the a few of the members – Peter Rowan and David Grisman. I’m a fan of both, and appreciate their solo work. All of the songs are written by Rowan. I’m expecting a progressive bluegrass – psych folk rock style, but can’t wait to sit down and listen to this record. Both men are mighty young in the photos.
Box Tops – The Letter/Neon Rainbow ($1)
This is Alex Chilton’s first album with the Box Tops, unfortunately none of his work is part of the album and most of the material was recorded by session musicians.
Miles Davis – Water Babies ($7)
This material was recorded in 1967-68, but unreleased until 1976 when it was compiled on Water Babies. It features some jazz greats, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Ron Carter.
Tom Verlaine – Dreamtime ($3)
This is Tom’s second solo album after Television collapsed. Good stuff.
Lee Michaels ($1)
I’ve been slowly picking up LPs sampled by the Dust Brothers on Beck’s Odelay. (Don’t Want No) Woman is sampled in Hotwax and Novacane.
Herbie Hancock – The Prisoner ($2)
This is an early Hancock on Blue Note. That is all I know about this record.
I picked up the following on a whim. They are interesting to me for one reason or another. Most were pretty cheap and I’m sure they will not all stay in the collection.
The cover is interesting, but the record is rough shape. I thought it would be border-line 70’s soft country rock, but took a chance that it could be more interesting. The track “Funky Business” gave me hope.
It turns out, this band was once the The Robbs, the house band for Dick Clark.
Batdorf & Rodney ($1)
This looked interesting because of the long haired rockers on the back and Asylum label. I don’t have too high hopes for the record overall.
Bobby Bridger ($1)
A folk rock gamble. The inclusion of a 12-string guitar, acoustic guitar and steel guitar intrigued me. This was recorded in Nashville in 1972.
Balcones Fault ($1)
This is another record in which I was interested in the instruments, congas, guitar, drums, sax, trumpet, keyboards…. It was also released on Cream Records, which I’m not too familiar with. My only concern it was released in 1977, I’m afraid it might be too disco-y.
Woody’s Truck Stop ($2)
Todd Rundgren was in this band early on, but is not on this release. It is blues-rock and just OK. The record was released on Smash Records.
Dog Soilder ($2)
The cover was interesting, and I’m somewhat familiar with Keef Hartley. Expecting some OK blues rock.