Friday, October 26, 2007

Thrift Store Adventures: October 26, 2007: Hermiston, Oregon

I visited Hermiston, Oregon, which is a short drive from here. One thrift store, and that's it. I come into Hermiston a few times a year and sometimes the selection is embarrassing. Lots of gospel records that I have no time for, and pop that I wouldn't want to hear.

I went in this particular morning and saw only one album, a still sealed gospel record from Eugene, Oregon. I would have been happy with that. I then started to see some familiar names. One jazz album. Then two, maybe three. I looked at the other section and as a collector, you can determine if a record is good or not just by looking at the upper edge. I saw a lot of Capitol albums, but I kept on looking and had 20 albums in my pile. This would be my limit, but I only went through one of three rows of records. I eventually lost count and I would pay for the damages later.

The damage:

Badfinger-s/t (Warner Bros.; 1974)
The Believers-Get All Excited...Because He Lives! (Doxa; 1974)
Louie Bellson-Side Track (Concord Jazz; 1981)
Elmer Bernstein-Staccato (soundtrack) (Capitol)
Biddu & The Orchestra-Eastern Man (Epic; 1977)
The Brass Explosion Orchestra and Chorus-Nineteen Seventy Two's Greatest Hits (Longines Symphonette Society: 1973)
The Dave Brubeck Quartet-Time Out (Columbia)
Donald Byrd-Takin' Care Of Business (TCB)
Jackie Cain & Roy Kral-A Wilder Alias (CTI; 1974)
The Serge Chaloff Sextet-Boston Blow-Up! (Capitol; 1955)
Ray Charles-A Portrait Of Ray (ABC/Tangerine)
Jackie Davis-Jumpin' Jackie (Capitol)
Jackie Davis-Big Beat Hammond (Capitol)
Bill Doggett-Soft (King)
Jackie Gleason-The Now Sound...For Today's Lovers (Capitol)
Groove Holmes-Hunk-A-Funk (Groove Merchant; 1975)
Jonah Jones/Glen Gray-s/t (Capitol)
Henry Mancini-Mancini's Angels (RCA; 1977)
Herbie Mann-Memphis Underground (Atlantic, 1969)
Shelly Manne & His Men-Checkmate (Contemporary; wrong LP)
Jimmy McGriff-Soul Organ (Quintessence Jazz Series/Pickwick; 1978)
Wes Montgomery-Goin' Out Of My Head (Verve; 1966)
Tony Mottola-Roma Oggi (Project 3; 1968)
Red Nichols-Hot Pennies (Capitol)
Red Norvo-VIbe-Rations (Liberty; 1956)
Johnny Oahu & His Orchestra-Hawaiian Magic (International Award Series)
Chico O'Farrill & His Orchestra-Torrid Zone (Columbia)
Joe Pass-A Sign Of The Times (World Pacific)
Passport-Cross-Collateral (Atco; 1975)
Bud Powell-s/t (Quintessence Jazz Series/Pickwick; 1979)
Nelson Riddle-Cole Porter's Can-Can (soundtrack) (Capitol)
The Howard Roberts Quartet-Whatever's Fair! (Capitol)
Howard Roberts-Spinning Wheel (Capitol)
David Shire-The Promise (soundtrack) (MCA; 1978)
Jimmy Smith-Off The Top (Elektra Musician; 1982)
Gabor Szabo & The California Dreamers-Wind Sky and Diamonds (Impulse; 1968)
Jack Teagarden-Shades Of Night (Capitol)
Richard Tee-Strokin' (Tappan Zee/Columbia; 1979)
Johnny Ukulele-s/t (Capitol)
Earl Hines//Teddy Wilson/Clark Terry Quintet-Europa Jazz (Europa Jazz; 1982)
Various Artists-Great Songs Of Bacharach & David (Quadraphonic) (Capitol Special Markets; 1972)
Various Artists-!Wild! Stereo Drums (Capitol)

At one dollar each, I made it out by only spending $42, w/o tax (since Oregon is tax free). I did find a country/rock 45 on the Hot Poop label, created by the great Walla Walla record store of the same name, so in total I spent $42.25.

I had a chance to listen to most of the albums, and for the most part they sound great. Two of the albums (Badfinger and Bill Doggett) had slight warps. I can do without the Badfinger, the Doggett album (featuring some decent Hammond B-3 jazz fare ) isn't too bad so I'll find a way to unwarp it and make it a keeper.

I'll have some MP3 samples very soon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Thrift Store Adventures: October 17, 2006, Kennewick, Washington

Today's trip? The Goodwill in Kennewick. This is the same Goodwill that had a Ruben Studdard CD in the racks. I didn't expect to find anything, but did take home one album.

The Music Of Saint Catherines Church (Kapa'a, Kauai, Hawai'i)-Hawaiian Madonna (Coco Palms LPS-1279)
I was more surprised to see an album named Hawaiian Madonna here, and that's why I bought it. It's a church record, an on-the-spot location recording of people singing various songs. The one song I liked was "What Aloha Means", and what struck me was not just the sentiment of the Hawaiian people and our spirit for life, but the vocal harmonies, particularly the male voice that you hear in front of everyone else's. Is this the Larry Rivera credited on the cover? Why I like it so much is that his melody sounds a lot like how my grandfather used to sing when he did harmonies. Anytime he would come over for parties and it was time for kanikapila, he would bust out his 'ukulele or simple sing. I could never understand how he did it, and in his final years when he was still healthy enough to sing, the harmonies were still strong. It's very "old style" Hawai'i, something you don't hear too much of unless you know where to go.

Saint Catherine's Church Choir, Kapa'a, Kaua'i, Hawai'i - What Aloha Means (1mb)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Thrift Store Adventures: October 11, 2007, Pasco, Washington

You read that right, Thrift Store Adventures. The withdrawals are over!

Just a quick list as I haven't listened to all of them in full.:

Fania All-Stars-Spanish Fever (Columbia JC 35336)
This was almost a let down, as the first side is disco-ized Fania. Nothing against disco, because there's a lot of disco that's good, but upon first listen I wasn't impressed. For the goods you have to flip it to Side 2. Sexy ladies on the front and back cover. Silver pants and no panty line: BOO-YAA!

Fania All-Stars - Te Pareces A Juda (4.82mb)

Freddie Hubbard-Bundle Of Joy (Columbia KC 34902)
Like the Fania album, this Hubbard LP was a white label promo. Old radio station stock? Record store stash? Don't know, but I bought it blindly. The album came out in 1977, and in his case it wasn't about disco (*phew*) but the quiet storm. Lush productions and arrangements. Surprise surprise, a smoothed out jazz album WITHOUT Bob James. A miracle.

Freddie Hubbard - Rainy Day Song (5.4mb)

Harvey Mandel-Cristo Redentor (Philips PHS 600-281)
I about freaked when I saw this album. I had seen Mandel's name many times on other albums, and didn't know he had albums of his own (never looked to find out). The album cover is very psychedelic, and true to Mandel's work, it's heavy on the blues. Yes, it's also blues on the heavy.

The album features such friends as Steve Miller, Pete Drake, Charlie Musselwhite, Graham Bond, Nick De Caro, and many more. This is one that I think I'll enjoy a lot.

Harvey Mandel (featuring Charlie Musselwhite) - The Lark (6.29mb)

Silver Burdett-Music (Grades 7 and 8) (sample) (Silver Burdett P 16412)
Silver Burdett-Music: Centennial Edition (sample recording/Grades K-6) (Silver Burdett P 17925)
Silver Burdett-Music: Centennial Edition (sample recording/Grades 6-8) (Silver Burdett P 17926)

Silver Burdett were a company that produced a wide range of records for educational purposes. I became aware of them a few years ago when I was at a local school auction and won a literal heap of audio and visual goodies, including a number of 7" EP's produced by Silver Burdett. Eventually I found another album with some interesting sounds. Yet again, one thrift store had a full educational kit, where an album, instructional papers, and a guide were enclosed in a plastic suitcase, not unlike the infamous CTI promotional suitcase made infamous by Biz Markie.

So what are on these records? Various excerpts of a wide range of music, which help teach young students about what to look for in music, what makes them interesting, and how to make music themselves. One of the albums I picked up is still sealed, I may open it and then again I might now.

Most of it is classical in nature or features vocal choirs, but as someone who always looks for interesting sounds, I'm willing to take chances. I've already found a sample worth using. Stay tuned.

The Silver Sound - Introduction To Silver Burdett Music (8.99mb)
The Merrill Staton Voices - Music Makes My Day Seem Right (3.18mb)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thrift Store Archives: Animated Egg/Jiminy Cricket/Leo Teel & His Teel Billies

First off, I'm sure a few of you are saying "okay, you promised to upload one new song a day throughout September, and you failed to do so." Okay, I missed a day, so for today you have THREE, count 'em, 'EKOLU songs for you to download and listen to. I will continue with more music, and I'll update them on a regular basis.

Also, there will be brand new Thrift Store Adventures coming up very soon, so please stay tuned for more stories and audio along with it. Let's begin:

Animated Egg-I Said, She Said, Ah Cid (2.97mb)
Far out, dude. I became a fan of the 101 Strings when I read an article about them in a great fanzine from the early 90's called Breakfast Without Meat, written by Gregg Turkington. In it he spoke of always being able to find 101 Strings albums at thrift stores, yard and garage sales. I too had seem them but ignored them because it wasn't what I would listen to on a regular basis, with album upon album upon album of classical schmaltz. Turkington would not only buy the junk, but also discover some of the oddities of the 101 Strings catalog. By association, he would also purchase some of the albums on the same labels (Somerset and Alshire) and discovered something. In time, the 101 Strings would move from releasing classical records and recording "adult" cover versions of pop songs to doing weird, trippy hippie stuff, especially in the late 70's. How does a full orchestra end up doing songs about peace, love, and weed? Well, they didn't.

Enter the Animated Egg. The name itself seems fitting in the era of "Incense And Peppermints", and this band released an album of far-out instrumentals for grooving and loving. "I Said, She Said, Ah Cid" may sound Beatlesque but the truth is the title refers to acid. WOW, FAR OUT!!! To be honest, the album is not bad, probably from a bunch of unknown studio musicians in L.A., although knowing how session musicians worked back then, maybe they were well known after all.

The story would have stopped there if it wasn't for the fact that the album would be repackaged, renamed, and resold as a 101 Strings record, the infamous Astro Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000. While the 101 Strings were far from being "holy grail" material, that album would become the hardest 101 Strings record to find. Meanwhile, the Animated Egg album collected dust in bins across the nation, without anyone realizing both albums were one and the same. Blame it on Al Sherman, the man behind Alshire Records and the guy who actually purchased the rights to the 101 Strings name and recordings.

As for the previously mentioned Turkington, he made a 45 under the name The Easy Goings and would press up the 45's at Alshire, the same company responsible for, that's right, Animated Egg. Far out.

Jiminy Cricket - The Cannibal Song (3.51mb)
When I found this record, someone e-mailed me and said "you have to upload The Cannibal Song, I haven't heard that since I was a kid." Here it is, a Disney character talking about eating people. Nice.

Leo Teel And His Teel Billies - Fertilizer (3.27mb)
This record and I go way back, as it was a record I had found at a pawn shop when I would skip class in high school. I was fed up with school and would spend hours looking for records. To this day, my mom has not seen my report carts from my senior year. I was stubborn, basically.

This was a random 45 on Decca that I had found, and I probably bought it because I thought the name "Leo Teel & His Teel Billies" was funny. I was also in radio/TV production class at the time (the one class I did go to daily), and that involved being a radio DJ heard around town. While the format of the station was (at the time) heavy metal, the only time I could play anything else was during April Fool's. I played it, and some of my friends came up to me and said "what was that record, that was great?" Years later when I was a news producer, a lady who worked with me said she remembered me from my radio show and also remembered "Fertilizer". She asked if I still had the record, and of course I certainly did.

A few years ago I received an e-mail from one Leo Teel, who said he was proud to know that someone still remembered him. He said he wanted to do an interview, and when I told him I'd be more than happy to, I never heard from him again. So Mr. Teel, if you are still around and this webpage somehow gets to you, please e-mail me as I am very interested in speaking with you about this record.