Collecting: Record Raid in New Orleans

Record Raid New Orleans is New Orleans biggest and best record show!  If you are an experienced record collector or you just bought your first turntable, this event is for you.

Record Raid will be held on January 21 from 11-5 at People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). There will be 40 tables of records being sold by 26 vendors. If you want to ensure you get the good stuff, you can pay $5 for early entry at 10 am.  At 11am, entry is free!

While the main reason for going is records, there will be a DJ spinning the entire time. You can come just check out some records, listen to some great music, and make new friends.

If you are planning on buying make sure you bring cash.  Some vendors use square, but not all. Also, you might want to bring your own bag as records can get quite heavy.  We always say we aren’t going to spend much money, and we always end up bring home a much larger haul than planned.

Unboxing: Sufjan Stevens and The Replacements

It’s another video where I ramble on about some of my favorite albums.  And yes, I already own these albums on vinyl.  I’m a collector not a horder!

Go to our YouTube channel to check out more videos from us!

Vinyl Collecting: Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello

Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Imperial Bedroom by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

Back on during U2’s Pop tour, I headed to the Superdome to see the show. The most exciting thing about that show is that I remember I bought an Elvis Costello’s greatest hits cd from Tower Records. U2 seemed tired, but Elvis in the car sounded young and full of life. I think I purchased his entire catalog in the next year.

While there was a period where Elvis could do no wrong, Imperial Bedroom is Costello at the height of his powers. I listened to the CD constantly. Years later, on Record Store Day, I found a used copy at Peaches for $7 which makes this the best deal I ever got there.

There is nothing special about this particular physical record.   It’s a standard release not the hi-fi one. The lyrics are on the sleeve. After a good wash, it sounded great like most records do after a good clean. However, the medium isn’t the message with this one.

It was produced by Geoff Emerick who was a an engineer on Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road. Of course, he worked with other artists, but when you are partially responsible for the sound of Beatles albums people are going to know you about that. He’s perfect for this album because Costello seems to be trying to break free from his early near perfect sound that he made with Nick Lowe. He’s ideas need fuller arrangements.

At the time I was impressed with how many words Costello could get into a song. The Replacements, my all time favorite band, always got to the point and when they were poetic they still employed an economy of words. Robert Smith of the Cure could write tons of lyrics but those songs seemed to be above five minutes. Costello seemed to figure it out without sacrificing the length of a pop song. The lyric that caught my attention was “so called gentlemen and ladies dog fight like rose and thistle” on Beyond Belief. At first I thought he was just explaining a fight he had with a lover or a fight he saw between lovers. Then my history degree kicked and I wondered if he was talking about the War of the Roses. Then I stopped trying to analyze and just enjoyed the sound of the words.

Listening to it today, it amazes me how much music is actually on this album. Each song neither seems long or short, but after about the fourth song on side 1, I kept thinking it was time to switch the side. That might say more about other artists, or I might say that Costello was full of ideas, great ideas, and needed to get them all out.

Vinyl Collecting: Crate Digging or Why I Collect Vinyl

2013 Record Store Day Haul.  Spooky insisted in being in the picture.

2013 Record Store Day Haul. Spooky insisted in being in the picture.

It sounds better.  It has more warmth.  Life is full of surface noise.  The artwork is better.  It is how music should be heard!

Those are the arguments usually made by people who collect vinyl.  The first two are hard to prove.  Yes, life is full of surface noise but sometimes that noise is annoying. Of course, vinyl artwork is better…you can actually see it.  To get to the point of this article, it is how I prefer to listen to music.

I just started collecting vinyl last Record Store Day.   I started collecting vinyl to listen to it.  I do not see the point in collecting a vinyl LP that I will not ever play. I will be collecting many records that I already own digitally or could easily find on Spotify.

So why collect vinyl?

The best answer I have is that I just enjoy it.  Often when I listen to digital music, which is the way I listen to most music, I am doing something else.  I am working, cleaning, studying, or reading.  When I listen to vinyl that is usually all I am doing.  I may be looking at the artwork, reading the liner notes, and studying the lyrics but that is still focusing on the music. I feel I am giving the attention to the music that it deserves.  This also explains why I buy a lot of music I have already heard.  A lot vinyl lovers hate on digital and subscriber services.  To me they are invaluable as there is no way I would have heard Sufjan Stevens, The National, Vampire Weekend, or Deafheaven without it.  Moreover, I would not be searching for their vinyl without it.

My goal is to buy mostly first releases.   This will mean mostly used albums. I love to crate dig.  Finding a near mint copy of Darkness on the Edge of Town between Andy Williams albums in Elegant Endeavors in Panama City, Florida gives me a thrill.  The prize of my collection is “Heroes” by David Bowie that I found in the used area of The Mushroom in New Orleans.  The look of jealousy by the clerk is probably what hooked me into collecting vinyl.  I do buy some new vinyl, but those are usually by new artists.  180-gram vinyl is very expensive which means I need to be very judicious in what I buy.   A reissue such as Closer by Joy Division is an exception to the rule.

We even like old Disney stuff.  Of course, if you know us or read this blog regularly, that's not surprising.

We even like old Disney stuff. Of course, if you know us or read this blog regularly, that’s not surprising.

What artists do I look for?  Well, the Cure, the Replacements, and David Bowie are the first three I look for in both the new and used bins.  However, if I find a good used copy of Led Zeppelin IV I will buy it.

Found this EP at the Space City Con in Galveston at the Galveston Bookstore Table.

Found this EP at the Space City Con in Galveston at the Galveston Bookstore Table. Went over and found a couple of nice albums including The Glove’s Blue Sunshine which was a side project of The Cure’s Robert Smith.

In addition, because this can be quite addictive, I am on a tight budget.  I am usually the kind of person that has buyer’s remorse over everything.  Yet, with vinyl, it is slightly different. Almost every place that sells records is a small business.  I have no problem helping them out.

Goodwill and garage sales are great places to buy vinyl.

Goodwill and garage sales are great places to buy vinyl. They are usually cheaper than true market value.

So, if you follow this blog and we talk about an upcoming trip, let us know if you know of any good record stores in the area.  If you are out an about in the New Orleans area and you see a stack of old records that look interesting, leave us a comment!