Sup? Back in December I went out on a Saturday that was about what seemed to be the one millionth day in a row of overcast, no sun, Chicago days… even though really I think it was only the fourth such day in a row. It was one of those cold- but not too cold- but windy- so the cold is actually biting and really fucking cold days. Know what I mean? In other words, it was a great day to purposely leave your gloves at home, regret it later, and record shop off the beaten groove.
I hit up the brown elephant in Andersonville because well, it’s close to where I live. They have a fairly large selection of vinyl in a corner next to CDs and books. After I walked in and moseyed on over to the record section I noticed a Frank Sinatra record sitting out that happens to be an album I do not have from my dad (although I’m not done getting his shit so it might still be in his crates in storage). I thought that was a good omen so I snapped a pic.
I didn’t buy it tho cause the quality was kinda crap. Crap quality was a theme in the vinyl section at Brown Elephant as would be expected at a second hand store. There were several other records I passed up because they looked way too scratched. One of the shelves actually had a bunch of vinyl leaning on each other in a way that it was obvious some were getting warped.
That being said I walked out with 7 records. For the excess of crap quality there were also tons of records actually in great condition. After a simple cleaning they were practically good as new!
So yeah- Seven records for seven bucks. I got Natalie Cole’s “Natalie.” I’ve never heard her before but she looks like she has soul. I got Herb Alpert and the TJB’s “Ninth” and Harry Belafonte’s “An Evening with Belafonte” because I am a fan of both of these artists. The Ferrante and Teicher album I picked up was because this group was used in a Tribe sample and I’ve never heard them. I got a Little River Band record because they are gambling on the front cover, A Giuseppe Sarti Russian Oratorio album because I didn’t want to leave without some weird shit, and a Lettermen album. The Lettermen are an old vocal group my dad likes but we’ve never been able to find any of their records.
Let’s do the math: 7 records divided by 7 bucks equals one record per buck or precisely one buck per record!! Everything’s a buck! Hard to go wrong taking a chance on something new for a buck.
These are some of the artists that I kept seeing: Jack Jones, Andy Williams, Bert Kaempfert, Jerome Kern, Ray Coniff, 101 Strings, Classical music of all shapes and sizes (and lots of box sets), Holly Near, and Barbra Streisand. In addition they did have some Sinatra, Peter Nero, and Herb Alpert (one less thanks to me :)). They also seemed to have a lot of country music although I’m not yet very familiar with the genre so I feel extraordinarily unqualified to say much about the type or quantity.
Anyway, I was there for less that 2 hours and walked out with 7 records that I think were good purchases. In addition, Brown Elephant is the resale shop for an organization called Howard Brown Health. They support education and research and shit like that for the LGBTQ community. So especially hit them up if you’d like to support their cause. I of course don’t give a shit except that I do except that for the purposes of this blog I don’t- I just want to find some cool vinyl. So if you’re offended right now… lighten up!