Since The Monk is on a low budget, the sudden appearance of news on the local freekly website of a record show on Saturday, February 16, 2013 was like being blindsided by a meteorite. I keep my nose close to the ground for the local Asheville Record Swap that is held on an annual basis at the Grey Eagle and sponsored by local ace store Harvest Records. It usually happens in the Fall, but last year saw the time pass by without so much as a peep on the Grey Eagle calendar, in spite of my scrutiny. My Monk-sense® should have been tingling! But this puppy was obviously organized by different hands, due to the more traditional venue of a hotel ballroom, just like shows I attended as a green-horned record collector 20+ years ago.
Unfortunately, growing up in Central Florida meant that it took forever for record shows, not unlike halfway decent rock concerts, to penetrate the Disney Zone. They didn’t start happening there until some time in the early 90s. And even then, if one wanted to attend good record shows, trips to Tampa or Atlanta were a wallet-draining must. The sorts of shows that saw me dumping $400-$500 without breaking a sweat.
The local record shows began six years after I moved to Asheville and the Grey Eagle show was borderline amazing one year and so-so the rest. But the Sound Swap shows at the Grey Eagle at least follow the Ten Commandments of Record Collecting, specifically, commandment number six – thou shalt hold thy Record Show on The Lord’s Day! I have never seen a record show held on a Saturday? Was this some freaky Seventh Day Adventist splinter sect running the action? That brings up another sticky situation. I now work on Saturdays. The show ran from 10-4 but if I got to work early enough, I’d rack up my hours by 2-ish, so that could give me 60-90 minutes of browsing. I didn’t have any money to spend anyway, but I needed to see the caliber of this show as well as show up, lest the organizers not try this again.
By the time I walked in at 3-ish, the admission was forgotten. Good thing too, since the small room was hardly packed with desirable goods. By that time, there looked to be 12-15 dealers still holding out to the bitter end. A cursory glance showed some bins of worthless new/reissue vinyl I’ll never touch at “popular prices.” popular with dealers, that is! I can buy 4-10 CDs I want for $30 if I know where to look! Elsewhere, there was lots of junk vinyl that I can’t believe that dealers bother to schlep around in their vans in these end times.
I am getting really sick of seeing the same Japanese Beatles pressings that no one is going to touch at $40/per. Does anyone buy Beatles records these days? If so… why?!! One dealer had boxes of $1.00 CDs – with my tastes, what I would be happy to buy is often used as music chum to hook bigger spenders. But a glance revealed nothing to buy. Fortunately, the dealer’s ploy worked. In his $10 bins was a copy of “Hardcore DEVO vol. 1!” I didn’t buy that series from Ryko when it came out since I was off the DEVO train [then]. I whipped out the REVO Device, got online, and saw that my hunch was right; this title started sales at the $30 level and went upward. I’ll spend $10 I don’t have for such a title! Better yet, this one sported packaging that was more elaborate to what I was familiar with. A promo variation? No – apparently Ryko issued a deluxe package as well that bled the faithful for a few dollars more and this was it.
DEVO : Hardcore DEVO vol. 1 [deluxe edition] 
- Mechanical Man
- Auto Modown
- Space Girl Blues
- Social Fools
- Soo Bawls
- Jocko Homo
- Golden Energy
- Buttered Beauties
- I’m A Potato
- Stop Look And Listen
Great! Now I finally have “Midget!” I’ve liked that song ever since the “We’re All DEVO” laserdisc. I haven’t listened to this yet since right now I am in the throes of a Siouxsie + The Banshees obsession, and I’ve worked by way up to “Through The Looking Glass.” But we’ll see. I will try to spin this this afternoon on my commute and report back with my findings later.
Like the show I went to in Colombia, SC at their art museum a few years ago, I saw records labelled “Northern Soul” as if Americans knew what that meant. This was illuminated by casual dealer banter bemoaning the lack of British/Japanese record tourists this day who come to the States for shows like these specifically to buy vinyl. Even The Monk visits other places primarily for other reasons first, though I always research the vinyl citadels, of course!
After drifting quickly through the room, I found the goods at one dealer who was heavily salted with Prog. But the 45 bins underneath his CD/LP tables were largely Prog-free. As if one could fit Prog Rock on a 7″ record!! What the bins were filled with were tons of import 7″ delights. Like what, for instance? Glad you asked.
There’s a representative sample in the thumbnails above and many records to love, if not buy. Especially at those clear ’em out prices. Look at that! “All Stood Still” for only $2 more than it would have cost in ’81. It’s the black vinyl version, of course, but still! I don’t think I’d ever seen that US A+M Split Enz cover for “I Hope I Never” before! I quickly sent a snap to a friend who is an Enz collector but of course he had a copy. The Numan was one of the last great Beggars Banquet singles. $8 was pricey for this stock, but have I ever seen a copy of this before? And Begorrah…! Five first issue ZTT Japan FGTH singles for $5 a pop! I can remember a day [before the collapse of civilization] when JPN 7″ers were $12 on a good day and $20-$30 each!! Too bad I didn’t have about $150 to drop on 7″ers I didn’t need, because there was much here to appreciate. But there was a single disc that not only was something I wanted, but it had been on my want list for years!
The League of Gentlemen: Heptaparaparshinokh UK 7″ 
- LOG: Heptaparaparshinokh
- Robert Fripp – Marriagemuzic
I’ve been waiting for years to remaster my vinyl LP of the debut album by Fripp’s New Wave dance combo. The CD of this title has a scant seven tracks taken from the 13 track album and what made the cut was remixed by persnickity Fripp in any case. I’ve long wanted to REVO the title, but without this non-LP B-side [which is a staggering 11:45 long – don’t worry, the disc spins at 33] I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Now I can. All I need is time. Ha! Ha! Ha! [cough!] Ha! HA!
– 30 –
Ultravox and Numan 7″ers would have made my afternoon for sure!
Echorich – There was a nice cache of Ultravox vinyl. I’m not so anal retentive that I “need” black vinyl versions in addition to the clear vinyl versions! “All Stood Still” was a hard single to get, for some reason. The 12″ version was the last I managed to buy second hand and it took years. I didn’t find a copy until the mid-80s.
I’m going to try and make a pilgramage to Amoeba Records while I’m in LA! Hopefully tonight!
chasinvictoria – Say hello to The Man, for me. As in Ron “The Man” Kane, bucko!
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