Record Shopping Road Trip: Charlotte [part 2]

Would Lunchbox be the hit it was in May 2014?

Would Lunchbox be the hit it was in May 2014?

Manifest Discs [continued]

While waiting for Ron, I went through the store with a medium tooth comb. I saw the new FFS album, which I had seen at Harvest Records earlier, but decided that since it was so new, I’d give it a pass. I got the cheap thrill of seeing the new Simple Minds album [“Big Music”] actually in a record store! But all in all, the bins were not what first grabbed my attention a dozen years ago when I first stumbled onto the place. Back then, I was astounded to see deep catalog imports like OMD and Associates DLX RMs [that I didn’t have] there for the picking! Well priced on top of that. Buying the Australian bonus track version of Suede’s “New Morning” couldn’t have happened anywhere else.

laurie anderson - unitedstatesliveUS4xCDA2015 was another story entirely. Not too much in the way of import CD action left. What did astound me was that many catalog domestic CDs were priced at $4.99 and $5.99 [finally!] where they should have been for a generation or more already. This was new to me. But ultimately, I wasn’t moved.  The only other find I made was the Laurie Anderson “United States Live” 4xCD box, right there in the used boxed set aisle endcaps, exactly where I didn’t really expect to see it! My wife loves Laurie Anderson and this was the final piece of her discography missing from the Record Cell. We looked up the set online just a day or two earlier and it was possible to get it used from Amazon dealers, but here it was, in front of me, with a crate full of trade-in records, just two days before my wife’s birthday. You do the math. Better still, the manager told me when cashing in my discs, that the box had only arrived at the store yesterday. Perfect.

Ron arrived as I was checking out and it was time for lunch. He dismissed Manifest without looking at it very closely at all, so we decamped to a nearby Vietnamese restaurant. After five or six visits over the last dozen years or so, Manifest Discs is no longer the must see event it once was. It’s still there, but not really much better than anything local; just bigger. What would the next store hold for us?

Lunchbox Records

teevor jackson - metaldance2UK2xCDAI had previously visited Lunchbox in May or last year. It’s your typical grimy, dark, urban, indie store in a relatively upscale portion of Charlotte. No check-cashing places nearby. We entered and set about looking for things to catch our fancy. The last time that I was there, I bought eight discs; seven of which were very inexpensive used discs. Things I have needed for a long time, such as “Songs To Remember” by Scritti Politti were finally in my grasp for $3 [buy one used get 2nd half price!]… or less! I couldn’t get too worked up over anything that I saw there this day.  Except for the new copy of “Metal Dance 2” in the electronic section!

I had been looking for the latest Yacht album there, and found this puppy instead! I loved vol. 1 so much [though I only paid $1.00 for it] that paying $15.99 for this was not an issue! How often do I pay MSRP for music? Hardly ever. I’m usually buying in at used fire sale or pricey aftermarket costs. The only other disc I got today was a cheap copy of DEVO‘s infamous “Smooth Noodle Maps.” I am finally ready to hear that one, though I’ve avoided it since day one.  The music played at Lunchbox was hardly conducive to shopping there for too long, but I can’t even remember what genre it was now. The dimly lit store also made crate digging a chore. I can’t remember what, if anything, that Ron picked up. He did point out the reissued “Les Vampyrettes” on Grönland Records but at $20.99 I balked. That’s a lot of clams for seven minutes of music. Ron bemoaned the “indie store vibe” at Lunchbox and I saw what he meant. It was all just a little too predictable. We left and made our way to the next store in our record trawl, just a mile or two away.

Next: …Thesis/Antithesis

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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6 Responses to Record Shopping Road Trip: Charlotte [part 2]

  1. JT says:

    Ooooh, you’re not gonna like Smooth Noodle Maps. I’ve had it since it was first released, so I’ve had 25 years to develop affinity for a few of the less offensively uninspired tunes, but it’s easily the worst of Devo’s proper studio records. Easily. (Not counting rarity compilations, live albums, EZ listening, etc etc etc). Really, it’s the only one that I’d consider “bad”, since Shout and Total Devo each do have some worthy moments…. and I like all of their other records a great deal.

    Now, Laurie’s U.S. Live is amazing. Poke around on line, and you will find cheap and plentiful copies of the colorful and oversized paperback book that she released to accompany the record. Since the music was recorded live as part of a multimedia performance that included movement slides, film, etc., but was never actually filmed, the book is a mandatory companion piece to the CDs.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      JT – We actually borrowed the book years ago and found that without the sound/music component, it fell a little flat. We listened to discs 1-3 in the car yesterday to/from Columbia, SC and my wife thought it was like listening to a podcast. Fair enough.

      I thought that the threads that were merely implied on the first two albums were instead part of a much more complex tapestry on USL. It also brought to mind the early works of Firesign Theatre, particularly with the recurring theme of going home being ripped straight from “Waiting For The Electrician Or Someone Like Him.”

      My wife was incredulous that there was no video/film of the event, but hearing your statement won’t go far in soothing hear desire to see the whole event. Alas, unless some amateurs snuck in a portapack rig…


  2. Gavin says:

    Superb haul.I bought the Laurie box on vinyl and the book when they came out-all my friends thought I was so weird spending my pocket money on them! A lifetime of reward for this investment.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Gavin – I find this shocking from one who had “O Superman” sitting at #2 in the charts in their country! I first read about the single in The Village Voice, but it remained until after its British success, and the subsequent contract with Warner Brothers Records, before I finally could buy a copy in my sleepy Central Florida hamlet. I bought the single in late 1981, by which time I was already acquainted with Anderson from the buzz that had been in Artforum magazine all year. One issue even had a flexidisc of “Let X = X” but the college library removed it before circulation. I didn’t buy “United States Live” on vinyl as it was a pricey box at $29.95 if I recall correctly. By the time I saw it used, I was pretty much CD only.


      • Gavin says:

        It was because it was so expensive for a 14/15 year old to buy and all my friends were into less esoteric stuff that it seemed odd.Everyone in the UK knew O Superman but only about 5 people nationwide could name any other releases by her!


        • Echorich says:

          Unless you are a fan in the U.S., no one knows any other song by Laurie Anderson…some might be able to tell you she married Lou Reed, but half of them will tell you they always thought Reed was gay, one or two might remember she performed on Saturday Night Live and “sang” about sperm…


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