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.
2015 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?
I 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.