Record Shopping Road trip: Research Triangle, North Carolina [Part 2]

[continued from last post]

fingerprintz - beatnoirGERLPANow that’s more Like it! There was another guy there who scored a copy of “Nunsexmonkrock” for eight bits! I told the guy he was in for a real ride for his dollar. I also saw that “Fingerprintz” album and it was a beacon telling me “it’s worth looking in these bins.” And how! Not only did they have a copy of “Beat Noir” there for sale, they had multiple copies of it and the band’s debut; “The Very Dab.” While I had a copy of “The Very Dab” on my Record Cell, I also had two copies, as elaborated on recently, of “Beat Noir.” I had my original US Stuff/America pressing with eight tracks, and I had the second UK pressing with ten tracks, including the ones they lopped off of the US release for reasons unknown. They must have had 3-5 copies of “Beat Noir” in these dollar bins, and when I found the German 1st pressing with the four tracks removed from both the US and 2nd UK pressing I could barely believe my widened eyes. Now here was an album that [if asked to] I would have paid up to $20 for, easily, yet it was languishing in the dollar bin at a store who would try to sell me a Mars Volta album [“Francis The Mute,” by the way] for $150 that I wouldn’t pay two bits for [though the cover wasn’t bad]. For whatever reason, Triangle Vinyl was turning out to be a most paradoxical store.

motors - love+lonelinessUK10AYThat was not the only thing to tempt me in the bins, but when a high-value piece from the top of the want list pops up for chump change, it behooves one to keep digging until gold is struck once more. And in my case, that was literal as I found one of the finest records that I didn’t have in the Record Cell, “The Motors” yellow vinyl 10” single of “Love + Loneliness!” I had the US 7” of this title [with PS!] but this was a major score for me. I had always wondered if the song had been extended at all in this large format [albeit with large pic-labels] variant, but even if it hadn’t, the classic song and Neville Brody sleeve design would be more than enough reason to part with eight bits. That was all that I found that afternoon, but three great records for <$20 was plenty of bounty and I will be eager to see the churn rate in their “dollar dungeon” the next time I visit Mebane, NC to see my friend’s shop three doors up Clay Street.

CFBG Records | Greensboro

Small, but packed with goodness

Small, but packed with goodness

After leaving Mebane, we continued Westward towards home and our next destination. My wife and I had wanted to see a film in town before the weekend, but the theater swapped the time on the last show day and we missed the chance. We saw that it was till playing in Greensboro, North Carolina, which we would pass though on the way home from our Raleigh trip. My wife suggested looking for records while we were there before the movie showtime and two shops looked promising. We found our way to the first: CFBG Records easily enough. That stood for the Center For Better Grooves and it was a sublet shop inside a hookah store. Once we realized that, we stopped and went inside. I saw two gents leaving as I entered he small store. One was packing vintage copies of “Musician” magazine with… Hall + Oates on the cover? You don’t see that every day. I looked at the stock and was quickly rewarded with exciting glimpses of records that were very near and dear to my heart!

sister   nowave   ginaxaustra   polaroids

As usual, I began looking in the “S” section, and saw some great Simple Minds releases like “The American” 12” or “Sister Feelings Call.” This confirmed that I was likely to leave here toting something, but what would it turn out to be? I saw the holy A+M “No Wave” sampler which chasinvictoria owns in more copy variants than I can name. Moving backward in the alphabet revealed Japan’s “sublime “Gentlemen Take Polaroids” album, the hyper-rare Austra/GinaX “Mayan Drums” RSD 12” [which I had gotten on the day of release locally], and a pair of John Foxx 12” singles from “The Golden Section.” “Endlessly [ver. 2]” and “”Your Dress.” This was like being carpet-bombed by my favorite records, but as of yet, nothing that I needed to buy! I should point out that the prices here were appealingly modest. Even the [rare] new vinyl that was on sale steered widely clear of the $50-150 price zone that had offended me in Mebane.

polyrock - abovethefruitedplainUSEPAI then moved forward and struck paydirt in the “P” section. There I saw the Polyrock EP of 1982, “Above The Fruited Plain.” Whoever had sold the record earlier had put a sticker on it proclaiming Philip Glass’ name and a price that had been stuck over with the now lower price that CFBG was selling it for. And that day being July 4th, the owner had advertised special discounts that were duly applied to my purchase. I left there satisfied by the acquisition of exactly the sort of record that I had missed contemporaneously, but which had become like catnip to me in the last twenty years.

We then left for the second store, only to find that the slackers were closed for the fourth of July! So with that we ate dinner and headed for the movie theatre and our showing of “The Lobster;” a film which left a very bleak stain on our minds indeed. Suffice to say that I will be avoiding all films by Yorgos Lanthimos going forward as I have from David Fincher after seeing his equally nihilistic [but even more facile] “Se7en” many years ago. Even so, we managed to hit three stores in areas where we rarely shop for vinyl and came back with a very pleasing blend of wants and discoveries. The one sinister note of foreboding in this otherwise happy day’s music shopping? Every store I went into had ONLY VINYL. No compact discs at all were in evidence, so this was a day’s shopping with the Wayback Machine® set for about 1982. On one level, fine. Records I liked from a “golden era” are pleasing. On another… it was profoundly disturbing to me that music in my preferred format was nowhere in sight. As if 34 years of progress had simply been erased from reality! [cue stinger]

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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12 Responses to Record Shopping Road trip: Research Triangle, North Carolina [Part 2]

  1. Echorich says:

    That Motors EP is one of my favorite records, not just for the magnificent song, but the cover art and size. It just stands out as a New Wave classic on all levels.
    The Polyrock EP is pretty much required listening as far as I’m concerned. It’s actually the first release without Glass’s involvement, but it’s still great music.
    As for the rise of “New Vinyl”, it is for Millennials and those trend following audiophiles of our generation to spend their hard earned dollars on. I will manage fine without it.

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  2. Jon says:

    I don’t get the resurgence of vinyl, but then again, I grew up when vinyl was probably at its thinnest point in the eighties and nice inner sleeves had long been ditched (except for imports–some of those still had great inner sleeves). Also, I’d been more of a 7″ and 12″ single fan rather than an album one. It’s a crazy world to me when vinyl is twice as expensive as a new CD, but I’ll take it since I’d rather have the CD.

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Jon – I’m glad to hear that I’m not the only one who feels the world is spinning backwards in regards to vinyl. As someone who relies on the used market extensively, buying a used CD is infinitely better than the gamble of buying used vinyl! But I imagine that it will be a bubble, that like all such bubbles, will eventually burst. Leaving misery in its wake. At the very least, an LP takes up over three times the area of a CD. A fact not lost on our Japanese friends who still buy the CDs.

      I remember how exciting it was to anticipate the ultra-scientific CD and bid a hasty farewell to the archaic vinyl sound carrier: always so fussy and fragile. I gape in disbelief at its resurgence. It still feels like I’m in a [bad] dream and one day will wake up to find no one wanting vinyl.

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      • Echorich says:

        I agree with everything you posit here Monk, but I must admit, it was hard for me to give up my vinyl “fetish” for quite a long time. To this day I can name quite a few albums which have never sounded right on CD, but were rich and satisfying on vinyl – I’ll give you two here – David Sylvian’s – Gone To Earth and New Order’s Substance. Both had VERY thin top end and the open spaces on the Sylvian opus was full of white noise.

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        • postpunkmonk says:

          Echorich – I can only name two CDs that I found inferior to the vinyl. The first was the initial US CD of “In The Court Of The Crimson King” which was mastered from tapes so shoddy, they might have been 12th gen dupes used for Portuguese pressings of the LP (and not mastered for CD at all). What I heard was so horrible, it made my ca. 1978 US budget line LP pressing sound miraculously good. Really, it was like a perfect digital recording of every flaw on whatever mastering source they grabbed. My friend Tom had bought that in 1985 and I shied away from that album on CD until a first-gen master finally was found in 2005. My copy is the 40th Anniversary 2009 Steven Wilson mix. The DVD with that not only has the 2005 “original” mastering but the album in 5.1 as well. Best of all, Fripp decided to edit the interminable “Moonchild” improv originally undertaken due to lack of material [i.e. filler] down to a manageable length, addressing my biggest beef with this album. The uncut 12 minute track was relegated to bonus track status.

          The other recording I have that pales on CD next to vinyl is the Wall Of Voodoo EP from 1980. The Ryko sounds so damned thin in comparison. The 12″ could flatten walls with that looped, grinding organ riff on “Ring Of Fire.”

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          • SimonH says:

            Love reading your record shopping posts but have to chime in on the vinyl resurgence issue. I get the appeal of the artwork etc, but find it pretty tiresome to always be asked at my local record shop, whether I want the vinyl? No! A survey was published here in the U.K. that apparently showed a majority of vinyl buyers either didn’t have a turntable or just never played their purchases anyway. I look at Japan with envy! In the end I guess the margins are saving record stores so that’s a good thing, but give me a decently mastered cd any day.
            On the subject of Polyrock, totally missed them at the time, but was lucky to pick up the two cd reissues and love them.

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  3. James Pagan says:

    Greetings, Post-Punk Monk! I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite a while now. I was delighted to read that you visited the Center for Better Grooves. I actually sold to the store some of those discs that made you feel “carpet-bombed by [your] favorite records”: Japan’s “Gentlemen Take Polaroids,” Simple Minds’ “Sister Feelings Call” and “The American” 12-inch, and the two John Foxx 12-inchers. “Polaroids” remains my all-time favorite album cover, and I adore the design of the Foxx sleeves. I sold the vinyl last summer, and I’m sorry to learn that no customer has given the records a new home. I have all that music on CD, and love it as much now as I did way back when.

    Cordially,

    James Pagan

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      James Pagan – Welcome to the comments! Wow! So all of that vinyl goodness had a single source? Not surprising, in retrospect! For what it’s worth, you should know that I almost purchased “Polaroids” due to having stupidly traded in the LP of mine when I bought the CD about 30 years ago! I should have capitulated on principle! Especially since the CD has the [slightly] different cover. And thanks for being cordial!

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