Record Shopping Road Trip: Atlanta, October 2018 – Day 2

Criminal Records is always worth a trawl!

[…continued from last post]

So the plan was that the wives of Mr. Ware and I had scheduled high tea at Tipple + Rose, an Atlanta tearoom for Sunday at noon. This left the gentlemen to their own devices, so I reasoned that this would be ideal record shopping time. While Mr. Ware and I have last shopped together in Atlanta on the occasion of chasinvictoria’s 50th celebration in 2012, Echorich did not really have a background in the classic Atlanta record stores. So I felt it cogent that we go to Wax ‘N Facts in Little Five Points. And when you go there, you’d be crazy not to also shop in Criminal Records just around the corner from the iconic Danny Beard store. The beauty of the lodgings we secures was that all three parties were no more than a mile or two away from each other.

Our M.O. was to swing by and pick up Echorich in the morning hours and we’d head to The Ware compound a few minutes away. On Sunday we did this and the ladies took off for high tea. The Ware compound, ideally, was situated on the corners of Sinclair Ave. NE and Seminole Ave NE, so Little Five Points was a 200 yard stroll away. We didn’t have to duke it out for parking in the hotly contested lot of the hipster magnet that was Little Five Points. We went to Wax ‘N Facts first but since it was only barely noon, the store wasn’t quite open for business. You know how it is in the record store biz! Showbiz hours. We tried Criminal Records instead.

Criminal Records | Atlanta, GA

We entered the large, well-lit store and Mr. Ware and I took pains to immediately point out the record we had seen there the last time we were there together. On the high wall behind the checkout was a sacred copy of the US only compilation, “Themes For Great Cities” by Simple Minds as signed by Jim and Charlie. Possibly on their last visit to the city in 1994, I’m venturing to guess. Any store with such a curated object placed so prominently undoubtedly had taste to spare!

All of that vinyl in the foreground is the new stuff… untouched by Ye Olde Monk

Criminal Records also had comic books, Blu-Rays and tchatkes. We ignored those. The three of us went right for the 12″ used vinyl in the back of the store. Which looked to be about half the size of the last visit I made there in 2013 while seeing Sparks in the Variety Playhouse just down the street. Gulp. We trolled through the old vinyl without seeing too much to quicken the pulse. But as I check my records [thank goodness for those!] I see that I have never bought any 12″ vinyl in the store. No, my purchases were relegated strictly to CD and …DVD! So I guess I can’t complain about shrinking 12″ used vinyl stock today. Thought I did appreciate seeing the Icehouse records that I already had.

A great want list item I have never seen

After about a half an hour, we moved to the CDs and I quickly struck pay dirt! Laying out of alphabetized order was a copy of the second, buried treasure album by The Photos of “Crystal Tips + Mighty Mice!” Cherry Red issued this in 2008 following the success of reissuing their eponymous debut, and only released album. This was the followup [produced by Tony Visconti] that was shelved until Cherry Red licensed it from whoever owns CBS now. And at a healthy $4.97 price, it could not be beat. Mr. Ware saw the next item to catch our eye.

The US CD of “Walk Between Worlds”

He and I already had the DLX UK edition with the hardback cover book and three bonus tracks, so it was only of academic interest, but Echorich just had the DL and with albums he really favors, of course he prefers to have a hard copy, so that went home with him for only $2.97. I next saw the new Tracey Thorn CD and pulled it before deciding to put it back. I only have the first three Everything But The Girl albums and then I went off of the band during their MOR and dance periods. If I was spending freely I would have gone for it, but I was trying to stick to a budget of $64 that I arbitrarily set before making the trip. And when I saw the Hindu Love Gods album I just had to go with that instead. Since this summer I have finished my Warren Zevon collection – with the exception of this off the cuff cover album of blues and folk tunes and… Prince’s “Raspberry Beret” by Zevon and R.E.M. [minus Stipe].

I later saw that a copy of the Infinite Zero Gang of Four “Songs Of The Free” album was there for the premium of $6.97. I had no truck with the price, it’s worth more, but I could not remember which GO4 Infinite Zero DLX RMs I had at home in the Record Cell. In a moment of techno inferiority, I asked Mr. Ware if we could access my Discogs collection on his iPhone. After I logged in, I saw that I had “Solid Gold,” so yes, this one was another serving of Marxist Art-Funk every home needs in excess!

Yow! Headboys and Kissing The Pink amongst other delights

We next turned out attention to the 7″ vinyl [well organized] and that was full of enough delights to make me forget that I have never bought any 12″ vinyl here. Had I ever looked at the 7″ers before??! Maybe not as in large groups we tend to move quickly. I immediately found a Headboys UK 7″ that I need for a bonus track before I can remaster my sealed copy of their debut album. I’m more than fine with the <$5.00 pricing here for all of these fine import 7″ers. The “Kickin’ The Kans” 7″ had a non-LP B-side and I never see it for sale from US dealers in Discogs. Can you remember a time when you saw the “Watching Their Eyes” UK 7″ from Kissing The Pink?! Me neither. The B-side is from the LP so I passed… but even so, a rare bird for sure.

Another record I’ve never seen

I next found a record I am now experiencing misgivings over not buying on principle, even thought I was trying to curtail excessive spending. How about the “Weekend Twist” UK 7″ from Gina X Performance? I can’t say I’ve ever seen more than ’85 onward singles from Ms. Kikoine. Hell, the LP that this came from  took 15+ years to track down. Of course the $4.50 price was very nice indeed. The B-side was the seminal “Nice Mover” from their debut album and Ms. K was looking very DEVO on that cover, non? This store was shaping up to have some of the better 7″ stock I’d seen in years.

Echorich offered me a copy of the “Kitchen At Parties” UK 7″ by Jona Lewie, and while I have lots of Lewie 7″ and even a 6″ singles, those were bought before the advent of Lewie on CD and I had both tracks on CD now, even though the Barney Bubbles sleeve was certainly ace it would be redundant in these budget-conscious times. In the end Echorich opted to take away the copy for himself. He also weighed an Altered Images single with David Band cover over in his mind before moving onward.

Could it be an omen on this weekend?

Then we saw a sighting so rare, I could hardly believe it. When was the last time that you ran across a copy of Zoom Records ZUM 11 – the “Chelsea Girl” picture sleeve by our heroes Simple Minds. I had to buy mine from a mail order catalog in the mid 80s and I’ve never seen one out in the wilds. As you can see the $7.95 price has been marked down to… I can’t tell from my blurry iPod photo, but whatever it is, it’s worth the asking! “Garden Of Hate” was a top B-side. Memo to self: the next time I’m in Criminal Records, just look at the 7″ bins and don’t waste time perusing the 12″ stock!

Okay, so only one of these was on the actual want list, but the other sightings boded well for the caliber of stock that drifts through this store. After about an hour or so, we started to gather up our merch and see what was staying with us. Mr. Ware was there for the ride; amused by the running commentary that Echorich and I made during the browsing. Is there anything better than shopping with records with friends? I say thee, nay! While I did drop about $20+ on some fine things here, the real value was in looking and talking with Echorich + Mr. Ware about the sightings. I’ve got plenty of store time with Mr. Ware as we lived in Orlando for 16 years, but this was only my second excursion with Echorich and we were making up for lost time. Is there anything more enjoyable? I don’t think so.

As we prepared to head over to Wax N’ Facts, Mr. Ware held up a twofer CD of Guadalcanal Diary’s “Walking In The Shadow Of The Big Man + Jamboree.” The latter was  only on vinyl in my Record Cell but the disc was unpriced. I took it to the register for a price check. The clerk asked the manager? “$2.97″ He replied” Sold, American! I already had “Walking In The Shadow Of The Big Man” courtesy of a birthday gift from Mr. Ware ages ago, but I had to have “Jamboree” on the shiny silver disc! So what did I take with me out of the store?

  1. The Headboys: Kickin’ The Kans – RSO ‎– RSO 56 – UK – 7″ – Criminal Records/$4.50
  2. The Photos: Crystal Tips And Mighty Mice – Cherry Red ‎– CDMRED 366 – UK – CD – Criminal Records/$4.97
  3. Gang Of Four: Songs Of The Free DLX RM – Infinite Zero ‎– 9 43067-2 – US – CD – Criminal Records/$6.97
  4. Hindu Love Gods: Hindu Love Gods – Giant Records ‎– 9 24406 2 – US – CD – Criminal Records/$4.97
  5. Guadalcanal Diary: Walking In The Shadow Of The Big Man + Jamboree – COL-CD-7486 – US – CD – Criminal Records/$2.97

SUBTOTAL: $24.38 or 38% of the mooted $64 music budget.

NEXT: …The Anchor Store of Little Five Points

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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16 Responses to Record Shopping Road Trip: Atlanta, October 2018 – Day 2

  1. Tim says:

    I don’t have the newest Tracey Thorn but her first two, er, solo albums are quite good.
    And her book Bedsit Disco Queen is fantastic.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – About 17 years ago I got her first album, “A Distant Shore” and found it slight enough to flip in a time of needed cash.


      • Tim says:

        A Distant Shore is her first solo album, I didn’t care for it much. I was referring to the two more recent ones. The Christmas one is good, too, but I don’t think you’re into xmas music if I recall earlier comments.
        In her book she mentions how she and Ben were shocked when people read the Kurt Cobain diaries and apparently both he and Courtney were big fans of The Marine Girls and A Different Shore.


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Tim – That’s the funny thing about taste. You never know where it will lead.


          • Tim says:

            I was pretty surprised to read that. The album still doesn’t do anything for me and, well, let’s be polite and say the musical resume of the Cobain household has done nothing at all for me.


            • postpunkmonk says:

              Tim – Roger! Over and out!


              • Taffy says:

                Tracey Thorn’s newest album, simply called Record, is one of my top ten faves of this year. It’s an absolutely gorgeous collection of mature, insightful, and fun songs. And agree – Bedsit Disco Queen is fab read. The woman knows her way around words.


                • Tim says:

                  I will reconsider Record based on your comment, I only listened to the lead single on YT and thought, well, the two lps before this were grand so be happy with what you have.

                  I think that BDQ is not only well written in the way around words sense but I also read it in a year where I read 3-4 other memoirs of musicians and hers was the only one where she stayed with the subject and actually talked about it. On the far other side of the spectrum was the Dave Stewart bio where the early part is great and then every chapter devolves into “I worked with artist x and well we;re both great talented individuals and it took us a day or so to find a great groove and we made some killer music” and then the next chapter is more of the same and so on.


  2. zoo says:

    Love “Jamboree.” Some great tunes on that album.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      zoo – I just listened to it for the first time yesterday [in spite of owning the LP for 30+ years] and I had heard a lot about the “slickness” of it and was prepared for something that didn’t sound like the Guadalcanal Diaries I knew and loved, but nope. It sounded like a fine Guadalcanal Diary album to these ears. Chasinvictoria introduced me once to Murray Attaway at the Sparks concert we attended in Atlanta five years ago.


  3. Echorich says:

    Criminal Records was a great example of how you have to survive these days, loads of old vinyl, curated new vinyl and the Extras that keep people in the store.
    It was a a pure pleasure to get our “standing critic/historian/storyteller” on. The best part is just how easy and natural our conversations flow!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Is there anything I love more than shopping for music with friends? Nope. And just to commemorate it somewhere, yours was the 10,000th comment on PPM. Time flies when we’re having fun.


  4. I’m so glad you included mention of both that wonderful Sparks show we saw in L5P (same venue I had seen Swing Out Sister a long time prior, and other shows in the murkier past) and Mr. Attaway who was so gracious in remembering me and allowing me to introduce him to his other out-of-town fans.

    Those prices at Criminal were insane in the membrane for 2018. I was seeing prices like that back in the mid-90s! Some great finds as well. I have the Jona Lewie 7″ mentioned. Criminal reminds me a lot of Park Ave CDs in its present incarnation. Great to know Criminal (where I first met the Trashcan Sinatras in person, btw) is still a good place to shop! Looking forward to a return visit before too long!


  5. SimonH says:

    Looks like a great shop, and those prices! Was thinking the other day that I need that Go4 album, at that price I would have bitten their hand off! The Photos album is a great bargain as well, really worth having.


  6. TeleFrank says:

    I may be wrong, but I believe the version of In Awe Of Industry on the B-side is different from the album version. Quite a rare sighting!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      TeleFrank – Welcome to the comments! Curse me for the novice. They always do that, don’t they? I should have bought it any way on principle. Are you by chance related in any way to “TV’s Frank?”


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