Second Record Show In As Many Months Delivers Exactly To Expectations

A record show in a brewery?

A record show in a brewery? It must be Asheville.

A month ago I went to a record show and even as I was walking out of that one, I was aware that there would be another one on November 2nd! Years may pass between record shows in my sleepy hamlet, but the hipster vinyl wave must be still cresting because they managed to fit another one into a brewery this time. Beer and “vinyls” together?! That makes for hipster-bait in this town! The occasion was to mark the 10th anniversary of Asheville’s 103.3-FM, the community radio station that I have ignored for ten years. I was involved for a short time with helping to start up WPVM-FM, the newer station’s predecessor, before I managed to get employed and thus unable to make all of those 9:00 a.m. meetings. But as a rule, I have completely ignored radio in North Carolina.

When I entered the space with my friend, I was amazed at how much the place resembled a Bond-Villain® techno-lair. As I recall, one Dean Martin Matt Helm® opus did feature a villain who brewed beer as his cover, so I’m not far off base. As we got there at 10:50, and the show was a fund-raiser for the station, we got buttonholed into paying the $10 “early admission”scam. This was something I used to do in the 80s when I was still a member of the “hip” record collecting demographic. When the show was catering to my tastes strongly, then it sort of made sense to pay more to get an edge against your “competition” on the floor for those thousands of records and CDs. This is no longer the case! Whatever is selling best at shows now is of no concern to me any more. It hasn’t been for decades. I couldn’t just say “no” and step outside for seven more minutes to pay the recommended $3.00 door donation for the station. I’m cheap, but not that cheap! We were given our swag bags [sort of like a V.I.P. ticket generally provides], and we were inside.

Of course I started here – like a fool!

I expected that most of these vendors would be re-hashes of the ones who had been at the last show, and I was mostly right. The gent I spoke to at such length that time, had to step down for a family issue at the last minute and so he would not be here today. As usual, I first looked at the local dealer who always has his “80s + New Wave” bin out in front like the Monk-bait that it is. And every time I get caught looking even though there has never been a single record in it that I would ever care to buy. I mean, you can see the dreaded Men At Work “Business As Usual” LP sticking up as if to mock me! If that lame album is your standard of New Wave then any vendor proffering such a box is doomed to failure in seeking my pocket money. Memo to self: stop falling for this trick at the next show!

These were the lone CDs for sale here; Evidence of the ongoing digital pogrom of my format of choice.

There was only a single table with one bin of familiar krautrock and prog titles in it. I recall this from the last show but I can’t afford to pay $25 for JPN pressings of La Düsseldorf CDs, no matter how badly I need them. I will pay domestic new prices [“$12-$15] at most.

Always a rare flower

In the corner was a dealer that my friend Jacob was looking through his stock. Jacob was contemplating a US “Country Life” LP with the censored cover that was actually on my own want list. But I’d go up to $8.oo on the album. This was $15.00. But the dealer did have some nice wares. 12″ singles were in the $5-6 range. Pretty fair! Many nice things were there but…I already had them. That’s not to say that I didn’t feel like buying some of them again! It took me way too long to source a copy of the Godlike Trevor Horn Remix® of Spandau Ballet’s “Instinction” to not twitch during  the few times I’ve run across a copy in later years. The dealer was a friendly guy with a 2019 Bryan Ferry t-shirt so we talked Roxy for a while before getting sucked into the Duran Duran zone after talk went to the induction of Roxy into the RRHOF by DD. He claimed the ear of St. Nicholas himself, but when I noted [with approval] the presence of both Mark Ronson and Giorgio Moroder in the Producer’s chair for the upcoming Duran opus, he was blindsided enough to text St. Nick on the spot asking why he had not heard it from the horses mouth. Probably because it was John Taylor that spilled those beans prematurely in a podcast that has now spread like wildfire throughout the DD community.

Tucked in among the KISS® and Hendrix albums at Jax Wax was… The Shaggs!

I had not seen much that I needed here, but I came to the show with a month’s worth of “discretionary budget” or $40 in common parlance. I had run across a dealer at the last show from Dalton, Georgia who had a sheer holy grail album that was so holy grail, that I did not yet know of its existence! This Jack gent of Jax Wax was not only a fun dealer to talk to, but his goods were Krautrock, Prog and New Wave with a heavy emphasis on JPN pressings. Last month he had a $40 JPN copy of The Tourists “Reality Effect” album. But I had already spent my money, which was not even close to my $20 budget in any case.

I had bought the album when it came out in America in 1980. It is one of my favorite 1980 albums, which is saying a lot. But when I got the first import only Tourists debut album soon afterward, I saw that US Epic had added two tracks into the running and that implied that I had missed out on some material that Epic had shaved off of the album. By 1983, I came across the only import pressing of “Reality Effect” that I had found until last month. It was a Portuguese pressing that looked and sounded like a 4th generation pirated record. Full stop. It had simply awful sonic and visual qualities! But that was the only way I could hear the song “Something In The Air Tonight” for decades. At least “Summer’s Night” was also the B-side to “I Only Want To Be With You,” and I had two copies of that single.

my take for the day

So I was hoping that I would see Jax Wax again and was not disappointed. I spent long minutes talking with the gent and when I was ready to buy, took the Tourists album as well as the German Shriekback “Knowledge, Power, Truth + Sex” EP he also had [one of the few Shriek records that I still need for The Collection] and the $48 in goods he sold me for a straight $40. Buying more than one, and with cash, had triggered dealer largesse, but that’s his policy. Quite delightful. I don’t often drop two serious figures on a record too often these days, but this was more than worth it to me. I can now remaster my “Reality Effect” CD to my satisfaction. For years I had tried to get a German pressing of the album from Discogs since German Teldec pressings tended to be the next best thing to JPN wax to these ears. Trumping even the original UK pressings, which can be very hit-and-miss. But while the records were about €5.00 with shipping from Germany putting them at about $20 for a VG copy, I never saw much in the way of VG+ or [even better] M- copies for sale. Like I said last time, I had not yet run across the Japanese pressing on Discogs [it was added only three years ago] just yet and had no ideaI had subsequently checked and there were two JPN copies for sale in the $25 [inc. postage] range but these were VG copies without obi. $40 for a higher quality copy was worth it to me. I more had confidence in Jax Wax’s caliber of goods.

The overall vibe to this show was a weaker rehash of last month’s show. Some of the better dealers from that one were absent this time. The amazing range of 7″ material was completely absent. The one new dealer who was interesting didn’t have anything that I needed. But the dealer I was hoping would double dip into the Asheville market just a month later did not disappoint. I would have mail ordered the disc from his business card  had he not been there. Finally, my cruddy sounding Portuguese copy of “Reality Effect” that has gnawed at me for 36 years will finally be superseded by the best possible vinyl copy of that music.

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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10 Responses to Second Record Show In As Many Months Delivers Exactly To Expectations

  1. Mark Moerman says:

    I believe it has been about 20 years since I last attended a record show. As I recall, I last went to the semi-regular event sponsored by KFJC, the friendly neighborhood college radio station of choice for the San Jose area (emanating from Foothill Junior College, a short ways north of SJ) for the last time somewhere in a sort of 1999 sort of time frame. Such events had been a regular part of my existence up to that point, and for a time I had even been a dealer (in tandem with the lamented RK) at a number of the then-bimonthly events in the Berkeley area back in those wacky 1980s.

    Since our move to the mighty Pacific Northwest, I had been innocent of the existence of any such events, though I imagine that they did occur. Earlier this very year, I did in fact hear of a record show happening in Portland and seriously considered popping in to have a look. However, this year’s embarrassment of riches in local concert events requiring my attendance dictated that funds be spent in that arena rather than in an introductory expedition to the Portland record show. Perhaps on a future occasion I shall sally forth and invade that particular place of musical purveyance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Mark Moerman – Given that you live in a rekkid mekka like Portland, it’s no wonder that you haven’t attended any shows. The churn in those local stores is likely so vibrant that there’s less need to have transient records pass through the city. Asheville has stores still, and new ones are still popping up in the current wave. Maybe enough to replace the ones lost in the P2P Purge. I’m not certain. But the churn locally is pretty slow. I go to local stores about every two to three months and there is usually one time when the stars align, and I spend $80 -$100 and then… crickets the other 4-5 times per year. We could use shows twice a year or so.


  2. We call them record fairs round our way. Record show threw me a little at first. Good read though. We all fall for the same old tricks


  3. Tim says:

    My hometown does everything in a BAR, at least your brewery is all modern and shiny and stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – It was the first time I have ever been to a brewery, which given the city where I live, is astonishing. We have grocery stores with taprooms in them. I often tell my wife it’s a wonder that we don’t have a microbrewery in our home…even though we don’t drink, because… Asheville!!!


      • Tiim says:

        It’s crazy where I live now, everywhere serves booze. The grocery store that opened up the road from work has a liquor license and you can drink while grocery shopping. A disportionate chunk of the liquor licenses issued in this county are within 2 blocks of a block retail corridor, just nuts. The hotel that I used to manage was in that zone and certain events were a real challenge due to the alcohol culture.

        I think the only damn place around here without a liquor license is the polling place I vote at….


        • Tim says:

          er….6 block retail corridor…darn number lock key…


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Tiim – It seems that Americans have become very depressed in the new millennium. And why not?! Asheville is locked in mortal craft beer combat with Portland, but when we visit Akron, my wife notices how many bars are everywhere. Things are even worse in the rust belt.


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