Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Lucky Sevens

When the family makes the trek to Disneyland, as we did last week, I'm just about the most excited of the lot because it means I might be able to break away for a bit to visit one of my two favorite record shops in all of America. Wombleton Records is quite a drive from Anaheim, and it didn't look like it was going to pan out this time. Then, at the 11th hour, as we pulled up stakes to head back to Seattle, I managed about 30 minutes of happy hunting while my kids ate lunch. The clock said I wouldn't be able to explore every nook and cranny. So, I decided to hit the 7" singles. The photo above features a few of highlights from my very fruitful visit.

The Subway Organization was a great UK indie label best known as the home of Shop Assistants, Razorcuts and the Flatmates. In fact, Martin Whitehead from the Flatmates founded Subway. Although this trio got most of the attention, there were several lesser known bands worthy of a listen. The Rosehips only had two singles that made the UK Independent Chart, but the first one, "Room In Your Heart," peaked at No. 9 in the spring of '87, and it's a real favorite of mine. I have had it on a compilation for many years, and it popped up again on Cherry Red's 'Scared to Get Happy' box set a couple of years ago, but there was no way I was going to let this 7" get away. I know I gasped when I saw it, and I grabbed it like a hobo filling his tray in a food line. Did I mention I was the only customer in the store?

The Rosehips - Room In Your Heart

The Wolfhounds' claim to fame will always be appearing on NME's 'C86' compilation, but there were several memorable singles and a terrific album. That album, 'Unseen Pebbles From a Pebble,' was just reissued a few months ago by Optic Nerve Recordings, and it included a slew of bonus tracks, including the one-off single version of "Me" that was put out by Idea Records in the fall of 1987. So, yes, I already had the song, but there is nothing like having the original 7". I may not have gasped, but I didn't hesitate to add it to the pile either. "Me" peaked at No. 18 on the UK Independent Chart.

The Wolfhounds - Me

Do you know that wonderful feeling when you find a bargain in the stacks? Well, I got the opposite of that when I picked up this 7" from the Sugargliders. This isn't a Sarah recording. "Sway" goes back to the beginning when Josh and Joel Meadows were on the legendary Melbourne label Summershine Records. The fellas were still trying to get their footing with this first single, and I don't think you would consider this one of their best songs, but I am a completist. I had never seen "Sway" before, and I'm not sure I would again. So, I overpaid for it and kept the price to myself when I got back to the car. If you're a family man, you'll understand. If you don't want to pay out the nose, you can always get the excellent 'A Nest With a View 1990-1994' compilation released by Matinee Recordings a couple of years ago. So, yes, another song I already had, but I couldn't pass it up as a 7". It's a sickness. I'll have a part two to this spending spree a little later.

The Sugargliders - Sway


The Swede said...

Your mention of 'amending' the actual price of a record made me smile. We've all done it haven't we? That and running into the house and filing a new purchase away before you're spotted. A friend of mine did just that with The Clash box set last year. I'm still not quite sure how he got away with that one!
This is a good haul of singles. I was a big Wolfhounds fan and saw them perform 'Me' several times. All 4 of their original LP's are worth tracking down and their new LP (first in 24 years!) 'Middle Aged Freaks' is well worth checking out too.

Dirk said...

Ha ha ... yes!!! Internet mailorder makes life a little bit easier for us family men, but at the end of the day, when the wife sees the bank receipts, we're all fucked up!

Buying the Clash set without wife's permission though is like stealing the Mona Lisa: chapeau!!

Dirk said...

forgot to say: I'm REALLY jealous about the Rosehips 7": a total classic indeed!!

Scott said...

Still recall the joy of getting the Unseen Ripples LP for my 18th birthday from my then girlfriend. That is a fine selection of singles to pick up in a single visit, especially Room In Your Heart which brings back so many wonderful memories of the indie scene in Glasgow at that time.

Brian said...

Scott, How did you let that one get away? The girl, I mean. Guessing you still have the LP.

Swede, I regret writing that the Wolfhounds had ONE great album. That's ridiculous. Perhaps I should read my own writing before I hit the publish button. Really happy to hear the new one was good. I haven't heard a note, but I'm going to track it down.

Dirk, So right about those receipts. Got to be sneaky. Actually, the Mrs. is very cool about such things... so she can buy expensive shoes.

Esther said...

Great stories on great finds! These days PayPal email confirmations leave a bigger trail, the majority of which are for my music purchases! I'm a family (wo)man so I have to be practical about these purchases, a bigger obsession than clothing and shoes. Thankfully it doesn't get held against me.

Dirk said...

And now, Brian, I am OFFICIALLY jealous: apparently you also have cool WOMEN reading your blog! Who of us can say that about themselves??! Esther: very great to see that also some women face the "record purchase problem" on a daily basis!

Brian said...

Dirk, Until I start receiving mix tapes from Esther, you have nothing to be jealous about.

Welcome, Esther. Please chime in whenever the mood should strike. Dirk is right about hearing the female POV on this complex problem.

Esther said...

In my circles I'm definitely in the minority. My nternet circles is another story, thankfully! Strength in numbers there.Thanks Brian and Dirk :)