Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Perusing Portland's Bins Again

Last week my boys were off school for something called mid-winter break. Back in my day, we didn't have this vacation. I hope you pictured me in a cardigan sweater, glasses on the end of my nose and waving a cane at no one in particular as I typed that last bit. Get off my lawn! Anyway, the family went to an indoor water park for a couple of days and then further south to Portland for a couple more days of fun. That gave me the chance to stop by one of my favorite used record stores. As I wrote back in 2013 when I discovered Crossroads Music, this place is not your usual shop. It's 35 sellers under one roof. Truth be told, I'm really only into the wares of one particular seller, and I couldn't wait to see what he had this time around. More than a year had passed since visiting, and the night before I checked online for the address only to find the shop had been forced to move across town last summer. Reading this on the one-year anniversary of my favorite shop in America closing (Wombleton Records in L.A.) made my heart sink, but at least Crossroads had weathered the storm.

One of the aspects of the old Crossroads that worked well for us was the neighborhood. The family had plenty to do nearby as I perused the bins. The new Crossroads, well, let's just say there was some thumb twiddling by the kids while Mrs. LTL guessed the occupations of the customers walking into the pot shop next door. I would have to work fast. I went up to the counter with my phone in hand. On the screen I had a 360-degree image of the old shop, and I was able to show the fella exactly where my seller's spot had resided. I was in luck. My guy still had a section in the store. As expected the already high prices were a little bit higher than I remembered, but he still had the goods.

Twenty minutes later, I had some decisions to make. This was the biggest selection of the Fall that I had ever seen, but the ones I wanted most were out of my price range. There were a couple of early albums from the Jazz Butcher I regrettably had to pass up too. I left with four albums and the hope I would have more cash next time I visited Portland. I'll get to all four purchases in time. For today, let's start with Rough Trade 46, the 1983 self-titled album from Jazzateers. I have a soft spot for any band with a Postcard Records connection, and the price was right. If Postcard had survived until the end of its second year, the "Wasted" 7" would have been Postcard 81-14. That's a cover of the 1976 single by Donna Summer. The version by Jazzateers finally saw the light of day on Cherry Red's 2014 release 'Let Your Son Grow Up To Be A Cowboy - Unreleased Recordings 1981-82'. Here's a racket from their first album where you hear the plea not to let your son grow up to be a cowboy.

"Looking for a Girl"


Charity Chic said...

I would imagine that the price of Fall albums has shot up since the sad demise of MES
Looking forward to hearing about your other finds Brian

Rol said...

Me too. Great description of the store.

drew said...

It's posts like this that make me really annoyed at my fear of flying. I would love to be able to come across the pond and do some real crate digging!

Brian said...

You would love this place, Drew. A giant soul section that I never seem to have enough time for because I’m always with the family.

drew said...

You’re not making me feel any better Brian

JC said...

Drew......I'll get you drunk and sit beside you all the way over!!

Jazzateers album is a wonderful piece of work. It was a big thrill seeing them again a few years back when they played a one-off reunion show in Glasgow in 2013.