I got a tweet from John Book on twitter that I thought was interesting. NPR published an article by Egon about digging in the East Village here in NYC. It went on to explain that in today’s economy, it’s a buyer’s market for vinyl and that you can get some great bargains today because of it. Egon gave himself a $100 budget, reminiscent of his broke college day record buying, the days he didn’t have a lot of time or cash to buy records before he had to hurry catch the Metro North train back up to Connecticut. It was an interesting story, and since I’ve been getting a lot of requests for more of my digging stories (like I used to write), I figured I’d follow up on that request. From the list of records Egon got (Brazilian Jazz Fusion, Jazz on the Folkways label, 70’s Nigerian High Life, and a Scandinavian rarity) it looks like a good haul. Although I’d rather get 50 records for $100, most likely they would not be on the level of the records Egon got. I still get good records, don’t get me wrong, but they are not the Psych or Nigerian face melters, those are definitely found in the better record stores (which like to browse through also). I’m happy to write about records on NPR though, so get at me guys if you’re interested. Here’s an inside look of the on the cheap records I have dug up over the past week.
My budget is even tighter now, because I have a baby on the way in a few weeks, so I have been dollar bin shopping quite a lot. My man M.Fasis and I hit up Bleeker Bob’s dollar bin before last week’s Hot Peas and Butta JB Tribute party and I came away with some Motherlode, Gil Scott-Heron, Vincentico Valdes, and The Flying Machine 45’s left in the bin for a buck. I just can not pass up on records, I just have to get more creative and a bit more selective on what I buy. I buy records from private dealers and ebay once in a while (my last attempt on ebay I’m still waiting for: a super clean copy of “Ride Your Pony Girl” by Harry Ray on All Platinum. The seller is jerking me around of course. That’s why I’d rather dig) However, the deal with FMF is I like to find the stuff on the cheap. There is a Thrift store by me that has always come through. It has got me some good Hip Hop 12″s, and weird Jazz records in the past. Very hit or miss, I still check it on the regular. This past week was a dud, as my only pick up was Jimmy Z featuring Dr. Dre “The Funky Flute”. The video solidifies that this record is straight cheese, with Jimmy Z playing some funky flute way before Ron Burgandy let people know that the Yazz flute was nuttin’ to fuck with. Even pretty 80’s girls can’t help this record. To my luck, however, another consignment shop opened recently. When I went in sans portable, there were about 500 records sitting in the back of the store. I propped my ass firmly on whatever I could sit on and started to dig. What I came out with were some pretty great finds. I didn’t pay more than $3 a record, and for 30 bucks I got 10 records that were all quality.
Scholly D – Gangster Boogie
First up we have some Philly Hip Hop from ’86. Schooly D (mislabeled Scholly D here) on Place To Be Records out of Narberth, PA. PTB Records was busy also releasing “P.S. P.S.K. (I’ll Tell You What It Means!)” by the Philly Crew and other 12″ by Tic and Toc. Schooly went on to say this about the record: “Gangster Boogie was about getting over, smoking jays and pulling out 8’s and all that.” Fair enough. A good mint pull, even though it’s not the first pressing on Cut Masters (with the cool hand written bubble letters). I’ll take it.
Marley Marl – Scratch
I’ve reviewed this before, when I got one off of DJ Jack the Ripper. This 12″ features MC Shan, and is a great example of quality of the Marley Marl production we have all grown to love. All you other DJs are a bunch of jerks, a classic line jacked and used for tons of break records. I used to buy them like crazy. Do they even make break records any more?
Sammy Dread – Road Block Lp
On the whole, the Lp that Sammy was known for, other than the “Bad Boy” side. On Hit Bound and put out by Channel One, Sammy was backed by the Radics band. Features “Dreadlock Queen” and “Roadblock” among others. Besides the the good music, the cover, with Sammy on a Jah Rasrafari motorcycle is classic.
Patrice Rushen – Kickin’ Back Promo 12″
Out of all the records I got that day, this is my fave. I’ve never seen it on the field before, so for me it’s a good pull. A promo, and from what I have gathered, one of the first in a group of 12″ records put out (besides being a promo), this side has pulled high $200+ prices in the past. Not that that really matters to me, I just want to play the thing. A solid 7 minutes plus of Disco Funk from Patrice on Prestige.
Yamaha Skank – V/A Lp
I knew something was up with this record before I even checked to see the label. A Rupie Edwards/ Striker Lee production, this record is solid all the way through. Highlights include “Riding with Mr. Lee” by Chinna Earl Smith and “President A Mash Up De Resident” by Shorty the President, plus a gang of other good sides. No artist is even mentioned in the liner notes, which adds to the mystique of this Lp.
United Dreadlocks Vol. 1 V/A Lp
This Reggae compilation on Joe Gibbs Music features Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, and Junior Ross & the Spear among others. Roots music is a beautiful thing, and when you’ve got Sly Dunbar, Tommy McCook and Lloyd Parks in the backing band, it’s damn near perfect. This record cover, lithographed by the Stephensons, is going up in my wall in a frame. Bless Bless.
Kangal presents: Tiger Meets Yellowman Lp
First up, I am a huge fan of this Lp art. Even if it sucked musically, I would still buy it. My next Reggae mix is going to have some sort of graphic like this on it. I love me some Yellowman, and it has the side “Titty Jump” on it, so that’s a bonus. I lean more towards the Yellowman side, but the Tiger side is growing on me. Both backed by the Saggitarius band, Reggae in ’86 was still relevant, and a lickle Dancehall never hurt anyone.
Liquid Liquid – Optimo Ep
A record I never come across, let alone on 99 Records. Cover design by the great Richard McGuire. Original 1983 pressing. Mint, still in the original shrink wrap. Fun baby.
Marcia Griffiths – Naturally Lp
This early Marcia Griffiths on High Note has “Feel Like Jumping”, as well as the Bob Marley cover “Lonesome Feeling”. Backed by a band that includes Ansel Collins and Sly Dunbar, and you can groove to this today just as easy as in 1978 when it was released.
Z-3 MC’s – Triple Threat 12″
Despite the cheesy The Snakecharmer’s Song sample, this human beat box filled mid 80’s 12″ is not a bad score. Put out on Beauty and the Beat Records, straight outta Elizabeth, NJ, it’s Hip Hop in it’s infancy, raw and untainted. Not sure, but I heard this crew was out of Baltimore, MD. All and all a good come up for $3.
So for the people that were requesting some digging stories, here you are. If you do your research, have some patience, you too can get good records. I am in no, way shape or form claiming to be a record expert. I like what I like, and that’s good music. Egon is a music expert, running a label, reissuing lost gems, and constantly exploring different genres to expose these gems to the masses. I have the same philosophy here, as FMF tries to keep this music alive and well, while proving that you too, can dig for these records on the cheap, daily.