Record Store Day June 20 2013 – Day of…

We set off for Chicago on June 20th to take Joey to a surprise Chicago Fire soccer game.

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He was in awe of the stadium and the whole experience.

Not so much when I forced everyone to stop at the Half Price Books right near our hotel.

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He was a good sport and I searched fast.

I only bought 4 and one didn’t even have a record in it.

I bought this one just because of the thick plastic covering. I won’t even bother naming it because it turns out the actual records aren’t even in it.

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This is the plastic I was trying to describe in nearly one of my first posts: https://auralretentive.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/the-library-old-school-pandora/

The library records I used to check out were in this thick plastic. In fact, this one was from a library.

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Usually the decimated the album cover by cutting it in half and putting the front cover facing out in front and the back cover facing out in the back part.

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The records were in rough scratchy thick paper liners between.

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This protected the records from travel damage pretty well, but I am pretty sure that most of the scratches on the records from the library were caused by the horrible sleeves that were brutal to the records when taking them out and putting them in. At any rate, this album, without the records, which the clerk noticed but didn’t say a word about as she checked out my purchase, was only 50 cents.

Next up at 99 cents was Elvis Costello

“Elvis Costello – Armed Forces”

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I had this back in the day and loved it. This was what I thought all Elvis music was about. Short, punchy pop ditties. When I got into later Elvis, I left this one behind thinking of it as a sort of growing pains. A phase he had to get through to get to better stuff like “My Aim Is True” and “This Years Model”. In actuality it was exactly opposite. This album was AFTER those 2. I didn’t realize that until much much later. He is one of those artist that sort of reinvents himself along the way. This album is great.

For $2.99 I got another Elvis album.

“Elvis Costello – Get Happy!!”

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More power punch songs. You cannot go wrong with any Elvis Costello album. This one has “I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down” and “5ive Gears In Reverse” and “High Fidelity”. That is how 5ive is listed on the cover. Not a typo. Great stuff.

Finally, for a whopping $4.99 I bought another Bruce Springsteen.

“Bruce Springsteen – Born To Run”

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A little back story to Bruce.

My experience with Bruce Springsteen has been a tumultuous one. For the longest time, unfairly or not, I did my best to avoid Springsteen on the radio. When “Born In The U.S.A.” came out in 1984 I was in no way in the right place. The song “Born In The U.S.A.” was hammered to a bloody pulp on the radio and I was WAY turned off to Springsteen.

In fact I liked the remakes of Springsteen songs better than I liked Springsteen’s versions.

The “Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasure Dome” album had the song “Born To Run” on it. I recognized this as Springsteen from the radio, I certainly didn’t own any then. This song was so not like the rest of the album, but I think even now that they did a good job with it. Also there was “Manfred Mann’s Earth Band – Chance” album that had the song “For You” on it. This album was admittedly weird, but man did they smash it with “For You”. In fact still to this day I hear that version on the radio more than I do the Springsteen version. At any rate, except for the radio and these couple songs, I was Springsteen free.

At one point, I came across a vinyl copy of “Live 1975-85” and I was determined to give The Boss another chance. I remember I painstakingly copied the 5 albums over several days after work onto a couple of tapes, writing all the songs on the j-card front and back… and then promptly never once listened to it.

Over the many years that followed, with “Born In The U.S.A.” calming on the radio and a few Springsteen songs coming into my consciousness and not being dismissed outright I decided to give the Waunakee Public Library’s copy of “The Ghost Of Tom Joad” a try when I saw it on the shelf. The cover is weird. I’d like to say I don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do. This cover makes me think of semi-formed and unfocused. I was not expecting to like it that much, but in fact I totally did. I was 100% blown away. This was awesome! These songs were slow and sparse and sad and you could feel the emotion pouring out of each of them. I remember playing this CD over and over. I suddenly had an appreciation for Springsteen and his vision and sound, no matter what speed.

As I sometimes do, I went off the deep end. Not only did I get all the regular albums and releases, I got bootlegs as well. I had acoustic shows, the Milwaukee Bomb scare show, E-Street band shows and lots of stuff in-between. I became familiar with the “E-Street” sound, and the “Nebraska” sound and the newer mellower stuff. I began to accept it all.

My boss in the maintenance department at Marshall Erdman loved Bruce. I would play early Bruce (the best in his opinion) on my disc man connected to my PC on afternoons when we were able to stay at our desks long enough to listen. He loved the “Born To Run” album and we played that one most often. These songs seem to really flow together nice. I would say that it is probably my favorite from the E-Street days. I tried to play my live stuff for him and he, like other live music haters, only wanted to hear the versions that he knew. No new solos or arrangements. So we stuck with the studio stuff. Too bad.

His live stuff is fantastic. He is like 110% onstage. I love when he talks and tells stories during his live shows, giving some history to the songs and stories to expand the meaning. If you can find it I highly recommend “Cirkus Night”. This was recorded in Olso, Norway March 14th 1996. It’s Bruce solo in a very quiet intimate show. You will not be disappointed.

I think that some people can write songs about steel workers and small town folk and unsung heroes and sound horrible and pretentious doing it, Bruce makes it work. He makes it sound like he is writing about someone he knows and wants you to know too. I like that about him.

You can easily say I was a fair-weather fan, and that I should have been there since the beginning, but as with all things, sometimes you just have to grow into a band, be in the right place for it, before you can be open and go back and relive history.

At any rate, this album is awesome. It’s going into a plastic sleeve.

Not a bad score for Record Store Day  2013.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m surprised by the types of items you have bought. All those things before the Springstreen didn’t seem like a gem .We’ve talked about springstreen before. I’ve tried to like him before but he just bores me with slow songs, usually too long, and not enough songs with some ooommpphh behind them. I don’t think there’s any way that that makes a plastic cover unless you have nothing better than an album that’s seen its better days.

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