Monday, November 5, 2012

Austin Delights - The Music and Movies edition

This will be a first in a series of blogs about my Austin trip.

So once Hurricane Sandy passed through the Northeast, we were allowed to return to New York with our all the cool stuff we bought in tow.  Here I'll discuss the various movie and music goodies we found.

The 2012 Austin Record Convention was going on the weekend we were visiting and I've always wanted to go.  We headed over around noon on Saturday and the initial thought upon walking in the door was overwhelming. 

I used to go to record cons all the time, but like many collectible related fields - the internet has killed off many of these shows and in many cases all that survive are some very small local shows and a few really big ones like this. 

I stayed about three hours and scored some cool finds.  Vinyl was definitely the main thrust of the show with I would say 75% of the available goods being vinyl records, maybe 20% CD's and the rest a mix of other related items (a few dealers selling bootleg videos and a small mix here and there of memorabilia.  I was definitely hoping for a few more tables of memorabilia - in particular old music magazines) but this was not the show for that...this is for serious vinyl fiends.

Considering I wasn't looking for any specific vinyl, I did a "quick" (an hour) run through the room to check out the non vinyl goods.  Magazine wise I just scored a couple of mags including this old issue of BAM from May 24, 1985 (with a great cover feature on Lone Justice.  I dig them, but love lead singer Maria McKee's solo stuff much more)

Magazines like this are my fave as they capture the local music scenes and contain tons of great old concert ads.  Check out May 11 on the ad below featuring an at the time little local band called Guns n' Roses playing out well before even their Live Like A Suicide EP was released.  Totally dig this type of music history. (and look.Poison, newly arrived from Pennsylvania played a gig a week later.  This issue features probably the first feature on Brett and the boys as well.)

I rarely buy bootlegs anymore (because you can basically get it all for free online), but did upgrade my copy of the out of print flick "Never Too Young To Die".  My copy was dubbed from a higher generation VHS with annoying French subtitles running across the bottom throughout.  This copy is basically pristine sound and picture so definitely worth the 10 bucks.  What's it about you ask?  Well John Stamos is a college student who has a mysterious James Bond-ish Dad who gets killed.  Luckily the suave Stamos is rooming with a nerdy geek who can MacGuyver up all kinds of cool spy gear.  Stamos goes to find what happens and runs into Evil Gene Simmons of Kiss who when not destroying families is a nightclub drag queen. IS as awesome as you're thinking.  Also picked up a VHS copy of Slumber Party Massacre II for 2 bucks.  Really, how can you pass that up?!

That was basically it for the first run through.  Now there were about 250 tables of over one million records to go through...yikes!

First let me say that while many dealers really sort and label and clearly price their items I was amazed at the amount of dealers who basically just seemed to bring boxes of records (and this applied to many of the CD dealers as well) that were almost completely unsorted.  I guess some people spend all weekend going through every record looking for a hidden gem, but I had no time or patience so I went around and narrowed my search at every dealer table.  First I would drool over their backdrop of super rare expensive Albums and Singles?  You want rare - we got rare.  Beatles butcher covers?  I saw at least a dozen.  Velvet Underground unpeeled first pressings - bountiful...Private Press Psych - just hand over some hundreds and they are yours.  Pantera's first album sealed - a mere $750 and it's yours...quote the dealer as I picked it up to look at the price "It's REALLY hard to find still sealed.").  It was cool to see these albums.  I was hoping to find a bargain vinyl copy of The Replacements "Let It Be", but the one copy I saw was a bit beat up and $95!  It's one of my fave albums (and album covers) but I can get one on ebay for $50 or so whenever I want.

After checking out the rare and expensive, I basically wanted records more for design for my apartment so I then looked for crates marked one of the following: Exotica, Bachelor Pad, Weird, Oddities, etc.  I scored some cool stuff indeed. 

Or at least I think it's cool...judge for yourself:

Tony Mottola joins the Guitar Underground - Love this supercool gatefold cover and will probably give this badboy a listen as well.  Great condition!

Music For Big Dame Hunters - I've always wanted this one with an AWESOME Pin-Up cover feturing Irish McCalla as sexy Sheena.  I've seen this album before for quite a bit of $$$, but this dealer had Just the sleeve for $7.50 which I considered a major score as I just want it as wall art.  It's currently framed and rockin in my living room.

For Men Only - With a classic Jayne Mansfield cover.  Something about this just spoke to me...well two things could I resist

Serenade for Sex Kittens - I kinda dig it, but not as much as the two above, we'll see if this makes it on the the wall 50's sexiness I appear to have going on.

Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts - On Campus.  For 5 bucks I couldn't pass up this album on Gross Records.  For Adults only.  I look forward to giving this a listen - anyone ever heard of them?

The Sinceros - The Sound of Sunbathing.  Some tasty New Wave.

and last but not least The Rudy Ray Moore Christmas Album!  Didn't even know this existed and there's no way I'm passing up Christmas with Dolemite! Gives new meaning to Ho Ho Ho!

So that was my trip to the record con.  Over the course of our stay we hit up a few other record/music stores but we were all so burnt out on flipping through racks that I mainly was just looking for cool stuff that pops out at me.  One such place was Waterloo Records where I got this cool clock.  Been looking for clock for my wall and this one works just fine.

Stopped at Wild About Music on 6th which is all shirts, jewelry, artwork etc related to music.  Some really cool stuff, but hit this joint up close to the last day in town and didn't have alot of money or room left in the suitcase, so I just scored one of their cool bags for 3 bucks.

Austin is really just amazing for the wealth of used record/CD/movie stores.  We hit up Friends of Sound while on South Congress plus there's a chain of stores called Half Price Books Records and Magazines.  We went to one of them and it had the coolest selection of oddball movies in the DVD section for cheap.  If I had time, I would have visited the 2 or 3 other ones in Austin as well, but here's a bit of what I scored there (Actually Scumrock I picked up at Waterloo - they have a great DVD selection as well)

I got a Jess Franco triple shot with the Vampire Lovers set and Virgin Report.  A few B-Movie Collections one of which is called Psychos with four flicks including "The Sadist" starring Arch Hall Jr.  I've always wanted to check out this 1963 cult classic.  I also picked up another movie that I've almost bought a ton of times and will surely make it's way into one of my monthly double feature movie nights - Troma's "Surf Nazis Must Die."  Yep, it's high brow all the way in my DVD collection!

Another cool thing I learned about Austin while on the hunt for other shops with stellar goods is that Austin has some amazing privately owned video rental stores!  We first saw an add for Vulcan Video in the South Congress neighborhood and went in and the shelves were lined with so many amazing flick and I then realized they were rental only!!  Oh man...unreal large cult classic sections, Museum size classic television sections and it just seemed at least half of the stuff was way out of print. 

Right next to the ad for this joint was an ad for a place called I Heart (luv) Video.  The ad said "Buying and Selling" and "100's of videos for sale."  I even pointed out to my sister and her boyfriend that they must have made an error in the only said hundreds of videos, they must mean bad!

We drive over and see this amazing place:
Lolita!  Slackers! Metropolis! Pink Flamingos! Charlie Chaplin!  Oh man that's just one side of the building - this place is gonna be awesome!

We walk around to the front:
Yellow Submarine! Lucha Libre! Eraserhead!  "Rare and Unique Video for the Connoisseur!"

We walk's big, two floors, very cool and...90% rentals!!! ARGH!!! DAMN YOU AUSTIN AND YOUR ALTERNATIVES TO BLOCKBUSTER!!!"  So the "100's of movies for sale" was true...just a couple of hundred (and nothing I wanted) mixed with many thousands I could only rent.

Next time I come to Austin I might hold a Double Feature night in my hotel room!

And we'll stop here...This covers the stores we hit up for movies and music...but to come we have the nightlife, the shops, the food and as they like to proclaim...The Weird

By the way...If you're going to Austin and dug this review...check out my friend Melissa's Blog from her trip there a few years'll surely notice I took some of her advice on some of my stops...I hope my blogs add to your guide:

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