Sunday, 9 September 2018

USA Trip, Part 7 - Los Angeles (Part 2)

After leaving Jeff in Hollywood, we met up with Tru Pray. I've traded with and bought stuff from Tru a few times over the years, and he was pretty much the only person I knew in LA, so I had hoped I could manage to find a couple of hours to meet up in person. Fortunately he had a couple of hours free in his Friday evening schedule, and headed out to meet us. It also turned out great that he brought his car along, which helped a lot later on. After a quick trip to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery we headed up to Vacation Vinyl...

They had posted the above pic on instagram a few days before we got to LA and, despite it being slightly cryptic, it definitely suggested that they were literally shutting up shop at the end of the first day that we were in LA, possibly forever. So I literally had one chance to go there, and I wanted to take it.

We rolled up to the shop at about 7:20, took this photo of me outside...

... and then we tried to open the door, only to find it locked. Oops!

Notice in the comment on the instagram post, it clearly says that they close at 7pm. I think we somehow got confused and thought it closed at 8, else we wouldn't have been surprised to find it closed at 7:20. Fortunately the dudes were still inside and were happy to unlock the door and let us in. Pretty lucky since it was a Friday evening.

Once inside I was conscious of time and that I was effectively keeping these dudes from getting home, so I tried to look through stuff quickly. I guess it helped that the hardcore section wasn't that big anyway.

Unlike the previous stores, I dug out a couple of LPs, but no 7"s.

The first thing I found was an old Lookout! Records release. This is the second LP by Nuisance called 'Sunny Side Down'.

I listened to this band quite a lot last year. I can't really remember how I stumbled across them. But I figured $6 was a good price for this, and this particular copy is in great shape.

The second thing I found was cool and annoying at the same time. The debut full length from Krimewatch, on Lockin' Out Records. This is the limited 'orange' vinyl.

The reason this was annoying was that I had ordered this from the label on the first day it went up for preorder, but then weeks later I received an email to tell me that the plant hadn't made enough orange vinyl, so they were sending me a clear copy instead. Yet I had seen instgram posts from both Revelation and Vacation Vinyl showing that they had orange copies. So it would seem to me that, rather than a pressing plant mistake, it was more of a label mistake. Rather than send the limited colour to their preorder customers, they sent quite a few out to distros and stores. Oh well, at least I got one.

So that was all I found on the shop floor. But then we got chatting to Mark who owns the shop. I knew that he used to co-run Hydrahead, and I knew from a friend that a few months ago he had some Hydrahead leftovers behind the counter. So I asked and he quickly produced six more boxes of records for me to look through. I found a couple of bits, but the thing that I had been hoping to find wasn't there - a Botch 10" on pink vinyl. I told Mark I was hoping to find one, and he seemed surprised that there wasn't one there. But he was sure that he had one at his house, which was about 5 minutes away, and invited us to go back with him to fetch it.

Well, wouldn't you know it, he did have a few more Hydrahead records back at home, but not the one I was looking for. No pink Botch 10" unfortunately. But between the shop and the house I had still managed to pick up a few extras for my Hydrahead collection...

First, a solid red/yellow vinyl copy of the Cattlepress 'Hordes To Abolish The Divine' LP. This came out around the turn of the century. Back then I picked up a clear red/yellow vinyl copy. And 18 years later I find myself picking up a second copy on the other colour variant. I'd forgotten how rad this record is. I guess that happens when you have a lot of records.

And I also scored a test press of the same LP. Fucking rad.

Next, another test press - this one is for the Clouds 'We Are Above You' 2xLP. Clouds was a short lived band active circa 2007/8 which featured Adam McGrath from Cave In.

What's funny is that the pic on the back of the standard Hydrahead test press sleeve is of the guy I bought this from. Although it would appear that at some point in the not too distant past, he had a shave and a haircut.

Next, a little known and underappreciated 7" from 2001 from a Boston band called Barbaro. Hydrahead released this two song 7" in 2001 on three different colours of vinyl. At the time, I enjoyed this so much that it led to me buying their full length on CfuckingD. Desperate times. Anyway, not many people would care, but I was stoked to grab a test press of the 7":

This next 7" is an interesting one. It's a rare version of the Dillinger Escape Plan / Drowningman split 7". Technically it's not on Hydrahead, but was the first release in the 'Hydrahead Singles Series'. This version comes in a yellow paper cover which was apparently a Newbury Comics exclusive, and is numbered out of 50 copies on the inside of the sleeve.

The next 7" is another from the same era as the Barbaro 7" which attracts similar levels of disinterest - the Harkonen 'Grizz' 7". I picked up a test press of this one too.

And to end, two more 7"s from the 'In These Black Days' series of 7"s. There were 6 7"s made of around the end of the 90s, featuring bands covering Black Sabbath. I enjoy all of these 7"s, and as with most early Hydrahead releases, there are enough variants to keep collectors entertained for years.

Back in about 2000 or 2001 I traded away my brown vinyl copy of the Volume 1 7" (split between Anal Cunt & Eyehategod) to someone for a green vinyl Strain 7" on Bateria Sour. I think that was a pretty great trade back then, and still would be today. I never replaced my brown vinyl 7" as it never seemed a priority, so it was cool to pick an unplayed copy up from the source.

I also grabbed a copy of the Volume 4 7" (featuring Cavity, Cable, Jesuit & Overcast) on blue and green vinyl. There were different colour combinations of this record, but only 27 copies featured a green vinyl 7". So this is a pretty cool score.

After looking at records and various other cool bits and bobs and chatting nonsense, time had somehow flown by and it was getting late. Tru had kindly offered to drive us back to our hotel in Santa Monica, so we had to leave. Shame as I felt that I could have really spent a lot more time chatting to Mark. He was a really interesting and cool guy, and I really hope I get to meet him again at some point.

Somehow, from the point of arriving at Vacation Vinyl to leaving Mark's house, 3 hours had passed. It honestly felt like about half an hour. Friday night really did fly in LA. We had met Jeff from Gameface at 6pm and then what felt like an hour later it was past 10pm, it was dark, and the jetlag was kicking in. Tru kindly dropped us back at our hotel and said goodbye.

After meeting Jeff and the trip to Vacation, I had added 7 LPs, one 10" and 10 7"s to my haul, bringing the total pile to 74 (48 7"s, 1 10", 25 LPs). I'd also spent most of my record budget money, and we still had RevHQ to visit...

1 comment:

Dischoarder said...

Holy shit at that Hydra Head Haul! Triple H!

I used to have that Botch 10" on pink. There's one on Discogs for $50 if you're desperate.