Tuesday 28 August 2018

USA Trip, Part 3 - Philly (Day 1)

After the show in Brooklyn, we headed south to Philadelphia. We arrived in Philadelphia on a Friday evening, and were met at the station by our hosts Geoff and Jenn. I had been looking forward to this leg of the trip a lot. It's always good to catch up with friends you haven't seen for a while... especially when they have a lovely house and a Nintendo SNES Classic mini console.

After a night of playing Street Fighter, Saturday was a pretty major day for records. Not only did I acquire too many, but I also learnt how the record shops work. More on that in a bit. But the day started with some records that Geoff had picked up for me a year before at Rev30 that I had completely forgotten about...

First was the Fall Silent 'Cart Return' 7" that Rev put out earlier last year. The band made a limited cover to sell at the Rev 30 show. It's a 7 Seconds parody and looks pretty rad.

The cover is a fold-over job that sits on top of the regular sleeve.

Next is the first release from Unity Worldwide Records. It's a split 7" called 'Compilation Of Unity' and features LastLight (a band featuring dudes from Outspoken) and a German band called Tausend Löwen Unter Feinden. The copies sold at the show were technically test presses in a specially made sleeve.

And finally, the Revfest version of the Battery 'For The Rejected By The Rejected' LP. It has hand stamped labels and is numbered out of 135 copies.

The main difference between this version and the one sold at Damaged City fest is that these copies come with the booklet. It's a huge, thick, heavy booklet which is the story of the band. How they started and why they ended. It's a really interesting read. I just wish that they'd made it smaller as it weights a ton!

After a morning of local sightseeing, we jumped in the car and headed to Double Decker Records in Allentown. I was keen to check this place out, as I had heard a lot of positive things about it.

One of the first things I spotted was an Isis 'Sawblade' 12" on the wall. I've never owned one. I sent the money off to the guy who released it back when it came out, and he never received it. It then sat on my want list for years. Everytime I would make a play for one the price would jump up. So I never got around to picking one up. But the one I saw in Double Decker looked to be in great condition, and the price was good. So I grabbed it.

I then spent probably about half an hour flipping through the LP section. It was, generally, a lot like the Armageddon Shop, in the respect that most of the LPs seemed to be new releases (including a lot of reissues and represses). Then right at the end was a bin full of stuff that was on sale. I'm pretty sure that someone had dumped their entire React! collection in the store a few weeks before as there were a lot of React! releases in that bin. I grabbed the Breakaway LP on white as it was cheap.

When I went to show Geoff something I found back in the regular priced section, and he showed me an orange vinyl copy of the C.R. 'John Lisa' LP that he had found. He didn't want it, but I figured I'd be happy to give it a home. There were 100 of these pressed back in 1996, and it used to be pretty damn hard to get. I always kinda wanted one, but never desperately. But with one in front of me, the temptation was too great. I mean, it would have been stupid not to buy it really.

So that was that. I'd been through all the LPs and only found three that interested me. Once again, it felt that the store was a slight disappointment, with the majority of stock being new releases and represses. I was disappointed and ready to leave. And then Geoff persuaded me to look through the 7"s...

I would say that this was the point that I started to understand how US record shops work. As a general rule, it seems that the LPs are 90% new releases, whilst the 7"s are 90% used and reasonably priced. As I started flipping through the boxes, I couldn't help but find hidden gems at bargain prices. A lot of these were $3 or $4 each... which, for me, is impossibly cheap. I mean, these things may be that price on the internet, but then there would be shipping to pay on top. So I figured that I may as well pull out everything that interested me while I flipped through, and then decide which ones to actually buy at the end. But then at the end I couldn't find it in me to put any back, so I just bought them all. Haha. Anyway, here's the rundown... in alphabetical order, as that's the order that I pulled them out of the boxes...

What was it I said about someone dumping their React! collection in the store a few weeks before? Well, I decided to grab these two Ancient Heads 7"s on red (out of 150) and also on white (out of 350). I completely missed this record when it came out.

I then also picked up the band's Demos 7" on clear.

Next, an obscure 7" on Lockin' Out Records - the Back to Back 'Flesh & Bone' 7" on clear. I'd never heard this before, but grabbed it simply because it was on Lockin' Out.

The Consolation Prize 7" is also on Lockin' Out, and I grabbed the limited gold vinyl version. I had one of these go missing in my vanishing box a couple of years ago. This is such a good record. It sounds more like Supertouch than Supertouch do these days.

This next 7" is probably my favourite of the lot. The D.C. Disorder 'Naive To A World' 7" on Youngblood. I missed this on colour when it came out as it sold out in a couple of hours. I can understand why. This thing rips. Stoked to have grabbed both colours at one go - blue (150) and red (200). This is the stand out best 7" of the bunch for sure.

Continuing the Youngblood records theme, next up are two copies of the Disengage 7" that came out in 2015. I'd also missed this one when it came out. White was the This Is Hardcore press / 165, and blue was out of 200.

This next one I bought not being sure if I owned or not. For $3 I figured I'd take the chance. But given that my 7"s are in storage at the moment, I can't check, so I still don't know. It's a purple vinyl copy of The Final Plan 7" 'Dead End Nights' 7". Gotta love those Dead By 23 releases.

And back to the React! haul. I completely missed the Peace 7" when it came out, so it was cool to find both the the red and white.

This one I wanted for a while, so am glad I got it. The limited gold vinyl press of the Response 'There's No Choice EP'. Response is / were (not sure which) a California straight edge band featuring a couple of Rev employees.

Next, Right On 'Realty Vacation' 7" on clear. This came out in 2006 and was one of only a couple of Malfunction releases that I was missing. Cool to grab it for a couple of dollars.

Soul Search 'Bury The Blame' 7" on Triple B on clear. This is the more limited colour from the 2nd press (out of 110 copies).

And finally, this limited Stick Together 7". No idea what the deal is with this one. The back cover says that this is on Sprau Records. My guess is that there were some leftover records and someone made some limited covers. But I'm just speculating.

So that's the lot. As you can see, I was a lot more successful with the 7" boxes than the LP racks. So I took this technique with me to the remaining stores that I visited on the trip.

The final cool thing that I accomplished in this store was a discount. I had asked Geoff if it was the done thing to try to negotiate a discount on a bulk purchase. He said no, but I tried anyway and the dude knocked off about $30 fro the total, which was cool and made me feel like I had accomplished something other than spend a quarter of my record budget in one go.

Anyway, that was Day 1 in Philly. The next post will be Day 2 in Philly, which also involved similar shenanigans...