Katzenblog II - No Pussyfootin’
As I sat in my cozy neighborhood cafe writing the original Katzenblog, I had no idea that anybody would actually read my missive. I am accustomed to my position at the back of the stage, behind a bank of keyboards.
Now that there are at literally scores of people reading these posts, I feel compelled to add a bit of structure to my musings. I am not proud of my occasional rants, so I will try to keep them to a minimum in this forum. I’ll endeavor to celebrate more than denigrate.
Today, I want to elaborate on the joy of discovering a jewel in the rough. The thrift store LP.
On my troubadour’s budget, it is a rare privilege to pay full market value for the vinyl albums in my prized record collection. I avoid the vortex of e-bay, as it is swamped with blues lawyers and indie derivative traders. These suited and monied aficionados are just as welcome to covet the platters as I am, but there is no way I can compete with their pre-programmed mega-bids.
I even tend to avoid the mainstream record stores in which each disc is cleaned, graded, and awarded a price tag just slightly above it’s actual market value, and well above my impulse-buy threshold.
Like an ornithologist in pursuit of an elusive “lifer”, I wade through stacks of the discarded and mismatched records which have landed in thrift shoppes, church bazaars, and rummage sale bins. I am happy to see a hundred copies of “Breakfast in America” if it leads me to one “Radio Ethiopia”.
The routine of these bins of albums is a security blanket of cultural normalcy assuring me that ‘people are people’ across our great continent. Crystal Gayle, Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass, Yes, Tina Turner, Def Leppard, Teena Marie, they all flip by in a relaxing animation of our shared pop music history.
And then, in a jarring flash, there will be a record jacket that catches my eye. Something either too rare or too prized to belong in such mainstream company. It is the joy found in those rare moments which make the whole pursuit worthwhile. I come home with a couple of novelty discs to show off to my band mates (eg: Sha Na Na “Live at Woodstock”), and a permanent addition to my collection that I will rescue from the bunch and take home to it’s rightful place alongside coveted peers. Pricetag, $1 per disc. 6 for $5.
To wit, I was happy to have recently stumbled across the seminal ambient masterpiece: Fripp & Eno “(No Pussyfooting)” . Quite a find in among the usual well worn copies of “Glass Houses” and “No Jacket Required”.
While I often come up empty-handed, or perhaps just picking up redundant copies of Bowie and T-Rex, the thrill of discovery is but one step on the explorer’s journey. Maybe I’ll see you at a thrift store down the road. Hopefully I’ll be wishing you well as I walk out with a smile on my face.
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