Turntables & Vinyl #22 – The Live Albums

One way to tell how good a band really is is to see them live.  If you can’t do that, then it is to listen to one of their live albums.  If they can capture what they have done in the studio and bring it to the stage or even take it up a notch, then you have a solid band.  Growing up, I was never in to live albums.  It was all studio albums for me.  One day, that changed and live albums became the thing.

Now, I tend to be gravitating to the live albums and trying the get them on vinyl or even CD if that is all I can get.  I figured we would go through what Live albums I have in my collection, then with the ones I am trying to get, my Top 5 Favorites and lastly let you weigh in on which ones I have to get my hands on as I am sure there are some I am not aware are great and I should go grab.

We will kick it off with the Hottest Band in the Land…KISS!!  It was the Kiss Alive albums that did it for me.  These things are great.  I have 4 of them…Kiss Alive!,  Kiss Alive II, Kiss Alive III and Kiss Unplugged.  They did get original with their names as you can tell.

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But that is not all, I also have a ton of Kiss Bootlegs as you have seen through my Kiss Bootleg Series…

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Turntables & Vinyl #21 – Colored Vinyl

The typical vinyl is black.  It is a beautiful color and when I see it, I want to drop a needle on it and give it a spin.  It draws me in and all I care about is the music that it holds and it needs to be heard, right now and very loud.  There is nothing better.

Or is there???

Whenever a band seems to put out an album nowadays, they are always putting out colored editions…and sometimes many different colored versions (Ace Frehley, I am talking to you).  And I want them!!!  I don’t go get them, but I want them.

Now, when I find I have a choice between a plain, old, boring black vinyl and a vibrant, elaborate, colored vinyl, I typically pick the colored vinyl.  Why?  Because they are so pretty!!  And different.  Different is good.  It can be exciting and invoke so many emotions and feelings.

Why am I talking about this?

No reason, other than I wanted to show off all the different colored vinyl I have in my collection so far.  Maybe not all, but as many as I can before I tire of putting this post together.

What is the most popular colored vinyl I have in my collection?

WHITE!!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #17 – The Thanksgiving Collection

For Thanksgiving, we always travel to Atlanta to visit family and celebrate what we are ‘thankful’ for and just enjoy being around people we love.  And two things happened this year that involved vinyl.  The first was Black Friday Record Store Day and the second was that a family member brought up they have a collection of vinyl they have sitting around.  Anything that involves music or vinyl is a good time for me.

First off, let’s talk about the Black Friday Record Store Day.  Friday morning came and everyone was a little tired from eating too much the night before and it was a slow start to the day.  My sister and brother-in-law were kind enough to make us breakfast and I couldn’t refuse.  Now this started at about 8 or so in the morning.  The one record store that was fairly close to my sister (20-25 minute drive) was going to open at 10am so I felt I was still good on time.

Breakfast didn’t actually get ready until closer to 9am and now I was getting worried. I didn’t want to be rude and skip out on breakfast, so I decided that it was more important to sit with the family and enjoy what was a very yummy breakfast rather than get some exclusive limited edition vinyl’s that would bring me hours and hours of enjoyment.  And I was right.

My daughter and I eventually got on the road and made it to the record store, Sweet Melissa’s Records at about 9:50 which was 10 minutes prior to opening.  And there was no line!!!  That is right…NO LINE!!!  I was so excited.  We got a parking space right in front of the store and couldn’t be happier.  We get out of the car and there was a lady at the door coming out and we asked if they were open and she said Yes, come on in.  Then she added, we got bored and opened early!  Early????  Red Alert….Early?? Danger Will Robinson, Danger!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #15 – More & More Vinyl

Vinyl, Vinyl, Vinyl…I keep getting more and more and I get more addicted to wanting more and more.  My wife shakes her head and just sighs at this point.  I guess I could be drinking, smoking or doing drugs, but thankfully that is not the case.  If I did those things, I would consume everything and I would just be throwing money away.  With the vinyl purchases, I at least could sell them if I ran out of money, so it is an investment…yeah, let’s go with that!!

There is a friend at work that her husband has 2 big crates of vinyl in their closet and she wants them out of the house.  So before they took them somewhere to sell them, she gave me first crack at going through them and letting me pick out the ones I want first. I gave her a fair price (more than any record store would give her, even more than they would in store credit).

The crates were very heavy and full of vinyl.  My wife said I should take them upstairs in the Loft and sit with the family while I went through them.  I declined as they were too dang heavy and I didn’t want to tackle the stairs with them.  Instead, I stayed downstairs for a couple hours and slowly went through the collection.

The collection consisted of albums from the late 50’s all the way up to the late 80’s.  Each crate was sort of themed.  The one crate was from the 50’s-70’s and it was all her husband’s parents vinyl.  It had stuff I had never heard of and a lot I had.  There was Elvis, Liberace (I passed on those), Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, the Kingston Trio and I could go on and on.

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Turntables & Vinyl #14 – #RSD 2018

Record Store Day is upon us.  It is April 21st, 2018 and I can’t believe I stood in line to get vinyl in 40ºF temperature.  It could be worse, it could be freezing & raining.  Thankfully, it was absolutely beautiful and sunny…just cold.

My daughter and I were tackling it again this year.  This time my daughter had something in mind she wanted.  I called the Record Store on Friday and asked if they had the album she wanted and he said he didn’t see it.  So, we made a plan to divide and conquer.  I asked my daughter to call a friend to see if they were stupid enough to stand outside with her at Lunchbox Records while I stood in line at Repo Records 5 minutes down the road.

We arrived at 7am (which means we left the house at 6:15am since it is a 45 minute drive to the record stores – we live in the boonies).  We decided on 7am since last year we arrived at 8am and the store lines were awful (except at Repo).  I get my daughter and her friend over to Lunchbox right at 7am and the line is not that long.  They jump out and get in line and I head over to the other store.

Repo Records line was shorter than Lunchbox and so I jumped in line.  Now the 2 hour wait since the stores didn’t open until 9am.  After chatting with everyone around me and everyone discussing what they were there for and what bands they liked and concerts they had seen, the doors opened.  The time flew by.  That was an enjoyable 2 hours…wait…it hadn’t been 2 hours.  The store opened a little early at 8:40am.  There is a God!! (yes, there truly is but that is another discussion).

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Turntables & Vinyl #13 – The New York Adventure

The family and I took a wonderful Spring Break vacation to the bustling city of New York.  What an amazing city.  There are so many things to see and so little time to see it all, but we crammed in as much as we could.  I was even able to take a few hours and visit some record stores while we were down in Greenwich Village. Lucky Me!!

Before we get to that, let’s talk a little about the trip.  We arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a little time to run down to Time Square to check things out.  The kids were stunned by the huge, bright, flashing billboards and all the people…all the interesting and very strange people.

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We saw where the film the Late Show with Steven Colbert, where the Broadway Show Rocktopia was playing which was starring Pat Monahan from Train while we were there (didn’t see it though), we of course saw Time Square and even went and snapped a picture at Radio City Music Hall.

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Turntables & Vinyl #12 – The CD Edition Update

If you remember back a few months for Turntables & Vinyl #8 – The CD Edition, I talked about all these CDs I received from someone in the neighborhood that was giving them away.  They were in really bad shape and there were 100’s I had to throw out due to broken or badly scratched CDs.

I managed to keep the CD covers in hopes of doing something artsy with them.  It turns out, I am not very artsy, so I decided to put them on a canvas and make them into a picture for my office wall.  Now, I decided, but I didn’t actually do the work.  My wife is the one that put this together as she is the creative one.

Below is a picture of the canvas with some of my favorite album covers from the lot I had to throw away.  I am very pleased with how it turned out and I have to thank my beautiful and talented wife for putting this together.  I couldn’t have done it without her.  The only thing I did was cut out the covers and decide the order to place them in even though she helped with that arrangement a little as well.  Okay, so she really did all of it.  She’s the best!

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Now, I didn’t have any Kiss or Def Leppard albums to include which bothered me, so I printed out their logos and had them incorporated into the picture by only showing partial album covers for AC/DC Back in Black and the Beach Boys Greatest Hits album.  See which ones you recognize.  I think most of them are very classic albums and I was even able to use the Emerson, Lake and Palmer cover to Brain Salad Surgery which is one of my favorite album covers.

There you have it!

Until next time…have a great day.

Turntables & Vinyl #11 – The Holiday Treasure Trove

Oh the Holidays!  The end of the year.  Christmas time.  The time John is not supposed to buy any albums since it is the holidays and it is my birthday time period so no record purchases as people need to have something to give me as a gift.  Well, that didn’t quite work this year.

I did set aside a list of albums people could buy for me for Christmas and/or my Birthday and I made sure that anything I picked up was not from that list.  December turned out to be a treasure trove of purchases, gifts and free stuff.  I definitely hit the jackpot with a crap load of albums to listen to and some day write about.

It all started mid-November when the Coke reward program was giving away $5 Amazon gift cards for every 10 bottle caps redeemed.  Well, I had been collecting them at work as I do drink one Coke product everyday and on really stressful, busy days, maybe two.  The $5 Amazon Gift cards were actually $10 because they allowed you to redeem it twice.  After setting up a several more accounts with different email addresses, I was able to redeem $40 worth of caps (I would have done more, but I ran out of caps).  What did I get with the $40 from Amazon?  Music of course.  I picked up the following:

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Turntables & Vinyl #10 – The Growing Obsession

It has been a few months since I have done a post in my Turntable & Vinyl series and a lot has gone on since the last one.  Mainly, the growing obsession with getting my favorite albums in vinyl.  Everywhere I go, I am looking for a record store or thinking of an excuse to go to a store and just “look” around. It has become a growing obsession that isn’t getting any better, in fact, it is getting worse.

And thanks to a fellow blogger, I now have my collection in Discogs.  I can’t remember who it was as it has been several months and I have a terrible memory…now what was I talking about…oh yeah…Discogs.  I spent quite some time cataloging my newly started collection.  The good news, now when I am out at a record store and I can’t remember if I have that album or not, I only need to pull it up on the phone and BOOM!!, I will know if it is in my collection or not.  No more buying duplicates (I told you my memory is bad).  I actually had to use it a few weeks back so I know it was well worth the time adding everything in. Plus, it tells me what my collection is worth (ain’t much which is sad!), but it is a great tool if the collection should get stolen or burned down, I have a record of my albums for insurance purposes.  Nice!

One thing I have been wanting to do for quite a while is upgrade my shitty little stereo system I have been  using.  It was an old system with some shitty little speakers.  Did I mention it was shitty?  Well, I finally replaced it and gave the older system to my oldest daughter for her room.  She loves it because that shitty system replaced her even shittier system.  One man’s junk is another man’s (or teenager girl’s) treasure.  I didn’t get anything real fancy, I did keep it very reasonable.  I only bought a Yamaha Receiver and a couple of Polk floor speakers plus a sub-woofer (I like that bass a little).  I could have gone with a surround sound system, but I really love this set up.  it was the way I listened to the albums back in the day, plus the vinyl isn’t mastered in Surround Sound!!

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Turntables & Vinyl #8 – The CD Edition

CD Edition??  What the hell???  This is a series about my journey rediscovering Vinyl. Why would I discuss CDs??

Well, let me tell you why.  Before I started re-collecting vinyl, I use to have a pretty extensive CD collection.  After we had kids and the digital age, I burned all my CDs to digital and then started selling them off (made pretty good money on some).  When we moved from Georgia to North Carolina, I gave my neighbor the final box of CDs as I didn’t want to move them and I was going to have no where to store them (I regret that decision to this day).

Lo and behold, one of my neighbors inherited a collection of CDs he had no desire for keeping.  He had a bunch of scratched up, banged up CDs that probably didn’t even work and he was going to try and sell the rest.  I let him try and make a little money on the others (which he was able to sell about 100) and if there was any left, I told him I would be interested in whatever he had left.

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