Sunday, May 21, 2006

This weekend's booty

Playing right now: The Cyrkle - Red Rubber Ball

How can you spot the jerk at an estate sale? He's the one who says, "Yeah, I stopped by last night to try to check things out, but nobody was here." That's because the estate sale is TODAY, you shmuck. What makes you think you're so freakin' privileged that you could get an early look? Sure these people are selling their life's items and you should get early dibs. Go to hell.

I showed up at this estate sale in Sharpsburg a few minutes before it was to start, at 7:30. And there was a line of about 15-20 people waiting to get in. The guy I mentioned above was behind me. That was key.....

When they let us it to this rather small house, I found the records in another room, in two looooong rows on the floor tucked in a corner where only one person could look at a time, unless 2 guys wanted to get up close and personal. There was a guy standing there behind the guy who was crouched down, and this guy was looking through a couple of those books of 45s. He was all done and about to get out of the way.....when a bunch of the records fell out of the book onto the floor. I mean, I was next in line to see the albums, trying to be patient, but I was wishing that dude was just get out of the way.

(By the way the ad for the sale said "1000s of records" but it was actually more like 100s, something that all these guys scoffed at.)

So I figured that these guys would get all the good good stuff but when I went through I started grabbing whatever interested me, thinking I'd check condition later (something that anyone should do at these things). And they passed over a lot of goodies.

So I found:
Gerry Mulligan - Paris Concert (orig on Pacific Jazz, a little beat but cover looks great; this was the treasure of the day)
Chico Hamilton Quintet - Plays South Pacific (also on Pacific Jazz)
Songs by Tom Lehrer, original 10"
Billy May's Naughty Operetta, another 10"
a Pittsburgh made 78 with Joe Negri playing on it (forget the leader's full name, he's a clarinet player whose first name is Bill)
The Cyrkle, which I'm listening to now. Some of it is sort of lame folk, but I love "Red Rubber Ball" and some the song playing right now is garagey
Jack the Ripper soundtrack by Pete Rugolo
Charlie Barnet - Dance Bash (wait, isn't it "Barnett"?)
Phineas Newborn Jr. - While My Lady Sleeps
Ahmad Jamal Quintet- Listen
The Outsiders - Time Won't Let me
Buddy Morrow - Night Train
Dancing at El Morroco - which we already have but it's such a cool record (swing plays 2 10-song medleys for dancing, like at the chic El Morroco club) that surely we can find someone else to give it to.

There were 78s in the basement and when I found them - a foot high stack with no covers - I decided to abandon the search. Felt like I have scored real well already. I even put a few albums back and skipped over some beautiful Tony Bennett albums with shiny covers.

I started talking to a frail older guy who was into jazz. We got to talking about specific labels and how there are some records that, if you find them at all, they're pretty beat up. Played a lot, and well loved. The Jazz Crusaders' albums on Pacific Jazz were a good example, I told him. He seemed interested and was a nice guy, although I felt like I didn't want him to see what all I got in case he might try to nick some from me.

Then he started to head up the basement steps ahead of me when he lost his footing. He broke his fall on the railing but also tipped over a shelf with some glassware on it. I helped him up with one of the guys from the estate sale and they got him a chair. I felt bad because I didn't know whether I should stay with him or let him be. The people there were fussing over him, so I decided he didn't need me trying to make small talk about jazz with him. Hopefully he'll be okay. I think he landed alright. And the lady who ran the sale took my number in case she needed a witness.

Last night me and Jen fired up the victrola and played some of the 78s that have been in the living room for awhile. It's weird because there are some records it still won't play. I thought it was the machine -- and in a way it probably is --- but it seems really sensitive to weight of the records. It's kind of frustrating. But then again, it's an old machine so maybe I shouldn't expect a whole lot.

Besides part of the fun is hearing the record slow down and having to crank it up again.

Oh yeah, I meant to bring this full circle. The jerk didn't get to the records until quite awhile after I did. And then he showed up at another (lame) estate sale about an hour later where I was. I was leaving as he was looking through the albums and I wanted to say, "HA! BEAT YOU AGAIN, YOU WEASEL!"

But then I wouldn't've been any better than him.

No comments: