Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Billy Joel - From "Record Where He's Throwing Stone At Greenhouse" to "Record where he's standing on sidewalk", his entire catalog is in every thrift store in the world. Tell her about it!!
Genesis. Duke, Lamb Lies Down, Abadabacaba, their self-titled LP, it's all there in the thrift. Also Phil Collins solo albums. Can you feel it in the air tonight?
Supertramp, "Breakfast In America". I've seen crazy grandmas trying to sell this for ten, twenty bucks, but your local Salvation Army has it for one dollar.
Styx - Pieces Of Eight, Crystal Ball, Paradise Theater, even Kilroy Was Here, it's all in the thrift. Keep your eyes open for their early pre-Tommy Shaw Wooden Nickel releases STYX and STYX II.
I know Elton John has a wide catalog, but much of it is right there in your local thrift store including Captain Fantastic, the record whose sleeve disturbed me as a child, don't ask me why.
It goes without saying that Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass will have a representative sampling of LPs in any collection of cast off records, including "Whipped Cream And Other Delights". If you need fifty thousand copies of that record, just go to any thrift store.
I know what you're saying, who the hell is Nana Mouskouri? Well, I don't know either, but somebody up here bought the hell out of her records because there is not one thrift store in Canada without a freakin' Nana Mouskouri record in it. Usually two or three.
Same deal with James Last. Holy cow could this guy make records that people would want to get rid of in a big way. In fact when I see the James Last LP in the thrift store, that's my signal to quit and go look at electronics.
Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors". NEVER PAY MORE THAN A DOLLAR FOR THIS RECORD. It's everywhere. I hardly ever see "Tusk", though.
If you ever need any kind of Christmas music for any reason whatsoever, your local thrift store has lots and lots and lots and lots of Christmas music.
Chicago. They made a lot of records, and I know this because they all got donated to Goodwill.
Bee Gees - the "Saturday Night Fever" LPs have largely disappeared thanks to kitschy 70s nostalgia, but their "Main Course" record always shows up. If you look closely it has a naked woman on the cover!
Toronto. Not the city, but the band, who apparently gave a copy of one of their LPs to every citizen of Toronto, who said "thanks!" and then gave them to the Salvation Army.
Max Bygreaves - singalongamax - this British fellow is something like Mitch Miller, a genial host who encourages people to sing along with him. He made fifty or sixty million different LPs and I've seen all of them in thrifts here in Ontario and in the States.
My Fair Lady - the Rex Harrision/Julie Andrews cast recording with the Hirschfeld cover. Everybody loves the Hirschfeld, apparently, I see this record everywhere.
Eagles - this popular country-rock combo was so hate-filled at the end of their "The Long Run" tour that they weren't speaking to each other except in curses. And you can buy all their albums at the thrift store now for pennies on the dollar! Take it easy, desperado! Christ, I hate the Eagles.
Bing Crosby's Christmas Albums. Apparently he quit hitting his kids long enough to cut this Christmas LP of which one awaits you at the Goodwill.
AC/DC - If you need "Back In Black" or "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" then you can't get much cheaper than your local thrift. Because they are there.
Loggins & Messina - if you wanted to hear what Kenny Loggins sounded like before he took that highway to the danger zone, look no further than Goodwill.
Carole King - "Tapestry". I think thrift stores find these LPs lying on the ground when they open for business.
Star Castle. Who were they? What did they sound like? I have no idea. But their LPs are everywhere.
The Knack "Get The Knack". You'd think hipsters would have snapped all these up, but you'd be wrong.
Beatles - they sold a hundred zillion records but people kept most of them. In fact people buy them over and over again in different formats. The only Beatles LPs I see in thrifts are the "1962-1966" and "1967-1970" compilations. And every record Wings ever made, they're all in the thrift.
Kingston Trio - they're still trapped on the MTA, and in the thrift. You'd think these early 60s folk LPs would be worth something, but you'd be wrong.
Monkees - you can still pick up their first two LPs in the thrifts for very little cash. Their later, less scripted records are harder to find, but occasionally turn up. I never see solo Mike Nesmith LPs, though I did find the "Dolez, Jones, Boyce & Hart" LP, which is an oddity, let me tell you.
Moody Blues - whichever one has "Nights In White Satin" on it, the sleeve looks like a classical LP. Never pay more than a dollar for it. In fact I will pay you a dollar to not have to ever hear "Nights In White Satin" again. Apparently the "mono" version of this LP is worth big bucks, though.
Classical LPs - they're all there. Everything. Take them, just take 'em.
Carpenters - if you never need a Carpenters LP, Goodwill has 'em.
Boz Scaggs - that record where he's sitting on the bench! They have lots.
still clogging up the bins - Frampton Comes Alive! Can you feel like I do?
Cheap Trick - I see "Live At Budokan" with the occasional "Dream Police". Both are worth having especially for a buck each.
Bobby Sherman - he's still got it! "It" being "lots of records people didn't keep."
Rolling Stones - apart from the occasional 80s release like "Tattoo You" which everybody agrees isn't really worth having, not a lot of Stones in the thrifts.
Heart. Usually two or three Heart LPs in the pile.
Children's records. Of all kinds and shapes and sizes. Disney, Peter Pan, Sesame Street, Smurfs, Strawberry Shortcake, whatever label had children's records, they wind up in the thrift store. The Smurfs made a lot of records. Sometimes this intersects with...
Religious records. Jimmy Swaggart sermons, Tammy Faye sings, gospel quartets, gospel bluegrass quartets, hymns, children's religious songs, it can all be yours for pennies on the dollar.
Jim Nabors. Gomer cut a lot of albums of his operatic baritone style singing. I mean a LOT of records. You will see the first one and think it's kinda funny, and then you'll see the second one and the third one and so on, and then you realize that somebody out there was buying these things.
Bins full of the same 12" rap single. Local talent got together with local producer and cut a rap record! And it went straight to Goodwill, who got boxes and boxes and boxes of "Boomp (Street wit 2 EZ)" by DJ Zipadeh Doodah and Professor Murder, or whoever.
I see Michael Jackson's OFF THE WALL sometimes, but people held on to THRILLER. I hardly ever see Jackson 5 LPs.
All of the Osmonds' work is at the thrift. Donny, Marie, and the rest, they're all there. If you've been itching to hear Marie sing "Paper Roses", get to the Sally.
Melanie. Apparently there was a singer named Melanie and she cut some records, and they are disproportionately represented in our thrift stores.
Sing Along With Mrs. Mills! Let's Have A Party With Mrs. Mills! Somebody Tell Mrs. Mills To Go Home! Before Susan Boyle, the UK's middle-aged housefrau crooning needs were represented by Mrs. Mills and her hearty anthems. Who would buy this record? And why?
Jackson Browne. The Pretender. All over the thrifts.
Seals & Crofts. Who are they? What did they do? Did they croft seals? Who knows? Lots of albums from these kings of Yacht Rock in the thrifts. SUMMER BREEZE MAKES YOU FEEL FINE BLOWIN' IN THE JASMINE IN THE BACK OF THE GOODWILL.
Grand Funk Railroad. Was it THESE guys who had the cover where they're all cavemen? That's the guys I'm thinking of. All you want for a dollar each.
If you look at the cassettes you'll notice that the selection of music moves from 60s-70s to late 70s'-80s-90s. I hardly ever look at cassettes, which is stupid of me because a lot of really weird stuff shows up on cassette in thrift stores. But I don't know if there are any acts that show up everywhere the way Herb Alpert does on LP. CDs are usually empty cases, free AOL discs, computer software from 1996, or record company compilation giveaways.
Ethnic music. Hungarian folk songs, Russian folk songs, Ukrainian folk songs, Polish folk songs, German drinking songs. Electronic European dance tunes. Chinese traditional songs. Voodoo drums from Haiti. The ethnic makeup of the neighborhood matters, sometimes. Sometimes it doesn't. But every thrift has a good selection of weird foreign tunes from 'the old country.'
CANADA ONLY: Up here the thrifts are full of LPs that you don't find in the States. Mostly albums by Prism, whose anthem "Spaceship Superstar" is a classic of cheesy space rock. Also Canada's number-one good time party band Trooper, I see a lot of their albums in the thrift bins. Never seen a Prism record south of the border, though. I have seen Rush LPs in both nations, but the percentage here is higher.
I'll be honest, the chances of finding anything 'really good' in the thrift stores get smaller every day; professionals are out there culling the herd daily to try and sell to hipsters in Queen West stores at two thousand percent markups. The days of finding entire Ramones catalogs for $1 each in the Salvation Army are long gone. But if you do kill some time flipping through their albums hoping for a score, remember that you'll be spending a lot of time with Mr. Herb Alpert.
Tread lightly, pilgrims... watch your head... LOOK OUT!! IT'S THE CRAZY GRANDMA COMIC BOOK PRICE GUIDE IN ACTION!!!
How much are you willing to pay for that copy of TUFF GHOSTS STARRING SPOOKY? Five dollars? Ten dollars? TWENTY DOLLARS? Think again, my pretty! Heh heh eh heh heh cough COUGH HACK COUGH OH JESUS PANT PANT pant.
Not ten or twenty or thirty or thirty-five - but forty whole dollars! Captured by the digital camera of intrepid explorers Shaindle Minuk and Dave Merrill as they delve deep, thrusting uncomfortably to penetrate the mysteries lurking within the caves - the CREEPY FREUDIAN CAVES starring HOT STUFF - of the World 'O Crazy Grandma Price Guide. You should probably go wash your hands now.
This was shot on Day One of this year's Xmas Odyssey at, obviously, the "L&K Antiques Mall" which is located on the 401 east of Windsor Ontario, north of Leamington (the Tomato Capital of Ontario) and somewhere within about a half-hour drive of Colasanti's Tropical Gardens, a farmer's market/roast chicken buffet/lawn and patio decor/petting zoo/tourist trap sort of place that's worth a stop if the weather's nice and you don't have anywhere in particular you need to be.
Other highlights of Day One of our trip include, um, getting gas, the US Customs guy being all attitudinal because the passports were not offered to him together in one simple motion, and being stopped by the Olympic Torch as it passed us in Windsor. And dinner at Bob Evans in Dayton and stopping for the night somewhere north of Louisville KY. Where Dave and Shain go, excitement follows!11!1!!! Can you feel it?
Went out in the rain yesterday to see some crazy grandma prices. And did we!
Terrible ninja comic by white people from the black and white boom of the 80s? Sure. I'll give you fifty cents or a dollar for it. NO WAIT
"That'll be TEN DOLLARS PLEASE," said in your best wavery grandma voice. "My grandson needs a new game tape for his thingamabob." Okay, sure, fine, but what about Archie digests?
These were printed in the tens of thousands, distributed around the world, surely THEY must be priced reasonably.
Nossir. Not ONE dollar, not EIGHT dollars, but EIGHTEEN WHOLE DOLLARS for an Archie digest from the 1980s. This is a collector's item! They only printed fifty thousand of these! It's occupying a valuable space in the corner of this shelf and if I sold any of these Archie digests - of which I have an entire box, priced from $10 on up - I might have to fill the space with some other equally valuable piece of junk, er I mean memorabilia, that I would have to haul out of my storage unit which is undoubtedly filled with valuable junk, I mean, memorabilia! Anyway if I sold any of this memorabilia then it would leave a big aching hole in my crazy grandma life - which is already pretty empty on account of me being a crazy grandma!
But it's not all oldsters with inflated senses of the worth of their junk out there in the sticks. Sometimes you see copyright infringment.
Don't tell United Features Syndicate but there's a golf center out in Ontario - and I won't tell you the name of the town, but THERE'S A PEANUTS CHARACTER WITH THE SAME NAME - which is just flaunting copyright like crazy! The sign has been up there for a good 20 years too, so it's a cinch THERE'S SOME KIND OF COVERUP GOING ON HERE.
We also found a picnic tray with suspiciously Dave Berg type artwork.
I dug through a lot of old Mads trying to find some evidence of swiping, but in general it has a vague early 1960s Dave Berg look without actually tracing anything from Dave Berg. Even Ponytail Woman Of 1960, though very similar to a character that appeared in "The Lighter Side Of Picnics", is not a direct swipe.
(Hint: "You're eating the stick.") Clamdiggers (or are those pedal pushers?) from the Laura Petrie collection.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
translated by Bruce Eimon
(courtesy Lorraine Savage)
The world of Violence Jack is a world of darkness due to meteors and volcanic eruptions. Huge meteors attack earth and destroy the surface of Japan. Some of the meteors land on and disrupt volcanoes. These volcanoes spring up all over Japan. The sky became dark with ashes and magma destroyed all the green life.A comet hits and destroys the sun. There is anarchy over earth. In the confusion force becomes the only means of justice. Men use violence, women fight back or become suppressed. But one woman is different; Mari fights violence with love.People have to kill to eat. What do we do? We suffer.
GARIAN (Galient?)Garian, which was on TV for a while will have a video that is different. Garian is a historical drama of planet Arsutu; a son avenges his father's death.
SPT LAYZNER III
This TV series was cancelled. Part III will be the last part not shown on TV. Editor's note: a lot of animation will be cancelled in the next five years due to a glut in the medium.
This is a science fiction school animation. It takes place at a computer controlled school where the headmaster keeps female and male students separated. But three girls start a revolution. The headmaster sends his daughter, Narisu, to settle the revolution. She wears the Powered Protector! What will happen?
FRUITS VERSION 2
This video does not have good quality but it will have fresh, new ideas. It deals with something we're forgetting in life.
This adult animation takes place in the winter. Ami has a love affair with her brother. He hasn't contacted her in a while. He calls her and then dumps her. Depressed, she goes to a friend's apartment and mysteriously gets sucked into a doorway!
URUSEI YATSURA IV
How different can this be from the long running show?
This original video is 30 minutes and different from the series. It will be out in September 1986. The video is a side story about Emi's summer vacation. Nothing exciting happens and there are no new characters.
This was a very minor comic that made it into video anyway. In the future, a transportation truck is in an accident and a combat robot M66, escapes from the truck. It then goes on a destroying rampage. The main character, Tyufon, is a newspaper reporter who covers the incident.
This too was a minor comic and the video will come out in November 1986. Everyone who orders the video will get a free Gaiba eraser!
Based on a TV video game, will come out in July 1986. It's about a simulation game.
Coming out in Jan 1987. This is past its due date due to the precise, detailed drawings of the guns in the picture. This will be beyond the realm of movies and will have perfect animation.
COSMO PINK SHOCK
This was a laser disc and not very popular, but will be a video. Michi was separated from her friend when they were four years old. Hiroshi was taken away from her. Michi then went on the spaceship, Pink Shock, looking for him. This is a story of a simple obnoxious girl who raises hell. But she's so cute you let her do it and forgive her.
The theme: in our present society, we can hang onto something stable, our value, in this state of confusion. This takes place in good ole California. This is a view of America from a Japanese point of view of the good ole days. It may not be correct.The story centers around a car chase scene. The director was influenced by movies like "Easy Rider" and he wanted to use 70s music. The movie also reminds him of "Close Encounters" but it's not a science fiction movie. Yet... The cars chase for the gift from the UFO-- but the director won't tell us what the gift is.
OPEN THE WINDOW
A girl has magical powers and goes into another world. There she becomes queen and fights evil.
REM 2 (Dream Hunter Rem?)
A story about the psychology of adolescence taking place at a girls' boarding school.
A girl likes motorcycles, but not wild riders, just the motorcycles. You'll like this video if you like motorcycles.
Two people do not keep their promise and break their trust, and live unhappy lives because of it. Two keys of the story are the ghost ship and the bird of red light.
RIYON LEGEND FLARE
This X-rated video is about Riyon which is supposed to be the most beautiful planet in space. It is peaceful and has never been attacked before. The queen of the eastern kingdom Flare will marry the king of the West to unify the two. But a force from another planet comes, led by emperor Gurode, and attacks. Flare gets captured by the Gurode forces. Her servant gives her body over to be tortured to save Flare. Gurode's forces have the latest mechanical weapons and most of the men get killed.
CALL ME TONIGHT
In this R-rated video, Rumi is a high school girl by day and operates a telephone club by night. She meets a guy with strange powers; when he gets excited he turns into a monster. She likes him because he's like her; he has two extreme lifestyles. The other girls at school get jealous of Rumi.
This video was originally planned with three girls but went to seven because it was so popular. The enemies of Gall Force, the Paranoid, are totally different life form. They are under combat with their female race, the Soulnoid, and have advanced technology.
SAMY MISSING 99
This science fiction spectacle is like Alice In Wonderland. A girl gets sucked into another dimension and meets a rabbit. She goes through into a new and different world.
ARMORED WARRIOR VOTOMS
They are looking for perfect soldiers and trying to get a certain type of material.
The most important character is the moving city, Naruhisu, riding on a giant turtle.
MAMONOGATORI (Magic Story)
This adult film uses singing idols as voices to attract people to these type of dumb movies released in summer.A gangster in a small city accidentally saves the life of a young witch, Betty Valentine. She married him as thanks. Her grandmother tests them to prove their love. Meanwhile, Betty must kill the person who killed her sister.
This is a horror movie. Most foreign movies spend a lot of time on art but in Japan we spend a lot of time on characters. This movie is an exception. It will concentrate on art.In a space ship people are paranoid, a giant silhouette approaches. No attacks upon it works, people scream...
This is a complex story centering on Nayuta. Her parents are killed by aliens and she has to find her place of comfort. This story has love, sadness, adventure, and fantasy.
The main girl is cute and the guy is handsome and strong. They must fight an organized mafia type called Furado. Everyone has a head meter which shows their level of power. The only person who gets an infinite sign on his forehead is one with infinite power, who is the leader of the Furado, named Furaodia Lee. Kei, on the good side, has a meter reading of 5, which is low. Yet he really is powerful.
There is a distinct difference between the city in the sky and the city on the ground. The ground city has inefficent technology. Laputa, in the sky, has efficent machinery. But Laputa gradually decayed and lost its power.
This movie is a big spoof with nonsense animation. It's sure to be a big hit.
If you're interested in old-school Japanese cartoons please check out my classic anime blog Let's Anime!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
This review of Disney’s ATLANTIS: THE LOST EMPIRE was written upon the film’s release in 2001 and originally appeared on the website Anime Jump.
Some anime fans are taking a page out of the “Lion King” handbook and crying “ripoff” at Disney’s film ATLANTIS, claiming similarities between it and the 1989 Gainax series NADIA: SECRET OF BLUE WATER. However, fact is ATLANTIS has about as much to do with NADIA as it would have to do with ANY series dealing with Finding Lost Atlantis Under The Sea. Okay, there is a blue healing gem plot device thing, that’s a pretty direct swipe. But otherwise forget it. ATLANTIS doesn’t even have Captain Nemo in it, and there isn’t any of that business of secret agents and conspirators running around the surface world that seems to be in ALL these lost undersea empire films - check out Atragon or Latitude Zero sometime.
The real problem is that ATLANTIS is an oddity even among modern Disney films. It’s a throwback to the Bad Days, an atavistic relic from the days before The Mouse learned how to make animated films that appealed to modern audiences. In other words, this movie is VERY 1980s.
The figure animation is full of over-expressive facial contortions and that flippety-floppy crap Don Bluth used to use to hide his lack of ideas. There are a lot of old people and dark greys and browns, and a cat straight out of OLIVER&CO. or FOX AND THE HOUND or some other dank resume-filler. The character designs themselves are by themselves fine, but no two of them look as if they belong in the same film. Most studios hire a guy, ONE guy, to design characters and keep the look consistent, but not ATLANTIS, where one person’s traditional Disney and another person looks like an Aeon Flux extra and another one is a graffitti caricature.
And while I’m on the subject of characters; ATLANTIS shows Disney taking a bold step into the 1980s by including a racially mixed cast of adventures, all of whom are painful caricatures, if not outright stereotypes (the French guy doesn’t bathe! Isn’t that FUNNY?!), all of whom turn out to be brave, stalwart, and true. Except of course for the two white Americans, who are evil and die horribly. Sure, the hero is a white guy, but he’s a nerd, so he doesn’t count.
Do you think the Disney animators are kinda working out some high school traumas when they give us a dramatic climax featuring a big, tough, alpha-male military guy beating up on a skinny, pale, bespectacled weenie-boy? I do.
I would say something about the Atlantean princess, whatever her name is, only the most charitable thing I can think of to say is that she probably won’t be joining the ranks of Famous Disney Princesses any time soon. Blue hair, head consistently drawn too large, and has a blue gem that heals wounds, except when it’s not convenient to the plot. Oh, and apparently she’s eight thousand years old. Which leads me to question exactly what the deal is with the city of Atlantis. Atlantean crowd scenes are carefully orchestrated to show as many cute little toddler Atlanteans as possible, because they’re that kind of perfect, untroubled by evil capitalistic Western society-culture that automatically has lots of smiling children around. So it begs the question, if the Atlanteans never die, but can have children, how come in the eight thousand years they’ve been on the bottom of the ocean they haven’t overpopulated themselves into complete extinction? Maybe the toddlers are eight thousand years old too and nobody ever ages. How’d you like to be that kid’s mom - changing eight thousand years worth of diapers? Now THAT’S what I call paradise, for some kind of sick freaking diaper fetishist, maybe, but not for me, thanks.
I think they’re cannibals, that’s what they are. Either that or they have some sort of Logan’s Run public execution type deal going on. Closed society, folks - something’s gotta give SOMEWHERE.
Actually this is the kind of film where stuff just happens, where every plot element falls through if you give it a moment’s thought, where the evil mercenaries get their comeuppance but the guy who HIRES the evil mercenaries is somehow still a good guy, where the only reason something is mentioned or shown is to make sure you remember it when it becomes convenient to the plot.
With none of the witty banter or pop-culture gags that have made recent Disney films so watchable, it’s obvious that this film is their attempt to ‘catch up’ with Japanese animation. The script, by Hollywood veteran Tab Murphy -best known among fans for his abortive scripts for WATCHMEN and STAR BLAZERS - never strays far from familiar territory. If you've ever seen a Doug McClure film and then watched a Japanese cartoon, you've seen ATLANTIS. “We’ll give ‘em flashy effects, chicks with blue hair, big machines, and a plot you could drive trucks through! They’ll love it!” they said. And this would have worked… in 1987. If they’d released this film fourteen years ago the Mouse would be where the Japanese are now - producing entertaining and innovative works that set new standards in animation. As it is, ATLANTIS is a day late and a dollar short. Instead of having Mike Mignola work on mechanical designs – which are great - , they should have just given him all the money for a HELLBOY feature. (Which somebody did, a few years later, and it was a big hit. Dave wins again!) – ed.
That’s not to say this film is a complete washout. It’s one of the few Disney films where the “funny” supporting cast is actually funny. Hiring comedians like Don Novello, who’s easily the most memorable character in the film, is a trend that should continue. The meat-and-potatoes mechanical stuff is gutsy and shows a lot of promise - the second quarter of the film is mostly submarines battling giant robot lobsters and mechanical moles digging in the bowels of the Earth, that sort of thing, and the movie shows it can handle this material with the best of them. Plus - and I cannot emphasize this enough - there are NO funny animal sidekicks and NO songs, which gets a few points in my book.
Still, there’s a big chunk of soul missing from the center of ATLANTIS. It’s ultimately a cynical and heartless film made up of bits and pieces of other films. Don’t believe me? This movie has a CITIZEN KANE swipe in it, okay? It’s an exercise in beating the Japanese that, like Disney’s OTHER summer “blockbuster” PEARL HARBOR, does the most damage to itself.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A RCA Selectavision video disc player, AKA a "CED" player. CED stands for "Capacitance Electronic Disc" and was a home video format that flared up briefly in the early 1980s, much like a rash or some kind of epidemic. I bought mine at a pawn shop for five bucks and have had it ever since, enjoying the wide assortment of pan and scan feature films that litter the landscape of junk shops and flea markets at widely varying price points. It's a technological curiosity but quite useless these days; most films are available in other formats that are much better looking and much more convenient.
One thing the RCA Selectavision is NOT, is a laserdisc player.
But don't tell that to the crazy grandmas who price things at antique malls, who seem to think this useless boat anchor is worth fifty-five dollars. Good luck with that, chief.
On the other hand we did see this crazy looking rabbit!
Sure, $25 is probably too much for it, but it sure is crazy lookin'. Maybe HE priced that Selectavision.
(objects were seen at Market Road Antiques and the St. Jacobs Antiques Market, both in St. Jacobs.)