Thrift Store Tales: Digging In Rhode Island (Again)

by Diognes_The_Fox

Well, here I am back again with another true story from the world of dust. I used to hear stories that thrift stores used to be consistent amazing fountains of records. This was the thought going through my head last Friday. I walked out of a certain chain thrift store in Rhode Island empty handed. Detritus as far as the eye can see. Sure, I could learn more about The Atkins Diet or get my Windows 2000 Server MSCE certs. I could fill my life with Harry Connick Jr.’s complete discography on compact disc and cassette. I could buy every religious and/or exercise record there is. I could be the king of Reader’s Digest, even.
 
Nay, I am king of Reader’s Digest, lord of the big bands, heir to the mighty and noble throne of Conniff upon Alpert. I started out contributing everything I could get my hands on. This started at the thrifts and yard sales where risk is low. I moved on to used jukebox supplier bulk. This allowed me to meet enough dealers to move onto working with store and dealer stock. Now, I’m back at thrift stores and yard sales, empty handed and broken hearted. Boo hoo.
 
Of course, everything is dependent upon when you get there. A spot can be in a permanent state of waste. All it takes is one person who happens to work at dry cleaners next-door, like the spot by my parents house. Knowledge of who else visits the watering hole can be helpful. It could give you a good idea of what you might be building up over time. They could even be cool people who have nothing in common with what you collect. These are good friends to have. They are usually happy to trade mountains of amazing vinyl records for your detritus.
 
Not to say all things are bad these days. Leaving empty handed is still quite rare for me. I have had to expand my horizons to still find enjoyment though. You can’t only be into The Beatles or Pink Floyd and expect to get any joy out of digging. Especially after a few outings, these days. Last time I went out, I did okay. I bought a lot of organ music, new age / ambient CDs, and a Hungarian Children’s record with a Disco-ish track. It might prove to be interesting with some creative re-editing. There is still some gold out there. Or silver. Or, well, scrap iron.
 
Earlier in the day, I fared far better at Analog Underground. This might have raised the bar for my expectations to a considerable extent. I scored some disco 12″s off my wantlist. I also found some clean baltimore club, a few Krautrock reissues and a Sun Ra album.
 
What does a good day of digging look like for you these days? Share your experiences down below!
3 comments about “Thrift Store Tales: Digging In Rhode Island (Again)
  • DATAcloud 3 months ago
    Here is a quick list of recent Thrift Store CD finds :

    Arrange And Process Basic Channel Tracks - Scion
    Cecil Taylor Feel Trio
    Windowlicker - Aphex Twin
    Just One Fix - Ministry
    The Infinite - Dave Douglas
    Mirror Eye - Psychic Ills
    Cuban Blues: The Chico O'Farrill Sessions - Chico O'Farrill
    Many Things - Seun Kuti + Fela's Egypt 80
    Speaker Swinging & Piano Mechanics - Gordon Monahan
    The Diamond Sea - Sonic Youth (sealed) :-)
    Spy Vs. Spy: The Music Of Ornette Coleman - John Zorn

    not too shabby ;-)
  • zoli79 3 months ago
    "I bought a lot of organ music, new age / ambient CDs, and a Hungarian Children’s record with a Disco-ish track."

    Cool! Halász Judit was the most popular singer / reciter for children - and thanks for the recordings - still is. I recently spent 2 years in Sacramento, CA and found that I can lay my hands on some great Hungarian folk music. But I can understand that it is not everyone's cup of tea. :)
  • kwhitehead 3 months ago
    I'm regularly blown away by some of the records I find at the thrift stores here around New Haven. I wonder where they are coming from and when the spigot will eventually be turned off. I mean, there can only be a finite amount of LP's sitting around attics and basements, right? Lately it's been R&B and funk LP's showing up. Many are not in perfect shape (these are party records, keep in mind) but certainly serviceable (and usually only a dollar or two.) I've also found stunning jazz LP's too.

    It pays to be persistent though. You never know when new records are gonna show up. And keep your expectations low. There could be months of nothing but Anne Murray records but, usually, your patience is rewarded.