Sunday, July 20, 2014

digging for vinyl

After a hectic work week I found myself itching to jump in the car and hit the open road. You know how it is right? Awhile back Guse, host of Embrace The Sound, told me about an amazing record store packed to the gills with used vinyl in Counsel Bluffs Iowa. I looked at a map, consulted the on-lines and thought "this could work". My destination - Kanesville Kollectibles. Their website states they have over 750,000 used records on hand (although the owner later admitted to me that there is now over a million), as well as comic books and book books. I found some articles and a few pictures on-line, but I intentionally didn't dig to deep. I wanted to open the front door and not really know what to expect, and I spent my drive time dreaming about what treasures I might come across in the vinyl bins.

They opened the doors at 10 a.m. and I was there, and right from the get-go I was simply overwhelmed. I was in over my head, but that was exactly what I hoped would happen. There are those who want their used record stores nice and neatly organized. And then there are those who don't mind getting their hands dirty and digging into pile after pile of random records. Kanesville Kollectibles is definitely a record store for the digger. The first floor is organized to some extent, that is there is a wall or two of rock, a section for jazz, country, you get the picture. But even then there are little paths that snake through the store, walls covered with the rare vinyl albums you never see up close in person and comic book eye candy for days. Like I said, it was overwhelming to say the least. After I'd been there a bit I found myself in a section with quite a few K-Tel albums. I grew excited at the possibility of adding some new K-tels to the collection, when one of the owners came over to chat. I asked him if there were any more K-Tels around and he said "You haven't been upstairs yet have you?". Someone an aisle over started laughing and chimed in, "I can tell you exactlty where they are," pointing to the corner above his head "they are in that room all along the wall". It was then that the owner told me that everything upstairs was a buck a piece. "Come on up, I'll give you a tour".

This is what you find at the top of the steps.  

And then this.

And more.

If there was a flat space somewhere, there was going to be a pile of records on it. There was a room dedicated to easy listening and jazz vocalists. A room for 45 records.  Another for folk. Another for rock. And in every nook and cranny a box of vinyl, or a record player, or reel to reel tape. It was then that I knew what I had to do. I had to settle on one thing and one thing only. There was just too much to try and see in one trip. I couldn't take it all in unless I focused, and so I choose to look for K-Tels. Here is the corner that I spent about three hours in. Not all of it was K-tel, but a lot of it was.

The upstairs is not air conditioned and so it was very warm up there. Another shopper told me it was better than digging in the winter because eventually you can't feel your fingers. But this is where I found five new records to add to the K-tel collection. That might not sound like much, but when you have as many of them as I do it is really difficult to find new ones. It made my day! I also found a copy of Ken Nordine's Word Jazz album that made me gasp out loud. All in all I came home with a big box of records, and spent five hours thinking of absolutely nothing other than the album in front of me. This kind of record digging leaves you tired and exhausted at the end of the day, but it is oh so much fun while it lasts!

If you are looking for a weekend get-away I would highly recommend you go to Kanesville Kollectibles. The folks behind the counter, and the other shoppers are really friendly and can help point you in the right direction. You can find out more at their website here. I will be spinning some of the new finds this week on the morning show, and I picked up so many Pickwick Super Hits compilations that we might tear into them as well at some point this week. So hold on to your Sound-A-Like horses for that show!

Oh - and a big thanks to Guse for the tip on Kanesville Kollectibles.


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