The New York WFMU record fair

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Xenu
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The New York WFMU record fair

Postby Xenu » Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:50 pm

Well, first the good points:

a) I met Bob Irwin and Erik Lindgren, so I'm finally making the same strides Luke made years ago in actually sorta speaking to these people. I made an idiot of myself in front of the former, though.

b) The event was astoundingly well organized, with a table chart and everything. Similarly, the people were generally courteous.


Other than that...I was generally underwhelmed. I suppose part of this shows how far I've come (both taste-wise and restraint-wise) in recent years. It seemed, at times, as if 60% of what was there was 60s and 70s rock, with small digressions into punk, some avante-garde, and what have you. That's nice, I guess, and some people had some pretty bitchen esoterica, whether we're talking about private press LPs or just general oddities.

Unfortunately, most of what was there was "smart-priced," i.e. $10 or above. I found a lot of things I generally look for in record stores, like mono early Bee Gees albums and that sort of thing, but everything was priced by-the-book out of my range. With a few exceptions--and there were, in fact, bins of $1 LPs--there was no "thrill of the hunt;" everything had been accounted for and priced accordingly.

It's also intriguing to note how the bootleg scene has changed in the years since my last record fair. It's been...what, ten years or something since I dragged my mom to a similar affair in Cape Cod. Back then, illicit goods were genuinely intriguing. CDs! Tapes! LPs! All fascinating. Now--with the maturation of internet-facilitated filesharing--some guy selling stacks of dubbed VHS tapes looks more and more like an opportunist. As CDs were in short supply at this particular event, there were very few interesting CD bootlegs to go over.

I'm honestly surprised at how indifferent to the event I feel. I guess part of it is knowing that despite the massive assortment of items present, I wasn't going to find the few bits of vinylage I actually kind of want (space issues having forced me as of late to dramatically slow my vinyl consumption rate...not that it was ever really rapid in the first place). I want the original Moon Riders single of "Beep Beep Be Alright." Chance of encountering it: pretty much nil, even though it isn't particularly rare. This is where the focus on the usual suspects: 60s/70s rock, with the "usual" exceptions, sort of let me down. I guess it's what to expect.

Anybody else attend?
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Re: The New York WFMU record fair

Postby lukpac » Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:59 pm

Xenu wrote:a) I met Bob Irwin and Erik Lindgren, so I'm finally making the same strides Luke made years ago in actually sorta speaking to these people. I made an idiot of myself in front of the former, though.


As you might say, DETAILS PLEASE.

Anything interesting?

In terms of shows and bootlegs, I will say it's pretty pathetic these days when most of the boots out there are CD-Rs. As much as I love CD-Rs for custom mastering and/or trading, there's something quite satisfying about having pressed copies of things like LALC. And $40 just seems like a rip-off for 2 CD-Rs.

Speaking of which...at my local store recently there were two copies of a Dylan boot. One was a pressed disc, and one was a CD-R. And the CD-R was $5 more than the pressed disc. Go figure.
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Postby Rspaight » Sun Nov 06, 2005 12:23 am

I haven't been to a show in over a decade. I used to go mainly to gorge myself on import singles and other such exotica, but once the Internet came along, that whole scene sort of died. Shows generally don't make it out here to the sticks any more.

Plus, all those record collectors smell funny.

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Postby dudelsack » Sun Nov 06, 2005 2:36 am

I was there. Bought some CDs. Actually went in more or less looking to price out an LP pressing of "Fun House" but didn't see one. Seemed less impressive this year, but I didn't go through any of the vinyl (record player needs new shoes).

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Postby J_Partyka » Sun Nov 06, 2005 9:21 am

There's a show coming up in my vicinity (Lehigh Valley, PA) at the beginning of December. I'll probably go, though I was really underwhelmed by the last show I dragged myself to (last year, when I was still in Massachusetts ... the best part of that was a fistfight that broke out between two dealers outside the hotel). I went to the Lehigh Valley one a few times back in the early '90s, and it used to be a good one ... I'm curious to see if it still is.

I think the Internet has indeed lessened the allure of these shows, for a variety of reasons. I too used to love scrounging for import CD singles, promos, MoFi LPs, etc. etc. ... but it seems lately that the really good stuff never makes it to the shows (the dealers have already sold those items on eBay) ... and anything there that is good is often prohibitively priced.

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Re: The New York WFMU record fair

Postby Xenu » Sun Nov 06, 2005 1:05 pm

lukpac wrote:Anything interesting?


A little. I didn't want to come off as a drooling obsessive (and besides, Bob kept getting little meets and greets from the crowd, so I tried to not take up too much of his time). I asked about the upcoming Spirit mono LP, and bantered a bit about it; he confirmed that my mono "Family that Plays Together" was in fact some kind of fold-down ('though he seemed impressed that I actually had one), and told me that they've finally reclaimed the stereo master for that album, and will likely be using it in a future LP pressing. I also inquired about the Paul Revere & the Raiders pressing plant error, which was pretty interesting (in brief: the pressing plant boosted the levels without asking, which may also be what affected the 1996-era Turtles discs).

In terms of shows and bootlegs, I will say it's pretty pathetic these days when most of the boots out there are CD-Rs. As much as I love CD-Rs for custom mastering and/or trading, there's something quite satisfying about having pressed copies of things like LALC. And $40 just seems like a rip-off for 2 CD-Rs.


Exactly. It's a funny thing, though; while my collectors impulse has died for a lot of things, it's reawakened insofar as collecting old, pressed bootlegs is concerned. Seriously. There's something really fun about tracking down all of those old discs I used to see, but no longer see around (because they've been superseded by Thirty Days or LLT or something. For example, I recently found a lot of those old "Songs from the Past" discs for $5 each, and while they have nothing on later discs for sound quality and breadth of material, they're awfully fun to listen to.

I was there. Bought some CDs. Actually went in more or less looking to price out an LP pressing of "Fun House" but didn't see one. Seemed less impressive this year, but I didn't go through any of the vinyl (record player needs new shoes).


I found the CD offerings to be very unimpressive. Everything that wasn't borderline worthless (old ABKCO Stones discs for $20! Yay!) was generally pretty overpriced.
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Re: The New York WFMU record fair

Postby dudelsack » Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:39 am

Xenu wrote:
A little. I didn't want to come off as a drooling obsessive (and besides, Bob kept getting little meets and greets from the crowd, so I tried to not take up too much of his time). I asked about the upcoming Spirit mono LP, and bantered a bit about it; he confirmed that my mono "Family that Plays Together" was in fact some kind of fold-down ('though he seemed impressed that I actually had one), and told me that they've finally reclaimed the stereo master for that album, and will likely be using it in a future LP pressing.

From all reports, Bob's a pretty nice guy who cares about the quality of his product. I didn't see him at the show, but I wasn't really looking.

I found the CD offerings to be very unimpressive. Everything that wasn't borderline worthless (old ABKCO Stones discs for $20! Yay!) was generally pretty overpriced.


I found an old Castle Captain Beefheart two-CD Safe As Milk (mono fold)/Mirror Man set for $8, which is nice, as the Beefheart torrent doesn't include the latter. Also a couple of 1991-ish Japanese pressings of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac for $6 and a few other things.

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Postby Xenu » Mon Nov 07, 2005 12:56 pm

I have that Castle twofer. Interesting, ain't it? I remember how thrilled I was when I finally found a difference between the mono fold and the "actual" mono mix. I'm a major loser.

Bob did seem nice, as did Mr. Lindgren.
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Postby dudelsack » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:01 pm

Yeah, it is. Doesn't sound half bad, for a fold, though there are some strange level changes that indicate probably wierd stereo tricks or something gone awry with the fold down. Or maybe just bad mastering.

Wasn't going to mention it, but have you or any other FLOers heard of Luke Vibert? DJ specializing in comps of "library" music. Found his "Nuggets: Luke Vibert's Selection" CD at the FMU sale table, sealed. Obviously nobody there knew what to do with it, but I had a previous (or later, maybe) comp called "Connections" that was really good.

Basically this is instrumental electro-funk music written on spec that would have been used by some really bizarre TV shows. Wierd synths, heavy funk, breakbeats abound. Definitely recommended, if you're into that sort of thing.

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Postby seth » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:05 pm

I was there too. I always go, as I live only about 1/2 mile away. I didn't talk to Bob Irwin this time (he was at the Sundazed booth), but I have at several past WFMU fairs. Nice guy, though not always the easiest to converse with. (Also, is it just me, or doesn't he look a little like Rod Argent?) I did buy one used record at the Sundazed stand (mono Byrds LP) and also the Byrds 2x10" Sundazed set.

I did speak to Eric Lindgren, who was very personable. I bought 3 45s from him: 2 Sir Doug (She's About A Mover on London, and Bacon Fat on Tribe), and one Wildweeds (Al Anderson, later of NRBQ), a one-sided DJ copy of No Good To Cry.

Otherwise, I got various 60's LPs, EPs, and 45s, nothing great, including a few Beatles items (the main thing I collect). Also got a stack of used CDs - mostly garage and psych reissues. Also a couple of 78s, including a Fats Domino cover of Prof. Longhair's "Go To The Mardi Gras".

Overall I also felt it was not as good as some previous shows, but I'm still glad I went.

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Postby Xenu » Mon Nov 07, 2005 6:06 pm

"If you're into that sort of thing." Big "if," that.

Yeah, it doesn't sound bad at all. Actually, when the choice was historically between that and the astoundingly shitty stereo reissues that preceded the Buddha disc, that thing won by a mile.

IIRC, the mix on "Mirror Man" is also different, although it's probably also a fold-down.
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Postby dudelsack » Mon Nov 07, 2005 11:13 pm

I think Mirror Man is in stereo...? I'll check.

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Postby CitizenDan » Tue Nov 08, 2005 12:16 pm

With torrent sites and trading trees and all, I'm amazed that anyone still has the nerve to sell CD-R bootlegs, let alone VHS bootlegs. I think the last time I paid for either was seven-eight years ago, at least.
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