Saturday, March 21, 2020

Record Store Tour: Vinyl Experience (Steinbach)

Due to the whole CORVID-19 outbreak which is killing jobs and freedom by the minute, the record store tour will be on hold. However, I have one more adventure to share with you...

Location: Highway 12 & 52, Steinbach, MB
Rating: 8/10

This store isn't in Winnipeg, but Steinbach isn't too far away. So what kind of a record store exists in a small city like Steinbach? Well, a pretty damn good one actually! I've shopped here a few times before and more times than not I'll walk out with something. The couple who run the store are friendly, pleasant, and they won't annoy you while you're shopping.

The inside is clean and organized very well. This is the first store on the tour that has a listening station which is a really nice touch! I haven't used it, but I could if I wanted to.

The prices were decent for records, generally ranging from 5 to 8 dollars each. Some of the more desirable and rarer titles are more, and the crap is perfectly priced at a dollar each. The really common stuff gets tossed into a $3 bin (Harlequin, Styx, Pat Benatar, Pat Travers, Trooper, etc).

(Yes, I bought that Stereo Test Record, but I won't be reviewing that here)

The bargain bin is quite extensive, and everything in it absolutely deserves to be there. You have great titles who's records have been cleaned repeatedly with a piece of tree bark, and if you need an accordion record, you'll have lots to choose from. However, choosing a crummy record out of here was a difficult task as I've been experiencing. I walked away with three, but I'm only covering one. We shall come to that soon.

The only reason why this store doesn't have a perfect score is it's lack of other formats. There is a very tiny section for CDs and I think I saw some cassettes there too, but prerecorded cassettes generally don't interest me.

The Good Record: The Royal Guardsmen - Snoopy and his Friends

One thing I've discovered about certain songs from the 1960s is their stereo variants have become somewhat difficult to find. The song "Snoopy vs The Red Baron" is one of them. I knew a stereo version existed, but every digital version I've come across is in mono. That being said, I would have left this record behind if it was the mono version.

Side one is 100% fun, filling the gaps between the three Snoopy songs with dialog. Side two is full of flowery powery bullshit songs which are both amusing and disgustingly awful. Some of the never-will-be-hits are "I Say Love", "So Right (To Be Love)", "It's Sopwith Camel Time", and "Airplane Song (My Airplane)". Absolutely terrible forgettable 60s stuff, but side one makes this record worth it. I also love how all the band members are represented as "barons" on the cover.

The Bad Album: The Elvis Medley

The crummy organ and bongo records I plucked weren't as terrible as the first song on this record from 1982. I generally don't cover anything released by large record labels like RCA, but they really shat out a turd with this one. They took six Elvis songs, glued them together, tried to add a Hooked On Classics style drum beat to it (and failed), and they put a few extra instruments in it. In fact, I can easily say that the only part of "Suspicious Minds" that they used was Elvis's vocal. It's probably the only Elvis song here that was new enough to have a multitrack recording. The whole medley is just a clumsy, clunky mess that really didn't work, unlike all the other medley songs that came out around this time.

The rest of the record is just a compilation of Elvis songs. Instead of pooping out another Elvis compilation, a 45 of this turd would have sufficed (and they take up less room in the trash can). This is apparently the "unreleased" version, and it probably should have stayed that way.

Listen to The Elvis Medley

Other Records I Bought:

Showdown - Welcome To The Rodeo

Well it's 40 below and I don't give a fuck, got a heater in my truck, and I had to skip the record show (because of the fucking Corona virus shit). Twice a year, my 5th grade teacher (no joke) holds a record show where a bunch of vendors get together and sell their stuff. It's a massive event that I haven't missed in the last 7 years or so, but I missed it this year to avoid getting the plague. Even though it's not an actual store, I was going to at least mention it for the record store tour but that may have to wait until the fall.

Anyway, I bought this album out of the dollar bin. It's a very lack-luster novelty country album, but The Rodeo Song absolutely made it worth the dollar.

Yes - Tales from Topographic Oceans

This is one of the few Yes albums that I didn't own. I really didn't know what to expect from it since reviews on it are mixed. Well, it's just okay. I don't hate it, but it doesn't jump out at me like some other Yes albums. It came right after "Close to the Edge" which is by far my favourite album by them, but it sits in the same category of mediocrity of the two albums that followed it (Relayer and Going For The One). At least it wasn't bad like Union was.

At eight bucks, I'm happy to own it.

Lady & The Tramp Picture Disc

I bought this for my kid since he loves the movie (and hey, I did too when I was young.) I have it on cassette, but he deserves the picture disc. He has a record player, and a pretty unique collection of records.

I really hope that The Vinyl Experience is able to weather the mess that this COVID-19 outbreak has created. This also goes for all the other stores that I've reviewed thus far. As for the remaining ones I haven't visited yet, it will be interesting to see if I'm able to visit them when all the stores start opening back up.

And to go completely off topic, you may recall, I recently, I did the "Bridge Over Troubled Water" show with Kent Davies. You can listen to it here if you missed it.

As for the Junq Tour, who knows? There may not be one this year. It really depends on the status of the plague in August.

For those who wonder where I'm going to get material to review for this blog with all the thrift stores being closed, you need not worry. I have five bins of shit sitting here waiting for my attention. You won't be bored (and neither will I) while we weather through this unique and strange experience together. I hope you all remain safe, healthy, and pull through this economic and global nightmare without much hardship. Take care, and we'll see you in the next entry.

No comments: