B-Sides in the Bins #31 – Zzz Records – Des Moines, IA 9/23/08

Sherry was attending a skin care conference in Des Moines, so I took the day off and drove her there. While she was in the class I visted Zzz Records (424 E. Locust Street, Downtown Des Moines), I’d been meaning to get to that store for a while, so I was pleased to have the opportunity. Zzz Records has been in existence since 2000 and is in its second location. Apparently it will be moving again on November 1st to 2200 Ingersoll. Zzz Records, also hosts a record show that I’ve been meaning to get to. The next one is December 7th, so mark your calendars.

As far as record stores go, Zzz is one of the better ones I’ve been to. They have a decent-sized used CD area at the front of the store that unfortunately on a warm afternoon seems like a greenhouse. They carry a good selection of new CD’s and LP’s as well. The used selection is pretty amazing. They split the record bins into sections by genre, with a very impressive New Wave/Alternative/Punk section towards the back of the store. I spent two hours there and came out with some cool pieces. Not as much used as I had expected, but I was keeping myself to a budget and the new LP’s ate into my ability to load up on used.

The Tourists – Luminous Basement (LP, Epic NJE 36757, 1980)($4.00) Promo-stamped by CBS. This one kind of took me by surprise. They also had Reality Effect which was a compilation of the Tourists’ first two albums. The Tourists are notable as being the pre-Eurythmics band for Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. My friend Michelle’s brother Lynn had this LP as well as the posthumous Should Have Been Greatest Hits. A cassette of these two records used to be a staple in my car in high school. The Tourists existed from 1977 – 1980 and had a number of minor hits in the UK and a very low charting (#83) single of their cover of “I Only Want To Be With You” originally recorded by Dusty Springfield. Luminous Basement was their last proper album and shows Lennox and Stewart stepping into writing their own material. Lennox’s “One Step Nearer the Edge” is one of the best tracks on the record. The Stewart-penned “Let’s Take A Walk” and the Lennox/Stewart “From the Middle Room” are pretty good as well. Amazon has some really questionable pricing on this from some resellers starting at $48 and going to $72.95 for one that still has the cellophane on it. A cool record that reminds me of hanging out at Michelle’s listening to records.

Simple Minds – “Promised You A Miracle”/”The Miracle (Dub Version)”/”The American” 3 Tune EP (12″, A&M SP-12057, 1982)($3.00) I’ve sort of become a collector of Simple Minds vinyl from this period. BJ’s Music World in Dubuque had a bunch of import Simple Minds in a closeout bin that I purchased one day in the 80’s that included a number of 12″es. Ever since then when I spot a really nice piece, I buy it. Last December I picked up New Gold Dream at Reckless in Chicago, which I consider to pretty much be their pinnacle release. I know that 1985’s Once Upon A Time was really the one that pushed them into the charts with the singles “All The Things She Said,” “Alive and Kicking,” and “Sanctify Yourself,” but I really like the stripped down version of Simple Minds on this album (minus the female member of the band). This record is the A&M pressing of the “Promised You A Miracle” 12″ from Virgin. Super clean copy.

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals – Easy Tiger (LP, Lost Highway 34410, 2007)($11.34) When I saw the price on this one, I needed to buy it. I’d seen this at other record stores for over $15. This is the interesting orange vinyl record in the plastic sleeve with the picture of Ryan in a lion mask. Cool pressing, great album. Much more focused than the three releases from the previous year, in my opinion. The vinyl pressing– which came out after the CD release– credits the album to Ryan Adams & The Cardinals rather than just Ryan Adams. I’m not sure why the CD release ended up not crediting the rest of the band.

Ryan Adams – Rock N Roll (LP, Lost Highway 61004, 2003) ($11.34) Another one that seemed like a good price. This is really the album that got me into Ryan Adams to begin with. I know that most of the Ryan Adams fans don’t like this album– and there’s the whole Courtney Love accusing Ryan of stealing money from Frances Bean to make the album and the whole drug use. Apparently he was influenced by the Strokes and he even has a song called “This Is It” on it (which might be a flip on the Strokes album Is This It). Apparently, he has in recent years said that he made the worst record he could in Rock N Roll. Well, I really like it, and it seems to be the only Ryan Adams album my wife will listen to other than parts of Love is Hell (which was recorded around the same time. I guess this is the beginning of my Ryan Adams on vinyl collection.

Zzz Records also sells record flats for $1 apiece. I picked up a record flat for Beck’s Modern Guilt. (actually, I picked up two of them). I also bought some LP mailers.

What I didn’t buy: I almost picked up a fricken MINT copy Suitcase Full of Blues by the Blues Brothers. In fact, I’m still kind of kicking myself for not picking this up. I also considered the Smithereens rare Live EP that is on Enigma on CD.