Anyway, I started going for the polyester shirts, but soon I was spending more time looking through the records. I've you've ever looked through the records in any thrift store, you know there's not a lot to work with. Barbara Streisand, Montovani, an endless stack of Christmas records. You see the same things over and over again, but once in a while, there's a gem. I'd like to tell the story of my best thrift store find.
I've been happy with many thrift store purchases. Pop records and plaid pants have made my day on more than one occasion. I've certainly had some steals from the clothing department. Getting Munsingwear shirts or custom made jackets for $2 is always fun. Still, my favorite find would have to be a record.
If I had found this record at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, or Vintage Vinyl here in St. Louis, it would have been entirely unremarkable. But I did not find it in a record store. I found it in Luther's Attic in Moorpark, California. Luther's Attic is a tiny little store on High Street in Old Town Moorpark. This stretch of High Street is notable, because none of the stores or restaurants ever seem to be open. I had wandered over after dropping Sarah off at the train station, I think, and indeed, Luther's Attic was the only thing open. Its wares fell mostly in the bric-a-brac category, with lots of decorative objects shaped like hearts or geese. For some reason, I still decided to look through the records.
And I looked through all the records. There were actually some promising signs along the way. There were some half decent rock groups and one or two ECM records. That alone already made it an atypical and worthwhile trip. But about two thirds of the way through, I saw something with cover art decidedly different than the usual orchestral works or Persuasive Percussion records. It was 80° Below '82, a record by Air, a Chicago experimental jazz group. There's not a whole lot to say about it, other than that it's good, and somewhat rare. It's not that the record was particularly remarkable, but after sifting through thousands of dusty, smelly, and just plain bad records, I felt like I had found a Stradivarius in someone's barn.
I walked out of Luther's Attic happy, and drove home from Moorpark trying to envision the music I was about to hear.