Friday, 28 August 2015

I like the good things in life but most of the best things ain't free

I went to my local record shop for one last time and hit the jackpot and am so sad to leave it behind. I know there will be other record shops, but I got all of these for £20 and there aren't many places you can say that about. I was happily flicking through the numerous crates, the first 10 or so didn't contain much of interest and I was kind of internally giving up. They had The Doors LA Woman on display for £8 and I was thinking "£8 isn't bad!" and wondering how to get it down to buy it before I realised "Wait, I already have LA Woman." Then I found Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars and promptly forgot who the Doors even were. I don't find David Bowie records out in the wild very often, so it's always exciting when I do and it isn't something I already own. They also had a delightful amount of Queen. Queen I I already own, but it's a pristine first pressing so I picked it up without a second thought assigning it back up. I'm shocked that it took me this long to get a copy of Greatest Hits, but there you have it.

Talking of Queen vinyl, they're releasing their entire catalogue on to coloured vinyl soon and it's torturing me. They have a limited number of box sets available but unfortunately I don't have a spare £300 lying around. I figured I'd get a couple individually, they'll probably go for around £20 so I might be able to justify 3? I really want Sheer Heart Attack for the sole reason I haven't yet been able to find it and it's one of my favourite albums, but the red vinyl isn't really exciting me so I don't know if I should just leave that one. The Miracle is the one other studio album I'm missing and I'll probably get that because it's a beautiful colour. I'm tempted to get News of the World because my copy sucks and looked like someone played frisbee with it once. I really would like A Kind of Magic and Hot Space and Jazz because I'm in love with their vinyl colours, but I can't really justify it when I own perfectly good original editions of them. I kind of really want Innuendo too, but same. Ugh, maybe I should just try opening a fund so I can buy the lot, because let's face it that's what I want.

They're also releasing a limited edition turntable which initially gave me the "I want"s really badly, but then I decided nah. I don't like Rega turntables, they look tacky to me with their shiny plastic, and I have a super nice vintage automatic one. I'll just settle for a turntable mat instead.

* Believe it or not, this post isn't sponsored by Queen. But I wish it was.

Other than pining over things I can't afford, I've been trying to sort through and pack everything for moving inbetween procrastinating terribly and trying to pretend it isn't happening because it's so overwhelming. This is also obviously the perfect time to start a zine, so I've been doing that too. I'm really excited for this one, it's taking a lot of planning but hopefully it should be worth it. I'm envisioning a journal type perzine dealing with things like ableism, identity, privilege, and self care. Basically giving voice to a lot of pent up feelings I've been carrying around for a long time. I always find the idea of perzines (personal zines) slightly surreal. It feels kind of self indulgent to write a zine about yourself and your experiences, I have to keep shutting down that anxiety voice saying "Who cares? No one's going to want to read this you know." But writing a zine is no more egotistical than keeping a blog, and personally I love perzines as I love that insight into other peoples experiences that they felt about strongly enough to create an entire thing about it. And that's the point right there. To create something relatable and affirming mixed with personal feelings. And I hope it will be relatable and affirming to people even if they aren't dealing with the exact same issues as I think many of the things covered will be pretty universal feelings - which is the point behind it. Human experiences that just maybe someone else might be able to take comfort from when they need it most.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Missed everything daydreaming

I'm moving a couple of hundred miles away from my current home in a couple of weeks, which has meant I've spent this past summer very aware that I won't get to visit my favourite places again so I've been obsessed with trying capture the memory of everything so I'm able to look back on it fondly whenever I wish. The best way to do this, I think, is with film and I've enjoyed having a disposable camera in my pocket almost all of the time to snap random images as I go about my day. I think this has become my favourite way to photograph and a habit I hope I'll keep.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Let's get crazy, let's get wild tonight

A few years ago I used to have a really big thing about Japanese street fashion, and I pretty much became a pro at navigating various Japanese web stores and always kept an eye on their secondhand auction websites - just like eBay, but for Japanese people only. I do still have an interest in these fashions, and found myself looking for a certain brand of accessories a month ago on these auction sites. I haven't used these sites in years, and when I couldn't find what I was looking for, for some reason on a total whim I decided to type "Ringo Starr" into the search bar. I didn't really expect much, especially as I'd typed it in English and did a little jump for joy when 5 pages of items came up. I sourced through all the records, and then searched for Queen and Pink Floyd in the vinyl category now I'd found it. And it was kind of amazing really, and I'm kicking myself that I didn't think to do this before because it's so obvious. Japanese only releases of these artists were popping up, the kind that are super rare on the Western market and sell for offensive amounts of money. And here they were for a couple of quid each. I could barely contain my excitement as I popped my shopping service an email, wondering if they'd still have me on record as I hadn't contacted them since 2012. And today they arrived!

Obviously buying records from sites like this is a risk, more so than with places like Discogs and eBay. The listings are in Japanese and Google Translate isn't always very accurate, so you're taking a bit of a gamble on the quality of your record. If it arrives not like you thought it would, it's tough luck as both returns and complaints are impossible. Also you're hoping that it will survive the 6000 mile journey unscathed. Considering how cheap all of these records were compared to their value I personally found it worth the risk.

These are the records I bought, three that have been on my want list for a long time. The Ringo record was the first I spotted, it's a bootleg by Wibble Records who released a few Ringo bootlegs in the '80s. I already own one by them called Rizz Off. I'd wanted this particular bootleg as it contains songs from Scouse The Mouse, a childrens album Ringo played the main character for that's very rare. To be honest, this ended up being the dud of my purchases. I'm not sure if it's how it was made because it's a bootleg, or how it's been stored for the last 30 years, but you see those 3D glasses that come with it? The shape of them has become imbedded in the LP, warping it on both sides. It's still playable, but it skips quite badly and it's a bit of a disappointment. Still a nice addition to the collection though!

Gettin' Smile was a happy find, and the only one of these records I had a little bidding war for but I still got it cheaply. It's in perfect condition so I couldn't be happier. Smile was the band Roger Taylor and Brian May were in together with a guy called Tim Staffell. When Staffell left, a guy called Freddie Mercury took his place and Smile became Queen. This album contains the six songs Smile recorded in 1969 and the LP was only released in Japan.

This little 45 I've been after for ages, but because I refuse to pay big money on 45s they often slip away from me on eBay. I got this for £1.80 so my patience was definitely rewarded! It's in perfect condition too. I love the little alien guy that was used for Fun in Space, he's taken from an issue of Creepy (and the story they feature in is genuinely a bit creepy!)

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