I’ve gotta admit, I set the bar pretty high for the first Vinyl Safari of 2023.
It’s not often I get enough time to get out of the hotel at work, so when I landed in LA with 26 hours to spare, I did what any normal pilot with a vinyl problem would do: I rented a car, navigated the hellish jungle that is the Southern Californian freeway system, and drove up to Amoeba Music in Hollywood.
Despite living in SoCal in a previous life, Ive never visited this iconic music store before. Preposterous, I know. Given its reputation, and the rarity of the occasion, I wasn’t going to miss this opportunity.
Spoiler alert, I was not at all disappointed.
What I encountered was a sprawling store full of every tangible media source you can imagine. Laserdisc, dudes. They had Laserdiscs. Wild. My goal here was simple: Look for records I can’t find locally, and take a chance on a record I had never heard before. I had no where at all to be, so I settled in and took my time.
Here’s what made it in the bag:
The Black Angels – Indigo Meadow: this gets me a little closer to completing the six full length albums from one of my top five favorite bands. It’s been high on my list for sometime.
The Brian Jonestown Massacre – Methodrone: I became aware of this record shortly after my introduction to psych rock from The Black Angels. I kept it in high rotation for quite a while, and it too has been on the list, but I’ve never come across it in the wild. It’s the perfect pairing with Indigo Meadow.
Chet Baker/Art Pepper Sextet: Picture of Heath: I don’t own any Art Pepper. but in the ongoing expansion of my jazz catalog, Blue Note Records has never steered me wrong. Add Chet Baker to the sextet, and I’m all in. I can’t wait to hear it.
Oscar Peterson & Joe Pass – A Salle Pleyel: Love Oscar. Love Joe. I have never heard this one either, but I have great trust in these vintage titles on the Pablo label. For such short money, it was a no brainer. After a spin on the cleaner, I expect this one to sound pretty great.
So, neatly tucked into the bright yellow merch bag, and gently packed into the flight deck closet, these four albums are headed home from across the US. This particular vinyl safari was not what you would call inexpensive, but definitely worth it.