the simpsons

Sunday Chuckle: Motivation edition

I found Jasper from the Simpsons on my filing cabinet one morning, with a motivational message!

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WE’RE BACK: Toronto Record Store Excursion 2014 success!

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Aaron and I have returned safely from Toronto, with treasures in hand! He has posted to the KMA a non-spoiler update regarding the trip. We both did very well. As a “Taranna First” I was providing live photographic updates of the trip via social media.

As I did on the previous two trips, I took plenty of photos and video with the intent of creating another great trip video! With that in mind, we don’t want to spoil too much about our adventure, so this is just a brief preview. Of note, Aaron bore gifts, and one of them is a book that I am just as happy to get as I am some of my musical finds. Aaron also helped add to my 6″ Stormtrooper army!

The sad news: Even though I was quite confident that we would find at least one item from somebody’s KMA Holy Grail list, we did not. I was sure that we would at least be able to find one of Sarca’s, such as the Ray Lyell CD. I was surprised that we didn’t. I might have an easier time finding it locally.

Having said that: I encourage you to check out the KMA Grail list and add your own long-sought albums to it.  Though we did not have luck with it this time, we did look hard.  The more people who participate in the Holy Grail list, the better, so as my buddy Aaron would say GIVE’R!

Enjoy the photo gallery, and if you missed the videos from the 2012 and 2013 trips, you can check those out below.

LeBrain (who, I am glad to say, did not fart once in Aaron’s car this time.)

2013: PART 1

2013: PART 2

2012:

REVIEW: Bum Bar Bastards – Tube Bar

Part 2 of a 3 part series on prank call CDs.  Dedicated to my best bud Peter.

Part 1: The Jerky Boys – The Jerky Boys

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BUM BAR BASTARDS – Tube Bar (1993 Detonator)

Once again, my friend buddy Peter is to blame. He somehow got a hold of some of these prank calls on cassette back in the 90’s. One afternoon, I was hanging out at his place.  We were listening to comedy tapes, as we often did.  He hit play, and we spent the next half hour or so listening to two guys calling up the “Tube Bar” in New Jersey purely to antagonize the owner, Red Deutsch. A former heavyweight boxer, Red was a foul fountain of obscenity simply unheard of before on this Earth. He strung together swear words in ways novel and horrific, in that gravelly voice that sounded like he spent his mornings gargling glass.

The prank calls were all real. The tape became legendary, and somehow found its way into the hands of Simpsons creator Matt Groening. You know when Bart phones up Moe with those hilarious crank calls? And then Moe loses it and threatens to do nasty things to Bart? That’s all based on Red and the Bum Bar Bastards.

For example, the perpetrators call the Tube Bar looking for people such as Stu. Stu Pitt. Red calls out the name, not realizing what it sounds like, until it is too late. Upon realizing he’s been pranked again, he launches into a tirade that would strip paint.  Threatening life and limb, Red knows no limits.  I don’t know how they found this guy, but you can’t imagine a better victim. As Red begins to catch on to the prank callers (over what I assume is several weeks to months of harassment) the threats become more elaborate. To some, this is a cult classic.   I wouldn’t say that myself, but Red does make me laugh.  There’s not much difference between this and some of the crazy stuff you see on Youtube these days.

The CD consists of 6 tracks. Tracks 1 and 6 are all Red, the rest of the CD is padded out with bizarre toilet flushing sounds, songs, and prank calls to other people. This is all just filler. The CD is worth listening to only for Red; the rest is mostly unfunny. Choose your pricing accordingly.

2.5/5 stars

Part 87: The Great Change

RECORD STORE TALES PART 87:  The Great Change

The Great Change happened around the turn of the millennium.

Prior to that, CD sales were fast and furious. DVD sales had begun to replace VHS sales. We still carried blank cassette tapes. Not too many people were downloading music. Most people weren’t even connected to the internet yet.  I still had friends who would come over to use it, and I only got it in mid  ’98.

Then I noticed a change. Cassette sales dwindled while requests for blank CD’s increased. Initially we resisted carrying blank CD’s. We thought by doing so, we would be unintentionally killing a CD sale. Eventually we began carrying blank discs, when they started dropping in price.  They, they took off.  We started hearing about Napster. And Metallica. Metallica fans began selling off their discs.

I remember one guying coming in with a great selection of Metallica discs. All the albums, plus the Live Sh*t box set.

“Wow, this is a great Metallica collection you have here,” I commented as I went through the discs.

“Thanks. I’m selling them because of that fucking asshole Lars. I ripped them all to my computer and now he can go fuck himself.”

                                                      

I’ll never forget that because at first I felt like, “Well, that doesn’t really do anything to Lars, you already paid for the discs and gave him your money,” but I guess it was the principle of the thing. People were really pissed off. And that represented a huge change.  People always bitched about CD prices.  $24 for a regularly priced disc, that’s a lot of money.  I used to get two albums for that money in 1986. There’d never been a satisfactory answer as to why a kid had to pay $24.99 for the new Judas Priest in 1998.  And believe me, it wasn’t the stores ripping off the kids.  The margin we made on new CDs could barely be called profit.

Over the next five years, I watched CD prices and sales drop, while we were forced to diversify in order to stay alive. We had already been carrying DVD’s. We started carrying McFarlane dolls.  They were cool, but a lot of them were really limited.  For example, for Kiss, we only got one Eric Carr, and two Aces.  People would want the whole set, but all you’d have left was Paul and Gene.

Then bobble-heads came (which I hate, I absolutely hate bobble-heads). Then Osbournes family toys. Trivia games. Simpsons toys. Clocks. Posters. Books. Hats. CD wallets with a Linkin Park logo on them.  Anything we could make a reasonable buck on, even if it was only marginally related to what we did, like the Simpsons toys. (We carried DVD’s, so Simpsons was marginally related.) Then we’d knock down whatever wasn’t selling to clearance prices, and try something else.

Angus

The only tangent that was really successful was Xbox and Playstation games. We had so many requests, and physically a game is identical to a CD or DVD, so games were a no brainer.  People asked for them all the time.  We had to educate ourselves from the ground up on game pricing and we jerry-rigged a way in our computer system to inventory them. However to me, the scent of decay was in the air. Because downloading had killed such a huge chunk of our music sales, the stores were nothing like the way I remembered.

Working in a store selling video games and bobble-heads wasn’t the dream job that started me on this path.  I was always there for one reason:  the music!

Well, yeah, and the staff discount.