Breaking hiatus momentarily, just to share the treasures from our most recent Taranna trip. I’d announced this trip a week or so ago, requesting your updates to the Grail List. I figured the least I could do is share what I found on my sojourn into the Big Smoke.
There’s a lot to go through, here. Get a coffee, put your feet up. Ready? Here we go…
The city was hot and muggy, difficult to walk all day (as I did). Places with A/C definitely won the day. We were in town because my lovely wife was attending a 2-day conference by Norman Doidge on “all the latest in neuroplasticity.” She was excited to attend, this talk was a big deal. The trip fell near enough to our (14th) wedding anniversary, so I got the days off work and tagged along. Can’t beat a paid-for hotel downtown for a couple of days!
So as I was compiling this post, a thought occurred: It looks like I bought a ton (because I did). But I really bargain-shopped too, and remarkably, all of this came in well under budget. I actually came away from Sonic Boom and BMV having spent quite a bit less than expected! That’s awesome, of course.
Most are CD (sorry, 1537), unless noted.
DAY ONE: MONDAY
Up bright and early, breakfast out, then walked my lovely wife to her conference. Killed a wee bit of time just wandering until stuff opened up (usually 10am or 11am). First on the agenda, as it was nearest the hotel…
As always, excellent finds in this mainstay place to visit:
Various Artists – Black On Black: A Tribute To Black Flag: This one I own, but it’s an earlier version with 9 tracks. This one is the updated version with 6 extra tracks tacked on to the front of the album, making a total of 15 tracks!
Ani DiFranco – Evolve: Yes, there are still Ani albums I don’t have, but I’m getting close to having them all.
Morcheeba – Dive Deep: I loved Big Calm, and impulse bought this because it was cheap.
Gojira – The Way Of All Flesh: Hell yes. \m/ \m/
Wynton Marsalis – Levee Low Moan: Soul Gestures In Southern Blue Vol. 3: Replacement copy. My old one’s a bit scratchy.
Frank Black And The Catholics – Devil’s Workshop & Pistolero: Two I didn’t have, and got them cheap. Yes.
Jurassic 5 – Power In Numbers (CD/DVD): No idea what’s on the DVD here (yet), but I loved this album.
Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble – The Sky Is Crying: Because SRV. ‘Nuff said.
And the big score from Sonic Boom was:
Cowboy Junkies – Trinity Revisited (CD/DVD)
Trinity Session is one of my favourite records, and this is the session where they went back to the same church, years later, and re-did the songs. With guests Ryan Adams, Vic Chesnutt, Natalie Merchant and Jeff Bird. YES.
Awesome scores. Thanks, Sonic Boom!
NB: I found a Grail List item for 1537 at Sonic Boom, the Bob Dylan Bootleg Series 1-3 on LP, but he confirmed my guess that the price was too rich (for now). But I did find one!
After lunch at Tortilla Flats, I decided to walk out to Rotate This. Except they’d moved since my last visit. Waaaay out to Ossington and Dundas. Since I was already halfway there I walked it, but it went from stroll to heat death march fairly quickly. The new spot’s nice, but they don’t have CDs anymore, just LPs. I only got one item:
Jake Bugg – Live At Silver Platter (RSD release). Yeah, I have this already, but this can be my play copy.
Just around the corner from Rotate This was this wee shop, which I figured I may as well check out since I was already to hell and gone. The gentleman in there was very friendly, helpful, but he didn’t have anything I’d wanted. Left empty-handed. Then I trudged alllllll the way back to University and then down to the hotel. What a hike, I wouldn’t do it (on foot) again. Glad I’d brought water.
Later that evening, my lovely wife and I walked north to Harbord for supper on an upstairs patio that was like being in a treehouse, then onward to Bloor. We had excellent dessert at Future Bakery, and then, of course, there was…
BMV (Part 1)
I always do well at this place…
Frank Black – Fast Man Raider Man (2CD): Keeping that Frank Black ball rolling!
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – Sunday At Devil Dirt: The venerable J. of Resurrection Songs has me keeping my eyes peeled for Lanegan’s work. Result!
Jaco Pastorius – S/T: This is a remaster with two bonus tracks. Essential.
John Doe And The Sadies – Country Club: Because Sadies. Also, cool collaboration!
Weakerthans – Live At The Burton Cummings Theatre (CD/DVD): Don’t know why I’ve not owned this til now, as I love Weakerthans. But here it is and it’s all good!
And as always, BMV has their 3-for-$10 bins, which always yield treasures. This time they had so much stock the regular spot was filled, and there was another bin in the center with more!
Godspeed You Black Emperor! – Yanqui U.X.O.: I didn’t have this one, right on.
Ron Sexsmith – Exit Strategy Of The Soul, and Time Being: Two excellent albums from a brilliant songwriter.
Jayhawks – Tomorrow The Green Grass: Always wanted to hear this one. Now I can!
Victor – Victor: Alex Lifeson solo? Yes please.
54-40 – Goodbye Flatland: I will always buy 54-40, of course.
And the big score from BMV was:
Refused – The Shape Of Punk To Come (2CD/1DVD)
Hereby hangs a wee tale. I’ve already reviewed this and LOVED it. On another city trip (perhaps my last trip?), I’d seen this special edition but I left it because I already owned the album and I had other goodies to get already. This trip, it was still there! Naturally it is obvious that the Universe believes that this one belongs to me, so it is now mine. It has the album, a full live album at Umea Open 1998, and the DVD is a film called Refused Are Fucking Dead. Yessss… Glory.
Bloody brilliant stuff. Thanks, BMV!
NB: I was also tempted by five John Frusciante solo albums. But I left them because I already had lots (above). I walked away knowing I’d regret this decision.
DAY TWO: TUESDAY
After dropping my lovely wife at her conference for 8:30, I had time to kill, as most places don’t open til 10 or 11. So I wandered across Queen, through Chinatown on Spadina, and up to College, just taking in the city… eventually I found myself back on Bloor after appreciating the shade and quiet of the Annex. I had no real reason to be back on Bloor, just wandering as the day heated up and that’s how far my legs carried me… Kops wasn’t open til 11, but BMV opened at 10, so…
BMV (Part 2):
I wandered their book sections, then did a bit more of a vinyl dig downstairs. I found one item in their LP sale bin, which I brought home:
One Speed Bike – Droopy Butt Begone!: Any friends of GYBE! ought to be a friend of mine, though I read online at lunch that this one isn’t their best. I’ll find out!
Also, because I reasoned I wouldn’t be back to the city til (likely) the spring, and because I don’t see these too often, I did pick up those five John Frusciante albums. I know. I am the king!
John Frusciante – To Clara
John Frusciante – Inside Of Emptiness
John Frusciante – The Will To Death
John Frusciante – To Record Only Water For Ten Days
John Frusciante and Josh Klinghoffer – A Sphere In The Heart Of Silence
Thanks again, BMV!
I had lunch at Paupers (as always), then did some bookshop research for my lovely wife on both College and Harbord, ultimately finding all three items she wanted. Result!
Heading back down through the Annex, I stopped at…
SHE SAID BOOM!
This place always has treasures too. Great music and books. Check it…
Small Faces – Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake: Always meant to grab this one but never saw it at a suitable price. This time it was in my range!
Various Artists – The Rebirth Of Cool, Vol. 3, 4 and 7 (2cd set): I already own Vol.1 and love it, so it was a no-brainer to grab up these three later additions to the series.
She Said Boom! also has bins on the floor, under the CD racks, where everything is $1. Often, there is damage to the packaging or the disc itself, but if you’re dilligent and dig through, you can find pristine copies of stuff you want. For $1. Last time I was there, I got two Blue Rodeo albums I needed from these bins. This time I got:
Jim Bryson – The North Side Benches: I have no idea if this is good, but we saw him perform in concert one time so I sort of impulse grabbed it up. I mean, it was $1.
Serena Ryder – Harmony: I do love me some Serena Ryder and this was one of the few of hers I did not already own. Right on.
Sarah Harmer – Oh Little Fire: Harmer’s records are just must-owns. Neko Case appears on one track, here!
It was hot as hell in the store, but I’m glad I stuck it out. Thanks a lot, She Said Boom!
So then, I wandered back south to the hotel, ditched the stuff in the car, and realized I still had an hour to kill before meeting my lovely wife. Finding myself on Queen St. again, I hit up…
KOPS RECORDS (Queen St.)
Because of course. They had a lot of LPs I would love to have brought home (seriously, tons), but I feel I showed excellent restraint. I only bought one LP for myself…
R.L. Burnside – I Wish I Was In Heaven Sitting Down: Brand new copy, still sealed, for cheap. Talk about a no-brainer.
NB: I did find another Grail List item in this Kops location. But I cannot disclose what it was, or for whom it was procured, as it is being kept secret for now. But suffice it to say, excitement level was pretty damn high!
And that was the extent of my forays into the shoppes.
My lovely wife and I grabbed supper at Fran’s on Shuter St., across from Massey Hall. I had a minor heart attack when I read their sign that said Wynton Marsalis and Jazz At Linolcn Center were playing. I LOVE Wynton Marsalis’ work. But it turned out that the tree blocking their sign and the angle at which I was reading it made me misread what it said. That night’s show was Seu Jorge. Wynton was playing the next night. But still! I would LOVE to see him perform at some point!
We blasted out of the city, made it home in good time. We were exhausted, from the heat, from all of the walking, from the energy of the city, but the conference was a full-on success, and I consider my scores a success as well (evidence: see above). This much music will buoy me for a looong time to come! Can’t wait to start digging into them all and discovering their sounds.
If you have read this far, thank you. It was a long haul and you stuck it out. Well done!