Sunday, August 23, 2009


Here's the final installment of our 3 part series presented by our ace in Chico, Heathakilla, aka Hardcore 'Miah. We recommend that you crack a bottle of Racer 5 and click the title link before you start reading and let Jerry's own mixed sounds of the excavations mentioned below enhance the experience, ya junky!

The end of Highway 99
The end of last week I was housesitting. I decided to use it as an opportunity to get away from the computer. I've found just not using a computer for a few days can be pretty therapeutic for me. The problem was the house I was at didn't have cable. I brought over a few magazines, but after a while I didn't know what to do with myself. So I started looking at the books at the house. Big mistake.

I revisited the re/search books, Incredibly Strange Music vol. 1 and 2. It's been a long time since I thumbed through those books and I realized they still influence the aesthetic of what I am looking for in a record. The 2 interviews that kind of blew me away were Jello Biafra and the Cramps. A lot of the music Biafra mentions is just now getting reissued and despite the rise of the internet a lot of it seems just as obscure as when the book came out. The Cramps blew me away because they were in Sacramento the same time my folks got together. I wonder if my dad knew them/of them. The story of them driving from Sac to Memphis for the Sun going out of business sale blows me away. Here I am thinking it's a big deal to drive 45 minutes to look at some records.

Next up, the re/search books on zines. I read the interview with the girl who did thrift score and instantly wanted to move to Pittsburgh. There was another interview that compared Kent State university in the late 70's to Chico State though and that made me want to move back home.
After reading all of this I was fiending to look at some records. I broke down and turned on the computer and located some yard sales in Chico and thrift stores in Red Bluff.
Saturday, I got up early, grabbed an instrumental Brian Eno cd (bad choice), and cut. First was a yard sale in Durham with “hundreds” of records. False. Not to mention I was there last week. Lame. I did a drive-by. I wish I had a better memory. Next yard sale advertising records had about 10. I got the Crimson and Clover lp and took off to a nearby parking lot sale. It was pretty sketch. Just me and the seller. He kept trying to talk me into getting my friends to come and buy his 4 foot by 3 foot display tables that were one step up from the scrap wood work bench in the shop at my work. He also had packaged plastic sandals for sale, sizes 3-8, for 99 cents. A bunch of other weird stuff too. Rest assured, if I had friends, they wouldn't want to buy this junk. I asked him if he had records and he showed me about a dozen in a corner, mostly without covers. There was a Pentagle with cover in decent shape. They are one of my favorite folk bands, but I couldn't bring myself to make the transaction. I think I have it anyway. Damn memory.
The last yard sale in town was pretty good. Two older gay guys with about 5 crates of records. The sale started on Friday but didn't look very picked over. Mostly thrift staples like Babs and Bette Midler, but a decent amount of disco 12 inches too. I don't know much about disco so I just got the ones with sexiest song titles.

Then it was off to Red Bluff. This is the town where highway 99 turns into I-5. The end of the road. I guess around here it's best known for having redneck events like speedboat racing, monster trucks, and rodeos. That and for some reason Bob Dylan plays there every few years.
I was thinking I might find some decent country albums. Driving, listening to Eno, trying not to fall asleep, I discovered something. The road to Red Bluff is paved with junk. Well junk and fruit. It seemed every mile was a new gift shop/fruit stand/junk barn. Every crossroad had a yard sale sign. Unfortunately, it was already getting late in the morning and I was running out of gas. I tried to stay focused. I couldn't help stopping at what I can only describe as a junk compound. Several small rundown houses surrounding a huge makeshift flea market style maze of tables, clothing racks, bookshelves, boxes, and tarpaulins. I half expected Red Foxx or Lamont to come out to greet me. Unfortunately, there was no greeting committee because according to the signage this place was both “closed” and private property. They were however “accepting donations”. Wow, I've got to figure out when this place is “open.”
Red Bluff was hard to figure out. I already knew where the Salvation Army was so I went there first.

In Butte County, all the Salvation Armies suck. I don't know why. I suspect there are antiquers making backdoor deals to get all the good stuff before it makes it onto the floor. The Red Bluff Salvation Army was a whole different beast. Don't get me wrong, I didn't see anything outstanding, but I think this had more to do with the ecomony of the Red Bluff rather then somebody making off with all the good stuff. The shoppers were all retired and working class regulars. It's refreshing to see this in small towns. None of the opportunist hipsters. Except for me of course.
There were a lot of records for a Salvation Army. They were positioned in a way that was really hard to browse but I trudged through. I was pretty excited to find a Kak s/t even though it didn't have a cover. I have been wanting to hear that record for a while. Other then that, I found some (I suspect) turkish 7 inches. Not at all what I was expecting. I saw one cool looking mexican 7 inch that had a song with the word space and the word disco in the title, but while I was going through lp's, a retired looking white gentleman started flipping through the 7 inches. I was afraid he was going to pick up “my” Kak record which was alongside the seven inches so in an obsessive panic I grabbed it and moved away from him. He left and so did the 45. I guess I should have put it in my pile. Now I'm totally curious about that record and that guy.
I couldn't find any of the other thrift stores that google told me were in Red Bluff. I also couldn't find the flea market. I saw a couple of antique shops, but from the outside they didn't look junky enough, so I just decide to head home. On my way out of town I saw this cool storage place where they let people sell things out of there storage units. There were about 5 people set up to sell stuff. Most had a handful of records. I found a clean mono pet sounds in one. I was scared the people were going to charge me a collectors price on it, so I grabbed a monkees album too. She asked me what I got and I told them beach boys and the monkees. The sellers all had a nostalgic laugh about those bands and charged me 2 bucks. Then they went on to tell me about how I missed the Micheal Jackson record that sold first thing.From there I stopped by the place I saw on the way into town that had homemade jerky. It turned out to be a restaurant. Two Buds Beans and BBQ. Four slow cook bbq's and smokers going in the parking lot. I got lunch. They served tea out of a pickle jar, which already had me sold on the place. UFC fighting on the big screen. Animal heads on the wall. Pulled pork sandwiches with mayonnaise. Red Bluff is alright. I just wish I gone last weekend so I could have seen the 4th of July riding lawnmower races.

1 comment:

RagnarR said...

Cool story. "I half expected Red Foxx or Lamont to come out to greet me". He-he, you know their truck (or at least it's doppleganger) is on the patio @ Zeitgeist.