Somewhere in The Carolinas – It has been a month and a half since I began taking Chantix to stop smoking [The taste of cigarettes is now not pleasant to me if I picked one up] and six months or so since I quit drinking morning, noon and night [I will drink socially among friends and acquaintances, which I see rarely, which means I hardly drink anymore]. My nerves are jangled and I am chronically in a mood as my body is finding its’ normal again. There is far less nerve pain which strikes but just less often.
I present to you my Friday night stay-at-home music to kick off the afternoon and evening. James Ingram I nabbed for Yah Mo Be There . That song is so good it gives me phantom period cramps. Same goes for Michel’le’s helium-filled hit, No More Lies  and Jazzy B’s Soul II Soul with Keep On Movin’ . I am working on getting my R & B/ Soul/ Hip-hop of the 70s through the ’90s pulled all the way together right now. It’s about time and the feeling is good.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – I stood near my stack of recently found vinyl finds, screaming inside of myself, “Yes, Lawd!!! This thrift shop finally came through!”. The three discs here are only a taste of what is to come. Diamonds by Herb Alpert is a track from his 1987 comeback R&B l.p. – Keep Your Eye On Me [A&M]. Alpert [who is the ‘A’ of A&M records] nabbed label star, Janet Jackson, to sing lead and have her famed production team of Jam and Lewis work their magic on this track. It has long been a favorite dance cut of mine. Walk With An Erection  by The Swinging Erudites I’d never heard of. It is a parody of The Bangles’ Walk Like An Egyptian, a song I never cared for so naturally I had to have this. Berlin’s Pleasure Victim l.p. was in heavy rotation during the golden years of K-ROQ. When “Sex [I’m A…] came on after ten p.m. [or was it midnight] due to racy content as deemed by the F.C.C. Pre-teen me had to turn the volume waaaaaay down to hear it. In 1982, Pleasure Victim I definitely could not have brought home. This album is a synth-pop/ New Wave classic.
I have been a long time supporter of shopping secondhand. In the summer of 1982, I was taken to a row of thrift shops in Old Town Pasadena by an older family friend. My parents has recently divorced and she thought she’d cheer me up showing me how she and her teenaged girl-friends spent their free time. I was eleven and my mind was blown. Junk shops and thrift stores were something up until that time I had never been exposed to. On contact, I was sold.
Fast-forward to 2019. On Prime Objective, I list vintage I am selling, document and try to source where my threads come from in my various The Look posts. Scroll back, baby [I’m in there featuring my personal style. Yes, I am real late to the party]. Now, before you ask why I purchase goods from AliExpress when I clearly have an affinity for shopping secondhand, I will gladly explain. AliExpress and its’ multitude of vendors as with all online stores, supply cheap goods sold on the cheap more than likely made by humans in reprehensible conditions. Yes, this is known. I am very aware. Yet, a great many cannot afford sustainable goods. A fact. I cannot but I can nab a lovely black linen dress for under thirty dollars somewhere on the net. These online entities afford those who are [working] poor, without a vehicle and/or physically incapacitated the luxury of looking sharp, in whatever style you wish to present to the world, too.
As for secondhand, I still get out there and rummage. Today’s hunts may not be as thorough or as rewarding as it was in the past but I’m still out there swinging. Some choice nuggets are dug up as I am always on the hunt for anything pre-1980. Secondhand clothes [vintage of a certain period] have a feel to them which over the decades my hands quickly learned. Secondhand shops and thrift stores used to be located in the grimier sections of town – near a ramshackled row of adult bookstores, an abandoned shopping mall or failed factory. Zero gentrification. Thrift stores used to have a smell of heavily embedded cigarette smoke and man-made gas as did the garments. To me, a warm greeting. If an item didn’t have a tag on it, the cashier would make up a dirt cheap price and sell it to you without issue. A buyer could often haggle. Everything cost nothing. That is no more. The less organized the shop the more palpable excitement filled the air. The people who would peruse the isles were absolute characters, rich in looks of those unintentionally locked in 1968 due to bad taste, poverty or old age. Gone are those days. My vintage reserve has completely dwindled to scraps. I currently am working on rebuilding my own personal collection of secondhand vintage and future goods for Prime Objective Vintage [sold at Atomic in Athens, Georgia]. Shopping secondhand in the 21st century will remain relevant as someone out there always wants or needs something donated and was more affordable than buying new.
No matter what, secondhand is a love that does not die.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – The mannequin needs a re-haul and the cocktail dress needs to be tended to.
Featured is a late 1960s Emilio Pucci cocktail dress I found thrifting many, many moons ago. I ran out of money when I spotted it, begging my sister to buy it for me. I have never worn it and it still has the thrift store tag on it. When found, it was in very good condition but since the multiple moves to various states I hang my head low in shame. Honestly, it needs a good cleaning and some of its’ snap fasteners can be tightened up. Paired with this groovy piece, pink wavy framed sunshades, a grey beaded necklace with oversized crystal, blond wood bracelets, black plastic hard shell lip-shaped clutch [all from various vendors at AliExpress] and a pair of black patent leather, pointed toe slingbacks [Qupid]. This outfit is pure sunshine and just a bit snobby. It’s love.
As for the mannequin, its’ legs [I feel] are ill-fitted. Perhaps there is a trick to get it to stand where the garments do not bunch up or slide off. I have one fully functional arm/hand to work with and no assistant, so I have got to be crafty. Add: After this shoot wrapped up, its’ [the mannequin] glass base shattered into raindrop-sized pieces.
Here it is – vinyl I recently scored. This haul is in good to fair condition. Spirits Having Flown by [The] Bee Gees is a replacement copy. This means I once owned it and lost it or gave it away.
In my life of thrifting I have found that comedy records are hard to come by. Secondly, comedy records that haven’t been overplayed with a cover in bad shape is also hard to come by. Enter Eddie Murphy’s self-titled comedy l.p. This record is a snapshot of early 1980s Murphy during his breakthrough days in stand-up comedy. Young Murphy’s act is pretty sexist, racist and homophobic. This l.p. also features minor R & B hit, Boogie in Your Butt.
The Loretta Lynn tribute to her mentor and friend Patsy Cline is just the kick in the pants my record collection needed. The thrift store I found I Remember Patsy in also had a few George Jones l.p.s too but I didn’t have the patience to dig and inspect. Maybe I will return for them or just wait and let something else surface.
A difficult week in adulthood it has been and will continue to be. Everything on the turntable will be played pretty loud. For sentimental reasons, I have busted out classic cuts and l.p.s for listening. Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax I purchased for its’ New York mix. Pebble’s Mercedes Boy is always gold. Scritti Politti’s 1985 album, Cupid & Psyche ’85, is in my opinion a slept on dance record of the period. I first purchased it in 1986 on cassette from the Wherehouse, a now defunct record chain that was based in southern California. The best known track is ‘Perfect Way’. A fine tune. The rest of the album is amazing. The 12″ single of Wood Beez and Absolute are my two favorite cuts. I had to have this [Although, I do own and have C&P85 in my vinyl collection]. Tom Browne’s Magic l.p. is straight ahead early Smooth Jazz – for the most part. It is a genre of music I do not care for. Thighs High [Grip Your Hips and Move] is an R&B funk classic with vocals by Ms. Toni Smith [the same vocalist on Browne’s 1980 chart topper, Funkin’ for Jamaica [N.Y.]. Smith who receives co-songwriting credit on both gems, is also noted for how similar her vocals are to Chaka Khan. Smith eats the mic alive.
Somewhere in The Carolinas – April proved to be a decent month in digging up Mid-20th century home goods and furnishings. All of these pieces turned up in the same secondhand spot I sometimes frequent. When items or collections arrive at the thrift shop at the same time, I’ve come to assume that they have come from the same donor.
The 1960s vtg. gold metal vanity chair will need a Coke-and-tin-foil scrub-down to bring back its’ luster. The mid-60 to 1970s vtg. owl cookie jar is well-used. The paint is chipped and there is sign a substantial crack has been repaired. This item I will be gifting in the near future. Every other piece I acquired was in fairly good condition. Yes, even the circular rattan patio chair.