Cardboard Compulsion

Record collecting included a compulsion to keep the mailers they were sent in. Here they are, along with the stories behind them.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Happy Cadavers - Nothing New

(c) Henry Yu 2005
Dave Stimson was associated with Touch and Go in its early days. During the 80's he did Goldmine ads, which is how rare records were sold back then. Auctions were done by mailing in a postcard with your bids written on the back. Anyhow, I feverishly looked for records that were listed on the Forced Exposure want list, one of which was the Happy Cadavers' Nothing New EP. Dave happened to have a copy, and I traded a copy of DOA's "The Prisoner" for it, which was mailed to me in this mailer. Probably not a great trade on my part, but I really liked the record, particularly "Saw My Baby In The Meat Section". Little did I know that year's later, I'd come to find out that David Grubbs (Slint, Squirrel Bait, solo, etc) was in this band with his fellow preppies from one of the Day schools in Louisville. As you can see, Dave had impeccable packaging. He later was found at various WFMU swaps, and now eBay.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Troublemakers 2xLP

(c) Henry Yu 2005

Sometime in the 90's I bought the double LP Troublemakers in this mailer. Altho Troublemakers was major label, this double LP boasted a couple of Modern Lovers tracks, different and superior versions, that could not be found elsewhere. I think I bought it from someone whose last name was Weiss, in LA (but not the famous Geoffrey Weiss), who posted on the record collecting newsgroup.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Kitten Compilation Cassette

Mike Bastarache was a fixture on the early Boston hardcore scene, most notable for his work with SSD (he produced both of their records). After a hiatus, he rediscovered the virtues of underground music sometime in the early 90's. I had my first contact with him when he bought my extra copy of Pavement's Slay Tracks EP from me after Pavement began its east coast forays and taking the country by storm.

With the collectibility of punk rock records gaining fast interest during that period, Mike started selling records via his Set Sale Lists, neatly typed out on hardcopy and mailed out. While I typically bought records from him, this mailer carried the one cassette I bought: Kitten - a cassette compilation of midwest hardcore bands including Husker Du, that came out in '82.

Mike's lists over the years have had mind bogglingly rare records pass through it. I'd also mention that Mike is a helluva nice guy too.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Desperate Bicycles - Remorse Code

(c) Henry Yu 2005
Mid-90's or so, a big time collector name Kim Gillogly from Buffalo decided to unload his records. His dad owned some car dealerships there. I remember seeing Gillogly Chevrolet stickers on the back of cars when I grew up there. However, I never heard of the guy until I moved out to California, and even then not till 1989 or 90. I remember I sold him my copy of the Sloppy Seconds Germany 45 by mail order at the time.

Vinyl Ink in Silver Spring MD bought most of his collection, and then I in turn bought some of it from them. This LP mailer contained either the Desperate Bicycles Remorse Code LP or the Suicide Commandos' Commit Suicide LP. Everything else I bought from them were 45's. One lucky score I got around this time as a result was a copy of all the ordering I did was the Hugh Beaumont Experience 45, which George, the nice proprietor at Vinyl Ink offered to me for $200 on behalf of one of his store clerks who needed to make the rent that month. How that employee sat on a stone mint copy of that record all those years I'll never know, but I was glad to pay it.

Shortly after that, perhaps '97 or so, Michael Salkin from No Trend sold his collection to Vinyl Ink. I bought The Embarassment's Sex Drive 45 at the time, which was autographed to Michael, as were many of the pieces in his collection. I later consigned it through Discourage Records after a period of being down on autographed records, only to eventually see some subsequent owner profile it on the Collector Scum website some years later.

George unfortunately passed away in the year 2002, and Vinyl Ink is no more.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Half Japanese - Music To Strip By

(c) Henry Yu 2005
50 Skidillion Watts was Magician Penn Jillette's late 80's rescucitation of Half-Japanese' (or the Fair brothers') original record label from a decade earlier. While I had ordered several of their releases, I believe this mailer housed a red vinyl edition (of 100 or so, if memory serves me right) of the Half Japanese - Music To Strip By LP, autographed by Jad himself. Another notable release on the revitalized label was Moe Tucker's second solo LP, called "MoeJadKateBarry" which also saw a limited autographed version. Aesthetically speaking, I was happier in the pre-Skidillion days when Jad and David actually typed out all the entire Skidillion, with all the "0's" and commas.

Anyone out there remember exactly how much a Skidillion was ?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Yes, LA

(c) Henry Yu 2005
Pre-eBay and pre-Chuck Warner, Jurgens' Tracks on Wax based in Sweden was one of the best ways to get rare punk vinyl. His catalogs were real well put together, devoted primarily to garage, with punk being only a slightly lesser obsession. He had both auctions and set sale, although I believe everything was done in Kroner, so a calculator was always handy.

This mailer, which was probably from 1985, held a copy of the Yes, LAcompilation on Dangerhouse. I believe it was $29 or so at the time at the prevailing exchange rate, which was a lotta dough back in those days, especially when you threw in the money order fee and postage. It also took a heckuva long time to complete a transaction.

Tracks on Wax did enter the eBay age, most notably auctioning off a (gulp) sealed copy of the hyper rare Vomit Pigs Take One EP for about a grand, a few years ago.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Nudge Squidfish

(c) 2005 Henry Yu
I remember really liking a Nudge Squidfish song from my radio station days, and after graduating from college set out to track down a copy of my own. I managed to find a place called Skychurch who had copies of the Squidsongs LP and Nashville in Nashville. I think it was some store that also sold psych stuff.

This was the mailer in which they were sent, and is circa1987 or 1988. Nudge can be found on the web here. Unfortunately I never tracked down any of the Vertical Slit stuff, tho I have the True Believers LP

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments

LP Mailer for the free Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments "You Can't Kill Stupid" 12" promo, 1992
(c) 2005 Henry Yu

I don't recall who tipped me off, most likely Devereux, but there was a free 12" from TSJA (aka Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments) that one could get just by writing to their lead singer Ron House. Strictly one per fan, and they flew fast. On the Datapanik label, which along with (and closely aligned in aesthetic) Siltbreeze and Anyway records, fueled the first half of the 90's with all american 7" loudness. 1991-2 were actually my non-collecting years, so this was a rare transgression.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Cassette Mailer, circa mid-80's

Cassette Mailer, circa mid-80's Posted by Hello

This was sent to me in 1985 or 1986 from my best friend from college Yuval. His return address shows as Israel, which is where he lived for a very short time. Through the latter 80's Yuval was a mix-tape cassette making powerhouse, and I own a lot of 'em. While he had his own dalliances with music making (in the bands Visiting Food in his native Bloomington, Indiana and in The Perhaps, which was his studio only combo in college), he eventually went solo and head first into it for a spell: he bought a 4-track and taught himself to sing and play. And man, could he write. Gutwrenching and tender songs. These appeared on a series of cassettes beginning with "Yuval Live at Home 1987". Certainly more home brew than even J.T Timmons IV or Jandek, maybe more along the lines of Daniel Johnston in aspiration and aesthetic.

Yuval's penmanship was always little more than a scrawl, as you can see on the mailer. In fact, I recall his first fake ID in college, on which he was purported to be a Physician in his mid-30's. I believe it got him into City Gardens (Trenton) at least once. An entire blog could easily be devoted to all the mail I got from Yuval and tho massively entertaining, would probably be too much of an assault on his (and my) privacy. So with that said, 'nuff said.