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The Haul: Steve Reich's Tehillim and Table's Table

Having an iPhone with the Yelp app at my side is a huge boon to my record shopping impulses, since I can wander around a city far more effectively now. I’d searched for stores near Neumos and found a record-selling thrift store around the corner, but I never got over there. Instead I was sucked into the Jive Time Records annex in Atlas Clothing, a trove of vinyl that felt less picked over than some of the other used records stores I’d visited here. The bins of $.99 and $3.00 LPs consisted of well-worn favorites, but the regular-priced lots had some finds amid the complete discography of Steely Dan. Like any number of other record-collector oriented spots, these records had a tendency to be a touch overpriced, like the Afghan Whigs’ Turn on the Water 12” going for $15, but I was happy with the price of the two albums I picked up.

39. Steve Reich – Tehillim LP – ECM, 1982 – $8

Steve Reich's Tehellim

Aside from a copy of Different Trains / Electric Counterpoint, I’ve had a hard time finding Steve Reich LPs. Record stores switch between lumping him and his peers (Glass, Riley) in with traditional classical music, putting them in a contemporary composers section, or slotting them in an experimental bin. If I manage to find that location, it’s typically comprised of Philip Glass’s Glassworks and Songs from Liquid Days (his collaboration with pop songwriters like Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne, and Lori Anderson), not Reich’s Music for 18 Musicians or Octet – Music for a Large Ensemble – Violin Phase. Those Glass records are the popular entry point to this style of repetitive minimalism, so it’s hardly a surprise that there are more of them floating around (and that people are more likely to get rid of them). When Jon pulled a copy of Tehillim, a 1982 composition inspired by Hebrew psalms, out of the contemporary composers section, I gladly snapped it up. Would I have been more excited with one of those aforementioned LPs? Of course, but beggars can’t be choosers.

40. Table – Table LP – Humble, 1995 – $6

Table's self-titled LP

Having found one of Table’s singles at Mystery Train last summer, I figured that I might finally stumble across their long out-of-print full-length album after years of searching. I just didn’t expect it to be in Seattle. There’s a certain logic in finding a Chicago math-rock LP on the other side of the country after striking out numerous times in Chicago—Chicagoans are more likely to grab it when they see it, since they know what it is, even though there are more copies floating around in that area—but my instincts are always to look for local acts like Joel R. L. Phelps or Kilmer, not Midwestern rarities. The flip side of this equation is how many Live Skull LPs I saw in all four record stores; I thought that they were relegated to the northeast.