Archive for the ‘Vinyl Finds’ Category

Record Sale! 25% off all Vintage Vinyl all Weekend!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

In celebration of Record Store Day, Mystery Spot Antiques in Phoenicia is having a big ol’ record sale – 25% off ALL records in the shop, all weekend long. We’re bringing fresh (vintage) vinyl into our record room all the time.

Saturday April 16th and Sunday April 17th

11AM – 5PM

We’re now open every Saturday, and we will have expanded hours once we officially re-open for the season on Memorial Day Weekend.

We’ll be open all Easter Weekend too.

We’re located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, a few miles from Woodstock and a mere couple of hours and change from Brooklyn.

The Mystery Spot Record Room, our pride and joy.

Hitting the Spot on New Year’s Weekend

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

This is our last “official” weekend until the spring, as we prepare to go into hibernation mode. However, look for us to pop up on the holiday weekends (Presidents’ Day, etc) until our official re-opening in May (our tenth season!).

Meantime, Homer and Langley’s Hibernation Sale continues through the end of today (January 2nd). Check out some of the new customers and old friends who popped into the shop this weekend for vintage bargains galore!

Cozy vintage coats were a big seller this weekend. Artist/set designer/builder Marc Rubin totally scored with this vintage tundra-worthy fleece coat ($55.). It weighs about twenty pounds, but every ounce is pure unadulterated warmth.

Another super coat score! Lucky Yelena spotted this killer Seventies belted blue/gray leather DiModa coat with fur collar ($125.). As concierge at a big Manhattan hotel, she knows a thing or two about secret sources and good finds!

International Woman of Mystery Nicole Moomjy got into the holiday spirit with this festive Sixties metallic gold fitted jacket ($50.) and a must-have copy of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet ($15.).

The vinyl also flew out of the bins this weekend. Case in point: nineteen year-old Colin Rocker (yes, that’s his real name). He just moved back to the Catskills from Bozeman, Montana and headed straight to the Spot to stock up on vintage C & W records (Ernest Tubb, George Jones, et. al.). Colin gave the Mystery Spot’s vinyl room this rave review: “One of the greatest country record collections I’ve ever seen – East, West, North, South.”

Another vinyl junkie! Musician Jordan Shapiro plays in a bluegrass band called Astrograss based in Brooklyn and stocked up on a baker’s dozen of records from Zappa and the Mothers to Flatt and Scruggs, all at $4 apiece.

We Love Old Paper!

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Some of the fresh ephemera headed into the Spot. Tabloids from Jackie Kennedy’s marriage to Ari Onassis. (Midnight, The National Tattler, the NY Daily News, and of course the National Enquirer). An estate haul of over one hundred 1960s TV Guides. A stack of WWII-era Variety magazines. New Yorker magazines from the 1950s. If you have the time, each and every one of these bits of wood pulp is fascinating reading from cover to cover. Trust us, they have not been easy to part with!

When Jacqueline Kennedy married Aristole Onassis in 1968 it was big news. These all came from a "Kennedy collection" we picked up at an auction years ago. Now at the Mystery Spot, 5 – 10 bucks apiece.

The motherlode of over a hundred Sixties TV Guides from TV's golden years. Get Smart, I Dream of Jeannie, F-Troop, The Avengers, Gilligan's Island, The Flying Nun, The Patty Duke Show, and Star Trek, to name but a few.

A stack of old Variety magazines from the 1940's.

Peek inside a Forties Variety and this is what you'll find: ads for the new releases of the day: Notorious, Spellbound, Chain Lightning.

Our favorite pages to peruse are in the back of the magazine, which contain tiny display ads for obscure variety and musical acts on tour. This one caught our attention: Ray Bourbon at the Starlit Room in Hollywood. Could this be the one and the same Rae Bourbon, drag performer from the Fifties, whose records we sometimes come across? And what ever happened to Laurette and Clymas?

Here's one of Rae Bourbon's albums we've been fortunate to come across.


Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

We’re still pinching ourselves. The free show that Mercury Rev and Dean & Britta played on the Mystery Spot porch Sunday afternoon was truly special. Hard to explain, but those lucky ones who attended know what we mean. (The videos in our previous post give a clue). Deepest thanks to music/entertainment lawyer extraordinaire (and dear friend!) Loren Chodosh, who put the whole event into motion, to Lisa Gottheil and Kellyn Slone at 2:30 Publicity for all their hard work and support, and to the Kirks and the people of Phoenicia for letting us do our thing. Most of all, thanks to D&B&J&G for giving us a day to remember!Here are a few photos. (All photos © Laura Levine).

Grasshopper, Jonathan Donahue, Britta Phillips and Dean Wareham with some of their Mystery Spot swag.

Jonathan Donahue, Grasshopper, Dean and Britta on the porch of Mystery Spot Antiques.

Britta Phillips sings a beautiful version of "I'll Keep It With Mine."

Dean Wareham checks out the vinyl room.

Porch rockers!

The crowd on Main Street.

Tommy Ramone and Dean Wareham. Tommy's band Uncle Monk will be playing a free show on the Mystery Spot's front porch next Sunday (Aug. 22) at 2 PM.

All in a Weekend’s Work and Play

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

It’s always a mystery when we open the doors of The Spot for the weekend because we never know who’s going to enter our little world. This past weekend brought us a mix of old friends, fun new customers, an actress, a television personality and a crossword wunderkind.

This lovely lass is Lauren Messing, a young actress who you’ll be able to see this summer in The Electroscheme. She studies acting at NYU (as once did her delightful cousin, Will & Grace’s Debra Messing).  Lauren declared this vintage Fifties white rayon crepe spinworthy dancing dress so laden with rhinestones it has a life of its own ($100.). was the dress she had to have, and we  found it hard to disagree.

So the next time you spot a sparkling vision in white gliding up the red carpet at the Emmys or Oscars, take a close look – it may very well be Lauren, in her stunning new dress.

We suspect that Kelly Cutrone and Ava Cutrone fall under the classification of a Force of Nature. They burst into the Mystery Spot with a wave of energy and  fun and had us on the floor laughing for half an hour. It took us a while before we even realized that Kelly is a world-famous publicist (People’s Revolution), TV star (MTV’s The Hills and The City, Bravo’s Kell on Earth) and best-selling author; and Ava, well, she may only be eight but she’s well on her way to greatness as well.

Of course, they didn’t come just to entertain us – they came to shop! And so they did – check out Ava’s killer mod 60’s flower power culotte romper ($20.) and NOS 60’s “Celebrity” Miami Beach striped vinyl tote ($20). – just perfect as a carry-all for her new puppy Lola. (And waterproof! A feature which came in handy about 3 minutes after this photo was taken).

Liz Pulos is a dear customer friend. She started out as a loyal Spot customer (and still is!), but she is now officially a Friend. And we couldn’t be happier! When people plan their trips months ahead just to come visit the Mystery Spot, we know we’re onto something good. Liz, Donny and their other friend Liz spent the better part of their vacation weekend here in the shop, and everyone emerged a winner.

Liz didn’t buy this 60s Mad Men Style black-and-white striped NOS ensemble (cocktail dress underneath; bolero jacket on top – $65), but it looked so great on her we just had to take the photos. Don’t you love the hat, purse, and two-toned shoes she picked out?

Liz’s husband Don Undeen went (natch) straight to the record room where he loaded up on some killer jazz vinyl as well as a 1971 copy of Rolling Stone with Miles Davis on the cover ($15.)

Their friend Liz Linstrom was on a lamp quest, and she was most successful! As Liz and this 1950s abstract mauve ceramic lamp with fiberglass shade ($68.) lamp are united for the first time, you can feel the love in the air.

But really, did anyone charm us as much as young Caleb Madison? He asked if we had any old crossword items, and our brain churned a bit and then immediately recovered the latitude and longitude of The Little Folks Cross-Word Puzzle Book circa 1949 ($14.)  which has been suffering in obscurity for at least 8 years in the back of the book room, just waiting for someone like Caleb to come along and rescue it. Caleb was thrilled, we were thrilled, and we suspect Will Shortz will be thrilled as well when he opens his Christmas presents this winter. (Shhh….!)

Caleb is a pretty modest fellow, but we were able to get him to spill that he’s the  youngest person to ever have a crossword published in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, at a mere fifteen. (He’s all of seventeen now). And we have some crossword pals in common (shout-out to Andrea Carla Michaels! When are you coming to visit my shop already???)

The Mystery Spot Hearts Artists (and Vice Versa).

Friday, July 16th, 2010

It’s funny how on certain weekends we notice trends. For example, there might be a sudden run on Fifties lamps. Or 60’s soul 45s. Some weekends a parade of musicians stop in. And this past couple of weekends, artists.

Artist Joe Andoe has been a faithful Spot customer for quite a few years now. He always heads straight for the record room, and we must kinda like him, because we allowed him to talk us into selling him our only display copy of Steamin’ with the Miles Davis Quartet right off the wall ($5.). He also picked up a sweet copy of Bill Doggett and his Combo ($10.). Whenever he stops by the shop when we’re closed (more often than not), he sometimes leaves us cool drawings on the backs of record jackets.

Wes Lang has some pretty great tattoos. They really grabbed our attention, and no wonder, he’s an artist himself. He chose this vintage Happy Face mug ($10.). for his official Mystery Spot portrait. Having taken a peek at his latest work at the Zieher Smith Gallery (Smile, It’s a Great Day) we now get it.

Our old friend Amy Arbus and I rose in the ranks together back in the early 80s when we were both young photographers for the Village Voice. My beat was the downtown music scene; hers’ was street fashion, recently collected in a beautiful book, On The Street. She’s not only a great photographer, but one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. And she was very happy to make the acquaintance of Desdemona, The Devil Girl of Phoenicia, The Mystery Spot’s very own mascot (NFS).

Marc Rubin and Ina Kozel have an amazing studio a few miles down the road from the Spot. Ina’s silk paintings are breathtaking, and Marc creates alternate universes in his workshop. Marc is also the dude who custom built the beautiful record bins in our vinyl room for which we will forever be grateful. Ina took home this vintage “French Ivory” hand mirror ($7.) which is neither French nor Ivory, as it turns out. But still nice.

The Mystery Spot Rocks! (Part 1)

Friday, June 25th, 2010

The Mystery Spot must be sending secret rock star pheremones out into the mountains. How else to explain the outstanding musical talent that stepped through our doors the other weekend?First, two old friends of ours’, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley of Yo La Tengo stopped in. OK, this wasn’t a total surprise, as they told us they were going to stop by, but it’s always so nice to see them and catch up on old times and new doings.

Ira and Georgia headed straight back to the vinyl room (no surprise there) and stocked up on a pile of great vintage 45’s ($3. each) including the original single of CAT NIP by Dave “Baby” Cortez. Kismet, as just recently, Ira recorded a cover of that very song with his friends the A-Bones, with none other than Dave “Baby” Cortez himself joining the session.Here’s a little piece of Yo La Tengo trivia you probably didn’t know: the very first time Ira and Georgia performed together in public  (the debut, as it were, of Yo La Tengo) was in May 1982, at my twenty-fourth birthday party at the offices of the New York Rocker, where we all worked. (I was Photo Editor/Chief Photographer, and Ira was Record Review Editor). In fact, here’s a photo of that fateful, historic moment:

That’s me (Laura Levine, the birthday girl) attempting to carry a tune as Ira and Georgia back me, and Will Rigby from the dB’s is up to his usual shenanigans. (I wish I could remember who took this – Ina G., perhaps? I know I handed my camera to someone when I took the mike….)

Here’s another – this one’s by me – that’s Ira on the left, Georgia on drums, Managing Editor Glenn Morrow (of the Individuals) on vocals, and Peter Holsapple (of the dB’s) on guitar.

It was an annual tradition to host my birthday parties at the Rocker offices – any excuse for a beer-soaked musical free-for-all. The office was on the second-floor loft of a building on on lower Fifth Avenue (166 Fifth). A few ratty sofas and broken metal desks, with an amazing array of records and posters taped up to the walls. All thanks for our editor, Andy Schwartz for making it so homey. As Andy recently pointed out in his blog, most all of our little group still remains friends to this day.

Not to go off on too much of a tangent here, but for those of you interested in reading more about my early days as a downtown New York music photographer, here’s a good, thorough read – a three -part interview conducted by Scott Woods of which really got my brain cells firing on all cylinders as I mined the past to answer his questions. You can also see more of my music photos on my website.

OK, that’s just Part One of our rock star weekend! Keep reading to see who came in next….

The Mystery Spot: A Family Affair

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

One of the things that makes us proudest of The Mystery Spot is that it’s all-ages. Sure, grown-ups love it here, but so do kids. We often get an entire family coming through the door and everyone has a good time as they go off to their respective corners – whether it’s digging through the vinyl, trying on the vintage clothing, reading the weird out-of-print books, or counting the stuffed alligators scattered around the shop (at last count, seven…including the rarely captured Flying Alligator).

Here are a few of our favorite families who’ve Shopped the Spot in the past month or so…..

Sometimes we meet a new customer (or in this case, four of them) and we can’t help but fall a little bit in love with them. This was the case with the Turner-Hansen family. We doubt that when they crossed our threshold they could have imagined spending the better part of their Sunday inside, but so they did. Dad Mark Turner, noted jazz musician, discovered the record room and our bins and bins of vintage jazz vinyl, and well…..that was the last he was heard of for hours, aside from occasionally coming up for air to see what vintage pieces his lovely ten-year old daughter, Kirin, was modeling for him. Mom Helena Hansen, a double-threat psychiatrist-anthropologist, helped Kirin out and also made sure son Ananda (OK, we are officially smitten!) was having fun. Which he certainly was, all 7 3/4 years of him!

This photo only shows the tip of the iceberg of the bags and bags of vintage wonderfulness they left with. Mark holds one of his vinyl scores, The Early Bird – Charlie Parker with Miles Davis ($20.), and a Kirin a vintage 1960s brown and white polka dot romper with white collar and buttons ($39.) as well as a killer 1960s hand-tooled leather hippie purse ($35.).

We love it when old friends pop in out of the blue to visit and say hello! We haven’t seen Katherine Dieckmann in many a moon, and it was such a joy to see her walk through the door as well as meet the whole gang – husband Brian Wallis, daughter Caroline, and son Nathaniel. We mostly spent our time catching up – Katherine is an acclaimed filmmaker (Motherhood) and teaches screenwriting at Columbia University; Brian is Chief Curator at the ICP, Caroline is beautiful and wise beyond her years, and Nathaniel – well, you can tell from this photo that he’s his own man.

Modeled by the brilliant, creative, sophisticated and artistic Wallises, we present the following: one stuffed duck (NFS); one vintage camera ($35.), a Scary Celluloid Santa ($12.) and an old iron receipt holder ($10.) which Katherine happily took to its new home.

You probably recognize  the Littletons from previous appearances on these pages, as they are bonafide Friends of the Spot. Elizabeth Mitchell records with Smithsonian Folkways under her own name, accompanied by husband Daniel Littleton and daughter Storey; Liz and Dan also have the band Ida. And here’s a bit more of their wonderful extended family – Dan’s brother Miggy Littleton, wife Anna Padgett, and daughter Penny. Are they all musicians you may wonder? (Need you ask?).

Penny is three, and she loved this vintage little girl’s baby blue gingham two piece suit ($40.) so much she took it home with her. She loves to play Princesses and likes animal crackers and the Beatles. Her favorite song is Strawberry Fields Forever. Storey is now a Girl Scout! She is bridging into Juniors in June. She’s also an internationally touring rock star who (still) collects elephants and likes to knit and sew. This vintage girl’s plaid dress from the Forties ($15.) went home with her as well.

Storey and Penny were quite taken with these old – er, vintagerotary phones, and one of them came home with them  too.

Miggy Littleton is a professional record guy (he’s come to our rescue on more than one occasion) and his favorite Beatles song is All Together Now. Here we see Dan and Miggy wallowing in their element. Dig, boys, dig!

In fact, in Extended Family News, we’re proud to announce that everyone you see in the family photo – Liz and Dan’s band Ida, and Anna and Miggy’s band The Naysayer, will be performing this summer as part of our free Music for Front Porches series. As of now the date is set for Sunday, August 1, at 1 PM, on our porch, but please do check back or sign up for our mailing list to confirm the date as August approaches.

Memorial Day Weekend Estate Sale Finds!

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend is the official start of the yard sale season in the Catskills as well as the season opening of the Mystery Spot. It’s a little bit overwhelming but somehow we manage to get out there and comb the sales as well as open our doors to the public. Thank goodness for our kind helpers.And oh, what treasures we found! It’s hard to know where to start, but here are a few of our scores from the Memorial Day Weekend. Most of them will end up in the shop, but we admit a few we may not be able to loosen our grip on.

One attic in particular was filled with treasures. A stash of Sixties German-pressed classic rock records, probably purchased on a U.S. Army base circa 1969. Hendrix, The Doors, Iron Butterfly, Joe Cocker, Woodstock, The Band, Blind Faith – all in jackets just a little bit different than what we’re used to from their American counterparts. Oh, and did we mention they were near mint?

Oh, and the clothing! There’s a reason vintage T-shirts are so in demand these days…they’re rarely saved. Check out what had been stored away in one lone foot locker for forty years:

Here’s a closer view of some of our favorites:

….and, the piece de resistance….

Sixties denim bellbottoms trashed and patched to perfection:


To cap it all off, here’s one last weekend find – possibly our favorite hat ever.

An old straw fishing hat with netted top. HAVE YOU EVER?

Springtime at the Spot!

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Woodstockers Stacy, Shane, and Ash Devens have totally figured out how to get the most out of their Mystery Spot dollar. Forget the vinyl room in the back – just hit the dollar record bins on the porch!

Here they proudly pose with their C & W vinyl score for the afternoon: Conway Twitty’s Hello Darlin’ for mom ($1.), George Jones The Race is On for Ash ($1.), and for dad, Ted Nugent and the Amboy DukesCall of the Wild ($1.)

(OK, so not quite C & W on that last one….)

We’ve said it before – we love it when our friends come to visit! Best buds Laurie Gwen Shapiro and Corey Powell drove up to Phoenicia for the day and after checking out our new location took us out for a delicious lunch at Sweet Sue’s. Laurie is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose film Keep the River on Your Right should be in your Netflix queue right now. Corey is the Editor-in-Chief of Discover Magazine, so we know where to turn whenever we have burning questions about the origins of the universe.

Laurie fell in love with a vintage 60s ribbed horizontal candy-colored striped dress ($18.) and Corey swears by Phyllis Diller’s Housekeeping Hints ($12.).

After many years of hoarding, we finally decided to release our stash of vintage T-shirts back into the wild. We’ve collected a good bin’s worth (or two) and this 1970s yellow-on-black Richford Hotel, Richford, NY vintage T-shirt ($35.) may just be one of our favorites.

Chaya – a hotel housekeeper and professional hamster racer – certainly agreed, and it went home with her.

Is it any surprise that two musicians would find themselves in the record room? Multi-instrumentalist Kelly Kyle and guitarist Sean Eden (formerly of Luna, now with the Night People, among other bands) dig the Happy Western A Go-Go and Local Gentry.