Category: Record Stores

When The Going Gets Weird: Weirdo Records Is Dead. Long Live Weirdo Records.

Long Live Weirdo Records. (Photo - D.Hixon)

Long Live Weirdo Records. (Photo – D.Hixon)

It’s been a heart wrenching week for Central Square, and selfishly, myself. First news trickled out that the seminal rock club, one in which I’ve seen both friends and heroes play in, TT the Bears, is closing it’s doors – and now…..this. Pound for pound Weirdo Records was the greatest record store in the world, and now….it’s gone, as Central Square takes one more giant step to becoming Kendall fucking Square. Jesse was right, Hi-Fi Pizza becoming a goddamn vegetarian spot was only the beginning. The gentrification of Central Square is now in full throat. But Hey, at least we have a bunch of soulless and pretty pharmaceutical buildings creeping up our ass. Yikes, this could get ugly quick….let’s get back to Weirdo.

The first time I entered Weirdo Angela Sawyer (Godhead & Owner of Weirdo) turned to me and asked over some sort of percussion driven screech chant “music” if I wanted a beer. I of course said yes and my experiences only improved from there – Weirdo was always perfect for me. As a DJ, blogger, podcaster, and overall music freak I can’t overstate how important Weirdo Records was to me. I was admittedly intimidated by the place at first. Walking into Weirdo Records was like entering a tomb. The claustrophobic feel of the large closet called store berated your senses and didn’t allow you be comfortable – and that’s why it was utterly fantastic. There’s still plenty of great shops in Cambridge, but none push your taste or limits like Weirdo – and that’s what a shop’s supposed to do, expose you to new sounds, make you a little uncomfortable, all while helping you cultivate the musical garden garden of taste in your head, and my garden never grew faster than it did with Weirdo. It was like this strange sonic miracle grow for my ear taste.

If I’ve turned you on to new music, you’ve seen me spin out, or listen to my radio show or podcast – then you should certainly shed a tear with me. So much of what I play was discovered and mined out of Weirdo – and it gives me more than minor (major?) anxiety now that it’s gone. Where the hell am I going to get my Afro-Beat, Asian Soul, Middle Eastern Psych or rare Garage from? Goddamn it. The more I type the more I realize how big a hole such a small place is going to leave.

If she reads this (and I think she will) I want to take a step back and thank Angela. I was mostly quiet in there, but you always pushed me in directions that were beyond good, and from that first beer to last purchase, you made the most intimidating shop the most accessible and in the end the best – I’ll be a cow-eyed shoegazer the next few days as I wallow in my “loss” – but am beyond thrilled for your future adventures. We need more Angela’s in this world. Full Stop. End of Sentence.

I’ll be spinning records tonight at State Park from 9:00pm to 12:00am and will wear my Weirdo Records T-Shirt with pride while playing a healthy amount of wax from the pound for pound undisputed Record Store Champ. Drinks on me if you can make it Angela.

Weirdo Records is Dead. Long Live Weirdo Records.

Mint Pillow @ State Park 05/21.

Mint Pillow @ State Park 05/21. (Photo – J.Nguyen)

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Road Visions: Record Stores of London – Notting Hill

Honest Jon's located on Portobello Road  in Notting Hill. (Photo - D.Hixon)

Honest Jon’s located on Portobello in Notting Hill. (D.Hixon)

Late last year I was able to spend a couple of weeks in London. As I’ve stated in the past, shopping for vinyl in Europe is a dream, an expensive dream albeit, but a dream none-the-less. Every shop you enter is stacked with non-American releases (everything’s an import) and the selection’s vastly different than what you’re used to in the States.

With some modest research my friend Kevin and I made our way to Rough Trade West, which is located in Notting Hill, and let the streets lead us around a non-lazy afternoon that found the wax to be plentiful, the pints proper, and conversation delightful.

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market (D.Hixon)

Portobello Road Market
As we got off the Tube and started walking towards Rough Trade we were greeted – totally by luck – with the Saturday Portobello Road Market, a closed off street filled with throngs of tourists, hustlers, and locals. There were bazaar’s, pubs, and shops lining the streets with open air vendor’s selling everything from food, clothes, antiques, and yes….records.

The prices varied here, but I was able to pick up and barter for a killer copy of I-Roy’s 1973 UK press of Hell And Sorrow as well as an original 1977 Italian first press of Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols – records and pressings you just don’t run across in the States. A main goal heading into London was to get as much reggae as I could. Outside of Jamaica, and maybe even more so – there’s no better place to get reggae on vinyl than the UK. Punk, Indie, and Garage were also on my list – so before we even hit Rough Trade I was off to a great start. I’ll say records were priced a little high on the street until you got further down the road and past the food vendors – where the true locals were selling. Some of the vendors were pretty crass, and to be frank, total assholes (particularly one dude I tried to buy a Hawkwind record from, first & only time I’ve been called a “wanker”) – but other vendor’s were friendly & willing to come down from their tourist high prices if they sniffed out you were a true collector.

The outside of Rough Trade West. (Photo - D.Hixon)

The outside of Rough Trade West. (D.Hixon)

Rough Trade West
After traipsing down Portobello we finally got to Rough Trade West, and I have to say, I was disappointed upon entering. The smallish room was jammed with new records and when traveling internationally I’m strictly on the used record tip. Thankfully I noticed there was an equally sized downstairs filled exclusively with used records. Crisis averted.

I dove right into the reggae section which was bigger than most back in the States, but not necessarily huge. The Indie, Rock, and Garage sections had the more impressive selections. The prices weren’t cheap, but the vibe in the basement was good. The lady behind the counter recognized I was wearing a Bleecker Street Records T-Shirt and we immediately started talking record nerd with each other. Upon hearing I was from Cambridge, MA she informed me that her Husband incessantly wears a T-Shirt they got some 20 years ago when visiting the States from In Your Ear Records, one of my home turf stores. This was my favorite part of Rough Trade, swapping stories of past digs with this lady behind the counter. It’s akin to fisherman telling big fish stories, and as we wrapped up she pushed us on our way further down Portobello to Honest Jon’s, after we (of course) stopped for a proper pint.

Honest Jons Records

Inside Honest Jon’s Records. (D. Hixon)

Honest Jon’s
Honest Jon’s is a quaint shop located towards the end of the Portobello Market that features music of different genres from across the globe. I discovered that Honest Jon’s is also a Record Label of the same name which happens to be co-run by Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz) – not bad pedigree for a record shop/label.  This is where I began to quench my thirst for reggae, as I picked up a Delroy Wilson LP as well as a Studio One Sales Sampler from 1979. Prices were reasonable and I was very thankful to pick up a “London Is The Place For Me” record directly from the source. These excellent complications are put out by Honest Jon’s and feature music composed by Caribbean immigrants in a variety of styles – Calypso, Jazz, Mento, and Highlife – all composed and often centered around London life – absolutely killer comps. After leaving Honest Jon’s we had another pint and meandered off the Portobello path in & got further lost in the Notting Hill afternoon.

All the Reggae 45's & a happy me.

All the Reggae 45’s & a happy me – People’s Sound!

People’s Sound
As we explored the streets we tripped into, by either destiny or luck, Sarm West Studios – a world renown studio which was created by Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records. Sarm has recorded the likes of Led Zeppelin, Queen, & Rolling Stones – all British Rock Royalty. We went inside and chatted with the friendly fellah behind the desk and he informed us that Bob Marley not only recorded there, but lived in the Studio for about a year – which is no coincidence as we were entering what appeared to be the Jamaican section of Notting Hill. Still thirsting for reggae I asked if he knew of any good shops – he smiled slyly, and directed us to People’s Sound – which was only two blocks away – safe to say – I was about to get all I could drink.

The outside of People's Sound (D.Hixon)

The outside of People’s Sound (D.Hixon)

I walked into People’s Sound to find no one behind the counter and a copious amount of incense floating in the air – however, as I 360’d around the small shop I realized I was 100% surrounded by Reggae, Dub, and Dancehall records – my prayers had been answered. A red eyed Rasta eventually came out to see my shaggy haired stupid grinned face and we were off from there.

I handed him my reggae 45 wantlist – which he was impressed with, but the only one he found in the bowels of the shop was Max Romeo – It Sipple Out Dehwhich I was 100% fine with, because I was about to be exposed to a hell of a lot more. We then sat at the counter chatting as he played me 45 after 45 of incredible roots reggae as I plucked what I especially liked while learning a helluva lot from this lifted sage. A week later, when my Wife met me in London this is the only shop I went back to, and is one I’ll go to any and every time I’m in the City. Most shop’s in the US have reggae section’s with maybe 20 records or so, but this was an ENTIRE shop – talk about drinking from a blunted fire hose. Beautiful, beautiful shop. Positive vibrations, yeah.

Music and Goods Exchange (D.Hixon)

Music and Goods Exchange (D.Hixon)

Music / Soul & Dance Exchange
After leaving the high of People’s Sound we backtracked towards the Tube and hit a Pub we earmarked on our way to Portobello. My bags of wax were starting to weigh heavy so after a few pints we decided to be proper tourists and just explore the other side of the neighborhood, but of course, before we got too far we ran into Music / Soul & Dance Exchange, and the dig (thankfully) continued.

This was actually two record stores in one, The Music & Video Exchange on the first floor and The Soul & Dance Exchange on the second floor. I was on the hunt for Althea and Donna’s Uptown Top Ranking all day, and of course, it was found in this last shop upstairs, I was overjoyed and scared the employees as a blurted out a too exuberant yelp. Both floors had an incredible mix of new and hard to find used records – and this shop, while facing the stiffest of competition, ended up being my favorite of the trip for three reasons:

  1. Pure Volume – On both floors there were a lot of records, 45 and LP, the most of any store we stopped in.
  2. Divergence of Selection – Downstairs had all the rock, pop, garage, indie, psych, you could want – and upstairs had an equally impressive selection of Hip Hop, Dance, Soul, Funk, African, and Electronic. If you’re a collector you’d be guaranteed to find something you’ve been searching for here.
  3. Price – On top of the quality and quantity the prices were by far the most reasonable of the day – and with the British Pound lapping the US Dollar this was a more than welcome sight.

We spent another good hour here, left with bags straining to stay in tact, and went across the street to (wait for it…..) another Pub. It was a beyond successful dig – such a cool, unique, and interesting neighborhood – one most recommended if in London and looking to get your fingers dirty and mind clean.

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Road Visions: Record Stores of Portland, Maine

Electric Buddhas gets trippy in naming their genre sections. (D. Hixon)

Electric Buddhas give a psychedelic twist to the naming of their genres. (Photo – D. Hixon)

While vacationing on Lake Ossipee, NH my Wife and I took a day trip to Portland to explore Maine’s largest city. It’s by no means a “big” city – but it resolves this with a strong dose of personality & charm – which is most evident while visiting the record shops.

Moody Lords records and vintage clothing made it a standout.

Moody Lords records & vintage clothing should be on your radar.

My first stop was Bull Moose – which unfortunately has more CD’s & DVD’s than vinyl, with the majority of records being new releases. That’s no problem if you live in Portland – but if you’re a n0n-Mainer it’s a bummer as there’s nothing unique to the selection. While I stayed away from most everything – I found some insanely affordable records in their bargin bin which made the shop worth peeping, but I’d make it later in your crawl.

Next was Moody Lords – which ended up being my favorite shop in Portland. I was greeted at the door by a quizzical babe in diapers, and once I got past the buddha I was exposed to a shop layered with tasteful vintage garb and a well manicured landscape of vinyl. Cultivation was as equally easy as it was dangerous due to the quality of fruit to pick from – and the laid back vibe, friendly service, and sloppy garage bouncing off the walls made me fall a little in love with everything. A must stop if on the hunt in Portland.

Just a few doors down I visited Strange Maine which was my most anticipated shop to visit – but in general, I was disappointed. This could be because my taste isn’t particularly metal/hard rock aligned, but I found the majority of records to be in shoddy condition and displayed in a cramped and forced way. I’ve been to a lot of dusty record stores – not my cup of tea, but could see why a collector of a certain disposition would dig this place.

Last up was Electric Buddhas which was hands down the most joy riddled shop in Portland. It’s a garden salad mix of retro video games, rare vinyl, and audiophile quality stereo equipment. While Moody Lords was manned by vixen like sirens who bleed cool and breathed hip – the Buddhas tag team of lovable (and I think admitted) dorks gave everything in the shop extra credibility, love, and care. I picked up a copy of The Freak Scene’s Psychedelic Psoul which I never thought I’d see in person – and that was one of many adjacently priced gems they had stuffed between N64 games and unopened packs of Saved by the Bell cards. Like I said, joy, as was the rest of Portland, a worthy stop for the record obsessed fiend lost in Northern New England.

 

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Can You Dig It: Crawling for Vinyl While Pondering Music Consumption in 2014

The Faithful dig on the inagural Vinyl Crawl. (Photo - D.Hixon)

The Faithful dig on the inaugural Vinyl Crawl. (Photo – D.Hixon)

This past Saturday myself and three like minded souls ventured out into the urban wilderness of Cambridge and made history. January 25th of 2014 will forever be remembered as the first ever Vinyl Crawl. The idea was hatched and beta tested in December with superb results, and version 1.0 on Saturday was just as successful. The premise of the Vinyl Crawl is brilliant in its simplicity, but the rewards are layered in complexity.

How to Do A Proper Vinyl Crawl:

  1. Choose a Time, Date, & Record Store to meet at.
  2. Shop at said Record Store for as long as needed.
  3. Once done proceed to a reputable Pub within walking distance.
  4. Buy a beer and discuss records purchased.
  5. Go to the next Record Store, repeat Steps 2-4 as long as needed.
  6. End day at someone’s apartment – listen and discuss records further. Beer is optional but highly recommended.

Can there be a more perfect day? Records. Booze. Friends. As close to the afterlife as I can think of. The real reward was the social aspect when showing-off, talking about, and listening to the gems we picked up. Too often in these “socially connected” times people are only interacting with music (and each other) digitally. YouTube links shared and ripped to MP3, DropBox URL’s passed along for an unreleased album, Spotify suggestions, Facebook recommendations, Pandora Channels, SoundCloud links, BandCamp pages, and endless tweets, chats, and pins give the illusion that we’re connected to music more than ever but that’s not the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I use everything that was listed above on a daily basis (well minus Spotify or Pandora – fuck those services), but I use them to compliment my musical journey, not as the soul source. Odds are your favorite music has come from a friends suggestion or blind discovery – sure the occasional algorithm will expose you to something “new” that’s aligned with what robots think you like, but what’s the fun in that? If you’re on a punk Spotify channel and discover a “new” punk band is that really new – or are you just regurgitating a previous meal? If you’re only exposed to music and genres in your wheelhouse then you’re waving the white flag to your own musical evolution – and taking away the greatest reward of music consumption – Discovery.

As suds from the bars penetrated our synapses and wax weighed down bags our discovery became a shared experience – and made for one of my better Saturdays in recent memory. The below map shows our path was fairly linear – but the conversations were anything but, as we exposed each other to new buying habits and music we could never gather from behind the screen of a laptop, tablet, or phone.

Vinyl Crawl Map

Vinyl Crawl Map

Inaugural Vinyl Crawl Path:

  1. Planet Records
  2. Charlie’s Kitchen
  3. Armageddon Shop
  4. Whitney’s Cafe
  5. In Your Ear!
  6. People’s Republik
  7. Weirdo Records

This is the first of many Vinyl Crawls we’ll be organizing (hit me up on Twitter if you’d like to partake) – and even if can’t make it – try and take the time to visit a local shop near you (with friends if you can) – these hubs are vital to the betterment of the Music Fan’s experience, and thankfully each shop we entered on Saturday was lively and hopping with like minded patrons and music freaks – which I hope is a sign that the death of the Record Store’s been greatly exaggerated.

*For you Instagrammer’s out there peep #VinylCrawl for a look at some of what was picked up on the crawl.

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Road Visions: Record Stores of Florence, Italy

Rock Bottom Records - Florence, Italy

Rock Bottom Records in Florence, Italy was my favorite shop in the city. (Photo – D. Hixon)

I’m traveling around Italy for the next week and a half and thus far this beautiful country exceeds all reputation. The food is exquisite, the architecture breathtaking, and the art’s priceless. My first stop was Florence, and while I went places that were expected like the Duomo and Michelangelo’s sculpture of David, I had to peep what Italian Record Stores had to offer.

Marquee Moon is a nice shop if local, but not yet a destination.

Marquee Moon is a nice shop if a local.

My first stop was Marquee Moon, a shop that resides in the shadow of the Duomo. The shop was quaint, but the prices, like all shops I visited, were not for the light of wallet. My biggest disappointment here was that 95% of all vinyl was brand new – and a lot of the releases were from the US. I browsed quickly, picked up Les Sins 12″ from last year (Toro y Moi side-project), and moved on. A great shop if you live in Italy, but not if you’re visiting looking for gems you can’t get back home. I’d equate it to a smaller Newbury Comics stateside.

Data 93 Records - Florence, Italy

Data 93 Records – Florence, Italy

Next up was Data 93 Records, a shop located near the Arno River, which was much more along the lines of what I was looking for. From the outside the shop looked like it would be as small or smaller as Marquee Moon, but the room really opened up as you snaked into the back. They wasted some prime space with CD’s up front – but the store was a treasure trove of used records, and virtually everything I picked up was an “import” or foreign non-US pressing. I got some great albums here (Soft Boys, Alex Chilton, Brothers Johnson, & More) and the staff, whom I believe were Father and Son, were incredibly helpful. The store was funky with a psychedelic ceiling and posters, and organization was decent, but heavy digging was still required to unearth good. Apparently in Europe college radio rock or alternative is universally called “New Wave” – That’s weird.

Rock Bottom's selection is as deep as the ocean.

Rock Bottom’s selection is as deep as the ocean.

The last shop I visited in Florence was Rock Bottom, and I certainly saved the best for last. The shop had a super crisp and clean feel about it, and the store was 100% dedicated to vinyl. What also blew my mind here was the intense organization of everything. There were no lazy listing just by the letter of the alphabet, each band had it’s own unique dedicated section. On top of this, each record was labeled with the Vinyl and Sleeve condition, and there was also a description of the pressing and record in each sleeve, which meant I didn’t have to “waste” my time checking to see if a record was a US pressing or not. They had a large variety of records, specializing in rock and indie, and their hyper organization made it easy (and dangerous) for me to find records. I got some killer first pressing from Germany, Holland, and the UK which you’d just never see in the states – such as: Daydream Nation, Goo, Forbidden Places, and Computer World. If you can only go to one shop in Florence, this is hands down the place to go.

Overall the shops were all great, but there’s no real “bargains” in any of these places. You have to be ready to pay close to Discogs retail for what you’re buying, but it’s worth it, especially given you’re not paying for shipping and the rarity of what you’re seeing given what’s back in the States. Overall an excellent job done by Florence.

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Jumping the Shark: Has Record Store Day Turned Into Hipster Black Friday?

Waiting In Line.

There’s something un-holy about waiting in line for records…

I love music, disproportionately so, and as part of my passion I blog, podcast, make music, go to shows,  buy merch, and collect vinyl. My Netflix queue is exclusively music documentaries while my iTunes library has its metadata organized with the anal retentiveness of a rock and roll librarian. I catalog each new record I buy onto Discogs and purchase records from independent labels and distributors on a near daily basis. In short, I’m a hopeless music freak.

Has Record Store Day Jumped the Shark?

Has Record Store Day Jumped the Shark?

You’d think I’d be in Record Store Day’s wheelhouse, and admittedly I was for awhile. Over the years I’d wake up early and stand in lines of various sizes hoping to snag “exclusive” collectables. I didn’t go this year because I already spent all of my money for the week on…well, records. Virtually every day is “Records Store Day” for me, and sure there were still parts of me that wanted to go, but the whole experience has slowly turned sour for me.

The Music Industry has been very good at learning how to exploit its consumers. Be it from cheaply produced live albums in the 70’s or “Greatest Hits” records with one or two “new” tracks in the 90’s – and unfortunately, I think something with great intention, Record Store Day, is being gentrified. I’m all for Record Stores getting added attention, as they’re integral to the culture of music, but RSD now reeks with all the things I dislike in consumerism, it’s become Black Friday for Hipsters.

Record Store Day

Record Store Day

Record Store Day is a cash and grab event. There’s no real community where people actually talk and learn about music, it’s more or less a bunch of seagulls fighting over an abandoned bag of chips on the beach. I’m sure I sound like an alcoholic talking about St. Patty’s Day, but it sure does seem like a lot of tourists are “digging” on Record Store Day.

Jack White Blunderbuss

Blunderbuss was a limited pressing of only 40,000 records.

The record releases are becoming more gimmicky and reek of the old tricks already used in the 70’s and 90’s. Think about it,  Jack White’s Blunderbuss sold 33,000 copies in 2012, making it the highest selling vinyl of the year. He’s the most popular act that sells vinyl, and he only sold 33,000 copies. So when you’re being sold “limited” pressing of 1,000 or even 3,000 records how limited are they really?

Again, I love the idea of Record Store Day, and think these independently owned hubs are so very important for so many reasons, I just think they deserve the same amount of love for the other 364 days.

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Freakin’ Weekend: The Kinks – Where Have All The Good Times Gone – New England Record Show in Somerville

FREAKIN_WEEKEND

FREAKIN_WEEKEND

I just got back from the from the New England Record Show in Somerville and it was, per always with these events, Heaven on Earth. I walked out with fourteen 7″ 45’s and fifteen LP’s all for about $100 US dollars. The $20 entry fee was too steep, but to be in a room with that variety of knowledge and music makes the price arbitrary. I talked with oldtimers about rare Kinks albums, waxed poetic about Silkworm, and scored some Funkadelic and Parliment records I’ve been chasing for awhile. I got a great UK release of Lola, which I’m listening to as I type, and “Where Have All The Good Times Gone” is SUCH an underrated song by them, so damn good. Gob Bless Records. God Bless Vinyl Heads. God Bless The Freakin’ Weekend.

New England Record Store

The Faithful converge on a Sunday morning @ the New England Record Show.

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Where the Buffalo Roam: My Day at Dr. Oldie’s Southern New England Rock ‘N’ Roll Collectors Convention

The scene @ Dr. Oldie's Southern New England Rock 'N' Roll Collectors Convention

The scene @ Dr. Oldie’s Southern New England Rock ‘N’ Roll Collectors Convention.

A Flyer for the next Collectors Convention.

A Flyer for the next Collectors Convention.

I woke up early yesterday morning to attend Dr. Oldie’s Original Southern New England Rock ‘N’ Roll Collectors Convention in Seekonk, MA. I heard about the event via In Your Ear Records Facebook page, and was excited for the opportunity to meet 30 different vendors and fellow vinyl enthusiasts alike. It took me a little over an hour to drive south from Cambridge in a hairy rainstorm, but the trip was well worth it.

I’d been emailing with the organizer of the event, Jeff, earlier in the week, and was greeted by him upon entering the Convention. He was as friendly in person as he was online and was a gracious host for this fabulous event. The room at the Clarion Inn was loaded with different dealers and there were already plenty of patrons digging in crates by the time I entered the Convention at 10am. I have to admit, it was a bit overwhelming for me seeing all this, and had no clue where or how to start getting my own hands dirty.

My haul from the Convention.

My haul from the Convention.

I decided to go to an open spot in a corner because there were about six crates of LP’s marked all at $1.00 each. I picked up Miles & Monk at Newport, not believing the price, and then shifted my attention towards the bins of 7″ to my left. I stared thumbing through classic 45’s including Bowie, Prince, Talking Heads, James Brown, Joe Tex, and more. That’s when the Dealer turned to me and said that despite the prices on them, all were two for a dollar. Needless to say, my jaw’s still pretty bruised from slamming so hard on the ground upon hearing this, and I had to confirm with him like three times to make sure I was hearing correctly. Good God, these sure weren’t Boston prices being thrown at me, and my head swirled like Dorthy’s upon learning about no longer being in Kansas.

Thus was the beginning of my journey at the convention. Everyone there was as friendly as Jeff and willing to chat about every type of music you could imagine. I felt like Kevin Costner’s Dad in Field of Dreams, and was just soaking it all in while getting my fingers dirty thumbing through the vinyl. Most in attendance were my senior, and having the opportunity to talk with gray beards with this depth of knowledge was invaluable. This is why Record Stores are essential to the further advancement of music. There’s tribal knowledge and stories you get from being face-to-face with someone whose passion equals or surpasses yours. I love Record Store Day and it’s mission to raise the profile of independent Record Stores, but there’s something very cold about it all. The records are overpriced, the releases can be forced, and the interaction is minimal. It has a very “Black Friday” feel and is consumerism at it’s worst, a lot there are are throwing things on eBay as soon as they get home, and there’s just no community. In short, it’s a cash and grab event.

Still, I love Record Store Day for a lot of reasons, but warmth is the essence of what vinyl is all about, and it just isn’t there in a store you’re waiting inline to get into, moving en mass like a bunch of cattle about to be slaughtered. The Record Convention is the polar opposite. I got 26 seven inches and 25 LP’s for under $60, which realistically would be about five LP’s on Record Store Day, and that’s not even counting the amount of talks I had with Dealers and Collectors, the flyers I was handed, the shows I was told about, and back stories I learned when looking at certain LP’s. That interaction can’t happen with the glow of vinyl on the internet, and that’s why I was so in awe of it all – it felt like I was gazing at a Mid-West scene just before the railroad tracks were laid down, and I sure as hell hope this breed of Music Freak doesn’t become extinct, they’re invaluable.

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