Notes From Record Store Day!

rsd091Here’s an attempt at “live blogging”. Since I don’t consider this a blog (it’s a website, god-dammit!) and the website doesn’t necessarily support live blogging, I’m gonna do it like a LiveJournal type of entry, with a down-to-the-minute play-by-play of the day, with the whole “Listening To” thing and all. And I’m tracking the miles I put on the car. So nothing’s gonna be left out. Mostly it’ll be a stream of consciousness thing. I’m also (trying) to tweet the whole thing via my cellular, but as my Twitter habits have been- I usually forget…

Here goes:

11:23 am @ My house, pulling records out that have to be cleared for new arrivals. Mostly newer stuff, things that I don’t really need (have ’em digitally also).

Listening to: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967)

11:34 am @ 1-2-3-4 Go! Records, 40th & Webster, Oakland

Traded in: Nas – Illmatic, The Shins – Oh, Inverted World, Dirty Projectors – New Attitude EP, Ratatat – Classics, Beirut – The Flying Club Cup and A Tribe Called Quest – Midnight Marauders

Store credit: $27.00

Picked up: Jay Reatard / Sonic Youth split 7″

Bruce Springsteen 7″ (for Julie)

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Yanqui U.X.O. 2xLP

spent: $3.83

Apparently that Jack White (from the White Stripes) and Alison Mossheart (VV from The Kills) project called Dead Weather‘s 7″ wasn’t ready in time for today, which Julie really wanted. So I got her the Bruce Springsteen instead…

12:30 PM – Now let’s take a drive through Berkeley and pass both Amoeba and Rasputin on Telegraph Ave. to see what’s up. (12:33 PM) Eh, not as crazy as I thought. The “in-stores” aren’t happening yet, so let’s check back with them as Silversun Pickups (Rasputin @ 4 pm) and Yoni Wolf of Why? spins a DJ set (Amoeba @ 4 PM).

Listening to: Question Mark & The Mysterians – 96 Tears: 30 Original Recordings (1966-69)

Next stop: 1:16 PM @ Mod Lang Records, El Cerrito

Mod Lang is a small record shop behind like this nail salon that has an awesome selection of used 60s and 70s rock LPs for decent prices, also a lot of really rare vinyl. It’s like my entire (old) record collection (the one I sadly had to leave behind in Philly…) is in this store. So I’m trying to rebuild it, piece by piece- except for all the records I had that I didn’t want (all the “yard sale” finds where I was like, “Yeah, I’ll take this whole/box crate away for twenty bucks…” and it turned out to be full of Supertramp, James Taylor, yadda yadda yadda.)

Picked up: CSNY – Deja Vu, The Who – Quadrophenia (2xLP with full booklet!), Neil Young – After The Gold Rush, Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska, Talking Heads – More Songs About Buildings And Food, Jethro Tull – Aqualung, Neil Young – Harvest, The Beatles – Magical Mystery Tour, John Lennon & Yoko Ono – Double Fantasy and Willie Nelson – Stardust

total spent: $51.36

Since I spent more than fifty bills; I got a free Record Store Day sampler LP with songs (and remixes) by the likes of MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, Q-Tip, Charles Mingus and a Willie Nelson version of Kris Kristofferson‘s Sunday Morning Coming Down. Not bad. Oh, I also got a whoopee cushion and an Iggy Pop button. I was there an hour, too. My wishlist is getting out of control…

Alright, back to the car @ 2:15- I gotta head home. This traffic blows.

Listening To: MC5 – Kick Out The Jams (1969)

Home for like twenty minutes, just to getta cuppa coffee, let the doggy out, smoke some cigs, transcribe this here (2:45 PM) and get back out there…

Listening To: Otis Redding – The Ultimate Otis Redding (1964-67)

Also; if you haven’t figured it out yet, the musical theme of the day is the 1960s.

3:00 PM – Leaving for those two Telegraph Avenue stores…

Listening to: Bob Dylan – Blonde On Blonde (1966)

3:26 PM @ Rasputin Music

Oh, christ. This place is an absolute mobscene. You know what? I’m outta here; I don’t even like the Silversun Pickups. Rasputin’s staff is kind of pushy today, but that’s to be expected when there’s an in-store, but I’m getting all anxious and shit.

3:31 PM @ Amoeba Music

Ahhhhh, much better. Let’s see, what do I need? Oooh, a 180 gram vinyl, double LP of Captain Beefheart‘s Trout Mask Replica? Damn, I used to have this- an original pressing, too. I get misty-eyed when I think about my “old” collection. Maybe some I’ll pick up some VU as well. Hmmm- jazz! Yeah, Amoeba’s jazz section is tight. Okay, oh, shit! This Stephane Grappelli / David Grisman live record- I had this on CD like ten years ago! Oh I should get it… Lemme see if they got Dave Brubeck‘s Take Five (one of the greatest songs ever written). Oh wait, lemme check the I-Rock section for some weird foreign shit. Where’s the Can at? And the Neu!? Does Amoeba have a krautrock section? They have everything. Best record store in the world. Okay, let’s put all this shit back, I’m about to spend sixty bucks when I don’t really need to…

4:15 PM – on the road again; headed to San Francisco now for Aquarius Records and the SF Amoeba.

Listening to: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Chronicle I (1968-72) and Desmond DekkerIsraelites: The Best Of Desmond Dekker (1963-1971)

I got to listen to almost two full albums because of the damn bridge traffic; this effectively cuts out Amoeba SF ‘cuz there ain’t no way in hell I’m driving into the Haight now. So, let’s just go to Aquarius in the Mish…

5:20 PM @ Aquarius Records

Man, this place has all the kooky shit; experimental and out-sounds galore. My old room-mate told me about this place a while back, they did some nice write-ups for a few of his albums (Petit Mal) a couple years back. Anyway, after digging for about a half hour, I figured I’m gonna go “blind”; my term for buying a record I haven’t heard and know nothing about. I found Kurt Vile‘s Constant Hitmaker (from Woodsist Records) in the U-V-W stack; I know Kurt Vile– saw him play at Philly’s Khyber years ago, opening up for his other project The War On Drugs when I was writing for a local Philly magazine. I interviewed him but it was pretty incomprehensible- as is his music; confrontational, psychedelic-infused drone folk-rock (right up my alley). So I bought that record (not completely blind, maybe just “legally blind”?), but had to ask the dudes working there what we’ve been listening to since I walked in.

“Oh, this is El Guincho‘s Alegranza” replied the clerk.

“You got this on vinyl?” I wondered aloud.

“Not right now, but we can order you a copy and give you a call when it comes in…”

Numbers were exchanged, and I felt some excitement. I love having shit special ordered for me; I used to make Repo Records (when it was still in Bryn Mawr, PA) order shit for me all the time and getting that surprise phonecall a few weeks later. Thanks, Aquarius!

total spent: $16.40

Okay, back to the car @ 6:00 PM. More traffic! Listening to: Them – The Story of Them featuring Van Morrison (1964-71) and The Beatles – Abbey Road (1969)

Okay, total money spent: $71.59

Miles driven: 48.2

Minutes late to dinner: 21

The experience of participating in Record Store Day: priceless*

All in all, it was pretty rad; next year I’ll start earlier and have an actual route planned out instead of my slap-dash buffoonery and half-assed Mapquesting and whatnot, and try to plan it around in-store appearances and all that. I’m kind of bummed I didn’t get to see Aesop Rock spin some discs, I’m betting his DJ set was pretty off the hook. Oh, well…

Also, I hope you got a chance to get out to your local record store yesterday.

* – I had to use this tired-ass cliche, sorry…