Yesterday marked the arrival of RECORD STORE DAY 2013! What’s Record Store Day, you ask? Well…. It’s the day that many-a-music enthusiasts (aka music nerds) save up for, plan out for weeks and wake up extra early for. It’s what has happened on the third Saturday of every April since 2007. It’s the day that record stores rejoice in the fruits of what they were meant to do. It’s the day hundreds of amazing artists (living and dead) issue special release albums mostly on vinyl (but also on CD) in record stores across the country.
In my neck of the woods it was cold, dreary and wet out. So thank goodness for the Newbury Comics in the Buckland Hills Mall. My days of being a mallrat come flooding back to my memory just driving up to it and I couldn’t be more happier to not be out in the rain.
As I walked into the mall, I saw a guy walking in front of me and thought to myself, “he’s going!” and as suspected, I had pegged him. The only other people in the mall this early were mall-walkers and a bunch of dudes hanging out outside of Champs waiting for a new Jordan sneakers to drop. In some stores out there, live music was happening and some artists were sitting down to a meet/greet and album signing. The downside of the mall setting is that those things didn’t happen. The people watching, on the other hand, was great.
As I looked at the line in front of me, I thought there was no way in hell I was going to get my paws on that Lawn Boy (Phish) album. The dudes in front of me were talking about summer tour and a bunch of dudes in front of them are the same guys I was standing behind last year fighting for the same cause. I counted at least eight others in front of me that I could tell were “phans” just by looking at them. And there’s always the “sleepers” that are dressed in plain day clothes, like myself. When I called the store yesterday, they confirmed there were “more than eight” copies coming in, so I was pretty sure I could get hosed just based on the math. Nonetheless I stayed positive as there were some pretty amazing albums coming out today and it was really just awesome to just be a part of it all.
As said before, this is a very joyous day for the music nerds of the world. It was interesting to hear other peoples music stories. This guy, who looked about thirty-ish, in front of me tells of his first Pearl Jam concert. His parents took him to to it sometime shortly after the release of their first album Ten. None of them having any idea how much of an impact that show would have on this boy’s life. Or how much of an impact Pearl Jam would make to the music world as a whole.
While sitting and waiting, the guy next to me broke the ice. We started talking about the albums we were most excited about. He pulls about four wrinkled-up Post-It’s out of his pocket and we compared notes. There were some pretty amazing works of art (if you will) coming out and I had also compiled a list of what I would be happy to walk away with:
TOP RANDOM FIVE (outside of the Phish album–which is completely my top pick)
1) Grizzly Bear, Horn of Plenty
2) The Band, The Last Waltz (RIP Levon)
3) The Notorious B.I.G., Ready To Die
4) The Dazed and Confused Soundtrack
5) Rockabye Baby, Lullaby Renditions of The White Stripes
I wouldn’t have been mad if I got Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Tame Impala, The White Stripes Elephant or Vitamin String Quartet performing Sigur Ros, but I think my bank account would have been.
Just moments before we were allowed in, mall security guards came over and herded us behind the stanchions they had set up and the store reps came out to give us the rundown. They were going to let five in at a time, we each had thirty seconds to browse and then move out. And only one per album per person. Sounded reasonable and now was thankful that I was one of the first thirty or so in line. The sun was coming out from hiding and shining through the mall skylights and I was feeling good about what was behind those doors in front of me.
My group was allowed in, and some of them literally ran up to the vinyl. I walked so as to not hurt myself, and just like that, someone was standing there with an extra Lawn Boy and their hands asking “does anyone need this?” “YES, YES I DO!!” It was like my miracle! All thanks to the power of positive thinking and good vibes! I checked all six albums I wanted off my (mental) list and even picked up Tame Impala and Newport Folk Festival 1965; my bank account will forgive me one day. And the children of my future will thank me when I pass down to them this lovely collection of records I am building!