I've been driven to the Internet not out of convenience, but out of sheer necessity. Coming from a small town in rural Michigan, I've never had many options for music shops. We have the over-priced mall CD/DVD stores, but even those are few and far between. We have the big box electronics store with their ever-shrinking media section. That's about it. Long before iTunes was the mega-store of online music retail and purchasing direct from bands was a regular option, I had to turn to the Web to find music.
Imagine then, my joy in realizing that this year, I would be able to participate in Record Store Day, not at one, but at three locally owned music shops.
You see, a while back I made the move from my hometown to the little burg where I worked, where my girlfriend lived, where I spent most of my waking hours with my friends. A moment of clarity made me aware that the added rent of living closer to those things was still less of a cost than what I was paying in gas to drive there each day. There have been many benefits to this move and I'm glad to add Record Store Day to that list.
My first stop was Ignition Music. I honestly can't say how I discovered this fantastic little shop, but I know the Internet had something to do with it. Their regular newsletter started coming my way...I'm sure I signed up at some point. I'd kept tabs on them for a while, but as the shop is a good hour away and I'm a broke student, I hadn't yet had the chance to experience the awesome described in their emails; the latest rare releases, an awesome stock of back catalog goodies in various formats, and live shows performed regularly in the store. Of course, then Record Store Day came along and it seemed like the appropriate time to make the journey.
Even after a late night at the Woodfire, I sprung out of bed at 6AM, loaded up on coffee, and hit the road. After parking across the street and making my way up to the door, I greeted the first person I saw with "Happy Record Store Day!" The positive and resounding response I received sold me...this day would be awesome.
Ignition did a fantastic job handling the crowd, with an excellent ticketed number system and wonderfully organized tables of the exclusive RSD merchandise. The staff was awesome as well. And it didn't hurt that there was a fantastic coffee shop immediately next door. I had a difficult time dragging myself (and my wallet) away. I'll certainly return.
I made two other stops through the day, next making my way over to Orbit Music. I'd actually spent some time in the store in my younger days, but years had passed and whatever memory I had of it had been pushed aside with the assumption that they were long closed in the age of digital media. It was my recent conversation with the Moore Brothers (which will be featured in the upcoming episode of Red Chuck Pod, May 3rd, 2014) that brought them back to my mind. Tom Moore mentioned the store and I reacted with a "they're still there?!" and I had the second stop on my Record Store Day tour.
The third stop came from just around the corner in Niles' own Rumor Has It. This was after a bit of resting up at home, grabbing Kristin, and walking downtown for some food and fun.
I believe this tweet sums up the day best:
Five hours of sleep, unshowered and unshaven, newly broke, and feeling awesome. @recordstoreday
So let's get to the swag, shall we? I present to you my Record Store Day Treasure:
This is the one I came out for, the one that had me changing work schedules and waking at ridiculous hours. I was coordinating with my friend Jenny in Boston via text, as we were both seeking copies of the limited release and I was closer to the band's hometown of Chicago. She was my constant companion through the day as we waited in long lines and dealt with record store staff instructions to not "trample anyone".
Bruce Springsteen- American Beauty
It's Bruce. Performing all of the instruments. Come on.
Drive-By Truckers- Dragon Pants EP
I had a digital version of this EP thanks to my pre-order of the most recent DBT album. For reasons still unknown to myself and their distributor, that digital download never did work. No worries, though, as I now own the thing in it's physical form and on digital from a working download code that came inside.
The Muppet Movie
This is not the limited re-release from this year. I nearly purchased that version numerous times throughout the day, but I figured I'd pushed the budget too much. It was at my last stop that Kristin stumbled across a beautifully kept original edition. So, yeah, I got that one.
Sun Record Company
"Get me something you think I'd like" were Kristin's words to me. This was the answer.
George Carlin- Class Clown
It occurs to me that I recently became a guy that collects stand-up on vinyl. I'm not sure how else to explain the pile sitting next to the stereo and I'm not sure when that started. But, yeah, apparently that's a thing I do now.