Thursday, April 26, 2012

Record Store Day 2012

Ah yes, it's that time of year again kiddies! Record Store Day 2012 brought another breezy, overcast and EARLY April morning for me to enjoy picking up some ridiculously cool vinyl offerings from some of my favorite artists. Saturday morning I got up at 5:30am and traveled to my favorite (and STILL undisclosed) first location where I patiently awaited the store's opening. I was only the second one in line and took the time to go over my list one more time to try and whittle things down a bit. After 2 years of spending a bit more than I probably needed to, I was going to try to work within a little bit of a budget this year. It rained a little bit while we waited but the first four of us in line luckily had a canopy awning to shield us, much to the chagrin of the rest of the line. Early birds gets the vinyl worm... and gets to stay dry. When the store finally opened, I quickly made my way to the boxes of 7" singles. I always seem to be drawn to those a bit more than the 12" offerings and there were just so many cool ones to choose from this year. I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but somehow there was a logjam in front of the 12" boxes and I was able to completely shuffle through BOTH 7" boxes all by myself without any extra hands reaching and grabbing. I ended up scoring almost all of the 7" singles I was looking for, including: "Heartbreak A Stranger" by Ryan Adams, "Billie Jean" by The Civil Wars, "Hand Springs" by The White Stripes, "Milk and Honey" by Karen Elson and two of the Warner Brothers "Side by Side" releases with "You Be Illin'" by RUN-DMC and The Carolina Chocolate Drops and "Kick Out The Jams" by MC5 and Afrika Bambaataa. Sadly, they didn't have one of my main wants, the Live At Fingerprints 7" by The Horrible Crowes, so the search continued. I quickly hit up a second location, but they were completely wiped out of anything else I was even remotely looking for. There was no reason to be dismayed though, as any vinyl enthusiast worth their weight in wax knows there's treasure upon treasure to be found in the hallowed racks of Grimey's.

I made it to Grimey's with time to spare and there was already a pretty substantial line down the alley and up the side street. The weather was perfect for hanging out and everyone in line seemed pretty excited to be there. I didn't even overhear any pretentious arguments about who should and shouldn't of put out releases or how cassettes were really superior to vinyl. The wait was also made pretty bearable by the free swag they started randomly handing out. I ended up getting two incredibly cool posters of The Smiths and Fleet Foxes for my efforts. When we finally made it in, I was able to find The Horrible Crowes 7" pretty easy. Although I was pretty close to my meticulously calculated budget, I just couldn't pass up the other two releases on my list, the "Side by Side" of "Respect" with Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin and the 12" mint green "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes" by Social Distortion. Before checking out, I rummaged through a huge box of free posters and surprisingly managed to uncover some beauties by Arcade Fire, Wild Flag, Superchunk and Archers of Loaf. Apparently, Merge Records sent a couple rare goodies and I just happened to be the first one willing to dig a little. If that wasn't enough poster goodness for one day, when I got home I discovered that my Social Distortion album was one of the ones that included a "Machine Gun Blues" poster that was signed by the entire band! Of course, there were also a ton of free stickers, compilation cds and other promo items stuffed into each bag as well. Grimey's NEVER disappoints and it was quite the haul all the way around. Eventhough all of the cool extras were nice, the only thing I needed to consider the day a success were the actual releases. When you combine awesome artists with incredible songs, super cool vinyl colors and tasty picture sleeves, you've got something pretty special on your hands. I hope everyone else had as much success getting the releases they were looking for and had as much fun spinning them when they got home as I did. Record Store Day is such an awesome concept and it's so cool to see it getting bigger and better each year. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, I'm already counting down the days until Record Store Day 2013!

Here's a pic of my RSD 2012 purchases so that you can see the cool translucent Coke bottle green of "You Be Illin'," the solid gold of "Respect," the splatter red on white of "Kick Out The Jams" and the Mike Ness signature on the "Machine Gun Blues" poster. As far as the other wax colors, Social Distortion is on mint green, Ryan Adams is on blue, The White Stripes is on translucent red with black wisps, Karen Elson is on goldish "milk and honey" blend and both The Civil Wars and The Horrible Crowes went with classic black.

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