I got to go to the record store recently. This is always very exciting for me. There are literally PILES of goodness in there for a music geek like myself, and it’s all organized and alphabetized. Along with the bookstore it is my safe haven.
I went in with no plan to buy anything in particular, but when I go I always end up having to make a decision of what to get when it is time to go. I was there with my lovely girlfriend Veronica so my time was limited because she needed to get home to study. When I go alone I rarely spend less than 1.5 hours browsing. This trip was very condensed.
Elvis Costello,Talking Heads, Pavement, Ween, the list is endless of artists that I check out even though I know I will not find anything new from them that I don’t already have. But it’s my routine. Just like taking out the puppy-dogs when I get home from work and showering on Wednesday nights.
I have recently adopted the Violent Femmes’ self-titled first album as a go-to. They absolutely shred on a largely acoustic three-piece record. I hear traces of everyone from Bob Dylan to Buddy Holly to David Byrne in that album and there is not a song on the whole deal that I ever feel like skipping over. I defy any human being to listen to ‘Add it Up’ without boogying. It only made sense to explore their pile at Vintage Vinyl to see if I could find their second album, ‘Hallowed Ground.’
When exploring an artist on a trip to the awesome store I always cruise the vinyl section first. I had recently made a trip to Vintage Vinyl on Record Store Day and checked the Femmes’ section and found nothing. So this time I was not expecting the moon so you can imagine my happiness in seeing ‘Hallowed Ground’ on vinyl in an original pressing! What idiot would sell this gem back!? Of course this only just started my dilemma.
I have been on a 90’s pop rock kick lately, i.e. Guided By Voices, The Lemonheads, later Dinosaur Jr., etc., so I checked these groups out as well and found The Lemonheads’ ‘It’s a Shame About Ray’ cd and carried it around with me like a kid with a G.I. Joe for the rest of the time I was there. ‘Girls Can Tell’ by Spoon was also available on vinyl. Times like these are when a pleasurable trip to the awesome store turn into nightmares for indecisive souls like me.
Veronica was ready. She made her choices and taunted me cruelly that she had done so and I needed to do the same. The heat was on.
I always remember my mom telling me that when taking a test, the first impulse for a multiple choice question was usually the right one. I never liked listening to her so I found this to be true though trial and error. I decided to go with the Femmes based on the fact that I sought them out first. I headed for the checkout counter with my new treasure.
“This is really a great album. So much darker than their first,” said the cashier as he rang me up. “I was really excited to find it on vinyl,” I told him as I signed for my debit card. The debacle was over. Thank golly…Then Veronica asked:
“Did you see this?,” as she held Neil Young’s new album, ‘Letters From Home’ in her hands. SHIT!
Do I buy it or not? I of course did and it was awesome. It was recorded at Jack White’s studio in Nashville and I love it. You should go buy it. End of story.
(PS: I realize that Wikipedia is not the most reliable at times, but for those reading this that have no clue who some of the bands that I write of are, I thought it was appropriate for descriptions. If you don't know who Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, David Byrne, Neil Young or Jack White are then you should kill yourself.)