Dear Fellow Record Nerds, Geeks and Audiophiles!
HALLELUJAH! REJOICE!! RECORD STORE DAY IS HERE!!
...or, by the time you read this, WAS here...
My favorite day of the entire year. To me (and countless others like me) RSD is better than every silly seasonal holiday combined. It's glorious. Personally speaking, I'm an avid collector and have been for almost a decade (goddamn I'm old). Anyone who has seen my apartment will tell you. The floor in my bedroom sags on one side from the, literally, thousands and thousands of records that are neatly organized in shelves. When I was asked to document my RSD afternoon, I was honored. I hope that you guys had a great day supporting something really cool in your local community and that hopefully you're able to check out some of the stores that I mention below. I promise that they are some of the best.
In previous years, I've found myself in Los Angeles (2010) and Chicago (my home, in 2011) during RSD, but this year I'm on tour in the Northeast. I grew up in a town called Cherry Hill, NJ (which is about 15 minutes east of Philadelphia) and lived in Philly for a couple of years around 2005. I have a deep and knowledgable history of this part of the country. This year, on RSD morning, I lucked out by being right between two shows in Montclair, NJ and Newark, DE... I.E. Philadelphia, PA... And let me tell you, Philadelphia is one HELL of a city to spend a Saturday morning buying some vinyl. There couldn't have been a better place to be besides maybe Chicago or New York. There are so many excellent stores all within a couple miles of each other. I managed to check out four. This was my Record Store Day, April 21, 2012, in my home away from home.
I woke up at 8:15 AM. Put on some pants, made a shopping list, drank some juice and got in my car. Got to a parking spot on Market Street around 9 AM. Paid for 2 hours of parking and rounded the corner to stand in line at AKA records on 2nd Street. While AKA is not my first choice for stores in the Philadelphia area, it would definitely be my first choice to have an ample selection of RSD releases. The store carries more new/current/hip selections rather than a stock comprised of mostly used records... used is usually what I go for, but on a day like today, that is not the case. I assumed doors were going to be at 9 AM, but they wound up opening a little after 10. I spent that time in line drinking a coffee and catching up with some friends who had decided to also wake up early and hang out.
Once the store opened, it was a goddamned free for all. Smash and grab. Looting. It's vicious. A gang of music nerds gnashing their teeth. I'd fucking hate it if i wasn't one of them. 15 minutes, a few double takes and some second glances later, here is list #1:
AKA RECORDS (27 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia PA 19106)
Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Diddy Wah Diddy 7"
Mastodon / Feist - Feistodon 7"
Mastodon / The Flaming Lips - Side By Side 7"
Minus The Bear - Your Private Sky 7"
Now, Now / The Lonely Forest - Split 7"
Leonard Cohen - Live In Frederiction LP
Tegan And Sara - Get Along LP
Cursive - Burst And Bloom LP
Matt Pond PA - Measure LP
Miles Davis - Forever Miles LP
Mates Of State - Crushes (Covers Mixtape) LP
Devo - New Traditionalists Live 1981 in Seattle LP
Snapcase - Progression Through Unlearning LP
Refused - The Shape Of Punk To Come (RSD Version) LP
I left AKA with my sister and my buddy Stephen. We got in the car around 10:45 AM and rode up to 21st and Sansom. Got up there around 11 AM. Long In The Tooth was stop number two. I was the 2nd employee ever at this store. The place is run by my friends Nick and Jan. I met them when I used to be the main sales rep at an east coast one stop (a one stop is a term used for a record distributer that sells stock to record stores) in my mid 20's. It is my favorite shop in the city. It specializes in rock, punk, jazz and weird experimental music. Mostly used. Always amazing scores. I played some catch up with Nick (who was stressed as fuck). Dug a little bit. Found some great stuff and rounded out my day. Here is list #2...
LONG IN THE TOOTH RECORDS (2027 Sansom Street, Philadelphia PA 19103)
Lemuria - Varoom Allure 7"
St Vincent - Krokodil 7"
Arcade Fire - Sprawl II LP
Shabazz Palaces - Live At KEXP LP
Torche - Harmonicraft LP (With Slipmat)
Olivia Tremor Control - Music From The Unrealized Film Script 2xLP (Original)
This Will Destroy You / Lymbyc System - Field Studies LP (Original)
Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - The Big Beat LP (Blue Note Original)