Record Store Day 2014

I approached Record Store Day 2014 with both excitement and apprehension, as usual. Excitement because there was so much cool stuff on the schedule for release; apprehension because I know it’s just one big mess at a lot of the stores, mostly due to people’s boorish behavior. My #1 want was Mudhoney’s On Top: KEXP Presents Mudhoney Live on Top of the Space Needle, though given that (1) it was limited to 2,700 copies and (2) I live in the band’s “home” town of Seattle, I figured my chances were slim unless I wanted to camp out. Which I didn’t. And I didn’t get a copy.

Regardless, Mrs. Life in the Vinyl Lane and I hopped in the vinylmobile this morning, got coffee, and headed to Easy Street Records in West Seattle. We arrived at just after 7AM, which is when the doors opened. People were still funneling in from the outside, and I have to say it was at least somewhat organized and I didn’t see anyone acting like a complete and total asshole. The guy behind me in line had already been through once and was carrying a huge stack of vinyl (including the elusive Mudhoney, damn him!) back upstairs where all the 12″ records were, having come back downstairs for a few minutes to scour the 7″ and 10″ releases. He let me know I was way too late for Mudhoney (thanks guy), which was confirmed by the dude working upstairs (Easy Street only got half of what they tried to get in their order). Oh well.

2014rsd1As you can see, it was crowded as hell, but more or less orderly which was nice. I picked up the Half Japanese Volume One: 1981-1985 three record set (includes download card… thank you!) along with the limited edition (I believe Seattle exclusive) red vinyl re-release of Screaming Trees Last Words: The Final Recordings before taking my place in line. And slooooowwwwllllyyy winding my way through the store to the cash registers, which took about an hour (no joke). Fortunately the trip took me through every section downstairs, including used CDs and all the 7″ records, so I also snagged Foals Live at the Royal Albert Hall that someone had discarded, a Caspar Babypants 7″, and a used CD of Mudhoney covering songs by The Sonics, which is cool.

That was a pretty respectable haul, but there was one specialty item that Easy Street wasn’t carrying, but that the Seattle branch of Silver Platters was: Eilon Paz’s monster record collector book Dust & Grooves: Adventures in Record Collecting. If you haven’t checked out Eilon’s website devoted to vinyl collector profiles, you really should both because his interviews are great and his photography is fantastic. So we headed to Silver Platters and got there about 20 minutes after they opened. I initially intended only to look for the Mudhoney record and the book, but of course was immediately distracted by the huge selection of RSD titles and in short order found myself carrying Ice-T Greatest Hits, Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back with the 3D cover, the Pagans what’s this shit? 1977/1979, and the RSD special picture disc version of Motörhead‘s newest album Aftershock. Oh yeah, and a copy of the book I actually came for!

2014rsd2The line here was crazy long as well, but with one more cash register open than Easy Street had, it actually moved surprisingly fast – it took us maybe 30 minutes to get through. And to top it off, when we got home what was waiting for me in the mailbox? The split Legend / Sólstafir limited edition 7″ I ordered like six months ago! Score!

Now, I don’t have kids, so I’ve never been able to experience how much portable electronics have made it easier to travel with the little ones. I mean, the best I could do on a long car trip or flight when I was young was draw, read, or play with my G.I. Joes, all of which gets old pretty quick when you’re a kid and are stuck in a seat. But I have to say that having a smart phone takes the edge off of standing in line. Texting with Travis of the Guerrilla Candy blog and reading/posting RSD updates on FB with my friends helped pass the time quite a bit. As, of course, did listening to the conversations going on around me, some of which were replete with complaining girlfriends (“this line isn’t moving at all”) and various levels of music and movie snobbery.

You know, despite not getting the one record I really, really, really, really (really!) wanted, it was a very positive RSD experience. I got some cool and unexpected stuff, more material for the blog! And I’ll probably just break down and go onto eBay and get a copy of that Mudhoney record. I’ll pay “too much,” but at least I’ll have it. Sometimes that’s what you have to do.

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