Record Store Day 2013

20 Apr

Record Store Day 2013

Photo by Nicki Bertsch

April 20th is a day that is (in)famous for a number of reasons.  It’s Hitler’s birthday.  It’s the anniversary date of the Columbine school shooting.  Pot-smokers celebrate 4/20 by getting rather ripped.  Today the nation celebrated the capture of the Chechnyan bomber who had terrorized Boston, MA since Monday.  And, on a sunnier note, April 20th, 2013 marked the sixth annual Record Store Day, a day of frivolous spending for audiophiles.

2013 is sure to be the most successful Record Store Day to date.  The popularity of vinyl has risen exponentially over the past six years and it was obvious while out shopping today as the record stores were still shoulder-to-shoulder at 5 o’clock.  My original plan was to visit a friend who works at Vintage Vinyl Records in New Jersey which is widely regarded as one of the best record stores in the country.  When I spoke to him last night I learned that he would be working a 13-hour shift and that it was highly likely that there would be a massive line waiting for the store to open at 8am.  There was a change in plans.

My girlfriend and I decided to take a walk to some of the record stores in Manhattan.  After hopping around a bit we ended up at Academy Records located at East 12th Street (between Avenue A & 1st Avenue) which happened to be where I spent most of the money that I don’t have.  The store was a well-organized mixture of new, old and re-issues sorted by genre.  After about 45 minutes of thumbing through racks and tragically replacing 180 gram reissues of Parliament’s Mothership Connection, Beach House’s Teen Dream, Richard Captain Beefheart’s Safe as Milk, Neu!’s self-titled debut and Richard Hell & the Voidoid’s Blank Generation, I purchased the eclectic/schizoid selection of the albums that you see above.  I am on a budget after all…

Aside:  In replacing the Richard Hell album I got into a conversation with a friendly employee.  “He lives on this block,” he said.

“No kidding!” I replied.

“And he’s a total dick, haha.”

“I can’t say that I’m surprised.  Didn’t he just come out with a book this year?”

“Yeah.  My friend went to a reading.  Apparently Richard Hell made it sound like reading excerpts from his own work was an absolute chore.”

And so, Richard hell is a total dick.

*     *     *

The Spoils

From left to right, top to bottom…

Faust – Faust IV (1973)

I have gotten very into Krautrock over the past few years.  Faust, particularly Faust IV, have seen numerous plays along with Kraftwerk, Can, Klaus Schulze, Ash Ra Tempel and the aforementioned Neu!.  I cannot wait to listen to “The Sad Skinhead” on an album that was previously unreleased in the US.

R. Stevie Moore – Phonography (1976)

Phonography is DIY recording legend R. Stevie Moore’s debut record.  The album was originally limited to 100 copies on cassette and this is the first time that the record has been available on vinyl in over 30 years.  RSM is one of my idols and so I am very much excited to listen to his earliest musings.

Guided by Voices – Alien Lanes (1995)

Alien Lanes is Guided by Voices 8th record which followed their iconic Bee Thousand and has some of my favorite GBV tracks of all time in “Game of Pricks” and “As We Go Up We Go Down.”  This record also happened to be inducted in my Indie Canon and for good reason.

Aside:  There will be more inductees to the Indie Canon, I have just been flat out for the past couple of months.

The Left Banke – Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina (1967)

The Left Banke - Pretty Ballerina/Walk Away Renee

This album was my one true vintage purchase and one that I was elated to find.  Coincidentally my girlfriend was humming the melody to “She May Call You Up Tonight” on our walk to the shop.  I snatched this record off the wall as soon as I saw it.  “Walk Away Renee” and “Pretty Ballerina” are two of my favorite baroque pop songs of all time and although it looks like a split single, it actually has all of the highlights from The Left Banke’s catalogue.  This is a record that will spin regularly.

*     *     *

I brought the records up to the checkout counter where the clerk that I had talked to earlier was standing.  As he rung me out he told me that I had made the best purchase of anyone today.  I have to admit that I was flattered.

To all of you that have your own gems that you took home on Record Store Day, feel free to brag about it in the Comments section.  Happy Record Store Day to all of you readers!

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One Response to “Record Store Day 2013”

  1. Bernie April 22, 2013 at 9:17 am #

    Nice job Mister!

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