Last Friday, I wrote this blog post about my excitement over Record Store Day 2013. Indeed, Saturday’s annual holiday for music fiends reiterated the importance of supporting our local independent stores.
I also promised to document some of my favorite moments throughout the day. See the Storify slideshow below, with photos from my Instagram feed. Scroll to the end to see the four records I ended up taking home. (I had a hard time resisting the temptation to get more, but sometimes a girl’s gotta stick to her budget.)
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Special thanks to Lacey Swain and Ruben Mendez of Gold Van Records. This creative duo came up with the glorious idea of curating a collection of records, decking out a 1987 Mitsubishi Delica in gold, and driving around town once in a while to build a community around good music. (I’d been raring to meet them since reading this Seattle Met write-up.)
Here’s a short video about their vision:
For RSD 2013, Swain and Mendez turned their side business into a shuttle service/tour that transported both knowledgeable and novice vinyl collectors (like me) around to different stores. We started at Easy Street Records in West Seattle, then headed to Silver Platters in lower Queen Anne, Everyday Music in Capitol Hill, Sonic Boom in Ballard, and back to Easy Street. Along the way, our motley crew (of two to four passengers per leg) sampled live performances and perused many aisles. It was clear that by 2:30 p.m. or so, most Record Store Day exclusives had been picked off by customers who’d arrived in the early morning hours. Still, the people-watching was fabulous. Record stores attract such interesting people.
At one point, my fellow passengers included three Seattle University students who were just getting into records and really curious about cassette tapes (which is how I came to adore Vietnamese new wave, Whitney Houston, Debbie Gibson and New Kids on the Block throughout the 1980s, by the way).
As we sat in the back of the van and sifted through Gold Van’s crates filled with new and used singles and LPs, Lacey operated the old rig like a pro, Chewy the Pomeranian was on his best behavior, and we essentially played trivia with Ruben. Bring up any record in the mobile collection (which he hand-picks himself), and Ruben can tell you who’s in the band, when it was recorded, similar-sounding acts, and what makes it so unique. This is what I appreciate about serious vinyl enthusiasts, whether they’re in a brick-and-mortar store or a former ice cream van-turned-mobile record machine: Their passion for sifting through massive amounts of music and finding the hidden gems saves people like me a lot of time and effort.
Unfortunately, Record Store Day 2013 didn’t end on the best note.
During the drive home Saturday, my car was rear-ended. Not a pleasant experience. I was upset. When I got home, I decided to put on one of the records the Gold Van folks had recommended, titled “Outta Reach” by an obscure band called She. Mendez had described them to me as a really bold, late 1960s all-female garage band. I didn’t quite know what to expect. Turns out he was right. The sound that came out of the speakers was nothing short of fierce, unabashed girl power — exactly what I needed to hear in a moment of utter frustration.
Listen to the record’s first ‘A’ side track below: