Record Store Day 2015

Today is what I’d consider the greatest holiday in the full calendar year. Today is Record Store Day.

My local store opened two hours early today – 8am versus its usual 10am on Saturday – and I knew the line would start forming early. Out of the house by 6:15, I stopped for coffee and found myself in line by 6:30. I had planned to pop on my headphones and just mind my own business for 90 minutes but found myself in some pretty good conversation with the guy in front of me in line. We speculated about the music preferences of others in line, discussed our careers in the counseling field, and agreed that Kris Bryant had a crappy day at the plate yesterday but he’ll be okay.


[Photo courtesy of my local record store]

I have to give credit where it’s due. My local store did a fantastic job of keeping the opening of Record Store Day organized and efficient. Sure they’ve scheduled live music to play all day but how would they handle the long line of eager music collectors ready to snatch up the items on their respective wish lists?

The answer – they’d handle it perfectly. That's what they'd do.

The first twenty people were asked for their top five items as they stood in line. Assuming the items were in stock, they would be bagged and waiting for them when the doors opened. Of course, everybody would still have the opportunity to browse the other items as well, but if the five requests were still available, they’d be guaranteed.

I was #17 in line.

I made my requests but was told that one of my items may be gone following the requests of line members 1-16. The guy who was #15 asked for the same item and got the last one. Unfortunately, it was the one item I wanted most – a “live at Grimey’s” album from Justin Townes Earle. I made a quick call to my brother who was just hitting the line at Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis and asked him to grab me a copy if they had one.

He texted me later.

They did.


Awesome.

So what did I actually come home with today?

Aside from Justin Townes Earle, what I wanted most was the 7” release from “Citizen Dick.” For those unfamiliar with the movie Singles, Citizen Dick is Matt Dillon’s band from the film which consists of him and the members of Pearl Jam. The 7” features their single from the film – "Touch Me I’m Dick."

 

Cooler yet, inside the jacket was a Citizen Dick sticker that will look just dandy on my turntable case somewhere in the neighborhood of my “Pakelika For President” sticker. The B side of the record has no audio content but does have an excellent quote from Cliff (Matt Dillon’s character from Singles).

 
“I think ‘Touch Me I’m Dick,’ in essence, speaks for itself, you know. I think that, you know, that’s basically what the song is, um…about…is about, you know…I-I think a lot of people might think it’s actually about, you know, ‘My name is Dick, and, you know, you can touch me,’ but, I think, you know, it can be seen either way.” – Cliff Poncier
Here's Cliff himself.


The only 12” I picked up today was from handsome Johnny Prine – a recording from 1978 with him looking his most handsome ever on the jacket cover.


This one came with an mp3 download but I actually already have a bootleg copy of this live recording. Still, I’m guessing the download will be of better quality.

The coolest thing about this Prine release? Orange vinyl.


From one storyteller to another, my man Todd Snider put out a 7” with a new track on Side A and a cover the the Stones’ “Shattered” on the B-side.

 

Todd’s music never gets old. Never.

Two hip-hop releases came home with me today. The first was a “Side by Side” 45 featuring the same song on both sides but performed by different artists. Back in 2012, I picked up one of these with the original Run DMC version of “You Be Illin’” on one side and the Carolina Chocolate Drops doing it on the other side.

The B-side sucked.

This one had equal promise and totally paid off. On one side is the original version of the hip-hop classic “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. The other side…same song by punk legends Stiff Little Fingers.

Awesome.

 

The vinyl itself is pretty cool, as well.


Last but not least was the most expensive item I picked up today…but I couldn’t pass it by. There’s a lot I could say about KMD and about their album Black Bastards. You can check out the story behind the album on your own though. I first remember hearing KMD, specifically Zev Love X, on the 3rd Bass track “The Gas Face.” But, man oh man, chalk these guys up on my list of most underrated MCs ever.

 

This release of Black Bastards was sold as a “children’s pop-up book” with two CDs (one of the original album and another of extra material) and a vinyl picture disc. A cool concept but the pop-up book idea was a little over-exaggerated as it was limited to one very simple pop-up.

Still. Well worth the cost for this cool release of such an underrated album.

No gas face for KMD.

No gas face for Record Store Day.