I was at a local food place when Kate told me that she was working a different shift today because of Record Store Day, which reminded me that Record Store Day is today, and good thing since I likely would’ve remembered at like 10:30pm, having missed a vast majority of said RS Day.
My vinyl budget is pretty limited, leaving me to rely mostly on Thrift Store Misses and desperate flea markets. There was an era mid 2007, when vinyl was still a largely forgotten medium here in the midwest, which meant you could score a Led Zeppelin album for like $1.99 — a highly unlikely find today for anything less than $15-20. These days, it’s all Barry Manilow (which, now that I think about it, may increase in value) and TONS of albums with titles like 101 Strings and Polka Chopin! and The TIME-LIFE Collection of Bagpipe Situations. I estimate that 1/3 of my vinyl collection were Thrift Store Misses, which I define, by the way, as records that were missed by people who should’ve realized what they were. What a time it was — and is — to be alive.
Today I went, not to a thrift store, but to actual record stores in Kalamazoo. My first stop was Green Light Music. Green Light features new and used vinyl, a fair amount of equipment, some 45’s and 78’s, and a pretty solid array of used CD’s, too. I picked up (finally) a copy of Yes’s Close to the Edge, which some consider the most definitive Progressive Rock Album ever produced. I tend to agree. A good deal at $8. I also picked up a $2.99 copy of Wind & Wuthering by Genesis. My favorite find, though, was the music that they were playing in the store, which caught my ear enough to ask the guy if I could buy that, too — Beck-Ola (Jeff Beck). I was an easy sell on the piano riffs of Nicky Hopkins.
After Green Light, it was on to our other local shop: Satellite Records. Satellite had a live DJ who did things that were very, very right in just about every way. That plus the 25+ people who roamed the narrow aisles with me made for a great RSD enviro. While there, I finally landed on an album by Indie Rockers Hippo Campus — Landmark. Except for the first listen I’m taking in right now, I know nothing of this band. I bought it because of the description on the package: Landmark has elements of so much going on that it’s impossible to define in simple terms. In simplest terms, it’s an Indie rock album with major electronic elements and impactful lyrics displayed in a vocally unpredictable format.
“So much going on that it’s impossible to define in simple terms” is a key phrase for my life and maybe yours. Oh, and the fact that they say it can’t be simply defined and then say “In simplest terms, it’s…” told me I was on the right track. So far, I am very very impressed. I want to spend some time getting the lyrics, but the sonic layers are quite well done.
Record Store 2017 — support your locals. Keep the Record Stores alive. Keep ’em spinning.