Saturday, April 17, 2010

Record Store Day: First after-action report

My Record Store Day started at 6:30 a.m. with my cell phone alarm ringing. Note: This is at least an hour earlier than I get up for work every day. But this was Record Store Day. I'd live.

In the days before, I had decided Crooked Beat was the store of choice for the limited releases, since they seemed to have the most. Emma and I made it there by 7:45 a.m. and were officially the seventh and eighth people in line. That would end up being really important.

Over the next three to four hours, people continued to show up, Emma finished a book, I read the paper, got breakfast, etc. etc. Eventually, the line was to the end of the block. That's the boring part. Fast-forward to about 10:35 a.m., and there we are, with the manager explaining how this was all going to work and how many of each release they had. That John Lennon singles bag - only pressed 7,000 times, and coming with a custom adapter, postcards, poster, original album art in an awesome sleeve - that you might have heard about? They had six. SIX. I was seventh in line, and it seemed everyone in front of me was going to buy one. They had even fewer of the Beastie Boys release, of which there are only 1,000 (!) copies on the world. For the full list of everything that was out today - not necessarily everything at Crooked Beat - go here.

Anyway, we were let in the store, and while I waited to tell the people at the counter what I wanted, I watched as the Lennon singles went, one by one, out the doro. I had realized the fact - if I hadn't already - that I was not going to get this release. But then I was second in line... and there were still TWO on the shelf. Turns out, one of the guys ahead of me decided NOT to buy a John Lennon singles bag, purposefully allowing me to get the last one in the store, and probably the last one in the District/Maryland/Northern Virginia area, to be honest. I thanked him. He said, "Hey, I take care of my peoples." I feel like I should've bought him lunch or something. It's seems as though he just decided to let me have it. Seriously.

With those two albums in hand, plus the Flaming Lips and the rest listed below, I had every release I wanted, save a certain Bruce Springsteen release I didn't know much about until I was standing in line and looked at the person's ahead of me. But, given all that, I can, without a doubt, say that waking up at 6:30 a.m. and waiting a few hours on a Saturday morning was entirely worth it. The experience of someone ahead of me in line essentially passing up one of the most exclusive releases of the day - to be fair, a friend or two of his already had one - was just another example of what I've been trying to get at with this whole blog. This vinyl stuff is great. I love the music, but there's more to it. And it was a stark difference considering the guy who showed up this morning from a different record store - he shouted, "I got all that shit you want!" to someone else. He had bought two copies of the Lennon singles bag - he tried to get a third, but the store wouldn't let him - almost certainly just wanted to flip them later for a profit. What a waste.

It's exactly what I was saying in my post earlier this week. Here we were, a handful of people into vinyl in 2010. We had waited hours on the street. Were incredibly excited about the whole affair, and we knew that we were in the thing together. Ultimately, that showed. It made the morning go quicker. There was one guy I was talking with, he was going to run to McDonald's for food and a bathroom break. After talking to him for 10 minutes, he said he'd be right back. But he also asked me if I wanted anything for him to bring back for me in the line. A perfect stranger, just asked me if I'd like some breakfast, since he was going anyway. Show me one other time this would happen, and it can't involve a sign asking for help on the highway. Even then, it's unlikely.

And thanks to all that, and to Record Store Day in general, I'm writing this listening to some great John Lennon music right now. Now, THAT, alone, was worth getting up at 6:30 a.m. today.

Here's everything I got:
  • Beastie Boys mystery white release (1,000 pressed worldwide)
  • Black Keys - 12-inch singles: Howlin' For You/Tighten Up (limited)
  • The Doors - People are Strange 7-inch (2,500 pressed worldwide)
  • Flaming Lips - Dark Side of the Moon (5,000 pressed worldwide) - Rare CLEAR vinyl
  • Jimi Hendrix live at Clark University 1968 (limited)
  • John Lennon Singles Bag (7,000 pressed worldwide)
  • Rolling Stones - Plundered My Soul 7-inch (Exile on Main St. outtakes) (limited)
  • Velvet Underground - Live 1969 Vol. 1 reissue (1,500 pressed worldwide)
  • Neil Young - Heart of Gold 7-inch (limited)
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Skeletons 7-inch (limited)


  1. Nice story on the line people! I was waiting there last year and my wife and I were 73 and 74- just in time to get the last copies of the My Morning Jacket and Iron & Wine live releases- and the sweet goodie bags they were passing out!

    This year, I was later to the party. Got a few things at both Crooked Beat and Red Onion down the street. They happened to have a copy of the John Lennon 7s when I stopped by, but I was way too late for the Neil or VU releases. And yeah, I'd like to have one of the Bruce singles, too. Glad you had a great time!

  2. Man I didn't even know about the VU or Doors releases, epic fail on my part. Glad to see you found everything you wanted. I was planning on writing you a text back, but I just plain forgot in the excitement of a huge used vinyl sale at one of my regular shops. It was an epic day (8-6) but so worth it as you said. Head over to my blog later for a full rundown of events. Happy listening.

  3. Question for ya, is your Hendrix Colored of black? If was listed as colored on the RSD site but the one I got is black...

  4. Matthias-- Sorry I didn't see this until now. Yes, my Hendrix vinyl is black. Was a little disappointed since I saw it was listed as colored, but it's a great record, so... yeah. Sucks a bit, but just figured it was listed incorrectly.