It's been weeks since I've logged on to post daily content on my beloved blog. We've left our readership high and dry. Not only that, but anyone visiting our site has had to look at a dead page for well over a week. We've been busy folks, and we saw this coming. Luckily, things have officially eased up and we're throwing our hat back in the ring. We've missed you, and we certainly hope you've missed us. We're not going to belabor you with excuses and explanations of our whereabouts. Just let it be something along the lines of, "we've all had shit to do," and leave it at that. In a nutshell, we're stoked to get back into the swing of things.
Sometimes it takes a catalyst to get movement going, and this year's Record Store Day probably served as the primary nudge we needed to finally launch back up. As the temperatures dove to just above 40 yesterday in Cleveland, the warmth of this damn-near holiday spread over anyone that took a short drive up to Waterloo just before noon. The fine folks at Music Saves and Blue Arrow (along with all of the galleries, shops, and eateries) do a hella job of making Collinwood the best place to be each RSD. The line of eager music consumers was well over 35 people when I arrived nearly an hour early, and when I saw fellow Citizen Dick writer, Justin, walking up and down the line filling cups of coffee, I knew it was going to be an excellent day. All of the businesses on Waterloo band together to put on a whole host of events. Whether it was the short DJ set by White Hinterland, the raucous garage jams of Cloud Nothings or Prisoners, the edgy art gallery exhibits, or the sweet nectar being served at Beachland Tavern, folks that aren't informed really need to head up to Waterloo, not only on Record Store Day, but as much as possible. The gentrifying nature of the old-school neighborhood is on the up and up.
I got out of there with a pretty good haul, as well. Music Saves isn't exactly set up for a 200 person onslaught, but Melanie and Kevin did an excellent job labeling everything and making it easy to find. It was a mad dash for some of the good stuff, but I ducked and weaved and got (just about) everything I was looking for.
1. Pavement's Quarantine The Past special edition LP (This one's going to Brian)
2. Ramones Mania compilation 2LP on this wicked half and half blue/green vinyl.
3. The Flaming Lips Dark Side LP
4. Antlers/White Rabbits split 7"
5. Fanfarlo 7"
6. Soundgarden 7" (This one's going to Brian)
7. Beach House – Zebra 12"
8. Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Streetcore LP
9. Roky Erickson/Okkervil River LP
10. Surfer Blood with Marnie Stern/Holiday Shores split 7"
11. Built to Spill 7"
The nugget I wanted most, however, evaded my grasp. I really wanted the Rolling Stones 7" and scoured Cleveland to try and snag it. I obviously had a successful RSD, but there's a bittersweet caveat added without this one in the mix. If anyone knows where one is lurking quietly, shoot me an email.
I'll conclude this post with a few MP3's related to this year's Record Store Day, and give my added commentary on the event as a whole. As the event grows larger each and every year, my only hope is that its success does what it's supposed to do – bring people into the store for the remainder of the year. I sat and chatted with Justin about this a bit yesterday. While hordes of folks come out to the record store and make huge ticket purchases, the entire event becomes pointless if these same consumers don't end up supporting local independent record stores as a general philosophical rule for the long haul. As a blogger, I get albums for free, primarily, but whenever I get behind an album 100 percent, I always buy the vinyl to help the industry. Hopefully, as more and more people get involved with this "holiday," we begin to see a thriving vinyl market. If we don't, then this turns into a Black Friday kind of thing, where people go back into their caves and don't continue to support the movement until the following year arrives. Truth be told, these record stores are probably not turning over a large profit annually, and if you know store owners, then you know that they're in it for the love of music generally. We should continue to support, but the frenzied nature of the Record Store Day energy shouldn't dissipate. If it does, it's lost its ultimate purpose. Get out to Music Saves and Blue Arrow, or any local store in your own neck of the woods. Do it weekly. Do it monthly. Set up a layaway plan. If you're consuming music for free, you should absolutely be throwing money back into the industry to keep it alive.
Enjoy the tunes, folks. I've included two tracks from Cleveland's very own Cloud Nothings. He absolutely killed a quick set outside Music Saves late in the evening. I've also got an Arthur Russell cover from White Hinterland, who DJ'd at the store and then opened for Dosh at Beachland later in the night. Last, I've included two featured MP3's from split 7" albums that flew off the shelves today. The newest from The Mary Onettes, The Love Language, CocoRosie. Great day had by all. And, damn, it feels good to be back.
Cloud Nothings – Can't Stay Awake
Cloud Nothings – Old Street
White Hinterland – Lucky Cloud (Arthur Russell Cover)
The Mary Onettes – The Night Before the Funeral
CocoRosie – Lemonade
The Love Language – Heart to Tell