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Record Store Day 2014 – Vinyl Orgy

April 26, 2014

rsd 2014 booty

Record Store Day (RSD) is my very personal holiday – kind of like how some people celebrate their birthday – a day to pamper yourself.  My whole family puts me at the center of this event which makes me feel a combination of loved and selfish.

It starts when the list is made available several weeks in advance of RSD.  I study the list over and over trying to figure out what I want/need on the list.  I try not to get my hopes up as you never know what is going to be available.

My wife makes sure RSD is on the calendar and there are no conflicts and she makes sure there is a generous budget available.

We hope for good weather – the third Saturday in April can be pretty dicey in Minnesota. We don’t hope for nice, we just hope for dry.  This year we we’re blessed with good weather (dry and above freezing).

This year my daughter came over Friday night and slept over so we could get an early start.  At my wife’s urging the alarm was set for 5:00am.  We we were out the door by 6:00 and at the Electric Fetus by 6:20 (numbers for place in the queue are given out at 8:00 and doors open at 9:00 – so we are talking about a wait here).  If this seems excessive, please note we were 60th in line (number one arrived at 7:00 the night before).  Over the course of the next two and half hours another 300 people will show up.  How great is that?

The Electric Fetus (or just Fetus) is my favorite record store on earth.  It is 45 years strong. It has a great inventory, a knowledgeable and friendly staff and most of all great ambiance.  That ambiance is punctuated by a creaky wood floor and incense. It has just the right lighting aided by east facing store front windows the full length of the store.

Despite having my list I started to call an audible based on previews, a final review of the list and on peering through the window.  I am getting excited and kind of nervous.

RSD is the kind of event where strangers find it easy to talk to each other as we are all there for the same reason and share the same passion (music in its vinyl form).  This year I made queue-friends with “Everly Girl” and Nick  We exchanged wish lists, which revealed our musical interest, which in turn created conversation fodder.  It is pretty easy to talk to fellow music heads in line for RSD. Turns out Nick and I had a direct connection via my boyhood best friend (small world).

My daughter was monitoring social media and discovered the Fetus had revealed some of their RSD inventory via social media conversations – unfortunately none of the items on my wish list were revealed (actually preferred – I like the reveal when entering the Fetus’s RSD bullpen).  My daughter suggested I tweet my number one item (70s funk overlooked gem Chocolate Milk – ….).  I proceed to tweet “… Hot Chocolate.”  About an hour later my daughter said “you idiot it is Chocolate Milk not Hot  Chocolate.”  And the thus another catchgroove Malaprop was logged into family history.

Being 60th in line is kind of perfect.  I could never be top 5 as that requires a sleep over.  At 60 you have about a 30 minute wait once in the store which allows you to take in the moment, have some coffee and donuts and dig a little of the in store performance (Jeremy Messerschmidt is a perfect breakfast).

Fast forward and we are in the store.  I have some time to kill.  I had a nice little chat with the music department manager Bob Fuchs regarding my Miles Davis blog post and the success of RSD. Bob revealed that when he was first approached about RSD several years ago he was cynical, but now and is delighted to have been proved completely wrong.  Despite being game day Bob was an easy conversationalist.

Then it was time to edge my way up to my position in line – they were in high 40s with the queue numbers.  I could see that my audible (Minus 5) was a single copy with ten or so people in front of me.  Shit was it going to make it?  A guy picked it up and I willed him to put it down.  I was nervous as all get out.   Finally it was my turn to enter the bullpen and I immediately grabbed the Minus 5 – shit it was $90 – damn that would blow my budget!  I held on – worst case I can catch and release.  Then I started to work through my mental list – damn they had everything – this was going to be expensive day.  After about 5 minutes my wingman (my daughter who had her own list and had been scouting for Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes for me – which was a no go) asked if I had Hot Chocolate – damn I had been distracted by Minus 5 and had totally forgotten my number one.  I raced back to the “C-section” but it was gone – there was a placeholder suggesting it hard been there.  Despite an armful of “finds” I was disappointed and pissed at myself for forgetting.

A guy notices I have Minus 5 and asks “Are you going to buy that?”  Yes.  “Are there any more?”  Nope last one (I am feeling a little giddy now).  “Are you going to keep it or flip it”  Keep it.  This is the exact same thing that happened on RSD Black Friday last year.  Weird.

My daughter and I found my wife and she lovingly overlooked the expensive pile in my hands and I realized we had never discussed budget. I was getting a free pass!  True love!  We checked out and huddled over what the next step would be to try to fill out the list.  We agreed to let to take the shortest path: Treehouse (which had what looked like 20 copies of Page/Crowes, but no Hot Chocolate), Cheapo (Minnesota’s largest and worst record store, but with a quality restroom which was necessary at that point)  and finally Fifth Element.

At Fifth Element: the first crate I looked in had 5 copies of Chocolate Milk and I had just pitched a perfect RSD game.   My wife inquired if MaLLy would be playing in store (unfortunately not – he had his album release party the night before).  She reminded me we need to show MaLLy a little love and pick up his latest CD.   I picked up a great T-shirt and took a gamble on an Eyedya reissue.

I had done enough damage and was of officially gorged – I had spent an embarrassing large amount of money and my loving wife was not making me feel guilty about it – she had even cheered me on like race support at a marathon – I am one lucky dude.

The day was not over – my wife and I have become a little too much of a pair of homebodies and so our daughter reminded us of how cool a town Minneapolis is.  We went out to lunch in Nordeast (Rusty Taco), lady shopping (I Like You and Bibolet) and after some downtime at home we went to an early gallery opening (accented by bicycle snobs and 612 beer- Adam Turman presents “Enjoy the Ride – A Year’s Worth of Cycling Art.”).  We topped off the night with visit to Izzy’s for ice cream (black licorice).  A very grand day indeed.

Next on the agenda is to try to review some of the RSD gold I found.  Thanks to my lovely wife and perfect daughter for all their support every day and especially on RSD.  Next year we go earlier!

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