Today, I witnessed the “Invasion of the Mostly-Male Music Nerds” at Crooked Beat. As Em noted below, April 18 is Record Store Day – special because it’s one of few events that Ryan finds worthy of waking up early for (9am). But secondly, it’s also special because many labels celebrate by issuing limited edition 7″s, LPs, and reissues to be sold exclusively at record stores around the country on that one day. I know… how thrilling!!

When Brian, Ryan and I got there around 10:30am, a handful of hardcores had formed a line for the noon o’clock opening. One guy was even sporting a skinny tie. So clearly, Record Store Day is not an event to be sneezed at 😉 Gotta be dressed to impress… unless maybe he wears the tie to bed like a proper hipster.

While waiting, I thought, privately embarrassed, about the time that Em, my brother, his wife Margaret and I took Circuit City’s Christmas bait of a $400 laptop for the first 100 customers in line. Feeling inordinately lame and ‘better than this,’ we woke up at 4am and got in line in the icy cold, joining the ranks of fellow suburban stripmall suckers, engulfed in our own consumerist inclinations until we had become complete caricatures. When the store opened at 6am, full-grown adults rushed into the store, fighting about who cut in line, and wrapping their arms around entire racks of $1 memory cards and pulling them off the hooks. The four of us stood sorta dazed, watching it all. It was way too early in the morning, for one thing. Maybe if it was afternoon I would have fought a little boy for a Nintendo game or something. We left with nothing. Outside, greedy people who actually got there early enough to get the TV and Laptop vouchers were feigning that, oh, they ‘decided not to get that $100 HD TV after all, so would you like to buy the voucher for $300?’ Never again, we decided.

dsc05218But I digress. This is entirely different. People were lining up here for music. And music can move mountains and souls. The crowd at Crooked Beat was strikingly more mopey, more bespectacled, nicer and more introverted than the thick-skinned Circuit City mob. While waiting outside, some shaggy kid ran over to this pole and started glue-painting a flyer advertising the next march against the World Bank on April 26.

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Check out this crowd when they finally let people in. This is a tiny little narrow store. I’m sure Bill Daly was thinking if only people were this excited about records every day!

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dsc05231I made a note of the records Ryan had on his list so I could help snag some before they were gone. But whenever I found something to add to his ‘shopping cart,’ I saw he already had them in his hands. Darn it! Considering Em found that old turntable in our dumpster, I really should have bought my first record there to try out on the turntable once we have it up and running.

But instead I got this little dime-sized, hot pink book called “The Psychic Soviet” – literally a ‘neon bible’ of sorts. A collection of allegedly acerbic, sharp and witty culture essays by Ian Svenonius (of Weird War, The MakeUp and of general eccentricities. If you live in DC and come across him, you know what I mean).

There was a long list of available pressings… some of the more exciting ones were:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs LP, My Morning Jacket 10″, Whiskeytown 7″, Bruce Springsteen 7″, Bob Dylan 7″, Camera Obscura 7″, Sonic Youth/Beck 7″, Pavement – Live in Germany LP, Loney Dear/Andrew Bird 7″, Magnolia Electric Company 7″, Smiths 7″ reissue, Jenny Lewis/Elvis Costello 7″.

Look at this handsome guy. Neil Young’s ‘Sugar Mountain’ on ‘200 gram vinyl,’ which probably means something really good. But he was a lil pricey… $65.99. So he went back on the shelf 😉 !

Happy Record Store Day!!

Written by devotchkaa

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