Tag Archives: Deep Groove Records

Reckless Records

Reckless ouside

In August, I found out about this Buzzfeed list of “27 Breathtaking Record Stores You Have To Shop At Before You Die” from a tweet posted by the proprietor of one of my favorite music blogs, AnEarful. At that point, I’d been to two of them — Mississippi Records in Portland, OR and Grimey’s in Nashville — which, as I confessed at the time, made me feel like some sort of low-grade jet setter. Really, what it makes me is the kind of person who, when exploring a city for the first time, disappears for a few hours to feed a habit that’s already overfed back home. (Quick plug: I can think of a few Richmond shops that deserve to be on the sequel to that Buzzfeed list, if’n one’s ever assembled…)

I knew about Reckless Records before that list came out — I’ve gotten my brother-in-law a Reckless gift certificate or two in years past via the interweb — but reading about the store on that list gave me the nudge I needed to make seeing it firsthand a priority, and I got the opportunity to check out the Milwaukee Ave. location last weekend, when Mrs. YHT and I were in town for a wedding.

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A Sunday morning playlist

Sunday Playlist

On Saturday, I stopped by Deep Groove Records and brought home the four used records pictured above. On Sunday morning, I played those four records while Mrs. YHT and I were making coffee and cooking brunch for some friends who were visiting from out of town. Forgive the superlative-speak, but I’m inclined to think it was the best Sunday morning of music my living room has seen/heard in the four years we’ve been in our house. A few words about each title:

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Hoax Hunters/The Snowy Owls

HH:SO cover HQ

(This is the third [and probably final] post-Record Store Day open letter. To read the first, An Open Letter To The People Who Lined Up Outside BK Music On Record Store Dayclick here. To read the second, An Open Letter To The Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Album That Made Me Bleed On Record Store Day, click here.)

An Open Letter To People Who Don’t Buy Records Regarding The Hoax Hunters/Snowy Owls Split 7-Inch That Was Released On Record Store Day

There’s something I want you to see. I want you to hear it too, but I want you to see it first.

Before we get to that, some quick background information… Record Store Day is an annual event that’s been held on the third Saturday of each April since 2008. Artists help independently owned music stores buoy bottom lines by releasing hundreds of limited-edition titles on vinyl all at once, generating anticipation, long lines and a subsequent buying frenzy that’s as beneficial for these locally owned businesses as it is retrospectively embarrassing for the (usually) mild-mannered folk who get swept up in the excitement and push and shove their way through crowds to grab at treasured items before they sell out. Think of it like a big game of musical chairs for record collectors, one that gives a shot of vitality to an industry that’s still in the process of reinventing itself after being hit hard by the advent of .mp3s, file sharing and iTunes.

Now, you may be saying to yourself, “Well damn. I like supporting local businesses and all, but I listen to all my music on my iPhone, and I’m pretty sure iPhones don’t play records.” If you said that, you’d be both correct and completely justified. Between iTunes, YouTube and Spotify, you can enjoy a lifetime’s worth of amazing music without ever leaving the warm glow of your favorite Apple device. Listening has never been more convenient, and I count that as a net win for society. But if you’ve completely given up on physical media, you’re missing out. Big time. And I’m not just talking about the free donuts Jay at Deep Groove hands out to the people waiting in line on Record Store Day.

I want to show you exactly what I mean, so I cleared off my coffee table, disassembled the split 7-inch that was released on RSD by Hoax Hunters and The Snowy Owls, and took pictures of each of its components. I want you to see the kind of stuff you’re missing out on by living your musical life solely in the digital realm…

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Justin Townes Earle

Record Store Day aftermath

This past Sunday, while a stream of soft, late-morning light was tumbling through the living room window I’d left open overnight, I awoke on the couch, sat up (sort of) and snapped the above photograph. It is as much an illustration of how not to treat your records as it is a testament to how much fun the previous day — Record Store Day — had been.

I’d planned on writing a preview post on Friday but got distracted by and thoroughly wrapped up in Boston manhunt coverage, deciding ultimately that a blog post about which limited-run records I was hoping to get my hands on would seem incredibly trivial next to the day’s headlines. Instead, with Dzhokar Tsarnaev safely in custody and that boat somehow — miraculously, I think — not in a million pieces, I’d like to roll out my Record Store Day highlights through a series of open letters. I’m not sure how many there will be, but I do know where I want to start: with the kind folks who joined Bandmate 4eva Doug and me in lining up outside BK Music early Saturday morning.

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Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell

An Open Letter to the Escaped Ferret that Walked Into the Propped-Open Door of Deep Groove Records About 10 Minutes After I Did on Sunday Afternoon

Dear Willow,

We never had a chance to meet formally, so I understand if you don’t remember me. I was the one standing near the back of the store in flip-flops. I know — flip-flops in early March? It seemed crazy to me too, but the weather was so nice on Sunday, I guess it was my way of celebrating. I would have taken advantage by spending time outside like you, but my allergies were a holy terror that afternoon, and sandals were about as adventurous as I was gonna get. Little did I know how adventurous my choice of footwear would turn out to be.

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Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt

Before I start evangelizing, let me acknowledge one thing: collecting vinyl ain’t always cheap. Record stores turn into self-control battlegrounds, and you never know when you’re going to fall in love with the $40 imported pressing of some album you already own and don’t actually listen to all that often. Add in the cost of a turntable, maintenance, a receiver, speakers… you get the idea. Things can get out of hand. Wallets can suffer.

BUT…

Collecting vinyl can also be unconscionably cost effective.

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White Laces

More than a year and a half ago, I dove headfirst into the White Laces universe by snagging their eponymous EP at Deep Groove Records, and I’ve been exploring the vast, dream-like spaces they create ever since. I wrote then that hearing them for the first time was like “like stepping on a live power line,” and the resulting delirium has yet to wear off, especially because the months since have seen them release new songs, new vinyl, new videos, and a fantastic debut full-length in MOVES. The rich sonic landscape they’ve carved out expanded even further last week, when Stereogum premiered the video for MOVES track “Heavy Nights” — a clip which offers a dark and winding take on the Wonderland trope that will irreversibly alter the degree of comfort you feel when looking at tea and fruit-topped cookies. To celebrate this new addition to the White Laces universe, I caught up with frontman Landis Wine via email about the video’s genesis and the band’s plans for the near future.

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