Friday News and Notes: Record Store Day Edition


These aren’t your usual Friday News and Notes — tomorrow is Record Store Day, so let’s get some special edition, limited pressing, hand-numbered (OK, so they’re not actually numbered) bullets going…

  • As per usual, I’ll be starting the day where so many of my RSD wishes have been granted: BK Music. I have a gig at McCook’s tonight, so waking up early and getting close to the front of the line tomorrow will involve an extra degree of difficulty, but Bandmate 4eva Doug is giving me a ride, and a 7-inch copy of the Matthew E. White/Natalie Prass/DJ Harrison collaboration “Cool Out” is on the line, so there’s plenty of motivation for getting out of bed when my phone’s alarm tells me to. Also I’ll be having bad FOMO dreams all night, so that should help.
  • That “Cool Out” single is the only item I’m dead set on, but there are a few others I’m interested in taking a closer look at: There’s the Etta James At Last reissue, the Allen Toussaint Live in Philadelphia 1975 album (with “Southern Nights” on it), J Dilla’s lost vocal album, Charlie Parr’s releasing an EP (got into him thanks to Phil Cook), the Hamilton Leithauser/Paul-Maroon EP… I love Hoist, but I just want Phish to release twenty-something dollar reissues of some of these albums. I’d still be up for, like, holding it for a few minutes, maybe?
  • Lots of fun stuff happening around town in addition to BK’s celebration: Steady Sounds has DJs and an attractive mention of pizza on the FB event page, Plan 9 is hosting performances by Ohbliv, Lady God, and Zgomot, Deep Grove will have Sugar Shack donuts and a raffle for a Music Hall Turntable, Vinyl Conflict will be continuing their self-styled oppositional Customer Appreciation Day, featuring a Parking Lot Party and a Simpsons arcade game tournament… so many options, so many ways to support stores that bring you closer to the music that you love, past and present.

Hope you find your ideal spot to cool out tomorrow.

Matthew E. White — “Cool Out” (feat. Natalie Prass) [Spotify/iTunes]

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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Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr

Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr

(This is the second 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.)

An Open Letter To The Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Album That Made Me Bleed On Record Store Day

Edgar Allen Poe once said that “There is an eloquence in true enthusiasm.” I really like that, don’t you?

It reminds me — ironically, I suppose — of the breathlessness with which children tell stories they’re particularly excited about. Respiration and recitation crash into one another like waves headed in different directions, making for a bumpy, sometimes incoherent narrative — certainly not eloquence in the traditional sense. But within that crazy cadence, natural rhythms are hiding. Lungs working at full capacity. Synapses firing as fast as possible. Pitch rising at the end of each phrase. When you look closer, you find the body and spirit in perfect harmony, flowing as smoothly as ballroom dancers who have rehearsed every move they intend to make.

It’s just that type of enthusiasm I blame for our… incident.

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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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Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Do you believe in signs? Not, like, stop signs, or that neon beer sign your college roommate had all four years but tried to pawn off on you after graduation because his girlfriend said it didn’t fit into the decorating scheme she’d devised for their first shared apartment. No, I’m talking about those fate-leaving-you-breadcrumbs-on-the-way-to-some-poignant-eventuality-type signs. I used to, but I can’t say that I do anymore. At least not wholeheartedly. I do love Fools Rush In, though. Wholeheartedly.

All the same, if something tickles the front of your consciousness long enough, you’re gonna scratch that sucker, and that’s exactly how the album pictured above ended up on my turntable last night. The acute itch started with a bandmate wearing a Sun Records t-shirt on Saturday night, and continued just a few hours later when Mrs. YHT and I were having a late-night snack at Gibson’s Grill and saw an incredibly sexy, vintage/diner-style Sun Records clock hanging on the wall nearest to the restaurant’s street-level bar. But in truth, the itching started long before that.

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Dave Brubeck

Dave Brubeck

I was more than a little sad when reports of Dave Brubeck’s death started to surface yesterday afternoon. It’s weird, mourning the death of someone you never met and likely never would, but Brubeck’s music was very important to my parents when they first started dating, and it was especially important to my father, who himself died a few years ago.

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