The Vacation Friday Five


It’s Friday once again, and guess what?!  I’m on vacation as of 5:00 PM today.  I’ll be on my way to the Pacific Northwest shortly, and I can’t wait to make my way through all the record stores from Seattle to Olympia to Portland.  I’m armed with an extensive list of shops, recommendations from Ben at Kill Rock Stars, and a 32-page list of albums I’m seeking.

So yes, this Friday Five will feature more bands from the PNW.  Enjoy the tunes, and keep up with my travels via Twitter and Instagram.

1.  Tacocat – “Dana Katherine Scully”

2.  Bangs – “S.O.S.”

3.  Bratmobile – “Cool Schmool”

4.  Cadallaca – “Fake Karaoke Machine”

5.  Courtney Love – “Uncrushworthy”



The Friday Five – June 10, 2016


My Pacific Northwest vacation is so close now. I can’t wait to dig into all the record stores out there and come home with loads of vinyl. Until then, I’ve been listening to a lot of my favorite PNW bands, past and present. You all know that I have huge love for Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, and Wimps, so I figured I’d highlight some other bands this week.

Without further ado, here are some PNW bands and tunes I dig.

1. The Gossip – “Don’t (Make Waves)”

2. Beat Happening – “Indian Summer”

3. Heavens to Betsy – “Complicated”

4. Team Dresch – “She’s Amazing”

5. Excuse 17 – “Nervousness Never Fades”

New shops + new haul video

Here’s the deal: I’m supposed to be saving money for my upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest, which is rife with record stores and thrift shops. I have about twenty on my list so far, and I’m sure I’ll be ducking into some that didn’t make the first cut. Plus I have a 32-page list of records I’m seeking. So I need to save some cash for that vacation, but you know me — I can’t resist vinyl! While visiting with family in upstate New York over Memorial Day weekend, I stopped in at Thrifted, a great thrift store with clothes, retro housewares, and lots of records. Most of the records were 70s and 80s, which was fine with me. I picked up four records for $10 and was a happy camper.


That was supposed to be my last purchase until vacation, but this past weekend, my better half wanted to go check out the vintage denim selection at the Kiam Records Shop in Nyack, NY, so we made a late-afternoon impromptu car trip down towards the city. I was trying to talk myself into only buying one or two used records, but right away I started spotting stuff I’d been looking for, and I couldn’t resist. I’ve been wanting to check out Kiam since I’m a fan of the label and its founder, Jennifer O’Connor. Plus they’re always posting photos of records I’d want. I’m really glad we made the trip, because it’s a great shop. Not only do they have a solid selection of new and used vinyl, but they also sell turntables, books, vintage clothes, pins, and other assorted goodies. I came away with some pieces I’d been wanting to add to my collection for a while.


You can check out my finds in the haul video below. This will be my last one for a few weeks since I’m leaving for the good ol’ PNW soon, and when I come back, I have a Quasi show in New Jersey. I’m sure I’ll have a TON of records to show you guys when I’m finally home and recovered from my travels. Keep up with me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to catch a few glimpses of the stores I visit and the records I find.

The Friday Five – June 3, 2016


To be perfectly honest, all I’ve been listening to this week is the Tragically Hip. I was one of the few lucky bastards to snag tickets to their final tour (technically I’ll be at their final show), so I’ve been listening to Now For Plan A most days, along with some of my other favorite Hip tracks. But as the excitement grows around my upcoming vacation to the Pacific Northwest, I’ve had some travel tunes stuck in my head too. Songs about the West Coast, songs about the places I’ll be visiting. Songs about quitting my job, because you know the last few weeks before vacation are always the most difficult at work. So I thought I’d assemble a list of some of those songs for the Friday Five.

1.  Wimps – “Quit Your Job”

I’m counting down the seconds until I can ditch my place of employment for 10 days of freedom. You know how it is — they know that you’re getting some time off, so they do their best to work you to death before you leave. You know, just so you start your vacation stressed and exhausted. It happens every time. And as I grind my teeth through the frustration, I always have this song in my head.

Staring down the clock / Oh no, they don’t pay you enough

2.  Sleater-Kinney – “Light Rail Coyote”

Portland is where we’ll be spending the majority of our time, though our travels will also take us to Seattle, Olympia, Astoria and beyond. And I can’t think of Portland without getting Sleater-Kinney’s homage to their city in my head. It has some of my favorite Brownstein riffs, and is one of the best S-K tracks, in my opinion.

Burnside will be our street / where the kids and the hookers meet / diners and strip club junk / bookstores and punk rock clubs

3.  Angus & Julia Stone – “Big Jet Plane”

I have no beef with John Denver, but I like this as an alternative to “Leaving on a Jet Plane.”

Gonna hold ya, gonna kiss ya in my arms / Gonna take ya away from harm / Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane

4.  Bright Eyes – “June on the West Coast”

I’m always drawn to songs about traveling from place to place, seeking out a space that feels like home, asking a city to claim us. I suppose I’m a bit of a wanderer, still unclaimed, trying to find a place to permanently call home. Until then, I’ll keep traveling with my love, and someday we’ll finally land. [Technically I have found that place, but it requires moving to another country, and that’s not as easy as they make it seem in the movies.]

I visited my brother on the outskirts of Olympia / where the forest and the water become one

5.  Indigo Girls – “Hey Kind Friend”

This one’s a bit of a sad tune, but beautiful and simple. I’ve always loved the geographical references and the images they conjure when I listen to the song. Makes me feel like I’m right there too, watching that sunset in Washington.

I was too late for Spokane, so I caught a ride through the Cascade range / I saw the sun die in Olympia, running down on Capitol Lake