Vacation Record Haul, part 1: Olympia, WA

The small town of Olympia, Washington, is saturated with music history. Think about all the great bands and labels that got their start in Olympia: Sleater-Kinney, Heavens to Betsy, Bikini Kill, Beat Happening, Excuse 17, K Records, Kill Rock Stars. Riot Grrrl. Kurt Cobain lived in Olympia.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

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With such a rich history, it’s no wonder that Olympia is home to a gem of a record store like Rainy Day Records. I could have spent an entire day in there. Not only do they have a solid selection of records, but they’ve got cassettes (many local), CDs, t-shirts (their own, plus K Recs tees), pins, stickers, postcards, and all sorts of other goodies. I visited the store twice and came away with Le Tigre, Gossip, Tacocat, Yoyo a Go Go, Ex Hex, and a bunch of cassettes and fun stuff. That shop is definitely in my top 5 now, and I can’t wait to go back the next time I’m in the Pacific Northwest.

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I thought I’d been thorough in my research, but apparently I missed adding Funk Fuzz Records to our Olympia itinerary while planning. I was under the assumption that Rainy Day was the only record store in town. But while shopping downtown, we noticed Funk Fuzz attached to Dumpster Values, a vintage clothing store. It’s a very small space, but it had some great stuff. I grabbed a few things that I’d been looking for, and then as I was making my purchase, I noticed an original 1991 self-released Bikini Kill cassette in the display case. I passed it up at that moment because of the price, but then I got outside and realized that I would likely never come across one of those in person ever again. They’re incredibly rare, and they go for big bucks. The one in the shop was fairly reasonable, considering what it was. Five minutes later, I had talked myself into buying it and went back in to purchase a piece of music history.

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Check out my video below to see all my finds, and check back soon for the next installment in my vacation haul series. I went to so many record stores and purchased so much that I thought it would be better to break it out into a few videos. Enjoy!

EPIC Vinyl Haul

It’s been a mere six weeks since my last haul video, but I’ve gathered quite a few gems in that time. Not only have I been finding some fantastic things on the interwebz, but I visited two new record shops a few weekends ago and scored some of my best finds so far this year.

I’m not too sure why it’s taken me so long to visit the record shops in Florence, MA, considering the town is only a little over an hour away from me, and I’m in nearby Northampton quite often. I’d been meaning to check out Wild Mutation Records, but they announced early this year that they were closing up shop and moving to Philadelphia. I was a little bummed I never made it there because I’d heard good things about their punk selection, but I still wanted to stop off in Florence to check out Feeding Tube Records.

A few weeks back, I discovered that Feeding Tube had a record I really wanted to get, so I started to plan my trip for the weekend. In browsing through their Facebook page, I noticed that they recommended a new record shop (Electric Eye Records) that opened in the space once occupied by Wild Mutation. I checked out their page and saw a photo with three Bikini Kill records, and that’s when I knew I had to go there. The photo had been posted ten days earlier, so I wasn’t expecting those records to still be hanging around. But the shop had opened only three weeks ago, and my hope was that not enough people knew about it yet to grab all the good stuff.

Saturday I headed off bright and early, stopping first at Electric Eye Records. The shop was small, but stocked well. My partner in crime (hereafter referred to as PIC) pulled out a Kill Rock Stars compilation for me, and then found the three Bikini Kill records I was hoping would still be in the bins. Bikini Kill only put out three seven inches, all on Kill Rock Stars. They also had a seven inch with Team Dresch, but these were the only three that were just them. The covers were perfect, and the records were mint. I was floored. Plus they were exactly the right price. The owner, Andy, was a really nice guy. He gave me the KRS comp for free, which was pretty sweet. I know I’ll definitely be stopping in there again the next time I’m around Northampton.

Next up was Feeding Tube. I went in knowing that I wanted to pick up the three-LP YoYo a GoGo compilation, and a Dub Narcotic Sound System record with a guest performance by Miranda July. They have a nicely curated selection of records out in bins, and then they have their online inventory stored in the back. I cruised around and looked through the seven-inches, which were categorized by geographical area. The Northwest section was made just for me. I found a K Recs International Pop Underground single for Girl Trouble in pretty good condition. The owner pulled out the records I’d seen online, and I was thankful that the YoYo a GoGo comp had really clean, NM records, and a decent cover, with the exception of a little creasing along the bottom from being improperly stored at one point. He gave me an excellent deal on the comp, and I was so thrilled to have that in my hands. Live 1994 recordings of bands and artists like Excuse 17, Heavens to Betsy, Unwound, Karp, Team Dresch, Lois Maffeo, Beck, Halo Benders, Fitz of Depression, Neutral Milk Hotel, Mecca Normal, and so on. Killer, right?

Between that and the Bikini Kill records, it was definitely my best in-store finds of the year. Vinyl karma was on my side Saturday. Watch my haul video to see what else I’ve picked up over the past six weeks.