Another day, another haul

Even though I’m “not buying records right now,” I seem to have amassed a good enough haul to do another video. This one, though, might be the last for a while. I’m currently readying myself for a move, and moving is expensive. Also I’m not sure how long it’ll take me to sell my current house, so I’m on a limited budget until I’m fully moved and have sold my home. I do have some pre-orders coming, and will be buying a few things here and there, but the quantity will be greatly reduced. Never fear, though — I have plans for other vinyl-related videos, so I’ll still be active in the YT VC. This will give me a chance to show everyone pieces in my collection that I purchased prior to my joining YouTube.

Check out my video below, and if you haven’t subscribed yet, please do!

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Episode 12 is up!

I received a gift certificate for Last Vestige Music Shop in Albany, NY for my birthday two weeks ago, and it was burning such a hole in my pocket that I made a trip to the shop as soon as humanly possible. I’d been to Last Vestige before and knew they had a lot of great stuff, so I was looking forward to the visit.  Sure enough, I found more records than I had $$, so I purchased a small pile and will have to save the other records for another trip.

As you’ll be able to see in the video, my tastes vary widely: I love punk, indie, Canrock, jazz, folk, and anything that gives me warm, fuzzy nostalgia for my childhood. On this trip, I bought everything from The Rickets to Enya. Don’t judge. I see you giving Enya the side-eye.

I also show a few albums that I’d ordered online, and have clips of the music for everyone to check out, so give ‘er a watch below, eh?

Mega Haul Video

I didn’t realize how much vinyl I’d accumulated during the two months after my vacation. I’d pre-ordered so many albums before June, and they all started arriving in my mailbox. Then I got a few gift cards from work and decided to use those to buy even more vinyl. The result is this mega haul, which I highlight in the video below. Eskimeaux, the Tragically Hip, Hannah Georgas, Florist, AroarA, soundtracks, you name it. Check it out!

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!

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.

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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.

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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.

Brooklyn Flea Record Fair + a new haul video!

A couple of weeks ago, I visited the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair in Williamsburg. The weather forecast was iffy, so I was on the fence about making the trek before seeing Land of Talk and Little Scream at Baby’s All Right. But at the last minute, we decided to head on down and see if we could get a little browsing in before the rain.

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We arrived around 4:00, so I didn’t expect there to be much left in the bins, but it was still hopping. I was saving my cash for Land of Talk merch, so I wasn’t looking to drop a lot of money on records, but I figured I’d pick up a couple items. In the end, I only purchased one record: a sky blue pressing of the new Frankie Cosmos album, “Next Thing.” Yes, I already have the clear w/ white splatter pressing, but when the label rep told me they were designed so laying the clear and white over the blue would create a clouds-in-the-sky effect, I was sold. Plus, as you all know, I’m a completist, and I like having every pressing of any record I like.

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There were quite a few women at the fair, which was nice to see. But as usual with these shows, I had a lot of dude elbows in my way as I flipped through bins. I watch the body language of women, and I see them all tucking their elbows in so that the person next to them can flip through without issue. But every time I was next to a guy, I had his elbow completely covering the bin I was attempting to peruse. I know there’s no malice behind the act, but it irritates me anyway. I don’t think that women should be having their elbows over the bins either, but what bothers me is that women (not all, but most that I witnessed) seem to automatically adopt the position that they shouldn’t take up any more space than they need to, and men just take up as much space as they damn well please — whether it gets in the way of others or not. Not all men, by any means. But I looked through maybe five bins, and I had dude elbows covering four of them. Also discouraging was the guy who told his daughter to stay away from the records, even though she was just looking and not causing any trouble or damage. Dude, don’t discourage her! That is precisely what worries me about young girls who might want to get into record collecting. If it’s presented as a boys’ club, then what happens to those girls who are interested? They’ll just move on to something else. It shouldn’t be that way.

I really need to devote an entire post to the ways in which women are so marginalized in the vinyl community (again, not by all, but by a good majority), BUT I do have a bunch of new records to show everyone. I stopped at Redscroll Records in CT over the weekend and found a good group of gems, plus I got a new record in the mail. Check out my haul below — it even has a small cameo by my cat, Cubby, at the very end.

Introducing Robin!

Continuing my quest to find and highlight all the female record collectors out there, I interviewed my friend Robin (Girl + Records) about her collection.

Who wants to be next? Are you a woman who loves vinyl? Hit me up!


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Name, location, blog.

Robin. East Coaster. Blog: Girl + Records.

When did you get into vinyl?

I got into vinyl when my parents started buying me records at the young age of 3. I started off with Sesame Street, Cabbage Patch Kids, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. Then it turned into Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, and Madonna.

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What was your first vinyl record, and how was it acquired? Was it a gift or did you purchase it?

It was the single for Madonna’s “Lucky Star.” My parents bought it for me. I had to be around 4 years old.

What attracts you to vinyl as a medium?

There’s a special connection with vinyl that doesn’t come across with a CD. It’s taking the record out of the sleeve, spinning it, and really listening to all of the tracks thoroughly. I’m drawn to the artwork on the cover and on the back, as well.

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How many records do you have in your collection?

I own 284 records. If you are counting 7″ records into the mix, then I total about 308.

What is your stereo setup like?

Kind of embarrassed, but these are temporary … I own two Crosleys. One is the old-fashioned brown make from Target, but I keep it because it plays cassette tapes (I cannot part with my best friends mix tapes from college). The other one is from Urban Outfitters. I plan on investing in a U-Turn, probably in the fall or winter, along with some killer speakers.

How do you store and/or display your records?

In the past, I had wire crates from Target that made it easy to flip through the albums, but they were jarring the edges of the vinyl. All of my vinyl now is in an IKEA record holder called a Kallax. I own two, since the one was overflowing with vinyl!

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Where do you shop for your vinyl? Stores? Online? Yard sales?

In my early 20s, vinyl wasn’t en vogue, so most of the albums I found were from flea markets or yard sales. In my late 20s and early 30s, I would take trips to New York to visit my friend. Bleecker Street Records was one of my favorite record stores. I’d go nuts in there.

Now that I’ve been to New York so many times, I like Generation Records, as well as Rough Trade. There’s a good handful of record stores in southern NJ that are great: Innergroove, The Record Collector, Man Cave. In Philadelphia, there are Repo Records, Long in the Tooth, and Sit and Spin. I like to collect old and new.

What is your favorite record store and why?

I actually love Rough Trade. I collect a lot of new vinyl, so that’s my place to go if I’m in Brooklyn. I also love that it’s a venue, and they sell books as well.

What genres of music make up your vinyl collection?

My collection is pretty much split 50/50 between male and female artists, although I prefer female artists. I have everything from pop, rock, classic rock, rap, R&B, blues, punk, alternative, riot grrrl, etc.

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What is your current favorite record on vinyl?

Cate Le Bon – “Crab Day.” I recently saw her in concert, and she was phenomenal live. Her album is good for putting a smile on your face; it’s a bit quirky, but the songs are catchy.

What is your most prized record?

The Slits – “Cut.” That album was a major influence on Kathleen Hanna and Carrie Brownstein. To own something like that is special to me. Plus, who doesn’t love Ari Up?

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What white whales are you still looking for?

Mostly PJ Harvey’s earlier albums. They are extremely hard to find, anything before the “To Bring You My Love” era. Extremely expensive on ebay. I’m hoping to find “Is This Desire” at a reasonable price one of these days!

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What is your favorite album cover art in your collection?

Probably the cover of Duran Duran’s “Rio,” because it’s so ’80s and fondly reminds me of the decade.

Do you have a favorite record label? If so, what is it and why?

I do like Sub Pop, but currently Hardly Art because of The Julie Ruin and Tacocat.

How do you connect with other vinyl enthusiasts?

A lot of my internet friends in college influenced my musical tastes and preferences. Without them, I wouldn’t have discovered so many great bands. I still keep in touch and meet up with them today! A lot of people I’ve met through the Sleater-Kinney fandom have similar tastes and go to a lot of shows, so I chat with them about bands/artists. One of my new best friends keeps me posted on all the upcoming bands from magazines who are touring our way. There’s so much out there, it can be hard to keep up!

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Do you know a lot of other women who collect vinyl?

To be honest, not very many. Maybe a small handful of my friends.

Do you have any advice for women or girls who are interested in starting a vinyl collection?

My advice would be to get what you like. Sure, your taste might change over time, but having music or something great to listen to is what gets you through hard times, especially during teenage years. It’s hard to articulate what you may be going through, but that’s what music does. It makes you feel less alone.

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Another Haul

It’s time again! This one’s a good one, kids. Lots of great finds, including some cassettes, even though I do not collect cassettes. I don’t. I can’t. But some of those bands I love don’t release on any other medium, so I have to take what I can get.

What have you been picking up these days?

Hysterical for Sleater-Kinney (and colored vinyl)

Okay, so, if you follow my blog and videos, then you know I’m a total geek for Sleater-Kinney. I’m always on the lookout for those harder-to-find S-K pressings, and I’m pretty much always over the moon when I manage to snag one. I’ve been to their shows, and I’ve gained a huge group of friends through this fandom — wonderful people I wouldn’t have met had it not been for our mutual love of this band.

So it seemed kind of ridiculous that I still hadn’t gotten my hands on a Start Together box set. Back when the band members started teasing photos of that gorgeous colored vinyl, I was drooling, and I hadn’t even fully immersed myself in their glory yet. It seemed like a big investment to make in a band I didn’t know all that well, so I let the opportunity slide on by. But soon after, I started listening in earnest, and then I was beating myself up for not having gotten the colored vinyl box set. Sure, I could have easily gotten a set with the black vinyl, but I’d already started buying up the single Sub Pop reissues, so it didn’t make much sense to go that route. Instead, I scoured online resources, considering cost and condition each time one of the colored vinyl sets popped up. I wanted it to be as close to mint as possible, and I so wanted the bonus 7″ to be a signed copy (500 were randomly inserted into the 3000 sets made). Nothing ever worked out just right, and then there was the cost. People wanted 2 or 3 times the original price, and that’s a big chunk of change to drop all at once. So I waited, and right when I got a bonus at work, two box sets showed up online for the same price. One was sealed, and one was opened, played once, and had the coveted signed 7″ record. I went back and forth, trying to decide what I wanted more. And in the end, I decided that I wanted to be sure I would get the signed 7″ and went with the already-opened NM set. Then I promptly told a good friend about the sealed one, and she snatched it up.

It’s a thing of beauty. It’s probably one of my most treasured pieces (behind that sealed Weeping Tile record and my signed Wild Flag). And because I already have all the albums on other pressings, I’ll probably keep this one as more of a collector’s piece instead of spinning it. Or maybe I’ll spin it once, just to see that gorgeous colored vinyl in action.

If you want to see the beautiful vinyl in this lovely box set, or you just want to watch me gush over it, check out the unboxing below.