Saturday, April 18, 2009

Record Store Day 2009

Umlaut friend Ray and I arrived about 5 minutes before Amoeba opened.. There was already a sizeable crowd waiting for the clock to strike 10:30AM, and several slack jawed Record Dork guys aggressively made sure they were at the front so they would be the first ones into the store on this special day. The expressions on their faces made it seem like they were about to see a chick's tits for the first time or something.. Kinda scary and pathetic.

It was a good thing we arrived at Amoeba early, because the feeding frenzy around the limited edition Record Store Day releases was in full effect immediately. Number of girls in the initial Record Dork feeding frenzy = 2. Number of guys in the initial Record Dork feeding frenzy = around 15. Hey girls, you gotta like those odds, right?

There were a couple of those aggressive Record Dorks who stuck their elbows out so no one else could look in the 7" single bin with them... such bullshit.. so I did what any seasoned Music Geek would do and said "EXCUSE ME!" and pushed past their elbow. Fuck those guys... Buddy, I could give two shits about that Decemberists 7".. Besides, dude, I don't give a shit about the Elvis Costello and Springsteen either so just go wrestle the other Record Dorks for a copy. Ray and I were mainly there to snag the limited edition SLAYER 7" single for their new song 'Psychopathy Red' (a ditty about Russian serial killer Andrei Chikatilo).

It cracked me up that the Record Dorks were almost fighting over the Elvis Costello and Springsteen records (yawn...) when the SLAYER 7" was easily THE coolest Record Store Day exclusive: The sleeve is done like a Russian police crime file folder, complete with a string tie at the back... and the inner sleeve recreates another Russian police document AND the 7" single itself is BLOOD RED. Indie Rock sucks... SLAYER!!

For those keeping score, Umlaut returned to Casa de Umlaut with the following Record Store Day exclusives:
  • Dead Weather (featuring Jack White and members of The Kills and Queens Of The Stone Age) - Hang You From The Heavens 7"
  • Jesus Lizard - Inch 7" Box Set (#494 of 2,000)
  • Leonard Cohen - The Future b/w Suzanne (live) 7"
  • MC5 - Kick Out The Jams b/w Motor City Is Burning 7"
  • The Stooges - 1969 b/w Real Cool Time 7"
  • Tom Waits - Live From The Glitter & Dome Tour 7"

Another benefit of arriving at Amoeba early was scoring the "deluxe" gift bag with my purchase that included an Amoeba t-shirt and assorted other swag like Amoeba buttons, magnets, stickers, and coupons plus various sampler CDs... and a poster for the new U2 album. Umm... one of these items is now in the garbage can.. Can you guess which one?

Quote of The Day by some Record Dork as he greedily clutched Record Store Day exclusives to his chest: "I'm going to sell these for alot of money.."

Despite the "Only 1 Copy Of Each Record Per Customer" policy for the Limited Edition records, Ray and I dropped our initial purchases off at the Prius and returned so we could snag extra copies of the SLAYER single for friends... 'cause that's what Metalheads do.

Afterwards, Ray and I retired to The Irish Bank for the obligatory Saturday afternoon pints and fish 'n chips... and we sat outside as the sun broke out over San Francisco and the afternoon blazed. A perfect day! SLAYER!!

BONUS TRACK: Tour Manager Doug reported from SoCal about Record Store Day 2009 there and his quest for the SLAYER single:

Boy, that was complicated...

Slayer’s website lists 3 indie stores in my end of The Valley, I called the one close to my house, but they didn’t answer the phone. Since I needed to go to Trader Joe’s and it’s close to them, I stop by and am told that they didn’t get sent any. He suggests another store (that’s not particularly close).

I called the other place that’s close, but they don’t carry vinyl. I called the 3rd place, which is the same one that the first guy suggested, but they don’t answer their phone, even though they are open until late tonight.

I feel for the first guy, Atomic Records, the owner (I assume) seemed to be a combination of bummed and pissed that he didn’t get sent any Slayer singles, actually it sounded like he may not have gotten any singles. The second place, Back Side, should carry vinyl if they want to be “indie”. The third place, Freakbeat, should answer their phone regardless of whether they want to be “indie”, or not. How can you run a business with a generic computer voice answering your phone and taking a message?

So, I went grocery shopping, dumped the food at the house and went into Hollywood where Amoeba is its usual busy self (maybe because they carry vinyl and presumably answer their phone). The lot under the building was, as usual, full but I parked in a loading zone on the street. Walked in, grabbed the single, jumped in line, 30 seconds until I’m at the register, pay in cash, out the door. 3 minutes tops in the store, maybe closer to 2.

Gene Simmons was walking in as I was walking out. I was surprised that he would spend part of his non-touring time walking around Amoeba in full costume carrying his bloody axe shaped bass, I also was surprised that he seemed shorter than me in his boots.

2 hours out of the house, I listened to the Dodgers win #7 in a row on my way home. As I was walking out of the store some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. If I had bought one of every item in Amoeba I would have maxed out all four platinum Amex cards in my pocket and a couple of relatively famous bands, who I don’t actually work for at the moment, would have wondered what the hell I was doing.

Oh, all that, and I don’t have a record player. Hahaha!


Note: Evidently Ace Frehley was doing an in-store at Amoeba Hollywood this afternoon.. which sort of explains why "short" Gene Simmons was there.

THE FLIP SIDE: H82WAD reflected from Milwaukee about Record Store Day 2009 there:

Your story made me sad as the shop my sis and I frequented has gone under (Atomic Records). They were one of 2 independent shops that sold tix for the shows I produced while at UW-Milwaukee. Rich was very passionate about his biz.

Umlaut never visited Atomic Records, but I'm lucky enough to have a couple of their cool t-shirts. R.I.P. Atomic Records.