I spend a lot of time on the computer - it's a key component at work (think of work without your computer), it's the vehicle for 90% of my home music listening and of course there's the countless minutes spent creating this little blog. But I also love to get off my butt and get outside, sometimes just to go right back inside again.
This past Saturday was National Record Store Day and I celebrated at my favorite indie music store (do chain music stores even exist anymore?) Main Street Music in Manayunk (they can special order you anything at 215-487-7732). And I truly felt like a kid at Christmas - live music, sidewalk sales, bargains galore, the Springsteen 7" (got it!), the Gaslight Anthem 10" (yes!), the Waits 7" (ok - 2 out 3 ain't bad), beer and... for this day at least, lots and lots of people. People have been in short supply lately in record stores, sometimes becoming scarcer than that Jesus Lizard 7" or that Pavement 10".
But people showed up... and kept showing up all day. There were the regulars (who mostly came for the beer and the tomato pie), the old customers who had disappeared, the kids who love Good Ol' War, and even rarer still - the passerby, the window shopper. And they browsed, and they bought and they had actual human interaction. Shoulders were slapped, recommendations were shared (I hope you like The Felice Brothers, tall bearded customer), cds were sold, kids loaded up on armfuls of gently used vinyl and the cash register rang like it hadn't in ages.
I know a lot of folks do not have handy access to local record stores, but to those who do - please go and support them. Paying $5.00 to $10.00 for an album of files just feels like you're getting shortchanged - just like the recent insurance commercial series that shows unwitting dupes getting a hot dog with no bun, a popsicle with no stick or a car wash with no rinse. You deserve a bun!
There were brief live performances by Australia's Youth Group (great Aussie pop that recalled a mix of The Church and Paul Kelly), local hero Dave Hause of The Loved Ones' tough, prickly agit-folk and the sweet, melodic harmony-rich kids' darlings Good Old War.
And as I surveyed my stash I recalled the adrenaline rush from my first record store purchase (Woolworth's in Ardmore, 1970) with money saved from my incredibly successful leaf removal business. I bought two 45's and my fading memory says the cost was 49 cents each - they were "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies and a "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash ("Yeah! What could I do?"). I think every music purchase I've made since then can be traced back to those two records.
Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue
The Archies - Sugar, Sugar