Record Store Day Hop In LA

By Ryan Orvis

Record Store Day fell on a sweltering day in Los Angeles this year. Normally I would have cowered inside with a steady flow of iced tea, but I felt an obligation to the vinyl community. I live in Silver Lake, which puts me a short drive (or a decent walk) from Rockaway, Vacation and Origami. Not everyone has the luxury of having three great record stores in close vicinity to their home. I was not about to let brutal heat and a massive hangover stand between me and endless rows of pristine vinyl.

The first stop was Rockaway Records on Glendale Blvd. They were having a storewide sale, so I needed to get there before the selection was reduced to a few rows of half empty bins. Many of the Record Store Day exclusives were already sold out by the time I arrived. I made a noble attempt to navigate through the aisles packed with record junkies, but ultimately walked out empty handed.

Luckily my friend Doug had better luck. He walked out with a copy of Argybargy by Squeeze that still contained a Xeroxed press kit, and a trio of country albums by Merle Haggard and Hank Williams. One of the Merle albums also contained a press kit, which featured his complete discography up until the early 1980s. Apparently Merle released an average of four albums per year. It’s hard to imagine any artists today having that kind of work ethic. Then again, it was a whole different business in those days.

Next we headed to Vacation Vinyl on Sunset. DJ Matthew David was spinning electronic beats, and I thought I might have heard some old school Tangerine Dream in the mix. I contemplated some pricey reissues by Sonic Youth and Superchunk. Ultimately, I decided on a copy of Spent Bullets by Adam Franklin (of Swervedriver) for the moderate price of $12.

All this shopping had made us hungry, so we stopped at Two Boots for some pizza slices before heading next door to Origami Vinyl in Echo Park. Origami had a full slate of live bands booked, but we had arrived in between acts. The plus side of this was that the crowd had dispersed enough for us to peruse the bins. I drooled over the Cluster and Eno reissues, but settled on the latest release by British Sea Power, Valhalla Dancehall.

It was time to get out of the heat and on to the best part of record shopping: listening to the music. We spun a side of each record and were pleased with our purchases of the day. We realized that one of the Merle Haggard albums Doug bought was the singer’s debut, so we were treated to some county music history.

I already had a digital download of the British Sea Power album, but was glad I sprung for the real deal. A gorgeous gatefold sleeve opened to reveal extensive liner notes and lyrics. I was suddenly transported back to my early teens when I first started buying records, and would marvel at the artwork and copy.

It was fun to get out of the house and support the local shops on Record Store Day. It was also nice to devote a whole day to vinyl appreciation. Feel free to leave a comment and let us know where you went and if you picked up any tasty wax!

 

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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