PHOTOS: KELSEY HENG | The Record Parlour is small but graciously stocked establishment that along with the record store is a museum for music geeks. The walls are adorned with unexpected and subtle gems like a framed photo of Dean Martin with an autographed cocktail napkin, a very early one page “fill in the blank” music publishing agreement, a bust of Elvis, an old cigarette machine, an enlarged painting of Bowie’s Diamond Dogs cover, a ceramic Joker lamp, and plenty of other eccentric delights to occupy the eyes.
The event kicked off with a DJ spinning vinyl that he picked out of crates from song to song while Will Dailey fans and friends congregated and enjoyed some crate digging and libations until just after 8pm when Will Dailey and crew ripped into their blistering set. The most comprehensive way to describe Will is an “absolute pro.” Will is an artist’s artist, a brilliant songwriter, master showman and beast of a guitar player.
The Record Parlour, although small boasts a real stage with a PA and is equipped with just enough backline (and some stellar vintage gear) to host an entire band. Will Dailey kicked his set off with “Sunken Ship,” the first single from his latest album National Throat and followed that with eight stellar tracks of older fan favorites, including this nerd’s personal favorite, the Wilco-esque, “Down the Drain,” and newer songs from National Throat rearranged for the live setting.
Will rocked up the banjo driven, “Higher Education” with no banjo and haunted the audience with the dream inducing “Castle of Pretending” with his perfect falsetto. The band also, to the crowd’s delight, dropped in a clever and stellar cover of Arcade Fire’s “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains).”
This in-store performance was being recorded live directly to vinyl by the “Doctor,”store co-owner Chadwick Hemus (who came suited in the appropriate lab coat for the event). Chadwick worked like a wizard behind the curtains, manning the recording and record flipping while Dailey ripped through the stellar set and entertained the audience at every vinyl flip.
Each side of the record only has enough room to record two songs—so, to reiterate, this is only something that a true professional and artist who is an absolute master of their craft can pull off. Not only did Will have to keep the momentum and energy up while having to stop every two songs, but with recording direct to vinyl, there is no room for mistakes—you cannot delete or overdub a physical groove on a vinyl record—this is not a task for the faint of heart or those still on their live show training wheels.
This is also not a DIY project—this is something for which you call a professional in. This is not an operation that has been performed regularly and to our knowledge the Record Parlour is the only establishment west of the Mississippi recording live to vinyl—and Dailey’s show was only their second attempt at said process, so needless to say we were witnessing a very special and rare event where mechanical and musical wizards meet to make magic.
The atmosphere throughout the entire night was jovial with that kinetic energy and sense of magic that happens when people congregate to see great art and have that shared sense that they are taking part in something truly special. It’s an energy that can only be captured in that moment, that will most likely never be repeated again.
World Go Round
Castle of Pretending
Once in a Century Storm
Down the Drain