Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones, The TVD First Date & Video Premiere, “Love You To Life”

“My name is Matt and I’m a record junkie.”

“Always a thrift shopper, always into finding the used things—the bargains, the finds you didn’t know you needed—like that “they’re coming to take me away” record that plays backwards. Sometimes you don’t know you need it until you see it looking at up you from under a 25 cent sign.

For those of us who grew up on hard copies and who own records that have become family heirlooms surviving even our own destructive childhoods, wearing scars of our crayons on their jackets, LPs just lend themselves to being a library item, the permanent collection—a “record”—if you will. The large artwork still tempts those who need a tangible physical object to love and bind the music to. More primal, ever so slightly more permanent, historic…and so the format lives on.

I have collected music all my life. Tapes. Records. CDs. Mp3s. Now streaming service subscriptions. Some of my best friendships were all centered around collecting music, going and seeing other people’s collections, trading, borrowing, and watching the bands that still played. I was always friends with musicians, music lovers, and audiophiles. I started buying records in my late teens to early 20s. I was always on a smaller budget than some of my real record collecting friends who I looked up to. If money was never an issue, I would own a lot more. Would it mean as much?

We had a few hip record stores in the Hudson Valley, but it was still hard to find certain stuff. It was fun to find the rarer ones I was into. Punk. Ska. Metal. Hardcore. I remember venturing down to NYC with my friends and checking out all the famous record stores in 1999-2000. I even worked part-time in the warehouse for a record distributor, Dutch East India Trading/LSR Records for a short time. So much great music that went to all the famous record stores went through that warehouse—right here in Kingston, NY after they had fled NYC’s rising rents and the dawn of the digital music age.

Speaking of NYC and carrying records around, I used to make a little side money DJing punk, rockabilly, psychobilly, and rhythm ‘n’ blues at Motor City Bar, Otto’s Shrunken Head, and assorted places in Brooklyn during the 9 years I lived around the boroughs. Before I played in bands, I did shows that my friends’ bands were playing. I started on punk and psychobilly, but really going after R&B shouter stuff later on. I moved 7 times in that city with all my records. (I have also had 2 spinal surgeries.) I was able to support a record habit if I was frequently DJing was my favorite line to tell myself. Keeping stocked on records meant keeping stocked on free drinks, drugs, and good times too. I also got to pick the crappy music we were all complaining about in the bar.

Whenever a band I like offers a vinyl release, I attempt to acquire it. I love the ones I have, but the thrill of the hunt isn’t nearly as thrilling now that we have Spotify/streaming. While it is indeed amazing to have entire discographies available instantly anywhere, there was still a glory in the hunt, a thrill. Perhaps some leftover primal instinct satisfied.

I was always into LPs. Some collectors go for 45s. You have to crawl through mountains of boxes of them. I’m on the road a lot, so a good record store in another city sounds like an all day hunt, a young man’s game. Being on tour and resisting the urge to go record shopping at some amazing record stores all over the country/world can be torturous sometimes. When I toured less, I collected more. Whether the way I talk myself out of it with time shortages, limited funds, or the impracticality of acquiring relatively delicate cargo in the confines of a tour van and 3 other people and a dog sometimes, I usually manage, but still slip and buy from time to time.

I am proud to announce the release my music on an LP for the first time courtesy of Crazy Love Records—Lara Hope and the Ark-Tones’ new album, Love You To Life available right here.”
Matt Goldpaugh

“Love You To Life,” the title track from Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones’ full length release, is in stores now.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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