Great Peacock,
The TVD First Date

“I clearly remember the first vinyl record purchase I made.”

“I had just graduated high school and wasn’t what I would call a ‘music aficionado’ by any means. It took a friend of mine dragging me to Criminal Records in Atlanta, GA, to show me what it was all about. He was a music nerd–the guy with a terabyte or so of music saved to multiple hard drives at his house. He became my music liaison; he knew my tastes and helped me extrapolate beyond them and find new music that I’d be interested in. So, what records did I walk out of the store with that day? Album by Girls and the National’s High Violet. Both are responsible for shaping my tastes, and both are still in heavy rotation today. In fact, I think I’ll go put them on right now.

I lived in Athens, GA, for seven years, and would constantly kill time thumbing through the collections at Wuxtry and Low Yo Yo. Those two hold a special place in my heart, as I cut my teeth as a musician in Athens. The folks who worked there were all musicians and they were all super inclusive and supportive of the local scene, which is something that tips me off as to whether a certain store is worth spending your time and money in. Are you getting the High Fidelity treatment or do you feel welcome? Record stores are by their nature (maybe not the Amoebas of the world) small businesses that survive by serving the local community. It should feel like a local coffee shop, not a Starbucks. Also, I’m obligated to mention that Peter Buck worked at Wuxtry back in the day. Doesn’t get any more gangster than that.

Another favorite story of mine is buying Jens Lekman’s I Know What Love Isn’t from Wuxtry without knowing anything about him. I remembered hearing his name mentioned on NPR, probably by Bob Boilen, and I figured I’d give it a shot. It’s now one of my favorite records of all time. There’s a guilty pleasure element to this one–everything is so whimsically tongue-in-cheek, but the songs are expertly crafted pop hits.

There’s something magical about record stores; they’re these libraries of musical documents from all over the world reflecting different eras and perspectives. Music is always a sign of the times. I remember being at a friend’s house in Athens and hearing Nancy & Lee for the first time and thought, “Holy shit, this is what the ’60s sounded like?” The production on that record is unreal. Greatest bass tone of all time. That straight-to-tape, plate-reverb treatment that every record got back then is the height of production for me.

I try to hit Criminal Records at least once a week now that I’m living in Atlanta full-time. Even if I don’t make a purchase, I want to see what’s in there. I’ve got a running list on my phone of vinyl to look out for–I try to buy at brick-and-mortar as much as possible, even if it means I miss out on something for a few weeks. I’ve certainly bought records online, but I do my best to keep it to a minimum. No drone deliveries as of yet, but we’ll see…

Do you use someone’s record collection to get to know them?

Peeping someone’s record collection is one of the greatest icebreakers out there. If it’s a big collection, you can dig through and find the records you have in common, and if it’s small you can learn a lot about someone’s tastes and why they only have this record or that record. Maybe it’s a small collection and looks eerily similar to yours? Did we just become best friends? My collection leans Americana, but I have pretty eclectic tastes so I can usually find at least one common interest. Or maybe you see a record you forgot about and then “oh, snap” and you’re talking about it with them and you end up grabbing your own copy the next day. It’s a beautiful thing.

I usually start by looking for Ryan Adams records. Yeah, I’m one of those guys. I have every RA record and Whiskeytown record that isn’t out of print or some weird limited run. If you’ve got a Ryan Adams album on vinyl, we’re gonna be buddies. Period. I really want a copy of Rock N Roll but it’s long since out of print, and it’s probably not well-suited for vinyl anyway. A friend has a copy of that one FRAMED in his living room, which is kinda the ultimate “f*** you” since it’s right in front of me but it’s not getting spun. Who does that? Frame the sleeve, I get it, but keep the record itself within reach.”
Frank Keith IV, bass

Great Peacock’s sophomore release, Gran Pavo Real arrives in stores on March 30, 2018 via Ropeadope Records.

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PHOTO: DAVE VANN

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  • Rachel Hurley

    LOVE THEM!

  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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