It’s National Album Day, But Just Not Here

download-6Yup, the UK has one upped it on us in music again. It’s #NationalAlbumDay UK and I have been getting album favorites hitting my Twitter feed since 4pm yesterday. Apparently some enthusiasts who are night owls and insomniacs were blasting and promoting their favorite albums at 12:59 UK time. Not the 3:33pm GMT blast off time. Wait, is it called Greenwich Mean Time anymore?  It’s a way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the album format being promoted by BBC Music channel and hopefully as many independent record shops as possible in the UK. Yeah, I know, really it’s about making money. But if it helps get the smaller shops some business, it’s more fun places for you to go and look for your albums.

I had known about this for a few months, looked to see if the US or Canada were doing something similar (please don’t let the Canadians beat us to this). I had not seen anything on the newswires for a US version. And why the heck aren’t the big record labels here in the US picking up on this and promoting it, even for their UK artists or trying to get the same thing here in the US? I just visited Warner Bros. Records US and UK sites. Not really seeing anything on it. But reading some of the US music websites rag on about it, it’s the UK beating the US to a great marketing campaign scheme. Gasp.

But the UK is mad for it as they say, and really it’s an indie thing, right? Go independent labels and record shops! If it helps keep people going into the small record shops and supporting the indie labels, I am all for it. And the record album is not dead, as recent charts show, vinyl is way back. And many musicians are happily rereleasing on vinyl that which they had to make on CD because of that format change years back. Come on, analog is cool.

What is National Album Day anyway? We already have the National Record Store Day which has made it across many continents. Works great for the bands and the record labels, so why not this one? Going to the main website for the National Album Day, the deal is this: At 3.33pm you play an all-time favorite album of choice. Even if you are and American or Canadian or anyone else in the world, if it’s 3:33pm in your time zone, go for it. The internet IP address thing where its says you can’t play this video or song in your country doesn’t work here. Go analog on this if you can! You can share with them at @AlbumDayUK or #NationalAlbumDay. Here I go, I’ll put one up that’s having a anniversary release this week. (More about that later)

Main Rules

At 3:33pm carefully place revered album on the turntable. Stuck out and away, on download.

Remember, you have to play the album from start to finish, no skipping about. If anyone complains, explain this.

Use the hashtag #NationalAlbumDay when sharing your joy.

Enjoy, meditate or dance freely.

Complain online about all the published best album of the day results. Optional, but we know you want to.

In reading some of the news articles in the UK about how the posting voting has gone, it seems there are some top favorites.

On OfficialCharts.com, claiming to be the official word on music, they will be posting how the voting is going. I have used this mega site before and it is a rather extensive online database site. They claim that The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band has claimed the top spot. However they are basing a lot of facts on this on lifelong sales of the album.  Frankly, this is no surprise. I was listening to it yesterday while walking in the park. It was the second record I ever bought, and have listened to it ever since. Coldplay have 3 albums in the running (sigh). But reading further on the charts site, most of what they go on are statistics. How are votes really being cast?

The National Album Day site has suggestions on how to get involved. Many Physical retailers in the UK and indie record labels are really pushing the Twitter feeds and having in house promos. After reading an article at NME, in which 7 of their writers discuss their favorite album to be tortured in a dark room by for 24 hours on repeat by? Yeah, I didn’t see that in the rules, and I kinda get their humor. It’s another #hashtag day, right? Not if you are really a music lover. Real music lovers will hop around like maniacs and it does fall on a Saturday so that makes it a bit easier for some. What, you can pogo at work, right? Reading further on their collected selections, there are only two albums on the list provided that I can even agree with: Talking Heads:77 and The Beatles White Album/The Beatles. Yeah, oldies but classics you can put on the turntable and sing along with. They influenced a lot of other bands. The rest of the offerings, not really appealing to me. But you may like some of them.images-1

So, is this about pushing record sales, or celebrating the album? Iain McNay, chairman at the British independent label Cherry Red ( The Fall, Howard Jones, Alien Sex Fiend, 999) helped to create this national day of celebrating the record album. It’s about the album. His purpose was to celebrate the creation and thought processes that go into creating songs and creating an album.

Remember, in the the early years of records, it was about cramming a bunch of recordings from studio sessions and live performances on an single 45 rpm or EP 12 inch just to promote a band and get them known. Back in the 70s and 80s, new bands would get a few singles/cassettes together just to promote in shops, creating their own labels.  Albums are very expensive to produce in the classic studio sense, studio time is very costly. Over the years and as bands matured and got more power with their labels via fan base, concepts, thought and themes came about and albums are now not just a collection of songs unless they are greatest hits compilations. With digital and technology advancements, making any space where you could fit musicians, instruments, laptops, soundboards and sound proof a recording space, even more creativity with albums occurred. Don’t forget the revival of vinyl has many bands going back and rereleasing on vinyl the way they really wanted their album to be, and new bands releasing on all formats.

Not to be left behind, the team at National Record Store Day will be promoting other countries picking up on the new hashtag. It sounds like getting an album day started on a national level in other countries will happen. So why not hop on the wagon and just do it now? US East Coast, you got that album on the turntable?

National Album Day BBC

NME Article

US Take on Billboard

Complete Music Update

https://recordstoreday.com/

 

Music Festival Trash Travesty

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Reading Festival Aftermath

We come together to enjoy outdoor music festivals from spring to fall equinox, hopefully getting outside without rain to enjoy open air music and other acts,  and the company of great friends. There are music festivals for all genres and some that mix the genres to have as many party goers as possible, which of course means more of the all mighty Dollar or Euro for the promoters and hopefully some for the acts. These affairs can be small at county fairgrounds or at massive historical estates, with camping and mayhem. Or the hugely successful and amazingly well organized chaos, like America’s Burning Man, that started over twenty years ago as a nomadic gathering, and has now become a massive commercial venue.

Images of Sicily’s Fantasy Festival have hit the news. It’s the end of the line coming up for Europe’s large music festivals over the next few months. In the US, Electric Zoo just finished up with some festivals continuing into the late Fall. No matter our age, we still flock to these music festivals, sometimes with whole families going. It’s a right of passage of youth, university and since humans were once nomadic tribes, just is natural. From the  first stadium madness gigs in the US and those very lucky to be in Europe and live amongst castles or sacred places like Glastonbury, can attend some amazing music and revelry. There are many private estates with a castle and battlements where the cash poor landed gentry are happy to take money, put up stages, and bring in the bands. You can listen to some of your favorite music, meet friends, hopefully survive the three to five days if not just day tripping, and come out fairly unscathed. Then leave a trail of devastation behind you. That’s right, people can lay waste.

Music festivals have become great venues to showcase new and upcoming bands, to old favorite bands playing for decades, as well as political and Eco causes. Because they are so future friendly, you will see vast rows of sorting bins for your refuse, that rival  the rows of portable toilets. Not to mention science exhibits and save the world booths. At the garbage collecting sites, you read the international signs for food, paper, plastics, and all other disposables. You may have helpful people there directing and correcting you, and some of them militant Neo Hippies berating you if you get it in the wrong bin. The intentions are good. But why is it there is still so much human debris left behind on the grounds similar to a mass migration? The situation is getting more and more dire as more festivals pop up every year. Yes, the music festival can really line someone’s pockets, but the cleanup becomes quite questionable. Do you trust them to dispose of the waste in a correct and safe manner once you leave even if you think you got it in the right bin?

The Gripe

What I hear of mostly in complaints on Twitter is the disappointment in this festival or that one for the bands being really bad, or the sound system not working, or the biggest gripe, not being able to get out of the car park for three hours. No one really looks back at the trash that’s been left behind. Have you read any of the articles that come out each year, talking trash about the trash? Our past three years we have raised consciousness about plastics getting into the oceans, our great Pacific Garbage Patch. This years cause Celeb is the plastic straw. Did they all get in the plastics bin, if they are allowed due to their recycling emblem. Wait, do they put that on there?

What makes thousands of people who probably recycle like fiends at home, suddenly forget how to do it? Is it some mass hive-mind mentality of abandonment? Some of these events can go on for more than 3 days, some events go for a week. If you were camping in the woods, would you leave your tent behind? In some instances yes. Some revelers mistakenly thought that the tents they left behind at the Reading Festival this past August in the UK, were destined for charities. Commonly, a rumor gets started or a mass assumption occurs, it’s like a massive pass day at school where you are forgiven a homework assignment happens. You don’t have to take what you brought in back out, the magic butler robot will take care of it. Festival clean up crews call many local homeless shelters and charities after they look at the fields, but much of the sleeping bags, tents, cookers and any other camp gear gets hauled off to landfill sites if not shipped around the world on endless barge runs like the rest of the waste on the planet.

And in some cases, many attendees really thought they were doing what they were told. In some festivals, organizers have told revelers to leave behind tents or bags, they were being collected for a refugee crisis. Then the festival didn’t follow through. Later attendees find out and realize they contributed to a serious problem. To be on the safe side, always take your stuff with you. You can donate it yourself on the way home with a charity. Maybe take that extra step and do some research before you go and if anyone talks to you at the event not sure what to do, set an example and tell them what you plan to do and why. You can start a new trend.

So Why is it Always Someone Else’s Problem?

So, do you think it’s great for the planet to trash a music festival, even if it’s on private space where the rich landed gentry live because maybe you feel a little ripped off? Did the band you love have a gripe with the festival? Whatever the convoluted reason, do you really think it’s fair to protest by leaving a squalid mess behind? Really, think about it. If festival goers keep being this badly behaved, what do you think the chances are that more music festivals will happen? It’s true, there are greedy promoter types who make loads of money. You may even think that the bands are getting serious bank. Really though, depending on the venue and contracts, many of your favorite bands barely break even going to a gig like this. Some of them donate time if it’s a charity event. And if it’s a charity event, they still have to pay for cleanup, so that money is not going to the charitable cause.

Gripe Back

Contact a festival before you attend it, have your friends do the same. Get a campaign going. Ask them how they are going to manage disposing of the collected trash. Organize others around you. Take it back with you, donate if you don’t need the sleepers or tents. Take that time to look up homeless centers on your route home. Have a garage sale when you get back.

So what is the answer, the one that is so obvious? I think it’s really hypocritical to have an Eco Spectacular Save the World Festival and leave thousands of tents, sleeping bags and piles of trash behind. I guess maybe someone in your favorite punk band will stand up at the end and say. “Hey, you! Don’t forget to take your trash out of the park!” They really shouldn’t have to, shouldn’t you set an example? Go on, take it back.

https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/20/huge-sea-waste-left-behind-music-festival-everybody-leaves-7740173/

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/08/28/festival-goers-abandon-tents-mistaken-belief-go-charity-experts/

https://whyy.org/segments/burning-man-leave-desert-squeaky-clean/

 

The Punk, Post-Punk, Gothy Girl is Resurrected.

Gaol Breaker

I’ve bunked off from the gaol. It’s been some 6 weeks or so since I have blogged. I have spent the last 5 weeks crawling out of a weird, wet, dank abyss called Recovery From Major Medical. I have survived a surgery that some don’t, I was lucky I was very fit going in. I am forced off work and we don’t have temp disability here. Why, I feel like I did back in the early 1980s, no hope, no future. I’m alive. Appropriately listening to The Specials ‘Ghost Town’, because the Tibetan Tube Throat singing with accordion/box music at the cafe was really grating on my nerves. Now we’re on to The Fall, ‘Totally Wired. I’m waking up. I pay my taxes, and no real help for me in medical. Oh, yeah, I live in America, the corporate health empire of the world. If you are lucky and live in Canada, UK, Ireland,or the continental EU and have social medicine. Fight to keep it. Here you spend your whole recovery period fending off calls from hospitals while the insurance companies duke it out. So now I am listening to Talking Heads ‘Once in A Lifetime’, wondering where this life is going. And now we segway into ‘Mirror In The Bathroom’ by The Beat. Yeah, girls, makeup after a medical just doesn’t want to work. Actually not wanting to work for a while now. Argh. So not going there with the Albatros Eyebrows so fashionable lately. Again, unless you can pull off a good Siouxsie brow, just keep it simple.

This was a life changing event for me, but I am trying to crawl out of it. Vaughn likened it to having a Scottish Basket Hilt or Japanese Katana Sword run through me and twisting the ribs apart. Now I have to heal from it. I managed to get my Sandman tee shirt on, black skirt, black jacket, boots and thigh high socks on. I look like a Gothic wreck. Good. My red curls got unfurled from the stupid braids of sickness.  I drove for the first time, really slow, no maniacal California driving. Was very good and did not play tunes in car, needed to focus. Speed limit, don’t attract trouble. Made it to the cafe.

Ah, ‘Fade to Grey’ by Visage. Ooo, baby I feel even better already. I have been listening to a mix of digital and records when I can get to the turntable. Unfortunately the non-working thing has curtailed any record buying. But I am selling things off on eBay hoping I can maybe afford the 40th Anniversary Reissues of the Bauhaus Catalog on colored vinyl starting next month, check out Peter Murphy’s site for details. I’m working on the second cup of decaf coffee. I made it to my cafe I usually write in. I really just wanted to feel somewhat myself.

Bauhaus to Reissue 6 Records on Colored Vinyl for 40th Anniversary 

Record Store Physio

One of the tests of where I am truly at with the body has been a visit to two local record shops, Music Millennium and Everyday Music. One I actually found a vinyl copy of The Waterboys ‘An Appointment with Mr. Yeats’, which unless you are on the East Coast or L.A. aren’t likely to find. It was nice to hear some Yeats set to music and try to get back to listening to records. At EDM, it was more of an exercise to see how long I could stand up, can I flip record bin dividers, and even better spell Siouxsie right so I could look for the 12 inch? I kid you not, the really bad side effect of being a Ginge and anesthesia, is it may take weeks to get most of your spelling back. It’s scientific. Yeah, so flipping the records in the bin is a great way to tell how you are doing when recovering.

I’m in the Hawthorne. There are two record shops, Exiled and Jackpot. Okay, no money, but the singles bin can be a great find for super cheap. Hmmm. Oooo, playing ‘Generals and Majors’ by XTC now, that’s the marching orders, right. Also, there is a convo going on in the cafe I have been trying to drown out, because I don’t want to know. Time for ‘Sorry for Laughing’ by Josef K right now, turn that volume up.

Alternative/Punk/Post-Punk/ Group 

I’m dying here in Portland. Great music when you get to it, if we can get them to come. Got tickets for PiL and Echo and the Bunnymen in the next months. But really dying for some Alternative Culture. Yeah, you can still be Alternative if you are over 30, get over it.

I lived in San Francisco too long. It’s hard meeting people when they know you’re from another state. Portland may be the Weird Capital, but they can take a while to warm up to you. And finding anyone into my musical tastes near mine has been impossible. I was so desperate I looked on social networking sites. Nada. So, in my insane creativity and having to think about it, I decided I would try an experiment and create a group and see if anyone shows up. Insane, I know. Probably no one will come or be interested, but I have to get into the Phoenix frame of mind, that bird with singed wings is gonna fly. So, I have to craftily word an invitation. What insanity can I brew from this crazy idea, or will it be typical and no one will show?

Sad about this world that we have gotten so distracted we have to meet in pre-fabricated ways like this. It used to be that you met like minds at the record shop. Here if you try to talk to someone about an exciting find they think you should be sent to the looney. Funny thing, you are already there. Isn’t that what it’s about?

The Real McKenzies

If I make it through this week of killer Phisio (yeah actually they have me going to medical Physio), Vaughn has said we will attempt to see a great Canadian/Scots Punk band called The Real McKenzies I have been listening to for the past few years. If I can show that I am doing better. I need to see if I can manage to get through a show, even if it means being taped to the pillar and doing Pathetic Pogo. I may do a chair Skank if I can find one. But my minder is telling me it depends on how I do this week. So bunking off and driving and making it back in one piece will count I hope.

Oh, and for those of you in the US (West Coast), and don’t know yer ancient history, Gaol here refers to jail. It’s how it was spelt in dem olden days.

We’ll leave this on Elvis Costello’s, ‘I Can’t Stand up For Falling Down’. But really, ending on XTC’s ‘Dear God’, because our world is just as bad as it was 40 years back and what have we learned in this time? Share the music, share the lyrics, wether it’s old school or new groups, get the music out there. It’s the only way to save this race. Hope you enjoyed the convoluted playlist.

Crossroads Records, Portland

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Some CD and cassette action for fans

Crossroads Records 8112 SE Foster Rd, Portland, OR 97206 (503) 232-1767

Ratings:  Very Good All Genres, Jazz, Alternative, Folk, heavy on Rock. WARNING: There are 50 vendors selling out of this store. Good choices, but a lot of them.

Crossroads Records is one of the better vinyl shops in Portland. When other stores send you there to look, it means that’s where some of the employees may go to shop. Mainly a lot of used selections and some good rare finds. I say rare as in 1960s to present. Many music dealers sell out of this shop,(50 +), so they are always combing the highways and byways looking for great music deals. Check often. Here’s the rub: There are 50 different vendors, and 50 different styles of selling.

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Rock heavy store, also check the uppers for collectables.

Pros

Singles are fairly organized, but as you walk in you will notice the 45 heap as well. This means another mans trash is your treasure. The other 45s are by genre, but not always listed by bands. You will need to dig through quite a few crates and boxes. 12 inch singles and EPs are with the LPs, or for some vendors in their own bin. There are a lot of Indie label singles available, some new. However, that is just one vendor’s 45s. Check all sections and look below. Below can be very disorganized. But if you love a dig, you can for hours and may find some gems that are often overlooked.

CDs and Cassettes: Yes, are plentiful and fairly well organized.

Hit up the JUST IN bins first of course, by vendor. Then check the genre for your band in the main isles. You may want to check on Discogs while you shop, the band you like may have been in several genres (rock/folk) over it’s lifespan and if you don’t find it in one area, it may actually be in another.

>>>>>How To Survive Crossroads Records

Since you have a massive selection, you need to think on the level that yes, it’s a collaborative. It’s a bit more organized than the huge swap meets, or 50 small record shops under one roof. That said, here’s the store’s break down and how you can plan to work that to your advantage:

  1. There are many rows and a vendor can be one whole row or more. So that means each vendor has their selection organized the way they want it. This means you must adapt per vendor. Each vendor has their box style, for example row of bins the same, same labeling, one vendor. Some are good about putting a name at the front, some it’s by box and color. Some are very good at labeling for alpha or band names, some label sparsely. And some have their idea of where a artist may need to be, that isn’t what you think should classify that artist or band. Once you like a vendor or the way they do their small store within a store, you know where to go for future visits.
  2. Start from the front of the store or the back and work it, row by row. Plan your first visit to be mostly figuring the bins out by vendor. Also, if you know you are mostly a Jazz fan, you can comb all rows and boxes underneath labeled Jazz. You obviously know what you want. The same for Alternative/Indie. Pretty much all vendors have Rock.
  3. Strongly advise you look for the same artist/band in all vendors. Example: I found 3 different copies of U2’s October in various states. The best copy or collector’s copy really worth having will be behind the counter, so if you are really that into the best, ask. But if you want playable but with best no-scratch surface, you will need to go through all copies and go from there. Also, look above as best copies for each vendor are sometimes there (cover).
  4. Bring a microfibre cloth and solution. They don’t supply you with cleaner to try the records out.
  5. Keep in mind you may pay more than a brand new 180 vinyl if the copy in hand is first release, as you would expect. But if you are on a budget and patient, you can find a copy that has been well kept, or even one that was a recent rerelease and someone has sold back.
  6. Ask. If you know you have certain recordings you must have, or prefer to just be really focused, ask the counter people which vendors tend to have X. If they don’t have you specifics, they can tell you who may carry it at another shop.
  7. If you are into really old collectors records, 1920-1950 vintage, there are a few vendors that have some, but the stock may not be out. They may have their better collections as an appointment only situation, or know someone else that collects like they do. Hopefully this is a good networking connection for you.
  8. Take a friend with you. You like to geek on the records anyway, so have a friend come along. They know you and if they bump into something you may like, they will let you know. Or you find records they like. It’s a classic record geek time well spent with a friend.

Cons

Fairly decent listening table, but it’s a one table store and no place to sit. You will have to wait your turn. However, the equipment is in better shape than in some record shops, at least there isn’t packing tape all over the tone arm head holding it on (as of this review).

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Many different vendors, so check all the genre sections.

Respect The Vinyl and Respect the Customer

imagesLike many of you, I have to resort to buying vinyl online at times. Oh, the horrors. Yes, please cringe. Why? Well, I no longer live in San Francisco where I had both SF and Berkeley to cruise record shops before giving up. And while many records have been re-released on the lovely new 180 weight, I really miss some of the collectibles I once had that got stolen, misappropriated, damaged, or had to be sold out of desperation due to housing crisis (GRRRRRR). I had UK issued and some Japanese issued records, and damn it I miss them.

Slowly over the last year I have had to keep watch on services like Discogs and occasionally eBay. Cringe again. You try very hard to read all the reviews on a seller, see if other people have had a good experience. You are desperate. There is a rating service, M/M+ (Mint) for perfect, nearly perfect. You are hoping that the people selling the items are looking at the scales and description and are at the very least honest. But this is highly subjective as one person may have completely different standards than you do. A record shop may have thousands of records, buys and doesn’t clean them before restocking, or may be really good about it and looks very carefully at everything they sell. You hope that people will disclose a slight tear in a sleeve.

Sellers, If You Want a Good Reputation and to Sell More…

If you haven’t figured this out yet, many collectors are buying for that cover just as much as the hopefully the well cared for vinyl. Of course, there can be many versions of the released single, and someone may want them all. But we like them as clean as possible, given that some are 30 plus years old. And if it’s damaged, or scuffed with wear, it should be disclosed. If the label on the record is damaged, labeled wrong, that should be disclosed. Yes, some of these are collectables, sometimes bad batches get out and they can become quite famous and some people collect them, I read something about a run of Factory label’s Joy Division issued records that some people collect, where the black and white side labels are switched. While this is a flaw, depending on the band, it may actually become a collectable. But all of this should be disclosed.

You should also package the records in a box designed for shipping records. Someone is paying for Mint or as near perfect as new, having it arrive dinged up and shredded is a bad thing. We can type, we can make complaints. It can get ugly. And we will tell other people who also collect.

Then There is Really Messing Up The Order

My case in point this week. Three days back I received a record, very late, from the UK. The postal employee looked at me and said, “I hope that your record is not damaged. I haven’t seen that poor of packaging with a record in a long time.” My wame began to get that very bad, sinking feeling. It was a favorite 12 inch single from the eighties. I had been patient about finding a good one, in Near Mint Condition. I got the poorly packaged thing home. I found my hands were shaking a bit. I opened it. What looked like what had been Near Mint Condition cover even, had had all corners dinged very badly. There was a gouge on the back of the glossy cover. And then I realized it was the band I liked, but the wrong 12 inch single. Not that I didn’t want to have this one, and had hoped to eventually get this one as well. But it was the wrong 12 inch single, and the one that arrived had been damaged. I then looked at it and noticed that the label on the one side was creased at the plant. Oh, and the label hadn’t been centered. The record was drilled right, but not the label.

Arghhhhh!!! I went to Discogs and looked up the vendor. I looked on their web store and sure enough, the record that had just arrived was still listed on their store. The one I had purchased was not. There was no disclosure about the creased label, which is sad because the label itself is part of the spark of this particular single. Sadly it plays well. But there is no mention of any of that on their site. And of course, more to the point, I didn’t get the one I had ordered.

The Responsibilities of Complaining

Discogs and eBay have their buyer beware warnings and complaints systems. You have to try to contact the seller over a series of days to give them a chance to fix the problem. Okay, it’s several days later, still no response. There is a grinding of teeth. I don’t like being angry and a consumer freak over this, and I too have made some mistakes. But there needs to be some way to remedy this. I also cringe at how many other unsuspecting people are purchasing at this very moment.

I also feel very bad about the otherwise unfortunate, miss-formed thing that did show up. Like I have to keep it now as an adopted 12 inch single that came from the island of misfit records or something. A Curiosity.

For All Those Careful Conservators and Sellers

If you are a kindly one, who loves your own vinyl collection and likes to share with others and send off beautiful gems to the happy collectors around the globe, we salute you. However, there are always mishaps in shipping, no matter how careful you are. Please ship the way you would like someone to ship to you:

  1. Separate the inner sleeve and record from the outer jacket and pad or repackage separately.
  2. You can put the inner sleeve with all the cool artwork and lyrics separate and the record in the sleeve, with a generic paper or plastic liner. The nice inner picture and lyric sheet one doesn’t get slit in transit.
  3. Ship in a box made for shipping records. They make them. Yes they cost money, but you can figure that into your cost build. And depending on what country you are from, you may even get these boxes through your post service. Think of it as insurance policy so that you don’t have to refund if record gets shattered in transit.

We happy consumers like to give squishy, good reviews if you make us squee with delight. We will give fabulous review credo, tell you your shipping style rocked, what worked with the shipping, and friend or favorite you in the online store we buy from. This means you get a repeat customer. If you get those, you get good, constant cash flow as we also tell other people. It should all make sense.

Remember, please do not forget to disclose even the slightest imperfections. You may rely on the ratings system, but we really want to know what we are getting. Please don’t ask us to look at the Discogs or eBay generic rating. That is not really a good picture.

Where to Go From Here?

So now I look at the sad, now more damaged 12 inch of one of my favorite songs and just sigh. I will have to actually buy a copy of this hopefully not damaged from some other vendor after spending an hour combing all their reviews. Sigh. It looks like really I will have to buy two from another vendor at this point, because the one I was to have gotten in the first place still hasn’t shown up. Misfortunes of a Lapsed Vinyl Goddess.

Update: I finally did hear from the vendor after I lodged an official complaint. They had been away. Is there not a system in Discogs where you can alert customers that you are closed for a time? I tried to get them to cancel and refund. No response.

2nd Avenue Records PDX

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2nd Avenue Records 400SW 2nd Ave, Portland OR 97204 503-222-3783 11-8 pm

Ratings: Good, mostly new vinyl

This grand dame of record stores is starting to show it’s age, but still has great things to offer to Portlands vinyl crowd. Heavy on the rerelease vinyl, you will not find a lot of retro or used records here, unless you are looking in the 45s. The store carries rock, Reggae, the Country and International sections do have some used to choose from, especially the country.

What this shop is known for, memorabilia and tee shirts, lots of band shirts and boxes of badges from bands. These are all reproduction. Ask for anything rare or collectable. Very heavy on the new vinyl, multiples.

Cassette fiends, you will have to dig a bit. They have boxes of them.

What’s nice is they actually have taken the time to sort out and have band labels and dividers for singles. Much of the singles are reissues, but there are a few used and some rare. However, if you are looking for that fun find in used, you had better try one of the other shops in town.

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Why Didn’t They Play My Song? And What About Their Politics?

There seems to be a growing trend in concert goers that THINK they own the show. The experience is their personal right to have the perfect show and evening. The band is playing for them alone. The culture of selfies and preferred venue placement at the front of the stage has ruined many shows. I don’t go to these kind of shows, where you pay extra to be closer to the band. I think a show should be a moving and free thing, where everyone has the chance to get close to the stage. I also don’t think the audience is that entitled. It’s a mutual trust relationship between you and the band, a reciprocation of band and audience. There is respect involved.

What Happened to MY Song?

We have all been going to gigs for years now. You know the ritual. For weeks before the show, you play all the bands albums and 12 inch singles. You remember and practice all the lyrics so that when your song is played, you can belt it, baby.

The concert is going great, the band are mostly playing new stuff you may not know so well. They have been touring for 3 months in the US and Canada, 20 cities. You sadly are on the West Coast and one of the last places the band is playing. Sometimes that means the band is pretty exhausted by the time they get to your town.

The concert is nearly over. They have played a few of their hits, but not really that anthem you have been waiting for. Then it’s over, and they didn’t play it. You leave, people are grumbling about it. “They didn’t play our song.” Then take to Twitter for a shit parade on how bad it was that their song did not get played.

Back when I was a kid and going to punk shows, the audience would start throwing things. And sometimes the band was the one that started throwing things, because the audience was rude. I don’t know about you, but I really don’t enjoy that experience, didn’t at the time. I just wanted to dance. I certainly don’t want it happening now.

Stop whining. The band has had to play 20 cities and sometimes 2 shows per city, maybe 3. That could be 40+ shows. Plus any appearances on TV and in Record shops, and any festival they may have added on to. They have played their whole catalog of whatever music is playable to an audience. What does that mean? Not every song translates well to various venues, or especially outdoor concerts. Sound is always key, and depending on the place it’s being played in and the sound quality of that hall or venue, and equipment, some songs will not translate well. The music may become distorted, if really audible at all. An audience of 20k outdoors is no small feat. Certain songs just won’t do well for an outdoor gig.

After the band has played a few cities, they also need to change up their sets. Some bands will stick to sets and make small changes, the musicians really prefer to keep to a set. Others are notorious for changing the set to fit the venue or area, which can be good for you. In the US that translates to from state to state, East Coast, West Coast, the tastes of the audience are reflective of the place they are in. They are still fans of the band, but it’s a local custom to react differently than say in San Francisco. If the band is traveling through Europe, and you are traveling and lucky enough to catch them there, they may have experience with a German audience and how they like their concerts, and in Spain or France, it’s a whole different thing with their cultures. There is a lot to consider. Just enjoy the show and experience.

Music and Politics

Some bands are flexible, some are not. Irish Punk or hard metal groups will probably not have patience for this: You getting up to the stage and requesting songs, like they are a wedding DJ. I have seen this at shows and just cringe. Some bands are good about how they handle it. You may get a serious confrontation if you get obnoxious about the music you want to hear. Bands still can throw things at audiences just as audiences sometime throw things at bands. There is always someone who tries this, and probably your ridiculous friend. Stop them.

I have seen some interesting ways song requests or political conflicts were handled by bands. Some very well done, diplomatic, and some right back in the persons face. There is also the possibility of band members talking about politics, something they may support as a band, or talking to the crowd about something that happened locally. I have heard some idiot in the crowd get confrontational with them. Bad idea. There have been shows that have been cancelled half way through because someone got into it with the band, and the band members decided to stop the show. And that was really not fair to the band and the other 1000 or more people there besides that one person.

Kindness Does Matter

Please be a responsible fan and an adult. Yes, I was sad I didn’t get to hear my song too, but there was probably a good reason for it, they were just tired of it after 40 shows. You would probably hate doing it that many times if you were playing it. So, play it on the way back home. Send them a responsible Tweet, “Great show, had hoped to hear (blank), but you guys are probably tired of it by now. But I really like your lyrics for that one.” Be good about it. Don’t make the band not want to come back. And don’t bash on Twitter about it. And if you are really, really nice about it, they may Tweet you back.