Friday, April 18

Record Store Day.

Tomorrow is National Record Store Day! This is a day to support and take pride in your local independent record store. Stop in and buy something, anything, as a way to say thanks and keep local business alive and awesome.

In Madison (home of the CDP), my favorite establishment is B-Side Records. As it stands, every time there's something I just can't seem to find anywhere else, they'll have it at B-Side. Why I don't just start looking there in the first place remains to be seen, which I'll admit is a little ridiculous of me. I'll use tomorrow as a way to apologize and right this injustice.

B-Side Records.
(B-Side Records - Madison.)

Like most of us, I'm addicted to iTunes. I'm addicted to their ease of use, their cheap prices and instant satisfaction. However, there's nothing cooler and more rewarding than discovering a band at a brick-and-mortar locale that takes you by surprise, blows you away and reminds you that there's a lot more out there than 'Recommended Picks' through Apple and random celebrities. Rifling through stacks of albums at an independent is akin to finding things out about yourself that you may have otherwise forgotten. Old bands are rediscovered, new bonds are formed, and you get to be part of a scene that relies on your support.

EarWax Records.
(EarWax - Madison.)

Another cool store in downtown Madison is EarWax, if only because they're so hardcore that it scares me. Everytime I walk in that place, I feel like I'm about to be butchered, which is absolutely rad to me. The last time I visited EarWax (which is almost hidden in a second floor room off of State Street), I had just come from work and was wearing a tie, which officially qualified me as the sorest thumb on Earth for Metal Record Store clientele.

Radio Kos Records.
(Radio Kos Records - Stevens Point.)

Statewide, my #1 favorite store is Radio Kaos Records in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Even though I've only become aware of it in the past year, I plan on making an annual trek there for splurging. Their selection was absolutely incredible; they had armloads of albums that I had all but given up on looking for. I kid you not, the last time I visited Radio Kaos, I walked out with fifteen records, including two albums that I'm certain were illegal to sell. That's the kind of place you're going to want to go back to.

Sound off in the comments section, talk about your favorite local record store and enjoy your weekend.

Do you know where Record Store Day came from?

*cough* state holiday
Psst...Record Store Day is Saturday.
I know I'll be making the trip to chicago to go to my favorite record store, Reckless Records. It's very cute, but nothing compared to the hardcore Madison ones.
CAVEMAN - Let's give it up for Maine! Thanks for the tidbit; good to know.

COMET - Damn it. I don't know why I kicked off the post with 'today.' It's been changed, and I appreciate the heads-up.

CARGIRL - Right on, yo. You really think that Madison has better indie stores than Chicago? It's probably true by a mile, but it's good to be validated from someone in that area.
Electric Fetus up on Duluth is pretty good too.
I've actually never been to Duluth, but the location looks quite nice. Happy birthday, by the way!

No way that just freaking happened.
Electric Fetus. Beh heh heh.
The record store options around here are pretty sad, since Floridians love their mega-stores. The one place I liked closed up (got my husband a Pink Floyd 45 for his Wurlitzer there, with the sleeve in excellent condition). My second-favorite moved to a location that is just ridiculously out of my way. I go to second hand stores sometimes to rifle through their records.
That's a damn shame. I like Best Buy as much as the next person, but sometimes you just need to hit the mom-and-pop place. Tragic.

I'm drinking the 'XXX' flavored-Vitamin Water, and damn if it doesn't taste like blood.
Hooray for Record Store Day! I'm heading to either B-Sides or the Exclusive Company tomorrow to fill in the back-gap of Gogol Bordello records in my collection.

I would be completely remiss, not to mention a bad sister, if I didn't mention the totally rad record store that my brother owns up in fabulous La Crosse, WI: Deaf Ear Records. Seriously, I do love that place, and he does a fine job of running things. New and used CDs, vinyl, and tobacco pipes galore!
I'm planning on picking up the Justice album, and that's probably it. There are a lot of potentially great albums coming out within the next six months.

Tobacco pipes. Is it an unwritten rule that you can't sell used albums without a display case full of smoke accessories, as well? Looks like a nice place; La Crosse is decent, from what I can remember.

Did anyone check out MXPX, Man Man or Minus The Bear last night?
Emily, your brother owns Deaf Ear? crazy. I've been over dere, as the Gomers would say... Being a Madison transplant, I'd be horribly remiss not to mention my favorite record store from my home base, White Knight Records in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Like many good things, it [only recently] came to an end. The news was delivered in person by a friend who came to visit. Tears sprung to my eyes as I realized I could never revisit the haunt where I purchased nearly every CD from the time I was 16 til the time I was 26... even the ones I brought to the hospital with me when I was in labor, and so on. The store is sort of eulogized here (I tried to put this in as a link but was not allowed?):
Damn, Swoonie. I know how you feel. I was just talking with friends last night about 'dead malls,' and other places closing down that you've invested so much of your youth in. When that happens, it really does feel like a piece of you is gone, and in reality, it is.

Leave it to me to get nostalgic and misty about a mall. They had an Aladdin's Castle there that was absolutely amazing.
I agree with you on Radio Kaos. I haven't been there since I was in High School but I owe that place for my indie-rocksnobbery. By the pictures it appears that Randy hasn't changed the decor either.

My favorite record store has to be Hymie's in Minneapolis. It's small, it smells like dust and vinyl, and it's the only place I know where I can find Bulgarian Folk music, Amalia Rodrigues fado albums, and first edition Kurt Vonnegut books.
Minneapolis is such a cool city. Thanks for sharing, and welcome aboard!

Radio Kaos seemed so unassuming to me when I walked in, but it seems like the owner remains in direct contact with a lot of these artists, and brings in things that you just can't get anywhere else.
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CDP - If it'd been up to my brother, there probably wouldn't be any tobacco pipes there, but when he bought the place from the original owner, it was already established and pulling in good business. No surprise.

La Crosse've pretty much got two or three things going for them: one of which is Deaf Ear. Not biased. ;)
Yeah, LaCrosse does pretty much suck. I was being nice because I didn't know what your opinion of the place was. Not to take anything away from what I'm sure is a rad record store, obviously.
I don't know what the deal is with all the "tobacco" pipes at non "tobacco-outlet" establishments. I got one tattoo at Public Enemy in Sun Prairie, and I could hardly even move in the place, for fear of knocking over one of the approximately 15,000 intricate glass pipes adorning every surface of the establishment. For that reason alone I'll probably never get another tattoo there...
Ryan, you jerk. You totally got into my head and stole my Lost pub quiz team name idea. Now we have to pick a new one, and I'm all but forced to make sure that it's a hundred times cooler than "Team Waaaaalt!"

Now, to be fair, 'WAAAAALLLLLT!' is sort of my thing. It's my stinger; I've worked it into almost every Lost Friday/Monday. I just couldn't bear to see anyone else taking it for their own. It would have felt like walking in on an affair.

See you Wednesday; 'yer going DOWN, Mills!
Hah, no, I understand. It wasn't even me who suggested the name, but someone who, I'm pretty sure, doesn't read your blog. So I should have just known.

Anyway, you may now prepare to be CREAMED by Team Dharma Flakes!

Plus, hey, we may actually get to meet in person now.
Mmmmm, Creamed Dharma Flakes....

Oh, it's on like Donkey Kong.

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