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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

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Happy Record Store Day!
What Would Henry Rollins Do?
Saturday, April 21st, was International Independent Record Store Day. I got excited about this in a bigger way that usual, partly because I feel a need to get some new music, and also because of a certain nostalgia about how we used to buy and discover music.

I confess I'm one of those who is causing the death of the record store. I really like music, but of late I've routinely bought albums off eBay or digitally online, even from iTunes when I can't avoid it. My complete collection of MP3s (and FLAC and ogg and the like) numbers about 35,000 tracks now. My tastes are fairly specific and sometimes quite obscure - anyone else heard of, say, the Slugfuckers? Coa? And also diverse, from Ani DiFranco to John Zorn via early Einstürzende Neubauten and James Brown! So I find I rarely listen to the radio and have struggled in the past to find things I really wanted in an actual store. I also have poor impulse control, so frequently I would hear about a band and inside of five minutes be buying their stuff online.

But this year, I realised that I needed some new music, that my tastes have become ridiculously inclusive, although still not the stuff that gets played on the radio, and that we need record stores. And that several had opened in the northside of town that I'd never been to.

Retailing is struggling in Australia, but record stores are struggling more than most. The market has changed, technology has changed, and it's nerds like me who are partly to blame.

I made a list of all the stores I wanted to visit, concentrating on stores I've never been to or rarely get to, because they're on the wrong side of town, south of the river. Then I made this also map, a huge all-day loop around town visiting about ten stores! Then it all went to shit, my cat was sick so the middle of my day I had to stop and take him to the vet.

And then my day started sadly. The first two places I tried to visit before having, Trash Parlour in West Brunswick and Round and Round records in Brunswick were both closed. Clearly the info on the Record Store Day website was dated...

Shit. My #recordstoreday is off to a bad start. Trash Parlour... on Twitpic

Round and Round used to be down on Sydney Road. Looking around, I came across a place called Title, which turned out to be quite good. I picked up a CD by a band called Essendon Airport.

Yay! First actual record store for #recordstoreday! Title on ... on Twitpic

At that point I went racing across to Thornbury looking for a place called Thornbury Records. I totally got the address wrong, but instead stumbled into a place called The Music Jungle.
Finally made another record store! Wasn't in my list but... on Twitpic

The chap with the grey hair was playing guitar outside. I'd been past this store before, and it turned out to be something of a delight. I had to physically restrain myself from buying a wad of vinyl by The Last Poets, and a 12" single of... this!

At that point I had to drag my kitty to the vet.
Current stop on my #recordstoreday tour: the Northcote Vet. W... on Twitpic
Turned out has a slightly infected ear, poor thing.

After rendering Marvin home, I finally started on my journey south. I popped into the White Rabbit Record Bar in Kensington.
Yes this is record store! White Rabbit Record Bar also has fo... on Twitpic
Which also has food much to my delight. Caught up with recumbenteer briefly, and picked up a DVD of George Clinton and P-Funk!

Hopped on Citylink, realising too late that my sister's car which I was driving didn't have an etag *slaps head*. Made it to Greville Records, a store I like a lot, but which I haven't been to in at least five years. When I told the proprietor that I bought records on eBay, he did this!
Angry record store owner when you tell him you buy on #eBay ;... on Twitpic

Around the corner I stumbled upon a place called Obese Records (I was going to post a link, but their website does something of which I don't approve - plays music!), which specialised in Hip-Hop and the like, and also sold an extensive range of spray paint!
5th record store for #recordstoreday: Obese Records in Prahra... on Twitpic
I was pleased to encounter quite a fat guy working there, their name does not lie :-)

By this stage, it was approaching 5.30PM, so I rushed literally around the corner to a place called Licorice Pie Records, a place that sells only vinyl. I picked up three vinyl albums, and again had to physically restrain myself from buying loads more. I don't even know if my record player actually works!
6th and final store for #recordstoreday, Licorice Pie in Pahr... on Twitpic

And then finally I made my way home. My original plan to visit about ten stores hadn't quite happened, and I'd also managed to visit two stores that weren't on my list at all. However, they both turned out to be excellent discoveries. My eventual haul, which trust me could have been MUCH larger, looked like this:
My #recordstoreday booty! From 6 stores! Trust me I coulda bo... on Twitpic
Three 12" singles by Foetus, eight assorted CDs, including two by James Brown, and one double album for Deb - The Best of Burlesque! - and a DVD.

I had a great time. I made a list of things to look out for, thinking I'd struggle to find anything. Not so - only James Brown was on my list, the rest of these were just fortunate finds. In a few months, when my bank balance has recovered, I might do another small tour, visit some of the places I didn't make it to, restock with even more new music.