To not post about Record Store Day seems somehow, I believe, to be breaking a music lover’s code considering the excitement, purchases & listening that took place yesterday, April 16th, in my own life & all over the world. I woke up, got outta bed, ran a comb across my head (a.k.a. covered the curly mass with a cap, as per usual) & made my way down to my “local” to purchase Bob Dylan In Concert : Brandeis University 1963, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band ‘Gotta Get The Feeling / Racing in the Street’ & Miles Davis ‘Kind of Blue’ - the last being an impulse buy - seeing as though I don’t own many jazz records - but something told me I had to have it even if just for playing on a Sunday while winding down from the week & preparing myself for another. At 9AM, there was already a line stretched to the back of the store, the remainder of the store filled with people milling over new releases, re-issues & the like. I had never before seen this store so busy. These are the kinds of things that make me smile & that I did as I quickly & nervously scanned the tables to see if my picks for the day were still available. Although RSD is a yearly occurrence & despite the crowds that flock to independent records shops around the globe, you still feel like you are in on a really, really great secret that many people don’t know about; a special club that keeps you connected to the artists you follow, admire & provide the soundtrack to your daily lives. It was started to simply, yet greatly, celebrate the art of music. On a larger scale, it gives us music lovers - & the artists themselves - a chance to give back to our community, those local, smaller business that continue to introduce our kind to new things & (attempt to) satiate our musical hungers. This blog stemmed from a similar train of thought - to create something just for the sake of discussion & insight based on a love of music. I remember writing & giving a speech for a, well, speech class I had during my undergraduate studies. It was a rather obvious observation that I had never met someone who doesn’t like music. Sure, some don’t like theatre or would rather eat nails than go to the opera, but I have never heard someone say, “Oof. Music? Really? Nah, that’s not for me”. I don’t care if it’s Hanson, African drumbeats or chanting during a yoga class, music is EVERYWHERE & EVERYONE has some opinion or preference, a like or dislike, a favorite artist or group. We find melody & sounds in everything we do. I know I’ve tried to replicate sounds I’ve heard in the environment such as the beat the NJTransit ticket machine would make while printing out my roundtrip pass from Middletown to New York Penn Station. It is very unique & very specific & I always listen for it whenever I have to buy one. Would it sound different if my origin was, perhaps, Red Bank which has fewer letters & may require less pulsing from the machine? I think in terms of music. It consumes large chunks of my daily life. I hear it in my footsteps, in the rain & I convinced myself on numerous occasions that the song playing on my iPod at the moment, everyone can hear, because certainly that man’s arm movement is coinciding with the bass line or the car lights flashing up ahead just there are picking up the drum beat. I love how intense people’s reactions are to music & I love how, I, myself, can be such a snob about it. I get heated & angry & I have done (& continue to do) my fair share of “pushing” music on people. Some really appreciate it while others just appease me. My Facebook status is used mostly as a means to post links as opposed to telling the universe how much laundry I have & how hungry I am. (a lot & pretty ravenous most of the time - in case you were wondering.) I will fight & defend “my bands/artists/songs/etc” to the death & get (not seriously) offended & exasperated when someone doesn’t like or see what I see. As I stood in line to purchase my RSD treasures, I noticed the man in front of me buying Lady Gaga on vinyl, among other things & I thought to myself “Really? You’re going to waste your hard earned pennies on that?”. In the past week, there has been an ongoing discussion amongst a few friends & me, my friends saying that Lady Gaga is kind of punk in that her following is similar to that of The Clash & such. I couldn’t believe this was even a discussion & my dear friend put me, rightly, in my place by saying I didn’t know a lot about punk. Which is true - I don’t. However, I do have my own opinions as to the artistic integrity of arriving in an egg. I was born that way, too, ya know? Needless to say, after part 2 of my RSD adventures, I found myself having pints with one of these friends after having visited Bleeker Street Records in Greenwich Village. The topic of Gaga came up again & we agreed to disagree but said friend told me in so many words “I love having these conversations though. The point being is that we can talk & argue intellectually. I don’t have many friends like you”. That was probably one of the biggest compliments I could ever receive because I do take music as seriously as I do passionately. I may be biased in my opinions, as we all are, but who am I to judge or question someone’s connection to an artist? My heroes may come in the form of Dylan, Springsteen, Helm (I can go on…) & more currently Ritter, Hansard, Geary, BellX1 (I can go on…) but that doesn’t mean my opinions are more important or “better”. I’m the crazy one making tracks off an automated train ticket machine. The point is these conversations are happening because of things like Record Store Day - because we love music & want to share that with the world. We ARE part of a cool little club - in every track we play, every mp3 we purchase, every concert we attend (those other attendees - your friends.) I’ve gone to concerts alone & made conversations with people standing next to me because we were already connected in a sincerely intimate way - they, too, have found some root, a tie to the artist on stage. I don’t think there is anything comparable to the community & connection you feel while listening to music - whether on your turntable, at a concert or in those little ear-buds of yours. Yesterday served as a reminder of all of these things, a nice refresher course offered by this really awesome club we all belong to & if anything, I hope next year you participate or begin to have these conversations of your own because there is a really beautiful give & take that occurs - one that not even the howling wind & rain of NYC could deter on that third Saturday of April.