Store Day

I suppose we are only allotted a few cities in our lifetimes in which we might find ourselves living near transcendentally awesome record stores. I have only experienced such record store nirvana once. I was a poor, young journo, earning next to nothing in Medicine Hat, Alberta. I lived in an apartment so dive-y, somebody once hurled in the lobby and the results stayed there for four days before the building manager/dealer who lived above me cleaned it up. But it was near downtown and it had character, so I loved it. Being so close to downtown had its benefits, specifically, being within stumbling distance of many seedy bars, the transit hub and two blocks from the best record store I’ve ever frequented: Arcade Records & Tapes.

If you’re ever in the Hat, as those of us in the know like to call it, do yourself a favour: drop by Arcade on 3rd Street S.E. for a hip, hip experience in the stax of wax. The fool at the till who runs the place has crammed more vinyl than you’ve ever seen in your entire life into every square inch of the store and almost all of it is available for a very decent price. Look, the dude is so old school, he doesn’t even have a website. But I can vouch. His LP collection is rad, he stocks great classic rock albums and keeps up with what the kids are listenin’ to on their compact discs.

Pat et. al. who live in Regina will tell you the best damn record store in town is X-ray Records.

When I lived in Calgary, I frequented Megatunes. But an INSANELY overpriced concert poster there for an Arcade Fire show I saw in Calgary led me to my neighbourhood shop, Heritage Posters & Music. Though I still haven’t found the poster at the right price, they know all the peeps who do concert posters and have somehow found space for about 10,000 slices of vinyl in the teeny tiny square footage of the psychedelic-coloured storefront. I think after the few years I spent in Calgary, the corner of 14th Street and 11th Ave. became my favourite spot in the city, containing, as it does, the insanely coloured Heritage, and the Pegasus Restaurant, painted with Greek murals and the iconic Pegasus statue on the roof. Ahh, misty water-coloured memories.

I know we bloggers and this crazy series of tubes we call the Internets are ruining the music industry, but trust me when I tell you we get much of the shizz we recommend here from cool stores like the ones mentioned above. We just want to give you a taste so you’ll get hooked on the sweet crack of music and stumble into your local indie store for your next hit. So support your local store. You never know what diamond in the rough you’ll find there.

But don’t take my word for it. Just ask twee pop New Zealand act The Brunettes.

Jonathan Bree’s voice is so rich, warm and inviting, it’s like your beloved beckoning you to come to bed already after a long day. And Heather Mansfield is no slouch either. Their latest stuff sounds a little more . . . stark and intimate than the fuzzy, wall-of-sound-esque pop they were slinging on 2004’s Mars Loves Venus, but either way, you can’t really go wrong.

This song demonstrates another happy benefit of frequenting a record store: meeting, interacting and flirting with real live people. I mean, where ELSE are music nerds supposed to meet and fall in love?

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