Monday, April 20, 2009


This past Saturday was National Record Store Day, a holiday of supreme importance but unfortunately just below Arbor Day on the average American's radar. I celebrated by heading out at the crack of dawn (10am on a Saturday) to Record Surplus a three decades old music store in West L.A./Santa Monica that specializes in vinyl, CDs, and DVDs for every taste.

The store is famed for its "Attic," a cavernous upstairs room where every record is .99 cents (and there is a lot of good stuff to be found), but I go for their voluminous collection of hard-to-find and super collectible vinyl LPs downstairs. On special days like this one and during their twice-yearly sales events, they comb their inventories to a farthing, putting out records from deep in the vaults, and it is a first-come, first-served treasure hunt. The kind of place where vinyl junkies wait in a long line outside for the doors to open. Where the most common sight is a dude shuffling fast through records with one hand while calling his buddy with his other, telling him to get his butt down there.

There is a spirit of fun, of celebration to the way the whole staff treats their customers and their business. On this day, a sales clerk was dressed in a ridiculous super-hero costume with mask, as Captain Vinyl. Another guy had brought out a special collection of long-aged original John Lennon "Instant Karma" singles, in honor of Phil Spector's just conviction.

I walked away with over $100 of sick albums, some of which you will see paired on VINE-YL in the coming months. All in all, a great day at a truly classic L.A. enterprise. Long may Captain Vinyl live!

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