04-22-2023: Record Store Day

Tax season is over. The sun is shining. The flowers are in bloom. And today was Record Store Day. Truly, what more could a bitch want? This day has been long anticipated for me, for one reason in particular- Red Rose Speedway, one of my top five albums of all time (and one loaded up on the music player below), had a 50th anniversary exclusive Record Store Day half-speed remaster rerelease. And I fucking HAD to have it. I've been awaiting this day since January- it was on my calendar, I've been planning my strategy- I live in Austin, and am far from the first pretentious fuck lining up for Record Store day, and so despite the fact that there's a record store right down the street from my house, I made it more complicated than it is. What if I had to work? Would I go before work or afterwards? What street would I approach from? Where would I park? How should I dress? What should I say?

Okay. Maybe some of that is good old fashioned anxiety. Regardless, I had this shit planned to a T. And then. And then.

Surprise. The store moves two days before RSD, to another location 2 miles away. That's fine, you might be saying. And you might be right. But it wasn't fine to ME. It was an ultimate fucking betrayal. Because, not only where they a couple miles further and no longer in walking distance (as if I'd walk in the first place. DREAMING.), but they were sooo BUSY with their surprise move that they cancelled all their RSD festivities. No Red Rose Speedway. It was a BUST.

I do live in Austin, though. So there were about a million other record stores for me to take my business to- and so, after my first alternative proved WAY too packed to even park, I drove down closer to campus to check out Antone's Record. Isn't she cute. Parking was still a bitch, but I made up my own spot and left my groceries in the car for a few minutes so I could sneak inside. It was a mess in there, in the best way- Records lining all the walls, shelves and shelves of CDs and even some DVDs and VHS tapes and obscure old merch- in fact, I saw some Beatles cartoon figurines I was half tempted to buy, but they only had John and George (my two least favorites) and they were like $35 a pop which is a little out of my budget. I moseyed around for a minute, pretending to look, then actually looking, then finding some other things to buy- namely, Best of Blondie on clearance and Cake's new Fashion Nugget press. And then I awkwardly lurked near a worker until she asked if I was finding everything okay and I got the opportunity to ask her for It. The records are alphabetical, she explained. All around the wall and then onto a couple of the shelves in a fucked up snail pattern. And then, she pointed across the store. And there it was. Red Rose Speedway 50th Anniversary Half-Speed Remaster.

I hurried over, waited for some people to get their butts out of the way, and then reeeeeached up onto the little wall shelf (hard when there's tables of crates of records in front of you) and snagged a copy. Mission success. I paid, got a free sticker, thanked the owner, and scurried back to my car full of melting groceries.

Naturally I pulled out my vintage copy of the record, straight out of 1973 and a little rough for wear- very few of my old records are in very good shape because it doesn't matter too much to me when buying. Not enough to justify a price hike, anyway. And I opened them both up to compare them!

Old on the left, new on the right. The new one is so bright I think it washes out some of Paul's face- I wonder if that's how the original was originally, or if this was just a really bizarre choice. I don't think I like it too much- I'd rather see his expression more clearly than the threads of his sweater. It's certainly clean, though!

Here are the inside covers compared. Not too different, besides some yellowing.

There's a comparison of the program inserts- the old is on the right this time, sorry. Again, the new one is so much brighter, it's really blown out. I don't see how anyone could prefer that version to the older one. Was it really intentional? Eek. I will note that the 1973 version has the insert glued into the case like a little book, whereas the 2023 version it's removable. I kind of miss the book vibe. The new version still has the naked ladies on the inside of the program, but I'm not gonna put those pictures up here, sowwy!

There's the lyrics page. old on the left again. The insert being glued down made it hard to maneuver for pics, sorry! That yellowing is wicked. But I think it's kind of charming.

And finally, here's the back of the albums. This is the one circumstance where I don't mind the washed out color balancing on the new edition, because it makes it a lot easier to tell that's a rose- in the 1973 version I feel like that gets kind of lost in the color and detail of the rug. Still, overall, very strange how blown out all the graphics on the new release are. I'm not a huge fan.

The record itself was very sleek and shiny, naturally- I don't get a lot of new vinyl, though, so it's very fun to me. It feels very thick, noticeably heavier, but that might just be my imagination. It sounds.... Hmm. I kind of prefer the old one. Maybe I got too used to the hiss and crackle, maybe the half-speed remastering fucked with the pitch in ways I'm really not used to (I want to say it's the latter but that might ALSO be my imagintation). Either way, the 1973 one wins in my book- I kind of just wish this was a pristine version of that. But I don't regret the purchase, and I'm really happy I could snag a copy! This album is real important to me, and I would've been real sad to miss out on this remaster.

Penpal Time

I listened to my shiny new Red Rose Speedway remaster while I wrote my heart out to some of my friends. Tax season absolutely KILLED me and I've been putting off responding to letters for weeks- months in some cases. Oops! So I made sure these were extra good ones. It actually made my wrist hurt after a bit- drawing never fucks with my hand, but writing makes my shit hurt so fast, no idea why. I think it's too tense, and I can't zoom in. LMAO. I used some stationary I've been wanting to use for a good while- my mom gave me all her old stationary from her childhood, and included in the bunch was some fucking PRIME early 1980s Garfield stationary. It's so perfect. His old design was peak, and it has not only the paper, but the matching envelope- It's real old, so it's a little brittle, and the glue was kinda crusty, but I got it to stick and used a sticker to hold the fucker down. I also stuck a few good stickers inside the letters- I love sending a few extra goodies with my mail, and I have enough spare stickers to send. I am running low, though- I'm kind of looking for more places to get single cut stickers and sticker sheets that aren't either stupid expensive or literal theft (I'm looking at you, Amazon). Etsy, maybe? I used to live by a cintage store that had a big bucket of random stickers for like 50c each, which I would raid all the time- those were cool, but I'm 6 hours away now, and my supply is dwindling. I would like to support small artist-owned businesses. I got a bunch of stickers from Root People before it closed. I'm sure there are similar sites out there to find- or I could join another sticker/pin club and regift the ones I don't want. There's a lot of possible solutions here!

Pikmin Bloom!

In an effort to start walking more now that I'm not working 11hrs/day (fuck you tax season), I've started playing Pikmin Bloom! I know it's been a while since this game came out and the hype has probably died down, but if anyone still plays, I'd absolutely LOVE to be friends on it! My code is 568829643163. Please add me! I started yesterday and I already have 4 red pikmins- their names are Trusty, Rusty, Ready, and Stinker. I'm excited to get some badass ones. Join me on my pikmin journey.