Thursday, April 16, 2009

My New Favorite Holiday: Record Store Day

For the longest time, my favorite holiday was Labor Day. My extended family would have a great big cook-out at my grandpa's, there'd be swimming and playing with the cousins and getting those awesome clown cones from Baskin-Robbins from my aunt and watching sports in the den with all the dudes. Eventually, I grew older, the family grew bigger and bigger till the space seemed too cramped, the traditional second-generation squabbles began, and Labor Day lost its luster.

St Patrick's Day became a favorite in college for obvious reasons, but slipped away after a few years for reasons even more obvious. Thanksgiving has always been a top holiday in my book, but the last couple of years I've flown solo and while I still do the traditional dinner, it is just another day.

Not the case with Record Store Day, which I'm about to celebrate for the second time this Saturday, thus making it a tradition where I come from.

For me, Music Saves will be Ground Zero, and it should be for you, too. (Click here for a crazy list of all the stuff going down and coming out at Music Saves that day.) Really, the entire Waterloo neighborhood is gonna have its A game on display, with cool things going on everywhere, from the newly opened Waterloo Cafe (formerly Cafe Marika), a special lunch menu at the Beachland, art-gazing opportunities at ArtsCollinwood, the Annex, Low Life, and Waterloo 7, greater zaniness than usual at Shoparooni, and a set of back-and-forth in/out-stores at Music Saves and neighborhood newcomer Blue Arrow records from 5-8 pm. (Check out this article about the newest spot to get vinyl in town.)

Speaking of Blue Arrow Records, if you haven't stopped by there yet, you ought to. The place is super cool, with a display of records, vintage posters, and cool-ass furniture that should turn the head of everyone in town with bohemian tastes and tight budgets. That is, turn your head if you can take your eyes of the bad-ass floor that owner Pete Gulyas had custom installed (see below). I went in here the other day with my pal Jose for what was supposed to be a decent leisurely stop before I dropped him off at the airport a couple weeks ago - let's just say we finally tore ourselves away from the joint just in time to allow him to barely make his flight. Yeah, the place has that much cool stuff to check out.

Anyway, be a pal and a booster and bring your ass to Waterloo on Saturday. It'll undoubtedly be the coolest thing you do all weekend, and with the deals going on everywhere, you'd be economically irrational not to take advantage. If you go, look for me while you are around - I'll be the guy sitting at the old man bar (Boardwalk) down the block, drinking buck-and-a-quarter Gennee drafts while strategically avoiding a certain local performance. Stop down - you can buy me one!

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