Sometimes random browsing through endless crates of records yields the best results.
While I was in NYC a few weeks ago for the Blogcademy, I found myself at night with a few hours to cram in some brief shopping between the intensive classes each day. Three things I really wanted to try and do while in city were:
- Check out the heralded All Saints
- Visit Strawberry Fields
- Try and hit up a few Record Stores
Despite fighting the tail end of a wicked flu I was happily able to cross all three things off my list.
My record shopping haul was fantastic, even more so given I’d only budgeted $100 to spend on vinyl.
Any record fiend will know exactly how difficult it is to stick to a budget like this when in New York. I managed somehow and came away with some fantastic finds (although I did have to do the record in each hand humming and hawing over which to put back dance at several points).
It was one of those moments flipping through crates where I stopped dead in my tracks after passing the album. Slowly looking around the store to see if anyone there realized what I had just found. Look back to the record, jaw drop, lift slowly from the crate, hold in hand, stare. And finally breathe again.
Ya, I know, I need to get out more.
Browsing through general crates can be pretty aimless but there have been several times in the past I’ve stumbled onto something awesome which would have been missed otherwise. Part of the thrill in searching through record shops is finding those hidden, and unexpected gems. When I was younger and used to thrift for my wardrobe, I’d experience this then too, stumbling over a beautiful, (and forgotten) vintage velvet coat for $5.00 was the best thing in the world.
As much as I’m a huge supporter and fan of online shopping, nothing can beat that tangible, physical experience in a record store or thrift shop and the excitement of finding something you prize.
So a little background on this album and I –
Growing up in the suburbs of Ottawa was boring. My saving grace as a teenager was music and theatre. The summer going into grade 9 I’d started hanging out with an older group of kids I met when rehearsing for a play. They were an amazing group to be hanging around and introduced me to the city’s blossoming All Ages music scene. The early 90’s was a great time to be interested in music with so many independent venues opening up, super cheap gigs, and loads of small alternative bands touring and playing All Ages Shows.
One of the first shows I went to was on a hot Summer day in August, incredibly humid and sticky. The show was held at a tiny, tiny venue called 5 Arlington, which I remember as a gutted out house that was home to a punk collective that would regularly organize shows and events in the space.
And Ida weren’t even the headliners that day, but a band called Tsunami I think, and another band called Girl Afraid were also on the bill.
I have memories of half finished purple popsicles littering the hot asphalt behind 5 Arlington, sitting on the pavement between sets. When Ida started to play, everyone crammed into that hot little house, the room lit only by the natural daylight streaming in, everyone listening in rapt attention as Ida played their hearts out.
To this day, that concert easily remains as one of my all time favourite shows. It was just one of those perfect, beautiful moments that can be too rare in life.
I snapped up one of the Ida CDs brought with them as merch, and for the next year listened to it obsessively in only the way a 14 year old can. It was part of the soundtrack to an incredible year of my life.
To come across that album again well over 15 years later, on my own in a record shop in Greenwich Village was super happymaking to say the least. A little private present from the cosmos.
I held it tightly as I went to cash out, still looking around to see if anyone else had clocked what I had just found. Of course they hadn’t, but that didn’t matter.
A flood of memories in an instant. And as if it were possible, I think it sounds even better on vinyl, but of course I’m biased in my love for the medium.2 Comments