Category Archives: Feelings & Thoughts

Temptation on a Tuesday

This really is a struggle.  Every time I think I am okay with selling my record collection, people look at me like I am making the biggest mistake of my life.  Uncle Richard has warned me that I will regret it for the rest of my life, just like Aunt Marcie.  I have self-identified as a music junkie for so long, I’m not sure who I will be once I give up that status.  Or does owning the vinyl even give me status?

As I mentioned before in the post Salesucker, Insound is my favorite online retailer for records.  They just announced the reissue of The Postal Service’s Give Up as a ten year anniversary release.  And Pulp’s Different Class has been re-released on vinyl as well.  What’s happening?!  I want!  I want!  I want!  I was really bad and actually bought the Guadalupe Plata album that was released last month.  I didn’t want to say that I had slipped, but it’s true.  How do I maintain my purge and sustain my identity and love?

postal service     Pulp-Different-Class

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Salesucker

How do you turn off being a record collector?  Here I am trying to sell my record collection, and I get an email from Insound (my favorite online distributor of vinyl) saying they are having a 25% off sale.  Of course I have to check it out!  Of course I want to buy some records!  Cause they are on sale!  And I bet if I spend $50 or more, I get free shipping, right?  Well that means I must buy at least 2-3 records… hell, it’s such a deal I should buy more!

 

There are 7″s by Lou Reed and New Order!
     

 

There are LPs by Band of Horses and Lykke Li!
     

No, no.  I must restrain myself.  There is a purpose to my foolish endeavor.  I have a goal.  I must be strong.  I will not break out my credit card today.

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Guadalupe Plata

Guadalupe Plata - Guadalupe Plata - negro solo marco

This whole process is difficult for me.  Just today I came a across a new record store in Greenpoint, Brooklyn called Record Grouch.  I guess it’s not so new–they’ve been in the space since last March.  But all I wanted to do was go inside and sift through the stacks!  I resisted, mostly because present company showed zero interest, and we were on our way to brunch.  And earlier this week, I found out Guadalupe Plata released a new album and the vinyl is for sale.  I want it!  I am so tempted to buy it!  I discovered Guadalupe Plata at a little record store in Granada, Spain over the summer and then went to see them play on top of a mountain and they blew me away!  See Festiva de Sierra Nevada on my travel blog for the whole story.  Do I pass up buying it?  I know, I know… I am trying to sell my records.  But I probably won’t be able to part with everything.  I have to keep the absolute favorites, right?  And seriously, Guadalupe Plata is so good!  Definitely my new favorite band.  Take a listen and purchase their new self-titled album on their Bandcamp page.

The following albums go live today.  Check the Records Vs. House eBay Store for all available LPs.

doors

THE DOORS – THE DOORS (first pressing; gold label)
Buy this record!

jimorourke

JIM O’ROURKE – INSIGNIFICANCE
Buy this record!

pretenders

THE PRETENDERS – LEARNING TO CRAWL
Buy this record!

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Dusk at Cubist Castle

A fair amount of my records have been in storage at my mom’s house for the past few years.  I’ve moved around a lot since I landed in NYC, so we’ve been waiting to reunite me with my records.  But she moved in with her boyfriend recently and started sending me absolutely everything I had left at her house.  And also things that she (or perhaps her boyfriend) don’t want at his house.  So, tonight I brought home 8 boxes she’d sent to my office, the contents of which have turned out to be photo albums from college and overnight camp, a popcorn machine, the board game The a-MAZE-ing Labyrinth, and about 200 records.  This project is really going to take me a long time!  But, to be fair to vinyl addicts out there, my record player moonlights as a cat bed, so I really ought to let more avid listeners re-home my records.

Olivia_Tremor_Control_-_Dusk_at_Cubist_Castle

OLIVIA TREMOR CONTROL – music from the unrealized film script, DUSK AT CUBIST CASTLE
Buy this record! (on sale 01/13/13)

This record is so weird and adorable.  Olivia Tremor Control has to be one of the original, true indie rock bands.  Indie rock pre-Garden State.  They paved the way for bands like Arcade Fire and Animal Collective.  If I had to pick what genre of music I most gravitate towards, I would have to say pop–in the sense that I love a well-crafted pop song.  I love a catchy hook I can sing along to.  Especially if there are harmonies.  So while OTC make lots of strange noises in their songs and skew on the weirder side of pop, their songs are so well-crafted and original and catchy that I can’t help but adore them.  Perhaps one might describe The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds that way.  That’s fair.  If Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson don’t tell you that this is one of their favorite albums of the 90’s, I’d be surprised and horrified.  Aghast, even!

Listening to this record makes me think of Marie, a girl a I worked with at the (now defunct) record store, Harmony House, in Farmington Hills, MI.  She was a couple years older than me, and as an impressionable young high schooler, I viewed her as my music model.  I don’t think she knew that.  She probably just thought we were regular old co-workers.  Boy was she wrong!  I pretty much worshipped her.  Whenever she said she liked a band, I bought their record.  That’s how I found out about bands like Camper Van Beethoven, Adam’s Castle, and Olivia Tremor Control.  This record makes me feel hopeful, like I’m that worry free high school senior again with no cares in the world.

I can’t help feeling that I will be upset that I sold this record, but I think I will feel that way with every record.  I just have to be quick and never look back!  So, without further adieu…

Goodbye, Dusk at Cubist Castle.

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The Bed is in the Ocean

I have received some interesting feedback on the first post:

“What the hell kind of house are you planning on buying for $50,000?!?”

Good question!  I don’t know.  The New York City real estate market is expensive to get into, so maybe I will need that much.  If I buy overseas, maybe I will need to put down more than 10%.  Or if I buy a shithole, I’ll have leftover money for renovations.

“Is your record collection really worth $50,000?!?”

Ha!  That’s cute.  No.

“I can’t believe you’re selling your records!  Can I buy them?”

Yes!  I mean, you’re making me second guess my decision.  Maybe I want to keep them now!  Oy… this is so hard!  But yes, I will be posting everything on eBay, and you may certainly purchase anything you like.  My eBay username is aptly RecordsVsHouse.

One friend even forced her boyfriend to watch two episodes of House Hunters International in response and suggested we do a marathon.  Of course we should do a marathon!  But never regular old House Hunters.  The Americans are utterly unbearable to listen to.  Plus, who cares about people buying condos in Cleveland?

On to the show…

karate

KARATE – THE BED IS IN THE OCEAN
Buy this record! (on sale 01/13/13)

I wish everyone still had cassette players.  I wish cars still had cassette players.  I wish the people at my gym had walkmen dangling from their waists as they ran their 30 minutes of cardio on the treadmill.  I wish all of this because I love mix tapes.  Actual tapes!  I have a cassette suitcase that an ex-boyfriend gave me just full of mix tapes from old friends and lovers!

photo (5)     photo (6)

Call me nostalgic!  But these mix tapes were so important to my musical evolution.  I hated the radio in my youth, and I’m just old enough to remember when the Internet had limitations–one webpage could take minutes to load (minutes!), and downloading one song could take all night.  So the circles I ran in made mix tapes for each other to discover and share music.  And making a mix tape is not the same as making a playlist, or even a CD!  You had to choose the songs in real time, recording them as you listened.  You had to make sure the last song on each side didn’t get cut off.  There is a real art to this.  And I love the art.  I wish I still had people I could make mix tapes for.

In college, I was friends with a girl named Andrea.  Andrea was fun and exciting and knew just about everyone in the music scenes in Chicago and Philadelphia.  We went to shows together all the time and we made mix tapes for each other.  One of the cassettes she gave me had a song on it called “There Are Ghosts” by Karate.  I just found the cassette!  It also has songs by Chamberlain, Afghan Whigs, Lifetime, Elliott Smith, The Police, Owen, Christie Front Drive, Braid, Boys Life… this is really bringing me back!

It’s hard to disassociate the songs we love from the time they came into our lives.  I was 19 years old when I received this mix tape.  And I loved this Karate song.  It’s so sad and haunting.  The lyrics make a small moment in time feel like something much, much bigger.  And that’s what the song does for me.  Andrea may have just been a blip on the radar, but this song makes me think of roller skating at the legendary (but now defunct) Rainbow Rink in Chicago, riding in trains to the east coast, baking brownies in dorm rooms, hanging out backstage at The Metro… this little song is so big in my memory.

But, alas, it’s just the one song that stole my heart.  The whole album is pretty and moody.  But that’s not enough to stave my heart for selling it.

Goodbye, The Bed is in the Ocean.

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Growing Upwards

I remember arguing with my mom, probably at 13 years old, about how I was going to be punk rock forever.  I would always have pink and purple hair, I didn’t care about money, I would never work for a corporation… I had ethics and morals!  I would always play guitar and love music more than anything else.

I turned 30 this year.  I am still struggling with what it means to be an adult and maintain some of my personal ethos that carried me along in my formative years.  I haven’t dyed my hair since 2007.  I don’t listen to punk rock anymore.  And I’m starting to feel the financial pinch.  I have credit card debt and student loans.  But what I desire out of life has also changed.

Maybe you are aware of the TV show House Hunters International.  I am obsessed with it!  It combines two my favorite current dreams: to own a home and travel abroad.  I love traveling abroad (you can read about my travels at A Broad Abroad).

So what is it that I really want out of life?  What will ultimately make me happy?  I don’t think there’s an easy answer.  I will probably change my mind a million times in the next ten years.  But I think it’s great to have goals and work towards them.

Okay, so I want a house.  What next?

I have this vinyl record collection.  I love it.  I cherish it.  I move it around from city to city.  That’s no easy task!  I started collecting in Chicago, then Seattle where I worked at Easy Street Records, then Los Angeles where I worked at Amoeba Music, and now in New York City.  Plus I have all of my parents old records.  I have a pretty decent sized collection.

But I don’t listen to my records as much as I used to.  I’ve stopped caring that some record was a limited pressing of 250 numbered on yellow vinyl.  It doesn’t make me tingly inside to know that these little discs are so special.  And they are special!

So, I’ve decided to start selling off my record collection.  It’s hard!  I sold a few albums over the summer, and every time I decided to list one on eBay, I had to listen to it all the way through to make sure I was ready to part with it.  But with the few records I sold, I made over $300.  These are some of them.

Image  Image  Image Image  Image  Image

This has become an emotional process for me, so someone told me to start writing a blog about how sad it is to part with my records in order to save up for a house.  My records have brought me great joy and many nights spent drinking with friends and relaxing on the couch.  But I think I am finally ready to part with my collection.

So this blog will be an exploration in the emotional collapse of a record collector.  I will blog about how I feel when I listen to a record for the last time.  Whether or not I feel comfortable parting with any certain album.  You will be able to see what albums I have for sale on eBay and how close I am to reaching my goal of $50,000 for a down payment on a house.  You can even make a contribution to my account if you feel sorry for me!

Hello, 2013!  Take my records!  But first, enjoy my favorite cuts of 2012 (Spotify playlist).  These are my favorite 25 in the order of a mix.

1. fun. – Some Nights
2. B.o.B. – So Good
3. Ellie Goulding – Lights
4. Santigold – The Riot’s Gone
5. Gotye (feat. Kimbra) – Somebody That I Used to Know
6. Dwight Yoakam – It’s Never Alright
7. The Lumineers – Ho Hey
8. Japandroids – The House that Heaven Built
9. Neon Trees – Everybody Talks
10. The Black Keys – Lonely Boy
11. Bethurum (feat. Nouela) – Watch It Burn
12. Dr. John – Big Shot
13. Juliet Simms – It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World
14. Kanye West, Big Sean, Pusha T, 2 Chainz – Mercy
15. Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj) – I Don’t Give A
16. Alex Clare – Too Close
17. Metric – Clone
18. Spencer & Antfood – Trek
19. Lana Del Rey – Blue Jeans
20. Justin Bieber – Die In Your Arms
21. Passion Pit – Take A Walk
22. Sky Ferreira – Everything is Embarrassing
23. Bruno Mars – Locked Out of Heaven
24. The Raveonettes – Curse the Night
25. Fiona Apple – Hot Knife

Watch my savings grow!

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