Oh, there's nothing finer than getting up bright and early and heading downtown to grab your coffee on a lovely Saturday morning -- unless, of course, that Saturday morning happens to be Record Store Day, and the record stores you frequent most often happen to be right across the street from one another.
I arrived at Love Garden Sounds about a quarter 'til 10:00 a.m., and there was a line. There were people in chairs. These were not folding chairs, or camp chairs, mind you: they were cushioned, honest-to-goodness wooden chairs. Some people came far more prepared than I, evidently. At 10 on the nose, Love Garden proprietor Kelly Corcoran came out, explained that all the exclusive releases were at the very back of the store, and explained that anyone throwing elbows would be tossed out.
An orderly (although rapidly shuffling) group of folks filed towards the back of the store and began rifling through the bins and crates set up on two tables. A collective groan went up when it was discovered that there were no copies of the new Hold Steady record with limited-edition silk-screened cover, but enough nifty stuff was on hand to satisfy pretty much everyone.
It's somewhat heartening that, even in this lousy economy, a good number of folks will tunr out to crate-dig for new records. I walked away with only a $75 dent in my checking account, although the guy ahead of me easily doubled that.
Later that afternoon, I went across the street to Kief's Downtown Music, where they had a couple of bands playing. Opting to have some free stuff and bands rather than screw with exclusives, the crowd at Kief's skewed older, but no less intrigued to see Lydia Loveless play an in-store set. Loveless played with just her stand-up bass player, with a set that featured songs from her recent album, The Only Man, along with covers of Loretta Lynn's "You're Not Woman Enough to Take My Man" and the Replacements' "Answering Machine."
Her sound is very reminiscent of Lynn's soulful country, as well as nods to acts like Patsy Cline, and an attitude that certainly takes more than its fair share from punk rock. Loveless is no Taylor Swift, unless Swift plans on having stage banter like, "If you smell whiskey, that's just my sweat" or lyrics such as, "If Miller High Life is the champagne of beers, then why I do I still feel like shit?" Loveless' voice sounds like Cyndi Lauper doing Loretta Lynn (so says Slimm Adkins, and I agree with him), and all her songs were remarkably heartfelt, to the point that I bought a CD from her, and I pretty much ceased purchasing compact discs two years ago.
Wish I could've stuck around for the Bleach Bloodz, but I had to get to Kansas City for the Zero Boys show, and had I hung around any more, I would've dropped even more money on music (final total for the day: 5 LPs, 2 7-inches, and 3 CDs, to the tune of right around $105).