Celebrate Record Store Day With Baby Teardrops' Matthew Dunehoo!
To people who love music, records stores hold a special place in their hearts. Every year, bands gather to play shows and release records. For vinyl enthusiasts, Record Store Day is like Christmas morning. Matthew Dunehoo, of NYC grunge outfit Baby Teardrops, is no exception. To celebrate Record Store Day 2012, happening April 21, read what he has to say about the impact his local record store had on shaping his love for music.
To hear the single Baby Teardrops have released to celebrate Record Store Day, check out their free song, "I Can Live My Life Alone" here!
False start, GO!: “Record stores have long been a special spot for me, and like my other childhood infatuation, dinosaurs, a number of them seem to be falling extinct, falling prey to changing trends and the digitization of the universe…”
There is absolutely no need to begin a reflection on Record Store Day in this manner, so I shan’t. The notion is flat-out played-out, like so many Loggins-Messina moisture-warped LP’s… Truly, my first thoughts when thinking of record stores are still, all aglow. I hereby resolve not to envision a consumer landscape void of record stores, even at my most jaded.
Real start GO!: Stepping into the WAY-BACK machine, some of my earliest fond record store memories entail going to PEACHES in Kansas City with my Dad to pick up THRILLER on vinyl when it first came out. We listened to that record incessantly. I was always blown away by the gatefold image of MJ with the tiger cub, and the creepy pencil drawings further inside. Other albums I remember picking up from Peaches include the Pointer Sisters and Andreas Vollenweider. THAT DJ IS SICK!!!
I suppose I first got into vinyl through my parents’ own collection at an even younger age, again, entranced by album artwork by the likes of the Beach Boys’ Endless Summer, with the morose cartoon beach bum faces and the menacing muscle girl. And Santana’s Abraxis’ big naked breasts. It seems the album art of the 70’s provided plenty of opportunities to cop a peak, even in a fairly conservative household. To be fair to the folks, in the spirit of Cheap Trick, my mom saw Alice Cooper in concert though, and…Led Zeppelin when they stormed KC. Mom said she remembered “the drummer” being so messed up that he kept falling off his stool.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a town with some pretty terrific record stores, including but not limited to, Recycled Sounds, The Love Garden in Lawrence, The Music Exchange, Streetside Records and little old Village Records out by me in Shawnee. (where I first purchased the Weezer blue album from the cutout bin, and began building the jazz wing of my vinyl archives.) To an earlier point, all of these entities are now closed and all but forgotten, but admittedly for varying reasons.
When I was old enough to really have an interest in going “diving” into the stacks on my own, it was always a perfect storm of addictive properties that was innate in the thrill of the hunt, the tolerance for cuticle pain as dust piled up and in over the hours, and the appeal of the suspension of outside fears, paranoia and concerns, slipping into a comfortable tunnel vision where session players, liner notes, condition checking and mesmerizing gatefolds were all that mattered on good lengthy dives. On a rainy Saturday afternoon, deep dives could go one for upwards of three hours…
Let me laud the venerable 99 cent cutout CD bin and ritual gem excavation: “How could someone have possibly slipped up and marked Acteone’s second album at 69 cents? Well by George, they must have done it just for me thank you!” The 99 cent bins are all fine and dandy until you being thinking of resale (online) and “extra cash.” That, is indeed a slippery slope and a more modern wax-ethical conundrum.
I haven’t frequented record stores as much in my recent life, as recently in life I’ve been the brokest in life as I’ve ever been and honestly, living in NYC I haven’t come across stores that I consider as great as the ones we used to rock back home. My desire to own and collect has ceded too as I age, space is a premium and death by weight of physical goods seems that much more feasible…
But before I moved to NYC I was living in Kansas City and working at Half Price Books, which was largely responsible for my personal vinyl collection growing to encroach 2,000 pieces. (Can’t say though how much tuition money I spent on vinyl at Love Garden during the university years, speaking to an earlier growth spurt.)
Shoveling through boxes of, literally shit, mold, spiders, pulling out old Good Housekeeping magazines and Webster’s ‘pedias, and then, there, all of a sudden out of nowhere, a mint condition (or mildly shitty but still wayyy playable, first pressing of the Louvin Brothers’ “SATAN IS REAL.” And all the chest infections are worth it, in a matter of blissful seconds.
God save the record store and our captivation with a focused, expanding knowledge, multi-color design element eye candy, smells that range from pure must to crisp paper meat, to being inspired by hearing something that will change your life, for the first time at a listening station. I might even take a later bus to heaven for an extra hour in a good record store.