Post after shameless post on social media, complete with darling new photos? You got it.
There is even the new Indian Summer IPA in the bottle, and it seems as though our appetite for cross promotion knows no limits.
We do, however, walk away from negotiations to lease the new CH3 Hydraulic Horizontal Drill to the fracking concerns in Eastern Ohio.
Hey, we still have souls ya know!
We even ventured back to Cortner Ave in Cerritos, scene of so many charming youthful crimes, to compete with all the Cat and Dog videos already clogging up YouTube:
And for what, all of this smoke and noise? For Record Store Day?
Hell yeah man, and why not?
Oh I hear the bitching alright.
How it’s become such a thing.
How the very heart of this day has been ripped out and stomped by the vultures who would commit these one-off treasures to Ebay!
Such a young holiday, already mourned for losing its mission, and a million breathless voices cannot agree on just what we’re trying to accomplish here.
Oh come on man!
It’s like the local drunks bemoaning St. Patrick’s Day, the one goddamned day of the year the bar finally gets some real business!
And like writing letters to Auntie, (you know, the one who just will not trust this new email fad) it’s something we neglect far too long: a visit to our local shops.
And if it takes a kooky day that celebrates vinyl measured in grams, like any other precious drug, then so be it.
Let’s do this!
It’s gonna be a long one, so we fill up on franchise Bánh Mì and icy cold Belgian style IPA (ahem) at the well lit CH3 offices.
We have a full crew onboard, and the we chatter happily along the 5 freeway to our first stop:
Left of the Dial Records in Santana.
We’re guilty of not visiting the new location of LOTD until now, and we are well impressed.
And though it was awfully nice to have a true Record Store in our sleepy little town, the store seems to fit well in the funky arts district here.
Besides, I’m betting you’ll find a better goat birria out here than in Seal Beach, am I right?
It’s a cheerful crowd we wade through, amps and drums in hand, and we’re soon set up amongst the racks and bins, mere inches from our pals—cozy!
We go through a few of the oldies before attempting the new songs, and we somehow pull them off.
Who knows, we may even commit the ultimate crime and include some new songs in the set!
Wait, don’t go! We were just joking!
And then we unplug the guitars and work the crowd like corrupt politicians, kissing every baby and signing anything that is within a yard of our reach.
It was just a grand afternoon, and we could stay here all day, loitering outside and drinking beer on the sidewalk, chatting up our chums, but we have more work to do.
We say our goodbyes to Geoff and crew.
Promises are made to not make it a whole year before meeting again!
Back in the van now, and we venture South for stop # 2:
McGreat Records in San Clemente.
The drive is fine on a Spring afternoon, and our spirits soar as the hills finally give way to the glowing Pacific.
The van conversations meander, as van conversations tend to do, especially when fueled by char siu pork and smooth, hoppy ales. (#4)
Alf searches the van for open power ports, Ant calls someone out on a bogus Facebook status.
Everyone is online, logged in, checked in, and talking all at once.
Someone chimes in with the 2 finest phone apps, the true reason smartphones should exist: TouchTunes jukebox and BofA digital check deposit.
It turns out Dell has never heard of Grindr, so we immediately install it on his phone and tell him to start looking for good places to eat in the area.
We get to the store well before sundown and find a cheerful little shop nestled in this wacky little beach community.
The front of the store is well stocked with your CH3 essentials, and there’s an actual performing space in the back.
It’s a younger crowd in here, and it’s heartening that Ian and his crew have really nurtured a good place for the kiddos.
Seems they actually have music lessons in-store, as well as schooling the groms on proper music out front, so this place walks with light in our book.
Now, if they could only produce a refreshing but bold Indian Pale Ale (#5) they’d have all the bases covered, am I right?
We set up and kick it off, and things go all wonky!
The PA cuts off in the middle of each song, a midget pit breaks out and a can of Sprite (Sprite!) goes sailing into the walls.
Dell disappears into the night, as his phone has been beeping out some sort of alerts like a horny squirrel.
In other words, it is perfect!
We play our second set of the day with renewed energy for the kids, and when the PA cuts out yet again, we just scream the lyrics into the night, baptizing the crowd with saliva and the bitter words of a man who’s seen too much—hooohah!
Our pals in No More Saints come in to bat cleanup, leaving us to shill on.
We sign more records, bomb more selfies, chat the night away.
And once more, we load out and pack the van, get ready for the ride home.
And it’s almost wistful, seeing the day end.
Like pushing a broom through spent confetti on a bleak New Year’s Day, you get the feeling like it’s all gone too quick.
But we’re satisfied, ultimately, with what has been done here.
Sure, some T shirts have been sold, some platters signed and sent to their new adoptive homes with our blessings.
All in the name of Record Store Day, though this should be done any old Saturday of the year, shouldn’t it?
If we can’t gather at these jewel-like hearths of music, then what have we become?
Will we get our music with a swipe of thumb across a touchscreen and have music delivered to us in zeroes and ones through the ether?
Or would you go into a store, and talk to someone who knows, and feel these songs in your very hands?
And then you can take something home with you, something with weight and presence, and then you can sit.
Additonal photos: Martin Wong, By The Barricade and ripped off from Facebook!