Sunday, January 25, 2009

Adventures in Being Musically Inclined

This is Grimey's. Feel free to fall in love.

I wish more days could be like today. A friend of mine and I decided this week that Saturday would be devoted to hitting up some local record stores in pursuit of a new album. That's all. The mission was simple.

Add in two more friends and we spent the better part of the day elbow-deep in racks of cds. It was beautiful. On tap first was a shady-looking little place called The Great Escape that I've been frequenting since I was six. It's a little dingy, a little worn, but it's got character in much the same way that a yellowed album sleeve has character. The damn thing's crumbling, dusty and you're not sure if you even want to touch it-- God knows where it's been-- but there's too much pull to pass up.

I left with a six-dollar copy of Bringing it All Back Home by Bob Dylan. Not too shabby, but settling on it wasn't easy. Possibly my greatest dream is for someone to slap $100 dollars in my hand with the stipulation that it has to be spent on music. I'd have a stroke. Limiting myself to one album is a nightmare. Jackson Browne? Carole King? Radiohead? Bob Dylan? Once I narrowed it down to two, it was like my feet were cemented to the floor until I unlocked myself from that awful limbo of indecision.

Afterward, it was off to Grimey's. This was a new experience. Everything that The Great Escape had ever held for me all these years was shattered and replaced by funky exposed brick and Christmas lights strung from the ceiling. Better selection, deeper catalogue. Used and new. There was one wall in particular that was a Top 10 of sorts and as I scanned albums covers from Fleet Foxes, Ra Ra Riot, Kings of Leon, Of Montreal, and the like, I got the feeling like I'd found some kind of musical Mecca.

On the outside I was relatively un-phased. In my head I was mopping up drool. On a side note, Grimey's was actually featured in Paste a few months back. Cool doesn't begin to do justice to this place.

Let's talk about the speakers they had. I've been working on a review of Andrew Bird's Noble Beast and Grimey's was playing the whole album. What a revelation. An album that I'd been at best lukewarm about, all of a sudden bloomed into a skillfully layered, gorgeously instrumented work that has officially burrowed its was into my brain.

Obviously, either way it's fantastic to dawdle in record stores, but part of the fun was seeing what my friends stop and go "whoa, they've got [insert name]" People would know each other better if they had to spend a day with someone else's iPod.

There was coffee involved as well, on two occasions in fact. Our buddy James Fate was playing Starbucks and I enjoyed a beast of a cupcake.

In sum, I shafted all other responsibilities and sank my time into a music expedition with some excellent people. Best part? No guilt. Music overrides everything because it holds a power that I'm still realizing.

It can have me and I'll gladly go.


a girl named heather said...

this makes me smile a great deal.
gosh, i feel the same way - no regret of undone homework. music is always worth it. always :)

Emily Harris said...

Wait, had you never been to Grimey's? That's a shame. You should go to their big spring sale!