Let’s set the record straight: If there’s one thing you should be doing this Saturday, April 13, it’s celebrating Record Store Day. Whether your love for music stems from the tunes you’d bump while skateboarding with your friends or the times you’d hide in your parents’ basement listening to music that would make them want you to repent, it’s safe to say we all have our favorite jams. To help you celebrate a day dedicated to the best way to listen to music (still and forever), we have a few ways for you to embrace Record Store Day, PNW style.
Listen to Pacific Northwest artists
Yes, here on the Upper Left Coast, we’re known for our scenery; but we’re also known for our music. If you’re going to spend your day listening to some of your faves, do it right and listen to some of the best artists that came out of the PNW.
When Hendrix covered Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower,” fans realized he was more than just a guitar god; he could really change the rock and roll scene for forever—and he did. Not only were Hendrix’s riffs something that still can’t be competed with, his original lyrics have made him another kind of genius. And the best thing about Hendrix is that we in the PNW get to call him our own.
Portlanders liked Everclear before you liked Everclear. They’d already worn out their copies of “World of Noise” before “Santa Monica” and “Father of Mine” even glanced at the Top 40. Spend enough time talking music with a Gen Xer or elder millennial from Portland and the conversation will eventually come around to (arguably) Portland’s claim to fame (sorry, The Decemberists). But would any Portlander listen to Everclear today? Psh. No. Everclear sold out hard with “So Much for the Afterglow” (but we’ll still bang our heads to it—ironically, of course—when no one’s around).
When Mackelmore stepped onto the scene, it was a little perplexing to hip-hop fans. Let’s just say he made a lot of folks ask, “Who is this pasty dude from Kent, Washington and why is he rapping about his grandpa’s shoes?” But darn it all if those catchy beats and nauseatingly political lyrics haven’t made him somewhat of a PNW hip-hop legend.
If you were an angsty teenager in the ‘90s—or even if you’re still an emo kid at heart—you can probably relate to more than just these Nirvana lyrics. Nirvana made grunge just more than an excuse for kids to wear oversized plaid shirts (you know the ones) and sport greasy hair like it was cool. They made it (and still make it) a breed of music to be reckoned with. And because Kurt Cobain himself was from Aberdeen, Washington, he’s another artist that rose to fame right here in the PNW.
Hit up some record stores
After you’ve listened to some albums from the musical legends that helped make the PNW even cooler than it already was, it’s time to get out of the house and check out some of the best record stores in the PNW.
Mississippi Records (Portland)
Don’t let the name of this shop fool you. This “idiosyncratic” record shop gives Portlanders an excuse to ditch the downloads and hold something tangible and meaningful in their hands. Whether you want to spend $100 on a classic or if you just want to test out some vinyl on your player from a band you’ve never heard of, Mississippi Records is definitely worth hitting up.
Exiled Records (Portland)
Another record shop to hit up while you’re in Portland is Exiled Records on Hawthorne Boulevard. This quaint, independent record shop is an ode to the old, the new, and the “I need to expand my musical horizons” (if you catch our drift).
Sonic Boom Records (Seattle)
If you want to really celebrate all that Seattle has to offer, then stop by Sonic Boom Records. With an array of local, independent music, you’re sure to find something new to groove to. Plus, with a wall of cassettes, you may want to start not only picking up more vinyl, but more tapes to bump in the Walkman you’ve been neglecting for decades.
Easy Street Records (Seattle)
If there’s one thing to know about hipsters, it’s that they know and love their music. If that’s more your crowd, hit Easy Street Records in West Seattle. Even though it may be a bit out of your way, their knowledgeable staff and perfectly curated collection may help you find a new love (or fall head-over-heels with an artist all over again).
Clean up your old records
After you’ve listened to some of your favorite PNW artists and hit up a few records stores, it’s time to clean up your collection. Whether you have a bunch of Simon and Garfunkel albums your dad passed down to you, or some albums that have collected fingerprints, dust, and a few scratches, try these tips for getting them looking mint again. Ya dig?
Anti-static record cleaning brush
Brushes are good at cleaning albums for a number of reasons. Unlike a cloth that only wipes off the surface of the vinyl, a brush can get in between all those grooves. Groovy, right?
Record cleaning arm
If you’re the type of person who thinks they’re tidy but really aren’t, a record cleaning arm may be the perfect thing for you. These record arms have a soft microfiber brush attached to them which will clean your records without you having to lift your human arm.
How are you going to spend Record Store Day? After you’re shopped out and jammed out, let us help you keep your precious vinyl safe and organized in one of our climate-controlled self-storage units.