Saturday, April 16, 2011

That's More Than A Dress...

ToToday is Record Store Day 2011. I got up early and had a hearty breakfast of grits (in a monkey bowl), a biscuit and coffee at my favorite breakfast joint in Atlanta with my fellow vinyl collecting friend, Lance. He ordered a pecan waffle.

After breakfast we went to Little 5 Points where two of the best record stores in Atlanta are located, Criminal Records and Wax n’ Facts. After standing in line for half an hour to try and see what Criminal had to offer, I got antsy. My plans for the morning were to attend a garage sale, where I only made $2 in sales. With my patience wearing thin and over hearing an overweight girl tell her friends that Wax n’ Facts didn't have a line-- I made the executive decision to check out what they had in stock before I left. She was right! And by "she" I mean the overweight girl.

Wax n’ Facts was busy, but I had my hands on some records after only a few minutes of waiting. While waiting to check out a crate of RSD exclusive vinyl I heard some guy yell to a clerk "Do you have any piebald left?". The clerk reached into the bin and handed him a record. I said something to the affect of "me too!". He then handed me the last piebald album. I didn't know what album it even was, but the name Piebald is nostalgic for me, bringing back some great memories with old friends. Not to mention I've always wanted If It Weren't For Venetian Blinds It Would Be Curtains For Us All on vinyl-- Piebald’s best album in my opinion.

Lo and behold the album handed to me was a 3 LP box set that included Venetian Blinds. It was only $25 for the set, but as I walked closer to the counter doing my budget for the pay period in my head, I contemplated putting it back for someone else to buy. Before making a hasty decision though I asked the clerk how many more they had left in stock.

"That's the last one." he told me.

My decision had been made for me. I had to buy it now. You have to love the scarcity effect.

Now here I am in my 500 sq. foot apartment off Ponce De Leon sitting in the most comfortable and ugliest chair I've ever owned listening to one of my favorite records of all-time contemplating the last 10 years of my life.

The first time I heard Venetian Blinds it was in CD format and I was 19 years old. My ungirlfriend at the time, Allison, bought the album at a local skate shop/indie music store called Ambush. It was located in Gwinnett County (outside of Atlanta) on Pleasant Hill Rd. Hearing the album for the first time was not memorable. All I can recall is Allison telling me how amazing they were while all I could think about was how guilty my Christian conscious was making me feel for getting a blow job from her the night before while listening to Johnny Cash.

Our unrelationship was over within a few months, but not without her accidentally leaving her Piebald CD in my car. I didn't feel bad for keeping it for myself for many reasons, but I’ll only give two:

1. She treated me like crap.

2. At the conclusion of our relationship she didn’t return my Dashboard Confessional Swiss Army Romance CD I had let her borrow.

I definitely got the better end of the deal.

Probably getting bored listening to Operation Ivy’s Energy and my Johnny Cash Love, God, Murder box set I randomly played Venetian Blinds after leaving work one day.

I'm not sure what made me fall in love with them. The vocals were shitty and the recording wasn't much better, but the lyrics made me laugh and the songs seemed like they got louder as I got further into the album.

As I was breaking the speed limit on I-85 heading towards Atlanta to hang out with my friends, I rolled the windows down and let the wind blow the hair that I no longer have around like I was in a wind tunnel. “Grace Kelly With Wings” rattled my crappy factory speakers while I sang along at the top of my lungs to my favorite album that I hadn't learned the lyrics to yet.

"That's more than a dress, it's a Grace Kelly movie."