by Rebecca Seung on Apr 18th, 2011
I woke up late on Saturday, and I thought I had dreamed the past month of spring when I walked outside to a chilly, gray afternoon. Of all the days to be ugly, it had to be Record Store Day. But I went anyways to huddle against the stage at the new Groove on Calvin Street with free Fat Tire that made my hands numb but my head warm.
I knew I had already missed the first couple bands, but I was hungry, and I never happen to be wherever Mas Tacos is, so I got in line for a cast iron chicken taco with tomatillo salsa and a fried avocado taco. While both were tasty in that the ingredients were fresh, well prepared, inventive, etc., I think it could have used salt and/or cheese and just a little spice. Sure, there’s hot sauce, but I didn’t want that flavor to overwhelm the delicateness of the other components. And they ran out of corn before I got there, so that was a bummer.
After I got my tacos, I wandered to the stage in the back where Evan P. Donohue was already playing, but I first had to walk the torturous aisle of $1 LP’s that lined the walkway on the side of the building. I didn’t even let myself look through them, but hearing from some others, all the good stuff had already been bought. Granted, it depends on what you consider good ’cause peripheral vision alone showed a couple things I would have snagged for a buck. Either way, I didn’t want to carry around anything bigger than a 45, so I went inside and searched the boxes, finding a Cramps 7″ and getting the new Nashville’s Dead 7″ for D. Watusi. I mean, I love vinyl, and I love a bargain, but I hate fighting through crowds. And even though it was Record Store Day, I was really just there for the free shows, beers, and biscuits. Well, I didn’t know per se that there would be a large plate of biscuits, but I certainly ate a few of them.
I found out later that the biscuits were from United Record Pressing and their demonstration earlier. They had left a bunch of “biscuits” at the WRVU table, and I got to keep an orange one. These things look kind of like hockey pucks, biscuits if you will, and are what each record starts out as before getting pressed down and trimmed. I was kicking myself for sleeping in and missing their talk. I also threw a curse out to the terrible weather that hurried everyone away.
I didn’t get to see all of the bands, but what I did see made me glad I had ventured out of the warm blankets I had been snuggled in. Evan P. Donohue, a Nashville regular, and Faux Ferocious, a new Nashville transplant, were both surprisingly fun and catchy, and it made me wonder why I had never seen them play before. But then, I remembered that I’ve had opportunities to go to their shows, but there’s always something else I’d rather see, and unfortunately, even though I bought a 7″ from Faux Ferocious (who, kudos, were giving out free download codes, which I always advocate ’cause, let’s be honest, we all download our music for free and then we buy something like vinyl if we like it), neither band left enough of an impression on me to want to pay $5 or more to see them unless they were also playing with a band I really, really liked. For some reason, that doesn’t seem to happen very often. I guess you can chalk it up to the exclusivity of the music cliques in Nashville.
The stand out of the day for me was Hacienda from San Antonio, Texas. I had heard about them, and they were another one of those bands that just hadn’t convinced me to pay for a show, but I’m so glad they came out Saturday (ahem, Diarrhea Planet, cough, who were no shows), despite the cold hands, which I can’t imagine trying to play guitar with numb fingers. There must be something in the watering hole in Texas that inspires this sort of sound that has a little blues, a little jazz, maybe even a little honky tonk, all thrown over some blisteringly hot garage rock, because they reminded me of other Texan garage bands like The Strange Boys and The Golden Boys. There’s something indefinably Western about these bands that’s kind of dusty and creaky and tumbleweed-y, but also completely different than the Nashville sound. They played Saturday night, opening for the Greenhornes at Mercy Lounge, and according to the beer cooler circle, they also play backup for Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys.
Rounding out my Record Store Day was Murfreesboro locals Mom and Dad, a band I’m going to call indie punk because it was too quirky to be punk, but it was too in your face to be indie, otherwise known as the bastard child of the 80′s and 90′s. The quartet was a fun end for my day at the Groove cause by the middle of their set, I was too cold, they had run out of beer, and I had to take a bus to the other side of town for the show at the End later that night.
This was my first Record Store Day, and I’m so glad to be living in a place that even has one dedicated vinyl record store, much less several of them. Be thankful for that Nashville, you don’t know how good you’ve got it. I know that if it had been sunny and warm, there would have been tons of people packed in to that tiny back yard, giving me something completely different to complain about. But nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed all of the bands I saw, and I loved to see the variety of people, across all ages, classes, and stereotypes, who showed up in support and acknowledgement of the importance of record stores to the city and its scene. So even though the sales and specials aren’t in effect anymore, every day can be a Record Store Day to go and visit the numerous vinyl shops around town (Grimey’s, The Groove, Phonoluxe, and Great Escape, for starters), even if you just look around and play some records in the back.