For the Record: Starting a Second Collection


Now that I am “officially” moved across the country, it’s time to rebuild the record collection. But can the second round compare to the first?


Like many newbies into the Loser Edition, first-pressing, Record Store Day-Release world of vinyl purchasing, I started with a considerably minimal bang. Plugged into my pink iPod mini, my jaded self was convinced that buying new vinyl was a collossal waste of money, something that wistful collectors would gaze upon, misty-eyed with nostalgia for generations of formats gone. I thought I was so cool – AC/DC! Aerosmith! The Beatles can you effing believe it?! THE BEATLES on vinyl! It was my classic rock crowning achievement. And then you learn, over time, that there are a zillion pressings of these vinyls and finding one worth more than $15 is a rarity.

  My first “new” album was M.I.A. “Arular,” bought with unbridled excitement and 2 years after its release at 641 RPM in Boone, North Carolina. It kicked off a buying spree that jumped my vinyl numbers from a couple to dozens. First pressings were coveted. I bought Beach House Lazuli 7″ a blue-marbled beauty that’s available on eBay. Spending my hard-earned college cash was a thing of album art beauty.

  Then I moved out here with two suitcases and a backpack. Full of clothes. I wouldn’t dare fly vinyl across the country, but now I’m trying to figure out how to restart without repeat purchases. How to buy up without the essentials of my last collection. What you see here is the beginnings of a new set with a few from home that I spent 45 minutes packing perfectly into my suitcase to come home from the holidays. The Seattle starters: Chastity Belt “No Regerts” and Kurt Vile “Walkin’ on a Pretty Daze.” From N.C.: Girls “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” Dum Dum Girls “Only in Dreams,” Tobacco A Go-Go: North Carolina Rock in the 60’s.

Eventually I will get my records over here. I’m lazy, poor and indecisive as to what to ship first. For now, I’m enjoying the grunt work of restoration and renovation that comes with moving. Buying records is like building your style. There’s pieces in your closet that were worn one time, others that you wear to pieces. But as your style evolves, you invest in more of what you love, mixing old and new to make the perfect, definitive personal style. A second record collection is a cleaned out closet save for a few key pieces from the past.

  Imagine if the internet didn’t exist and you could only bring a fraction of the music you had in your library. What would you pack? Even simpler: you’re invited to a listening party. Bring 2 LPs and a dish. Fuck you if you bring dessert – everyone brings dessert.


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