Just Can’t Wait To Get Back…

The road stretching in front of you, lukewarm coffee acquired at the last stop by your side, crumpled maps strewn about (OK, I guess we all use GPS now but it’s a much less romantic notion) and the determination to hit one more sight before dark.  To me, road tripping is about taking in as much as you can on your journey and my list of sights and stops ALWAYS includes a healthy number of record stores.  No vinyl-phile’s vacation would be complete without these detours.  In fact, I hesitate to categorize them as “detours” and they’re very much part of the master itinerary.

I derive so much enjoyment from stepping into a record shop I’ve never been in before.  The deep dive into new bins is just intoxicating!  For that short period of time (and, let’s face it, it’s more likely to be several hours) we’re making new friends.  We’ve gone out of our way to visit and we’re so happy to be here.  It’s also a nice tool to take a temperature of what other shops are doing.  It’s important not to have blinders on and fall into the rut of how your shop is running.  It’s important to get out and see how the rest of the community is operating.  That aside, though, it’s mostly just about doing some shopping and adding to your own personal collection.  Road records bring a certain amount of extra and special fulfillment.

People take all forms of souvenirs as badges of vacation accomplishments, shot glasses, magnets and even the modern advent of the seflies and social media posts.  This writer’s favorite passport stamp is undeniably the collection of vinyl and records shop t-shirts acquired out in the territory (to borrow some phrasing from one Samuel Clemens).  Finding that extra space on that back floor of the car for your spoils or properly stowing your treasures under the airline seat in front of you is certain proof that you have traveled well!

Hit the road this summer and see some sights.  Eat well, experience new things and reconvene with nature and/or loved ones, but while you’re out there be sure to check out a record shop or two.  We all need to support our neighborhood shops, even those in our adopted vacation neighborhoods.  Happy trails!

Special thanks to the shops we visited on our most recent jaunt:

  • Angry Mom Records – Ithaca, NY

  • Phonopolis – Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • Atom Heart Musique Alternative - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • Sonik Records - Montreal, Quebec, Canada

  • Beatnick Records - Montreal, Quebec, Canada