[Ed. note: The Brock Block is a new recurring series we're premiering at Baeble featuring the comedic, musical musings of L.A-based stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and musician Brock Wilbur
This coming Saturday, I'll be camped out frighteningly early in the morning, outside of Amoeba Records, regretting my life choices yet again.
Record Store Day is a battleground I look forward to each year. Hundreds of limited edition pressings and releases -- ranging from indie one-off splits to Bruce Springsteen remasters -- are available on a first come, first serve basis for those willing to brave the elements. While Amoeba has an impossible to beat selection on the day, the line for America's biggest independent record store is somewhat formidable...although that's become part of the draw.
My friend and fellow acetate addict, Rob Ondarza, brought me to my first RSD a few years back. At the time, Amoeba had just made the move to a list based order system. Previously, they'd gone with a free-for-all system which Rob compares to the YouTube videos of violence in Walmarts on Black Fridays. Rumor had it that a child had been knocked down during the rush, leading to the new system of distributing order forms and filling requests until merchandise runs out.
This method includes a master list displayed near the front of the line, where items are marked out with red sharpie as the stock runs out. Two years back, the album that was my big draw sold-out just as I reached the front of the line, and the fit I threw should have been gif'd as the ultimate in #WhitePeopleProblems. The true crotch kick from this experience is knowing that copies of your Holy Grail items will be available on eBay within the hour, but with the kind of internet mark-up that makes you regret getting into vinyl music, or even appreciating the sense of sound. This first-come system, combined with a general idea of how many units are distributed per store, means that some of the true die-hards will ask everyone ahead of them in line what they're buying to determine their own chances of grabbing their big item.
The joy and pain of choosing to support Amoeba on the day of involves the epic line that snakes several blocks down the street, so any reasonable attempt to fill your list involves arriving before five in the morning. Amoeba's location across the street from a Jack In The Box provides most of the entertainment, as this restaurant was outfitted with a speaker system so the LAPD can yell at loiterers and transients. Nothing spices up 7 A.M. quite like Orwellian megaphones shouting at the poor.
I've mixed up the businesses that have received my patronage over the years to support some of the awesome, much smaller stores that call my city home, but there's a cool draw in enduring a night of audiophile anticipation with a group of like-minded lunatics. Make sure to check out Record Store Day's official release list
and their collection of participating stores to find the venue that's right for you.