Recent record scores have been abundant for sure, especially during my trip to Chaos In Tejas which always has plenty of vinyl; both new and old, being thrown about. Now it has to be said that I love looking thru distros and vinyl dealer stalls even more than the average joe, because I have been a junkie for records for as long as I can recall.
However, in years past the frenzy in Austin has kinda actually bummed me out, with people clamoring over one another just to peruse through some box at a distro table. And there is plenty to get crazy about. There really are some great distros in attendance every year. This year the afore mentioned clamoring only happened to me twice, which was an amazing improvement.
Now, everyone probably has some story about a buddy that jumped out of the van when pulling into a great record store to run in and get the jump on everyone else, or having someone grab a record that you already had your hands on while flipping through the stacks. What the fuck is really up with the whole feeding frenzy thing anyway? I am a consummate collector of records too, but I’m still a sort-of “civilized person” (though that is debatable), and I wouldn’t push someone out of the way ’cause I saw a copy of something I had been looking for sitting in front of someone else. But there seem to be a growing number of people who would.
Jackasses who will reach over you to look through a box of records that you are CLEARLY already looking through. I don’t want to miss a gem either, but jesus christ people!?! This brings me to my dilemma, How ought we respond to this behavior? Should we just just call them on it verbally? and point out their transgressions which seems reasonable at a minimum, or should it come with some kind of more painful lesson?…like a punch to the ear?
I did my share of tangling with others over the years, and I feel like I have put it kinda behind me, but this is making me re-examine that thinking. Maybe a good hard elbow to the ribs would chill these nerds out just a little. We all have killer record collections that we want to make better, but thats just it…WE HAVE KILLER RECORD COLLECTIONS!!! I’m not gonna DIE if I don’t get that minty copy of DEVIATED INSTINCTs Nailed EP that I have been looking for for like 20 years (for example). If there is one in the stack then I will be all rainbows and bunnies inside, but I’m not gonna let my desire to get it overtake me and go into a full rugger scrum just to get at it once its spotted.
It’s like seeing the world as a glass half full or half empty. Can’t we be at least somewhat happy with what we have anymore? or is the desire to consume more just going to ruin this too? Maybe some of this is a result of the age in which we live. People can amass some kind of “near-perfect” punk record collection these days as long as they have money and the internet. Its no longer about finding some rarity in some crappy record store or trading some stuff you don’t want to one of your friends. Now its about somehow being the “winner” who scored ALL the shit you wanted! Nothing like watching someone whine about the record that they didn’t get cause someone else got to it first. WAKE UP and realize that this is CONSUMERISM too which is one of the things that punk was supposed to be pushing away from. These days I show up to the record swaps later in the day and still find gems without the drama. “Oh really? Some guy got a mint copy of the GISM Detestation LP here this morning for only $195 but had to fight two other dicks for the honor of taking it home? I’m so impressed.” As much as I’d like a copy too….Fuck that.
Speaking of Chaos in Tejas I do have to go on record to say that this year was FUCKING KILLER. I thought that the year with BASTARD would be hard to top cause that set left me feeling like I could die happy. THE MOB were SO much better than I could have ever imagined. REALITY CRISIS also really blew me away with their over-the-top frenzy. DEVIATED INSTINCT and ANTISECT were simply inspiring and amazing and something I have been waiting for for a LONG time. MASSGRAVE were great too and super cool guys (hail hydrogrinders!!!) DEATH EVOCATION, DEADLY REIGN, NO STATIK, WILD//TRIBE, MAUSER, FORWARD and MIDNIGHT all fucking destroyed. Some I knew were gonna impress, others like DEATH EVOCATION and WHITEHORSE were new to me and won me over easily. Strangely, I opted to see NASUM and forego the “headliners”, COCKNEY REJECTS. Stranger still…I never heard anyone say anything about that show. Maybe it was a bust. Maybe I made the right decision. Too many choices. NASUM were like a whirlwind of blunt force head trauma and in my world that was pretty satisfying. My hats off to Timmy Hefner for once again putting together a great fest. Every year it just makes my year, to see old friends, meet new ones, to have time and opportunity to chat with the bands, to get rowdy in some hotel pool or over at Barton Springs, and of course, pick up a little new vinyl. If you’ve never been….you should.
Anyway…I found some great shit without having to push, shove or put my pits on somebody’s neck (much).