WHEN RECORDS ARE PEOPLE: Markers Of A Life Amid A Museum of Wax

A record store story for Record Store Day (that is, a story for those of you for whom Record Store Day comes but once a year …). Chances are, the illness I describe only afflicts those such as myself, for whom prolonged, protracted exposure to dusty bins, racks, or rows of vinyl can cause a psychologically discombobulating, mildly hallucinatory condition — a disorder where occasional bouts of grandiose euphoria are mistaken for finely honed revelations of clarity. This is known as a WAX Attack, aka Wonky Album Xenophobia, where the victim envisions absolutely nothing existing in the world beyond his or her immediate geographical, emotional, and psychological resting place of records within the confines of the record store; or AVAS, otherwise known as Acute Vinyl Attachment Syndrome. If you witness an individual talking or even muttering and grinning to themselves within earshot of no passersby or fellow customers within a ten-yard radius amid racks of neglected records, there is a 72 percent chance they are not reciting their grocery shopping list. Or recounting the unpleasant workplace exchange they had earlier that morning with their toxic boss who is bent on making their life miserable — just because they happen to spend a few extra minutes after lunch hour at the record store. In those instances, it’s best to not approach the afflicted with the intent of flipping through a nearby rack to troll for vinyl goodies, or make any sudden movements near the stack of subject’s already picked cherries. These precarious conditions are akin to aggravating a Vulcan in heat a la Spock’s ‘Amok Time.’ And we’ve all seen the consequences of that. Best to gather your belongings and head straight to the store’s used Blu-Ray section. He (or she) will never find you there. Because they’ll never bother to look in that location — ever.

RPM: Jonathan Perry's Life in Analog

This is my brain on records (and quite possibly the cerebral cortex of a few of you out there who also obsess about such things):

Ruffner 'n' Ready: Mason's '87 LP, "Gypsy Blood" Ruffner ‘n’ Ready: Mason’s ’87 LP, “Gypsy Blood”

I couldn’t stand Mason Ruffner giving me the cold shoulder any longer. There he was, every time I sifted through the “R” section in the bins of my favorite used-record store (yes, they still do exist), on the lookout for vintage titles by the Replacements, Raspberries, Remains, and yes, maybe even a mis-filed Rolling Stones album. (The Stones had their own section, but it wasn’t unheard of for some unscrupulous customer – actually, I like the word ‘strategic’ a bit better – to purposely misplace a desired album they either didn’t have the money to buy at the moment, were undecided about, or wanted to hold off on while they checked their inventory).

I always inevitably came upon…

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