Vinyl Bucket List by Bike
Support Your Local Record Shop!
Here is a slideshow of all the record stores we visited in 2016.
2016 was an epic year for music, good and bad. We lost so many musicians and gained a tribe of powerful females. Music helped us explore our feelings of depression, power, rage, despair and unity after an election. On the night of November 2nd, I experienced mini-panic attacks that manifested into nightmares when I tried to sleep. Morning came and we walked our blissfully naive daughter to school, faced with parents resembling zombies. I avoided social media and drowned myself in manual labor, all while listening to KEXP. Cheryl Waters played an all female set and I was instantly in a different mood, feeling like I wasn't alone. And in the months following, time after time, music and the banter from the DJs lifted me up.
We went to KEXP's "Bed In", our first trip to their studios, on January 20th, inauguration day and then to the Women's March in Seattle that weekend. It was a religious experience and made me realize more than ever, how important music is for our collective well being.
With our President proposing to completely eliminate funding for Arts and Humanities organizations, I have one plea: support musicians by buying a record from your locally owned store.
4 years ago when a modern house next door was set to be demolished, my husband and his two friends outfitted themselves with headlamps and brown liquor for an urban decay spelunk. Besides an adventure in a moldy house that was ripe for a horror movie scene, they came home with 8 mm film, mixing bowls and a mid-century record player. Since then, we've watched the film (demolished home's deceased architect & resident, William H. Galvin), used the bowls for many a recipe, and have slowly accumulated a modest record collection.
Music, like a bike, has been a source of freedom, refuge and inspiration from childhood to adulthood. Beatles were road trips, Madonna was empowerment, Janet was dance, Smashing Pumpkins opened up a whole new world of music, Moby was those awful early-20s, New Pornographers was falling in love with my husband again, Elliot Smith was reeling from a colicky baby and Lorde is mother-daughter bonding. Before our daughter was born, in lieu of traditional baby shower gifts, we asked friends to bring records that our daughter should grow up with.
I hope this post inspires you to shop a local record store this weekend and throughout the year, support the artists you love and maybe, just maybe grab some vinyl by bike...just make sure you have a protective place to put it for the ride home;)
This list was curated based on what we knew, our friend's recommendations and "The Best Record Stores in the USA" photo essay by Rolling Stone.
Routes & Itineraries featuring Record Shops
These self-guided tours were curated by locals and feature a local record shop. Note to any music lovers in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Montreal, New York, Portland and Seattle, we're in need of routes....become an ambassador.