Functioning Member: Call It Compulsive, Call It Insane



This is a highly anticipated week for fans of established bands, with Belle and Sebastian and The Decemberists both releasing new material on Tuesday, not to mention the return of Sleater-Kinney. Weekend Review Kit is excited, so excited that we’re making a special trip to our local late night record shop, but we’re going in the morning because our kid’s not around then.


In honor of our trip to a good ole fashioned record store to purchase some good ole fashioned records, we’re eschewing the more modern cannabis ingestion methods and going back to the source. No vaporized concentrates or infused pumpkin pie for us today! We’re grinding up flower, stuffing it into glass pipes, and lighting that shit on fire like cave people!!!




  1. Smoke a hybrid.


You might think that the purer the sativa the better for record shopping, but I’ve found that to be tricky business. Some sativas, like Green Crack, or Alice in Wonderland, or even the Moonshine Haze, while making me aware and awake, also tend to make me a little too excited in a place where I have to be mindful of money. I don’t want to overspend. A solid hybrid, like, say, Blue Dream, helps me remain attentive to my surrounding while relaxed enough to know that it’s okay, I don’t really need to buy this Tom Waits box set.



  1. Set a limit and use cash.


In the past spending more money than I had at the record store meant we had to eat buttered noodles for six days straight. Now it means feeding our daughter buttered noodles for six days straight, which would delight her but certainly cause some sort of vitamin deficiency. So I am careful to bring the exact amount of cash I have to spend. Aside from ensuring that we all get to eat a more balanced diet, a spending limit always helps me appreciate the things I buy a little more, because I have to take some time convincing myself that I want the two records I’m keeping more than the four I have to put back, especially if I find something unexpected.



  1. Bring a list of dream purchases/all-time favorites.


Every music collector I know has one. I keep mine on my phone; I’ve known other people who carry around paper lists. Most of the albums on mine either don’t exist in vinyl form or are too expensive, but there are a few that are just out of print and not especially rare. I like record stores that sell new and used music, especially vinyl, and I like to start in the used section because you never know…what…



  1. Start in the used section.


…wait, is that Dead Letter Office? For twenty dollars? Used? That’s perfect for a used copy of Dead Letter Office. Means it should be in pretty good shape. Okay. I didn’t think I’d find this here. I may have to reassess things, especially since there are two new releases this week that I really want to pick up. I’m getting Dead Letter Office for sure though. King of the Road? Honestly, now that I’ve got it in my hands, I’m not sure how I ever lived without it.



  1. Pull out what you think you might want, gently, and then gently re-shelve what you won’t be taking home.


Even if I don’t buy everything I grab, I keep it all with me just in case and put it back when I’m done. I’ve always done this, whether I’m shopping for toys or clothes or music. I’m terrified that I’ll decide I want something that gets scooped up the instant I return it to the shelf.


Even after you’ve got what you came for, take some time to browse. Every independent record store has its own feel, and the smallest, coolest ones will reflect their owners’ personal tastes. It’s a great time to add a few more titles to the list of dream finds. Just be careful not to pull out too many records, as a stack quickly becomes cumbersome.


Once you’ve seen everything, you, as a conscious cannabis connoisseur capable of logical thought, will have to make some tough decisions. Here’s where I appreciate the calming indica effects of the Blue Dream. They have the two records I came for, the new releases, and Dead Letter Office – how cool is that? – so I can put back everything else, and just get these three, even though I only brought enough money for two.


It’s one extra record. I’ve wanted it for a really long time, the guy said he just got a bunch of REM in today, so it’s kind of fate. I’m just one record over budget, as long as I check out right now I think I’ll be okay.


MoMA records

  1. Does this place sell socks? Dammit. It does sell socks. Next time go to a record store that doesn’t sell socks.


That’s okay. My budget really only pertains to the cash in our checking account. There’s still the credit card, which has plenty of room. Plus it’d probably be fine if I let my student loan payments slip for one month, right? Really, what benefits the economy more? Retail spending is important, and I’m supporting the local business community. Plus these socks are bright red and have the word BACON all over them. And I’m only one record and one pair of socks over budget.


What’s that? It’s three pairs for twenty-five dollars?


One record and three pairs of socks over budget. I might need to find a second job.


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