While growing up in the late eighties and early nineties my Dad had these two homemade wooden cassette racks, both completely full – even as a kid it was impressive regardless of whether or not I knew who or what Porno for Pyros is/was. There were rows and rows of little plastic cases, most with white lettering on a black background that said things like "Bob Dylan" in bold font or "Price Around The World in a Day". I liked running my finger down the row of cassettes and hearing the noise it made, like how Tom Sawyer did with a stick and a fence. I liked the idea of a wall of music, it seemed like an accomplishment.
In high school I would save my lunch money for a week in order to buy CDs at Circuit City. I was completely and overwhelmingly obsessed with building up my CD collection. At Circuit City I would more often than not go for quantity over quality. I just wanted a wall of CDs, even if most of the shelf space was made up of artists and bands I didn't love, or even know, they were just in the sale bucket. (Side note: I still have some of the Circuit City sale bucket CDs in my collection and can't tell you the last time I listened to Hefner)
Now I collect records.
Last month I decided to change my record buying habits. I still have a bit of a spending problem when it comes to these things. If I don't set limits for myself it's not hard to buy records every week, and end up owning Hefner on vinyl for some reason (I don’t… yet) Spending money on the things you love isn’t traditionally an issue for people, but when you're facing $100,000 in student loan debt, it's hard to rationalize needing to own every new album that comes out. That's why last month I was delighted to find Record Friends.
Subscription models are huge these days. Things like Birchbox, Trunk Club, Dollar Shave Club and NatureBox are great go-to gifts but for me, not really worth the price tag each month. I give you $30 and you give me sample sizes of things I won’t eat or use? Naw, I’m good. When I started digging around for other subscription services I came across Turntable Kitchen. Awesome idea, but not for me. It got me thinking: I wish there were a record of the month club. Google led me to Record Friends. Turns out if I just think something it will appear. (The new TMNT movie won’t be terrible)
Record Friends is a simple record of the month club that sends you a brand new LP every month for the low price of just $20. The site says that sometimes you’ll receive an occasional bonus gift, which I already have. After just 2 months I am already hooked. The two albums I have received so far are great, and I totally trust these guys now with introducing me to new music. Too often I get locked into the music I know and love, having these guys send me a random record will, I hope, broaden my tastes a bit.
In the spirit of sharing: This month Record Friends sent out the new album by not-from-the-seventies-band War on Drugs. It’s absolutely worth your time. -DW