Once upon a time, a younger girl dreamed of a place where the coffee was awesome and the people were cool. She heard the tales of an ‘old fashioned’ record store where the music was amazing a store like the one she grew up with. Not some big box warehouse. A local, neighborhood store that you could go into and really listen to music. A place you could talk about music. That place exists my friends. A store called Easy Street Records.
For a moment allow me to wax poetic about one of my favorite places. I lived in West Seattle for many of years, and Easy Street Records was by far my bliss. For me it was a place where I could go and not think about the tornado of life. Where my daughter and I could sift through the music bit by bit and I would teach her about various bands and types of music. We would have some breakfast, lingering over coffee, chatting with the awesome staff. That’s right kids there’s a kick ass café right in the store. The music would play through the sound system and all sorts of memories would rush in. I rediscovered Prince thanks to them. You would think a place like this just didn’t exist anymore but gratefully it does. Like I said…bliss.
Matt Vaughn founded Easy Street Records in 1988, by. The West Seattle store in The Junction opened first, followed by a larger place up in lower Queen Anne. They have just about anything and everything your heart could desire, including vinyl. It’s literally a music playground. The lower Queen Anne store despite having hosted tons of in stores and being a fixture in that neighborhood for 12 years, closed its doors on January 18, 2013.
Matt Vaughn said the main reason for its closure was due to a crazy increase in rent. However, the West Seattle original still thrives. An added bonus to all this wonderful, are the murals of bands, artists and other cool images on the buildings, painted by Glenn Case. They are the stuff of awesome. You can see his work here but be prepared to be gob smacked. Not much can make me smile at an extra-long light like seeing Glen outside doing his thing.
I phoned the store today because I was hanging out on their blogs countdown to Record Store Day, which is this Saturday. I spoke with store manager Adam Tutty, and asked him what the plans were for the big day. Also, I was trying to get some more info from him since there was quite the dangler posted on the blog about some exciting announcements. What I found out for sure was there will be an in store by Rose Windows (The Sun Dogs on Sub Pop records) on Saturday which will no doubt be amazing. As far as any other details Adam couldn’t divulge lest they fall through. So keep checking their site to see what else they have in store. No really.
I couldn’t write about this mecca of wonderful without telling the story of the most historic of in-stores. Easy Street was hosting the National Conference for Independent Record Stores. Mike McCready of Pearl Jam wanted to do something as a thank you for these stores support over the years. Matt Vaughn suggested a private invite only show. The attendees came to the West Seattle location under the pretense of a work party and were surprised as Pearl Jam came out to play. Pearl Jam later released an EP called Live At Easy Street of that performance which from what I’ve heard is the stores biggest selling record.
So kids, if you are ever in Seattle, be sure and visit this place of wonder. I love Easy Street Records and I thank them. My daughter and I have so many great memories that we will take through our lives. You are what dreams are made of. Long live the Independent Record Stores and make sure you go find your local place this Saturday and hopefully you will find your bliss, but they will never be Easy Street.