I was thrilled when I read on this site that Vinyl Renaissance is taking over the old Streetside Records in Westport. So when I got to the end of the frontage road I was confronted with a sign that said "Right Turn Only" — the opposite direction of home.
I bought a vintage Dual turntable recently and I’m slowly turning my digital music collection into something tangible. Vinyl Renaissance has one of the best selections in the area (plus they sell super-top-of-the-line audiophile equipment like Macintosh that’s cool to look at and fantasize about being rich.)
The only downside is that it’s in the worst possible location in the metro area.
Seriously, going to VR’s outpost in a circa-1950 strip mall on a frontage road just off of Shawnee Mission Parkway is like descending into the darkest ring of suburban hell.
No, it’s worse. It’s like a prototype of suburban hell.
Every fucking time I go there I miss a turn and wind up having to do those kinds of U-turns you only have to do in the suburbs, where you have to go a block and a half in the wrong direction and then turn into a parking lot with one-way lanes that force you to circle around the whole damned lot only to discover that you can’t turn left out of the parking lot so you have to turn right and continue in the wrong direction.
Anyway, it’s worth it.
But just barely.
I went there on Saturday and flipped through the racks for an hour, finding about $748 worth of stuff I wanted to buy. But I only had $23 in my wallet so I boiled it down to a battle between the Minutemen’s Double Nickels on the Dime and Meat Puppets II. I decided on the latter because I was playing it on my iPod earlier in the week and my wife said she liked it.
I still had some change left so I got down on my hands and knees and looked through their 50-cent pile. Sometimes you can find pristine classical albums there. And this time was no different. Among other treasures, I found a complete three-disc set of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, with Birgit Nilsson.
Let me tell you, this thing is a glorious work of art. It was recorded and released in 1950. It comes with a booklet with biographical stuff, a synopsis and the full script in Italian and English.
I got so lost in my music-finding reverie that it wasn’t until after I’d paid up and I was heading to my car that I remembered what I’d read on KC Confidential: VR is buying Streetside.
I turned around and went back in to ask when the move is going to happen so I wouldn’t ever have to get all lost and annoyed in the ghetto-burbs.
"That’s not true," the guy said. "We’re not buying them. We were looking into it, but nothing has happened."
I got back into my car and forgot that I should pull out to the right instead of the left.