New Records, New Record Stores

Since it's agreed among my friends that the first 10 days of the new year were nothing less than feculent, I think a do-over is in order, beginning now. But first, I must backtrack a bit in order to demonstrate how I was able to push-start my own rotten 2003.

A couple of days ago, I was steadily percolating on my couch. Then I remembered something about the dinner the Showbox had put on several Saturdays previous. Most specifically, I remembered the wrist corsage my friend Kerri proudly wore that night, given to her by her escort for the evening, the frontman of a well-known local band. I called her up and we discussed the crappiness of the year thus far, and then I said, "Hey, but what about that sweet corsage?" She answered, "Can we just stop for a moment and talk about the perfectness of that corsage?" For a while, we weren't looking forward to a less crummy year; we were examining the sentimentality and optimism a few flowers wrapped up in lace offered. Outside of proms or Mother's Day, corsages are a nearly forgotten tradition that still meant something to her young friend. There we were, old biddies in our mid-to-late 30s who hadn't had a corsage on our wrists since the godforsaken '80s, gushing about a kid--in a band, no less--who was not embarrassed by gestures of respect. I thought about it again the next day, and goddammit if that little corsage didn't make me cry. I'm still trying to understand why that happened. Maybe it's because when I was that singer's age, my boyfriend was one of those cheap bastards who ignores Valentine's Day because he thinks it's "forced." Or maybe I was just tired of the year starting so disappointingly. Whatever. It's 2003 already. Let's try our best not to stink it up too badly, shall we?

* * *

Let's see... Roy, one of many bands featuring former members of Botch, is being courted by Epitaph, if the guys at have their facts straight. Portland's Swords Project has signed on with New York's (Brooklyn's, to be exact) Arena Rock Recording Company, the label that launched the first Harvey Danger record, Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?, into the stratosphere. Cobra High is releasing some new stuff on Cold Crush Records, the label co-owned by Pretty Girls Make Graves bassist Derek Fudesco. Sonic Boom, one of the best and friendliest record stores in town, is opening another store on Capitol Hill's bustling 15th Avenue. (I'm personally overjoyed by this news, simply because it means I'll never, ever again have to go into Orpheum Records and be ridiculed and/or snorted at by the most indier-than-thou record store clerk I have ever endured. Hey, Indie-Pants: Sometimes CDs get scratched, broken, or, in my case, stepped on, and we need to replace them. Don't roll your eyes as if we're buying Incesticide for the first time because we got the Nirvana best-of collection for Christmas.) Everyday Records is going up on Broadway; when I lived in Portland, that store was a great source for used vinyl, especially when I took a couple of muscle relaxants one time and went through every single record bin in the store.

The best news of this restarted new year is that Mia Zapata's alleged killer has been caught, thanks to the national DNA database. May her family and friends finally get justice and peace.