one day you're in; the next, you're out.

i'm making it official: amoeba records is a shitty record store. just a few years ago, their used prices started rising to $8.99, $9.99, and pretty soon i saw used cd's going for $12.99. a used disc. keep in mind, you can download that same album (free, of course - rules don't apply on the internet), burn it on a disc that comes with 49 other discs for $12.99 and make 50 copies of that same piece of crap. but other than that, amoeba's workers are rude, obnoxious, and pretentious. the last time i was there, a clerk, who was positioned at the farthest possible cash register (probably 15 + yards from where i was standing) called to me multiple times. obviously, i didn't hear the long-haired dickhead. so, when i finally noticed him waving me over, he was a real dick. here's how that scene played out:

l.h.d. (grunting): ...
me (handing over my vinyl): do you guys validate?
l.h.d. (sighs, rolls his eyes): yeah. we do that later (flicks parking ticket back at me).
me: ...

we didn't say anything else. he made it pretty clear by manhandling my records and grunting and slamming things down that he was pretty upset that i didn't hear him, and that he had to call over to me one too many times.

and last night, i had to deal with the pretentious, geeky, wannabe-artist type. here's how that went:

me: can i get cash back?
p.g.w.a.s. (sounding like kip from napoleon dynamite): sooo-ryyy.
me: ...
p.g.w.a.s. (handing me jukebox): here you are. thank youuu.

in tagalog, there's a word that perfectly describes these lame, pasty hipsters: arte. it means that someone's being a big drama queen, being a big, dumb actor. that's the only way to describe the people who work there.

that being said, here's an updated list of the greatest west coast record stores (in my opinion):

5. half price books (seattle)
4. streetlight (santa cruz)
3. dimple (sac, davis, roseville, folsom)
2. rasputin's (vallejo, berkeley, sf, san jose)
1. easy street (seattle, west seattle)

yes, i miss easy street and ripping them off. while this works at any record store, easy street was really casual about it. say you buy a cd and it's a piece of crap. now, the rule is, once it's opened, you can't return it. the only exception is when it's defective. so lying about its defectiveness is the only way to get it back to the shitty company where it belongs. so you take it in, say it's defective. technically, you're not lying. one black man, a customer at tower records, summed up this scenario best when he told me, "it's defective to my ears." here's the other thing, before you go in to return the janky cd you bought, make sure you hide the other copies. because once you say it's defective, the clerks will try to get you the exact same copy. so hide that other shit. put those copies where no one else will find them. file them under engelbert humperdinck. then proceed with plan. when they can't find the same copy, they'll be forced to give you store credit. then you can buy another janky cd to burn.

in the case that you lose your receipt, all you have to say is those four magic words: "it was a gift." those four words will allow you to return anything you own. join the phrase "it was a gift," plus "it's defective," and suddenly, you're unstoppable.

the beautiful thing about easy street is that they don't open cds in front of you. clerks in other stores will do that under the guise of, "we want to make sure this one isn't defective, too," but really, they do it so that you can't return something and get your money back. easy street will also give you a stamp each time you buy something. so, return 15 cds (that remastered bob dylan box set will do the trick) and get one free. note: the free one isn't returnable.

to most, this probably sounds petty and juvenile. but then again, so is participating. you decide.


ms.meggie said...

i seem to remember driving out to west seattle to return a vashti bunyan cd at easy street and them not taking it back. Instead, they inserted into their cd player and played it, just to prove to me that the cd wasn't defective but that my cd player was.

ms.meggie said...

correction: YOUR cd player.

Talking about Hard Times said...

yeah, my car's stereo needs to be cleaned because it works everywhere else.