“Take the next ticket. Get the next train.”
So hard to believe that the a.k.a. music on 3rd Street above Market in Philadelphia has been gone nearly two and a half years. It had been a regular stop for me since I was an undergrad at Temple, way back in the early 2000s. Really what made the place stand out was that one of the proprietors would write descriptions of the music in Sharpie® on the shrink wrap of the CDs: “This mood. That genre. Sounds like this. … Compare to that …, etc.” Back in the days of the Motorola Razr, one could not simply whip out a smartphone and Google up the CD to read about it, much less hear samples of it, much less listen to the whole thing on Spotify without even buying it. Back in those days, the on-wrap descriptions were most helpful.
This is not to mention the selection, which suited my tastes very well, or the modest but reliable vinyl section, with well-chosen collectibles adorning the walls, or the expansive used CD section, where I ended up spending most of the money I spent there. The store had everything I needed—so it was with shock and sadness to me that store rather abruptly shuttered around the weekend of my birthday in 2015.
A month before this sad event, Tame Impala released Currents, the long awaited follow-up to their breakthrough album, Lonerism. I remember inquiring about it at all the downtown stores, but nobody could keep it in stock. After fruitless searches, I retired to a.k.a. to place an order for later pick-up. About two weeks after placing the order, I received a call to come pick up the CD quickly, for I might not have another chance.
When I did return to pick up the CD, I was greeted with store closing signs and sales: “Store closing blowout! Everything must go! 50% of everything in the store!” That sort of thing. I made the most of the opportunity, and bought somewhere around 25 used CDs over the next two days while saying a long good-bye to the store that meant so much to me over the past decade.
Now those CDs have been sitting in a pile on my floor for the past two years, patiently awaiting a their turn at a full on marathon. That marathon begins today, with the CD that brought me back to the store in the first place for it’s final weekend: Currents, by Tame Impala.
Let It Happen opens the album and sets the tone for the rest of it. A video edit of the song paired it with some interesting visuals, but left out three minutes of the best music. Check it out below, along with a live “Deezer Session”, whatever that is: