Drive for Sigur Ros RSD Redemption, Signed Phoenix

29 Apr


I’m not even going to pretend to explain to y’all how gigantic Zack and my music nerd-dom is.* I know you know, at this point. And you’ve also seen our adoration for vinyl collecting through our annual Record Store Day round-up posts (2012, 2013) and general home decor.  At this point, I consider some of my vinyl (along with Zack, Scooby, and my baby blanket) the stuff I’d save in a fire**. With that in mind, I present to you the week of amazing vinyl presents from an even more amazing boyfriend who treated*** me twice, even though it wasn’t my birthday or an anniversary or anything at all except his own kind heart and his deep understanding of me.

*I’ll give an example, though. The first words I ever said to her were “The Black Keys?” I’ve probably said “The Black Keys” to Caitlin 250 times in the 30 months since then, and we don’t even care for that band much anymore.

**Same here. It doesn’t hurt that all my Jack White vinyl is already in a hard carrying case.

***Treated is generous. I spent a total of $0 on this “treating,” but it did take some luck, timing and a friend working at the record store.


I was having a cruddy day (last Tuesday). A really, really cruddy day. I was still reeling from all of the horrible things going on in our country, and on top of that, was yelled at by people who I was trying to help at my job. It was breaking my spirit and making me feel like I wanted to throw my hands up and run away. At the peak of the breaking-me-down, when I had pretty much written off everything and was ready to curl up in a ball under my desk, Zack sauntered* into my office.

*Is there any better feeling than carrying a surprise gift you’re about to give someone that you know they’re going to love? It turned my walk into a saunter for sure.


Earlier in the day, Waterloo Records had announced they were doing a listening party for the new Phoenix record, Bankrupt!, and they were going to be giving away a signed copy of the test pressing to a lucky fan. This was happening at 1PM, so I was stuck at work and couldn’t go. I sent a message to my girl Melissa, who I met at a Phoenix show and has traveled the world with me to see the band play, in hopes she could win the copy for herself. I never thought to text Zack because I didn’t want to burden him with a pet project* errand for me. 

*I’m glad she didn’t ask. It would have taken some of the fun out of the surprise.

It happened to work out perfectly for my schedule. I was already planning on biking to Whole Foods, so I biked over to Waterloo across the street, got free pizza and talked to my friend about planning her wedding as she rang up customers while Bankrupt played. There were about a dozen people who entered the drawing, I’d guess, but sometimes you just get a feeling. I knew I was going to win. And it wasn’t just because my friend was the one doing the drawing. (She insists she didn’t rig it, but thanks either way, Michelle!)

Zack had e-mailed me earlier saying that I should get excited* about something, and it never crossed my mind what he’d managed to pull off.He came up behind me, and I turned around, tired and beaten down, to give him a hug. As I turned, I saw he had a giant poster in his hands, along with a cardboard box. My eyes glazed over the poster as it slowly came into focus — it was a Phoenix tour poster. My mind started stacking the building blocks, my mouth fell open and my eyes widened as I looked up at him and said, “…no!” His grin was huge** as he handed over the box, and I pulled out of it the test pressing of Bankrupt!. There it was, in my hands, autographed by the band, mine to keep. It was the universe and a very caring boyfriend knowing that I desperately needed a pick-me-up and going above an beyond to capture this amazing piece for my collection, and my heart soared. I have yet to put the vinyl under the needle, almost afraid to disturb it***, but it will happen because Zack and I have been falling in love with the record all week and we’re ready to party. I didn’t think Zack could make a more sweeping vinyl gesture for me than this. I was dead wrong.

*It was a very Caitlin-inspired e-mail. The subject was “Get excited for the best surprise everrr” and the body was simply “Eeeeeeee.”

**I’m smiling again re-reading this.

***I know the feeling. I’m so cautious with my rare vinyl that I turn into a total spaz, and have even ruined a couple albums, like the Yeasayer test pressing that had too small a hole.


Cut to Friday, as Zack and I are munching down on some delicious Subway lunch and watching The Office. We’ve got eight minutes left in the show, and then the plan is to go on a bike ride. All of a sudden, Zack explodes with energy, saying, “HOLD EVERYTHING. Stop the show. We have to move.” I look over at him, confused, and he tells me, “Waterloo* posted they have more of Sigur Ros’ Record Store Day release! We have to go — NOW!” My brain is fuzzy** and I don’t entirely comprehend what he’s telling me, but my heart starts racing and I drop my bag of Sun Chip, fingers still cheesy, pick them and my cookie up again unthinkingly and set them high on the kitchen counter (I honestly was in a daze doing this and didn’t remember doing it, so the whole time we were out I was afraid Scooby would eat my munchies***) and we headed out the door.

*Private Facebook message from Michelle. She’s the unsung hero in this story.

**Caitlin’s head exploded. She just said a string of “What? WHAT?! Where? OK. You’re driving? OK. OK. Let’s go” and we were out the door in seconds.



I moved like a zombie. I just put feet in front of me, my purse draped over my shoulder, as Zack offered to drive* us. Thank goodness he did. What followed was a hilarious display that is really a shame to not have been captured on video. I basically became a cartoon character in the car, shouting to people in front of us to get out of the way, pounding on my lap, stretching out my face with my hands in agony**, fearing that we’d miss our chance again and my excitement at finally snagging this album I had dreamed of getting would be squelched all over again. Zack explained in the car that it was a friend of his who worked at Waterloo who told him about the stock coming back in, and it wasn’t just an announcement to the general populace, so he felt very confident in our chances. I still wasn’t convinced. My voice went in overly dramatic roller coasters, going from loud and high-pitched to whispering and deep, begging with the music gods to save me a copy of this album I wanted to own so very badly.

*DRIVE. Foreshadowing? 

**It was surreal. Caitlin told me the next time I’d see her flailing this wildly in a car, she’d be pregnant on her way to the hospital. It was that extreme. Pretty hilarious to watch. Actually what I said was, this was even WORSE than how I’d be when I was pregnant on the way to the hospital in the car. Zack was not convinced and when I told him he could tell me that the day I was pregnant on the way to the hospital, he did an amazing, if a bit constipated, rendition of how he envisioned that day would go. I’m glad we’re a long way off.


Zack has never driven better than he did that day. He weaved in and out of traffic like a pro*, managing to always switch to a new lane that had no cars in it before lights turned green. As soon as we were in the parking lot of Waterloo, we leapt out of the car, rushed into the store, went straight for the Record Store Day display — and there it was. Three copies, in fact. I picked it up, held it in my hands, hugged it. Hugged Zack. He’d put our acquiring this piece of Sigur Ros deliciousness ahead of everything, just for me, and I couldn’t thank him enough. He had twice lifted my spirits and my week by helping me get a little piece of musical excellence**. Even though I am over the moon about the vinyl, my best reminder from the week was how much this guy loves me***, and how much I love him right back.

*Real human being. And a real hero.

**Caitlin returned the favor big time. She noticed the Drive soundtrack I really wanted from RSD was re-stocked as well. And as much as I wanted to flip the rare picture disc vinyl for a $100 profit on eBay, Caitlin convinced me that if you can’t enjoy something beautiful once in a while, what good is money anyway?  

***The most! ❤


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