By Keldon Irwin | The Daily Ledge
While Mammoth Music has been carrying vinyls dating back to the owner’s former CD store in the 90’s. Obsession Records (the new kid on the block), opened in 2014 and both Anchorage stores scored Record Store Day vinyls.
Andy Tholberg, sales associate at Mammoth said they share friendly business, sending customers back and forth. “We participate in RSD every year we can,” Tholberg said. “We may try for ten of something, but only get one.” He said he felt the distribution was fair between the two participating Alaskan stores.
Mammoth participated in 2013 and 2015 and has participated as far back as ’09. With no Alaskan RSD participants in 2014, enthusiasts such as Aric Hanley (pictured in lawn chair) and myself had to go online to get any sought after wax.
After weaving through traffic from Mammoth to Obsession, the stores had to have some 30 plus people inside with packed parking lots. Most RSD exclusives were already sold within a half hour and countless limited 500 to 2,000 exclusives made their way to happy homes.
Obsession records earned a place to be one of nine RSD participants in the country to be featured in Rolling Stone’s Magazine with a feature news article and on the spot photographer. Family owned and staffed Obsession Records claimed their first RSD was “So Successful.”
Hanley went from Obsession to Mammoth when he saw the wall of discophiles, record lovers, in blankets and Alaska worthy clothing. First in line at Obsession claimed and purchased Brand New’s release. The obsessively alphabetized shop was wall to wall – shoulder to shoulder for more than an hour. Hanley was looking for the Kesher split, but particularly the Brand New LP. Only Obsession received a Brand New LP, so Hanley drew the wrong card on 4/18/15 but Mammoth had a designated RSD area with Black Friday 2014 record leftovers nearby in more boxes.
Mammoth had some 15 people at a time looking at five new boxes of all RSD releases while Obsession put them in front of the respective alphabetic row, dispersing the frenzy but both stores sold most of their RSD stock.
I scored one of the state’s two rare Eyedea & Abilities LP’s and two of three Grizzly Bear’s “Horns of Plenty” LPs.
Not one unhappy face was spotted at Obsession. By all means, they were on camera! Vinyl spinning upbeat tunes, youth and mature alike and their records displaying. Steve at Obsession gave life to record lover’s favorite day.
As one customer greeted me, “Merry Christmas!”