A funeral for a friend: Easy Street Records’ final day in Queen Anne

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There are a lot of things I’ll remember about the final day of business at Easy Street Records Queen Anne.

I’ll remember the sadness I felt seeing a sales floor that once housed thousands of records in bins mostly gutted, leaving an empty, concrete floor in its place. I’ll remember Easy Street owner Matt Vaughan’s impassioned speech thanking everyone for not just supporting his store but for supporting the local music community (“… together, that’s what you and us here at Easy Street are all about.”). And of course I’ll remember how happy I was thinking about all of the amazing records I bought in that store.

Watch: Farewell, Easy Street Queen Anne

But years from now what I’ll likely remember most about Easy Street Records’ swan song in Queen Anne is the overall celebratory atmosphere of that night. There were clerks dancing on the counter while Yo La Tengo rocked out during the shop’s final in-store. The store’s manager dispersed coolers filled with Olympia and Rainier tallboys, leaving free beers for all to enjoy, making sure that the night was more of a party than a funeral. And a marching band performed in the parking lot while customers danced their way out of the store after making one last purchase from Easy Street QA.

Adding to this happy, celebratory vibe was Troy Nelson. Nelson was one of Vaughan’s first hires for the QA shop 12 years ago and he too gave a speech. Like Vaughan, Nelson’s speech was about community, but the most touching part of his speech came when he proposed to his bandmate, and now fiance, Mackenzie Mercer. The two met at Easy Street, formed The Young Evils, and on that night they strengthened their bond with their engagement. That moment definitely brought a bit more meaning to Easy Street supporting the local music community.

The top-selling CDs & vinyl of all time at Easy Street Queen Anne

So here’s to many more years of happiness and community for Easy Street Records at its West Seattle location, and to a life filled with happiness and joy for the principal players of The Young Evils. Oh, and don’t worry Mackenzie and Troy, we’ll all forget about that one time you said you wanted to be like Thurston and Kim, we know you meant well at the time.

Travis Hay

About Travis Hay

Travis Hay is a professional music journalist who has spent the past 14 years documenting and enjoying Seattle's diverse music scene. In 2009 he established Guerrilla Candy and is currently the site's editor and publisher. He has written for various media outlets including MSN Music, the Seattle-Post Intelligencer, Seattle Weekly, Crosscut.com and others and was the founder and editor of defunct music site Ear Candy.