I had never been to a full-fledged record fair before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to the first Music Mash in Fairfield. Sponsored by WPKN 89.5 FM, Music Mash '13 took place on Saturday, September 7 in the Fairfield Theatre Company Annex, which is attached to the main FTC building. It was also located within walking distance from the train station, making it easier for record collectors to travel from places such as New Haven and New York City. Hardcore fans could get in for $20 for the “Early Bird” hours of 8 to 10 A.M., which the rest of the public paid $5 for admission between 10 and 5 P.M. WPKN put this fair on with the help of Record Riots, which has organized shows such as the Brooklyn Record Riot. They managed to feature several celebrity guests at the WPKN booth as well, such as Chris Frantz (who currently has a show on the station) & his wife Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club. Another one of the guests was Hilton Valentine, who was the original guitarist in the Animals. There were also local food trucks such as Norwalk’s Cowabunga, Bridgeport’s Taco Loco Black Rock’s Fire Engine Pizza Company.
I had a lot of fun browsing the fifty tables featuring thousands of records and CDs from a variety of dealers. There really was just about every genre imaginable, including rock, pop, novelty, country, jazz, soul, metal, punk, psychedelia and more. I ran into several people I knew there: one was Danbury-based musician Malcolm Tent with his travelling pop-up shop selling mostly records and DVDs. Every since his successful, nearly two-decade-old store Trash American Style was unjustly forced out by a greedy landlord in early 2007, he’s been taking his inventory on the road to concerts, colleges, record fairs and flea markets (such as the Heirloom Arts Theatre one, where I met him.) I ended up buying The Dictators’ “Manifest Destiny” LP and “Weird Al” Yankovic’s “Fat” 7-inch single from Tent, before he excitedly went to get a Talking Heads record autographed. I had bought several seven-inches earlier from another dealer as well, including Yankovic’s “Fat;” Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal;” Madness’ “Our House;” Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop;” and The Angels’ “My Boyfriend’s Back.” I had a really enjoyable time overall, and it makes me wish I were rich enough to buy a whole lot more.