It is two days after Christmas. All the golden glowing lights are still up and streets are starting to grow busy again. Polaroid camera in hand and my three closest compadres next to me, the four of us walk from Broadway Boulevard to Oak Street, through the endless twists and turns of downtown alleys, all in the search of Babel, the newest record by Mumford and Sons. Then, tucked between a brewery and a bright green brick wall, I spot one of my first and favorite discoveries in the Kansas City Crossroads: Josey’s Record Shop. A pathway of partially paved sidewalks and dimming streetlights lead us to the building with “Josey’s Records Kansas City” painted across an entire wall. If you are looking for a glimpse into what the culture of the KC Crossroads looks like, well, you are in the right place.
We step arm-in-arm past the tables with cassette tapes and business cards strewn across and into the heaven that is Josey’s Records. Almost immediately, a blast of Weezer music hits us. Hard. Well known artists play alongside local ones in perfect disunity. The brick walls of Josey’s are painted and used as makeshift art galleries, covered in bright designs and painted skateboards. They are filled with records by artists like Bastille, Blink-182 and the Beatles.
The workers at Josey’s are a breed of their own. The music junkies that stand behind the record bar have the superhuman ability of naming a song within the first few notes played out of the oversized speakers. They are as much a part of the shop as the records themselves are, filling Josey’s with a rock-inspired charm. With the aid of these tee-shirt wearing superheroes, my record is found. Walking up to the pallet desk seemingly held together with flyers and stickers, I buy the vinyl that I had been searching for since it came out.
As I step out of the building, I am immediately hit by the familiar downtown sounds of construction and road rage. The well-known sense of nostalgia sets in quickly, so I put in my headphones, open Spotify and go to my playlist inspired by Josey’s.
So, Josey’s, thank you for opening my eyes, ears and wallet to everything I have been missing out on – the music, the amazing album covers and the most interesting people I have ever encountered – time and time again.
You can find my Josey’s playlist down below: