Tacos, Dancing, and Mucha Musica

Crate digging at the Rock and Roll Yard Sale

It doesn’t matter that Cinco de Mayo actually takes place on Monday. In Providence, apparently, celebrations start on Saturday. On a warm (but not vinyl-sensitive warm) May 3rd, hundreds of families, college kids, and serious crate diggers flooded Downtown to celebrate at the third annual Providence Rock and Roll Yard Sale. The event ran from 12-6; here’s the lowdown on the five hours I stayed.

Ken's Ramen shakes these up with some delicious tacos

The Food Let’s start with something non-music related: tacos. If you wanted lunch at the Yard Sale, that was pretty much your only option. Restaurants, like Talullah’s, and food trucks, like Poco Loco, served crowd-pleasing, traditional versions of this Mexican meal. I fulfilled my taco-craving with Pork Belly Tacos from Ken’s Ramen, a newly-opened downtown ramen shop; the result was everything you would want in a taco.

The Brown Mariachi band keeps the beat at the Rock and Roll Yardsale

The Music Remember when DJs actually played vinyl? That’s how things spun downtown, as classic Mexican tunes met hip-hop beats and face-painted dancers twirled around. Later in the afternoon, the Brown Mariachi band continued the theme with more danceable Spanish songs…and more dancing!

crated digging for albums

The Records I love tacos and I love live music but, for me, the Rock and Roll Yard Sale is about the records. I was impressed by the variety of vinyl venders, ranging in prices and genres. Positioned at the front of the street, What Cheere Records + Antiques (my favorite record shop, hands down) brought their store to the streets. They sell mint-condition records at high prices and features pretty much every genre you’d want. Throw in top-notch service and the occasional rare-find, and you’ve got the perfect record store.

Looking for a deal? Another seller had boxes upon boxes of bargain-price records. Like, $2-a-record bargain price. If you followed the back alleys, there were more record purveyors to be found. Even the DJ of the day had a solid collection of 70’s rock, electronica, and more on sale. Elsewhere, negotiations were made and bargains were settled on.

My record purchases, Sandinista!, Vampire Weekend, and Remain in Light

My Purchases With so much to choose from, it was hard to decide on what to buy. In the end I settled on three seminal pop-rock masterpieces: Talking Head’s Remain in Light, The Clash’s Sandinista!, and Vampire Weekend’s eponymous debut. What did I do when I left the Rock and Roll Yard Sale? Listen, listen, listen.

Basically, if you own a record player (and even if you don’t) this was the place to be. As the day proved, vinyl isn’t going anywhere.

About the Author

Drummer Boy


  • Anisa said:
    May 8, 2014 at 3:54 am

    Great additions to the vinyl collection. Love that your music tastes range from new to some of my favorite classics. Wondering what is next on your wish list.

  • Drummer Boy said:
    May 8, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Next on my wish list? Can’t wait for Lazaretto, obviously. Also: more Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire.

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