Bingo Square 1: Music
Heavy Vinyl: Y2K-O! could actually have fit more than one square, but I wanted to start in a corner, and Music is what I’d slotted it for, so this is where it all starts. This is book 2 in a graphic novel series that is set in a music store, whose employees form a band and compete in a battle of the bands, and who investigate wrong-doing or dishonesty in the music business.
I liked volume 1 but I think either time or maybe the heavier nostalgia factor for the late 90s that’s really present in this one made Y2K-O! really entertaining for me. 4 teen girls, Chris (narrator), Maggie (now girlfriend of Chris), Dolores (frenemy), and Kennedy (assistant manager), work in a record shop owned by Irene. But the shop has a secret (kind of, this was actually a reveal from the first novel): it’s also a training facility for a covert group of ladies all over the world who train fight-club style to defend the music industry from bad guys. The girls of Vinyl Destination win tickets to a concert while dealing with various teen relationship issues like Kennedy’s boyfriend going away for college, Chris stressing over what to do about a sleep-over invite from Maggie, and Dolores possibly crushing on the hot DJ from a local radio station. Then they find out that there’s something afoot with music downloaded from the new streaming site Snapster (if you, like me, were coming of age in the 90s you know what this is a reference to) potentially related to the dreaded upcoming Y2K crash (see previous comment). The girls enter the battle of the bands to investigate, and things go from there.
This is a pretty inclusive story in terms of the range of characters and relationships, and it’s also kind of a relatable but standard teen comic drama. The girls and their worries are pretty relatable, such as when Chris, in her panic over what might happen at Maggie’s when Maggie’s dads are out of town, goes to AskJeeves to find out “How..do…lesbians..uh..do it?” Remember, this is the late 90s.
This is a really fun and relatable adventure story, but it’s also, for me at least, a pretty relatable look back to my own teen years and some of things going on in terms of music and technology. I wasn’t especially literate in terms of pop culture in high school, but even so, I was aware of things like Y2K and Napster and digital music starting to become more popular.
There isn’t much fight-club action in this one, but the idea is still there, and with the mild cliffhanger at the end, I’m hoping to find a continuation of the series in the not too distant future.