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Archive for the 'record shops' Category

Thurston Moore, in store (at Flashback Records).

By Stuart on Friday, February 21st, 2014

Thurston stopped by one of his favourite London record stores recently, for a set at Flashback Records with James Sedwards, captured by staff at the store at uploaded to their blog.  Fans of the Dance vinyl section, you might want to skip to skip the second video.

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Malkmus & The Jicks to play Fallon, in-stores, and more…

By Claire T on Friday, January 3rd, 2014

Jagbaggers, we’ve got a lot more exciting Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks news to announce.

Firstly, just a reminder that Wig Out At Jagbags is currently streaming in full on Amazon. Listen up and love it here.

Secondly, on Monday, January 6th, 2014 Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks will be performing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Interested in attending? Enter here for a chance to win seats on the band bench and an opportunity to surround the stage during Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks’ performance. Please make sure you include the following band code: SMJ, in your entry form.

Thirdly, if you didn’t win the Other Music private in-store contest fear not. The band will also be playing an in-store at Generation Records in NYC on Tuesday, January 7 at 8pm.  Come by and ring in the release of Wig Out At Jagbags. All you gotta do to get in is pick up the record at Generation on Jan 7. First come, first served. More details on the below flyer.

Synchronize your Malkmus/Jicks watches:
NOW – Wig Out At Jagbags streaming in full on Amazon.
Monday Jan 6 – Late Night with Jimmy Fallon performance. Win a chance to attend here.
Tuesday Jan 7 – Generation Records in-store performance.
Thursday Jan 9 – Other Music private in-store for contest winners. Winners announced here.

And hey now, there’s a good chance we’ll have even more Malkmus & The Jicks fun stuff to announce in the coming days. Just keep it here for more…

Pre-order Wig Out At Jagbags on the Matador Store.

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on:
Tumblr.
Facebook.
StephenMalkmus.com

Lee Ranaldo San Francisco Guitar Clinic

By Michael on Thursday, December 5th, 2013

After the success of Lee Ranaldo’s first ever Guitar Clinic held over here in NYC, Lee will be hosting a second installation at the venerable Amoeba Music San Francisco.

So on Wednesday December 11 at 5pm, head on over to 1855 Haight Street and get yourself schooled by a true master of his trade. And make sure you grab a copy of the new album Last Night On Earth.

 

And Be Sure Catch Lee And The Dust On Tour Now

Fri Dec 06 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
Sat Dec 07 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore Cabaret
Sun Dec 08 – Seattle, WA – Barboza
Tue Dec 10 – San Jose, CA – The Blank Club
Wed Dec 11 – San Francisco – Amoeba Music Free All Ages Guitar Clinic
Wed Dec 11 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel
Fri Dec 13 – Los Angeles, CA – The Echo
Sat Dec 14 – San Diego, CA – The Casbah
Wed Jan 8 – Philadelphia, PA – Boot & Saddle
Thurs Jan 9 – Hamden, CT – Spaceland Ballroom
Fri Jan 10 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
Sat Jan 11 – Brooklyn NY – The Bell House
Sat Jan 25 – Atlanta, GA – Red Bull Sound Select

 

Coming 12/3 : A Lower-Than-Low Priced Compilation LP Of Matador 2013 Highlights

By Gerard on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

OK, we missed Black Friday by a few days, but if that means ONE LESS TRAMPLING this holiday shopping season, it was totally worth it.  On December 3, we’re releasing a limited edition, one-time pressing of a $5.99 list LP , ‘It’s Been A Business Doing Pleasure With You‘, featuring 9 songs from (most of) our 2013 releases. In addition to album tracks from Chelsea Light Moving, Majical Cloudz, Body/Head, Lee Ranaldo & The Dust, Iceage and Kurt Vile, there’s a live version of Queens of the Stone Age performing “If I Had A Tail” at the 2013 iTunes Festival (Roundhouse, London),  Savages’ “City’s Full” from last summer’s KEXP session, and Yo La Tengo performing “Before We Run” in those same KEXP studios.

We don’t have any copies for mail order, sadly, but hopefully you’ll find one at your favorite record store after they’re done sweeping up all the broken glass, blood, etc. from Black Friday.  If you prefer, you can order a digital version of the comp. right now at the Matador Store.

LA: Free All Ages King Krule Show THIS SATURDAY

By Michael on Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

From the mouth of the True Panther himself:

Hey people of LA, after rocking New York, King Krule + the band are on their way towards you now. A few nights ago, they played to a sold out Bowery Ballroom and the night before a free all ages secret show at Alife in the Lower East Side.

The two LA shows, both at the Echo on the 17th and 18th sold out within a couple of days. To show gratitude and respect to the folks left out in the cold (including the 18 and unders) Archy is continuing his run of free all ages shows with a show at Space15Twenty THIS SATURDAY September 14. The show will start promptly at 2pm.

To help us keep attendance sensible you can purchase a copy of the record at Amoeba Hollywood starting THIS FRIDAY or at Space 15Twenty and get two wristbands to get into the show. If you’ve already bought the album, buy one for a friend, and take him/her out to the show while you’re at it.

Saturday 9/14 King Krule Live at Space15Twenty (1520 N. Cahuenga Blvd Los Angeles) 2pm
Buy The Album at Amoeba Hollywood starting this Friday September 13 or Space 15Twenty for Two Wristbands Guaranteeing Admission

Free All Ages Come Instore

By Michael on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

So you mean to tell me that Come – with original lineup of Thalia Zedek, Chris Brokaw, Arthur Johnson and Sean O’Brien – are playing a free, all ages instore the night of the final show on their US tour in Atlanta at the famed Criminal Records.

And while you’re there, be absolutely fucking sure that you pick up a copy of the reissue of “one of the best rock albums of all time.”

You’ll probably be treated to at least one version of ” Submerge”

Kurt Vile Harvest Instore Today!

By Claire T on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Double KV trouble today in Asheville. Swing by Harvest Records today at 4pm to check out Kurt Vile’s free solo instore performance. And, of course, make sure you get yourself out to The Grey Eagle tonight to see Kurt live with The Violators. Grab tickets now before they’re gone.

Kurt Vile & The Violators On Tour:

Wednesday, July 17 – Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle #
Thursday, July 18 – Carrboro, NC – Cats Cradle #
Friday, July 19 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theatre #
Saturday, July 20 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club #
Saturday, July 27 – Edmonton, AB – Interstellar Rodeo
Sunday, July 28 – Calgary, AB – Calgary Folk Music Festival

Friday, August 02 – Sunday, August 4 – Happy Valley, OR – Pickathon
Monday, August 05 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater
Tuesday, August 06 – Seattle, WA – Showbox At The Market
Friday, August 09 – Fresno, CA – Audie’s Olympic
Saturday, August 10 – San Miguel, CA – The Ranch in San Miguel
Sunday, August 11 – San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
Tuesday, August 13 – Salt Lake City, UT – Urban Lounge
Thursday, August 15 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Cafe
Friday, August 16 – Lawrence, KS – The Granada
Saturday, August 17 – St. Louis, MO – Firebird
Monday, August 19 – Dallas, TX – Trees
Tuesday, August 20 – Austin, TX – Mohawk (Outside)
Friday, August 23 – Albuquerque, NM – Sister
Saturday, August 24 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Sunday, August 25 – Los Angeles, CA – FYF Fest

Wednesday, August 28 – Philadelphia, PA – City Hall Concert Series

Thursday, September 05 – Saturday, September 07 – Raleigh, NC – Hopscotch Music Festival
Wednesday, September 25 – Pittsburgh, PA – The Warhol Sound Series @ Carnegie Music Hall
Thursday, September 26 – Cincinatti, OH – Midpoint Music Festival
Friday, September 27 – Urbana, IL – Pygmalian Music Festival

Saturday, October 12 – Mexico City, Mexico – Corona Capital Music Festival

Friday, October 25 – New York, NY – Terminal 5 !
Saturday, October 26 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer !
Sunday, October 27 – Baltimore, MD – Ottobar !
Tuesday, October 29 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt !
Thursday, October 31 – Jacksonville, FL – Jack Rabbits !
Saturday, November 2 – Orlando, FL – The Social !
Sunday, November 3 – Tallahassee, FL – Club Downunder !
Tuesday, November 5 – New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jack’s !
Wednesday, November 6 – Houston, TX – Walter’s !
Monday, November 11 – Oxford, MS – Proud Larry’s !
Tuesday, November 12 – Chattanooga, TN – JJ’s Bohemia !

# = Swirlies support
! = Beach Fossils support

Wakin On A Pretty Daze on the Matador Store
www.kurtvile.com

Kurt Vile Free All Ages Instore At Grimey’s

By Michael on Friday, July 12th, 2013

File Under: Last minute news but you’re super stoked if you live in Nashville.

It’s a very specific filing, but this is a very specific event. KV just announced a free, all-ages solo acoustic instore at Music City institution Grimey’s.

Check him out when you’re wondering, “What am I gonna do today?” on Sunday.

And after this jawn wraps, be sure to catch Mr. Vile and his Violators at the Mercy Lounge that evening.

Majical Cloudz West Coast Instore Tour

By Michael on Thursday, July 11th, 2013

We already know how special a Majical Cloudz instore performance can be, right?

Well lucky you, out west-ers because in a few short weeks, Majical Cloudz are taking their intimate show to one of the most intimate settings of all; the free all-ages instore.

The band will be hitting four of our favorite California independent retailers on their way up the coast from San Diego to Santa Rosa. Details below.

In the meantime, check out this new video for ‘Bugs Don’t Buzz.’

Majical Cloudz West Coast Instore Tour

Sunday July 21
6pm
M-Theory
915 W Washington
San Diego

Monday July 22
7pm
Origami Vinyl
1816 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles

Tuesday July 23
7pm
Rhino
235 Yale Ave
Claremont

Wednesday July 24
6pm
Aquarius
1055 Valencia St
San Francisco

Thursday July 25
6:30pm
The Last Record Store
1899 Mendocino Ave
Santa Rosa

Deep Purple, John Prine, The Church & More : Flipping Thru The Bins WIth Kurt Vile

By Gerard on Saturday, June 1st, 2013
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Video courtesy NorthernTransmisisons.com and the good folks at Zulu Records. I am 100% certain no diss of the Pointed Sticks was intended.

Catch Queens Of The Stone Age In A New Jersey Record Store

By Michael on Thursday, May 30th, 2013

Because all the best shit happens in New Jersey, Queens Of The Stone Age will be stopping by Fords, NJ wax institution Vintage Vinyl next Thursday June 6 at 10pm for an all-ages instore performance.

That’s right. You can check out Queens Of The Stone Age’s guitar moves with 199 or so other people in a fucking record store in Jersey.

All you have to do is preorder …Like Clockwork over at Vintage Vinyl starting NOW and get a wristband for entry to the instore (while supplies last). Of course the capacity is EXTREMELY limited to get your asses over there RIGHT FUCKING NOW to get a wristband with your copy of …Like Clockwork. They probably won’t last very long*.

And if you haven’t listened to …Like Clockwork yet, well, what the hell is wrong with you. Stream it NOW.

*They definitely won’t last very long.

Yo La Tengo Free All Ages Instore

By Michael on Friday, April 26th, 2013

Austinites (Austinians? Austintonians?) get psyched because Yo La Tengo are coming for you with a free all ages instore and Austin’s ever-awesome End Of An Ear. That’s right… all of you who were oh so bummed when The Mohawk announced YLT’s show on Friday May 3 was SOLD OUT can rejoice in your newfound chance to see this band in such a personal and intimate way.

But if you don’t live in the Live Music Capital you should still check out the band on their lengthy tour, on which the band is playing an absolutely stunning two-part set.

There’s Only 8 More Days Until Record Store Day 2013…

By Gerard on Friday, April 12th, 2013

…or, if you prefer, 8 more days to find great records in real record stores before you risk being trampled to death in a Furby-esque frenzy.  Naturally, we think the above LP is worth the hassle.

Chelsea Light Moving Will Destroy Your Local Record Store

By Michael on Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Sonically, of course. Much in the same fashion they’ve been known to destroy a hullabaloo here and there. Because they’ve scheduled a handful of free, all ages instores along their upcoming tour. And that fucking rules.

Dig it. And be sure to dig their record NOW. And then buy it as soon as you can. And let it destroy you.

Sat-Mar-02 Hoboken, NJ Maxwells
Mon-Mar-04 Charlottesville, VA The Southern
Tue-Mar-05 Asheville, NC Grey Eagle
Wed-Mar-06 Raleigh, NC Kings Barcade
Thu-Mar-07 Savannah, GA Savannah Stopover
Fri-Mar-08 Atlanta, GA The Earl
Sun-Mar-10 Denton, TX 35 Denton
Tue-Mar-19 Los Angeles, CA Echoplex
Wed-Mar-20 San Francisco, CA Great American Music Hall
Fri-Mar-22 Portland, OR Doug Fir
Sat-Mar-23 Seattle, WA Neumo’s
Wed-Mar-27 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
Fri-Mar-29 Chicago, IL Empty Bottle
Sat-Mar-30 Detroit, MI Magic Stick
Sun-Mar-31 Toronto, ONT Lee’s Palace
Tue-Apr-02 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls
Wed-Apr-03 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer
Thu-Apr-04 Washington, DC Black Cat
Fri-Apr-05 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
Sun-Apr-07 Boston, MA The Sinclair

Talk Normal Supports 3/2-3/8
Merchandise also supports 3/8
Grass Widow supports 3/19-3/23
CAVE supports 3/27-3/30

Catch A Free Yo La Tengo Show, Eat Some Hot Chicken. They Call It Rock N Fowl.

By Michael on Friday, January 25th, 2013

You love Yo La Tengo. You love the new Yo La Tengo album Fade. You love hot chicken. And coincidentally you live in or around Nashville. Well dangit, it’s your lucky day because tomorrow at 1pm CST Yo La Tengo will be stopping in Grimey’s before their show later in the evening at Music City mainstay Mercy Lounge to play a free, all ages instore.

And to add to the fun, Grimey’s will be providing all in attendance (while delicious, piping hot supplies last) with some Prince’s Hot Chicken. So come for the rock, stay for the fowl. Or the other way around. Whichever you prefer. Remember #rocknfowl And be sure to pick up a copy of the absolutely stunning new Yo La Tengo album Fade while you’re in the house.

Oh you don’t live in Nashville? Well lucky you. The band is but a few days into their tour and maybe they’re coming to a town near you.

1/25 Atlanta @ Buckhead Theater
1/27 Birmingham @ Workplay Theater
1/29 Louisville @ Brown Theater
1/31 St Louis @ The Pageant
2/1 Chicago @ Vic Theatre
2/2 Milwaukee @ Tuner Hall
2/4 Minneapolis @ First Avenue
2/5 Madison @ Barrymore Theater
2/7 Cleveland @ Beachland Ballroom
2/8 Ann Arbor @ Michigan Theater
2/9 Toronto @ Phoenix Concert Theater
2/11 Montreal @ Corona Theater
2/12 Burlington @ Higher Ground
2/13 Boston @ Paradise Rock Club
2/15 DC @ 9:30 Club
2/16 NYC @ Town Hall

Yo La Tengo takes Seattle, performs live on KEXP and at Easy Street

By Hector on Friday, January 18th, 2013

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Fade release week rolls on as Yo La Tengo, fresh from yesterday’s triumphant (and packed) Amoeba in-store in LA, hits the Pacific Northwest in suitably grand style. If you’re savvy enough to own either a radio OR a computer, you can check out an exclusive live set from Georgia, Ira and James on Seattle’s KEXP, after which Ira will be sticking around to guest DJ with host Kevin Cole. It all goes down starting at 6pm EST/3pm PST at 90.3FM and KEXP.org.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE. If you find yourself in Seattle today, it would behoove you to make your way to the soon-to-shutter Queen Anne location of Easy Street Records, which Yo La Tengo will be sending off with the store’s final in- store performance ever at 7pm. This is sure to be a rip-roaring farewell so don’t be the one to have to tell your grandkids you missed it because I promise they will never forgive you.

Yo La Tengo Celebrates The Release Of Fade With Instore Tour

By Michael on Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

In about two weeks, Yo La Tengo will be releasing Fade, the fourteenth studio album of their career, their fifth of this century and their first of the decade. The day after Fade’s January 15 release date (Jan 14 if you’re reading from the UK) the band will head to the West Coast where they will perform four free, all-ages instores at four of the most storied record stores around.

Starting in Long Beach and rolling up the coast, Yo La Tengo will be celebrating the new album with instores from the confines of Fingerprints, Amoeba Hollywood, Amoeba SF, & Easy Street Queen Anne (which is of special import as due to the impending closure of Easy Street QA this will be the very last instore ever to be held at that amazing place. But fear not, Seattlites. Their other location – Easy Street West Seattle – ain’t going nowhere).

So come out, support your local indie, check out one of the best bands around and walk out with what is sure to be one of the best albums of this year, which will be especially easy since these record stores will be freshly stocked with the indie retail only deluxe version of Fade. It’s a deluxe version which comes as a numbered edition printed on rainbow foil with a deluxe 7″ featuring two exclusive covers: “I Saw The Light” (Todd Rundgren) b/w “Move To California” (Times New Viking); MP3 download included in the deluxe edition contains an eleven-minute bonus track titled “Oriole.”

But don’t be bummed if you decided to move back east and are gonna miss these soon to be legendary instores. The band will be kicking off a tour shortly thereafter followed by a bunch of European dates in March. Check those out after the jump.

But first listen to the album track “Ohm” which, in case you missed it due to holiday hangovers, scored a Pitchfork Best New Track designation HERE.

1/23 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
1/24 – Charlottesville, VA – Jefferson Theater
1/25 – Atlanta, GA – The Buckhead Theater
1/26 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
1/27 – Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay Theatre
1/29 – Louisville, KY – Brown Theatre
1/31 – St Louis, MO – The Pageant
2/1 – Chicago, IL – Vic Theatre
2/2 – Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall
2/4 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
2/5 – Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre
2/7 – Cleveland, OH – Beachland Ballroom
2/8 – Ann Arbor, MI – Michigan Theater
2/9 – Toronto, ONT – Phoenix Concert Theatre
2/11 – Montreal, QB – Corona Theatre
2/12 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
2/13 – Boston, MA – Paradise Rock Club
2/15 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
2/16 – New York, NY – Town Hall
3/1 – Lisbon, Portugal – Aula Magna
3/2 – Porto, Portugal – Casa Da Musica
3/4 – Santiago de Compostela, Spain – Sala Capitol
3/5 – Madrid, Spain – Sala La Riveria
3/6 – Barcelona, Spain – L’Auditori
3/8 – Lausanna, Switzerland – Les Docks
3/10 – Milan, Italy – Limelight
3/11 – Frankfurt, Germany – Mousonturm
3/12 – Dusseldorf, Germany – Zakk
3/13 – Berlin, Germany – Volksbuhne
3/15 – Schorndorf, Germany – Manufaktur
3/15 – Brussels, Belgium – AB
3/17 – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Paradiso
3/18 – Paris, France – Le Bataclan
3/20 – London, England – Barbican Centre
3/21 – Manchester, England – The Ritz
3/22 – Glasgow, Scotland – O2 ABC Glasgow
3/23 – Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street

Get To Know Your Local Independent Retailer Vol. 26 – 1-2-3-4 Go! Records

By Michael on Monday, December 10th, 2012

Forget the prelude. 1-2-3-4 Go! fucking rules. Read what owner Steve-O has to say about it.

1. Tell us briefly about your store.
1-2-3-4 Go! Records started as a label in 2001 and opened our real world store in Oakland, CA in March 0f 2008. Pretty much the worst time to start any business, especially one in an industry most people thought was on it’s last legs. We’re very proud to say we’re having our 5th anniversary in March 2013! We moved in to our latest location last year and now host shows in a separate room. We have 4 to 8 a month as well as a rotating monthly art installation.

2. What got you into the independent record store business?
For most of my adult life I had worked in record stores or music related businesses so I had the history and I saw that there were some great really big stores in the bay area but nothing like the smaller shops I was used to working in. Well curated and focused on punk/indie/etc records. Since those early days we’ve expanded to have a small but pretty killer selection of jazz, blues, classic rock, funk, reggae etc as well but keep still keep our main focus. We pride ourselves on the fact that you can come in here, spend half an hour or so and walk out with an armload of great finds that would have taken you a few hours to dig out in larger stores.

3. Who are some of your favorite contemporary stores?
Green Noise in Portland, Singles Going Steady and Jive Time in Seattle and you still can’t beat Amoeba for size and pure volume.

4. How have things been going from a business perspective?
Every year business is consistently up. We’re currently doing five times the business we did the first year we were open so things are definitely moving forward. Always a bit tight but always getting better.

5. What do you think spells the survival for an independent record store today?
Focus. Not trying to be the everything to everyone sort of store. That’s a brutal game to try and compete in and for one stop shopping people hit the internet these days I think. But if you offer something special you’ll drag people out of their homes and offices to come have a look.

6. What are some of the coolest thing labels have done with you? Instores? Promotions? Sales?
Sales and giveaway stuff are always great. When a label works with you to sell a record you believe in it’s the best for everyone. What’s better than loving a new record and being able to get in someones hand at a discount and/or give them something cool to go with it? Nothin!

7. Why do we need record stores?
It provides an experience that you don’t get online. The thrill of the hunt and subsequent score in a store can’t be beat in my opinion. Every store is different and you never know what you’ll find or who you’ll meet inside it. Some of my longest band/genre tangents have been inspired by talking to folks at stores and about new things or getting hyped on them from customers or the guy behind the counter. I prefer it to blogs myself.

8. What kind of taco is your favorite?
Flour tortilla for sure. Heresy I know. I’m vegetarian so it can be difficult to get a good one but La Pinata in Alameda makes a damn fine one.

9. Who are your top 3 favorite bands right now?
Been on a huge Smog kick lately, got really in to Jobriath and I’m biased because their LP is coming out on my label but Synthetic ID is really killing it for me out here. Really great tense bay area post punk.

10. What is your favorite thing about your store?
The amount of support it continues to have from our customers. I’ll be out and see our stickers on cars of people I don’t know and if I ever overhear something about the shop it’s how much people like it. I wanted to establish a place that was fairly priced and consistently had great new and used stuff in it, staffed by friendly people you can actually talk to about music and I think I did a pretty good job.

11. What are your goals for the future of your store? Long term and short.
Continuing to grow at the pace we have been short term. Long term (also possibly short) a second location. Possibly in San Francisco or Portland.

Esben and the Witch: Dave Sitek re-working, bonus 7″ and an “out-store”

By Stuart on Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Brighton’s Esben and the Witch unveil a song today, a re-working of their latest track ‘Deathwaltz’ by Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio and several noteable production credit mentions) who rips the core vocal and instrumental elements from the the original track and pieces them back together along with his own added production.

The re-worked track appears with new original song ‘Trail’ on a bonus 7″, available exclusively at all good independent record stores (UK/Europe only) with the LP version of Wash The Sins Not Only The Face, out in January.

As an additional bonus, each customer pre-ordering from Brighton record store Resident will receive a pair of tickets for a special show (read: in-store that won’t fit in the store, so we guess this is an ‘out-store’?) at Green Door Store in Brighton on January 20th, along with a signed poster.

Pre-order the album from Resident here.

Esben and the Witch live:

January

20 – Brighton – Green Door Store – Tickets via pre-order

February

07 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds – Tickets

08 – Glasgow – School Of Art – Tickets

09 – Manchester – Bunker – Tickets

15 – Brussels – Botanique – Tickets

16 – Munster – Gleiss 22 – Tickets

17 – Hamburg – Knust – Tickets

18 – Berlin – Bi Nuu – Tickets

20 – Munich – 59to1 – Tickets

21 – Zürich – Rote Fabrik – Tickets

22 – Cologne – Gebaude 9 – Tickets

23 – Utrecht – Tivoli Oudegracht Spiegelbar – Tickets

24 – Paris Point – Ephemere – Tickets

26 – London – Scala – Tickets

 

Get To Know Your Local Independent Retailer Vol. 25 – Vintage Vinyl

By Michael on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

I’ve only been to St. Louis once. And on that one trip I made one stop. And that one stop was Vintage Vinyl. First impression: “Holy shit this place is enormous.” Enormous but manageable. Like a less intimidating Amoeba (intimidating meaning, “How the fuck am I going to walk out of here without spending a few hundred bucks?”). I made out with all sorts of stuff. A Phil Collins CD, a Therapy? cassette, some used soul and r&b LPs, a George Jones record, shitloads of HC 7″es and some other things that didn’t really make any sense in the same bag (perhaps even a DVD movie starring Will Smith, but that I won’t confirm). Needless to say, this place has one of the most diverse selections I’ve ever thumbed through. But be forewarned; it’s not really a place you can just pop in. Browsing at Vintage Vinyl is a commitment. I spoke with VV co owner Tom “Papa” Ray about all sorts of stuff. Dig it.

(FYI that last photo is Tom with none other than Peter Tork.)

1. Tell us briefly about your store.
Vintage Vinyl has been operating in the Delmar Loop of St. Louis since 1980—we saw ourselves that year as the ‘alternative’ home-town urban record store.  Currently, we are a 7800 square foot mothership for the intelligent music lover. We made a point of opening on the ONLY ‘racial neutral zone’ of our city, with an eye to pleasing both a mainstream/independent rock clientele, as well as the deep-dish urban market for soul/jazz/blues/gospel, as well as reggae & hiphop. In other words, we ended up selling more Bobby Womack than Cat Stevens.

2. What got you into the independent record store business?
In the middle/late 70s, my partner Lew Prince was running the Finest Record Chain in Colorado. I was doing work in the retail/wholesale/indie side of things, promotion and club-work in Manhattan at that time. We both wanted to return to St. Louis; we saw it as justly-fabled and half-forgotten foundation music city, and we could use the contacts and knowledge both of us had acquired working in the industry towards doing our own store.

3. Who are some of your favorite contemporary stores?
In our own town, we have several. Euclid Records & Apop Records comes to mind here. Love my musical compadres in the AIMS Coalition, to which we belong.  There are GREAT stores around the country, to say the least. Last time I was New Orleans, Domino Sounds Record Shack was proper!  Jason with Sonic Boom in Seattle, Boo Boo Records in Cali, Shake It in Cincinnati, Waterloo in Austin. Music Millennium in Portland seem to have inspired a nest of indie stores in that town. These are just a few of my favorite stores.

4. How have things been going from a business perspective?
In 2000 we recognized that although our city had the most square footage per capita given over to retail music of ANY city in the USA, those chain and mall stores were not our future or really or then present-day competition. The internet and digital download okey-doke was seen as a sobering reality. Since then, we have continued in business by being a destination store in St. Louis, and evolving to where now, I can smile and say, “NO! CDs are not ‘going away’ anymore than vinyl ever did” We’ve always done both, and wish to be the alternative to on-line shopping in ways that option can never connect to the customer. As far as business now, 2012?? Better than selling jet-skis in rural areas, I’d say.

5. What do you think spells the survival for an independent record store today?
Beyond knowing your market, be adept at both new and used sales in all physical formats. Try and be the garden of earthly musical delights wherever you pitch your tent, and being able to work magic helps also.

6. What are some of the coolest thing labels have done with you? Instores? Promotions? Sales?
We’ve released world-quality music on a number of labels over the past 33 years; Charlie Parker Live In D.C. 1953, crucial blues & hip hop releases in the 80s; currently our label Sound System Records has quite fine reggae releases by U-Roy, a great dub set by The Roots Radics, 2 LPs by Nicodemus.  We partnered with SONY in the 90s to do a 1,000 piece edition, double LP giveaway of a live Pearl Jam set as part of promotion with local corporate radio; in-stores/live appearances with everyone from Tommy Lee To Willie Dixon, Queens Of The Stone Age to Ike Turner, Marilyn Manson to Charlie Louvin. 100s of in-stores, Eddie Levert of the O’Jays, George Clinton, Black Angels, Peter Tork, the great Rudy Ray Moore, AKA the Dolemite, etc etc. Two in-stores that were a gas with the Insane Clown Posse. Eazy E, Jason Mraz. All styles served here, y’know??  Our 20th anniversary party was with the legendary Jamaican band The Skatalites.  Oh, we’ve had our fun.

7. Why do we need record stores?
Bootsy Collins answered this one day, a few years ago in Cincinnati: he stood at a table where the owners of indie stores around the nation sat, and quietly with great conviction said, “I know things are tough sometimes, but your communities NEED you to do what you do, because you-carry-the-music-culture in your towns.  BEST BUY don’t know a damn thing about Bootsy Collins, but you do!  SO PLEASE. I know it’s hard, but keep goin’ on. When it seems it’s not worth it, PLEASE, keep just goin’ on. So, as the man say, Who Feels It Know It, true??” There are continual moments at my store where the collective sense of musical community amounts to a mystic beating heart that is part of this River City called St. Louis: where Chuck Berry still walks and plays, where Miles Davis started, where Ike Turner walked the bar playing guitar, where the original Stooges played their final show. I recall once, during the Rodney King business, there was a sense of dread and tenseness in people. I remember seeing a customer walk in, visibly agitated, and he said to me,  I just HAD to come in here and cool off, and check out some music.  Sometimes, I’ll recommend taking a Thelonious Monk record: now call me in the morning if it’s not better.

8. What kind of taco is your favorite?
I like some grilled snapper in mine.

9. Who are your top 3 favorite bands right now?
It depends on the genre of music.  I just saw soul legend Lee Fields do a hellacious set a few weeks back. At Red Rocks last month, I experienced as great a performance as I’ve ever seen by Winston Rodney, The Burning Spear, which is to say as great and powerful as reggae ever gets. Sure would love to see a 2nd release by Them Crooked Vultures.  I just heard the pre-release of Psychedelic Pill by Neil Young, and it’s killer. And when I was in my teens and 20s back in that day, I HATED Neil Young. So, it’s all over the place.

10. What is your favorite thing about your store?
Too many things. It has been a great personal blessing to work with the employees we’ve had for more than 3 decades, many hundreds of talented people, and the customers too. I’m always struck by how essentially NICE our customers always are.

11. What are your goals for the future of your store? Long term and short.
Long Term and short term?  To thrive and continue enjoying this musical aquarium we’ve built here on the Delmar Loop. As a Baptist preacher might say in the pulpit, GLORY!

Photos courtesy of Louis Kwok