Issue Nine: Eleanor Friedberger, The Prettiots, Thor Harris, James Yorkston, Sounds of the Universe, Jeb Loy Nichols and Boo Boo Records.
Deluxe. This edition of Deluxe started, as they always do, in a record shop and this time around it was at my own shop. For the very first issue we commissioned our good friend Anika Mottershaw to draw us a map of ‘Transatlantic Recommended Retailers’, shops in the UK and stores in the USA that we’d either visited or that had been highly recommended to us. We spent weeks scanning back through emails, calling up friends and looking at maps. The illustrated map ran as the centrefold (well, if memory serves correctly we actually cocked up the page order and it ‘nearly’ ran as the centrefold) and was doubtless everyone’s favourite bit. The guys at Light in the Attic ran a little blog post about it and word of the map started spreading through the indie shop community all across the United States. Over the last few years we have made great friends with loads of the stores on the map and, perhaps more excitingly, loads that were not. We framed up the original artwork and it hangs on the wall at the Drift shop, getting photographed pretty regularly. Back at the end of 2015 we had an
American shopper called Scott stop past. Had a good browse, picked up a few bits and was taken aback by the map, in particularly that on the east coast of the non-geographicallyaccurate American side was his own local, Boo Boo Records of San Luis Obispo. It acted as a great way to reach out and Mike White, the current Boo Boo owner, spoke to us for this issue about his store. So we have decided to run the map again in this issue (and surely this time we managed to place it correctly in the bloody middle). Over the next issues we’ll endeavour to speak to more of the shops on the map and start compiling all those brilliant new outlets and buildings, for a second incarnation of the map down the line. Hope you enjoy this issue, some brilliant artists talking about their own experiences in bricks and mortar record shops.
Rupert Morrison Drift Record Shop and Deluxe Magazine.
Interviewed, edited and compiled by The Drift Record Shop. Printed by Newspaper Club www.newspaperclub.com Distributed by Forte Music Distribution www.fortedistribution.co.uk / 01600 891589
Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this newspaper, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information or any consequence arising from it. Published in Devon by The Drift Record Shop. ©2016
The Prettiots Describing themselves, The Prettiots are definitely a ‘girl band’, even with a touring boy drummer. New York natives, and quintessentially so, Kay Kasparhauser and Lulu Landolfini just released their honest and disarmingly unflinching debut album ‘Funs Cool’ via Rough Trade. Amid some confusion, we got on a skype call with Kay to talk record stores, the last twelve months, the next few and plenty of metal. Deluxe: How’re you doing? Kay Kasparhauser: … Good… I think, just a little confused. I dunno, I wasn’t sure if we were doing video or whatever D: We can if you like? KK: Nah, (laughing ) this is good, I do not look the best I’ve ever looked. D: Me neither, you are missing out on tired-dad-in-back-ofrecord-shop-office here... KK: Perfect! You are missing out on mid-twenties-existentialcrisis-just-got-back-from-the-gym here...
D: You’re just done touring over here right? Was it the first time you’ve played live in the UK? KK: I’d been to London before, not playing, and also Paris, but most of the places it was the first time I’d stepped foot there, let alone played. D: Was it a culture shock? KK: Totally. Amazing though. I loved Europe, the shame was to only be in each city for like, a day and a half. I can’t really tell you much about the culture of those beautiful cities, but I can tell you plenty about the intricacies of German gas stations. Oh, the bathrooms…
D: I guess it is petty tantalizing to see them for such a finite period of time? KK: We were in Prague for like 45 minutes. It was so beautiful. Our next tour I am pretty excited, we’re going to Germany, Italy and Spain. D: Spain is the best. Actually all of Europe is pretty good, it’s just England that sucks. KK: Yeah, it’s weird. We talked to a bunch of bands about this. We just got done playing with Curtis Harding and he was playing to an audience that just didn’t move… like loads of silence and people stood still looking pissed. He felt pretty bummed, like “c’mon people, I am making dance music”.
D: Your album isn’t easy listing. I was going to talk about bands you guys are into. I read you talking about Lightning Bolt KK: Lightning Bolt are one of my favourite bands! D: Right on! We’re played Fantasy Empire really hard… KK: I went to RISD’ee (Rhode Island School of Design), the only reason I applied to RISD’ee was because of Lightning Bolt. “my favourite band went here… I’m totally gonna go here!!” D: What other records in your collection do you think might surprise people?
get into This Heat. Lulu and I both listen to loads of metal, but we DO NOT listen to the same metal at all. I do not smoke weed, but I LOVE stoner metal. I have always listened to pot music in more of an analytical way, like “why can’t I move to this?” D: Going back to SXSW of 2015, were you aware of what Geoff Travis looked like and that he was at your show? KK: (laughing ) No… I hadn’t even seen a picture, or googled him or whatever. Our manager was like just before the show, ‘there are gonna be some people at this show, so make sure that this show is the one that is good” D: So it didn’t freak you out?
D: So things have been popping pretty hard for you since last years SXSW festival... KK: This is really bizarre, so we have like ‘fans’ now. Whenever we meet them we’re just like, “you guys must be really fucking crazy right?!” D: What is the weirdest thing they’ve done? KK: (laughing ) Nothing too bad! It’s more that they like what we’re doing at all, I feel like what we’re doing is so weird and such an acquired taste you know? D: Weird might be a little hard, but you don’t really sound much like anyone else around right now.
I do not smoke weed, but I LOVE stoner metal. I have always listened to pot music in more of an analytical way, like “why can’t I move to this?”
KK: Our influences come from so many places and sources, which isn’t unique KK: Well… me personally I listen to a to us or anything, it’s just like we’re lot Steve Albini, Big Black,The Jesus almost…. I can put this better, you Lizard, Rapeman… Brian Chippendale know The Shaggs? from Lightning Bolt has a band called ‘Black Pus’ that I really like. A lot of D: Yeah… via Kurt Cobain. extreme listening. When we first signed to Rough Trade I was really stoked KK: I’d never been in a real band because there was this early noise band before, certainly not pop music, but called This Heat that I love, amazing I know what I like, and more, I know to be on the same label. But plenty of what I like about what I like… so it experimental noise stuff. was almost approaching it like The Shaggs… I’m just gonna take all the ideas gettin thrown up against the wall. D: Light in the Attic just reissued the first few This Heat LP’s, do I need to Lulu has such a strong foundation in get into it? writing music, so a very good balance to each other. KK: I would recommend ANYONE
KK: We didn’t fully know, so no, but if I had, big time… D: Have you spent much time with him since? KK: HE. IS. THE. BEST! He came to a bunch of our shows. The whole RT family have been so amazing. It literally feels like family. He totally gets what we’re trying to do.. like, visuals and album art wise. Look… I really like to fuck with people. I like to play with the boundaries and he really gets it. Jeannette too, they are just letting us do our thing. Every crazy thing, they let us run our own twitter
Photographed by Sue Kwon
and we totally rant about shit.. they were just like “keep it up kids!” D: So I haven’t seen the finished artwork yet… is it pretty edgy?
to be people who are hardcore into it, and they are gonna judge the people who are not into it.
When I walked into Rough Trade I was wearing a shirt with Burzum on it, but I wanted to buy Drum and Bass… KK: You just wait! (laughing ) that’s all I was freaking out and being selfme. I knew what I wanted it to look conscious about if they were gonna like, so I just did it. like totally hate me for it. It doesn’t matter, what do I care if some random D: I know you put out a cassette and a record store guy thinks I am a poser. I 7” before, but are you psyched on the ended up buying some weird old early release of ‘Funs Cool’ and where do computer record and the guy serving you want to see it for the first time? was like “hey, is that a Burzum shirt?”... KK: If I could walk in anywhere?.. man, So I was like ‘yeah’, and he then said “oh yeah, I really like that record”... So it’s good question. It’s all too surreal still. cool, like, I can like both Black Metal and early Electo. D: How about your own buying experience, where was the first time? D: Can we talk about sexism a bit.. KK: The first time ever was at Bleeker KK: Yeah, totally. I mean, you’ll see Bob’s, and it was David Bowie our cover art soon it is funny, but it was Changes. I didn’t have enough money a conscious decision to present a very for both one and two… but they gave sexualised image of a female. Also our me both anyway as it was my first video was directed by Richard Kern. purchase. Such sweet guys. It is so so He’s a really famous pornogrpaher… sad that it is gone now. well, you know, like art porn… so a lot of that stuff gets attention. We have a Generation Records are pretty male drummer now, but he tells people cool. There was this amazing store he is the drummer in an all girl band. in the East Village called Hospital But there is some shit we’ve had to Productions, exclusively Noise and deal with because we’re female. Sound Metal. guys and stuff. Lulu went to fucking D: (Laughing ) I love some cities that are engineering school, so it sucks to have to deal with that. big enough to have a record store that exclusively stocks noise. D: So you are having to deal with some KK: I went to the original (Portobello) pretty gnarly attitudes day to day? Rough Trade store when I was at the KK: The whole idea of the artwork was office, that was really fun. They were playing some hard drum and bass when based on the Strokes ‘Is This It’ sleeve, you know, it’s funny, like sex sells. I am I walked in. Just like I imagined. a total pro porn feminism, I love images of sexuality. It’s like, just D: We often ask people what makes for a good record store.. but I feel like ‘cause I am female I can’t use that? you’ll pull no punches if I ask you what Fuck that sex sells. I took my friend, who is insanely hot, and used her to sell pisses you off about record stores? my album. She is hot, she is wearing pants (laughing) We wanted to take the KK: mmmmm…. like, the inherent sexuality of the female image back a judgment that you feel when you walk little bit, it was empowering. into one. I am also so intimidated by people who know anything. I did D: I guess the thing you possibly funnily enough though really like the don’t realise, is that you are probably jadedness of High Fidelity. A good terrifying to a bunch of middle aged example was that store Kim’s in the guys… East Village that shut down and that was one of the saddest days of my KK: (laughing) Yes! I am sure people fucking life. It was amazing, full of don’t know how to deal with us. That records, tapes, DVDs and stuff. Weird and everything. There are always going said, dur drummer, our drummer was
like “i’ve been on tour with so many bands, so many times, and I have never met fans like your fans”. Some proper weird fans, a few of which are like… older… (laughing ) men! … and they know a lot about us. It is funny and creepy D: In running your own social sites I suppose you have a directness to your fans that hasn’t really existed before… certainly going back five or ten years… KK: For sure, Someone instagrammed a picture and put the hashtag #Prettiots on there, so we looked back, and there were like fucking…. cover versions and stuff, and one girl had got a tattoo… we were just blown away. “WHAT THE FUCK” it was amazing… it is amazing to see people like interacting with us. D: Do you feel responsible, especially to your younger fans? You’re saying things to them that is important? KK: You know… (long pause) we have one song. The song is called Suicide hotline. It’s funny, but it is about being suicidal. It is real stuff… It was written with a sense of humour as that is how I deal with that stuff. I mean… I do deal with that stuff. We’ve had multiple people reach out, like, privately emailing our website or pulling me aside after shows and they’re like… “hey, thanks for writing Suicide hotline”... One person emailed us and said it saved her life. D: Sounds pretty overwhelming. KK: Songs like that and some other lyrics I guess have put a voice to some things, maybe stuff that people don’t say enough or talk about enough or whatever… If anyone can identify with that or get some help with that… that’s the best feeling.
Thor Harris Thor is the king of the gods. A mountain of a man, flowing hair, great dexterity and capable of delivering thunder and lightening to skins, with just the tools in his hands. Oh yeah, there was the one from Norse mythology too... We’d long wanted to speak to Thor Harris, percussionist extraordinary to a list including Swans, Bill Callahan, Ben Frost, Shearwater and many more. Deluxe: How are you? Are you well? Where are you? What are you doing right now and what does 2016 have in store for you? Thor Harris: I’m well . I am in San Francisco. Tonight I will do a live soundtrack to the 1922 film Haxan Witchcraft Thru the Ages with Wreckmiester Harmonies. Esther and JR are a joy to play with. We did it last night (same film) at Alamo Draft House in Austin. Tonight at Mission Theatre in San Francisco. In 2016 I will make 2 or 3 records with my new band Thor and Friends. The music is based on the work of Steve Reich, Moondog, Terri Riley, Phillip Glass etc. mid 20th century minimalists. The first one we are recording in February with Jeremy and Heather from Hawk and a Hacksaw and John from Deerhoof. New Swans comes out this summer. I also just played on a record by an amazing singer called Adam Torres.
Not sure when that one will come out. D: You know, it was only when I was reading a bunch of old interviews you’ve given that I found out you weren’t actually born as “Thor”. So congratulations on embodying Thor... for me at least! TH: Yes! That’s true. I was called Michael . It is really good for a young person to take on a heroic name and try to live up to it. D: Do you mind running us through how Thor come about? TH: There were 4 guys working in a deli , all named Michael. The one who had been there the longest got to keep Michael. A punk rock bass player named Ronny Williams had started calling me Thor. We had a company meeting and 3 of us changed our names. This was 1986.
D: If you had to define being Thor, what are your most Thor like attributes? TH: Cold hardiness , super human strength, agility with hammers. I own a lot of hammers . D: I’ve only seen you play live the once, but I was staggered at how hard you hit the drums... Looking at your CV, I am guessing you have plenty of different modes though... Do you enjoy the challenge of playing with so many diverse artists? TH: The great thing about being a side man or session player is the variety. I love the role of hearing the thing and imagining ways to make it better. Some band leaders are control people and others are open to ideas. D: In all of your work, who has been your most surprising collaborator and why?
TH: Bill Callahan is surprisingly easy to work with. He makes great albums and has for a long time. Before I worked with him I figured he would be very particular, perhaps controlling . Quite the opposite. Bill can imagine his songs working in a variety of different ways. We worked fast. We recorded basics for Dream River in 2 days. He does not like fixing stuff. He said to me once that you can spend hours fixing stuff in pro tools and it usually sounds worse. I agree. D: As a resident of Austin TX, you’re pretty spoiled for great record stores. Do you have a favourite? TH: My favorite record store in Austin is End of An Ear. I love those guys. Love Garden in Lawrence Kansas. Criminal Records in Atlanta . Amoeba in LA. There are great ones everywhere. D: Are you an avid collector, an avid listener or an avid music maker? TH: These days I am more of an avid listener than collector . I listen to music maybe 16 hours a day, but in previous decades that was all played from records and CDs I owned. Now there is a lot of streaming from the web. I made a record with a band called Knest. We released it with no physical copies. That was a first for me. D: Which of your many musical outlets was the first you saw for sale in a record store? How did that feel? TH: The first of my bands that I saw in a record store was a band called Stick People in 1988. I still get a thrill when I see records I played on in record stores, especially in far away countries. Swans and Bill Callahan are available everywhere, Japan, Russia, all of Europe, even Texas. D: A good friend of ours, Luke Tuner (of the Quietus) interviewed you a few years back and I was delighted to find out that it was the Jackson Five who were your earliest musical influences. How did that all happen? TH: Luke did an amazing job on that Quietus interview. I really like him. It must have been around 1971 or so. I would have been 6. I heard my
sister playing Jackson 5 records and asked her about it. My parents took me to see them in the next couple of years in a big stadium. I love the clean syncopated dance grooves, horn lines, the singing, all of it. Funk, soul and R&B are still some of my favorite sounds.
I went in for psychiatric help, all they could give you was a list of books to buy and read about depression. Now shrinks and therapists have this great tool, a huge library of short videos. Anything to help sufferers feel less alone .
Swans and Shearwater were great travel partners, always understanding when I D: Jacksons aside, what was your had bouts of depression on the road. first record store purchase? Do you remember what release, which shop and D: You gave some pretty straight which format? talking advice on the Monofonus Press website (which I love by the way!), I was TH: I bought a lot of funk, soul and hoping that you could adapt some pop 45s at record stores my mom took points of note for us for all of those me to. I also bought Beatles. I wish I people running (or aspiring to run...) still had all those 45s . record stores. What are you top tips to get it right... or to avoid getting it so D: Which other artists have been a wrong! significant influence for you? TH: In my early teens I got really into prog rock, Yes, Genesis, Jethro Tull etc. I still love that stuff, but am aware of why few have the patience for it. It did compel me to seek great technical proficiency. That stuff is pretty difficult to play. D: Oh, and how about now? Who has been inspiring you? Give us a tip?
TH: Record stores are wise to have lots of special events. In-stores, signings, readings, etc are exciting events for smaller touring acts to do something extra for their fans. A lot of record stores I visit also sell espresso to make ends meet. We need the record stores to thrive into the future.
TH: Lately I’ve gotten into The Necks, Dawn of Midi, Timber Timbre, Colin Stetson, and John Jacob Niles. D: Thor... I am obsessed with the Sword picture... can I please print it in this issue? Are you bored yet of being told how much everyone loves that picture? hahaha TH: Sure ! Use the sword picture. D: This one isn’t so much a question, but more just an opportunity to tell you as I don’t know how many times we’ll end up speaking to one another. I thought your decision to speak so openly about battling depression was tremendously brave, and I am sure that it had a massive beneficial impact on a lot of people. I thought the film you made with the Mental Health Channel was utterly brilliant. TH: Thanks so much. I’m so glad Mental Health Channel exists, affording me the opportunity to connect with people on the still taboo topic of mental illness. In 1992, when
We highly recommend “Major Depression” the short documentary produced by the Mental Health Channel. Thor speaks candidly and very bravely about how depression has weighed on him, and offers constructive advice from his own experiences of art and exercise. Whether or not depression or mental illness is something that has directly or indirectly affected your life, the film is tremendously helpful and very engaging viewing. Across the Channel there are some really enlightening programs about schizophrenia, social anxiety, bipolar, trauma and panic. www.mentalhealthchannel.tv
James Yorkston One of the most prominent and celebrated members of the ‘Fife explosion’, James Yorkston is some ten or eleven albums into his career. His latest album is a collaborative work with Jon Thorne and Suhail Yusuf Khan, a meeting of minds and talents making beautiful sounds. JY: Yeah, it is. I’m rushed off my feet at the moment. The tour I am doing with Pictish Trail and Withered Hand has James Yorkston: I’m at home, but I’m in the loft… it’s pretty been booked in for about a year, whereas the Yorkston Thorne Khan tour… well, there is no way I’d normally book cold. Wet, damp… Cold. Where are you? another tour in right after. I’m 44 now.. I don’t have the strength of when I started out! I’m so freakin’ busy, but I D: Devon, similar stats… little less cold possibly. am really looking forward to the Thorne Khan tour…well, both of them naturally... JY: Well, I’m just getting ready to head out on tour so I have to go out sooner or later. D: They’re very different I guess… D: In terms of the new collaborative record, that must be JY: One of the overriding emotions I’ve had with the pretty exciting to tour? collaborative record and tour is that I just wish I’d met those Deluxe: Where are you at the moment?
guys twenty years ago. Even though if I had Suhail would have been about ten of something… We seem to love all the same elements of music and have all the same interests… We all love beautiful songs, but we all also really enjoy going off on one. We have the possibility of making a horrendous racket, especially if I am playing, or it can end up moving into more Jazz orientated stuff, or really quite experimental sounds. We just love the noise that we make together. For me personally I can
largely just sit back and take in what Suhail and Jon are playing… it is an absolute luxury.
I think that comes across. If I was a better guitar player, then it wouldn’t likely end up sounding as alt
D: What I picked up from the record was that it was quite an alt record, it’s quite experimental...
D: So less about technique and more about influence. Did you feel like one of the three of you were really pulling you in any direction?
JY: Thats cause I’m a punk! I can do what I can do, but I can’t really play. We did a show early last year with Martin Simpson. Now Martin is incredible, but I am very different, and
JY: The only one thing I didn’t enjoy was having to play bar chords. I trashed my hands… but otherwise I was just encouraging them to bring forward
breaking down and crying “This is my anything they could. Jon has never sung before, but he sang on this record. last chance to make a go of it…” Suhail hadn’t really sung on stage, D: (Laughing ) oh man, it’s so bleak! but he is fucking brilliant at it and I’m delighted to have encouraged that. JY: I mean, my entire twenties was spent in bands trying to make a go of D: I know there are four different it, trying to get a deal. It was only when vocals across the album, but it moves I was 28, and left all those bands, that around such a lot as a set of songs… I ended up getting signed and making not at the detriment of sounding my own music. But you have to get to like a ‘collection’, but it’s got a lot of a point of not caring and doing your changes of pace and tone... own thing - just loving the music and, JY: It was recorded in only two rooms, not so much believing in what you are doing, more not being afraid to do so it held it all together. I think what you feel is yourself. there are only two overdubs - I did a Harmonium, Jon might have added D: Was there a distinct point where you a note or two - but aside from that stopped caring? all live together in Wales and Belfast. Also, the mixes are pretty much as we JY: There were two points. One at 28. left them rough at the session. There was a good hour or so of material there, I never went to college or university, so I had given up those years trying to so I got in touch with Domino and explained what we are doing, and they be in punk bands. When I left I re-sat my higher exams and tried to go to asked if we wanted to get it mixed. I said “Not really, I think I just want to get it university and be a normal. Within that time I made an album of my own mastered like this”. There are moments, material just for me, not worrying like when Lisa O’Neill’s vocals comes about the old singer, or the keyboard in on the second verse of Song for player… totally for me. I was very Thirza, it’s SO LOUD, blaring out… but it has such a wonderfully live feel to lucky, it just happened to be the one it… because it is live. It was a wonderful that got me signed. The other time it happened just after one of the albums way to make a record, so honest. , someone very close to me was very ill and I spent too much time in hospital. D: In the post X-Factor, very That concreted my belief that you have contrived market, you must feel like quite an antidote to that overproduced to do what you do, and you can’t be chasing the buck. Bands like the Arctic output? Monkeys have done so incredibly well, but all I can learn from it is that JY: Very much so. And another thing I am lucky to be signed to a record about the X-Factor thing is when you hear these young guys and young girls label who take all that Arctic Monkey
you have to get to a point of not caring and doing your own thing - just loving the music and, not so much believing in what you are doing, more not being afraid to do what you feel is yourself.
money and invest it in people like me… I am very lucky. D: They are business people but they are, above all, music fans... JY: That works for me. All those major label acts have way more money than Domino. I’ve had friends at my level move to major labels and have six figure sums disappear into PR. Domino are very good at being creative with the art, in terms of the music, the sleeve, the delivery. It means you have to value it and explain it. They are truly independent, they are just Domino Records.. they can do what they like. D: They are very supportive of shops I’d mention. They’re forever giving us weird special coloured vinyl or die-cut sleeves... JY: That is something as an artist I’ve now tried to do with the last few albums, ‘Indie Store Exclusives’. I hope it helps, it’s fun for us to do. The Yorkston Thorne Khan LP has a bonus 7” single and a beautiful die-cut sleeve. D: The artwork is beautiful, how did that come together? JY: It was an idea I had to use a naive style of Indian artwork called ‘Madhubani’. We wanted to have a picture of the three of us playing. Whilst we were looking about, I just came across a Facebook page of an elderly lady who had been doing it for years and years, and I just put Domino onto the trial. The die-cut bit was just an obvious idea to cut around the figures. D: Have you seen a finished copy yet? JY: Nah, have you? D: Not yet, it’s due with us imminently I believe. Something to look forward to for sure. JY: Aye, I have a load turning up that I’ve sold on my webshop, in the door then straight out the door! D: Can I talk to you about traditional music, folk music and your catalogue. You’re often categorized as a ‘folk
musician’ but you’ve previous had work produced by label mates Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) and Alexis Taylor (Hot Chip)... you’re not really that traditional at all right? JY: No.. I’m not traditional and I’m certainly not a folk music maker. For me the word folk seems to mean different things to different people. For some it’s just ‘Acoustic Guitar’, so that’s me and Ed Sheeran then... For others it is about traditional people like the Copper Family or Lizzie Higgins or something… Then for most people there is the folk revival like Annie Briggs and Martin Carthy, Waterstons, Nick Jones… but not all, you know to some people they are just copyists. It’s a different thing for everyone. Do I see myself as folk? Not at all, I see myself as a pop musician, it’s just the stuff I do isn’t very popular. When
I started making my own music, doing traditional songs was as obvious as a cover version, an Irish trad song next to six of our own and a Motorhead cover, it didn’t matter. It was only when I was releasing music on Domino that people started saying that it was folk music, and for me that was embarrassing, as a lot of my friends are folk musicians! I understand why people say it, as I do play some traditional songs, but I am no more a folk musicians than I am a fireman. Alasdair Roberts talks about this a fair bit, and he does consider himself a folk musician, but me… no. I’m glad I made that clear (laughing ) D: Let’s talk shops. So I know that Grouchos of Dundee was your ‘local’...
Photographed by Greig_Stott
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“Documents the mindboggling sounds of Breadwoman & Other Mauritius in the ‘70s, Tales are the collected “A tripped out, savage where the country’s recordings of a language blast of psych-punk” traditional séga music, arising. It is the sound and Clash the ‘blues of the Indian document of Anna Homler ocean’, collided with the divining speech, lyrical “There’s controlled Western influence of jazz, fragments, and melody for funk, and soul.” Lauren chaos coursing through music composed, mixed, Telegram’s veins” ****DIY Laverne, BBC 6Music – and engineered by Steve Top Compilations of 2015 Moshier. “Hurtling at the dawn like She is the voice, and the a herd of wonkily amped voice is cosmic reality’s up Lemmys… Overall musicality. Through Operator is headlong, upbeat and punchy” **** Q Breadwoman & Other Tales, we hear material meet mythos.
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CHOIR OF YOUNG BELIEVERS GRASQUE Ghostly International ‘Grasque’ is Choir of Young Believers’ third album. Inspired by experimental electronic music and Danish ‘80s and ‘90s pop, modern hip-hop and R&B, techno and West Coast slow jams, it nevertheless maintains the essential elements of the group’s pop DNA. **** Mojo
MIRANDA LEE RICHARDS ECHOES OF THE DREAMTIME Invisible Hands After a six year gap, Miranda returns with her third full-length studio album. Eight songs of ‘Psychedelic Chamber Folk Rock’ finding the diamonds in the dust of everyday life and the relationships within. ‘Echoes Of The Dreamtime’ is produced by Rick Parker, best known for his work with the Dandy Warhols and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
JY: It was… but you know, a good hour away from my house. It was mostly second hand, always new-old stock all the time. I remember getting Crass, Dead Kennedys, Adam and the Ants, The Damned and also sorts of stuff. Some just in passing but some which has stayed with me ever since. I am still very fond of the Damned for one. It was an amazing place Groucho. Locally we had a library in the next town along, I’m pretty sure they had a Pixies cassette, but Grouchos was something else. You’d pay 99p for a single, and if you liked it, you’d keep it, but you could always take it back a few weeks later and get something like 40p back for it. It was a great place and gave me a great musical education. We’d take a punt on stuff, but it was embarrassing. We were only 12/13 years old and they’d play stuff for us over the shop stereo… so they’d be playing us something like Dirt.. you know, was that cool?, as it screams over the speakers... You didn’t want to look daft... D: Trial by fire. JY: Absolutely. We were just finding our way. D: Do you remember your first purchase? JY: Well, it would have been before Grouchos, from somewhere else and it was called ‘Twenty Greatest Rock and Roll Hits’ that an aunt had given me a record token for. Roy Orbison singing ‘Domino’, Bill Haley, Johnny Cash, some really great stuff on it that I still love today. D: How about now, where do you regularly frequent these days? JY: Groucho is still there but I can’t trek all the way to Dundee. I tell you where I do go when I get the chance Mono. D: Damn good guys at Mono. JY: Extremely friendly, aye, musicians discount too! I always go there and drop way more than I should have done. I liked the Rough Trade Covent Garden shop a lot. The big Rough Trade is okay, big like a supermarket.
I’ll be on the road you know and I’ll think ‘oh, I remember that great little record shop’ and go and hunt it down, and the same old story I bet, but it’s just not there anymore. You remember Record Shops and Restaurants and you track them down. More and more Vegan restaurants, which is good, but less and less Record Shops. D: (laughing ) So Mono really are your cross axis of everything you want! JY: Absolutely. Mono is one that I can say with certainty gets a visit. I used to always try and pay a trip to Sterns on Warren Street London when I was passing through also. Being exposed to those amazing World musicians was an almost surreal experience, so wonderful. When Fopp just started going in Edinburgh that was a great shop you know. They were always buying in old record collections. I remember them having something like twenty Jacque Brel albums and they were all about fifteen pounds per record, and this is going back fifteen/ twenty years, so there was no way I could afford them. I watched those records for months, nobody bought them, nobody bought them, nobody bought them… then they had a sale and the bloody lot went down to two quid each, so I took them to the counter and bought the lot. The best thing I found in Groucho’s recently was an Andrew Cronshaw record, a great zither player. I actually know him now, but I had his music on cassette when I was younger. I was there relatively recently and I found his entire catalogue for about five pounds a pop and they were mint, hardly listened to, which is always great. D: Which other stores have had an impact on you? JY: When I first moved to Edinburgh, Avalanche were one of the amazing shops there. I first heard Can when I was about sixteen or seventeen and was just bloody obsessed. I was in the Avalanche shop and thought I’d ask to see if they had anything new from Can, maybe something I didn’t have, this new one I’d just that minute imagined. They guy behind the counter said pretty quick back, “no, but we do have these Faust reissues”. ‘Who are faust?’
I say, and he just exploded that it was almost inconceivable that I did not know Faust if I liked Can. So he pushed ‘Faust So Far’ on me, not cheap either, and I went home and thought… “it’s not as good as Can”... but it was special still you know, the experience. As it would end up, a couple of weeks later he gave me a bootleg and by then I was pretty hooked on Faust, so you do learn a lot from Record Shops. D: Lastly, for you, what makes for a good record shop? JY: Alright. The music can’t be too loud as some of us are quite deaf. If it’s hurting my ears I’m leaving. Now the people behind the counter, they can’t be too chatty. If you’re going in and want help, then you can go and ask, but if the guy starts talking at you it can really put you off. Also, don’t stack the records too tightly. D: Naturally, instant dismissal. Too tight and you just bend the fuckign things right? JY: (laughing ) Exactly. Clean shops help too! I’m sure that everyone goes right to the Krautrock section like me and thumbs through the Can, Neu!, Faust etc, but it is really great to find something that’s a surprise. I remember finding a Kluster record once, and it was great to have found that someone in that shop had made the effort… you know, a little bit more obscure. It’s just that little 10% of weird and obscure in the racks that keeps you coming back.
Boo Boo Records In the very first issue of Deluxe, we produced a ‘transatlantic recommended retailers’ map, linking stores and shops in the USA and UK who love what they do. Boo Boo Records of San Luis Obispo, CA being a great example. A few years down the line we finally found an opportunity to dive a little deeper with owner Mike White.
Deluxe: So you’ve been involved with Boo Boo Records for over thirty years now? How did that all come about? What is your specific Boo Boo story? Mike White: I started working at Boo Boo’s in 1978, though as a passionate music lover, I had been a customer since they opened in 1974, while I was attending the local university here in San Luis Obispo. In 1978 Boo Boo’s moved to the current location in the quaint
downtown of SLO and I came on board. Upon graduation from college, my involvement deepened into a managerial role and evolved into a small piece of ownership in 1986, which grew over the years and ultimately, as the original 2 owners retired, culminated in sole ownership in 2010.
MW: Yes, the origins of the Boo Boo name has been kept mysteriously vague, but I can tell you that roosters and wine were involved.
D: Am I correct in thinking that the Boo Boo name is shrouded in mystery?
MW: Yes, we put ‘be independent’ on all our branded gear and people feel very connected to that sentiment. For us, being independent means having the ability to make quick decisions
Do YOU know the origins of the name Boo Boo?
D: I love your strap line of ‘be independent’.... For you, what is the best bit about being independent?
based on our own particular needs, and not being tethered to what someone far away in a corporate office thinks is best for us. As an example of how that spirit has directly affected us, being INDEPENDENT is what allowed us to stay one step ahead during the economic downturn of 2008, which precipitated the demise of so many record stores, in particular large chain record stores that were weakened, but too unwieldy and overextended to recover. The many independent stores that are going strong now were able to think on their feet and change with the times.
Boo Boo’s had been fortunate enough to be invited to join a coalition of independent record stores. This group (AIMS - Alliance of Independent Media Stores) became 30+ stores strong and was intent on solidifying our retail voice in the music industry. I can’t say enough about how important a role this group played (and continues to play) in all of our stores’ survival and success. The sheer volume of shared knowledge and experience in all facets of the business has been incredible. D: What is your proudest achievement with the store?
For us that meant closing our 2nd store (opened in 1976 and located about 15 miles south in the coastal town of Grover Beach) and circling the wagons around our flagship store in SLO. Then diversifying and strengthening our inventory to include more books, apparel, iconic ‘lifestyle’ products etc, while still maintaining our love and passion for recorded music.
MW: I think I’m most proud (and by no means was this feat accomplished alone!) of keeping the record store alive and healthy during such an economically unforgiving time. I’m also proud of how culturally connected and supported we are to and by our local community, who continue to bring the love and loyalty 41 years in.
Incidentally, about this time (2006)
D: Seems like you guys are pretty good
at hosting in-store shows. There is a very youthful looking Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy pictured on your site. Which have been your favourite shows over the years? MW: There have been so many memorable in-stores it’s hard to pick a favorite. A few that immediately stand out are, Jack Johnson, who we got in here right before he blew up and had 200 people show up for, John Hammond, a true gentleman... Dave Alvin...Jackie Greene... Greg Brown was amazing, James McMurtry, one of our first shows... Matt Costa, another guy who drew a packed house...and yes, Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, which was beautiful and intimate. Not in-stores but we have had our share of esteemed visitors, the one that stands out for me was when Bruce Springsteen stopped in on his way down to LA...It was a very stormy day and only maybe 1 or 2 customers in the store. He spent maybe 20 minutes, bought 10 cassettes (Jimmy Cliff, Talking Heads, Elvis Costello, Woody Guthrie,
Rod Stewart among them) and was very humble and unassuming...We were buzzing for a long time after that one. D:. I like that you have a recruitment page that asks for “Ten artists or groups you consider most significant in the history of rock music” - Do you have a set do/don’t employ list based on this answer? What are some of the best/worst? MW: We do ask for applicants to give us a list of which artists they think were most significant to rock history and it’s really a dated question that we’ve just kind of left in there to see what people come up with. As the years have gone by, the spirit of the question has morphed away from the Dylan, Beatles, Elvis, Holly, etc answers, and moved more into people coming up with a list of artists that have been significant to their own slice of rock history...so there really is no right or wrong answer. It does date the applicant when the list includes, for instance, Eminem, or Taylor Swift...but the important thing is that people have somebody who they are passionate about and consider significant to their own lives.
are among the best in the country. They each provide their own unique experience, but what they all do well is they put a premium on customer service and they masterfully curate their inventory.
Scott, came by and mentioned he had been in this record store in England and they had included Boo Boo Records on a map of worthy record stores, I was amazed...and curious how such a thing could have happened!
D: There was a pretty famous Rolling Stone article back in 2010 about the best USA stores, of which you featured, how did that make you feel?
Yes, way more illustrious than Rolling Stone!
MW: That shoutout in Rolling Stone was huge and totally unexpected. We are a 3500 sq ft store located in a small town on the coast of California and usually fly under the radar when it comes to national attention. We’ve always felt we belonged but to actually get mentioned meant a lot, to say the least. D: Even more illustrious of course was the 2012 Deluxe ‘Transatlantic Recommended Retailers’ Map... nice to know that we now share at least one customer right! MW: When my long time customer,
D: If you were offering advice to somebody just starting out on the road to opening their own store, what would be your best advice to them? MW: First advice, don’t do it...Second advice, if you must, remember to honor these 3 ingredients, in order... CUSTOMER SERVICE is king, maintain a proper selection and price fairly. MW: If you have a love for the music and a head for the business, you have a chance. We were lucky, we had a great head start from back when it was the only way for people to get their music. When mistakes were made and lessons learned it was a more forgiving
D: I read (in one of the many pieces about you online) that Matt (M. Ward) Ward used to work in the store? Was he much cop behind the counter? MW: YES! We are proud to have had Matt Ward manning the counter for a while. I hired Matt when he was attending college (Cal Poly, SLO) here. He was a bit reserved but very sincere and so knowledgeable...a great person to have around. He was super talented even then as a musician and songwriter, but it’s still amazing to see how far he’s gone with it...new album, More Rain, coming out March 4! D: How about your friends at other record stores, who does what well? Which stores do you personally really admire? Who are you best buds with? MW: In regards to other record stores, all my friends in our AIMS coalition have really beautiful stores. I haven’t been in all of them, but the ones I have, among them, Grimey’s in Nashville, Vintage Vinyl in St Louis, Jackpot in Portland, Criminal Records in Atlanta,
Bruce Springsteen stopped in on his way down to LA... It was a very stormy day and only maybe 1 or 2 customers in the store. He spent maybe 20 minutes, bought 10 cassettes... very humble and unassuming
environment... current climate, not so friendly. But it’s a beautiful way to spend your days, and if being rich is not your priority it can be immensely rewarding. D: And how about your own record store history, which was the store you grew up with or the first store you frequented regularly? MW: I was fortunate to have grown up in the 60’s with a big brother who was way into music. My introduction included whatever he brought home... Dylan, J Cash, Rolling Stones, Judy Collins, Kinks, Beatles...he was an avid record buyer and I caught the bug… D: Do you remember what you bought on that first visit? I don’t think I bought my own record until I was in high school and I think my first one was purchased, not at a record store but at a large department store and it was Cat Stevens, Tea for the Tillerman and cost $2.99. I didn’t avidly start building a record collection until I arrived in San Luis Obispo and began shopping at Boo Boo Records. D: Last one, and it is a tough one... for you, why are record shops still important? MW: I think record shops are still important, among other reasons, because they provide a tactile experience for music fans that want to rub up against decades of recorded music and have it all at their fingertips. Record stores are living, breathing curators of music’s rich history which, when done correctly, stand as touchstones for the communities they serve. A place where you are met with a smile by knowledgeable staff that can talk about the music you love. Where people can go to share their music with someone else with the same passion...genuine, face-to-face human interaction.
the important thing is that people have somebody who they are passionate about and consider significant to their own lives.
Eleanor Friedberger Eleanor Friedberger rose to prominence as one half of the boy/girl, sister/brother band The Fiery Furnaces. On the eve of her third solo album ‘New View’, and just a few days before Thanksgiving, we jumped on a call to talk about bands, recording and point of sale. Deluxe: Very nice to meet you Eleanor Friedberger: You too! Remind me, where is your shop? D: In the UK EF: Yes… (laughing ) I know that much
EF: Gosh… well, as my mother reminded me, this is the longest I’ve been away. I haven’t been here in two years, but that also coincides with my leaving Brooklyn and getting my own place outside of the city. It’s the longest time though, so familiar and foreign being here, at the same time.
D: Looking into 2016, you have a D: We’re in Devon. A tiny town, like 8000 people. Country town. How about new record landing in January. Also, you’ve contributed work towards False yourself, where are you right now? Alphabets right? EF: I am sitting in my childhood EF: It’s a little confusing I guess. bedroom in my mother’s house in I recorded this song called False Chicago. I am here for the week Alphabet City, which I wrote in the because it’s Thanksgiving. middle of making this album New View… but we were already working D: Thanksgiving goes right over our on the album when my friend Sara heads in the UK you know… Magenheimer asked me to contribute to this film she was making (False EF: As it should (laughing ). Nah, It’s fun. For most people here it’s all about Alphabets). I made up a bunch of songs cooking and food. That’s is what it has to be used as part of the performance and part of the film. The film isn’t become at least. actually finished yet, but I liked the song so much that we ended up D: How does it make you feel going recording and putting the song out home? before the album drops, as a stand
alone thing. It was important for me to get that song out before the album lands, as it is at least thematically about New York, whereas the album is very much the opposite of that. It’s not a city album at all. D: It feels like travelling around a lot to me… it’s also very Autumnal as a record… I think… I didn’t make that up right? EF: (laughing ) I think that is good. It’s funny I guess, my last two albums came out in the summer and this one is arriving in the dead of winter… the hope is of course that these things work in any sort of weather. It’s a funny thing to try and explain. I talked to quite a few people about why things sound a certain way. I don’t know why it sounds like it sounds, like it came from an open space, or it sounds good driving along when the leaves are falling from the trees. D: I’ve been driving around and
listening to it. It feels like things passing by. How are you feeling at this stage as we head towards release? EF: I really love it, I think it is my best one yet. My mind is still trying to think about why it sounds that way to us, and I think it has something to do with.. well, it sounds like you can hear human beings touching it, playing it, recording it, and it was made in a way that wasn’t entirely based on a computer. Maybe that sounds like trees and grass.. I don’t know.
even though they didn’t record on it, and it went well. I was thinking that the only way I’d get anyone sounding right would be using people who already play together. You know, already have their own sound and dynamic. I’d actually hope in time to maybe produce their album. They have such a sound, similar to this album I guess. D: So are you interested in production work?
EF: I wouldn’t even start to begin to D: Well without accidentally maligning lie about knowing the technical sort of engineering aspect.. microphones your previous albums, which I have enjoyed a lot, this new LP is a lot looser and all that stuff, but I am interested in producing in a more old fashioned way, not the technical side. I am EF: Totally. Well the easiest way to getting better at it and one of the most explain it is that the last two albums fun things was directing everyone’s were put on a grid, and everything, every beat was accounted for. This one performances… It was incredibly fun. We recorded all the basic tracks and we didn’t play to a click, it was live essentially. There are overdubs, but the then everyone had their own time to
I think I’d say that is the most important thing, even if it is just one person, it is to be friendly and not intimidating.
basic structure is all live and as you hear it. Nothing was ‘fixed’ D: I find the absence click surprising… there is a lot of drive to the LP EF: I have a very good drummer… D: That is the band Icewater… You’ve stolen them right? EF: Well.. I am their’s too… It was one of the really hard things actually, about being a solo artist, assembling a band. They toured with me on the last album,
do their overdubs. It was amazing to sit there, one on one with each player, and guide them to record what and how I wanted it to sound. To me it was really fun. D: In the film world the very vast majority of Directors employ a cinematographer, as they have no inclination to literally pick and handle the lens. So in terms of recording albums, you’re going to become the director on their new album EF: It’s a good analogy, just listening
Photographed by Joe DeNardo
to it as it built I was able to focus on the performance and capture things that they most likely would not have done. In the way that I am a singer, I think of myself as an actor too, so I’m not sure if I can do both…
I am on now, the street we grew up on. All used vinyl, it was pretty much like heaven. We’d go down there with a couple of stolen dollars from out Mom’s purse and buy all the classic rock records for like 99 ¢ to $4 or $5.
D: People have managed…
D: Was that the first time you purchased something for yourself? Do you remember what you first bought?
EF: Right, so just call me the Woody Allen… I’d be thrilled to be the Woody Allen. D: Let’s talk shops. You’re in Chicago, which did you grow up with. EF: I’m afraid it no longer exists, but it was called Coconuts…. That’s where you would go to get new stuff… it was like a chain. A friend of mine worked at one, so I’d go and get stuff from her at a discount, new CDs. But the place that I went the most, and my brother too, religiously in fact, was called ‘Second Hand Tunes’. It was on the street that
EF: That would have been at Coconuts, my parents funnily enough never took us to Second Hand Tunes. We used to listen to story book records, we had like a ton of those, but my first purchase by myself would have been a 45 and it was the Eurythmics. It was Sweet Dreams.
record deck. You know those? D: Yeah, we just bought one for one of my little guys EF: They’re so good. D: We’re both pre-internet, so physicality isn’t so much a choice, the internet wasn’t an option… but what is your relationship with physical music? EF: It depends on all sorts. I spent a lot of time in Pittsburgh this summer and Pittsburg is like a Mecca for used records. There are just so many second hand shops and still so cheap. So I bought a lot this summer. Do you know the label Light In The Attic? D: For sure, love those guys
That is the name of the song right? (singing ) ‘sweet dreams are made of these…’ … yeah, Sweet Dreams. That would have been about 1983. I was little enough to play it on my Fisher Price
EF: … That has been real fun, buying the stuff they put out. They make such a great job of packaging too, really beautiful. I bought the Michael
Chapman record Window, and the Jim Sullivan record U.F.O – and that’s just the last couple I bought, always so good. D: On your travels over the years of being in bands, which shops have really resonated with you?
used to make… incredible mobiles… there was definitely Replacements and Hüsker Dü ones, I am sure there were loads more I hardly took in. There was a giant Steve Keen three dimensional house thing… Do you know Steve Keene? D: Wowee Zowee?
EF: It’s hard to not mentioned Amoeba, both Los Angeles and San Francisco. I feel a little overwhelmed to be honest D: I couldn’t take the LA shop seriously… it just blew my mind EF: I feel that way too. But if you have something in mind, for example, you’re on tour or talking to friends and you want to pick something up for the van, that is where it is pretty amazing. D: How about seeing your own records in shops? EF: I don’t remember the first time I saw a Fiery Furnaces record to be honest, but there is a store in Atlanta that did this unbelievable display for our album Blueberry Boat. They created a boat (laughing) out of all these promo posters they’d been sent…
EF: Yeah. He’s a Brooklyn artist who paints on plywood, well, all sorts of mediums, but he makes loads of band paintings. I have a Fiery Furnaces one actually. I’ve seen them around in stores, so I asked the guy in this shop and he’d created five of them for Pavement’s Shaddy Lane and it was this giant house structure. D: There has been a little bit of a change over the last few years funnily enough, labels are really starting to invest in stickers and posters and putting together all these… well, mobiles actually. We have a Joanna Newsom one in the window right now. EF: Beautiful. D: So with all of this in mind, what makes for a good record shop?
EF: The staff. I think I’d say that is the most important thing, even if it is just one person, it is to be friendly and not EF: Yeah, into this massive boat. I went intimidating. It’s a cliché, a truthful one though, that if the guy or girl into a store called Sound Cat Records in Pittsburgh that had been open since behind the counter is a snob or makes things difficult… someone that you can the early eighties, and the whole place actually talk to and will give you sound was decorated with all these amazing advice… no pun intended. promotional materials that labels D: Like Origami?
Secondly, you have to be able to listen to stuff. It sounds stupid, but you have to listen to stuff.
... so just call me the Woody Allen… I’d be thrilled to be the Woody Allen.
Sounds of the Universe On the corner of Broadwick Street and Duck Lane, Sounds of the Universe is one of Londonâ€™s most iconic record buying destinations, with superbly racked selections of Reggae, Dubstep, House, Disco, Funk, Soul, Brazilian, Latin, African and world beats. The shop is owned by the prestigious Soul Jazz Records, who operate out of the second floor of the building. We took an afternoon out to capture some of the sights of the shop and to speak to founder Stuart Baker about the label, the shop and the people who make it all worthwhile.
GOLDEN RULES Golden Ticket
BADBADNOTGOOD & GHOSTFACE KILLAH Sour Soul
HIGH LUCIA Think
DOOM Born Like This
DANGERDOOM The Mouse & The Mask
Deluxe: Broadly speaking, what is the definition between Soul Jazz and Sounds of the Universe? Stuart Baker: Soul Jazz Records started out of record shop 20 years ago. At this time the shop (which up until this point had been called Soul Jazz Records) became known as Sounds of the Universe. These two entities have separate identities (which are nevertheless connected!). D: What do you have planned for 2016 … for the label specifically? SB: No idea. New records we are doing
are Punk 45 Los Angeles, Count Ossie & The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, Hieroglyphic Being album (as Africans With Mainframes), Skatalites and New Orleans Funk 7” box set (both for record store day), a new 2016 New York Noise (with Arthur Russell etc), Boombox (early rap) and Venezuela 70 (Venezuelan rock). Otherwise, I haven’t got a clue. D: I shouldn’t really print that bit about Record Store Day… I guess that was technically an exclusive! If you were writing a book about Soul Jazz Records... what would be the mantra or code that you try and follow? SB: Hmmm not sure I would do
In the old days we used to say to well-known musicians who came in the store they could have any record in the shop that they played on. After Airto Moreira (& Flora Purim) came in and on another occasion Roy Ayers, they pretty much cleared us out - Airto Moreira has played on more records than I’ve had proverbial hot dinners, from Miles Davis and beyond - we decided to knock that idea on the head.
that. There is an ethos behind all our releases - unfortunately it’s a musical non-literal idea that makes it undescribable (sorry about that). D: I read that ‘Soul Jazz’ was a sign right? What’s the story? SB: Soul Jazz Records was initially a record shop when it first started, on account of a sign we made outside the shop with black letraset type that said ‘SOUL JAZZ’. When the label started the shop changed it’s name to Sounds of the Universe, currently based in Soho, London. Come along and say hello! D: What has been your proudest moment over the last Twenty two and half years of running the label? SB: Hmm it’s nice being able to release music that people respond to positively. D: You worked closely with Clement Dodd... do you recall your first meeting with him? SB: I first met Clement Dodd in his studio/shop at Fulton Street, Brooklyn, New York. I went there to interview him - we were both very shy but he was very warm and we went on to work with Studio One for the next 15 or so years, visiting him again in Jamaica, making a documentary about him and more. Since his death we continue to work with Studio One which is now co-ordinated through his daughter Carol. We are very proud of the relationship. D: What was your favourite experience in speaking to and working with Coxsone? SB: In Jamaica - my baby daughter Bridget climbing all over his barefoot while I was talking with him. Also walking around Trenchtown with him, King Stitt and others, while filming the documentary Studio One Story. D: In the last few years with The No Seattle compilation and especially the Punk 45 series, have you been consciously broadening your output or did something just catch your attention and you wanted to investigate it? SB: No - the second explanation.
I’m in the very privileged position of just being able to go with whatever music interests me at any moment and following that instinct through. D: Which areas, artists and genres have you most enjoyed investigating? SB: Hmm I like them all. Chicago acid house, Haitian Voodoo, LA punk. Quite into everything! D: How is Jon Savage to work with? It feels like you’re hit a rich vein with the Punk 45 series (and book) - are they fun to compile? SB: Jon Savage is a complete nightmare to work with. This is a joke - he is very, very easy and good fun to work with. Our connection is that when punk happened he was writing for the music press (Sounds newspaper) - I was a teenager reading them in my bedroom in South London. Yes great fun. D: Maybe a good point to talk about
album artwork. How important to you are sleeves? SB: I like record sleeves. All Soul Jazz Records sleeves (more than 350 over 20 years) are designed with my friend, me sitting over his shoulder and winding him up. D: Do you have a favourite(s)? SB: No. I like them all. Conversations are funny when you are making them. ‘It’s a bit too designer-y’ or can we make it more ‘iconic’? D: Topical as we approach it I guess, what are your feelings both good and bad about Record Store Day? SB: I like it both as a record label and as a record store. D: As a strong set of independent shops in the UK, we can reinvigorate Record Store Day can’t we?
stores in the USA around Record Store Days too. Whilst there are no chain stores left in the USA, independent record stores are mushrooming. It’s quite surreal how many there are and how into music they all are. D: Talking specifically about SOTU - When did you move to Broadwick Street? SB: We started the shop in a lockup shop in Camden Market (above Dingwalls) 25 years ago. The rent was £60 a week, no phone, no fax (remember those?), no computers, one lightbulb, a record player and some records. We first moved to Soho 20 years ago (12 Ingestre Place). We moved to 7 Broadwick Street about 12 years ago (I think!). D: Tell us something about your shop that we might not know?
SB: It’s good fun. I’ve visited many
Unless you have been on the 20 or so guided tours that go past our shop each day and stop and stare at us, you may not know that the building is where the Rolling Stones first rehearsed together (when it was a pub called The Bricklayers Arms).
SB: Unless you have been on the 20 or so guided tours that go past our shop each day and stop and stare at us, you may not know that the building is where the Rolling Stones first rehearsed together (when it was a pub called The Bricklayers Arms). D: I read awhile back that Prince was a big fan of the shop... do you remember him calling past? SB: He’s been in once if that’s what you mean? As we are in Soho we get very famous people coming in often. Jimmy Page bought some record cleaning fluid the other day and admired our Led Zeppelin section (yes we sell Led Zeppelin). In the old days we used to say to well-known musicians who came in the store they could have any record in the shop that they played on. After Airto Moreira (& Flora Purim) came in and on another occasion Roy Ayers, they pretty much cleared us out - Airto Moreira has played on more records than I’ve had proverbial hot dinners, from Miles Davis and beyond - we decided to knock that idea on the head. D: Any other notable patrons or great experiences in running the store? SB: Aside from music people, Soho means we also seem to have had lots of actors - Terence Stamp, Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Jude Law. Hugh Laurie came in the other day buying Professor Longhair.
music out of the front room. If you hung around you might see Ian Dury or The Damned or Elvis Costello also hangin around. I never actually saw them(!) but the aurora was very exciting to a 13 year old. In the USA (where I have travelled a lot) Jerrys in Pittsburgh, Long in the Tooth in Philadelphia, Jazz Record Mart in Chicago, Car City Sounds in Detroit (this one is now closed). D: Do you remember your first shop as a customer? What did you buy? Do you still own it? SB: Bonaparte in Bromley. I think I bought The Ramones ‘Beat on the Brat/Rockaway Beach’ on a 12” on Sire Records for £1.25. I also queued up outside of their sister store in Croydon at 8 in the morning to claim a free copy of The Adverts album Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts! D: Which other record stores inspire you? SB: All the ones above D: What is the best advice you have been given as both a label and a shop? SB: I don’t think I’ve been given any advice! D:. and what would be the best advice you would give to someone just starting out on that journey? SB: It’s good fun!
D: How about your own experiences with record shops... which ones did you grow up with? SB: Bonaparte Records, Bromley. Stiff Records, Notting Hill - this was a house where they sold Stiff Records
Sounds of the Universe, photographed by Deluxe in January 2016. The shop is open everyday at No 7 Broadwick St, London W1.
Left: Clement ‘Coxsone’ Dodd outside his Brooklyn Record shop & studio. 3135 Fulton Street, NYC.
k c o t s Wootdown that the n o i t a r e n e g a D E r inspi
‘Hoskyns offers a pitch-perfect East Coast corollary to his classic tome on the Laurel Canyon scene, Hotel California.’ Mojo ****
OUT NOW IN ALL GOOD BOOKSHOPS
Record City by Jeb Loy Nichols
There was no better job, anywhere in the world, than working in Record City. It was New York, 1979, and I was 17. I’d come from Texas, a place I disliked, and suddenly there I was, standing around galleries and bookshops feeling unprepared. The World was big, unimaginably big, a tormenting sprawl, and I was skinny. I had, in my youth, spent a lot of time in record stores; this qualified me, I reckoned, to work in one. I was basically unemployable, I had no special skills, but I knew a lot about country music and soul music, and who played on what records, and what labels those records were on. I knew a lot about stuff that was of no interest to most people. Record City was a huge mess of a shop. Acres and acres of second hand vinyl and cut outs. In the basement were rows of singles, in the mezzanine was jazz and soundtracks and on the main floor was everything else. The owner asked me a few questions, none of which had anything to do with either music or records, and that was it. I was hired. Record City, like all good record stores, was only peripherally about selling records. It’s primary function was as a safe haven for outsiders and loners, a place where taste was discussed and formed. A place to listen to Ornette Coleman and Morton Feldman and Anthony Braxton. To Betty Carter and Conway Twitty and The Art Ensemble Of Chicago. A place where people tried to be different. As a teenager I spent as much time in record stores as I did in school. Record stores let me be who I wanted to be. I remember the first time I ever heard Jesse Winchester. I was driving through Texas hill country, the song was ‘Nothing But A Breeze’ and it was perfect. There wasn’t anything about it that I didn’t love. I immediately pulled over, did a U-turn and headed back to town, to my favourite record store.
That’s the way things went back then. You heard a song on the radio that you had to have, that you couldn’t live without. You went out and, if you had the money, you bought it. If you didn’t have the money, you waited by the radio in the hope you’d hear it again. At the record shop Johnny pulled out a copy from behind the counter. “So what’s the deal with this? Who is he?”, I asked. Johnny had long hair and a tattoo of Bob Marley on his arm. His best friend was Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. He’d seen and heard it all. “Southern guy”, he said, “living in Canada. His fifth record. He’s the real deal.” I looked at the record and liked what I saw. “How much?”, I asked, and Johnny said, “take it. Give it a listen, and if you like it, tell people about it.” That’s the way things went back then. You spent a lot of time in record shops and you made strange friendships. Johnny had a secret box of promo copies that he gave to his favourite customers. I still have the copy he gave me. During the two years I worked in Record City I sold records to David Byrne and Brian Eno (they bought the entire African section), to Prince Paul, to Shel Silverstein (he lived upstairs), to James ‘Blood’ Ulmer, to David Mancuso. I also sold records to a numberless parade of good spirited people. I sold records all day. That’s all we did. We sold everything to everyone. Six years later I had a record stall on Portobello Road. A friend and I sold mostly reggae singles. During the week and on alternate weekends we trawled charity shops, boot fairs, jumble sales and street markets. You could still do that back then. Buy rocksteady singles and Black Ark twelves; there were boxes of records everywhere. All it took was time. Every week we’d meet and go through what we’d found. We always had stacks of stuff; Jamaican releases, white label pre’s, rare groove, soul and funk. The difficulty then, as it was in New York, was not keeping all
the good stuff for myself. At Record City each employee had a section below the counter where we hid our own stash. Records came in and were immediately claimed. My section, in the beginning, contained mostly country, reggae and jazz. I remember a sealed copy of Twins by Ornette Coleman. Also the last Lefty Frizzell album. There Stands The Glass by Conway Twitty. Also Leon Thomas and The Abbyssinians and Dan Penn. I had a hell of a collection. A little bit of everything. It was there I fell in love, unexpectedly, with disco. There and in certain downtown clubs, Tier Three and The Loft and The Paradise Garage. I fell hard and completely, gut punched, dazed on the dance floor. A pale, sloppy kid gone ga-ga, the place wet with bodies, the night euphoric. I floated, those first few nights, above the floor. From a back corner I ventured out to be amongst the heaving. Summoned by those minor keyed strings. Losing myself, eyes closed, arms high, feet swivelling, the way you can in the dark, amongst strangers, in a new city. In the mornings, walking back across the city, I considered myself changed. I went over and catalogued what I’d heard; Is It All Over My Face by Loose Joints, You’re The One For Me by D-Train, Heartbeat by Tanya Gardner; and the next day I’d dig through the remainders and the 12 inches, until my section behind the counter started to fill up with downtown disco. Working in records shops told me who I was. Told me who I wanted to be. I never made any money but I amassed a lot of records, which I sold, then amassed again, then bought again, and on it goes. I can’t walk past a record shop. No matter where, no matter the time of day, I have to go in and have a peek. They’re my natural habitat, my college, my neighbourhood. They’re familiar, threatened, peripheral, nearly extinct, full of arcane and necessary stuff. Just like me.
KING GIZZARD & THE LIZARD WIZARD
Y Dydd Olaf Out Now
Paper Mâché Dream Balloon Out Now
HOOTON TENNIS CLUB
Highest Point in Cliff Town Out Now
Not Real Out Now
Who Sold my Generation Out Now
Dry Food 04.03.16
A newspaper about record shops. In this issue; Eleanor Friedberger, Sounds of the Universe, The Prettiots, James Yorkston, Boo Boo Records,...
Published on Feb 22, 2016
A newspaper about record shops. In this issue; Eleanor Friedberger, Sounds of the Universe, The Prettiots, James Yorkston, Boo Boo Records,...