Deluxe Issue Three

Page 1


It’s abOUt RecORd shOPs IssUe thRee: GOld PaNda’s beRlIN, lIGht IN the attIc ROad tRIP, ROdRIGUeZ, JeN lONG, dUcKtaIls aNd lOads OF RecORd shOPs.

WelcOMe tO a delUXe PRessING At last years SXSW festival in Austin Texas, I attended a panel about the film The Wicker Man. Speaking on that panel was Matt Sullivan, founder of Seattle’s Light in the Attic Records. Even though I thrust it at him, he naturally dug this paper and mentioned that he was also fascinated by record shops; LITA had, in fact, previously hit the road across the USA and Canada visiting independent stores and meeting the folks who run them. Back in the Autumn, with this in mind, I was thinking of pitching a retrospective piece about their time on the road and was thrilled to find out that they were about to embark on the follow-up 2012 road trip only days later; quite some serendipity on our part there. So we tagged along (in spirit and via instagram) with LITA’s Jon Treneff, as the intrepid traveling salesmen hit over fifty indie outlets in just 12 days. The journey culminated with two anniversary showcases of the LITA label’s glittering roster, one of which was headlined by Sixto Rodriguez. When I orginally met him, Matt had been in Austin,Texas, to attend a screening of the documentary ‘Searching For Sugarman’ (of which Rodriguez is the protagonist), and, in a further act of coincidence, we’d already reached out to one of the films fellow stars Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, to talk in this issue about his Cape Town-based record shop Mabu Vinyl. Yet another example of record shops making the world smaller. Whilst we were visiting Berlin for the Gold Panda article in this issue, we heard the news that the HMV chain had gone into administration. As we go to print, the second batch of stores to be closed and turned into supermarkets has been announced. This is obviously horrible news. Working behind the counter in my shop it has been suggested to me numerous times that HMV closing “is a good thing for us right?” It’s really not. Although the chain has become a poor representation of its former glory, HMV disappearing from the high street only encourages the ever increasing trend of people buying their music online and cements the idea that the purchasing of physical music is ‘in decline’. Every store we have featured in this issue (and in the previous issues) are experiencing strong trading and are operating successful and much celebrated businesses. People don’t need to proclaim, “support your indie record shop” like we’re charity. Simply come and buy music from us because we stock damn good stuff that’ll make your life sound better. Rupert Morrison, Shouting Record Shop Philanthropist

Contributors: Andy Morrall, Hannah Megee, Jen Long and The Golden One. Associate Editor: Crispin Parry Underground: Katie Weatherall & Danny Ford Distributed: Forte Thanks to: Stephen “Sugar” Segerman, Jon Treneff, Adam and Matt at Jumbo, Gareth Dobson, Rob Chapman, Chris Munton, The Riddler, Adam Brooks, Jodie Banaszkiewicz, Matthew Mondanile, Peter Broderick, Markus Kinder, Bernd Leyon, Will At Work and all the splendid advertisers. Front cover: Gold Panda on the Berlin Streets by Andy Morrall Advertising and marketing opportunities:

Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this magazine, the publishers cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information or any consequence arising from it. Published by The Drift Record Shop in association with British Underground.

Forte UK Independent Music Distribution

Ich liebe d i e s e S ta dt words RUPERT MORRISON pictures ANDY MORRALL Berlin is an iconic musical city. From Eno and Bowie in the 1970’s, via former residents Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Nick Cave, to today’s contemporary minimal techno scene helmed by the likes of Modeselektor, the city’s place on the global musical map is assured. Deluxe took a trip to Germany’s capital city to go record shopping with Gold Panda and discover the unknown heroes who are stocking the records. by no means suggests that other genres are not represented, as we lost a good hour or so looking through the Jazz and Soul collections. The main space is about the size of a comfortable living room, with a smaller area off to the right and, through a corridor, a further room of vinyl at the back. Markus Lindner is propping up the counter as he does most days and gave us a tour of the shop. “I’m working now for 7 years at Oye,” says Markus, “I’m director of the company and responsible for the purchasing, selling and online marketing. Also, I’m organizing the exclusive releases for Oye.”

Oye Records is spread across three wellstocked rooms, with a superb collection of house and disco records forming the shop’s backbone and core business. This

Tonight is the first ‘late night shopping’ event of the year for Oye and the store is heating up. I asked Markus about his regulalrs and in-store shows. “We started

around 3 years ago with the in-store gigs and they were all amazing and we had great Djs in the store. We think that it’s better to bring Djs and the crowd to the record store for a nice afternoon session. People can meet at the store and talk about records, club nights and upcoming releases. For example, the next Tartelet Records release by Max Graef happened because the label manager of

Tartelet and Max met at Oye and then they decided to work together.” Besides moving around furniture ahead of tonight’s in-store set (Chicago DJ Tevo Howard) Markus is most excited about a unique piece of vinyl that has just arrived; Eddie C’s ‘Aesthetics’, a handmade beeswax 7”. Even amongst

“I don’t like rivalry, we are all colleagues” - Bernd Leyon

‘The city in bags’ - Bernd Leyon at Musik Departmet

We located ourselves for the week in Prenzlauer Berg, just north of the city’s Alexanderplatz district. Within walking distance we would be able to visit the shops Oye, Rotation and Melting Point, whilst we plotted journeys to others. Plus, we’d been tipped off that the nearby ‘Bonanza Coffee Heroes’ make a damn fine cup of coffee. We had arranged to take a tour the following day with current Berlin resident Gold Panda, so we figured we’d acclimatise to the city’s laid-back scene and take a closer look at a few of the neighbourhood’s record outlets.

Checking stock. Markus at Oye.

stock deliveries, crates of beer arriving and an ever-increasing crowd of eager listeners on the decks, Markus was genuinely thrilled to play us anything new and interesting that he thought we’d benefit from. Oye have managed to get the balance just right. They are specialist and unique, but they are also welcoming and have a great supporting stock to their main dance genres.

Left: ‘The mountains’ at Melting Point. Right: Tevo Howard at the wheel on the counter of Oye.

The following morning, Gold Panda (or Derwin as he is known to his friends) picked us up early and we set off for breakfast at a café called Antipodes. It is run by Jane Nye and Paul Milne formerly of Wellington, New Zealand, and they serve a fine breakfast. Well fed, we started off just down the block at The Record Store. They have a great mix of stock, new releases, essential catalogue titles, some weirdo psych and soundtracks plus a well-represented

Safe from a distance. Even the chairs outside get a frosty reception from Franz & Josef.

Krautrock section. You enter into an open, high-ceilinged room with superbly designed storage and dividers, all rendered in thick plywood with lovingly embossed names decadently carved into each section. Early Elvis Presley hummed over the stereo - a valve set up, I should imagine much loved - as we browsed through the racks. An

Ercol chair, vintage stereo equipment, a cine-projector mounted to the ceiling, immaculate cinema posters; I sensed that owner Torsten Dobberstein had made his dream shop and is running it with pride. A short walk across one of Berlin’s many parks to our next location and again specializing in house and techo records (both new and second-hand), Melting

Point’s reputation precedes it as a serious location for sourcing dance music. White walls and wooden floors are separated by stacks and stacks of records, towers in places, with a Zamioculcas and a Monstera Deliciosa soaking up the winter sun in the windows. It seemed we’d arrived mid transaction as boxes were being poured through and an older

‘The city has a great reputation for record buying but people expect a lot so you have to make sure you have the best records, you must want to be the best’ - Markus Lindner

The Zamioculcas at Melting Point.

couple of gentlemen leave the shop with an armful each, I was informed that they are big players on the scene. Owner Mitch Flubacher gives us a quick tour of the shop. I am surprised he knows where anything is in the neatly stacked columns of spines. He allows me to look out back where I was amazed to find as many records again in even more compact shelves. We left Mitch to open more boxes; apparently he needs more vinyl. Our second visit to Oye and almost exactly where we left him we are greeted by Markus. An impromptu staff outing the night before had taken in Modeselektor, Brodinski and Boys Noise right across the road from the shop. I think the line between night and morning was hazy. In between phone calls Markus was efficient regardless and had more than a few recommendations for Derwin who made good use of the turntables. “The city has a great reputation for record buying but people expect a lot so you have to make sure you have the best records, you must want to be the best,” says Markus.

Musik Department doesn’t appear in many of your standard Berlin record shop guides, although it’d be a tragedy to miss them. It is well-stocked, perfectly formed and run immaculately by Bernd Leyon, a native of the Berlin record selling business for over twenty years. Two neat rooms just below street level were curated like a gallery with posters, pictures, bags and records tastefully filling the walls. Bernd is encyclopedic in his stock (that is arranged part alphabetically and otherwise based on recommendations) and is also quite the knowledge on Berlin’s streets. He is currently finishing a picture book that documents the cities streets via album covers. The shop is set up to start at the door and run a complete lap through the racks, with neat stacks of CD’s, books and records to guide you; a handpicked tour of all things interesting. “People know that they don’t have to know a bands name,” says Bernd, “for me it is enough to know their mood. People come and say ‘last time you had that CD for me, I want another one.’ I said okay, what do you want? Something new, something old, up-tempo, down-tempo… that is my job. That’s how I learned it.” By his own proclamation he is “professionally nosy” and it is that interest the drives the shop, unearthing treasures and discovering new things. And what was playing on the stereo when we walked in? Rodriguez, of course. Only five or ten doors down the street is the Franz & Josef, notorious for several things. Firstly its almost unparalleled stock, absolute gems from the last sixty years all curated in a strange hybrid of genre, musical interlinking and the shop owner’s autobiographical history. Secondarily it is utterly beautiful. A compact tunnel of a shop (formerly a butchers) with immaculate white tiled walls and beautifully shelved vinyl boxes. Lastly, it is notorious as being run by the rudest and most deeply unsuitable owners. Even the most rudimentary of Google searches will deliver pages upon pages of essentially the same story: “We went to Franz & Josef, the owner was so rude, he told us to get out” – I mean surely this can’t be real right? If we went in, looked through carefully and bought a record, they would surely be glad of the custom right? We made our way to Franz & Josef with a morbid anticipation of how the visit was going to go down. There were a couple of other shoppers browsing the racks with some intent. They picked, they checked, they handed over some Euros and left without much controversy. Before we could do much more browsing the warning signs went off. In fact, they didn’t so much go off as just plain write all over the walls ‘you are not welcome here’. The man running the joint (a spitting image of a younger, more furious Klauss Kinski) cranked the stereo up to beyond loud and started playing ten second

“The core quality of a record shop still should be: have a great selection of music and make it accessible to your customers and new visitors that drop by the store.” snippets of records ranging wildly from psych to dub to metal. Was he sampling what he’d just bought? I am not sure, it was categorically an audio assault as he jerked each record on and off. In a break in the barrage, I went for broke. “I like your store… you’ve got some killer stock” I said. He kept his head down and made no attempt to pretend he hadn’t heard me. Using my beginner’s German and holding a Low LP I had every intention of buying, I said “Entschuldigen Sie mich, wie viel?” – this got a look… but it was not a good look. I got a hand gesture and a mutter. I guess this was it, we’d totally been chucked out. I carefully put Low back into their category and we made towards the door, but with one last insistent attempt I

pointed at our camera and tried to articulate “Do you mind if we take a couple of pictures of your beautiful record shop?” In all the excitement of antagonizing the guy and the thrill of being thrown out, I can’t conclusively remember that he actually said ‘fuck’, but he slumped some records down and seemed pretty mad at us. I said thanks, we left, and that is how it went down at Franz & Josef. Bernd asked us to let him know how it went, he wasn’t too surprised. “About 12 years ago he had only a stall, he was a seller on the flea market and he always had nice stuff. We talked and I bought records from him and he asked me ‘should I open up a store?’ in some ways I am responsible as I am the person who told him to do it! … I am sorry!”

‘Hard Wax’ - Hard to find, worth the visit.


The New Album Out now

“Bigger and bolder than their debut, their musical palette has widened and richened”

The Guardian

The Forum, London 27th March

a smaller street where we are not as visible anymore,” he says, “but we wanted to stay here, our landlord is cool, the neighborhood is cool, we are established here in the neighbourhood so we decided to make a go of it with fashion and evolve the record shop” The last shop on our tour took us south to the Kreuzberg borough of the city and three floors up a huge industrial building overlooking the canal. Hardwax is perhaps Berlin’s most famous record shop. It has been at the forefront of the dance music scene since it was founded in 1989 by the Basic Channel duo, Moritz von Oswald and Mark Ernestus. Besides their reputation for limited pressings and the best electronic music from around the world, Hardwax was the most visually unique shop I found. Down an alleyway and up three floors of a nondescript building, it is hardly the most accessible shop, but the journey is part of the attraction. A huge, open plan room with a contemporary industrial identity. Rough bricks, hard cement floor and functional cargo-like boxes stock a good few thousand records. The staff are serious as it is after all a serious shop doing swift business. Michael (the manager) furiously checks over boxes ready to hit the mail that evening. The shop’s mail order business is responsible for more than 50% of the turnover. “Hard Wax became more and more a magnet for Berlin-visitors in the last couple of years,” says Michael. “The core quality of a record shop still should be to have a great selection of music and make it accessible to your customers and new visitors that drop by the store. We try to fulfill this goal in the shop”. Exhausted and miraculously with no new purchases (on account of Easyjet’s underwhelming hand luggage allowance) we bid farewell to Derwin and leave central Berlin. A whole day of walking and talking and we’d managed to visit only a handful of Berlin’s recommended retailers. There was always going to be more here for the dance music crowd, but I was very impressed with all of the stores we visited and inspired by the way they are run and continue to evolve. Some time later whilst reminiscing about our aborted visit to Franz & Josef, I decided to pay a visit to their website I was presented with a blank page and the warning ‘Forbidden - You don’t have permission to access this server’ – they really have managed to capture the aesthetic of the physical shop online! Fresh arrivals at ‘The Record Store’

Rotation Records is a very modern record shop. They have evolved into Rotation Boutique over the last few years to act as a platform for music, fashion, arts, culture and whatever they feel is “good enough to share with the world.” They have worked closely with brands and labels like Bpitch Control and Ghostly International

The turntables at Melting Point.

(who’s striking pacman-esque logo previously filled their window as part of a pop up show installation). Store co-owner Nikolaus Schäfer gave us the over view of the meticulously arranged shop: “In 2008/2009 we had to make a decision to either close or we move into

A sucessful journey with Gold Panda.

THA N K S TO THE G O LDE N O N E ‘Lucky Shiner’ was one of our favourite albums of 2012, so when Gold Panda agreed to take us record shopping in Berlin we jumped at the chance. Our intrepid tour guide talked to us about his record shop history, computers in music and his Notown label. Which record shops did you grow up with and how important were they to you? The first time I went to a record shop was on Peckham high street when I was 9 or 10. I bought a Soul II Soul 12”. Some tall funky dread sold it to me! My Dad used to take me to Woolworths to buy cassettes or toy cars. He had (and still has) a Rega turntable, I guess I didn’t really consider it much, I knew that there was this song and it wasn’t on cassette in Woolworths so I checked the other shop and there it was on 12”. I bought it because my Dad had a record player. After that my mate’s Dad would bring home bags of vinyl for us, all stuff that was being played on pirate radio. We were 12/13/14 listening to all this mental rave/jungle, smashing up toys with bricks and stuff. When we moved to Chelmsford in Essex when I was 15 I missed the culture of London and I started getting into hip-hop quite a lot because everyone was into brit-pop there and no one I knew at school in South London listened to that. I used to go record shopping with my paper round money in Soho. Uptown records, Record & Tape Exchange, Reckless, Deal Real, Blackmarket, one that was under a small clothes shop that was packed with white labels and test presses. I bought so many. It was my life but I never DJ’d or anything. You worked in a record shop right? What is your experience of being behind the counter? I think it depends where you work. I worked in HMV and stuff and that is just about sales really.. and then it became a dvd store..and then a games store and music took a back seat. I was lucky enough to work at Puregroove in London which was all about the love, sadly so much so that it had to close down, but I think before I joined they had some pretty lucrative years, especially when they were focussed on house/ dance music. It was also responsible for some great music probably most recognised for a record label called “Locked On” and the signing of a Mr. Mike Skinner. But I

Plus I’m more inclined to just skip through a track on my laptop than actually play through it. Plus I love to make a cup of tea and sit down and read liner notes and ‘travel’ through the record from start to finish. Buying records, even online, I look at the cover and I think “I have no idea what that is but the cover is great” so I’ll buy it. But I’ve always been the same, going to school and thinking “well if I don’t eat today this three quid can go towards some vinyl at the weekend”. However I look on bandcamp and I think “fuck, I’m missing out on all this amazing music by people who can’t afford to do physical” but I just can’t justify it sometimes when I just get a deletable file. I know it is the music that counts but i’d just like it on something a bit more...ummm,... keepable? Is that a word? The Berlin scene seems pretty well supported, are Berliners more into physical releases? Nah I don’t think so. I think because the dance music/ electronic music scene here is big and there are a lot of people doing music and especially music that does well on vinyl. The average German probably uses itunes. (I’m sure there is a racist joke in there somewhere). Where in Berlin is good for what? Well, I can only comment on the ones I’ve been to. Anything dance music/electronic related including hiphop, soul and disco etc. Hardwax, Oye and Melting Point. Noise and weird shit: Staalplaat. There are loads of places that just have random vinyls, I don’t know the names, sorry! There are 6 record shops within 10 mins walking distance from my house which is very dangerous. I hear the markets are pretty awesome also? Yeah! But I’m usually away on weekends!

I found a Dave Brubeck record I’d been after for ages. I woke up the next day and he was dead! I felt awful decided to get out of music retail and study Japanese As someone who has grew up with physicality are you into digital music? Does it have a place? For me, no. It isn’t the same. I mean, I have Spotify (stone me to death now) and use that quite a bit on my phone but I pretty much own everything I listen to on there. I don’t have to import a cd or record a vinyl so it is great for that. I think I’m just old. Lets say the average wav is 50MB, I just think to myself “well, I don’t want to take up space on my computer with that”. If someone sends me an mp3 I probably won’t download it or listen to it for a month. If I have a vinyl I stick it on straight away.

Do you shop second hand, new, both? Yeah of course. New music? What does that even mean? It is new for about 5 mins. New, 2nd hand, discogs. Just anywhere I can get the vinyl I want and vinyl I don’t know I want yet. Best ever find in a record shop? Oh man, I have no idea. So many but then I forget as soon as I find the next one I want. I was in a shop in Victoria in Canada and I found a Dave Brubeck record I’d been after for ages. I woke up the next day and he was dead! I felt awful haha.

Do you remember the first time you saw your own music in a shop? Yeah it was in Rough Trade East. I thought it looked pretty fuckin’ good! I liked that it didn’t have any info on it. It made my music feel real and to be honest, even though it had been on blogs/sites and stuff before hand, when it actually came out physically the feedback was amazing. What is the Notown story? I couldn’t find a label willing to give me any dosh upfront so I was advised that I should just do it myself (‘cough’....with the kind help of all at Wichita Recordings) and I’d probably see some money back and not have anyone telling me what to do. Ghostly International licensed stuff from me. Luke Abbott who I’d got to know through shows and email sent me some tunes and wanted to get them out pretty swift so I said I have a label and that was that. He is still on Border Community though as far as I know. Then Tom (Dam Mantle) wanted to do something and he already had artwork and everything sorted and that album really is great... so we did that and uh.. well yeah now it is 2013. I need to put more time into it but this year should be good. Hopefully we can do some shows together. Holkham Drones was my 2010 record the year, we’re vibrating at the prospect of a new Luke Abbott LP… should we be this excited? I’m pretty sure there will be one. There are two 12”s on Notown to keep you going until then, all in all 10 tracks. That is pretty much an album, I’d advise you to buy them both and listen to them in one go! And Lucky Shiner was right up there in our ‘best of the year list’ what you working on? Well on Notown there is a release by Hannes Rasmus called “Analog ist besser” out in a few months. Pure German analog electronic business. We just finalised artwork today. My Trust 12”/EP will be out soon and then an album to follow on Ghostly International later in the year. It has taken a while but I did basically 140 live jams and culled them down to 11 tracks. Now I’m just going back through my zip discs and trying to re-create the jams bit by bit so they feel as natural as the first take. I’m doing this so I can mix them better. Next time I’m just going to record them properly the first time round, I’m such an idiot. Lastly, are record shops still an important part of the musical landscape? Yes of course and now that they are getting more rare, every time I see one I just have to go inside.

Gold Panda’s ‘Trust’ EP is out now in all good record shops and can be bought at these locations online.

V I S I T BE R L I N’S SH O Ps Flashpoint Bornholmer Strasse 88

Comeback Reords Hasenheide 9

Oye Records Oderbergerstr. 4

Groove Records Pücklerstr.36

Franz & Josef Kastanienallee 48

Core Tex Records Oranienstrasse 3

Vopo Records Danziger Strasse 31

Mr.Dead & Mrs. Free Bülowstraße 5

Freak Out Prenzlauer Allee 49

Hardwax Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a

Soul Trade Sanderstrasse 29

No 9 Records Bölschestraße 82

Musik Department Kastanienallee 41

Heisse Scheiben Ohlauer Str. 44

Static Shock Musik Bürknerstr. 6

Platten Pedro Tegeler Weg 102

Funkyquariat Märkisches Ufer 22

Holy’s Hit Records Solmsstrasse 33

O-Ton Recordstore Krossener Str.18

Q-Tip Records Reichenberger Strasse 120

Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann Friedrichstrasse 90

Logo Bergmannstr. 10

Power Park Niederbarnimstrasse 11

Real Deal Records Gneisenau Strasse 60

Leila M. Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 30

Long layer Graefestr. 80

Alley Music Oranienstraße.195

Rock Steady Records Zille Straße 74

Melting Point Kastanienallee 55

Satori Records Wrangelstr. 64

Bis Aufs Messer Records Marchlewskistraße 107

Rotation Boutique Weinbergsweg 3

Space Hall Zossenerstr. 3335

Fashion Killers Wrangelstr. 48

The RecordStore Brunnenstr. 186

Wowsville Record Store Ohlauer Straße 33

Galactic Supermarket Petersburger Strasse 89

A FELL OW BE R L I N E R with PETER BRODERICK Still in his mid twenties, musician and composer Peter Broderick is already fourteen albums into his career, having also contributed session work for M. Ward, Zooey Deschanell and joining Efterklang. A former Berliner, we asked him about his time in the city. Which record shops did you grow up with? I grew up in a very small town called Carlton, in Oregon (USA) . . . There was no place to buy records there... But there’s a town 7-8 miles away called McMinnville, which had one record store at the time, called People’s Records. My father often bought and ordered records from there. And other than that we would sometimes buy records from the big chain stores like Walmart and Fred Meyer... Those were the only options before the internet took over. How important were they to you? I didn’t have a strong relationship to record shops when I was a kid, and actually I didn’t really start collecting records myself until I was a teenager and got exposed to some nicer record stores in the bigger cities, farther away from home. How do you feal about digital music? Personally, I don’t get too much out of scrolling through an ipod or computer screen and selecting some music to hear. I much prefer to physically hold the record in my hands, to see all the artwork and liner notes which the artist or band intended to accompany the music. I never buy downloads. Only vinyl and cd’s and cassettes. Sometimes I’ll download a record if I get a voucher when buying the vinyl. But at least then I have the big artwork of the vinyl sleeve. Berlin seems to have a great scene. Most of my friends are still collecting physical records. But some (usually the younger ones) don’t have a single physical album... They only hear music they download or through spotify or other streaming sources... Where in Berlin is good for what? I’m a little ashamed to say that I don’t know the record stores in Berlin too well. There are a few which I go to quite regularly, but I know there is much more to be discovered! I hear the markets are pretty awesome for shopping also? Sure! You can really score with some used old vinyls at the markets in Berlin. I’ve had some great finds at the Sunday market at Mauer Park. Your best ever find in a record shop? When I lived in Portland, six years ago, that was my most intense record collecting phase... I was really crazy about some bands and would spend ages

searching through record stores trying to find old and out of print releases. I remember one cd in particular, an EP by the band Tarentel called ‘Fear Of Bridges’ which I looked for for years... It was a cd available only through a subscription series, very limited, and was already several years gone. But one day, I can’t even remember where now, I stumbled across it in a used bin in some nondescript record store while on tour in the states. Success!

People can enjoy music however they want to, it’s fine by me.

Do you remember the first time you saw your own music in a shop? I can’t recall the first time... But I always get a little excited when I see my records in a store.

Peter’s “These Walls Of Mine” is out now on CD/LP via Erased Tapes. You can explore more of his music online via the following labels.

Musically; you’ve had a pretty prolific spell these last few years, do you work out of Berlin? I’ve been based in Berlin for the last couple years. Last year I invested quite a lot into my home studio, so I’m getting more and more happy with the sounds I can capture on my own... At the moment I’m feeling my way with some new equipment, recording a bunch of songs which will probably turn into a new album at some point... Erased Tapes seems like a supportive network? Yeah! It’s really nice to work with a label that’s based in the same city . . . To be able to meet in person instead of the endless chain of emails. And there are a lot of great musicians in this circle nearby. The products on Erased Tapes always seem to be made with real care, this matters right? Of course! Most of the time, with any given release, there is a point at which you have to compromise. You have to find a solution, a balance between how you want the thing to look and feel, and what’s actually affordable! I am especially happy with my last release on Erased Tapes (These Walls Of Mine), for which we enlisted some local printing and binding companies in Berlin to create a really beautiful deluxe version of the album. Is this an antidote to mp3’s and downloading? I would like to think that if you make a really beautiful object, it gives people more encouragement to buy the physical product. But I also don’t have any big problems with music downloading.

Lastly, are record shops still an important part of the musical landscape? Absolutely! Me and so many others I know still cherish the record stores we

know! Some shops have been unable to stay open in these digital times, but some others are actually doing quite well, and I think especially the vinyl market has been picking up in the last few years.



I T’S A L O N G WAY TO THE TO P 58 Record Stores, 12 Days, 3000 miles and one mission - This is the story of two vinyl junkies in a van reaching out and connecting with the independent record retailers of Americas’ West Coast, the 2012 Light in the Attic Road Trip.

Thursday, September 20th Light In The Attic HQ (Seattle, WA) High Voltage (Tacoma, WA) Rainy Day Records (Olympia, WA) Mississippi Records (Portland, OR) Record Room (Portland, OR) Exiled Records (Portland, OR) Jackpot Records (Portland, OR)

Sunday, September 23nd People’s Records (Arcata, CA) The Works (Eureka, CA) Dig Music (Ukiah, CA) Last Record Store (Santa Rosa, CA)

Friday, September 21st Music Millennium (Portland, OR) CD & Game Exchange (Portland, OR) Everyday Music (Portland, OR) Records By Mail (Portland, OR) Beacon Sound (Portland, OR) Clinton Street (Portland, OR) M’Ladys (Portland, OR)

Monday, September 24rd Down Home Music (El Cerrito, CA) Mod Lang (Berkeley, CA) 1-2-3-4 Go! (Oakland, CA) Stranded (Oakland, CA) Groove Merchant (San Francisco, CA) Explorist International (San Francisco, CA) Grooves (San Francisco, CA) Aquarius Records (San Francisco, CA) Streetlight Records (Santa Cruz, CA)

Saturday, September 22st Ranch Records (Salem, OR) House Of Records (Eugene, OR) CD & Game Exchange (Eugene, OR)

Tuesday, September 25th Boo Boo Records (San Luis Obispo, CA) Warbler Records (Santa Barbara, CA) Salzer’s (Ventura, CA)

Buffalo Records (Ventura, CA) Grady’s (Ventura, CA) Freakbeat Records (Sherman Oaks, CA) Wednesday, September 26th Vacation Vinyl (Los Angeles, CA) Origami Vinyl (Los Angeles, CA) Mohawk General Store (Los Angeles, CA) Jacknife (Los Angeles, CA) Backside (Los Angeles, CA) Amoeba (Hollywood, CA) Thursday September 27th PM Sounds (Torrance, CA) Fingerprints (Long Beach, CA) Left Of The Dial (Long Beach, CA) Burger Records (Fullerton, CA) Rhino Records (Claremont, CA) Poo-Bah Records (Pasadena, CA) Permanent Records (Los Angeles, CA)

In the 1950s and ’60s, classic labels like Chess Records would distribute their records via a network of hard-traveling reps selling records from the trunks of their cars; a mobile army of rack-jobbers spreading the good word all around the US. In homage to this, and as part of their ongoing 10th anniversary celebrations, Light in the Attic took to the freeways on a road trip. From September 20th to October 1st they drove down – and back up – the West Coast, visiting 58 record stores, each one of them bastions of vinyl resistance in a digital world. It was the ultimate audiophile road trip.

Light In The Attic roster, including South Korea’s 75-year old ‘Godfather of Rock’ Shin Joong Hyun, veteran Yorkshire finger-picking wizard Michael Chapman, a very rare performance from rediscovered darlings of private press, Donnie & Joe Emerson, and a headline slot from the phoenix-like Rodriguez, star of the hit film Searching For Sugarman.

This is the sixth time that they have embarked on an old-school, record-hawking mission of epic proportions, previous trips having included the East Coast, Midwest, West Coast, and Canada.

So Jon, you made it there and back again. How was the road?

There’s gold not only at the end of the trip but during the journey as well. The van landed in Los Angeles just in time for the first of two Light In The Attic 10th Anniversary concerts at the El Rey Theatre in LA and then back in Seattle. The shows were loaded with leading names from the

We were fortunate enough to catch up with LITA’s Jon Treneff to ask a few questions about the road, plus look back on his holiday snaps and assess how the West Coast is looking right now.

The road was great! I generally don’t like road trips because most of mine have been with family or bands - i.e. - at the mercy of the collective whim or show schedule. Traveling with your family is hard for reasons most of us can relate to, and traveling with a band mostly consists of long drives occasionally broken up by long periods of waiting/wandering around aimlessly before a show.

Friday, September 28th Light In The Attic Anniversary Show (El Rey Theatre, Los Angeles, CA) Saturday, September 29th Mono Records (Los Angeles, CA) Mount Analog (Highland Park, CA) Wombleton (Highland Park, CA) Caveman Vintage (Los Angeles, CA) Records LA (Los Angeles, CA) Sunday, September 30th Going Underground (Bakersfield, CA) Streetlight (San Jose, CA) On The Corner (San Jose, CA) Phono Select (Sacramento, CA) Monday, October 1st Music Coop (Ashland, OR) CD World (Eugene, OR) Everyday Music (Beaverton, OR) Light In The Attic HQ (Seattle, WA)

The LITA road trip was a pleasant departure from this because even though we were on a pretty rigorous schedule a lot of the time, the drives were mostly short, and we were constantly on the move. I like having structure, so once I got into the rhythm and daily rituals (replenishing stock, etc.) of the trip, it was really enjoyable. Visiting that many stores in such a short amount of time must have given you a pretty good overview of how things are looking right now… The trip left me feeling incredibly hopeful for the future of the record store. The media coverage vis-a-vis the music industry works much how it works with everything else you only hear about the negative. Everyone moans and groans and it’s a BIG DEAL when a store closes - but much less a-do is made about a store opening. Honestly, not a week passes where we’re not contacted by at least one new store wanting to place an order. In terms of the road trip, every store we visited had something unique not to mention the personality the owners and employees brought to it. We went to probably 65 stores and not one of them looked like they were about to close.

Did you plan out the route? We definitely planned out the route. Since this one was just the West Coast it was a fairly straight shot as far as routing went - there are a lot of stores in just those three states - and most of them aren’t too far off the main highways. Josh had done the West Coast trip before so he had a good grasp of the best routes to take too. I guess there are some old friends that you were looking forward to seeing? Josh had been to a number of these stores before, so he knew some of the people, but I was meeting most of them for the first time. Most of these people I had only talked to on the phone or emailed with, so it was great to finally meet them. Something that gets lost with the ease of communication in the modern age is the inherent value of meeting people face to face. It has a way of solidifying tenuous relationships into something more real. The difference between someone you might just email with and someone you would go out to the bar and spend some quality drinking time with. If only we’d had more time for that kind of “bonding”. Maybe next time.

Any arguments over the stereo in the van? Or were you harmonious travellers? Everyone actually got along really well for the most part. Remember, a lot of the time we had a total stranger (in the form of contest winners) in the van with us, so we were forced to sublimate our worst tendencies and glaring personality flaws for the sake of a harmonious

appearance. Looking back, the contest may have been a godsend. Have you always been a record shop junkie? I’ve always loved record stores. I’m from a small town in Ohio, so there weren’t a whole lot of options growing up beyond the mall chain outlets. Once I got a car, the world opened up accordingly. Used

‘Something that gets lost with the ease of communication in the modern age is the inherent value of meeting people face to face. ‘

Kids in Columbus was one of the first indie stores I frequented during that time, and still has a special place in my heart. Everyone who played in a good local band at the time worked there (New Bomb Turks, Gaunt, Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments, Bassholes, etc.) and I learned so much about music just through going there and trying out random things - just anything that looked cool and had a good aesthetic and the guys recommended I’d buy. That was before you could copiously research and hear any record in the universe in about 4 seconds, so a lot of trial and error occurred. But I had good instincts. This is the sixth time you’ve hit the road in the LITA van, where have you taken in before? This is the first road trip that’s happened since I’ve been here. Josh and Matt blazed the trails back in the day, along with an assortment of snake oil salesmen and sideshow freaks. Between the two of them, they’ve probably visited record shops in nearly all 50 states. I think Josh has done some insane trips solo - but you’d have to ask him about that.

Hangin’ with Adam the owner of Rainy Day.

Jackpot Records. A great way to end the day!

The original Music Millenium listening chair .

Just arrived at Everday Music. Burnside Portland.

Just rolled into House of Records, looks radical .

Startin’ the day off right with Peoples Records.

Doesn’t get much better then Mississippi Records.

Talkin’ apple pie and sweet soul Songs with Karen.

Some of the finest selections in San Fran.

Excited to see what they got in store for us.

Groove Merchant in San Francisco!

Hey look, we are reorganizing records again!

I understand you’re currently plotting… where next? Can you tell us?! We’re trying to organize a longer East Coast/Midwest/Southern installment for early summer this year. Lots of grand ideas floating around - we’ll see what materializes. It’d cost us a small fortune to float that Van over… but how about a LITA Europe tour? We’ve definitely thrown around the idea of trying to do something overseas at some point. It’s gonna obviously take some hammering out of details to do it in a way that makes sense - but I think we’ll get there eventually. It would definitely be a dream come true!

can get lost in there like a department store. But again, it’s Amoeba, so that’s to be expected. The smaller, independent stores that surprised me in terms of size/volume/ quality were Fingerprints in Long Beach, The Last Record Store in Santa Rosa. Music Millenium and Everyday Music Burnside in Portland are impressive shrines to the older, bigger model as well. “The Smallest” Clinton St. Audio, Beacon Sound, Exiled - all Portland stores. No wasted space in that town!

Now they are all special and unique, so rather than a favourite, how about we give out some titles…

“The Weirdest” Burger Records kinda blew my mind in terms of expectations vs. reality. Total compound nested inside an unassuming strip mall storefront.

“The biggest” Records By Mail was easily the most overwhelming in terms of size and volume by a long shot. But since they aren’t technically a traditional store open to the public, I might have to disqualify them. Amoeba L.A. would obviously dwarf anything else - you

“The Oldest” I’m not sure what the oldest store overall was, but regionally Rain City in Olympia claim to be the oldest store in the Northwest - or maybe that’s Northwest Washington. Either way, they’ve been around. I think John from Music Coop in Ashland, OR claims to have the

Just arrived at Salzers. This place is flipping huge!

Booboo’s in San Luis Obispo. Massive collection!

We hit Mono Records yesterday. Great people!

Fingerprints Records with some style.

Burger Records. ‘4life’ Sizzlin hot items!

Origami Vinyl... “rules the universe.”

oldest store in the NW too - so they can duke it out. Gotta give Aquarius in San Francisco a shout out too for keeping things weird for over 40 years. “The Newest” Stranded in Oakland had literally just opened a couple nights before our stop there. Great co-op style store with an emphasis on the adventurous. Steve came in way after hours to meet us too. “You’d most like to work in” Burger would probably be a hoot to work at. Those guys work hard and have fun doing it. An inspiration for anyone thinking of starting a label/store. “Likely to spend most in” Even though it’s only down the road in Portland, I had somehow never made it into Exiled. Not sure what I was thinking, because I immediately found a stack of records I’d been looking for forever and then some. “Gave me the worst hangover” I can’t exactly blame the store for this, but I definitely woke up feeling a little rare after hanging out with Jared from Clinton St. in Portland. He’s a big man,

and even with him lapping me 2 to 1 one on drinks I still felt like I’d been kicked by a colt.

You can watch video clips of the road trip and discover the amazing music that Light In The Attic release at Thanks to Drew Christie for allowing us to print his brilliant Road Trip illustration.

SE G E R M A N A N D THE S U GA R M A N Stephen “Sugar” Segerman is co-owner and proprietor of Mabu Vinyl, selling music in the shadow of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. He also played a pivotal role in brining Sixto Rodriguez’s music to the masses and features prominently in the film ‘Searching for Sugar Man’.

Sugar (if you don’t mind me calling you that?), how are you doing? Sure, everyone calls me Sugar, I’m doing very well here, just heard the film received an Oscar nomination*, so this whole crazy story has just gone into Hyper-surreal mode What is the Mabu Story? Mabu was started by my partner, Jacques Vosloo, who named it for an opening stance in martial arts. We are located in the Gardens area of Cape Town which is just above the main city area and the famous Long Street, and just below Table Mountain. Mabu grew out of Jacques father’s bric ‘a brac store when he bought a large batch of vinyls and started a record section in the shop. As the area gentrified, the shop had to move to make way for more fashionable coffee shops and boutiques, but it eventually settled into its current location. I joined Jacques in Mabu Vinyl in 2003 and the shop is now 11 years old. How did you get involved? I had moved to Cape Town from Johannesburg and was looking for something new to do. I had a ton of CDs from being a music journalist, and was doing some lecturing at a nearby college, so used to spend my free time going through the vinyls. I asked Jacques if I could rent the sidewalk outside his shop and started trading CDs, eventually we just pooled the stock and the shop and decided to run it together. Have you always wanted to be a record shop owner or did you kind of stumble into it? I think every music fan would ideally like to be a record store owner, it just didn’t seem feasible for a long time with record stores starting to disappear, but I really did just stumble into this Mabu situation and very fortunately and timeously as well, as records are making a strong comeback now, specially in Cape Town Mabu Seems to have pretty subversive window displays… does this get you into trouble? We do like to push buttons and attract attention with our window displays which usually feature record covers from the shop and have become kind of cult around these parts. But we haven’t had any problems or trouble so far, people mostly know it’s all in jest….

and then meeting him in person. Although I have been involved in this story for 15 years now, I am still just a fan like everyone else and cherish every wonderful moment of this story. The guys at Light in the Attic have written up a diary for us of their recent road trip. They seem like pretty good guys to work with? Since Matt Sullivan and I first spoke and he told me of his plans to get Rodriguez’s music released on his label in the USA, it has been great to see this highlyrespected and very hard-working label do such fantastic work to get Rodriguez’s music out there on CD and Vinyl (and mp3) with top quality packaging and booklets (one of which I contributed to). I’m pleased we went with Light In The Attic because no other label could have done such a great job for Rodriguez and his music. We have a ton of respect and gratitude for Matt and Josh and all at LITA! Mabu Vinyl has quite a philanthropic edge. Does it feel like you’re doing more than just “selling records” I think any record shop these days that is surviving and growing and helping with the resurrection of vinyl culture has a natural “philanthropic edge” because they are helping music artists which is always important. We also try and help the local indie artists who need somewhere to sell their music. We just love spending our days in a record shop so we are happy to spread that love and music around however we can…. So besides Sixto Rodriguez, what is currently; ... Playing a lot on your shop stereo? As you can imagine, a wide spread of styles, from Machineri (a new hot Cape Town blues group) to War (The World Is A Ghetto). We get so much new stuff coming in all the time that we struggle just to keep up, but there’s always some Beatles, Stones, Doors, Jazz, Reggae, Soul and Hip Hop playing in Mabu…. and plenty of Rodriguez, of course. ...Selling well? Vinyl is now out-selling our large range of half-price CDs, so that’s good news. We sell a lot of the new USB Turntables which makes it easy for people, specially new young vinyl fans, to play records. But we get a lot of new batches of second hand records

coming in all the time so there’s always plenty of interesting stuff. ………… and Rodriguez of course! ...Getting loads of requests? The old favourites are still greatly in demand, Beatles, Stones, Doors, Hendrix, James Brown, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, Bob Marley….quality music that keeps finding favour with new generations of music fans… What is the vibe of Mabu Vinyl? With all the fancy glass and aluminium stores in the area, with highly priced stuff, Mabu is determinedly old school, with lots of second hand records, CDs, books, DVD’s, cassettes and videos, and loads of pics and posters on the wall. And it is a shop where someone with as little as R5/$1 in their pocket can still find something to buy. There’s a lot of stock so it takes a while to check it all out which people like to do. We like to think we represent Cape Town which is truly one of the coolest cities in the world and it is a city that needed a really cool music shop, so that is always our intention, hopefully we have achieved that to some degree… Besides being one of the main characters in one of the greatest musical documentaries and stories we’ve ever seen... what else are you doing to keep people buying music in your shop rather than online? Thank you, that’s very kind! The strange thing is that although Rodriguez’s music initially spread around South Africa mostly through illegal bootlegging, the film has created a whole new consciousness among music fans worldwide who can now see what actually happens to music artists whose music gets illegally copied or downloaded . So we are seeing lots of people coming into Mabu determined to buy the Rodriguez CDS and not download them, which is great, so we are just keeping plenty of stocks of Rodriguez CDs and DVDs to accommodate these well-meaning exdownloaders…. * ‘Searching For Sugarman’ has since won ‘Best Doccumentary Film’ at the 2013 Accademy Awards.

Mabu’s place in history has (rightfully!) been written as a central part of the Rodriguez story You must still be pinching yourself right?! I’ve been pinching myself since that late-night call in 1997 when I first got that call from Rodriguez. Since then my arm has stayed permanently blue as we experienced the first South African tours in 1998 and everything that has happened since then right up till this film and the crazy ride we have had with it. I’m pleased that Mabu Vinyl’s role is also in the film as we have since been visited by hundreds of people who saw the film and wanted to visit us. So Mabu is now a minor tourist attraction in Cape Town which is a bonus. Is there any one point in the whole story so far that you cherish the most? Well that first concert in South Africa in 1998 was absolutely unforgettable and thanks to Eva Rodriguez we had the footage to show everyone what is was like. So that was a wonderful moment, also that first telephone conversation with Rodriguez

Left. ‘Rodriguez’ illustraed by Hannah Megee Above. Outside the Mabu Vinyl store in Cape Town

D U B I N JA PA N with ROB CHAPMAN When one of our regular customers told us that Japan had a big Reggae scene we figured he was winding us up. But not so, he even has the bags to prove it. We talked to Rob Chapman about record shopping in Tokyo. I have bought quite a few records from Japan - but not too many as they are usually quite expensive, and even more so if you have to pay import duty - and some of these have been wrapped in the shop’s bag as well as the usual packaging. And, of course, I have picked up bags from several different shops on previous visits to Japan.

Tower Records shop in Shibuya, for instance, has 6 floors, and also sells music books and magazines, etc. There is also a thriving second-hand scene - Disk Union is a chain of with at least 30 stores stocking all types of collectable records. Prices for collectable records in Japan tend to be high.

Are the stores still running to your knowledge? Yes, all the stores I have visited are all still running. Most do a lot of trade on the internet.

Is there a big Reggea scene in Japan, or were these stores pretty niche? Reggae is huge in Japan. There are lots of specialist reggae shops, reggae clubs and live events. Some of the biggest international collectors live in Japan, and they are willing to pay big money for rare records. Although the reggae shops I visited tended to be quite small in size, they had a vast stock of records, much of which is for sale online.

As an outsider, what did you make of the record shop scene in Tokyo? The record shop scene is awesome. As well as the many (relatively) small specialist shops (reggae, jazz, J-pop, etc.) there are some huge stores in Tokyo and elsewhere that sell all genres of music and associated items. The

‘Small Axe’ and ‘Dub Store’ bags hang on the Drift Record Shop counter.

Several of the shops also re-press old titles (mainly singles) under license. These can be bought in the UK, but at a premium (typically £19.99 per single). Which are your favourite shops in Japan? My favourite shops are Dub Store Records in Shinjuku and Small Axe Records in Koenji (which are both in Tokyo), and Drum & Bass Records in Osaka. Dub Store Small Axe Drum & Bass


J U M BO R EC O R DS with ADAM GILLISON Jumbo Records of Leeds, ‘over 30 years and still trading’ as their website proudly proclaims, so they must be doing something right. We asked for a few pointers. Lets start at the start, what is the Jumbo story? Briefly, Jumbo Records goes back to 1971, and was formed by Hunter Smith (still The Boss!) to go alongside his DJ-ing work. Soul and reggae were key things in the early days, and then of course punk and the myriad of things which that has split into to create our current musical landscape. I’ve been here for 15 years: Trevor has been here since 1974! We all chip in wherever we’re needed, but I do a lot of the buying, special promotions and so on. Which record shops did you grow up with? I’m not from Leeds - I’m from Rughy, where we had a surprisingly healthy record shop scene when I was growing up. There were several independents, including a really good one called Convergence, which grew up in the aftermath of punk. Further afield, I used to shop a lot in Birmingham - Rocker’s, Plastic Factory, Swordfish etc. And London, sometimes. My brother and I used to save up our money for record buying sprees there. And record fairs are important, if you come from market town like Rugby. We used to obsess over buying

records - shopping and listening were very much social activities, which is how I still see it today. What is the vibe at Jumbo? If there’s one Jumbo vibe, I’d say that it is an anti-elitist one. I’m not into music snobbery at all. Crash and Normans are, relatively speaking, your neighbours. Who else is in Leeds? Crash, Normans, Relics, and HMV. We get on fine. We don’t exactly socialize as such, but Crash in particular have a fair bit in common, and we try and support each other wherever possible. How has the landscape changed in Jumbo’s lifetime? Well, record buying has changed completely just in the time I’ve been at Jumbo. I don’t know if I’ve got too much more to add to the wealth of bad news, but there’s always things to be optimistic about, whether it’s the lifetimeobsessive jazz CD collector, people having a laugh on Record Store Day, or the young kids digging in the vinyl racks at weekends.

Speaking as Jumbo, are more people buying vinyl? Vinyl’s increasing in importance, for sure, and Record Store Day is a big part of that. To be honest I like vinyl and CDs - both formats are cool if they’re done well. Do you get many bands shopping in the store? How about instore shows? We get touring bands coming in, local bands etc... can’t think of any megastars just recently, though! Instores can be a real mixed bag. We keep them occasional as it’s better to do a few and do them justice. Record Store Day is always good from this point of view last year we had 5 or 6 bands, headlined by Still Corners who had recently released our favourite album of 2011. That was very satisfying. One time we had Mark Ronson doing a signing and record shop takeover which was good fun. And probably the busiest one was Enter Shikari. Horror stories with instores... it’s just the empty ones. I can’t talk about it - it makes me wince! It’s like the Artie Fufkin scene in Spinal Tap. I remember when Asian Dub

Foundation came we got told off for the volume. In fairness it was very, very loud. We had to pacify our (usually very tolerant) neighbours after that one. Is running a successful web-store a little bittersweet? To be honest the website is an additional extra - a lot of ticket customers buy online, but the majority of music is sold over the counter. It’s a good shop window, though, and I like the fact that it’s there for customers who can’t make it in so easily. How do you go about buying records in? Are you democratic? Buying records in is about creating a balance between what your customers will definitely want, and what you think that they will like if they get exposure to it. Inevitably your own tastes feed into that process. Buying is a supervised democratic process. Everyone contributes, but the majority is co-ordinated by two or three people. What are you currently listening to and what are you big time excited about for 2013? I’m really enjoying the L Pierre album at the moment - the ambient project of Aidan Moffat. Also Mountains, Dutch Uncles - and going back a little further, the Woods and Julia Holter records seem to sound better and better. I think we’re all pretty excited about the forthcoming Hookworms album - they’re probably our favourite Leeds band at the moment. Are you football fans, if so, Leeds AFC right? We are mostly football fans to some degree, but we all support different teams. I think there’s probably two Leeds fans in the shop. I’m a casual observer, but support Coventry. I think we’re all pretty excited about Bradford City’s efforts this year. It’s the equivalent of someone from an independent record shop being made prime minister! Lastly, are record shops still an important part of the musical landscape? Of course. People still use them and love them. They’re a meeting point and a service to the local music scene; for bands, labels, promoters, clubs and listeners. Let’s keep it that way!

Jumbo Records - 5-6 St Johns Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LQ

Above: The well stocked racks at Jumbo. Below: Over the counter culture.

N O TA P ES by JEN LONG I grew up in a place called Camberley. Just outside London, it’s quite the commuter town; close enough for Dad to get the train in daily, but just a little too far for my thirteen year-old self to be let loose on the big smoke. And, as with the majority of its neighbours, it’s made up entirely of the same shops you’ll find in any plastic town centre and a depressing number of equally depressing cheap booze bars.

But, there were two saving graces as I was hitting my teens - The Agincourt, and The Rock Box. Let’s start with The Agincourt (or the Adge as we’d affectionately refer to it). An absolute dive of a venue, and an over-18s club we began to frequent three years before hitting said age. One time Pitchshifer played, and it did have a good rock night on a Saturday. By good, I mean they’d play the same nu-metal hits every week, but at least you could wear jeans and have a laugh unlike the aggressive clubs in the town centre. And then to The Rock Box, whose staff members you could usually spot in the Agincourt on a Saturday. Both places are still going, although on the few days a year I head home it’s The Rock Box I find myself back in again and again. A small, dark store behind the main shopping centre, its racks boasts rows of CDs and vinyl while it’s walls are adorned with merchandise and accessories like patches and belt studs. So emo.

My mum actually bought me a Mr Bungle album for my sixteenth thanks to this shop. How many people get a musical education like that? (It may also account for my slight lack of mates during days of actual education) They used to have in stores as well. I would look forward to these for weeks and then on the day, feign ill before my mum left for work in the morning. Waiting at home for hours I’d slip down the road (hood up, of course) hoping a neighbour or friend of our family wouldn’t spot me. The excuse would always be, ‘Just going to buy cough sweets.’ I remember seeing Wilt play in that shop, and then later again lying to my parents to see them play the Underworld in Camden with Rueben supporting. I still listen to the album Bastinado from time to time.

I went through a phase when I was fourteen of wearing a Deftones hoodie I’d bought in store with the hood up, regardless of the weather conditions. Later I found out they used to know me as ‘hood girl’ in the shop.

I was supposed to write about my tape label in this piece, but I don’t think I actually ever bought a cassette from The Rock Box. The odd vinyl maybe, but mostly I just rinsed their second-hand CD section and left with a wider musical taste, if not a little too much punk-pop.

I’m still good friends with one of the guys who works there. I remember he introduced me to the likes of Rival Schools and all of Mike Patton’s many projects.

You can discover Jen’s wonderfull tape label Kissability at;

R EC O R D SH O P Ta i l s Ducktails is the increasingly less “solo” endeavor of Matt Mondanile (also of Real Estate). Already responsible for four (five depending on how you count them) LP’s and numerous EP’s, tapes and split releases; Matt is the current figured head of America’s East Coast Woozy/Slacker-rock scene. Half way around Europe touring his new LP ‘The Flower Lane’, we caught up to talk record shops… naturally. Which record stores did you grow up with? In Ridgewood, New Jersey there was a record store called Golden Hits which I worked at very briefly. This introduced me to Spacemen 3 and Dukes of the Strasosphere and some brit pop I would of never heard of. There was also a Tower Records on route 17 which sold concert tickets and I bought a bunch of CD’s there. How did they form your early involvement with music? I started listening to music early on out of curiosity. I friend of mine would play me something or I would find out about music through the internet and explore there. I downloaded a ton of music growing up and it’s all saved on various computers. Which shops do you frequent these days? My friend chris has a great distro called Fusetron in NY that’s not really store but they carry tons of stuff and you

I’ve been to a lot of shows in record stores. At Mystery Train in Amherst, MA there would be a lot of weird local shows happening with bands making the most out there wild sounds. can get it through mail order. I also really like the Record Grouch in Greenpoint Brooklyn. It’s near my house and they have an incredible used record collection. I am also very fond of Mystery Train in Amherst, MA.

Do you remember the first time you saw one of your own records in a shop? I don’t remember the first time I saw my record in a store but every time I see one in a store I get excited. I think it’s a really great thing for record stores to be stocking my stuff. What makes you put in the effort to go to them when the internet is just so easy?! Going to a record store and purchasing a record is so much different then downloading an album. It’s a really important way to access music. A lot of the times I really enjoy buying something I’ve just heard in a store. Can a great web experience simulate how it feels to go into a shop in person? I really enjoy buying records through I think that is an adequate balance between buying a record and downloading one. You can find an obscure record through someone’s store and browse their other records. Any weird experiences in record shops as a shopper/ worker/on playing an instore? I’ve been to a lot of shows in record stores. At Mystery Train in Amherst, MA there would be a lot of weird local shows happening with bands making the most outthere wild sounds. It definitely shocks certain people just looking to buy something on the go when they witness something weird going on in a store. What is the best store you’ve ever come across? There is this record store in Ghent, Belgium that is incredible. I forget what it’s called but it might be called Vinyl Mania or something? They have a great collection of italo disco and cosmic synth stuff.

Matt’s tip was ‘Music Mania’ in Ghent and you can visit them online at; Ducktails photographed by Shawn Brackbrill.

I r e a d a g r e at quote on the In t e r n e t t h e o t h e r d ay.

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.