Thursday, June 25, 2009

Places and Inventories

6-25-09 Places & Inventories

Over the course of this summer, I have a few more places to visit. We’ve already been to Las Vegas, which didn’t yield a lot of new titles for me (it was hot, and I only visited two stores – of the same chain, Zia Records).

I am looking forward to visiting the San Francisco bay area – two Amoeba stores, as well as some friends other local stores. Those places always turn up stuff! Before I get to S.F., I will have a separate visit to Santa Cruz and San Jose – down in that neck of the woods, it’s all about Streetlight Records. I even plan on trading in some stuff at the Streetlight Records on Bascom Avenue in San Jose. That’s been a cool store for decades – I remember when it used to be across the street in a small house!

On the Santa Cruz / San Jose trip, we may even stop in San Luis Obispo – and check out Cheap thrills and Boo Boo Records. The last time we were in S.L.O., it was interesting.

It’s really all about having different selections of vinyl / CD’s to look through. Yes, Amoeba Hollywood changes all the time, but…it’s very cool to look at new-to-me inventories.

In August, I plan on checking out the KUSF Rock’n’Swap at S.F.S.U. It’s a record collector swap meet that I’ve known about for years, but somehow I’ve never visited it before. For SF bay area swap meets, I always used to go to the one in Emeryville and sometimes the KFJC show, near Palo Alto.

Last summer, we went to Portland – and three mighty Everyday Music stores! Portland is a great city, I love the food & drink, too. I always think that Phoenix should be the next place we go to check out LP / CD inventories. After all, there are some famous vinyl stores there, as well as six Zia Record Exchange stores!

It’s always a ‘follow the population’ kind of thing. Where are the people? That’s where the records / CD’s will be! This rule has certainly proved true for San Diego! Very different stuff down there.

I remember not buying records in Paris, because it was raining too hard. I didn’t even look at records last weekend in Las Vegas because it was too hot – I wasn’t sure I could get any records I would’ve found even back to the hotel safely! And then there’s always the “don’t buy too much stuff, you have to carry it back to the hotel” syndrome of Tokyo. I will never forget lugging that carton of LP’s all the way from Kichijoji to Hiroo

Where do you go looking for music? Can you drive there, walk there? (There are three record stores within walking distance of my GF’s place) How far do you usually have to go? Have you ever driven 500+ miles to check out a record store? Or flown to a foreign country for the record stores? Anywhere you wouldn’t go to look for records?


Anonymous said...

Oh, the regrets of not buying records! In 1992 I took a 2 week vacation and bought records in:
Montreal, Ottowa, Toronto and Pittsburgh. I bought LOTS of CDs but didn't even look at records in Canada - it was all about CDs and videos at the time. Imagine, Sam The Record Man on Yonge St. and in 1992 about 30% of the store was STILL VINYL. This was during the cusp of my vinyl re-awakening that flickered to life again in 1991 and was a raging flame by 1993!

I did buy a chunk of vinyl in Pittsburgh at an amazing store called The Collector's Twelve Inch - but only enough to carry with me on the plane! What was I thinking??! I should have bought waaaay more - the store was that good - and shipped it home! And as for Canada, the last time I was in Toronto (2001) I especially looked for vinyl and was richly rewarded. I can only imagine the treasures I didn't even bother looking for nine years earlier!!

My wife is planning a trip to Charlotte soon for a haircut! I will have to keep the dog at a park while she takes the car to Le Mall for le exclusiv Tony & Guy style. Afterward, I want to check out Manifest Discs, [ ] a supremely great music store that's surely the equal of Portland's best. Quid Pro Quo, Clarice, you know? That store is good enough it's probably worth the 100+ miles each way on a 6 month basis.

We lost the great stores in town since I moved here. We have nice little stores where it's easy not to drop coin. Anything I want is mail order only, friend. The costs of postage are getting prohibitively high to the point where postage is more than the cost of the record, most of the time. All of these things are conspiring to make downloads look better to these eyes, sadly. Since as you well know, NOTHING beats a great record store!

I have another friend having a 50th birthday this year and for a brief moment, we contemplated making the party in Orlando. My first thought was "great, I'll get to go to Rock & Roll Heaven!!" It looks like those guys have FINALLY got Sunday hours now [] the new website is snazzier than what they had forever and now begins to give a glimpse of their awesome selection.

Anonymous said...


Rock & Roll Heaven is the store that had one of WAYNE COCHRAN'S jumpsuits hanging from the ceiling for the longest time...