Friday, April 15, 2016

Record Store Day Addendum

Hey, how's it going? Happy Record Store Day Check out this feature I put together, collecting the voices and perspectives of several local music lovers... A few who also chimed in, but didn't make it to print are sharing their thoughts below. 

Metro Detroiters have tales to spin about indie record shops

Lisa Joan

Lisa is at pretty much every concert that I go to. Her support for this local music scene knows no bounds, and I have an inkling that that extends, not just to concert attendance, but to merch (i.e., albums) as well...

I have two. First was my childhood record store called The Fun House on Seven Mile in Livonia, it is long gone now. It was in the mid 80's and had a head shop under the front counter. My dad used to take me there when we would go on bike rides. I remember the colorful posters and the friendly hippie behind the counter. I loved records back then even, I had my own player in my the time i listened to sesame street and disco duck primarily, but the format stuck with me.
In college it was Encore Records in Ann Arbor. That place was overflowing with records and I could spend hours searching for new things and testing them in the listening booth that they had. Floor to ceiling classical music records. It was pure heaven. It used to be all classical, but i think they moved jazz, blues and more in.
Now-a-days it is Found Sound for sure. Love the atmosphere there! And the shows they have are excellent! smile emoticon can't wait for RSD 2016!
_____________________ Leann Banks

Leann has performed with a handful of bands consistently throughout the last decade, including collaborating with songwriters like Jason Stollsteimer and Gregory Beyer. I see her at the public library all the time, constantly checking out new music.

I wouldn't say im a vinyl "freak" so much, but I have a small/medium collection of my favorite stuff!! I usually don't care if its like original pressing or things like that.
Back in high school, Id go visit Car City Records in between school and drama club, and i suppose that's where it all started! (Along with stealing my parents records) id usually dig through the .94-cent bin and find a bunch of classic rock. I moved a lot in my 20s so I didn't keep up with record collecting but once i settled in Ferndale it became an interest again. Now I like going to Found Sound for hidden gems, and UHF for finding new release stuff!


Richie Wohlfeil

Wohlfeil is the owner/operator of Lo & Behold Records & Books, and DJs regularly for various events, including concerts. Wohlfeil is also a musician, and writer, with an encyclopedic knowledge of every album and 7" single in his crates.

There's a sacred thing that used to happen before the internet . . . it still happens, but you find it less and less these days. It's the passing of information that occurs when you finally met someone with the knowledge you're seeking. A quest for this knowledge begat with a sound that evoked a mood or feeling inside you—joy, perhaps. You sought to hear this sound again but the moment was passing and the sound was fleeting, heard from the speakers of a passing car, or from the ceiling of a departments store where the source is out of reach, maybe at a party where you received a kiss by someone special—alone or shared, a moment defined by the sound heard. You want to hear it again, but you don't know what it was. So you go to a record store where someone might be able to help you to define the source of this sound. 
"Well, it was kinda like the Beatles, but a little more raw, I think they were English but who knows, they kept saying, "been shut down, or shot down, something like that."
Hmm . . . start with this, it's The Kinks, like the Beatles but more raw, not what you're looking for but heading in the right direction, I feel like I know the band you mean, but I'm not a garage guy. Check out this shop downtown too, they might know. 
A week later or so they come back, "yea, do you have anything like this but even more crude?"  
We don't have anything like that in now, but keep an eye out for bands like The Creation, The Sonics . . . . list goes on. The search continues toward a more defined sound that supports your subjective appreciation. You meet more people who too have responded to these frequencies in similar situations, they give you more names. Then the day comes when you go into another shop, the one downtown that the first store mentioned. You walk in, ask if they have anything by whatever's on your list and they go yea. Here's a reissue of The Sonics "Boom" on lp. You read the back


Ben Blackwell

Blackwell oversees vinyl production/distribution for Third Man Records, which was founded by his uncle, Jack White, here in Detroit, in 2001. Third Man's first physical location was established in 2009 down in Nashville, but celebrated a homecoming to its new Canfield location last November. While he is also the drummer for the Dirtbombs, you can get a few glimpses of Blackwell’s vast knowledge (and impressive record collection) by following his blog, Tremble Under Boom Lights. 

I’ll never love a record store the way I loved Car City. It was the first place I drove once I got my license. It’s where I unexpectedly found records like Ich-i-Bon” by Nick and the Jaguars, “Rock Down” by Paris, “Surfside Date” by the Triumphs and the first Old Time Relijun CD-r (underneath a record shelf that had been moved for the first time in years). Car City was where I learned so much about music and the world wrapped around it. 

A record store should be a meeting place, other things should happen there besides money being exchanged for recorded music. It shouldn’t be too clean, or too stuffy ortoo inviting. You should be forced to dig, to explore. All should not be laid out perfectly for you. And Car City was exactly that. When I worked there, one of my fondest memories was a regular who came in one day and said “My girlfriend just broke up with me…is it cool if I just eat this sandwich here?” He was looking through records, but that was secondary, if not tertiary, in terms of the communication and the consoling going on. 

That being said, there was a moment in 1998 when I discovered Play it Again Records in Ferndale where literally EVERY record I was looking for at that point in my life was on the wall. I’d just started collecting Sub Pop and Seattle grunge stuff and the wall there was littered with all of it. I don’t think I will ever be able to have that experience again in my life. The guy running to counter noticed I’d put something back (I didn’t have enough money) and when he was ringing up my purchases he told me to go back and grab whatever single it was (I believe it was a Mudhoney 7”). Something so insignificant, so fleeting, I will never forget and always keep in mind when meeting someone else who’s excited and motivated out in the record world.

In terms of current Detroit shops, I really do love them all. As I do not live in Detroit any more, I really do miss the vibe these places exude. The shit on the wall behind the counter at Hello is perfect and should be in a museum. The box illustrations at People’s are unparalleled and one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in my life. Small little afterthoughts things like this are intangible in creating a record store that transcends the musty smell and desperation that’s inherent with used vinyl. Brad at People’s and Wade at Hello are two of the most solid dudes out there....

Since I am unable to walk in semi-regularly, they will text me with a heads-up of something they think may be up my alley. And nine times out of ten, they are spot on. There’s a next-level mental connection with those guys that I can’t claim to understand, but exists clearly to all of our benefit. Additionally, Jeff at UHF just keeps a pile for me in the basement. Whenever I come in, I have a look a the pile. Most of this stuff is just bullshit dollar bin local records, feeding my madness for self-released records with no redeeming qualities. While I sometimes lament the fact that I no longer live in Detroit, I realize that working a job in Nashville provides me with money that I can indiscriminately spend with Detroit record stores…and then I don’t feel so bad.

Justin Walker
     Walker has been performing with several regional rock groups for more than a decade and
occasionally facilitates events or concerts as a DJ. He is a singer and songwriter, but also an avid record collector.

I have to go with Car City Records, too... That place just had a great vibe. The dollar rock bin was the best around. All the musicians worked there too. Matt Smith, Tom Potter, Ben Blackwell, Dion Fischer, Heath Moreland from Tyvek. I would go there pretty much every Friday when I got paid. Those cats always turned me on to the best stuff. Its how I discovered some of the music that has become my all time favorites to this day. Like "CAN" "Sun Ra" James Chance and The Contortions" absolutely vital to my development as a musician.

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