Monthly Archive: December 2016

Still Vinyl After All These Years + Doug’s Top Ten of 2016

We opened our store in 1983 selling vinyl records and cassette tapes.
By 1993, the retail music landscape had dramatically changed, and most folks dumped their vinyl in favor of the compact disc.
Our store on 4th Street was running out of space, so we did something nutty:
we opened a 2nd store right across the street, and moved all of our vinyl there.
Bearded Hipster at Last Record Store “Records” ~ 1993

We weren’t sure what was going to happen to the vinyl LP.
In 1999, those snotty little twerps started Napster, and even CD sales tanked.
The Aughts were tough! We were evicted from Downtown 4th St by our landlord.
Fortunately, the angels from Community Market offered us the nice space we are in now.
Our move to Mendocino Ave. was a challenge. Two years in a row, they shut down lanes of traffic for sewer repairs.
No one, it seemed wanted to deal with the clusterf*ck of Mendocino Ave.
I was always surprised to hear that many folks thought we had gone out of business in 2003, when we had only moved 1.6 miles away.
It was great being near the Junior College, but many of the students would browse and not buy; some while listening to mp3’s on their iPods.
Around this time, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld convinced President Alfred E. Newman to bomb Iraq for knocking down the twin towers.
Life was weird.
Our vinyl section had shrunk to one modest row, about 20% of our inventory. In 2007, we noticed an uptick in vinyl sales and interest.
By 2010, the vinyl craze was catching on, and we also had an awesome President.
I am so going to miss the Obamas….
Now vinyl is once again King, but folks still dig the CD.
unnamed We sell some entry-level turntables that will get you started.
If you are serious about records, we really recommend investing in some Hi-Fi gear.
Back in my day, we are always saving up to get better speakers, new cartridge, sweet power amplifier. It’s fun!
People have debated since we opened in ’83: which sounds better, LP or CD?
My opinion is that if you have a great sound system, records are better.
If you are listening in your car, CD’s are better.
Records are more fun to listen to, and browse through than CD’s.
Don’t get me started about the artwork on an LP vs. the artwork on a CD.
Thank you.

Recently, I compiled my top ten list of albums that came out in 2016. Keep in mind that this is the list of a 62 year old coot.
If you want a list of cool albums, picked by younger, in-the-know people, talk to Gerry, Josh, Ethan & Midori at the shop.
And of course there is Hoyt, my business partner of 34 years, who often has a musical opinion to share.

unnamed-2 ARTIST: Bonnie Raitt
ALBUM: Dig in Deep (released in February)
Bonnie took some time off between albums. She dealt with personal loss, and came back strong with Dig In Deep, featuring the great Jon Cleary on keyboards. When Bonnie Raitt has it going on, there’s no one better.

unnamed-3 ARTIST: Iggy Pop
ALBUM: Post Pop Depression {released in March)
Produced by the dude from Queens of the Stone Age, Josh Homme. 8 new songs, much of the recording done over two weeks in Joshua Tree with QOTSA members and the drummer from Arctic Monkeys. Check out “Gardenia”, GREAT song.

unnamed-4 ARTIST: Sturgill Simpson
ALBUM: A Sailor’s Guide to Earth (released in April)
Sturgill’s 3rd album and he has moved forward as an artist. While his first 2 albums were good in a Waylon Jennings sort of way, this new album is beautiful in ways I can’t really describe. It sounds fresh and unique every time I play it.

unnamed-5 ARTIST: Mudcrutch
ALBUM: 2 (released in May)
This album seemed to come out at the right time. Tom Petty making another album with the band he played with as a teen in Florida.
He certainly doesn’t save his great songs for The Heartbreakers; check out “Trailer”. A classic .

unnamed-6 ARTIST: Sarah Jarosz
ALBUM: Undercurrent (released in June)
Sarah Jarosz hits her stride on her 4th album. She is 25, and musically comparable to Gillian Welch. Check out “House of Mercy.”

unnamed-7 ARTIST: Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle
ALBUM: Colvin & Earle (released in June)
I’m a huge Steve Earle fan, and a moderate Shawn Colvin fan, so I was thrilled that this album is so good. 10 songs, 5 covers, 5 originals that they wrote together. Listen to “You Were On My Mind”.

unnamed-8 ARTIST: Allen Toussaint (released in June)
ALBUM: American Tunes
Allen was working on this album with producer Joe Henry when he died unexpectedly in November of 2015. It’s a tribute to great American composers: Ellington, Professor Longhair, Fats Waller, Paul Simon. Allen was a treasure. If you have time, there is a great podcast here:
Thank you, NPR.

unnamed-9 ARTIST: Drive-By Truckers
ALBUM: American Band (released in September)
On their 11th studio album, DBT goes political. The writing is really good. Check out “Once They Banned Imagine”.
Yeah, that happened.

unnamed-10 ARTIST: The Devil Makes Three
ALBUM: Redemption & Ruin (released in September)
A concept album: 5 songs of Ruin (drinking, drugs, good stuff) followed by 5 songs of Redemption (death, God, Tom Waits)
I love this band.


unnamed-11ARTIST: Leonard Cohen
ALBUM: You Want It Darker released October 21, 2016
I am so glad that my wife made me take her to see Leonard Cohen in concert. He toured like a kid with a crazy dream from 2008-2013.
He put out albums of new songs in 2012 and 2014, and completed the trilogy in October with You Want It Darker.
I still have hard time saying, “The late, great Leonard Cohen”.

Just in time for the Holidays: Holiday Connections 2016 the CD
19 songs by mostly local artists:
1) Dirty Cello : Merry Christmas Baby
2) Maurice Tani & Pam Brandon : Baby It’s Cold Outside
3) Wendy Dewitt & Kirk Harwood : Train Full of Joy
4) Audrey Auld : Santa Spend Xmas With Me
5) Doug Adamz : Christmas Candy
6) Jennifer Goudeau and Jan Martinelli : The Christmas Song
7) Nate Lopez : Carol of the Bells
8) Nell Robinson : Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem
9) The Sorentinos : Beatnik Christmas
10) Dave Monterey : Christmas Child
11) Terry Keady : Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
12) Kathy Kallick : Snowflakes
13) Geoff Muldaur : At The Christmas Ball
14) Solid Air : Tiny Reindeer
15) Jaydub & Dino : On Christmas Morning
16) Mr. Music : Santa Claus Rocks
17) David Thom : The First Noel
18) Sara Warne : When Santa Claus Met Jesus
19) Doug Jayne : What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

on sale now for $9.99
Please buy one.


See you on the Avenue,


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