October 11, 2010

Cincinnati Record Store Booty!

Many thanks to my friend Ron who invited me to Cincinnati for a record store tour.  Back in July he came to Columbus for a day to see Thunderpussy, What The Rock/Evil Empire, Used Kids and Lost Weekend.  Unfortunately I didn't know that on the same day, a new store downtown called Spoonful was having its opening day.  Now was his turn to take me to his faves- and WOW Cincinnati has a couple of incredible shops!

We started at Shake It.  What began life as an indie record label in 1979, Shake It Records expanded into a mail order catalog and finally a store in 1999.

Rolling Stone magazine recently placed Shake It  at #15 in their 25 best record stores.

There is stuff everywhere, you cannot see it all in one visit! The street level is crammed with CDs, t-shirts, collectibles, Japanese toys, magazines, books, you name it! Vinyl 45's can be spotted all over the walls and displays throughout the store. The basement is packed with new and used vinyl- an incredible selection of current re-issues and new stuff.  I found a handful of titles I'd been looking for, but left empty-handed at first to see what else I might find at other places since Shake It is closest to my friend's home.  At the end of the day we went back for vinyl we'd seen, but I ended up finding the Flaming Lips' Dark Side of the Moon instead.

Our next stop was a new place called Another Part Of The Forrest. All used vinyl, all genres.  This was Ron's first visit here as well.  Nothing fancy here- kind of a flea-market feel with bin after bin of records with the owner tucked away in the corner behind the register.  Pretty cool!  It's a cash-only place, or go next door to the cafe and tell them you are paying for records from next door (Ron paid my $9 with cash rather than hassle with the cafe).  The best section was the $3ea. 12" bin stuffed with 80's titles.  Some worth it, some quite beat up for the price but still better than nothing if you find something you really need.

I bought an import Blondie 12" for The Tide Is High b/w Suzie And Jeffrey (exclusive b-side!)- I've never seen it in person. Also Bootsy's Body Slam 12"- another I've never seen (actually Ron found it and I probably snatched it from his hands).  Until the Back In The Day: The Best of Bootsy compilation, Body Slam never appeared on any album.  And I have now replaced my beat up Chi-Lites' Bottom's Up original with a better copy (love that farty bass!). All are in great shape and I still owe him 10 bucks. Oh yeah... you have to go next door if you need to use the facilities.

And the best for last: EVERYBODY'S RECORD STORE.  Established in 1978, this place is a lot like my beloved-but-gone Singing Dog Records (R.I.P.), very open / un-cramped, lots of room to breathe between isles.  There's some interesting gift stuff all around but not overwhelming as the focus seems to be more on the music- and a LOT of focus is on an eclectic stock of new and used vinyl. More mainstream releases than anywhere else I've been (since the Dog closed), but still plenty of unknown [to me] indie stuff.

I spotted quite a few 90's titles at regular prices.  I didn't even look through all the new / sealed stuff.  The vinyl guy at Shake It guessed the new Soundgarden compilation was probably delayed, seemed he didn't know anything about it really. I had already seen the super deluxe box at Thunderpussy in Columbus, although even they guessed the regular vinyl edition was 'pushed back to sell out the more expensive box first'. This place had both.  And when I was told the box price was $89.99, I about lost my wits:  Only $5 more than the cheapest place I could find it online, well worth avoiding the probable damage inflicted by the USPS.  I told the guy what others were selling it for- $125, he said Everybody's doesn't mark stuff up just because they could get more for it. This place is my NEW favorite place on the planet and I can't wait to go back.  I was also surprised to find the Karen Elson album from Jack White's Third Man label.

Was a great day with a fellow music & record store geek, and someone that has fast become a great friend!

I forgot to pick up batteries somewhere for my camera, so the pic of Shake It is from their website, and I lifted Everybody's from Lisa's KooCheeKoo flickr account. Hope she doesn't mind..

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