Saturday, February 22, 2020

Longhair Records [Albuquerque NM]

(Forgive the horrible lighting - while it was not very warm, it was very sunny and despite multiple angles, all were hit by this laser beam from the sun)

I've said it before and I'll say it again: very lucky to knock this state off the list and I doubt I'll ever have another chance.  Very lucky to find some work way out in the SW and had plenty of time to make the rounds.  I'll say off top that I came across a ton of thrift stores but did not investigate them because while I did have time, I was saddled with a huge amount of 'stuff' I was carrying and sans vehicle, it had to remain on me at all times.  More on that below.

Found Longhair in a small strip mall.  Not a huge store but very well organized.  Looked like all used vinyl (my preference) and everything was bagged and priced.  The bags had labels with the release info and often times a quick blurb from the owner.

Speaking of the owner - very nice guy who greeted me and offered more than once to help with anything I was looking for.  I perused the whole store - they even had a prog rock bin! Don't think I've seen that before.  Decent jazz section but nothing turned up that I had to have.

I dug through the cassettes as well, on the wall near the front door.  Some nice titles in there but I decided to take a pass as nothing really tickled my fancy.  Speaking of cassettes, he even had a bunch of VHS tapes for sale.  Back to the owner - he mentioned that everything was play graded and ran through some kind of record washer.  Pretty impressive.  But not as impressive as his awesome rating guide on the wall.  As a cat lover myself, I can appreciate this.

So besides my own luggage I had to carry (a heavy messenger bag), I was forced to tote a 50' 10 gauge extension cable for 480V service.  Logistical issues led to this decision.  As the airport is south of the city, and I was staying north, it only made sense to do my record shopping and bike riding as soon as I got off the plane.  This gave me nowhere to stow my junk - unless you count under a dusty bush across the street from the record shop.  Besides that, it was over my shoulder most of the time (unless it was plugged in at the job site).


I reported in error previously that Nevada was #40 but this was incorrect as I had forgotten to count Washington DC (though I have been to Virginia).  I wonder how many more I'll be able to cross off the list in 2020 - time will tell.  In the meantime I do recommend Longhair Records for their clean, organized space and the friendliness of the staff.  Stop by today!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Hip hop vinyl collection

Got into a discussion with someone regarding my hiphop vinyl collection.  Best thing to do was to put together a quick video.  Except it wasn't 'quick', it was over a half an hour.  So many stories.  Glad I did this.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Steelworker Records [Tampa FL]

It's funny that I might write a negative review of a record store where I buy things, but write a positive review of a store where I walk out empty handed.  For me, this is because once you get a certain amount of records, it no longer matters what you buy (or not), you are only doing it for the enjoyment of the entire experience.

I made my 9th lifetime visit to the wonderful city of Tampa a couple weeks ago (two nights), then my 10th visit last week (6 nights, just got home yesterday).  It looks like this place and Microgroove are just about the only two shops in town.  I visited Microgroove many years ago (over 5 years ago, unbelievably!) and just checked back on visit #9.  Unfortunately it looks like now they are mostly new vinyl.  I desperately tried to make time to get to Steelworker but it never came together.  I'm glad I could get over there last week and see what was going on, because it is just a nice place, plain and simple.  The store is part of a small strip mall that also includes a comic book store and a movie/video store.  I don't know how these three shop keepers came together but I can't think of more intelligent marketing.  I am positive they get a ton of 'cross business'.  Very smart.


A super clean and organized place with the very unique system that does not organize by genre, only alphabetically.  No doubt for a store of this size that is manageable, but I've been to other similarly sized stores (or smaller) and don't remember anyone doing this.  Without my little jazz corner to hide in I kind of went blank.  I was surprised to find a fair amount of jazz in the bins however, along with a good portion of death metal.  All the while, some live reggae was going on, projected on the wall.

The owner greeted me when I walked in, he was having fun watching YouTube videos with a pretty girl on his knee.  Is there a more enviable position to be in than this? They were giggling and having a blast and I was admittedly jealous.  I glanced at the cassettes and CDs but couldn't find anything.  Eventually I had to ask who was performing on the projection.  He answered quickly, as if it was almost dull to him (clearly a big reggae fan), and I don't mean that in a critical manner at all.  I have tried desperately to figure out who it was, or find the video on YouTube to no avail.  At this point I am confident that it is Ken Boothe (but not 100% sure) but I'm sad that I can't find this performance and relive my afternoon in Tampa, here at home.  Steelworker Records is a nice store and I hope they have a successful business in years to come, I hope to find out that is the case on my inevitable next visit to Tampa.