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West coast road trip

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  • West coast road trip

    i'm off to San fran at the end of the week. Chillin there for a few days, then driving up to portland. Any vinyl spots i should check out.
    my first time in the US, bizarly i'm going out there to do a removal job.

  • #2
    Ooh, I'm envious, that's a lovely part of the world. Obviously Groove Merchant in San Francisco has to be on the list. He's friendly and very fair on the trades so it's worth taking some bits with you (even charityshopbreakscommon that wouldn't have got a US release) and setting aside some time for a visit. Apart from that, Amoeba has a vast stock so there should be something worth picking up in there. And I've bought a few things online from Steve at Rooky Ricardo's (also on Haight) and I'd guess their shop would also be worth popping in seeing that it's on the same street... Now I'll leave it to Motown to tell us the ones we don't know.

    You freeking scientologists are all the same, quible, dribble and then demand ice creams. Ohhhhhhhhhhh.


    • #3
      how about:

      Best Rock & Roll Rummage Sale
      The Blank Club
      44 S. Almaden Ave, San Jose 408.29.BLANK
      Thrift stores, garage sales and yard sales are a crap shoot. There may be treasures, there may be, well, crap. That's what's cool about the Blank Club's new rock & roll rummage sale. Every second Saturday of the month, 11am-5pm, the club opens up for specialized area vendors dealing in used and vintage records, CDs, books, posters, clothing, toys and more for the discriminating rock & roll shopper. DJs spin the soundtrack of the sale, and the bar will be open for business. Make sure to bring enough scratch to take that hard-to-find vinyl home and have a couple drinks. (SQ)

      Best Vinyl Records
      Big Al's Record Barn
      522 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose 408.294.7200
      This is easy. While corporate mergers of communications companies are a matter of concern, the engulfing of Rowe's Rare Records by its crosstown competitor Big Al's Record Barn was nothing the FCC would want to look into. Mrs. Rowe, widow of the proprietor, sold out, and Big Al Farleigh--who'd been selling vintage disks for 30 years--closed his El Camino Real shop and moved the shebang over here. The new Big Al's is cleaned up and orderly, with vertical shelving instead of Rowe's old horizontal sprawl of bins. The store is a treasure trove of everything from cocktail jazz to vintage Dino to crepuscular psychedelic. It does a brisk eBay trade, particularly with Europe and Asia. Yet the store still welcomes the walk-in trade for a public seeking the audio warmth of analog, the divine meeting of the vinyl and the needle. (RvB)

      Best Spot for Funky Little Beats
      Knight Sounds
      E. Santa Clara St., San Jose 408.926.DJDJ
      Carlos Diaz has a promise for DJs: If you got all your records ripped off and have a gig that night, no matter what your specialty, Knight Sounds can restock the crate with records to rock the party. "This is almost like our mission: Anyone who walks into the store will walk out with their needs fulfilled," he says--and spinmasters like Steve Masters, Jay Espinoza, DJ Quest and 2-Fresh, Streak, Rocky Rock, Golden Chyld and D-Styles agree. As a mobile DJ and on KSJS's pioneering Radio Aztlan program, Diaz helped spark the late-'80s/early-'90s freestyle. Hence, his Knight Sounds speaks fluent freestyle, Hi-NRG, new jack swing, late-'80s, early-'90s hip-hop. The floor is waist high with vinyl crunched into milk crates, and the depth of the selections astounds. Who needs doubles of 50 Cent's "In Da Club" when you can blow people's minds with vintage 12-inch copies of Jermaine Stewart's "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off," Bobby Brown's "Every Little Step" or Connie's "Funky Little Beat"? Bring a list, an empty crate, a tablet of Claritin and commence to digging. (TI)

      Best Thrift Store for Diversity
      2222 Business Circle, San Jose 408.287.0591
      Occasionally, Savers will seem bizarre: toys thrown everywhere, clothes all over the floor, screaming kids and male cross-dressers sneaking around the women's dress aisle. But for sheer diversity, the place is the best thrift store around. With Goodwill attempting to upscale itself these days, Savers is a refreshing opportunity to hunt out books, records, cheap jewelry, old suitcases, Hawaiian shirts, obsolete computer parts, TVs, musical instruments bad sport coats or whatever junk you happen to be looking for. Of course, like any other thrift store, the stock fluctuates. Sometimes, there's nothing; other times, it's a gold mine. They even have special sale days on which everything in the store is half off. (GS)

      Best Source of Alternative Media
      Alameda Archives
      2251 The Alameda, Santa Clara 408.249.3400
      A repository of hipster bookshelves and DVD racks, Alameda Archives stocks hard-to-find independent magazines, DVDs and art books. Titles like Chunklet, Readymade and Giant Robot share shelf space with independent, cult, foreign and documentary films. Co-owner John Fenton was used to picking up his favorite magazines and videos in San Francisco, and when he came to San Jose he noticed the dearth of Leather & Tongue, Le Video or Naked Eye-type stores. "We're basically trying to provide a bunch of stuff we saw was lacking in the South Bay," says Fenton. Alameda Archives came at the right time for the 24-year-old, who was sweating out jobs at restaurants and cafes while doing his own artwork, when he noticed the empty storefront and convinced his dad to take a chance. In November of 2002, when the Archives first opened, they had 400 video titles; today, there are more than 1,500 highly specialized picks. Eventually, Fenton and family foresee complete director collections, a larger book selection and music. Most of all, Fenton wants Alameda Archives to stick around for the future: "A lot of independent stores are fly-by-night. They pop up and go away before they can be part of a community," says Fenton. "We just want to be here." (TI)

      We know when a mate buys it for you too.


      • #4
        thx chaps that all looks really cool.


        • #5
          Not that I've been there, but I believe that Portland has a few decent spots, not least Jump Jump. I'm sure if you drop Dan an email he'll be able to advise you of what to expect up there.
          Matt Hero


          • #6
            Gotta go with Rich on this, obvious choices in SF but whilst I was there I saw nothing better. Groove Merchant has heat and Chris is wise to euro bizniz, but your trump here is that they cant get to this. They have a stupid selection at times, but at a price, but then again, that price is still lower than anywhere in the UK or Paris!

            Amoeba is worth it simply for the sheer weight of vinyl which greets you on entrance. Pretty nice jazz section too with oddities and lots of jazz 45's! Lovely.

            If you go to Groove Merchant, you gotta check Kate's Kitchen just up the road for seriously good munch, be it pancakes with crushed walnut and bannana or there fabulous burgers. Wicked little left field cafe with a great vibe. Sunday is big bad brunch day so get there early or join the queues around the block.

            There's also a Somali Fish & Chip shop which runs wicked and insanely friendly roots nites, mad people work this!

            And of course, over the road from GM is Rooky Ricardo's, a San Francisco soul institution: fabulous record shop, EXACTLY how it should be. There's even a table and chair for you to bring your own lunch! She's a gal too, ask her about the soul and funk dance classes and the great sixties nite she runs inside the shop each month, with UK dj's.

            Most of all San Fran is where I seriously left my heart.

            Beautiful city, beautiful vibe.

            Say Hello to her from me!

            I was raised by wolves


            • #7
              If for some reason you find yourself coming to Los Angeles drop me an E-mail [email protected]


              • #8
                it's great here, it's so hot, about 30C
                just been getting drunk and eating dinner food, Malcom Catto was just over. I've fallen in love with an Optigan. West coast is brill


                • #9
                  Optigan? Sound painful...oooof!
         <- Changed URL


                  • #10
                    it&#39;s a synth, check


                    • #11
                      someone called?  

                      anyway, 1st up, those stores john listed in SJ are not accessable unless you have a car because it&#39;s an hour south of SF. If there&#39;s traffic that might be 2 hrs, i&#39;m not joking.

                      the best thing to do is go up haight straight in sf. ricardo&#39;s and groove merchant are only about 5 blocks away. up the street on divisadero is open mind music, but it&#39;s really fallen off. then as you get to what&#39;s called &quot;upper haight&quot;, i.e. the end by golden gate park, there&#39;s 2 more record stores Record Finder or something like that (memory is bad right now) and then at the very end of the street is Amoeba.

                      If you get over to the East Bay (Oakland &amp; Berkeley) go to Telegraph avenue by the University of California , Berkeley, there&#39;s anothe Amoeba and Rasputins and then around the corner is Funky Riddims. In Oakland there&#39;s the Groove Yard, but stay away from my spot goddammit&#33;&#33;   you can easily get to telegraph by taking the BART (subway) over from SF. Get of at the &quot;Berkeley&quot; stop and than walk through the campus until you hit Telegraph. Groove Yard to can get to if you get off at the &quot;Macarthur&quot; stop, walk up to Telegraph and then hang a right towards Berkeley. Otherwise, rent a car.

                      there are a couple of places across the golden gate bridge as well, but they don&#39;t have public transportation. have to have a car.

                      there&#39;s more but i can&#39;t remember.