Posts Tagged ‘Betty Davis’

Record Store of the Week: Other Music (New York, NY)

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Other Music storefront

For this week’s Record Store of the Week, we give you Other Music (New York, NY)! Other Music is an essential stop on any NYC trip (hey, it’s an essential stop online too!!) and a part of the daily routine for tons of New Yorkers. Their selection is stellar, the staff is knowledgeable and helpful and their in-stores are not to be missed. Co-owner Josh Madell was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to have a chat.

So Josh, tell us some stuff about Other Music.

We are a NYC-based LP and CD shop, open since 1995 – we’ve been on East 4th Street in Manhattan for 15 years now! We also do mailorder and MP3 downloads.

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Some Other Music alums have gone on to have success making records as opposed to selling them. I remember hearing that Animal Collective was one such case…any current employees making killer sounds?

Yeah Noah and Dave worked here, and we’ve had so many staff go on to successful careers as musicians, DJs, label jobs, fine arts – we’re a great temporary thing until you hit it big! And there are, of course, several talented musicians on staff right now.

In 2007, Other Music was one of the first independent record stores to create an online digital music store. How has that been going?

Though I can’t say that our download store completely takes up the slack from shrinking physical sales, it has been great for us, and we definitely feel like we need to have a foot in that world to stay relevant if we want to carry new music.

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What records are on heavy rotation in the store right now?

The Psychedelic Aliens Psycho African Beat on Academy LPs is amazing. Alva Noto & Blixa Bargeld‘s new project ANBB has been spun a lot the last couple of weeks. And the Gonjasufi remix record has been in heavy rotation for awhile now. Dam-Funk‘s Adolescent Funk keeps popping up too – so fun!

Other Music is known for its awesome and well attended in-store shows. You’ve hosted so many bands/artists over the years, do you have a favorite?

That’s tough, we have had so many special shows. Tinariwen was pretty incredible. I was just reminiscing about the Elliot Smith/Softies show. The very first Digital Hardcore show in the States, when Alec Empire and Shizuo kept blowing our circuits. The Breeders was pretty crazy – in so many ways! Boredoms!!!! It goes on and on, I always forget all the great bands that have played our store. Bill Callahan on Record Store Day a few years back was really beautiful. Ya Ho Wa.

Exterior Dirty Projectors Instore

Dirty Projectors in-store. Photo by Mikey "IQ" Jones.

Tinariwen burning up Other Music - Photo by Tim Soter

Tinariwen burning up Other Music - Photo by Tim Soter

Boredoms perform In-Store at Other Music

Boredoms perform In-Store at Other Music. Photo by Tim Soter

Also, in the last few years, you’ve started filming select in-stores and streaming them for free on the Digital Music Store site. How did that come about?

Out of the blue I was approached by Natalie Johns of Dig For Fire, which is a music film production company, because she loved our in-stores, and within a month we had filmed Vampire Weekend, No Age and St. Vincent. Those films are really fun to make, because I sit down and interview all the artists, and the final product is a really intimate and special document of these tiny shows by some pretty big names. Natalie’s work is just beautiful, great sound, 3 or 4 HD cameras. But they can be quite expensive to produce because of that, so we’ve been taking a break from filming as we look for sponsors. Other Music and Dig For Fire also collaborate on a couple of big SXSW events every year, great big outdoor shows – this year our two days were headlined by Thurston Moore and The xx, with a ton of other great bands.

NO AGE in series: Live At Other Music from Dig For Fire on Vimeo.

[For more from the series, check out the Other Music Digital Store or Dig For Fire!]

OK, shameless self-promotion time! What is your favorite Light In The Attic release…and why?

Oh there are so many, I often think Light In The Attic is making records just for our customers; Serge Gainsbourg, Betty Davis, Rodriguez, Monks, Karen Dalton, The Free Design… the list goes on and on. All of those artists were huge sellers for us as expensive imports or even more expensive rare LPs. LITA is doing a public service making great albums available in great packages, for the whole world to hear!

Any funny/weird/strange encounters with customers over the years?

Um – all of them – have you ever met any record collectors? We get all types here, crazy collectors, industry types, all of our favorite musicians. We love them all!

How about celebrity musician sightings?

Yeah, we get all of them, and besides all the great musicians who shop at our store, it turns out a lot of actors have pretty adventurous taste in music too. But recently Laurie Anderson was performing in the shop, and she was having some trouble with her gear – all of a sudden Lou Reed slinks in in his sweatsuit straight from the gym. He couldn’t really help Laurie with her pedal, but he gave her some sort of pep talk. Lou’s love – inspirational! [ed. – OMFG!]

What are your thoughts on the record store scene in NYC right now.

It’s rough – the collector’s spots like Academy and A-1 seem to be holding up, but so many great shops are gone.

And lastly, Other Music has been around for some time, how do you see your role in the greater NYC music scene?

So many things have changed in New York in the 15 years since we opened, and as far as the music world goes, many changes are for the worse, but there is a great scene of young bands right now – we support each other I guess. They keep making great music, we’ll keep telling people about it!

Other Music
15 East 4th Street NYC
www.othermusic.com
212.477.8150
M-F 11-9
Sat 12-8
Sun 12-7

Betty Davis “Betty Davis” & “They Say I’m Different” (LPs) BACK IN PRINT!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Hey hey lookey what we just got in the mail! Back in print, Betty Davis’ landmark 1973 debut, Betty Davis, and 1974′s They Say I’m Different! Both LPs feature 180-gram wax, deluxe Stoughton old-school “tip-on” sleeves (They Say I’m Different is gatefold) and 4-page insert with rare photos and liner notes by Oliver Wang (Soul Sides). Get on it!

For more info and to order Betty Davis Betty Davis (LITA 026) click HERE!

For more info and to order Betty Davis They Say I’m Different (LITA 027) click HERE!

Light In The Attic – Influencer Spotlight on Rdio

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Head on over to the Rdio blog for their Influencer Spotlight on Light In The Attic. They go into our background, covering some of our mile stone releases and there’s even a list of some of our favorite reissues of all time, which they have available for streaming.

Be sure to follow our profile and check out some of our label curated playlists, one of which, “Light In The Attic on Rdio” is below.

Betty Davis is Back In Print!

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Betty Davis‘ first two albums are back in print! After one cold hard year off the shelves, the queen of funk is back! One can hardly imagine the genre-busting, culture-crossing musical magic of Outkast, Prince, Erykah Badu, Rick James, The Roots, or even the early Red Hot Chili Peppers without the influence of R&B pioneer Betty Davis. Her style of raw and revelatory punk-funk defies any notions that women can’t be visionaries in the worlds of rock and pop.

In 1973, Davis would finally kick off her cosmic career with an amazingly progressive hard funk and sweet soul self-titled debut. Davis showcased her fiercely unique talent and features such gems as “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” and “Game Is My Middle Name.” The album Betty Davis was recorded with Sly & The Family Stone’s rhythm section, sharply produced by Sly Stone drummer Greg Errico, and featured backing vocals from Sylvester and the Pointer Sisters.

Her 1974 sophomore album They Say I’m Different features a worthy-of-framing futuristic cover challenging David Bowie’s science fiction funk with real rocking soul-fire, kicked off with the savagely sexual “Shoo-B-Doop and Cop Him” (later sampled by Ice Cube). Her follow up is full of classic cuts like “Don’t Call Her No Tramp” and the hilarious, hard, deep funk of “He Was A Big Freak.”

Pick up your copy of Betty DavisBetty Davis & They Say I’m Different now from LightInTheAttic.net! Both available on CD & LP!

Record Store of the Week: Euclid Records (New Orleans, LA)

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

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Sometimes a day turns into a week – sometimes it turns into 2 years.  But wait no longer! After taking a “leisurely” break, we’re re-launching our regular Record Store of the Week feature, con gusto!  Look out for regular installments starting, like, NOW.

First up is Euclid NOLA – a great store embedded in New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood – a district with a rich musical history that carries on to this day.  We spoke with Store Manager, James Weber Jr. about punk rock, the Cosimo Code, and the unique joys of record store life in the Big Easy.

Thanks to James Weber Jr. and the Euclid Records staff for doing the interview!

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Tell us a little about Euclid NOLA.  The OG Euclid is in St. Louis – how did you end up moving to New Orleans and opening one there?

After a decade managing a big beast of a record store, Vintage Vinyl in St. Louis, I got the itchy travelin” feet and headed to New Orleans mostly on accident in September of 2009. I arrived with a strong determination to not be “record store guy” anymore and promptly got a job at a record store. Oops. A fellow recent arrival from New York, Brian Bromberg, was also employed at said store. We decided quickly that we had more to offer the city running our own shop. A few conversations with pal and gutsy record store owner Joe Schwab of Euclid Records in St. Louis, and we were on our way. Joe’s heart to take such a blind chance on a couple of young kids who love records cannot be overstated. He had years of history with the city and it’s record world, but we were still a little surprised when he said “Find us a location and we’ll take the best shot.” 7 months later Brian and I were turning the key at the corner of Chartres and Desire.

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2. I imagine the culture is a little different there than St. Louis in terms of the used records you see coming through and what you’re selling regularly.  What are people generally selling and buying?  

One of the beautiful things about record culture is that each city/region/state/country has its own particular flavor profile. Record shoppers who travel tend to become record tourists, aware that they will probably see a slew of wax they’ve seen before and a healthy chunk they haven’t. However, we’re afforded a little more square footage by setting up in the neighborhood we have. This allows us to carry all the niche-y stuff the die-hards love, but also try to be all things to all people. We sell a lot of used wax spectrum-wide: soul, blues, classic rock, jazz, yadda.  We try to load up on as much regional soul, rhythm & blues, swamp-pop, and local stuff of historic/cultural/comedic import. On the niche end, we move a lot of the KBD and power-pop reissues that have cropped up the last 5 years (labels like Sing Sing, Last Laugh, Rerun and BDR Records, etc.). We see a lot of the record store standards, but we’re most excited when a collection walks in with regional recordings that are new to us.

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3. Do good records regularly walk in the door or do you have to go out and find them?

A little of both. We advertise regionally which delivers a steady flow of phone calls within say a 100 mile radius. We’ll be open three years in September. By this point, odds are if you are talking about selling records in the city, someone knows someone who will suggest Euclid Records. We do our best to buy everything we can, stock is the name of the game, but being honest with folks about their collection and its value (or lack of…) has built a lot of good will/good karma. Word of mouth keeps ‘em coming in.

4. Do you have a record that will sell/people will inquire about every time you put it on?

When Rerun Records reissued the Manic Depressives/0:30 Second Flash we immediately sold the heck out of it. It’s an LP of recordings from 1980-81 by New Orleans punk scene-builder Larry the Punk. He published the Final Solution fanzine (copies are often available from the actual Larry the Punk on ebay for something like 18 bucks, all 9 issues!) among other endeavors, and these recordings flat git it. Our customers, as you’d expect, bend toward regional-obsessive, so a combination of “it’s actual local history” and “this dude rocks it like somebody sluggin’ your jaw, who is this?!” = a record that will sell.

It’s awfully easy to sell the classic New Orleans R&B, as well. Cosimo Matassa’s J&M Recording Studio has a strong stake as *the* crucible of American R&B. The records and performances are just undeniable. If you are reading this and curious about the universe of New Orleans (the city and the music both, a double helix), those boxsets are the thread to yank first. In selling records, conversation is always the most important thing. What people want and what they ask for aren’t necessarily the same. When customers ask for “New Orleans Soul” or “New Orleans Blues,” what they’re often trying to say, really, is “I want New Orleans R&B from 1945 through about 1965.” In 18 years worth of record retailin’, I’ve never seen so many different customers’ faces light up at the same songs, so start with Cosimo and you can’t go wrong.

5. What is the coolest/weirdest/most prized record that’s come into the store that you never thought you’d see?

Most prized is probably the test pressing for Big Star’s “Third/Sister Lovers” displayed on the wall on it’s own special, one-record-wide shelf. Coolest/weirdest are the same: Radio commercial on a 45 for Fat Albert’s Chicken outta Lafayette. Must be heard to be believed. There’s loads of oddities down here to discover, seems like every 2nd person was a recording musician who had something to say, often truly amazing even if it isn’t truly good music.

6. What’s the best thing about having a record store in New Orleans?  

We get to spend our days making people happy with music. I do love living in New Orleans, but it’s important to note that the record store experience is vital for the cultural life of any city. In a world of DMV’s, red tape, filling out forms, internet’s-down, fender benders, and much much worse, everybody needs a safe zone. That’s the record store, and it’s humbling that we get the opportunity to provide that happiness to our neighborhood, music community, and city.

 7. Has Dr. John ever come in?  What famous New Orleans-ers? have come through the shop?  

No Dr. John nor Mac Rebennack. We get plenty of “Huey Piano Smith’s my father” and “Lee Dorsey’s my Uncle!” A lot of oral history bounces off our record store walls, and we do our best to remember it, put the pieces together. The threads of music here are very tangled, it’s a fun puzzle. Every week some new connection is made and we giggle like schoolkids. Then someone comes along and does something incredible like cracking the Cosimo Code http://cosimocode.com/ which no one even knew existed, and we get put back in our place. The Cosimo Code website is insane! Through numerical notations on every record made at Cosimo’s J&M, you can piece the order they were recorded. What musicians were in the studio on the same day they made each record, who was coming, who was going. Worth a google!

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8. How’s the scene in NOLA these days?  Turn us on!

Punk-rock wise, Pelican Pow-Wow Records (full disclosure: Pelican Pow-Wow mastermind Sarah is an employee at Euclid Records) has put out some well-received singles. She just got the test press for the new Mac Blackout 45 today – it rips pretty great!  Mario Abney is an exceptional trumpet player on an upswing. Hurray for the Riff Raff on the “indie” side are doing some dates with The Alabama Shakes. They just announced their deal with Shakes’ label ATO Records (My Morning Jacket, Old Crow Medicine Show, etc) and have their first record out with them in 2014.  All our store employees (amateur and schooled musicians both) recently put a sludge-y thing together called Mollock’s Mollusk to back up our neighbor, friend, and metal super-fan Todd. He’d never been in a band, but the guy’s a natural! Eh, It’s the summer, life is slow.

9. What’s your favorite LITA release and why?

Not to be a total homer, but I still can’t put down that Country Funk 1969-1975 2xLP set. It’s New Orleans summer music through and through. Smooth, just enough funk backbone, but not so much ya gotta move a lot. I mean, it’s hot out! Tony Joe White is king, and that record is like hanging out at his palace. Hard to narrow, as keeping things like the Louvin Brothers, Wendy Rene (who last year played the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans, a mostly-annual 2-day festival that seeks to raise awareness of the architects of American music), Michael Hurley, Serge Gainsbourg, and Betty Davis all available to the record-buying public is really important work! The “Hypnotic Cajun / Obscure Zydeco” and Blind Blake Higgs collections you guys distributed for Moi J’Connais are getting a lot of in-store play.

10. When is the Grandpa’s Ghost reissue coming out?

For those who are not in the know, Grandpa’s Ghost out of Pocahontas, IL made the greatest acid/fuzz/prairie-psych/midwest/loner-rock record of the 90′s called “Il Baccio,” and don’t nobody know it! It’s a record that would really benefit from a vinyl listening experience. It’s on the slate of three artists we push on every mover-and-shaker we run into. 1) Beverly Kenney: jazz thrush nonpareil, suicided in 1960, career derailed by the rise of rock-and-roll. Some footage of Beverly finally surfaced on youtube last summer. She sings on the Hugh Hefner “Playboy TV” show. The back-and-forth ‘twixt her and Hef is delicious, her performances just wonderful. There are a handful of interesting stories about her drifting around the blogs. People-vs-drchilledair.blogspot.com is a great place to start looking. 2) Jessie Hill: songwriter of “Ooh Poo Pa Doo” and many other nonsense git-down New Orleans R&B standards, he also put out one classic full-length of deep and funky soul, “Naturally” on Blue Thumb. Recorded in 1972 Los Angeles with a cadre of New Orleans ex-pat’s, it has aged like a fine box-wine. I will say it without hesitation: Jessie Hill’s “Naturally” is the record most deserving of careful reissue and full-on promotional blitz for 2014. 3) Grandpa’s Ghost “Il Baccio” on wax. 

Thanks so much, Light in the Attic!

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Euclid Records
3401 Chartres St.
New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 947-4348
Monday through Saturday 11AM to 7PM
Sunday 12AM to 6PM

Find Euclid Records on Facebook and Twitter!