Matt Sullivan and Josh Wright (co-owners of this loverly place we call Light In The Attic) boarded a Concord made of gold this last weekend and shot over to New Yawk Citay for a little thing called the WFMU Record Fair. Matt Sullivan, good man that he is, jotted down a telling tale of his time there.
Mr. Sullivan, it’s so good to see you back on the printed page.
Finally coming down from a weekend high of vinyl, pizza, beer, sore feet, and Jewish delis (I vote for Katz’s, Josh votes for 2nd Ave Deli). Translation: the WFMU Record Fair in New York City. Some of the world’s greatest dealers, collectors, record freaks, and transvestites converge at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan for this annual event which raises money for non-commercial radio station WFMU out of Hoboken, NJ. And lots of music on the loud speaker spun by WFMU DJs as well as some live bands – from the The Trashmen to Jon Spencer’s new band Heavy Trash. Oh, and cool docs being played like the Bill Withers film Still Bill. It’s the best, most interesting, and all around awesome record show in the States. For three days, just about every record I’ve ever wanted could be found within these walls. And for the first time, Light In The Attic set up a table, selling our latest LP and CD reissues and distributed titles, and giving away loads of freebies.
Before we flew out of Seattle last Thursday, local carpenter Jason Hansen built us a stand to hold our vinyl, while Drew Christie carved us the greatest Light In The Attic logo ever. Bless their souls, and a big thanks to Strath Shepard for helping to coordinate the record stand. But… we didn’t bring enough wax. We learned that the world wants more Rodriguez, more Monks, more Serge, and more Karen Dalton. We will redeem ourselves next year. Promise.
But about this year… the show was a blast, launching Friday afternoon (folks could throw down $25 for early entry from 4 to 7pm – and the freaks took over the asylum!), and going until Sunday evening. All this vinyl meant it was tough to not spend your kids’ college fund. Met some cool people over the weekend and saw some familiar faces. Our booth was sandwiched between Wax Poetics and wicked NYC reggae store Deadly Dragon Sound System – they took lots of photos which they’ll be posting on their blog in the coming days. Super kind man David Fricke picked up a couple LPs even though he wanted Monks and we were sold out. Other kind folks… The guys from ESP, a man named Phil who could have been Lenny Kaye’s long lost twin, a Boston friend of the almighty Dave Perry of the Lowell Sun (the biggest Light In The Attic supporter on planet earth and just about the first guy who ever wrote us up), John Wyatt, Mr. Finewine, Rob from Numero Group, Sharan at Wax Poetics, Karen Dalton guru Nicholas Hill, Matt from Factory Twenty Five, the lovely girl who said the secret word “Bellevue” and got 20% off… Found some killer records from The Record Exchange in Salem, MA. Thank you Paul.
I had no idea the Chambers Brothers ever made a record with Barbara Dane for Folkways, and had to snatch up the debut LP by the Equals. Drooled over loads of private press records, an original copy of “Power Fuerza” by the almighty Ghetto Brothers (only $1,000) from some guy that had hundreds of original African funk/soul/afrobeat LPs (dood should make a coffee table book with all those album covers). Oh, and a signed Beatles “Butcher Cover” (only $12,000). I think it was missing Lennon’s signature though. Offer ‘em 11k. Come on, you cheap bastards! Picked up some dreamy Brasilian wax from a couple sellers – a lovely Brasilian-NYC transplant who’s name I sadly forgot, and Joel & crew from Tropicalia In Furs.
Big thanks to everyone who stopped by the Light In The Attic booth. Must say, it was a bit sad when the festivities came to an end on Sunday evening – even though I felt like I just ran a marathon and needed some rest. Well, we hope to see you all again next year. If you weren’t there, come on out. You won’t regret it. And… go Phillies. The Big Apple rules but down with the Yanks. Earlier today I found some WIFI at Starbucks in Manhattan (are there any mom-n-pop coffee shops in mid-town Manhattan with wireless?). While I’m surfing away, who walks in, but Derek Jeter. The place erupted. The man took some photos with giddy female fans. Funny moment. GOOOO PHILLIES!
We came, we saw, we conquered!