Record Store of the Week: Origami Vinyl (Los Angeles)

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We here at Light in the Attic are head over heels in love with the independent music retailers we do business with. Record stores are the bread and butter of our business, and their enthusiasm to bring in the cool record titles we stand behind makes us proud. Every week, we want to spotlight a cool independent record store that’s doing great things for the record biz, as well as the local community they represent and who supports them.

This week’s Record Store of the Week belongs to Origami Vinyl, a new store that opened in April of 2009  in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles. We asked Origami Vinyl owner Neil Schield a few questions.

origami interior

LITA: State your name, age, occupation, and who your first music love was.

NS: Neil Schield – 34 – Owner of Origami Vinyl – My first music love would have to be Neil Young, since that is who I am named after.

How long has Origami been open?

We have been open since April 3rd, 2009

About how many LP titles do you carry in the store (new and used)?

3000

Echo Park is a pretty cool part of LA… what kinda people frequent the store?

Echo Park is very diverse. I’d say the age range is about 16 – 40. Some of our customers are buying the first records of their life, others are building on their collections. Independent music lovers are our main business.

PeteTownsend
Any celebrities use you as their vinyl source?

Well, our store kicked off with a visit by Pete Townshend. Some regulars include Steven Soderbergh, Eric Wareheim (Tim and Eric), Keith Morris (Circle Jerks), and Ben Harper.

What is the coolest record that has ever come through your doors? You know, that holy grail record that you never thought you’d see.

It’s not extremely rare, but I was really excited to see The Cramps “Gravest Hits” come in.

What’s the weirdest encounter you’ve ever had with someone while at Origami?

I wouldn’t say weird, but the most memorable experience is when Doug Martsch from Built to Spill came in to the shop a few months back. Built to Spill is probably my favorite band of the last 15 years, so when he came in I kinda got all nervous. We started talking about music and basketball. He was just the nicest down to earth person ever. After chatting for 30 minutes or so, he asked if we had bands perform here. I said yes and jumped on the opportunity to ask him if he would ever consider doing an acoustic set. He said he would love to and gave me his email and to contact him next time I saw they had a show in Los Angeles.  Well a few months later they had booked a show at the Hollywood Bowl. I emailed him as promised. No reply for like 2 months. Then out of nowhere, I get an email back from him saying that he wanted to hold off in replying to me, because he had been practicing an acoustic set for the shop, but got so busy that he couldn’t pull it off this time. He said next time for sure.  I mean if this actually happens, I am going to shit my pants. It’s kinda unbelievable.

Have you ever seen a grown man weep over a record he discovered in your store?

Does that happen?

Tell me a little bit about the Origami record label and what you’ve been up to with that.

It’s kind of funny to even really consider it a record label. I think of it more like a hobby or an outlet. So far we have only released 3 things. On July 6th, we released our first full length LP with Summer Darling. It’s an incredible abrasive yet poppy guitar record reminiscent of Neil Young, Fugazi, and Cursive.

We also did an incredible compilation with non-profit 826LA called “Chickens In Love”. 826LA offers free after-school tutoring and creative writing workshops for children. We had some local musicians host a lyric writing workshop. Then sent those kids’ lyrics off to a bunch of LA-based bands to cover the songs. It came out incredibly well. The comp features Fiona Apple w/ Jon Brion and The Punch Brothers, She and Him, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Summer Darling, Cold War Kids, Dum Dum Girls, Crystal Antlers, The Submarines, The Happy Hollows, The Pity Party, The Growlers, and Tim & Eric. We put that out on LP at the end of June and only made 500 of them.

Lastly, what’s your favorite part about running a cool independent record shop?

Community. The ability to get to know all these amazing people that come into the shop, meeting and helping out local bands, and working with other local businesses.

Thanks Neil!

Thanks Light in the Attic for being an amazing label!

Origami Vinyl

1816 West Sunset Boulevard, Echo Park, CA 90026.

213-413-3030

http://origamiorigami.com

HOURS: Mon – Noon ’til 9pm
Tues – Noon ’til 8pm
Wed – Noon ’til 9pm
Thu – Noon ’til 9pm
Fri – Noon ’til 10pm
Sat – Noon ’til 10pm
Sun – Noon ’til 8pm