Independent record stores provide many things – information, community, inspiration…and of course records! It’s along these lines that we bring you this week’s Record Store of the Week, Salt Lake City’s Slowtrain Music. Opened in 2006 by Chris and Anna Brozek, Slowtrain Music has established itself as the heart of SLC’s independent music scene by providing a space for in-stores from local and national artists, a label showcasing local talent, and a great place to score awesome CDs and vinyl records. We hear even “members” of the Allman Brothers Band frequent the shop!
Tell us some stuff about Slowtrain Music.
Slowtrain opened in 2006 in downtown SLC. We carry CDs and LPs – new and used along with turntables, DVDs, silk-screened posters, concert tickets, t-shirts, and more. We love local music, vinyl that comes with a CD inside, dance parties, and beer.
How many people work at the store?
There are 4 of us total, two owners, Chris & Anna, and two staffers, Matt & Vanessa.
What kinds of records to you specialize in?
We carry mostly independent artists/labels spanning most genres (rock/pop/country/hip hop/jazz/etc).
What’s your favorite record right now?
Lately I’ve been stuck on the newest LP from White Hinterland called Kairos. It has been my ideal summer album – although I’m not sure what I’ll do when the weather starts to turn and snow starts to fall.
Is there a record you play that someone will usually buy/inquire about every time?
This year the easiest album to sell by playing it is Beach House’s Teen Dream. There is something magical about it.
What is your favorite Light in the Attic release and why?
This is really really hard. Let’s just say that in the last few weeks I’ve been obsessively listening to the Monks‘ Black Monk Time. It is just so good. The story behind the music is incredible, the packaging is beautiful, the sound is raw and dirty, the songs are catchy and intriguing. This is a must have LP for any youngin’ walking around listening to the Black Lips or Thee Oh Sees – etc.
What’s the music scene like in Salt Lake City? Do you carry releases by any local artists?
We’ve got a pretty nice music scene in SLC. At the moment we’re in a bit of a transitional period as young bands are picking up steam, and older bands are throwing in the towel. But it seems there is always good growth in what Salt Lake produces musically. Slowtrain does have an extensive selection of local releases, even some on LP.
Do you have in-store performances? If so, who is your favorite band/artist that has played your store?
We have in-stores as often as we can. It is SO hard to decide who is our favorite. The most recent one that was exceptionally special was Damien Jurado. The store was dead quiet and Damien played for about 40 minutes. Songs from his newest record as well as oldies that he usually doesn’t play live. He was charming and humble. I like to think that everyone in the shop that day left a better person
What’s the funniest/weirdest/strangest encounter you’ve had with a customer in the store?
I was once interrupted (pet peeve) by some guy wanting to know if I was listening to a Dylan record overhead (it wasn’t, it was The Felice Brothers). When I told him I’d be with him in a minute after I’d finished up with the customer I was with he flipped out. Started screaming at me that he wasn’t some bum of the street that he was in the Allman Brothers Band. After a bit of a yelling match, he slammed a wad of $100 bills on the counter and said “I was going to buy stuff but I’m insulted” to which I said “If you were really in the Allman Brothers Band you should know this isn’t Bob Dylan overhead.” I later found out he pulls that shit at little shops all around town. What a life.
What is the coolest record that has come into your store that you never thought you’d ever see?
For me personally it was a used copy of the Back to the Future soundtrack. This was the first record I ever owned – my parents bought it for me for my 4th or 5th birthday. It has been lost in many family moves and Chris and I have always been on the hunt for it in other record shops. Recently a sweet customer brought it in for me so I could have it back in my life.
What do you love most about working at a cool independent record shop?
What is not to love? I’m constantly surrounded by amazing music and incredible people. I get to see bands I love and a lot of them become good friends. We met David Byrne. I mean, record stores are the best.
221 E Broadway
Salt Lake City, UT 84111