For this week’s Record Store of the Week, we find ourselves at Vacation in sunny Los Angeles, California. Located on a strip of Sunset Boulevard known as Sunset Junction, Vacation is a music mecca for record heads that serves up a fine array of new and used vinyl, not to mention a calendar packed with awesome in-stores. So I hope you brought a suitcase, cuz we’re going on Vacation!
You’ve recently moved your location from the Hollywood/Los Feliz area to the heart of Silver Lake (Sunset Junction), how’s that worked out?
The move has been great for us. We immediately saw more foot traffic and overall exposure for Vacation.
How many people work at the store?
We pretty much are operated by myself and George Jensen who recently joined us last July.
What kind of folks frequent your store and what sort of records do they typically buy?
We see a cross section of shoppers. We have the young crowd of collectors looking for rare (just about anything). Then we see customers of all ages who heard of us through Hydra Head Records and/or Secret Headquarters (Comic Shop Next Door). They both co-own Vacation and have such an incredible following and reputation that precedes them. Then I see the unassuming shopper who stumbles upon us and loves our niche and aesthetic. It peaks their curiosity in music again. This is a crowd that really loves the reissues of classic records and solid compilations.
What’s the funniest/weirdest/strangest encounter you’ve had with a customer in the store?
Wow, kinda of too many to choose from. Keep in mind we were on Hollywood Blvd for almost a year and a half. Let’s say I learned to dread a full moon.
You had in-stores at your previous location, are you still doing them at the new one? What’s your favorite artist/band to play the store?
Absolutely! We’ve already had Nails, Black Breath, Night Horse, White Hills, Torche & Mount Carmel play at the new location. My favorite in store would have to be Red Sparowes last year. The old location’s high ceilings allowed for their incredible visual projection show during the live performance.
In your shop, you have a giant photograph of a stage strewn with amps/drums etc and beer cans. What’s the story behind that?
Hahaha, yeah that’s a rad shot of the stage after Fear performed a show in S.F. around 1983. The photo was taken by Brian Tucker (Fer Youz) who is notorious for his punk rock photography from the L.A. punk scene during 1980-85. He just recently had an art opening at the New Puppy Gallery. His work will show there until Nov. 2nd.
Is there a record you play that someone will usually buy/inquire about every time?
I usually get a comment or inquiry any time I play the Colin Newman ‘A-Z’ album.
What is your favorite Light in the Attic release and why?
I have to admit amongst the many great reissues that my favorite is still the current band on the roster…The Black Angels album ‘Passover’.
What do you think of the LA music scene and how do you see Vacation Vinyl’s place in it?
I love it! It so diverse and open for anyone to create and experiment in vast fields, styles and genres. I think Vacation provides a cool all ages spot to experience some heavy and unique bands that we enjoy and support.
Lastly, what do you love about working at a great independent record shop?
I love the freedom to create something unique. A shop that breaks the molds of most record stores. I love building this store with the owners who have exceptional taste and vision for music and the retail experience.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Mon-Sat 11-9pm, Sun 12-7pm