Tucson sounds: The local spin on Record Store Day 2019 | Weekend music
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Tucson sounds: The local spin on Record Store Day 2019

Weekend Music

,In honor of Record Store Day 2019, I asked the local music hive mind to share some of their favorite record employee moments.

Terry Owen, better known as  Fish Karma remembers his misbegotten, record slinging youth with fondness. "I’m still recovering from an in-store appearance by Motörhead at Moby Disc Records in the San Fernando Valley back in the mid-'80s. I become buddies with [The Jeffersons star] Sherman Helmsley, who was obsessed with prog rock and David Bowie. I was taught how to run the cash register by [alt-country legend] Lucinda Williams. Best of all, I got to hold Molly Ringwald’s credit card for a moment. Those were heady times, indeed."

Heather Vee, proprietress of Downtown Radio's Friday night goth and dark music showcase Radio Oscura and a former music buyer for Bookman's, had this to share from her years in the music retail trenches: "There's the story of the grocery store employee in the same complex as our store who had a crush on me and the one fateful day he serenaded me at the top of his lungs in the store. He serenaded me with a Snoop Dogg song. The single customer who was shopping at the time stood frozen and open-mouthed as it happened. And then he offered me some mustard packets."

Local music afficionado (and good friend of the band Juju Fontaine) Chris Florko spent his youth working at various chain record stores back East. "I spent 1984 to 1996 working at Record Theatre, Peach’s, Record Town, National Record Mart, Record and Tape Outlet and Zip’s. I also worked for MCA Records and Handleman Company, which was a distributor. For stories close to what I'd tell you, you can just watch 'High Fidelity.' But I talked to Ozzy on the phone one time!"

Record Store Day is adored by some as a vinyl lover's holiday and reviled by others as just a gimmick, but regardless of which side you take, it's good to know what's out there. 

The official list of Record Store Day 2019 special releases can be found at recordstoreday.com. In the meantime, here's a quick guide to Tucson's indie record purveyors.

Old Paint Records

Tucked discreetly behind the La Cocina stage at Old Town Artisans in Downtown, Old Paint Records stocks an enviable amount of local vinyl, vintage vinyl, music books, posters, collector's items, weird kitschy gift shop items and cool things in general as sourced by local musicians Lana Rebel and Kevin Mayfield, who co-own the shop. Check out their website at oneoldpaint.com or visit the store at 201 N. Court Ave. in Downtown.

Studio G Records

Downtown record shop Studio G is one of a few indie record stores around the country who take the position that Record Store Day is a gimmick. In fact, the shop's owner calls RSD "record scam day." In spite of this, this Downtown store specializing in vintage records, and rare finds is still planning to have a sale this April 13. Just don't ask for anything on the official RSD list, lest you risk incurring the scorn of an indie record store owner, a wrath typically reserved for smooth jazz lovers or Rick Astley fans.

Visit the store's Facebook page at facebook.com/pg/studiogvinylrecords or head down to 267 S. Stone Ave. in Downtown. 

Hurricane Records

As a founding member of the Sidewinders/Sand Rubies and the Luminarios, Hurricane Records owner Rich Hopkins helped define Tucson's "Desert Rock" sound in the '80s and '90s. You can find some relics of those days among the copious stacks of used and new vinyl and compact discs for sale at the Fourth Avenue shop, as well as stereo gear including turntables, speakers, compact amps, and more. 

Find them on Facebook at facebook.com/hurricanerecordstucson or head over to 636 N. 4th Ave.

Desert Island Records

Desert Island Records is an old school record paradise in central Tucson, complete with well stocked record bins, CD shelves and racks full of casettes and comics, just like the record stores you might have frequented in your nerdy, nerdy record loving youth. This Saturday, Desert Island revives its Record Store Day tradition of free coffee and donuts in addition to a live DJ, discounts and some new jazz collection offerings. 

Visit desertislandsupply.com or surf on over to 2629 E. Broadway in Midtown.

Wooden Tooth Records

In addition to free coffee and donuts, raffles and official RSD releases, the crew at Wooden Tooth Records are upping the ante on this year's Record Store Day celebration by hosting legendary Pink Mokey Birds and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds guitarist Kid Congo Powers as this Saturday's afternoon DJ. 

The Fourth Avenue area retail joint  carries a strong selection of local releases, vintage classics and rare finds on vinyl, cassette and CD, as well as t-shirts and other merch and new releases from some of the best indie and garage artists around. The shop also regularly hosts live music and in store special events, as well as spinning records at DJ nights at local venues Che's Lounge and Tucson Hop Shop.

Visit woodentoothrecords.bandcamp.com or walk in to the shop just off Fourth Avenue at 416 E. 7th St.

PDQ Records 

Once the to go local music shop for Tucson record lovers, PDQ rose from the grave, as it were, a few years back. According to the store's owners, the vast aisles (and aisles and more aisles) of bins total around 350,000 records and tapes for sale in the nondescript space just off of Dodge and Grant in Midtown. 

Visit pdqrecords.com for more info, or head over to 2432 N. Dodge Blvd. Just be sure to tell your family you love them, because you could get lost forever in that place. 

Zia Record Exchange

This small chain of mostly Arizona stores (plus a few Las Vegas locations) has big plans for Record Store Day this year, including surprise merch gifts and a special vinyl reissue of the classic soundtrack to '90s comic book turned movie "The Crow," which featured a track by Tucson's own Machines of Loving Grace.

Find out more on Facebook at facebook.com/pg/ziarecords and visit either Tucson location: 3370 E. Speedway or 2655 N. Oracle Rd. 

Bookman's Entertainment Exchange 

As a mostly used retailer of music and instruments (and books and collectibles and all the other stuff they sell,) Bookman's officially celebrates "Unofficial Record Store Day" with a "Jamoboree" on Saturday at the midtown location including an ambient music and tape looping workshop, a chance to make your own mixtape, and a social spin event by Vinyl Preservation Society of Arizona. 

Visit bookmans.com or visit Bookman's Midtown location at 3330 E. Speedway.

The beat is happening

What to do when Record Store Day is over and you're sitting at home in a pile of unwrapped vinyl and empty cheetos packets looking to soothe your music nerd soul? Well, you could always head down to share your ennui with legendary K Records founder and Beat Happening frontman Calvin Johnson, along with a couple of Southern Arizona's loudest, messiest, most gleeful bands at an April 13 showcase at Solar Culture Gallery. 

Johnson joins Bisbee's Exbats and Tucson teen punk wunderkinds Hang The Bassist at Sunday night's show, which was put together by local radio DJ and La Cerca frontman Andrew Gardner. Your friendly neighborhood music columnist,  is greatly looking forward to the chance to hang out with a legend of twee lofi rock, commune with some well loved local bands and maybe to finally replace the classic K Records button that fell off her tattered leather jacket about a decade ago.

It should be noted that Hang the Bassist will be hanging up their name after this gig, henceforth to be known as Mudpuppy. Meanwhile, the Bisbee-based Exbats are on deck for two other Tucson shows this week, amounting to a sort of mini-tour of Tucson. The band makes a "repeat debut" at Che's Lounge on Saturday night, Last year the band had to cancel what would have been their maiden appearance at Che's as 'bats' drummer and vocalist Inez McClain was too young to enter the establishment. Later in the week, on Thursday night, Inez and band will make another appearance at Wooden Tooth Records, along with Feverfew and Gooch Palms.

Calvin Johnson, Exbats and Hang the Bassist play a one night only show at Solar Culture Gallery in Downtown this Sunday night, April 14 at 8 p.m.

Check your local listing...

Friday April 12

  • Taco Sauce, Juju Fontaine - 8:30 p.m. Tap & Bottle
  • Max Mileage - 6 p.m. Dillinger Brewing
  • Kyklo - 6 p.m. Sand-Reckoner
  •  Max Mileage - 7 p.m. Crooked Tooth 
  • J-Calvin - 7 p.m. Exo
  • Furys and Shrimp Chaperone - 9 p.m. Sky Bar
  • Carlos Arzate w/ Sophia Rankin - 7 p.m. Hotel Congress Plaza
  • Xixa w/ Ojalá Systems - 8 p.m. Club Congress
  • Rock Roll and Remember,  Pork Torta, Golden Boots - 10 p.m. Owls Club

Saturday April 13

  • Reveal (Tucson Libertine League) - 9 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Sonidos De La Luna:  Whiskey Knuckles, Raza Ordinaria, Distortionists, Drizzle, Habitual Resonance - 6 p.m. Brodie's Tavern
  • Second Saturdays: Logan Green, Jim Howell Band, Aztral Folk - 6 p.m. Scott Ave Stage
  • Eugene Boronow Duo - 6 p.m. Sand-Reckoner
  • Joyce Luna - 7 p.m. Crooked Tooth 
  • Carvin Jones - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Christopher T Stevens - 8 p.m. Exo
  • Cult Loveless, Desert Rovers, Puddled - 8 p.m. Passe
  • Doc Rotten, Bordertown Devils - 8 p.m. Spark Project Collective
  • Tucson Flea - 10 a.m. Owls Club
  • Exbats - 10 p.m. Che's Lounge
  • Mr. Nature's Music Garden - 11 a.m. Tap & Bottle North

Sunday April 14

  • Adam Faucett and William Blackart 7:30 p.m. Exo
  • Gutter Town, B & TW, Toylit, Dog College - 8:30 p.m. Passe
  • Kevin Pakulis - 2 p.m. Borderlands
  • October Intuition - 5 p.m. Public Brewhouse
  • Keep Music Evil: The Brian Jonestown Massacre Story (Book Signing) w/ live music from Gorky - 5 p.m. Wooden Tooth
  • Natalie Pohanic - 6 p.m. Che's Lounge
  • The Mattson 2 - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Calvin Johnson, ExBats, Hang The Bassist - 8 p.m. Solar Culture
  • Gorky, Steff and the Articles, Louise Le Hir - 9 p.m. Sky Bar
  • Mik and the Funky Brunch - 12 p.m. La Cocina

Monday April 15

  • Messthetics - 7 p.m. Club Congress
  • Shawn James - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Dame Richard Edward - 8 p.m.Elliott’s 
  • In Lessons, Nights Like Thieves - 9 p.m. Passe

Tuesday April 16

  • Sunday At Noon w/Almost Awake, The Sometimes & Banana Pancakes - 6:30 p.m. Passe
  • Ben Kweller - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • SPW Benefit w/ Lenguas Largas, 2000 Foot Turtle, Hey Bucko! - 8 p.m. Royal Room

Wednesday April 17

  • Bassel & The Supernaturals with Adara Rae - 7 p.m.
  • Mo Urban's Open Mic Comedy - 7 p.m. Passe
  • Just Najima - 7 p.m. Crooked Tooth
  • Alex Dupree, ReDeYe, Sun Riah,Chelsey Lee Trejo - 8 p.m. Exo 
  • Genevieve & Hemmy, Hannah Yeun - 9 p.m. Passe

Thursday April 18

  • Greyhound Soul - 8:30 p.m. Tap & Bottle Downtown
  • Iceage & Shame w/ Pelada - 7 p.m. Club Congress
  • John Vanderslice - 8 p.m. 191 Toole
  • Gooch Palms, Feverfew, Exbats - 8 p.m. Wooden Tooth
  • Fanclub, Sea Moya, Asian Fred , Cool Funeral - 9 p.m. Sky Bar
  • Order of the Owl w/ DJ Mijito - 10 p.m. Owls Club
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