How long have you been collecting/ digging for records, Djing?
I’ve been buying records since I was about 15 or 16. Fortunately, the scene/genre of music that I got super into in high school (late 90s/early 00s emo/indie stuff) was always very active when it came to releasing vinyl specifically. Some of that stuff is pretty laughable to listen to now and I’ve since sold most of my stuff from that era but it’s definitely what got me wrapped up in the “gotta get that new 7-inch!” mentality pretty early on.
As far as DJing, I didn’t really start until like 2008? 09? It was at a bar that a lot of people reading this probably frequented called Jackpot. I think they just needed a fill-in one night and I was always there so I said I’d try it out and doing that eventually became a weekly shift and I’ve been doing it once a week pretty much since then.
How many records do you have?
I’ve never really counted. Let’s say each little square on my shelves holds around 75-80. Then throw in the different stacks that aren’t shelved. And the crates I used the other night. Oh and 45s. Maybe 1,500 – 2,000?
What’s your pride and joy?
A couple of my favorite things are things I actually never listen to – my dad, who’s records I inherited, had a couple of those super duper offensive David Allen Coe, tour-only records (“Underground” and “Nothing Sacred”) and as items/records go they are weird and pretty difficult to ever find even though the material is pretty uncomfortable/ridiculous to listen to. He was a wild ass redneck so it’s sort of an oddly fitting, sentimental thing. As far as true jams that I would never part with? I don’t know. If my house was on fire I’d probably start grabbing arm-fulls rather than going to one in particular.
To quote Dom Pearce, I’ve never really had that High Fidelity moment in which you show up to someone’s house and they want to sell you the best collection you’ve ever seen for $50. New York is always a place I have to set aside a chunk of money I know I’m going to spend on records. I don’t know. Now, with everyone very aware of what they have, it’s hard to find anything rare for cheap. But it makes it that much more exciting when you DO find that. Not that that’s why I dig, it’s always about stuff I personally want to own first and foremost. But when you do it long enough and you just know what’s what it’s hard not to grab something, even if you already have it, if it’s way cheaper than it should be. Just gift it or trade it in to your local spot for store credit for more records ha ha.
Do you still go digging?
Yeah. There are a couple spots I try to go to at least once a week and others I can go longer periods of time. And even if I’m not setting out to go to a record store specifically, if I’m at a thrift store or the flea market or something and there’s a box I’m going to flip through just out of impulse.
What do you think about the current state of music?
I’m into it, I guess. It always bums me out when I hear people say things like “man, there is no good music any more.” Anyone who says that there isn’t anything good out there clearly isn’t looking hard enough. Or they don’t really care to look hard and would rather just be the jaded guy bitching about something.
How do you feel about that kids growing up these days don’t know what a record is?
Are there kids that don’t know what a record is? I mean maybe years ago there was something to be said about that but I mean now you can’t walk into Urban Outfitters without the new Drake record being right there in your face. Target sells turntables. Best Buy sells records, I’ve heard. I think the kids know now.
What’ s your favorite thing about records?
I think it’s just a way more fun, interesting experience in all aspects. Listening, holding, collecting.
12 inch or 7 inch?
Sometimes when I am hauling 3 or 4 heavy crates of records up and down stairs or walking a couple blocks with them to DJ I think to myself “I just wish I had every one of these fucking songs on 45″ but that’s mostly just because I’m lazy. I spend way way more time looking for regular 12” LPs so I’ll say that.
Any last words?
Keep fighting the good fight.
Where are you playing next?
Every Sunday night at Neptune’s (14 W Martin St.) and I’m sure I’ll be at Capital Club 16 in the next couple of weekends.