Monday, April 13, 2009


I know what your thinking. Your thinking 'This looks like an empty campaign office'. The perfectly centered Barrack Hussein Obama sticker in the window and matching door and roof. Set on tree lined road of trees in one of the less fashionable suburbs of Portland what else could it possibly be?

Even though I had already called the guy to check he was open, scribbled the address in black biro on the back of my hand and checked it against the door number and street it wasn't until I pressed my face against the (locked) door and saw the racks inside that I was sure...

This was 'Jump Jump Records'.

Jump Jump records is basically a guy's front room filled with records. It's kind of like my front room but with no regard for the practicalities of seating or allowance for a coffee table.... and it's got way more records.

I forget the guys name but he was most helpful and he had a friendly record shop dog (record shop dogs are hugely underrated) allowing for the dreadful dixieland jazz he insisted on playing and the Woody Allen references he was the perfect host right down to the bulk discount.

The first time I went to Jump Jump it was pretty much an exercise in kicking myself. I had been living in Portland for nearly three years and I had decided to wait until my final week in the city before getting around to paying the guy a visit. By stark contrast in the same time period I had managed to get to Crossroads Records approximately fifteen times, each time leaving disappointed and empty handed. (It's a bit shit). My reasoning was two-fold: ten years proir my cousin had had a most succesful visit to said shop and on first arriving in Portland I witnessed a guy pull an underpriced copy of Rastakrautpasta from the racks. This led me to believe that there was magic, however well hidden at Crossroads Records... There is not.

Anyway, I bid farewell to the fair city and vowed that on my return Jump Jump would be my first port of call. Four months later I was true to my word. I arrived in Portland in the middle of the night, got a few hours sleep and headed straight for Jump Jump, just in time for opening.

I could describe the entire episode in lurid adult magazine readers letters detail. I could talk about the arousing and heady aroma of mildly musty cardboard sleeves mixed with the occasional record from a smoking household or running my hands across the racks, the edges of the rigid plastic sleeves caressing my palms as I rubbed their length.

I could tell you about the sensation in my finger tips as I began to slowly at first flick through the racks, speeding up only when I was sure I had exhausted everything that each section had to give. The slowly growing pile of horizontal records, their plastic sleeves rubbing against each other sliding around in danger of toppling.

I could do that but I wont because there is something fundamentally incorrect about masturbating to record shop reviews... no matter how right it feels.
Jump Jump Records is my favorite record shop in Portland Oregon. It is a contender for best record shop in the Pacific West.

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