Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It’s my wedding anniversary today and once again I am too far away from home to celebrate with anything more than a wank and a bowl of ravioli (not necessarily in that order). I really need to get my personal geography sorted before I loose the gift of communication with other human’s completely. If only I had the patience or brain capacity for a second language maybe then I would turn into an honest to God social butterfly and flitter my way to a planet sized promotion not just at work but also in my social life.

Anyway, enough of that sort of thing. Have you ever been to Ernest Tubb’s records on Broadway in Nashville? I have, that’s why this is a review of Grimey’s records instead. Historically the former obviously has the upper hand and holds a very special place in the hearts of anybody even remotely dedicated to Country, Bluegrass or Elvis style Rock and also Roll. To put it into context (oooh he loves his context this one) owner Ernest Tubb was inducted into the Rock n’ Roll hall of fame on the same day in November 2009 as Charlie Daniels and Kid Rock. His original shop, opened in 1947 was bang smack in the middle of what was for many the epicentre of the musical world and has no doubt been home to some real record based history. Sadly today, despite it’s name, it’s not exactly what you would call a record shop.

If you were to look at the shops inventory you would no doubt find a larger section dedicated to Country and Western based souvenirs than you would records. I did however find a sealed copy of the soundtrack to 'The Owl and the Pussycat' featuring Barbara Streisand here… Unless I am very much mistaken and I bought this at the shop next door. Memory is hazy, alcohol was involved and it was a hot summer night in Nashville. Anyway onto the subject of this review, an entirely different record shop – Grimey’s.

Grimey’s is great. Over the past few years it has built up something of a reputation for itself for in-store appearances. If you recall, the Pavement reunion very famously didn’t happen here a while back. Anyway, great layout, lots of staff picks, separate used vinyl section where I forgot to buy a back up copy of Yoko Ono's 'Fly' for twenty bucks (What is it with ‘Fly’? It’s becoming a kind of barometer for good record shops). If I had any real interest in CDs and such this place would be a veritable goldmine. Famous for its participation in the US wide ‘Record Shop Day’ as well as for it’s sales I imagine it’s the kind of place you can always find something. And again, I could have been drunk but I swear there was a bar underneath where you could buy hot dogs.

I was there with my friend Pete and the trip sticks in mind not least because I seem to remember he was ‘packing’. Nashville being one of the last places in the US you can still conceal a fire arm with the appropriate license. Luckily that particular trip did not require the discharging of any weaponry, though the afternoon spent shooting the living fuck out of a practice range was a very different matter.

Funnily enough I came away completely empty handed – I was in one of those inbetweener ruts where I didn’t really know what I wanted. Speaking from a financial perspective this is something that I wish would happen more often, though you do run the risk of buying for the sake of buying and accumulating huge piles of utter kack and exploring avenues that you always knew were going to be tits: Late period Kinks, post ‘Arena’ Duran Duran, ‘interesting’ looking ‘World’ records specifically on the Topic and Nonesuch labels….

Anyway, should you be in Nashville I whole heartedly recommend a trip to Grimey’s just as soon as you have done the rounds at the Country Music Hall of Fame.


  1. Hello,

    I just found your blog today and must say I’m both pleased and dismayed at what I saw.

    Pleased that there is at least one person on the internet who’s interested in examining record collecting from the standpoint of pathology and not just the usual displays of “record porn.” But I was similarly dismayed that your witty and thoughtful insights on the subject have garnered almost zero response from the millions (like me) who share a similar affliction.

    How did I find this site? Well, this morning I went into a Goodwill Thrift Store for some rather desultory vinyl fondling. The only thing of note there was a clean original pressing of Claudine Longet’s “Lets Spend the Night Together” LP priced at the customary $1.99.

    I didn’t buy it. Normally, I wouldn’t have thought twice. But about a week or so ago I looked around the small apartment that my record collection shares with my wife and our dog. Taking stock of all those records shoved (rather ingeniously, in some cases) in even the most unlikely of nooks and crannies, I was left with a queasy feeling in the pit of my gut. I think the term “critical mass” may have even come to mind. I resolved then and there to quit, cold turkey.

    So I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself when I slipped that Longet LP back into the bin (of course, you may ask what drew me into the shop in the first place. I’d like to think it was to test my resolve. But I know it was the force of vestigial habit) But by the time I got home, my mind was aflame with recriminations. So I ran to my computer, where a search for the Longet LP led me here. Of course, once I read your rather glowing appraisal of said record, I was ready to race back across to the other end of town to atone for my gross error in judgment. I didn’t and now feel appropriately mortified at the gravity of my transgression.

    The bright side, though, is that I would probably still be ignorant of your wonderful site had I succumbed to habit and bought the damn thing. Know that henceforth you may number me among your loyal readers. Hey, I’ll even try and post a comment or two when the spirit moves me. Shit, I’ll probably be back in full blown “hunter gatherer” mode soon enough and I’m going to need a wise head such as yourself to help me make sense of it all.

  2. likewise i found this blog but a moment ago, searching for a little this and that about bowie's lodger album. well played all around.
    i was in grimey's a few months ago on my cross country excursion. were it a solo excursion, there would be more scouring. grimey's was nice, but their used section was lacking. i'm fortunate enough to live in oakland, where the dollar bin at ameoba still produces things like yesterday's winner "ticket to trauma" improvised by paper bag.
    it was my first taste of their stuff and i recomend it highly.

  3. Wow,

    Thanks both for the comments. I was under the impression I was pretty much talking to myself, it's great to know that that isn't the case. if you do get time and are inclined it would be great if you could join as 'followers' - helps with the whole 'will to carry on' thing. if not I totally understand and thanks again for your comments.

    Not been to the Oakland Ameoba, but have visited the SF store and that was a good way to kill a few hours. I remember going to Limelight/Something Light in Santa Cruz years back and that was great, seem to remember there was a sister store not far from Oakland, might be wrong though.

    Norm - I sympathise with your problem and feel your vinyl based pain. I am actually going to start featuring interviews with 'record collectors/addicts' as of next week in an attempt to better understand what drives us. If either of you would be up for inclusion (20ish questions in a loose interview format and an accompanying picture to represent yourself and your records) that would also be great.

    Anyway, thanks again.

  4. Backshot,

    Per your request, I just signed on as a "follower" here. Surely, it was the least I could do; a rather modest recompense for your steadfast resolve in keeping this place alive.

    And I'm game to serve as a respondent/guinea pig in your interview of /psychological research into the pathological record collector. When the time comes, just send the survey to the email address in my profile and I'll be happy to fill it out.

    Before I go, I should also add that I was quite tickled to see that you used to live in Portland, OR. Lived there myself for eight years before moving away a year and a half ago. But I enjoyed reading your brief snapshots on the local record scene there. I concur with your assessment of Crossroads as somewhat overrated. And I was only in Jump Jump twice; never seemed to be in synch with the vagaries of the owner's schedule.

    Anyway, the owner (I believe his name is Dan) had started to shift much of his focus away from his shop and over to the running of the biannual Nite Owl Record shows. Went to a few of those and wasn't too impressed. A bunch of beatnuts selling overpriced shit in the Eagle's Lodge on SE Hawthorne. Worse yet, those shows were always scheduled the Saturday before the other biannual record show that's been held for years at the state fairgrounds in Canby. Always loved the Canby show, myself; a real local yokel, small town vibe as many of the vendors seemed to be non-professional dealers who were just liquidating their collections. Found some amazing deals there over the years. But then Nite Owl started scheduling their shows the night before the day of the Canby show; the young cats from PDX would tap out on Saturday; stay home on Sunday. Last two times I went to Canby, it was a fucking ghost town.

    For my money, the best record shopping in Portland was the 50 cent bin at Everyday Records. Especially at the Beaverton store a few years back when it semed the employees were pricing the records there almost at random. You'd sometimes see two copies of the same record in the same condition, one priced at seven or eight bucks, the other at .50...

    ...ah hell, I've prattled on way longer than I intended to so I'll just go ahead and quit now. I'm certainly not helping your efforts to bulk up the readership of the site by getting into the politics & minutiae of record sellers in some town that most of your readers will never even visit.

  5. Hey Norm,

    Thanks for that, much appreciated. I was in Portland for about 3.5 years and actually quite enjoyed Nite Owl but that was probably as much to do with there being a bar as the records on sale. Not sure if you noticed but a few of the guys selling stuff are actually Everday Music employees (probably with a lot of marked up 50c bin fayre!)

    I only went twice but came away with a few bits and pieces each time, that and the overwhelming feeling that the good stuff had left the building a few hours prior. The Canby show sounds great though and keeping it local is probably the key. Anything too high profile and the deals are done before the doors even open - Curse those Beatnutz!

    RE: Questionaire, thank you so much for agreeing to that. I will get it off to you early next week. Yours should be the third to go up as and when.

    Cheers and enjoy the weekend.