I’ve been going to record stores my whole life. I am a weirdo so vocationally record stores have been there for me. I worked at Magnolia Thunderpussy Records from 2003-2011. I currently work at Roots Records. Today is Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is Black Friday which doubles as a Record Store Day. So in the Holiday spirit, I am going to jot down some fond memories that center around record stores that I am grateful for. Magnolia Thunderpussy- I was working on a slow weekday, and a man who looked exactly like Dave Chappelle came in wearing a leather trenchcoat. The man claimed to be a pro-boxer who had been recently featured on HBO. He spoke with a thick accent you might associate with a boxer from a rural area, and his English was a tad broke. Early on he said, “People often think I’m Dave Chappelle.” I wanted to avoid this stigma of white people thinking all black people look alike, so I responded, “Of course not, you look nothing like him.” The tall, skinny-man with a shaved head said he liked to listen to blues rock when making his entrance to boxing matches. I suggested the Black Keys to him. His eyes got really big and said, “I really like fighting to Robin Trower. But all my Robin Trower CD’s are scratched-up.” The alleged-boxer went on a tangent which I didn’t quite understand about his woman not wanting him to spend all his boxing money on CD’s. His lady thought constantly replacing the Robin Trower compact discs was a waste of money. I took his side on the issue and helped him look for Robin Trower for a while but we didn’t have the album he was looking for. So we went up to the computer to place an order. He stopped and smiled and lost the accent for a second, and said, “I know what's wrong with you. It’s the same disease I have. Next time we meet, you are going to remember this.” He departed quickly. I googled the pro-boxer he claimed to be, and the guy was a foot shorter and a different skin tone than Chappelle. Given that Chappelle occasionally pops up at American Apparel, Starbucks and Sole Classics in the Short North; I’ve always been inclined to believe it was him. Roots Records- Adrian Willis aka DJ True Skills used to run the Hip Hop section at Roots Record when it was on 5th Avenue. He called the Hip Hop area, “Thieves World.” Adrian facilitated DIY Hip Hop shows in the stock room behind Roots. Weightless brought in Aesop Rock and Atoms Family for a release party in 2000 that also featured Mhz. Kese and I were painting a graffiti backdrop for the event on a wooden wall we had set up in Pearl Alley. Aesop Rock and the Atoms Family guys pulled up in a minivan while we were painting. Blueprint, Illogic and Manifest showed up around the same time. After about three minutes of small talk, Aesop, Atoms and the Weightless cats had a rhyme cipher while we painted. One of the illest Hip Hop moments of my life. I know consumer holidays are a bit suspect but obviously Record Store days are crucial to music communities so shopping at Johnny Go’s,Used Kids, Spoonful, Elizabeth’s, RPM, Ace in the Hole, Lost Weekend, Magnolia and any other independent Record Store frequently will make something unique happen in your life. Let’s pour out a couple for the record stores that are no longer with us: Groove Shack-Hip Hop was so real at this Mid 90s Short North Hip Hop home base which is legendary for it’s open mics and deejay battles. I remember watching one deejay battle where DJ Phase-O and DJ Drastic brought out the most insane, technical usage of turntables I’d ever seen. They were on straight beast mode before the Pickles, and X-executioners popularized turntablism. My personal favorite was Doc Dynasty who did relays of Herbie Hancock’s “Rocket” while sipping a 40 of Colt 45 and rocking his hat perfectly on his afro. Coolest thing ever. Goldmine Records - This shop was located on N. High Street near East Blake. I remember visiting this spot in high school, and inquiring how to clean my records. The owner Joe Goldshlager ripped his shirt, and then spit on it. Joe used the spit rag to clean the record. Joe explained it like this, “You take this shit. And then you rub the shit, until the shit is gone.” My friends and I spent the next 6 months cleaning our records with t-shirts, and imitating his gravely, old man voice multi-use of the feces expletive. No MP3 will ever give you these moments.

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