For the Record (Store)

This has been a whirlwind week. Three live shows bracketing two all day meetings at my day job. Yes…I was exhausted, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. I started off on Wednesday by going to see my favorite punk/pop family band The Dollyrots at Kung Fu Necktie in Philadelphia. Loud – Fast – Fun!

When I say family band, I mean it. The founders of the band Kelly Ogden and Luis Cabeza are married, and tour with their two adorable kids, affectionately known as The Dollytots. They bring a tour nanny, but ultimately they are parents, and need to deal with normal parenting duties while loading in, setting up, and doing a sound check. Somewhere within that stew of craziness, Kelly was able to steal some time to sit with me and do an interview, which will air on Thursday, May 25th at 7PM eastern. It was fun for me, so I’m sure you’ll like it too.

But this article is really about my Thursday escapades. The Dollyrots have jumped on the trend of getting live music out of the traditional venues and up close and personal with their fans. On this night, they were playing two semi-acoustic, interactive shows at Randy Now’s Man Cave, a record/pop culture store in Bordentown, NJ. The shows were warm and fun and funny. This store is special because its proprietor is Randy Ellis (Now), who was the booking agent and promoter at the infamous rock club City Gardens, that once graced the mean streets of Trenton, NJ. He brings nationally known acts into his little store, and they get to play for 25-30 people who really want to be there. Without the overhead of the big venues both the band and the store owner are able to benefit.

A few weeks ago I wrote about the rise of house concerts, and today it’s record store shows. This trend is definitely getting music out from behind a computer screen and bringing it right to the fans. That is how it should be. Here in the NY/NJ/PA area there are an increasing handful of quality, independently owned record stores, bringing in national acts for these terrific intimate shows. Wherever you are, there is probably someone doing the same. Go catch a great show and get to meet your favorite band or discover a new one. Buy some vinyl or CDs while you’re there…and don’t forget to visit the merch table. That money helps the band stay afloat in the precarious sea that is today’s music industry.

Some record stores that have regular in-store performances NY/NJ/PA:

  • Randy Now’s Man Cave  134 Farnsworth Ave, Bordentown, New Jersey, NJ 08505
  • The Record Collector  358 Farnsworth Ave, Bordentown, New Jersey 08505
  • Jack’s Music Shop  30 Broad Street, Red Bank New Jersey 07701
  • Vintage Vinyl  51 Lafayette Road, Fords, NJ 08863
  • Positively Records  4153 Woerner Ave, Levittown, Pennsylvania 19057
  • Siren Record  25 E State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901
  • Rough Trade NYC 64 N 9th St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

There are so many more all over the world. Go out and find them!

I almost forgot…Just to bring this full circle, on Friday night I got to see The Grip Weeds open for the legendary Ian Hunter, who is touring behind his release “Dandy”, at the world-famous Stone Pony. Another excellent night of rock.

Written by Kim Olin / Photo by Kim Olin

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