George Jones's debut album reissued by Secret Stash Records' new imprint, Reserve Records

Categories: Vinyl
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Secret Stash Records has emerged as a leading crate-digging boutique label during the past few years, and now the Minneapolis-based group of music lovers is expanding. While many of their releases have grasped a funky side of underrepresented sounds, the team's musical interests go far beyond just the stuff found on City Pages' Best Local Music Compilation of 2013, Twin Cities Funk & Soul: Lost Grooves From Minneapolis/St. Paul 1964-1979.

Hence, welcome to Reserve Records, Secret Stash's new imprint. And the announcement comes with Reserve's first release, departed country legend George Jones's 1957 debut album, Grand Ole Opry's New Star. He may sing "You can't keep a finger in two different pies" on the foot-tapping "You Gotta Be My Baby," but this new avenue makes right sense for Secret Stash.

See Also: RIP George Jones, country legend (1931-2013)

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Electric Fetus unveils 2013 Garage Sale & Fall Festival lineup

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Photo by Erik Hess

The State Fair's over, school's back in session, and the Electric Fetus is doing one last clear-out before we fully settle into fall. The weekend of September 14-15 marks the record store's sixth annual Garage Sale and the second time they've added a Fall Festival component.

In addition to a load of discounts on all merchandise in the retailer's Minneapolis location, five acts -- including the Cloak Ox's Andrew Broder and Jeremy Ylvisaker -- will entertain.

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Whole Foods now selling vinyl at select stores

Categories: Vinyl

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Courtesy of Whole Foods
As Minneapolis prepares for a downtown Whole Foods opening in September, we look to its stores on the West Coast, which are in the midst of a strange transition to vinyl retailers. This story originally appeared on LA Weekly's music blog, West Coast Sound.

"Pile on that kale salad," sings Taylor Goldsmith of Dawes from the Whole Foods parking lot. The ad-libbed riff on his song "It's a Little Bit of Everything" draws a mannered whoop from the weekend afternoon crowd, who have come to politely welcome Whole Foods into the music curation business.

Indeed, over the weekend the grocery store chain debuted vinyl-heavy music dispensaries in five of its 340 stores, including one in West Hollywood. The event is swarmed. Valets scurry to park cars while those in attendance slurp oysters and crunch gluten-free pita chips. Two Mercedes get into a honking match and the sound-guy shouts: "Shit just got real in the Whole Foods parking lot." Soon, many in attendance go inside and dutifully buy Arcade Fire records. Such is the state of the industry in 2013, where folks are increasingly less likely to buy music at an actual music store.

See Also:
I buy more music than Emily White, and you should too
In defense of the container: A response to Emily White


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Urban Lights celebrates 20 years of record store madness in St. Paul

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Photo by Lars Larson
If these walls could talk. Urban Lights is one of the longest-running -- and underrated -- music shops in the Twin Cities, and is celebrating its 20th anniversary this Saturday at Nomad World Pub. That's a pretty big deal; anything lasting 20 years in these ADHD days is nothing short of a miracle, especially in the record-selling business. 

So how did a small record shop in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul last 20 years in one of the most fickle and shady of industries? Good stories and good people.

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15 essential Amphetamine Reptile releases

Categories: Vinyl
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Boss Hog

This week, Grumpy's Downtown hosts a celebration of one of Minneapolis's most influential labels, Amphetamine Reptile. Bash 13 features a wealth of artists associated with the label over the years, including Mudhoney and the Melvins (who play an album release show on Friday, as well). This week's City Pages cover story goes in-depth into the label's beginnings, and includes plenty of commentary from Mudhoney's Mark Arm, Melvins frontman Buzz Osborne, and AmRep founder Tom Hazelmyer.

It was fitting that we gather some of the best AmRep has had to offer from the past 27 years. While most of these releases are long out of print, especially the limited-edition 7-inches and small-batch LPs, they all helped establish AmRep as a viable, reputable record label that wasn't afraid to take risks. The raucous, untamed music AmRep consistently released challenged listeners to expand their tastes, while introducing fans to many bands that would eventually make their distinctive mark on the national music scene. Here are 15 essential releases from the back catalog, and please note that some of these covers are NSFW.

See Also:
Cover Story: Under the influence of Amphetamine Reptile


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Let It Be Records' "It" unveiled in Target plaza commons

Categories: Vinyl
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Unfortunately, this was not the design Target settled on.
CBS just got to tour Target's new office space on Nicollet Mall. As you may recall, this space was the old location for Let It Be Records, and a bit of a disagreement transpired when the store's owner Ryan Cameron wanted to reclaim all of his original signage. The two letters that remained in the hands of Target were "I" and "T."

Now, as the cameras scoped out the ping-pong tables, fireplaces, life-sized chess board and a red-and-white basketball court that are part of this luxurious new facility, it hovered over the wall where the "IT" now rests.
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Let It Be Records vs. Target: The blow-by-blow

Categories: Vinyl
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Photo courtesy of Ryan Cameron
Cameron: "This was after an autograph session, the first they've ever done, for Pretty Hate Machine."
Last week, we reported that Let It Be Records' Ryan Cameron aired a justifiable grievance with Target. For some reason, a huge local company is holding on to a couple of letters that used to be part of the signage outside his shop for a private "art installation." Never mind that Target could likely set up a letter-making factory with a few well-placed calls.

Cameron made the comment that the history of his now-shuttered Nicollet Avenue store does not belong to Target. Below, we have a few photographs of that history -- including visits by Nine Inch Nails, Patti Smith and more -- and his full story on what has happened in his interactions with the retail chain.

See Also:
Let It Be Records' history isn't Target property, former owner says

Let It Be Records Is Closing
The triumphant return (almost) of Let It Be Records

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Let It Be Records' history isn't Target property, former owner says

Categories: Vinyl
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Photo by Michael Zale
See Also:
Let It Be Records Is Closing
The triumphant return (almost) of Let It Be Records
Target won't stock gay R&B star Frank Ocean's Channel Orange, cites "guest demand"


Target is stiff-arming Let it Be Records' former owner for the "It" from the store's old marquee. After 16 years in the location at 10th Street and Nicollet Avenue, Ryan Cameron closed up the shop in 2005 when a condo tower threatened to take over the spot. Now, he's just trying to get back the rest of his original signage from the spot -- he gave away the "Let" and the "Be," but wasn't able to reach the "It" from Let It Be back when he shuttered the shop.


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The Duluth floods drowned my record collection

Categories: Vinyl
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Photo by Andrew Olson
A selection of classic vinyl sleeves laid out to dry.

By Andrew Olson

Related:

Duluth flood updates: Low, Charlie Parr, & Trampled by Turtles

Over the past few years, I restored my basement into a great "man cave" of a music room. Sure, basements in Duluth have a reputation for dampness, but I thought I could beat Mother Nature. That is, until the worst flooding our city has seen in 40 years hit.

Last Wednesday morning, I awoke to my wife telling me that my car had been flooded overnight and that I should check the downstairs, AKA the 12'x14' home for most of my records, cassette tapes, Third Man Record Vault collection records, and some concert posters.


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Shuga Records leaving Northeast for Chicago

Categories: Gimme News, Vinyl
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Photo by Erik Hess
Shuga Records has had somewhat of a tenuous run in Minnesota. With a heavy emphasis on developing their online store, they seemed to struggle to connect with the community on the same grassroots level as longtime local staples like Treehouse Records or Roadrunner. 


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