Sunday, February 6, 2011

Thornbury Records.

We live in an age where quick is never fast enough, where virtual is physical and where chain stores have all but sucked the life and passion out of small business. We’ve all seen and felt this first hand. Whether it be downloading mp3’s, impatience waiting in line or seeing a Mom & Pop store close its doors. I helped run a family surf and skate store for years. We saw other stores come and go. Larger chain stores trying to call the shots and do deals with labels to cut us out of the picture or under cut. After the family store was sold I ended up moving and working for one of those chain stores. It was a hard thing to come to terms with, working for the enemy. Although once on the other side I also learnt things from a different perspective, albeit from hell.

I always ran the stores I managed as a Mom & Pop store though and that’s what I love. A place that is run by a passionate crew that are in it for the love. Sure, they have to make money but it’s got to have the right vibe, somewhere you want to meet your friends and hang out. Record stores in particular don’t seem exist much anymore. A dying breed. It’s like saying to young kids these days that you’re going down to the video store. “Huh?” Ok so they’re DVD’s. Record stores these days are CD stores that are also now primarily online and the physical beautiful piece of vinyl that you can hold, flip open the gatefold and drool over the coloured vinyl is now a 12 second download with a shitty sampling rate just to get the speed right. If you want quality, you can download your songs in a lossless Flac format. Where’s the passion? I’ll tell you where…

Welcome to Thornbury Records!

Since the talk of a new independent record store was opening there’s been a build up on their Facebook page, one of a goliath handful of social media networks that does actually work. It’s perfect for promotion. We’ve been keeping an eye of this store’s page waiting for it start trading. Did I know anything about it? No. Did I know who owned it? No. Did I care, not so much after reading that the shiploads of vinyl was starting to arrive!!! They had me by the balls and the doors weren’t even open!

So when today Saturday the 5th of Feb rolled around, we had to get in there even though we were busy as hell just to check it all out. The place was packed! With people and shit hot vinyl. I could’ve have spent loads more time and money but being broke prevented such obsessive behaviour. After seeing what would be some perfect additions to my collection I asked who the owner was and started speaking to Megan. She was extremely cool and had such great idea’s of what a store should be. It was inviting and comfortable. The vinyl was the majority of the store and as she said the 7”s if there are any in stores are usually hidden in a box in the corner, although they were ironically in the corner of the store, they definitely weren’t hidden. Megan said their focus was on new product as so many stores carry second hand stock but not many do new vinyl well. So damn true.

You can tell that after the honeymoon period of opening day is over the passion and drive will still be there. As well as being part owner, Megan is in Matt Sonic And The High Times and her store partner is Clayton from Spun Rivals. As she clearly isn’t busy enough she is also a part of the Death Of A Scenester zournal. A black and white A5 read that is far more than a zine or journal, it’s a collectable piece of independent art and literature.

Along with some killer releases the store has a digital listening station. A technological marvel that really does need to be seen to be believed! It takes kicking back and listening to an LP with headphones before you buy it to an entirely new level. Two touch screens featuring full album artwork with mp3’s of each track so you can sit and listen eventually to everything on vinyl in the store. It features suggestions, previously viewed albums and is so easy to use. This was made entirely for Thornbury Records and is fuckin brilliant! It makes iTunes look like a pile of shit.

The store also features a stack of other cool Zines, these aren't just run of the mill photocopied dribble, but quality pieces you want to pick up and buy. There's also some killer hand made skateboards from Fat Rhino. Canadian Rock Maple decks, “personally hand-shaped, sanded and stencil-printed to add a more exclusive, one-off quality to the deck.” These look awesome. As a collector of skate decks as well as music, they look right at home in this store.

At the front of the store is a stage set up and of course an old school sit down game. One of my fetishes, stupid me didn’t even look at what game was on there. If it’s Galaga, I’ll move into the store!

If you’re interested in getting your music and merch into the store, Thornbury Records also take your gear on consignment. Check out their site for more info.

So it was hard to choose what to buy, I couldn’t leave without getting something. First LP that jumped out was one I have been after since I first saw the band. Useless Children’s ‘Sky Is Falling’ LP. A crazy arsed album of chaotic and at times hypnotizing punk. Keep an eye out for their next gig, they’ll blow you the hell away! It’ll throw what you believed to be punk out the window. They do it like no other. The Hard-Ons own Ray Ahn digs them, what more needs to be said.

The LP has the most amazing 3D artwork complete with glasses, blue vinyl and a download card of the album. Limited to only 500 copies, get off your arse and grab one! Check out the Something Sweet To Throw Away Hard-Ons / Useless Children gig review from July 2010 at the East Brunswick Club.

When I was at the counter talking to Megan I saw Death Of A Scenester’s Issue #2 “Boys” edition. Not realising at the time Megan was a part of it but I picked it up to scour through as it includes a piece written by Muscle Car’s Damo. He’s a killer writer, muso, podcaster and the man behind the long time running Long Gone Loser blog and zine. Had to get one of those too!

It’s exciting to see a new store open and I wish them all the luck in the world. Get in there and support the little guys. Thornbury Records, a little store with a big bite!

Thornbury Records
591 High Street, Thornbury. (03) 9942 0754
E-mail / Facebook
Myspace / Twitter

Opening hours:
Monday       CLOSED
Tuesday       11am - 7pm
Wednesday  11am - 7pm
Thursday      11am - 7pm
Friday          11am - 9pm
Saturday      11am - 9pm
Sunday        11am - 7pm

See you at T-Recs !!!


Infinite Ruiner said...

Fuck yes!
So good to see another independent record store.

Something Sweet To Throw Away said...

Have you been in there?

Thornbury said...

you'll be happy to know...

Something Sweet To Throw Away said...

Fuck yeah! The best game in the world in the most kick arse store in town!!! Perfect !!!