I am such a record store geek that I have a pile of bags that I have inadvertently “collected” from my travels. I have not saved every bag, but I couldn’t have helped noticing that quite a few have been filling the scant nooks and crannies of the Record Cell. Why not have a post with them since they practically constitute a collection of their own?
Wax N’ Facts – Atlanta
A budget effort from the venerable Wax N’ Facts. They give a simple black on white T-shirt bag that has the benefit of being fully recyclable at any grocery store or curbside location. The old school clip art at the top was probably what they have been using since opening in the mid 70s. I’m not sure why the zodiac image is at the bottom, though. Possibly Satanic hippie influence?
Amoeba Records – Berkeley/San Francisco
Amoeba Records really don’t have different bags for each location. I grouped this two color plastic carrier bad with their Berkeley and San Francisco locations simply due to the fact that I spent less at those locations than I did during my visits to the Hollywood store. If you spend under three figures, you can expect this straightforward branded bag.
Amoeba Records – Hollywood
Customers who spend more freely get the reusable recycled plastic tote bag should they drop more serious coin in the three figure range. The bag is still available to tourists on a budget, but they’ll have to pay a few dollars up front for the privilege. Not surprisingly, both of my visits to Amoeba Hollywood garnered me one of these bad boys as a courtesy.
The Groove – Nashville
The Groove was a newer store in Nashville, that clearly aspires to artisinal status. Note that their common kraft paper carrier bag was screen printed by undoubtedly the same shop in town that does gig posters: Grand Palace Silkscreen. The typical ironic retro imagery [very common to carrier bags post-1985-ish] was given a split fountain vignette here. Any bag might have a run of two mixed colors for a subtle, yet, lush effect as seen here. By the way – zoom in on that artwork [click it] and you’ll see the “Never Mind The Bollocks; Here’s The Sex Pistols” and “The Clash” album art among those discs on the floor. Can anyone else identify the other covers obviously dropped in?
Rockaway Records – Los Angeles
Hmm. It looks like Rockaway Records have been using the same bag art since 1979. Will this look be hipster ironique in 2029? Not much to see here. Move along!
Record Surplus – Los Angeles
I kind of like the frenetic imagery used on the Record Surplus carrier. I sort of gyrate like that when listening to records but not while seated in a mid-century modern plywood chair. This store is right in the heart of the neighborhood I was born in. Gosh! Too bad I moved away when I was seven. By the time I was really haunting record stores in my teens, they might have been there at walking distance.
Orchestral Manœuvres In The Dark
Woah, daddy! When I plunked down for OMD VIP in 2011, the swag [including the US LP of “History Of Modern”] came in this full color, silkscreened tote bag with Peter Saville designed artwork. Since the LP was in this, this managed to get called a carrier bag,, though not affiliated with a store, per se. I use this one when shopping at Harvest Records during their legendary anniversary sales with stacks of $1.00 CDs from the basement. I always think that someone else might see it and say “wow, you like OMD too?” but it never happens. Does that make me a geek? [don’t answer – that was a rhetorical question]
Wuxtry Records – Athens/Decatur
Wuxtry Records has three locations and their carrier bag has some serious vintage irony happening that isn’t ironic at all. We all know that buying records used was the way to stretch your music buying dollars, and the artwork makes sure to get that point across with their mascot. This is simply a beautiful design for me.
The back tells you all you need to know about the Wunxty Empire, including Bizarro Wuxtry, their non record store shop that sells stuff that [thankfully] doesn’t take up space in their record stores! Would that all record stores kept their tchatkes that weren’t music under a separate roof and I’d be a lot happier!
That’s it for today. I’ll now save every bag that comes along going forward because what else can one do if we have The Collector’s Sickness as badly as I do?
– 30 –
I’ve heard of air sickness bags….but collector’s sickness bags??
Kind of makes me jealous I never kept mine…..nice!
Could one of the albums be Frank Zappa, Freak Out? Not sure!
Love that you kept these, my brother has (had?) a good stash including our totally non ironic 70s 80s small town shop, Shapes, amazing now to think the town we grew up in had a record shop! That won’t happen again.
I too have a little collection of bags from the various record stores I’ve patronised the most, but the jewel in the crown of that mini-collection is my Heaven 17 swag bag (from the concerts I chronicled on this very blog a while back, as seen here): https://postpunkmonk.com/2017/08/28/guest-post-penthouse-pavement-35-live-in-birmingham-21-oct-16-part-1/
Naturally as the Monk and I have shopped at a number of the same stores, we have a number of the same bags — I really should look to see if I kept the ones from our Portland adventure 11 years ago, those were good stores.
I stopped by a local chocolatier for the Christmas fix (shameless plug – Gail Ambrosius, she does mail order. Excellent stuff) and parked a couple blocks away to enjoy the walk to her store in glorious October in December weather for Wisconsin. En route I discovered a record store within my kinda local neighborhood that I never knew was there!
On my way back to the car I stopped to check it out, ah, the smell of vinyl. Not a lot of cd but quite a good selection of Superdeluxedtions and scads of new vinyl.
I checked a few bins to see whats what and while their was no David Sylvian slot (or even a New Music/Ambient/Electronica that isn’t EDM section) they did have a slot for the Pet Shop Boys.
Elysium sure looks nice on vinyl, well ,the sleeve that is, and for a split second when I lifted it out of the bin I felt like I was 15 again and this was the norm, bins of records everywhere.
It was a nice nostalgic feeling.
Tim – It’s kind of weird. My strongest nostalgis is for shopping for records in the ’81-’85 period, just because that’s when I was the target audience for so much music being marketed. It was exciting to shop for import records back then! And the music being released was second to none, but I really prefer CDs, and wouldn’t want to return to those days again. Except that society didn’t ask me, and now we seem to be back to vinyl again – only nothing I’d want to buy. It freaks me out.
I thought about that on entering, like, what are they going to have that I don’t? I miss the size of the product and how it was much more visually engaging.
I did look at the Love box set, Forever Changes I think is the album. Huge fan of Alone Again. $100 for 4 cds and a record. Stereo mono demos live if my memory is right. I don’t plunk that kind of money down when I like every track on the album!
Tim – Even though I am a graphic designer, I never really bought into the whole “bigger, better artwork” argument with 12 inch vinyl. I always felt that there were fewer limits for CDs which could have a CD-ROM session appended to them with reams and reams of multimedia. Also, the small size of CDs meant that packages could be far more creative than with huge records. Think Spiritualized and PSB Very” in both the ltd. UK and common US editions. With LPs you were lucky to get “Big Express” or “Odgen’s Nut Gone Flake” and it was a big thing.
I like it quite a lot and for me the olde experience of vinyl purchases entailed a lot of things, the sleeve, taking the record out and what’s going on in the innersleeve, maybe ads for other lps, lyrics, credits, etc.
I agree with you that there is potential here with digital but the potential isn’t at all realized. Even pdfs that contain the lyrics and production credits are the rare exception and not the norm. I like all that stuff, I wanna know who played what, who wrote the songs, the cheesey endless thank yous to every one involved, photos, lyrics (sorry Jarvis, some of us like to read along, especially if something isn’t clear). all that stuff.
We went from sequenced albums that were packaged and sold to us to spotify and people buying (if that) the one song they like.
It’s like calling my next sentence a step ahead in communication.
.ton si siht ssergorP
Love this! I have been known to squirrel away a record store bag or two…or three…
Jeremy Shatan – I’m glad it’s not only me then!