Sunday, July 12, 2009

My last couple of posts have been hard on Wellington, so I thought it would be nice to show a bit of it's nicer side.

Slow Boat Records as seen at night, image from Wikipedia.

This post is also for my Dad, who recently asked me whether there are any good record shops here in Wellington. I wasn't surpised he would ask. You see, he's a music fanatic (really) and always has been. I remember his collection of vinyl records was in the thousands and thousands at one point. It's safe to say that his musical tastes solidified in the late 60's and early 70's, with bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, the Byrds. Iron Butterfly and of course the Beatles. I can remember going to Peaches record stores with him as a kid...and I seem to recall I hated his music. Not sure why, cuz now I find myself going to the library and checking out these albums. Nostalgia? Maybe.

Of course, vinyl was hit hard with the advent of compact disks, at least in terms of retail sales. It's had a small resurgence in recent years, bolstered by sound purists and DJs. Still, it's a bit rare to see stores that has heaps of vinyl on the shelves. When you do see one, they usually come in two breeds...new stores that focus on club remixes, and older "institutions" that have been around for ages and continue truckin' along, doing what they have always done without regard for the fact that pop culture has been led astray.

Slow Boat's sidewalk sandwich board...with their curious junk boat logo

Slow Boat Records is such an place. At 17 years old, it's billed as 'New Zealand's longest running independent record store'. Certainly it's got that old school demeanor. Appropriately located amid grungy Cuba Street (#183 to be exact)the shop feels like your classic, quirky treasure trove - crammed to the gills - and not just with vinyl LPs. They stock CDs, DVDs and other formats as well. Like most good stores of this vintage, Slow Boat's staff have earned a reputation for huge "institutional" knowledge, and it has a decent inventory to satisfy discerning music buffs. It's apparently a favourite haunt of not only the fans, but the music-makers: The Beastie Boys, Radiohead, Oasis, Derrick Carter, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Chris Isaak have stopped in for a wee browse, and they offer in-store performances on occasion (though I am not sure where they'd fit the band - it's quite crowded in there!).

So, Dad and all you vinyl fans out there, add this to your places to visit in Wellington. I expect it would be right up your alley. To hold you over til then, check out their website to see the Slow Boat Essential 50 albums, O’Brien’s ‘Platter Chatter’ 45s rundown, and the Slow Boat Inquisition (which asks celebrity customers an array of probing questions).

And next week, we'll shift from vinyl to paper with a look at the Wellington's used book stores...

1 comment:

24HourDejaVu said...

William

Thanks for remembering me and that great obsession of mine my music

Just a note about my blog
If you visit it you will see it was deleted( probably a blogger cliche)
but I am back so here's the link

http://twentyfourhourdejavu.blogspot.com/

And if you hurry you can witness my homage to Blue Cheer
Ha Ha

Your Lost in The 60's Dad