Record Store Day at Origami Vinyl to Feature Silversun Pickups, Nick Waterhouse and 10 DJs
Vinyl aficionados have been counting down the days to Record Store Day on April 20, when independent record stores around the world hold one simultaneous party—complete with exclusive releases. As usual, Origami Vinyl in Echo Park has an incredible lineup for Saturday's event, including a Silversun Pickups performance. LAist sat down with store owner Neil Schield to learn more.
LAist: Your Record Store Day schedule is enviable! How did the Silversun Pickups performance come about?
Neil Schield: I've known lead singer Brian Aubert for quite some time, and it was obvious from the first time I saw them play—at Sea Level Records back in the day—that they were a band on the trajectory.
Ever since Origami Vinyl opened, it's sort of been a yearly tradition for us to talk about the band playing the shop, but things would inevitably get busy and it wouldn't happen. Earlier this year, I texted Brian and said, "Hey it's that time of year again…" To which he responded, "Sounds great. Let's do it!"
Since you only have room for 40 people, you came up with a creative way for people to get a free ticket. Fans of the band came into the shop and took a photo of themselves with a special poster, then posted that image to Facebook or Instagram. How fast did the tickets go?
The tickets were gone within a day, so we're all sold out for that show. But we'll have a lot of other options for people who weren't able to get those tickets. Nick Waterhouse will perform at 7 p.m., and that will be open to the first people in line.
Plus, there will be DJ sets the entire day—from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. It'll include people such as Avey Tare from Animal Collective, Dean Spunt from No Age, Valida and Chuck P from KCRW, Josh Feingold from DoLA, Bennett Kogon from KXLU, Justin Gage from Aquarium Drunkard, Carter Smith from Rollo & Grady, August Brown from the Los Angeles Times' Pop & Hiss, and Chris Ziegler from L.A. Record. Pretty solid lineup.
What are some Record Store Day Releases you're really looking forward to?
I'm really excited for the Orange Juice reissues. Their stuff is so rare because it was never released in the US on vinyl, and that's something I've always wanted to use as a DJ. There's also a 12-inch featuring Brian Eno, Nicolas Jaar and Grizzly Bear, so that sounds pretty cool. I'll probably also pick up the Zombies reissue, and the new single by Sharon Van Etten.
It's pretty incredible to look back at the last four years since you opened your doors. Vinyl sales keep going up, and according to Billboard, percentage-wise, "vinyl album sales actually managed to outpace digital's sales growth" in 2012.
What do you attribute that to—are more people getting into vinyl because there are more releases, or are there more releases because people are getting into vinyl?
I think it feeds itself in both directions. More music stores are focusing on vinyl, and it's appearing a lot more in the media. You see it way more in films, commercials and TV shows.
I don't think it's ever going to be mainstream, but I do think it's been publicized in a way that people think it's cool. There are more releases now than when we opened, so it's exciting to see that growth. When we opened the store, I wasn't quite expecting that.
And most bands now include vinyl at their merch tables, whereas there wasn't as much of that five years ago.
That reminds me of a guy from Latvia who came by the store a few days ago. He asked if I sold CDs and I told him we only had vinyl. Since he didn't have a car, he asked where he could find the closest music store that sold new and used CDs. I said he'd probably need to go to Amoeba in Hollywood. He said, "That's crazy. I look on my phone and there are all these record stores around here but nobody sells CDs."
I talk to bands on tour and they say their fans either want the digital download or the vinyl. People often buy vinyl as a collector, as a way of saying, "I'm a fan of the band and I want to own the best product that they offer."
Time Out Los Angeles voted Origami Vinyl's Record Club #4 in their "101 Things to Do in Los Angeles" list. Do you still have room to fit everyone?
We still have room. The crowd is nice and steady and it's just a good vibe with good people!
What's the most obscure or interesting record that someone's brought to Record Club in recent months?
Probably Blood Lust by Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats. It has a really dark psychedelic vibe.
What's it like having a rock star (Sean Stentz) working in the shop given that his band NO is getting great press?
Well, he's on the road too much. (laughs) But seriously, it's cool that he's chasing the dream…and chasing his dream. And we actually have two rock stars in the shop. Angel Deradoorian, who used to be in Dirty Projectors and has her own solo project called Deradoorian, also works at Origami.
So it's good to have people like Sean and Angel working here because they have a different perspective, whereas Emily, Christine and I aren't in bands.
What have been some of your favorite vinyl finds from the past year?
I really like this band from Copenhagen called Iceage. They're 20-somethings who have put out a really fantastic punk record that reminds me a lot of Wire and Minor Threat and stuff like that.
Foxygen is a great young local band that has some swagger to them. They sound a bit like some early Stones with some Zombies in there, so I'm really into that record a lot.
I agree! Foxygen and the Milk Carton Kids are two of my recent vinyl favorites. Any other recommendations?
Another local guy, Nosaj Thing, put out a record a couple months ago on Innovative Leisure, and it's perfect when you're in the mood for downtempo electronic music. Plus one of the songs features Kazu Makino from Blonde Redhead.
And I'm absolutely loving Chelsea Light Moving.
Speaking of which, you've had some big artists in the store in recent weeks…including Thurston Moore!
Yeah, we've had Thurston Moore, the Thermals, Dan Deacon… Having Thurston was a dream come true. I used to work with him when I was at Geffen Records back in the day. And when we first opened the shop, Sonic Youth took over the store, so it was nice to see everything come full circle.
If you could have anyone play the Origami loft, who would you choose?
Well, I have two, and one's realistic and one's not realistic at all.
Doug Martsch from Built to Spill has been in the store and said I could hit him up during a future LA tour date. So if I could ever get him to do something acoustic in the shop, that'd be amazing.
And the other one would be Neil Young, though I know that's probably impossible.
You never know. Some huge artists like to play a smaller venue now and then…
That's true. And I know that he's at least heard of the shop. Last year, Cynthia Fox from KLOS interviewed him about his new record. She started talking about his love of analog and told him about the store and the fact I was named after him. So perhaps that gets us one step closer!
That'd be awesome! Switching gears a bit, I love how tight-knit this neighborhood seems to be. Does it look like there will be an Echo Park Rising this year?
Yes, it'll be the third weekend of August. We're till sorting out the details, but we'll have the same kind of setup with an outside stage, and we'll work with all the local businesses to present some music and specials. We just want to showcase the neighborhood and its local artists.
And you've been involved with Eat|See|Hear as well?
That's right. Last year was their inaugural season. They showed a film in a different outdoor location every week, with a band or DJ performing before the screening, and really great food trucks on hand.
After DJing for them at the Santa Monica Pier last year, we kept in touch and they asked me to help curate the bands during 2013. This year they're expanding to include downtown and the Eastside, and they've got a great film lineup. I love it because it's such a Southern California thing to sit outside and watch a movie.
What are some recent events or additions to Echo Park that you've really enjoyed?
Cortez is one of the best restaurants on this side of town, and it has a farm-to-table kind of vibe. Everything is fresh and the menu is always rotating.
A friend of mine purchased Little Joy, which is a bar up the street that used to be a dive that just ran itself into the ground. They cleaned it up—it's very simple and they did a great job with it. It's a nice place to get a cocktail after work or before a Dodger game.
Before we go, I have to ask about your dog, Ali, who has amassed quite a fanbase.
Yeah, even people who have no interest in records come into the store just to say "hi" to her. So we thought it'd be fun to make slipmats, tote bags and buttons with her face on them. They've become quite popular and it feels like she's really become kind of an icon in the neighborhood!
Thanks for speaking with LAist, Neil!
Origami Vinyl opens its doors at 8 a.m. on Record Store Day (Saturday, April 20). Check out their hour-by-hour schedule for more information.