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LAist interview: Todd Clifford, Sea Level Records

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With all the hand-wringing over the closures of Aron's and Rhino Records, you might think any non-Amoeba record store in Los Angeles is doomed. But that would mean you've never visited Sea Level Records in Echo Park. Dedicated music fanatic Todd Clifford opened the store in December 2001, and it's survived ever since selling CDs, vinyl and the occasional art piece. Sea Level's speciality is indie rock and local music; it's got listening stations stocked with new CDs and frequent in-store performances (Hudson Bell and The Glass Family are next, on March 4 and 5). Of course, Sea Level is on MySpace; it also has a plain old website. In the offline world, it can be found at 1716 W. Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park.

Name, age and occupation:
Todd Clifford. 31(derful). Slave to Sea Level.

How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and what neighborhood do you live in now?
8 1/2 years. Los Feliz.

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Do you have an all-time favorite LA band? Or list of favorites?
Silversun Pickups. Pine Marten, the Movies and 400 Blows are up there too.

What's your favorite book movie or TV show about LA?
Favorite book is Wrecking Crew. (probably because i just read it and can't think of any other one. It was great though!)

Do you have a favorite song or album about LA?
"Invisible" by Possum Dixon. Or anything other than that LA song by Randy Newman. I HATE that song.

Share your best celebrity sighting experience.
Kirsten Dunst at the Echo once. I also enjoy seeing Adam Goldberg & crew at my neigborhood bars.

What's your preferred mode of transportation?
A craptastic Mustang with 200,000+ miles on it! Or the train whenever I can!!!

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It's 9:30 pm on Thursday. Where are you coming from and where are you going?
Leaving the lovely Sea Level Records (plug plug plug) and there's a good chance I'm heading to the Edendale.

What are the best/worst places to see live music in Los Angeles?
Best = Troubadour, Spaceland, Fold, Echo. Worst = no comment.

What's the best place to get a burrito/beer/bbq?
Best burrito = Yuca's (on Hillhurst. yummy)
Best beer = too many to mention but I'll go with Shortstop beers before Dodger Games.
Best BBQ = Dr Hoggly Woggly's Tyler Texas BBQ in Van Nuys.

Drinking, driving. They mix poorly, and yet they're inexorably linked. How do you handle this conflict?
Poorly. I try to walk if I can but usually just try to stay close to home & know the back roads.

What do you have to say to East Coast supremacists?
I tell them to continue to think we suck. It keeps it less crowded.

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Where do you want to be when the Big One hits?
My new oceanfront property in Los Feliz of course! That or maybe visiting some of those east coast supremacists!!!