Even though it was on the opposite coast and about 3000 miles from the nearest Amoeba store, there were numerous Amoeba logo sightings (on bags and t-shirts mostly) over the weekend at the big WFMU Record Fair at Manhattan's Metropolitan Pavilion on West 18th Street.
Understandably the giant annual music collectors convention, which boasts 10,000 square feet of vinyl (lots of rarities), CDs, DVDs, and magazines & artworks, etc., draws many of the same folks that Amoeba Music attracts-- diehard music fanatics. "Let's face it, music collecting is an addiction," laughed DJ Babu, who visited the fair on the opening day, Friday, when he also did a live set on WFMU from the Chelsea location.
LA native Babu, who coined the term turntablist and who is known for both his solo DJ/production work (his Super Duck Breaks on Stones Throw is a classic) and his membership in Dilated Peoples, Beat Junkies, & Likwit Junkies, said that over the years that he has spent way more time and money at the Hollywood Amoeba than he cares to even think about. Today (Oct 28) is the release date of Babu's latest album, Duck Season Vol. 3 on Nature Sounds. Look for it at Amoeba.
And if you think Babu traveled far, how about record collector Nakajima who flew over all the way from Japan for four days specifically to shop at the all weekend record fair!? But then this record fanatic has also made previous trips to the US from Japan specifically to shop at the Hollywood Amoeba (where he got the Amoeba t-shirt he wore over the weekend as in picture below right). New Yorker Andres (pictured above left proudly clutching his Amoeba record bag), who lives just a few blocks from the Manhattan record fair location, said that he got his bag on "one of several visits" to the Hollywood Amoeba store. "I love Amoeba and every time I go to LA I go to Amoeba," he smiled.
Meanwhile, New Yorker Jim Finnegan said he got his Amoeba bag on a visit to San Francisco a while back. Other Amoeba fans spotted at the WFMU Record Fair included Madlib, Peanut Butter Wolf (visiting from LA for the CMJ convention simultaneously happening in NYC) and Todd O Phonic Todd (spotted with an Amoeba bag that he got at the Hollywood store), who runs long time Hoboken rock club Maxwells and is a sometime DJ on WFMU.
Besides the rows and rows of records and CDs etc. being sold, there were many other cool distractions at the WFMU Record Fair, including a table by the folks from Wax Poetics (I finally bought a subscription to this great bi-monthly publication), an area for anyone to play Rockband, a screening room that ran all weekend and included a showing of Negativland's Our Favorite Things (inspired by The Sound of Music) DVD, and (my personal favorite) an "LP Modification Booth" which was overseen by WFMU DJ Trouble who informed me, "One word Billy, glitter. Glitter is the only thing you really need to transform album cover art."
Glitter, plus a bit of glue to stick it to the album jackets, as many did when they transformed record covers into impressive new art works (scroll down to see some examples). Participants in this album modification were artists of all ages. "Both kids and adults enjoy doing this," said Trouble adding that "Grown ups especially love doing it, I think, because it is not something that they feel they could do to their own albums. It is almost taboo."
Other highlights of the three day Record Fair by the wonderful freeform radio station WFMU (where this Amoeblogger does a weekly show called Put The Needle on The Record) included a mind-blowing set by super-talented, over-the-top Japanese rockers DMBQ. For their grand finale, the group literally took it to another level when the drummer had the crowd hold his drum-kit up above their heads as he climbed on top of these participating fans to play the group's last song (see pic below).