I've been attending the amazing WFMU Record Fair for the past four years, ever since I joined the unique freeform New Jersey radio station, and the one thing that is a given at this popular annual event is that you will always spot a ton of Amoeba bags floating around the weekend long event. This should not be too surprising, considering that both the WFMU Record Fair and Amoeba Music attract the same sort of person -- one who is extremely passionate about his/her music, and music collecting. With hundreds of thousands of records and CDs (plus tons more stuff) being sold by over a hundred vendors at the expansive Metropolitan Pavilion venue in the Chelsea district of New York CIty, the three day WFMU Record Fair attracts people from all over the States and overseas who will travel to New York City just to attend this event. Many of these same folks will travel all the way to LA or the Bay to shop at Amoeba.
This time last year I reported here on the Amoeblog about the 2008 WFMU Record Fair, where Amoeba logo wearing music collecting fanatics included Nakajima, who had flown all the way to New York City from Japan specifically for the WFMU event. And at this year's event (Oct 23, 24, 25), which was "a success" according to WFMU Station Manager Ken Freedman, the instantly recognizable black record 100% cotton tote bags with the bright yellow & red Amoeba Music logos and store of origin's name were sighted all over the place.
Pictured above with Amoeba bag stylisly slung on shoulder is Jared Lenny Olmsted, who used to shop "a lot" at Amoeba Music Hollywood before he moved out from LA to New York in January '08. "I wish they [Amoeba] would open up a store out here in New York too," said Jared, who also said he loves living in NYC but misses certain things about SoCal.
Also spotted hauling their vinyl finds in a matching pair of Amoeba Music Berkeley bags were Virginia Jones and Thom Jones (see picture below). The couple had trekked East all the way from their home in Portland, OR just to attend the annual WFMU event, which is also a fundraiser for the non-profit radio station. The pair said that they also regularly travel to the Bay, where their trips always include visits to both the San Francisco and the Berkeley Amoeba Music stores. Of the two, Thom is more of the record collector (17,000 pieces of vinyl in his ever growing collection), while Virginia (a comedian) shares his passion for music and music shopping.
Over the weekend I probably spotted about fifteen or twenty Amoeba Music bags but WFMU volunteer director Scott Williams informed me that there were probably a lot more than that. "Man, I see those Amoeba bags everywhere I go. Even in some small towns up in Vermont you'll see Amoeba bags," he said. At the Record Fair there were vendors selling all types and styles of music on all formats with a lot of vinyl being sold.. Even Warner Brothers had a booth where they were selling vinyl repressings (including lots of Neil Young). FOA (Friends of Amoeba) Light In The Attic Records had traveled from Seattle for the weekend event. Check back here later for the Amoeblog interview with label co-owner Josh Wright. Light in the Attic was featured on the Amoeblog five months ago when they traveled up and down the West Coast in ten days, visiting record stores like Amoeba along the way.
Also spotted and interviewed by the Amoeblog (to be posted later today) was another entity with endless passion for music, Amir Abdullah of Wax Poetics, the bi-monthly magazine and record label who again this year were representing at the WFMU Record Fair. In addition to the various vendors there was also lots of live entertainment including several radio shows such as my own (Put The Needle On The Record) broadcasting from the venue. Guests on my live broadcast included San Francisco artst and FOA The Genie, PANTy RAID, Seattle emcee D.Black, DJ ALF, and Def Squad's Vic. D. Meanwhile The Trashmen performed live on longtime WFMU DJ Rex's Fool's Paradise show while Jon Spencer's ensemble Heavy Trash did a live set during Terre T's Cherry Blossom Clinic's live broadcast from the venue.
Other distractions included unique hair stylist / performance artist Nelson, whose Electric Chaircut, which involves him cutting hair and generating corresponding glitchy sounds with each clip and cut, was a popular stop. Scroll dpwn below the picture of Virginia and Thom Jones to see the Amoeblog YouTube clip of Nelson on the (hair) cut where you will also see a video of DJ ALF on the (record) cut during this past weekend's WFMU Record Fair.