Record Store Day April 20th, 2013

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Hi Inspiration Den readers! I hope you’re as excited about Record Store Day as I am!  There’s nothing better than finding one of your favorite albums on vinyl! I think my top 5 favorite finds would have to be 1) The Kinks – Muswell Hillbillies 2) T-Rex Electric Warrior 3) Hasil Adkins – The Lonesome and Blue Sounds of Hasil Adkins 4) Leonard Cohen – Songs From A Room 5) The Byrds – Sweet Heart of the Rodeo. I’m really looking forward to finding some newbies to add to my collection!

A few month’s back we featured one of our favorite Record Store and shop owner Dave of Factory Records. I think Factory has one of the best record selections around! If you don’t already follow Factory on FB, you should. Dave has been posting some awesome finds, as well as some ominous photos of records that wont be announced/released until RSD on 4/20! Not only will Factory be putting out new stuff but they’ll also have a whole parking lot filled with records for all of us to dig through. Trust me, there are lots of gems to be found! Dave will be opening his doors at 5:05am. Hope to see ya’ there!

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Here’s an image from Dave’s FB page! I don’t know about you but I’m so excited to sift through these crates of records!

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Here’s another awesome image of Factory Records! So many records!

Here’s a couple more record stores in the area that I love and if you need to find some record stores in your area check out the

Record Store Day Website!

Cream Tangerine at The Lab

Fingerprints 

Port of Sound Record Shoppe

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The Den’s Weekend Rec’s: Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee

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Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 10.14.26 PM Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 10.14.34 PMI’m so excited about this new Doughnut shoppe that just opened up in Costa Mesa! Sidecar Doughnut’s & Coffee are “finely crafted doughnuts, made daily from scratch using only the finest ingredients, and no preservatives… ever!”. I love doughnuts, but always feel guilty when I eat them. So it’s an extra bonus that these little gems have no preservatives. Sidecar also has a cozy vibe and sells one of my favorite coffee’s, Stumptown Coffee Roasters. It’s the perfect morning hangout spot! (I recommend the Maple Bacon Doughnut…)
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Cloud Parade Part 2 – A Cloud Parade Day + Unique LA

A Cloud Parade Day

I hope everyone loved the new Cloud Parade video, I thought it was gorgeous! All involved really did an amazing job! As you can see by that awesome video everyone at Cloud Parade work their tails off so I thought it would be fun to share some photos of Candice and Molly and give you a little glimpse of what goes into making CP which usually consists of Early Mornings, Coffee, E-Mails, Networking, and late night work parties! To see more from CP check out their Instagram

UNIQUE LA

Cloud Parade does tons of research to find the raddest, hippest vendors to be apart of Cloud Parade so we thought we would take a mini road trip and check out UNIQUE LA! It was so inspiring, I LOVE handmade, local art so this was right up my alley. I was able to stop by the Honey My Heart booth but sadly missed Jella and hope to see her at the next Unique LA, I had a wonderful cup of coffee by the Handsome Coffee Roasters of whom were very dapper fellows, Discovered some new favorite stationary shops like Cardtorial + Sable & Snow, and lastly so excited about this super awesome store called Biddy Bopp Shop who have some of the most amazing masks I’ve ever seen! These little beauties would be perfect for that quirky/unique wedding photo opp!! 

Thanks Candice & Molly for letting me feature you lovelies! 

Check out Cloud Parade + tell all your friends about this hip, new, wedding marketplace! 

Your Cloud Parade Part 1!

Cloud Parade is a marketplace for any couple to design and purchase their “HIP,” “RAD” wedding and its launching today! If your a Bride, Groom, Bridesmaid, Groomsman, or your just a wedding enthusiast (like so many of the amazing vendors featured on Cloud Parade) then you’ll LOVE what your about to see! CP allows anyone to search by color, style, or product, to create a wedding that reflects you and your fiancé’s vision perfectly. You can literally look up PINK – INVITES – BOHEMIA and find that exact product! The following video explains what I mean perfectly! 
Inspiration Den is all about inspiring the masses with the art of others, to create a diverse, creative community, and I think CP really exudes that! I hope you enjoy their answers to my questions below! 

LWF: Little Woodland Friend (Amber Dunstan)

CP: Cloud Parade (Candice Becklund)

LWF: What does inspiration mean to Cloud Parade?

CP: Being inspired means you are not stuck in a box… Being inspired is freedom, a way to be You! Cloud Parade is just that, its a way to be inspired with the one you love (your fiancé). on Cloud Parade you can shop and design your wedding all in one spot. Cloud parade thrives on the word “inspiration”. 

LWF: Give us 5 words that best sums up CP.

CP: Hip. Wedding, Marketplace. Design. Rad. Shop.

Candice & Molly of CP


Thanks CP for letting me feature you today!

Stay tuned for tomorrows feature, A day in the life of the CP girls & a fun/inspiring day at Unique LA w/ Candice! Also don’t forget to refer CP to the rad vendors you know who are looking to set up a shop!

FACTORY RECORDS

Established in 2010, Factory Records is one of the OC’s best kept secrets. Whether you’re a certified wax-head or just a rookie looking to round out your collection, Factory’s got something for everyone. Shattering the elitist music-snob archetype, Dave Noise (Factory’s owner) won’t roll his eyes if you come in asking for Beatles reissues. And if you’re in need of suggestions, he’s well versed in just about every genre imaginable—everything from “space rock” to “mutant disco.” And with the money you’ll save not having to pay shipping online, you can treat yourself to a few gems from Factory’s fabled Bargain Bin (pictured below).

After swinging by the shop and talking to Dave, you can tell he’s guy who genuinely loves what he does. But don’t think he takes it for granted. In fact, he’ll be the first to tell you that such privileges don’t come cheap. Back in ‘91 he opened Noise Noise Noise Records (now the stuff of local legend) to instant consumer acclaim. “Noise3 just killed it in the 90’s,” says Dave, “I was able to buy a house in a middle-upper class Costa Mesa neighborhood, paid my taxes and bills, had that financial security so many others wished they had—hell, I even had a pretty fat retirement fund going…and then I fucked it all up.” By 2003, Dave had fallen heavy into drugs—to the detriment of his shop. “It was obvious to everyone around that I was fucked… Folks abandoned me and store en masse.” In 2006 he hit rock bottom—“I was broke, in and out of jail, and after skipping out on 5 months’ rent at Noise3, out of a shop and a job.” But with the support of his friends and family, he eventually got his act together (read Dave’s full story here—seriously, read it!). Shortly after, he opened Factory Records. “I opened the shop with some reluctance,” he says, “wondering if I still had my any game left in the record world, and doubtful that a store could thrive in this day and age… But I did, and it has.”

The Interview
LWF – Little Woodland Friend
DN – Dave (Factory Records)
 

LWF: Factory has such a well-rounded selection. There seems to be something for everyone. Where do these records come from? How are they chosen?

DN: I want my shop to reflect what I myself would want to find in a store: variety. Just recently, some girl bought a Current 93 album, an Earth album, a Jimmy Smith album, and a bunch of 70s coke-rock, and I thanked her for buying such a mix of stuff. If I was only selling the Pink Floyd and Black Keys records I normally sell to people all day long, and no one bought a cool bag of stuff like she did, I’d be bored silly and should be working at an office cubicle somewhere because at least I’d have health benefits. Also, just the other day, a kid, probably no older than 17 or 18, bought a David Axelrod album. I was stoked! Most kids his age want to buy a TSOL patch to put on their backpack.

I get my stuff by any means necessary, but most of it comes from people bringing in collections to me. I’ve always had amazing luck with this, and am very fortunate in this way. You won’t find me battling jackasses on my days or mornings off at swap meets or thrift stores or yard sales or auctions. Ebay and those dumb TV shows have turned everyone into wanna-be pickers—and those shows make it seem so fucking easy! They need a show about how many times you strike out compared to the few times you really come up. I spent enough years tweaking my brains out chasing that elusive crate of gold, and it’s just not worth it to me. That lifestyle wears one’s soul out. If you can do it for a hobby, it’s fun, but I find no joy in digging through the endless shit that every other storage warrior in town has torn through just to stay alive. I know these resources are there if I get desperate, but besides a casual visit once in a blue moon, with no expectations, I stay away. And the thought of going blind staring at Craigslist waiting for the word “records” to pop up? No thanks. It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack, and the haystack is made up of some great-grandpa’s easy listening records that someone looked up on Ebay. I have a few secret tricks that I use to get good records in the shop, and these methods take work, but I’m pretty confident my years of experience allow me to stay ahead of the game by doing what I do. 

I order new stuff too, but it’s not much compared to the used vinyl in the shop. New vinyl doesn’t have the same markup as used vinyl, and you’re stuck with it if it doesn’t sell. But I do take risks to keep the selection unique. I’ll order stuff that I’ve never heard of just because it sounds cool, and I know certain customers are willing to trust me if I suggest they buy something. I have to keep Factory Records very balanced…I have to have all the Doors and Beatles and Black Keys and Led Zeppelin and Radiohead and Pink Floyd that the masses want, but I have to have something different from the other shops. I want people to be, like, “Oh, I found the new Myrninerest ‘Journey To Avebury’ 12″ EP at Factory”. This is the new project from David Tibet; it’s a soundtrack to a Derek Jarman film, and so far, I’ve sold a few copies and I’m stoked because I’m sure only a few shops in Orange County are brave enough to touch something like this, and I feel so much better selling this than another damn Misfits record. Of course, I get stuck with some gambles. I just started a section called “Factory Records Greatest Misses”; it’s a section under the normal racks where I mark down new vinyl since I can’t send it back. People are just discovering this section and love it.

LWF: What’s your greatest find? What are you currently digging for?

DN: My greatest find changes day by day. I’ll come across some far out electronic record with a wild breakbeat and be in love with it for a day or two, then something new will come in the door, and I’m off and running with that. I had a dude bring two crates of records into the shop the other day: one crate of really nice, basic, easy-to-sell punk and new wave, and a crate of grandma’s easy listening albums. I made him an offer, he took a breath, and I knew what he was gonna say: “I think I’m gonna keep the box of punk, but I’ll sell you the easy listening records”. This happens often. Instead the guy says “I’ll never listen to the punk stuff ever again, but I’d like to hang onto the other box.” So he took the crap that would have broke my back hauling it to my parking lot sale, and I spent two days listening to some of the awesome punk rock I grew up with, making my money back (and then some) at the end of that second day. For those two days, that crate was the greatest find. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, I’ve had three Beatles Butcher Covers come in over the past few years, and a Beatles ad-back cover. These are some of the Cadillacs of Beatles collectibles. So when these float in, I’m stoked. One of the Butchers came in with a ton of other rare Beatles, and a bunch of first press punk, a sealed Germs LP, a number of Dangerhouse 45s, and much more. The guys that had it were, like, on the way to the Goodwill and decided to see if they could get any money. I could have given them $30 and they’d have been stoked, instead I offered them $300 and they were in heaven—just blown away. The last Butcher Cover I got, the kid had a big stack of junk plus the Butcher. I asked what he wanted, and he said twenty five or thirty dollars. I gave him $80 and just made his day. But he made mine. Butcher Covers are “greatest find” kind of records. But there are so many greatest find records, and I’ve had too many of these days to list.

And what am I digging for? Besides all the rad types of records I’ve been describing above along with the usual shit that pays the bills? Nothing for me, really. I have zillions of records already. Not that doing drugs was good for me, but when I was wasted, I bought tons of albums for myself, and then totally forgot what I bought. I can go to storage and open boxes and be, like, “I own this? Fuck yeah!” So I go digging in my own storage unit and don’t have to spend any money. I do buy a handful of albums every week for myself though…mostly off the radar new releases or reissues. Nothing too particular; something will just sound neat and I’ll buy the whole album for myself. I guess I do have one holy grail that’s eluded me for over a quarter century that I would drop some money on if I could find it: at a high school dance in the 80s, I heard a version of New Order’s “Subculture” with female vocals. I’ve never been able to find any info on who did this record, but it’s out there somewhere, so that would be a huge “greatest find” for me.

LWF: What’s trending these days?

DN: At Factory Records, the trending topics are #blackfriday #recordstoreday #dollarrecords #parkinglotsale (Record Store Day’s Black Friday event and our same-day $1 record parking lot sale), #blackgoosetavern #tacotuesday (our new neighbors the Black Goose Tavern, who are bringing back Taco Tuesdays to our little shopping center), and #factoryrecordsdavenoise #instagram (self-explanatory I hope).

LWF: Why is there such an enduring interest in vinyl? What’s the allure?

DN: You know, this is one question I’ve never been good at answering. Some people love the sound quality, but I can’t weigh in on that because my hearing sucks. I’ve always said if you put me in a room and played a record and then a CD or digital file, there’s no way I could tell them apart. I can enjoy the music but I don’t have the ability to appreciate every little nuance like some freaks do. Our audiophile section at the shop is labelled “Pretentious Audiophile Bullshit”, because that’s how I feel about that stuff. You can play me David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust on one of those paper-thin Dynaflex records from the 70s and it sounds great to me. The cover art on a record is definitely a draw. CD cover art sucks and I don’t own an iPod but I guess you’d have to stare at a little thumbnail of the cover art on that. Fuck that! I want cover model Sandy Warner on Martin Denny’s “Primitiva” album at 12″ x 12″. I certainly love vinyl for DJing. I’m no pro DJ, but I’ll throw down some tunes at a bar here and there, and I have a few crates of beat up old rock and funk and reggae records that I don’t mind thrashing around to make the crowd move. I think the idea of putting thought into what’s gonna be played and hunting down those songs on vinyl and hauling them into a club and making a crowd move says a lot. Any dolt with a laptop can hunt down any song anyone wants to hear, which, for me, steals some of the magic. I guess if you’re DJing a wedding and need to be prepared, the laptop is a good thing, but I like the randomness of a few crates of vinyl in a club.

There are a lot of arguments for the love of vinyl, and while I don’t know specifically why I’ve been fascinated by record albums since I was ten, I’ll support any reason anyone has that keeps wax alive.

LWF: Will the 8track or audio cassette ever make a comeback?

DN: 8-track, I doubt it. There are folks that collect them, and even a few souls who utilize them for the music itself, but there are not enough 8-tracks left on this planet in useful working order to support a comeback. Cassettes, much to my surprise, have made a bit of a return. When I closed Noise3, the only cassette buyers we had left were tweakers with unkempt beards pedaling around on old ten-speeds with battery-operated Walkmans. Then I open up Factory, and I get these dudes with shaggy beards with funky yellow Walkman tape players on ten-speeds looking for tapes, but they’re not tweakers, they’re hipster kids who have suddenly found vinyl too mainstream. There’s a whole cassette culture out there. My neighbors at Mesa Music Services across the parking lot have a label called Lavish Womb Recordings and probably 98% of their releases are cassette-only. My friend Todd who runs that shop gave me an old tape deck and I use it all the time. I don’t sell tons of tapes, but I move a handful a week and it’s a fun item to keep around.

LWF: Can you offer some good rules of thumb for the aspirant collector?

DN: Well, for all my swap meet and garage sale hating, those places are a fun place to get started. Don’t expect any gems after sunrise, but you can get lots of good, basic stuff for a buck or two (or less!). And always offer them $10 for “the whole box”. It often works, and you can bring all the leftovers you don’t want to Factory Records for store credit. And let’s not forget about the Factory Records World Famous Cheapo Bin. I keep this stocked with $1.99 or less vinyl—people LOVE this section! It’s a great way to start a collection, and if you do it on a Tuesday, you can get cheap tacos at the Wild Goose Tavern across the way. For ten bucks you can eat and get some new tunes!

Don’t be afraid of worn records. Most will play just fine, with some minor crackle. If this crackle bugs you, stop buying records RIGHT NOW and just stick with iTunes. And a little scuff does not equal a skipping record. I often see rookies inspecting a beautiful looking album, and mistake a light scuff for a scratch. I want to grab them and yell at them (I never have) and make them understand records are fucking durable!! Just keep them out of the hot sun, because if they warp, your record is RUINED!! 

When I have someone new coming into the shop buying records for the first time, wanting to buy half the store, I recommend they slow down, and only buy what they can listen to in a week or two’s time. Going apeshit right outta the gate leads to burnout. Savor the visit, and leave with a reason to come back. (This benefits me, too. Duh.) 

And lastly, avoid those $80 record players you can buy at the big box stores like the plague. I won’t name names here, but on the rare occasion someone wants to return a record for skipping, I ask if their player is a such-n-such brand, and it almost always is one of those cheap players. And I’ll play their record in the shop and it plays just fine. Buy a Sony or Technics or another brand that has stood the test of time. You can get a great new turntable for $150, $200. Spend the extra money and you’ll be much happier. Ohhhh, also…put plastic outer sleeves on your records. Just do this. 
And shop at Factory Records as much as you can.

LWF: Do you have any other interests/hobbies besides records?

DN: I love cats. I’m typing this with my cat Tigger on my lap. And one of Tara’s cats just pooped out 5 kittens a month ago, so I’m having fun watching these little things grow. I love bodysurfing. I’m no big wave rider, and it’s too cold for me now, but I am in the water from like April to October at least a few times a week riding two to five foot waves. Being in the water is where I get to relax and get away from things. I like watching the Lakers, but they haven’t inspired me too much yet this season. I have faith though, and I’ll get hooked as usual. I love Project Runway, and haven’t missed an episode in years. I love anything to do with Star Wars, and have been enjoying all the buzzing about the new movies that are in the works. And, oh, speaking of Star Wars…I’m a world famous A-list cosplayer under the name Boba Phat. I travel to different Comic-Cons in costume and run a Facebook fan page and have thousands of awesome fans who love to stop me for photos and free stickers when I’m dressed up at the cons. It’s the closest thing I’ll ever be to being a rock star, with the added bonus of being able to take my mask and costume off at the end of the day and be regular old anonymous David James, the record store guy from Costa Mesa. Check it out: www.BobaPhat.com

LWF: Thanks Dave. We’ll be seeing you soon!

 

If you want to know more about Factory Records check out the following link’s: // FB // Instagram //

DAVE TELLS HIS STORY – FACTORY RECORDS


We recently met up with Dave from Factory Records in Costa Mesa, and asked him to trace the origins of his lifelong obsession with vinyl. We were so blown away by his amazing story that we decided to feature it in its entirety…


I started collecting vinyl as a pre-teen (I guess it’s called a “tween” now). I got my first records from my mom when I was ten or so—some Beatles albums. And while my dad wouldn’t give me his albums, I loved listening to his Johnny Cash records (especially the “Everybody Loves a Nut” album), and was exposed to Ray Charles long before it was cool to like him because of a movie. Other artists my parents introduced me to were Neil Diamond, Lou Rawls, and Barry Manilow. Of course, my younger brothers and I had a bunch of dumb kids’ records, too, but I loved flipping through the grown-up stuff and looking at the covers while listening to the music on the stereo. 

The seed was planted. 

Anyways, I had a paper route when I was ten years old until I was about 15 ½ (that means I was a paperboy, which is kinda a lost art these days). I’d deliver Daily Pilot newspapers in my Costa Mesa neighborhood weekday afternoons after school, and weekends around sunrise. I’d finish the deliveries on weekends just as the neighborhood garage sales were opening for business, so I had first crack at the crates of records. This was before the internet and TV shows like American Pickers and Pawn Stars, when you could relax and find cool albums all across the neighborhood almost every Saturday morning. (Nowadays, garage sales are ruined by coked-up, crate-digging hipsters who think they’re gonna get rich on Ebay with all of their tattered Pickwick label Elvis records.) Thus I was able to build a nice collection of what’s now considered classic rock: Beatles, The Stones, The Who—stuff like that. (And I loved the solo Beatles stuff—a Wings record was just as big of a score as, say, Revolver. My first Beatles Butcher Cover came from a garage sale right across the street from my house. It was either a quarter or fifty cents. What’s crazy is that I’ve had three of these come into the shop in the past two years or so, sold by sellers who didn’t have a clue. Butcher Covers are still out there! I can only imagine, being so naive and focused on mostly one type of music at an early age, what gems I let slip through my hands! Oh well!) 

In my early teens, while still a paperboy, I was turned on to the local independent record stores in Costa Mesa. One of these was called Music Market, located just three blocks outside of my neighborhood. It wasn’t the size of a modern superstore like Amoeba Records, but for its size in the 80’s, it was fucking huge—and it had everything, in every genre imaginable. I’d take my paper route earnings and buy a bunch of used records. They had a fifty cent bin that was amazing (The first fifty cent record I ever bought from Music Market was The Specials eponymous debut LP), and tons of great used LPs for 99 cents, $1.99…I remember thinking $2.99 or $3.99 was kinda pricey for a used album, so it must be something really rad. On occasion I’d pick out a new album for $5.98, $6.44, or $6.98. Imports could cost anywhere from $8.98 to $10.98, so it’d have to be something REALLY special, like a Beatles soundtrack album (without the shitty instrumental tracks). There were other stores to frequent: Discount Records and Licorice Pizza were cool. And in the early 80’s, Orange Coast College started a swap meet that was great for used album digging (the big swap meet at the OC Fairgrounds pretty much sucked for record shopping). 
In 1988, shortly after high school graduation (Class of ’87, Costa Mesa High!), while unenthusiastic about my higher education at OCC, I scored a job at Music Market. This proved to be the most important learning experience of my life. I worked my way into being in charge of all the used merchandise. I was the import buyer, and was able to observe the inner workings of an independent record store. I briefly left Music Market to work across the street at Discount Records, which taught me all about the basic bookkeeping and maintenance of a mom and pop shop. Shortly after returning to Music Market, they got bought out by a chain, and I realized there was no future for me sticking around there. One day my mom spotted a vacant shop on the corner of Mesa Verde Drive and Harbor Blvd., behind a 7-11. She gave me the number, I checked the place out, and the rest is history. 

I opened Noise Noise Noise Records on April 2, 1991. I didn’t have a ton of money, but with lots of love and labor from family and a few friends, it was done. Noise Noise Noise was a total DIY shop, nothing fancy: white-washed walls with some posters, a counter from the Goodwill, record and CD racks cobbled together, stocked with records from my own collection, along with a few lots bought at the OCC swap meet. Business did well right from the start. A few months after opening a guy came in with a box of records. He told me it was “rave” music, that DJs liked these records. (I was already hip to the rave scene, which was quickly gaining momentum in Los Angeles. I’d been attending these warehouse parties for a year or so: crazy, underground clubs thrown—illegally—in warehouses. The promoter would break in, set up a crazy sound system and weird visuals, sell everyone LSD or ecstasy, and the DJs would play far out music until the next morning—unless the cops shut the party down. Whenever that happened, we, the attendees, would have to run like hell, out of our minds on psychedelics, to another party, or somewhere safe. It wasn’t anything like these boring, corporate Electric Daisy parties kids do these days. We paved the way for them, and it was a wild ride.) So, I bought two of each record this guy had. They sold out within days, and when he returned the next week with more old and new titles, I bought three or four of each. Suddenly Noise Noise Noise was the place to go for this far out rave music—the DJ culture exploded. We started selling tons of techno, house, and all the micro-genres of this dance culture, along with hip hop, reggae, dancehall, and so on. Suddenly, everyone was a DJ or a producer and wanted all the original jazz, funk, and soul records that artists were sampling, so we started pushing those genres, too. As all this was happening, bands like Green Day and the Offspring had ignited the pop punk explosion, while Sublime and No Doubt were rocketing the third wave of ska. (The Offspring, Sublime, and No Doubt, being from Orange County, put the area on the map, which only fueled the local music scene.) Before the internet, your local record store was ground zero for hearing new sounds, gossip about your favorite band, or grabbing flyers for upcoming shows. You’d come to a shop like Noise Noise Noise to pick up fanzines, t-shirts, posters, tickets for shows, and so on. It was insane. We also became friends with a lot of the DJs at the University of California, Irvine’s KUCI radio station, and, as customers, they opened my eyes to all sorts of underground music genres I’d never been super deep into: ambient, prog rock, space rock, IDM, noise, experimental, and much, much more. Noise3 had an amazing mutual relationship with the KUCI crew, and I credit them for many of the music styles we sold at Noise3. I’ll hear them say it was because of Noise Noise Noise that they did this or heard that, and I’m like, “No! No! You’ve got it backwards!” 

There were lots of stores in Southern California at this time, but none sold the variety of sounds that we did (save for a few shops in LA). We were so diverse in our selection—and I say “we” because there were a handful of us there responsible for what we stocked. I signed the check when the UPS guy brought the orders, but I wasn’t the only selector. Noise3 just killed it in the 90’s. I was able to buy a house in a middle-upper class Costa Mesa neighborhood (total Descendents “Suburban Home” style!), was responsible for others getting paychecks so they could survive, paid my taxes and bills, had that financial security so many others wished they had—hell, I even had a pretty fat retirement fund going…and then I fucked it all up. 

Throughout the early 2000s, I was hopelessly hooked on drugs, and, subsequently, the store started slipping. By 2003, it was obvious to everyone that I was fucked. Folks abandoned me and the shop en masse (only a couple guys stayed on). Customers, meanwhile, were shopping elsewhere. In denial, I blamed Napster. (MP3s and downloading, of course, were killing the independent record store, but not as quickly as I was on my own.) Come 2006 I was broke, in and out of jail, and after skipping out on 5 months’ rent at Noise3, out of a shop and a job. 

Eventually, though, I got my shit together—working odd jobs, touring the US with my brother’s band Six, and holding a huge record-only garage sale each year on Record Store Day (unloading tons of killer records previously stuffed in storage for a buck each—unwittingly keeping myself in the game). Somehow I wound up working at Second Spin in 2009, which was my first time working at a corporate record (ok, CD/DVD) store. Ten months in, a guy I knew stopped in and asked if I’d be interested in opening up a shop again—a store called Sound Trolley was vacating a small space behind his girlfriend’s barbershop on East 17th Street in Costa Mesa. I knew of the location, and told him “no,” thinking it was too small. He told me to take a look anyways, so I did—the rest is history. I signed the lease on April 1, 2010—almost 19 years to the day after I opened Noise Noise Noise—and I opened Factory Records on April 24, 2010. It’s named after the record label of one of my all-time favorite bands, New Order. I opened the shop with some reluctance, wondering if I still had my any game left in the record world, and doubtful that a store could thrive in this day and age. 

But I did, and it has. 

The shop has been very successful since I opened it. (January 2013 marks 25 years of slingin’ wax for me!) That said, I’m able to do this because I live with my parents at 43 years of age (that house I owned was gradually shot into my veins every time I did my heroin). But at least now I know that, if necessary, I could survive on my own.

Read complete interview here.