Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saddle Creek is getting into the record store business

Saddle Creek Records is opening up a record store. Called the Saddle Creek Shop (or just "Shop" as it will probably come to be known by the logo above), it will feature all of the label's in-print vinyl and CD releases.

Seems natural to have a place to actually sell your own records (and T-shirts, stickers, etc.), but they're also going to sell new releases.

A grand opening will be held July 9 at the store, 721 N. 14th St. Update: It's actually open already, the told me. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday though hours will be extended so the shop's open before big shows, in-stores and other events.

It will be run out of the back of the label's warehouse (right next to Slowdown) and will also sort of be a Saddle Creek museum with old backstage passes, tour posters, album artwork, setlists and other stuff from the label's history.

It makes sense to sell Saddle Creek records, especially when they have the inventory right there, as well as give those searching out the label a destination. It seems like a lot of people who know of the label are looking for it when they come to town, but it's not like the label has a front office you can just walk into.

It's interesting that they're jumping into the murky waters of operating an independent record store though it seems that they'll be mostly focusing on new stuff and there won't be an inventory of used records. Still, I can't remember the last time a record store actually opened, just all the times that Homer's locations and others have had to close their doors.

They'll also be hosting in-store performances (a natural for bands playing the venue already) and they might even do limited-edition vinyl pressings.

What do you think about the label's newest venture?

Update 2: I talked to Saddle Creek's Jeff Tafolla today and took a trip down to the store. Here are some thoughts cobbled together from both of those events.

Basically, the store really is one tiny end of Saddle Creek's warehouse. It's a modest space and is staffed by regular Saddle Creek employees.

It mostly sells Saddle Creek releases, but there's a lot of other vinyl in there, too - everything from Nirvana to T-Rex. Don't expect to get amazing deals just because they're sold by Saddle Creek. It's regular prices or at least pretty much the same thing you'd see in their online store.

The good deals are found on regular merch. If you're aching for that Bright Eyes T-shirt you didn't buy at their last concert, head down to the Saddle Creek Shop. Most shirts are only 9 bucks. Saddle Creek coffee mugs were 5 bucks. The best deals were the selection of promotional posters for just about every recent release for only 3 bucks.

Anyway, go down there and check it out. It's a cool little place.

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