By Fercho Valdivia
I don’t know where to start, but one thing I can say is ;I love Los Angeles, the reason is that I spent my Christmas holydays with my family, but also my journey was full of memories, music and records. This is the second time I visited LA, but this time I felt more music in the air, more spots and of course tons of record stores.
I just wanted to share some of the music and record stores that walked along during the journey. Since you put a foot in LA a sunshine and Rockstar spirit take your body. In some way the land of my dreams tells me once again welcome back!, which record do you want for your collection?
Yeah ! It´s a weird way of thinking but as soon I get to the car the first stop was visiting “Amoeba”, I only had been in LA for 2 hours and my heart just couldn’t resist. It’s almost impossible not to get excited the moment you cross the door, you don’t know where to start, so I just hit the new arrivals, “digging” as crazy but nothing I won’t tell you all the routine but I got 2 records Gary Clark Jr and The Black Keys, two of the top artists in my life, of course I wanted to bought more but I still had 8 days ahead and more record stores to saw.
Driving in the streets of LA is like magic for sure. You can feel that glamourous air and Rockstar lifestyle but also I have to say that since my last visit I saw more homeless people, life is getting hard every day.
The next couple of days I spent time with my family. We talked about everything; life, music, movies and of course star wars. Even, I had long and interesting conversation about whether to belive or not in God, It had been 5 years without seeing them , we had much to catch up on as you can see.
My uncle Rick was my companion in this adventure, We hit the second record store, “Atomic Records” it was a little unfortunate we arrived 30 min before closing so We dig as crazy, one of the things I loved about this store was the smell of old records. It made me feel like I was in time travelling. During the time I could have gone crazy; a lot blues and jazz records.My favorite part was the female vocalist section, there is an amazing number of bands you can find, funk, blues, rock you name it so when you enter in the store go to the left in the last row… enjoy.
You must visit “Atomic Records” the person in charge will help you and he is full of musical facts. Also, you will enjoy the blu-ray and dvd racks they have really good prices.
My journey continued during Christmas even my Uncle and I hit the road directly to “Permanent Records”, I found this store while I surfed the internet on the web page of Marshall headphones; go to backstage and click “Guided by Music”, you will find interviews that made been made to local artist an share their favorites places to get music or enjoy it, you can find; Los Angeles, Paris, London, Germany and much more. I´ll leave the link at the end.
While driving through Sunset Street, my uncle put some CD mixes. It turns out that he is an 80´s fan. The soundtrack that day was Fastway and my Uncle favorite track is “Easy Livin´”. We had the sun, the car, the soundtrack and Rockstar attitude.
Finally we arrived to “Permanent Records” , so I started digging and suddenly the man in charge said to me “we close in 10 min, is Christmas eve”, my face melt so I put all my energy in triyng to see every rack; rock, blues, heavy metal and local bands; that´s something that I love about the store; supporting local bands is just awesome. So the time was running and if my memory doesn´t failed me I saw the Clash and The B´52 but at the end I picked a random record form the local bands and a T- Shirt. I was happy but unluckily my credit card didn’t work and my Uncle didn’t have enough cash, I left with my hands empty. (A couple of days later I came back, but it was closed bad luck again.)
That same day We decided to hit the famous bar, “Rainbow” it was closed but we had some drinks at “Lemmy´s Lounge”, Jack Daniels of course, while my uncle had a conversation with the bartender both had a great time. Hope my uncle goes back and ask her out. The place is cool but at Christmas eve it was empty probably I will go back in summer, also we toasted for the Lemmy birthday.
The musical journey continue and of course I hit “Amoeba” for the second time, and I bought a Green Carnation record, I had been looking for this for a long time, they also had a box set but I was running out of money and I still had to buy some presents and of course extra baggage.
My last stop was “The Last Bookstore” someone recommend to me and it was my surprise when I got inside and they also have records I never expected this, so the choice have been made, I started digging I saw Frank Sinatra, Fleetwood Mack, Marvin Gaye and many more. In the first round I didn’t find everything so I decided to check the book shelves and there was a lot of stuff it was crazy after a couple of hours I got “We Are The Clash ” and “I´ll Be Gone In The Dark.” The first one is a view of The Clash music with a political contest, and the second one is about the Golden State Killer, they captured this serial killer in 2018, so it must be quite unique. Once I finish the reading, I will write the review for you Howllers.
In my second digging I found a record for the band “All Hell” so without doubt I took it, I didn’t find anything else, so I just looked one more time in the music books and that’s it.
The Last Bookstore is a unique place a lot of things to watch also you can sit and have some reading, and the way they classified the books is really nice for example the true crime section had a “creepy” entrance with warning signs and of course the books structure is quite original. Also, they have a section of the building when you can find some local artist, painting or antiques it is worth it.
So, this how we get to the end of the journey, maybe you feel that you have already see everything in LA but as many countries they all have hidden jewels, people to meet, places to feel and music to enjoy. I can’t wait to go back and discover much more of this city I still have a lot to know and of course music to listen.
One last thing when I’m traveling I do a playlist, in which have all the song that I listen during my trip, maybe I was at the mall, street or in a record store it helps me to remember part of the journey is a musical flashback, I leave the link below.