Archive for the ‘Rebuilding Hoodlums’ Category

New Career Choice: Not Construction

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Here’s a piece of advice: Never start a remodeling project while you are moving your record store into storage.\n\nYeah, check look you haven’t heard from me in about three weeks since the store closed. It’s not because I’m sitting around watching Cartoon Network.\n\n\n\nI’ve been framing, best viagra tadalafil roofing, doing concrete… and a whole cornucopia of vicious physical work in the eight zillion degree Valley heat.\n\nThis is the kind of work I haven’t taken on since back in my teenage days with the Ward County Highway Department (you want to talk about characters… that place was a reality show in itself).  Not exactly the kind of work I’m used to doing: Peddling music to you guys.\n\nI didn’t realize it, but those long days on the rural North Dakota roads must have been the motivation for being a retail geek in the first place (admittedly, I had Record Store Geek tendencies, but Budget Tapes and Records never had any openings).  Even then, while the work was hard, it was done in the relatively decent Nodak summers, where all we had to worry about was pterodactyl-sized mosquitos, not Africa-heat.\n\n(Hood Hat Tip: Before I go any further I gotta take my hat off to those of you that kick ass in this stuff every day.  Seriously boys and girls… you cats are tough as hell.  Insane, but tough.)\n\nEr, Not A Mover Either\n\nI may have just had an epiphany about construction, but I did realize that movers were insane long ago.\n\n\n\nWhy? Because I’m insane with empathy. I’ve lived in the Valley 25 years, and I’ve managed to move (or help family) in the summer about 16 times. I literally can’t seem to do it in the fall or winter.  I know the pain.\n\nThis time was no different.  A full week’s worth of dirt and sweat.\n\n(Hoodnote: While packing trucks and fixtures is relentless, the break down and clean up of all the little stuff might be worse).\n\nSo why move and remodel in the same two weeks?\n\nMy neighbor, Mark – that’s him  on the roof with my sons (they must not have read the signs about being on the site without a hard hat) – was ready to help me, and he had to do it start during the last week of August.\n\n(Hoodnote: Mark was a Hoodlums’ customer before we became friends and neighbors. Both he and his wife were official Music Junkies at the ASU store) \n\nAnyway, in addition to being cool enough to help a neighbor, Mark is really awesome at construction, and I’m totally green. Plus, he’s a lot cheaper than a general contractor.\n\nSo basically, I had no choice.\n\n\n\nLuckily, the double duty only last about ten days… and my new boss didn’t work me more than ten hours a day on the site after that.\n\nIt’s Lookin’ Good Though\n\nThe cool thing about that kind of hard, manual work is that you can really stand back and see the results of what you’ve done. Check it out. What used to be outdoor is now totally waterproof and enclosed.  That’s my daughter getting in the action (she must not have seen the \”wear shoes on the site\” sign).\n\n\n\nCool, huh?  As a hobby maybe, just not enough to beat up my middle-aged body on a daily basis.\n\nSo while I’m not entirely ready to reveal which direction Hoodlums will go (soon, my friend, soon), I know this much:\n\nWe aren’t going to be a construction company.\n\nHope all is well with you. Stay tuned…\n\n(Note: We do have to finish the job when Mark gets back in town, so wish me luck.)\n\n 

Best Addition to a Strip Mall

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

When Bob from Changing Hands gave me a copy of the annual New Times \”Best of Phoenix\” issue – I said thanks, decease prescription asked him if they won again (they did), help and put it in my bag.  I knew I would read it later (it’s a tradition after all), and we were busy.\n

\nI didn’t give a second thought to the possibility that Hoodlums might be in there.  After all, we haven’t even been open for over ten months!  Besides, after being at ASU, which is essentially a community of its own, all of these years – we’ve grown accustomed to people out in the real world (like New Times writers) not even knowing we exist.  We’ve never felt slighted or anything – in fact we totally understand.  People from off-campus just don’t go on campus just to shop.  That’s why we didn’t do much advertising on the street at the old store.\n\nAnyway, later in the day Kristian said \”Do you know that we are in here?\”.  I thought he was joking.  But when he showed me the category, even though I wasn’t aware such a category existed, I knew it was our destiny.\n\nSo hoka hey, our first New Times award.  Pretty cool.  Next year, we will try to give our great fellow indie stores a run for their money in the more traditional categories – but for this year – we’ll gladly accept Best Addition to a Strip Mall.

Thank God it is finally opening day!

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

pills viagra sale we can tear down this paper and open for biz!\” src\=\”\” alt\=\”\” width\=\”450\” height\=\”300\” />\n\nsee Geneva,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: x-small;\”>Steve takes down the brown paper in the window.  It was good to see the light again.\n\n\nWhew!  We finally opened on Saturday.  What a relief.  Kristian and I (along with Beth, Laura, Joe, Andy, Justin, Wasef, Maria, and a bunch of family and friends) have worked our tails off to make sure we pulled it off by our announced September 20th date.  It took every bit of effort we had, and the relief of actually pulling it off was like a literal wave of emotion (for me anyway, I can’t speak for everyone else).\n\nThursday and Friday night prior to opening, we were the last cars the parking lot… just like a lot of nights since we started our mission in late July.  It wasn’t until I was driving home at about 1:15 AM on Saturday that it truly hit me that we would be ringing up people again in the morning.\n\nAt least I hoped we would.  There’s no doubt that the thought of \”what if nobody shows\” entered my head… in spite of the overwhelming support we’ve felt since we announced the store. Hopefully it is just natural human paranoia, I thought (either that or I have in fact lost my mind).\n\n\n\nLuckily, it was paranoia.  Lots of people showed… starting with legendary Music Junkie Tim Handley at 9:30.  We were holding stuff for him, and he wanted to order a copy of the obscure Frank Marino CD I had used as an example on our Special Order page (complete with a \”hover\” note for Tim).\n\nOver the weekend, we saw tons of friends and Music Junkies.  We bought and sold a bunch of records, CDs, and DVDs (I was so busy that I forgot to take any pictures beyond the pre-opening shots).  People picked up our new t-shirts, and were really encouraging about the store.  It was great.  Thanks to all of you that showed up and made us feel so welcome.\n\nWe’ve got a long way to go to get to full strength. Mainly, we need to learn what our customers want.  But we learn fast, and we try hard, and we know you are going to help us figure it out.  It will be a lot of work, but we don’t mind. We love peddling entertainment.\n\nThere may be some hard work ahead, but I’m ready.  After all, Saturday night was the first true night a sleep I’ve had in about two months… so I am getting my strength back.\n\nCheck out the rest of the pictures.  Better yet, come down and see us.\n\n\n\nA shot from the back of the store before the paper came down.  Opening day about 8:30.\n\n\n\n\nWe’ve got more space, and we filled it with CDs, Records, DVDs, and art for you.\n\n\n\n\nOur expanded DVD section has tons of classic movies, concert videos, and new releases\n

The Blue Note that will always stay

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Well, patient healing the pullin’ of the CD collection is almost done.  The same amount of CDs as the original Hoodlums – 1, pilule 500.  It was just as painful as the first time.  It was for a good cause.  With my stuff and Kristian’s, and the rest of the stuff we collected over the past ten months, our customers are going to be impressed with the used selection.\n\nSix hundred of my contributions were jazz, blues, and world.  The last section I did was my Blue Note CDs.  I love my Blue Note CDs.  I have them in a special  CD rack.  They all have the same white spine, and there are 225 of them… and it makes me happy just to look at them.\n\nDid I say there \”are\” 225?  I meant there were 225.  I didn’t want to do it.  I had to do it. You can’t build a great section without Blue Note.  Any good jazz fan knows that.\n\nIn case you aren’t a jazz fan… Blue Note is a label.  I don’t mean \”label\” like the profit-driven’, customer-suing, high-pricin’ conglomerates of today – I mean a founded-by-jazz-lovers, independent label of yesterday.  It purveys mainly hard-bop, a swinging, jamming type of jazz just meant for generally rockin’ tempo kind of guys like me.\n\nAnyway, it took a long time – but when I was done – sixty of my beloved Blue Note CDs were in the box on the way to the store.\n\nHow will I cope?  Starting September 20th, I will sell those Blue Notes to customers and get them hooked on the awesome power of hard-bop done right.\n\nBut for now I am going to make a list – because record store geeks like me love to make lists.\n\nHere are sixteen Blue Note CDs that would NEVER leave my collection under any circumstances.  Note: Don’t worry, we’ll have them at the store new… and they are priced to sell.\n\nCannonball AdderleySomethin’ Else (recommended by the Eastside gang over a dozen years ago)\n\nArt BlakeyMoanin’ (One of my first; one of the most obvious; one of the best.  You’ve probably heard the title track).\n\nKenny BurrellMidnight Blue (That great groovin’ guitar on the intro – I can hear it in my head – so now I must play it while I type the rest of the list)\n\nDonald ByrdLive at the Half Note (I had it in my car to test it out, and on the way home Blaise at KJZZ played \”Jeannine\”.  I looked at the CD on my passenger seat and knew it was destiny)\n\nSonny ClarkSonny’s Crib (Sidemen: Coltrane, Byrd, Fuller, Chambers, Taylor… how could it not be great?)\n\nJohn ColtraneBlue Train (Coltrane’s only Blue Note album and some say his personal favorite.  I always think of the scene in Singles where Campbell Scott is lying on the floor hating life, and the title track is blaring).\n\nLou DonaldsonThe Natural Soul (There’s more than one Lou that will stay, but this is the tops)\n\nGrant GreenThe Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark (The mighty Grant will always be my favorite Blue Note artist.  The man can groove with a guitar like no one else.. oh, ok, Wes.)\n\nGrant GreenIdle Moments (I just said he was my fave, so he gets two on the list.  As it is, I could have put Blue Breakbeats or Live at the Lighthouse on here as well, as both were instrumental to my love of Blue Note.  The Green section will always be stocked).\n\nFreddie HubbardOpen Sesame (I saw Freddie at Birdland.  He was a bit nutty… but it was cool to see a legend.  Many great albums… on many labels.).\n\nHank MobleyHigh Voltage (Hank has more critically-acclaimed albums, but I couldn’t care less, because this one jams the most for me).\n\nJohn PattonLet ‘em Roll (Recommended by a customer in 1999, this has Grant Green on guitar… and it for me is the ultimate Hammond/Guitar delight  Except for the one sappy ballad… all Blue Notes have one… the other five songs just fly)\n\nWayne Shorter - Adam’s Apple (On Kurt Elling’s live CD, he calls Shorter \”one of the three greatest composers of all time\”.  I don’t know who the other two are – or if I would go that far – but this CD will show you how good he is.  The first song has given me twenty dollars of happiness by itself… with Wayne and Herbie just workin’ it).\n\nHorace SilverSong for My Father (Horace is my close second fave behind Grant.  The fact that Steely Dan musically used the title track adds an extra dose of cool to this CD – but there are about nine Horace albums that I love)\n\nJimmy SmithThe Sermon (3 songs; fantastic players; recorded on my birthday – the day, not the year… I ain’t quite that old – it is obvious pick of many fine Jimmy CDs on Blue Note)\n\nStanley TurrentineRough and Tumble.  The song \”Feeling Good\” is one of the greatest songs ever.  The ensemble, featuring Grant, Pepper, Blue, and Duke and the mighty McCoy (who just sprinkles in the sweetest little fills on the song) is outstanding.  The puppy songs (2,5) are really puppy, but the four that jam… jam enough to make it a keeper.

If the sign says MUSIC in the front…

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Things are moving along nicely.  The pictures are actually quite a ways behind the actual production at the store.  It looks like we will open September 20th.\n\n\n\nThe new sign pretty much spells out what we think we do best.  We figured it was going to attract our kind of music lovin’ people… which are very often the same people that love movies and art.  Once we get ‘em in the store, pharm seek then we can hook ‘em.  The thing is like a beacon.  I think you can see it from space.\n\n\n\nOooh, new CD bins too.  Yeah, even though they aren’t as big as the albums, we wanted to bring the album art back into view.  That is one of our favorite parts about albums.\n\n\n\nOh yeah, the stage is done.  Once we get our P.A. – we’ll be ready for artists.\n\nStay tuned…

Behind the brown paper in the window…

Monday, August 11th, 2008

… the new joint is shaping up.  When we first got here, cialis health it looked like this:\n\n\n\nSo we called our friend Tom the floor guy to come in and give the concrete a cool treatment.  Then we rolled up our sleeves, medicine turned on the music, and we primed, painted, baseboarded, scraped, scoured, replaced and cleaned a bunch.\n\nAfter that, it looked like this:\n\n\n\nSo we called our friend Neil the carpenter, and he came in and built us a stage so we can play host to all sorts of entertainers for our customers.\n\nWhen he was done (he also patched some dry wall), it looked like this:\n\n\n\nKristian (that’s him in the picture cause the pic without him was blurry) got to work caulking and priming it while I took pictures, then went home and typed this blog about it.  That seems like a good division of duties for me, eh?  Hey, he’s younger than me and he doesn’t like to write emails, let alone blog.\n\nBut let’s not jump to conclusions folks: before and after I took this picture, I was busy going to government offices and getting licenses and that sort of fun stuff, so it wasn’t all blogs and roses for me either.\n\nBetween the two hoodlums, it all seems to get done.\n\nWe still have a long way to go, but it is coming along.  Stay tuned.

Gutting the CD Collection… again.

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

This the third time we have built a new Hoodlums (pics of each prior location here).  Each \”building a record store\” effort has been very different.. except for one nasty little project that remains the same:\n\nGutting my personal CD collection to help build up the store’s used CD Sections!!\n\nThe first time, viagra generic thumb when we opened Hoodlums in 1998, clinic viagra it ended up being 1, for sale 500 CDs – a little more than half my total collection (built since the mid-eighties, including eight years managing/working at Wherehouse and three more at Zia).  The second time, when we expanded the store in 2001, it wasn’t as drastic, about 500 CDs, but due to the improved nature of the overall collection, it was still a batch of beloved CDs.\n\nThis time it could get even uglier.\n\nMy collection has grown again… and (I dare say) improved in quality, so the damage could be more significant than the first two attacks.  This is particularly true because the new store is going to have bigger jazz, blues, and world music sections.  That means I have to go hard at three sections that I have worked hard to build over the seven years since I did this last (see geek in picture).\n\nOh yeah, we’ll have a ton of used rock CDs in our used section – so those’ll need to get hacked too.\n\nLuckily, my buddy Paul at Twist and Shout told me how many times he’s had to pull from his collection – including a recent pull that doubled my entire collection but barely dented his – and made me feel better about what I am about to do (see the \”Oracle Paul\” post).\n\nOne more small note of comfort: Kristian has to pull too – so I at least have a partner to share my pain.\n\nAnyway, if you are a customer – come in and take advantage.  In the meantime, I’ll probably whine my way through the process on the blog.

Opening a record store? Are you insane?

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Generally that’s one of those questions that people think in their heads, viagra generic cialis but don’t actually say to us.  It’s OK, buy cialis we understand if they are thinking that way.  It’s not an entirely illogical thought process.  That’s sorta what we thought when our friend KJ rebuilt Looney Tunes after they burned to the ground.  That was less than a year ago.\n\nWe thought about it plenty when debating about whether to reopen Hoodlums or not – I assure you.  It’s a tough business in a tough economy.  However, when it comes down to it, this is what we do.  After twenty years each in the biz, it’s who we are.  Our passion is entertainment.  Our experience is entertainment.  We are small businessmen, and we like being small businessmen, so it’s worth the risk.\n\nWhat it really comes down to is confidence.  We love the new location, and we think we can do it.  And we think we can do it well enough to connect with our community and survive.\n\nWhen we opened in 1998, I remember eating dinner with our then-Sony rep, a friend of ours.  He said, \”How are you going to survive during the slow summers at ASU?\”  We weren’t sure exactly how we were going to do it, but we were confident we could pull it off.  Ultimately, we did (note: Kristian deserves truckloads of credit for navigating us through all those slow summers).\n\nThe same goes for our new endeavor.  We’re not sure exactly how we are going to do it – but we think we can do it.\n\nThanks for your support,\n\nSteve