Vinyl Road Rage Hits Pittsburgh

by Joe Wallace

Vinyl Road Rage hit Pittsburgh, PA last night (Saturday April 23) after a completely INSANE Saturday. I hit eight record stores yesterday between Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. Plenty of vinyl finds and some GREAT record shops to write up (they will all get an individual review starting later next week). Being a road warrior was never so much fun.

There are plenty of photos from Vinyl Road Rage on my Facebook page and I will be posting some images from the road here later on, but today’s top priority is the mighty Jerry’s Records, in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. I wrote up Jerry’s from the last Road Rage but a return visit was definitely in the cards as this place is simply amazing.

I was frothing at the mouth about Jerry’s to a friend of mine who quipped, “Well, they’re no Ameboa Records.” To which I said, “Yes, but Ameboa is on the west coast and much too far away.” Jerry’s is tops in my book–accessible from Chicago within a reasonable distance (for a complete lunatic behind the wheel). And since I haven’t seen Ameboa yet…

I would be completely remiss if I didn’t mention two simply outstanding record shops in Columbus, Ohio. Lost Weekend and Spoonful.

Lost Weekend is an actual HOUSE on High Street crammed full of excellent new and used vinyl, expertly categorized and fussed over. There are record stores that sell vinyl, and then there are people who run shops who LOVE vinyl and Lost Weekend is clearly run by someone who LOVES vinyl and doesn’t simply SELL it. There is a difference and I’ve experienced plenty of the OTHER example on this trip–places like Lost Weekend give me the energy to continue a crazy trek like this.

Then there’s Spoonful, which is a bit of Rough Trade in reverse–Spoonful started off as a label and then opened the store. (I’m reading the Rough Trade Records bio Document and Eyewitness so it’s a bit on the brain as of late, heh).

Spoonful is run by another vinyl-loving collector with a clear passion for both the music he releases and the music put out by others. This shop is a treasure–it’s inviting, friendly, the two pinball machines in the back really add something to this place totally missing from other shops. Spoonful hasn’t even been open a year and deserves a LOT of support–places like this and Lost Weekend are one of the reasons to collect vinyl in the first place–music aside–there’s a warm friendly community of people out there trying to make it as indie businesses.

I will definitely return to Columbus for no other reason than to visit these two shops, plus the reggae record shop Roots, which was also amazing–more on Roots later when I can rub two brain cells together without thinking about Jerry’s Records.