I'm a freelance writer and primary school teacher living in SE Melbourne. I love finding adventures for myself, my husband and our four kids to enjoy. Come along! Heart my articles, subscribe to the fun, follow along on www.facebook.com/WNMelbourne
The Vinyl Cafe fictional stories are about Dave, owner of a second hand record store, also called "The Vinyl Cafe". The stories feature Dave and his wife, Morley, their two children, Sam and Stephanie, and assorted friends and neighbours. The motto of Dave's store, and of the radio show, is "We May Not Be Big, But We're Small".
The Basement Discs reminds me of the Vinyl Cafe, and of Dave. There's a certain wistful nostalgia that can only waft into one's memory with the smell and feel of vinyl.
The Basement Discs has been offering Australian music lovers an extensive selection music for 20 years; the hottest CD releases worldwide, rare and unique recordings, and of course, more recently stocking premium new vinyl. Oxymoron? Not for those in the know, and The Basement Discs crew "love sharing their passion, love, and knowledge of most genres of music," and consistently aim to stock the finest and most interesting range possible.
I caught up with Eric McCusker of Mondo Rock the other day, interviewing him for an upcoming reunion tour (check my page later this week for more details). When I asked him how he would convince a young person to come to one of his concerts, he waxed poetic about the quality of music and talent of their band, and went on to add a healthy dose of appreciation for today's younger artists as well. Somehow I expected him to quickly dis' and dismiss the "kids these days..." but his response is what I would expect from some of the crew here at The Basement Discs: a keen appreciation for raw, unadulterated talent; rookies, veterans, on vinyl, plastic, and digital alike.
At well over 15,000 titles in stock at any one time, they're motto is a far cry from that of the Vinyl Cafe; may be more like, "We may not be new, but we're old."
For the first time since the world wide interweb began, I find myself wishing that there was a store that was not online. That authentic feel and sound and smell of the flip, flip, flipping of the records in the deep drawer-like shelves just needs to be experienced; clicking online and waiting for the postal service? So not the same. But, if there is something you cannot find on the website, they promise to do their best to track down whatever you are looking for, if they don't already stock it.
I hope you're only shopping online with The Basement Discs if you're not in Melbourne; the team there love what they do, and say they would love to "have a chat in person, about the music we all dig."
The Vinyl Cafe show endeavours to introduce listeners to new Canadian musical talent, through playing recordings in studio episodes, and stage performances in the live audience shows. A major part of what The Basement Discs does, is present free regular lunchtime live performances, from both local and overseas artists. A calendar of up-coming events can be found here.
The Basement Discs, like all truly epic, quirky, artsy, and indie stores of the laneways of Melbourne, can be found at 24 Block Place, heading toward Little Collins, don't miss the stairwell entrance down to the 1889 basement.
If you're up for a bit of nostalgic Canadiana (Stuart McLean's parents were Australian, by the way), click here to download the latest podcast. You can listen on your computer or on your MP3 player. Not available on vinyl... yet.
Image credit: "Hand Holding Record" by ponsulak / freedigitalphotos.net