Best Unseen Hand Shaping St. Louis Music - 2001
Jim Utz, Vintage Vinyl ombudsman
Look, if you want definitive proof of Jim Utz's greatness as a record-store employee, you're gonna have to dig. Jim is not one of those attention-grubbing, glamour-hog, name-tag-wearing service drones who cheerfully barks, "HI, MY NAME IS JIM! ARE YOU FINDING EVERYTHING OK, AND WOULD YOU LIKE TO BUY SOME MATCHBOX 20 ALBUMS?" every time you mosey down the aisles. No, Jim Utz possesses an almost feline craftiness, a sort of animal cunning that enables him to oh-so-subtly warp the fibers of reality so they more closely match his own rock & roll desires. Who was the rock guru at Vintage Vinyl East, forcing kids to buy guitar albums in the synth-pop wackness of the late '80s? Jim Utz. How did the Obsessed's back catalog end up on the shelves this past year? Jim Utz. Why are all those Southern Lord T-shirts up at the merch counter? Jim Utz. All right, maybe he's not personally engineering the ascendancy of serious rock in Vintage Vinyl's hallowed racks, but you can't prove he's not. The Eye of Utz is ever-watchful, and the Hand of Utz reaches far.