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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Last Collector Standing: Thrift-Shop Expert Adam Newsham on Surf, Bossanova and the Thrill of the Hunt

Posted By on Thu, Aug 26, 2010 at 2:15 PM

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How do you think nostalgia plays into the way we listen to music and purchase music? You almost live through the record. You live through your parents listening to [records]. I go all over the board. I love new wave. Listening to it, you kind of get the sense that you were there. You listen to this music and research where all these bands were from and you put yourself in that place. I think that's really cool with records, because you actually have the thing.

A kid today downloads an album. It becomes a favorite album of their youth. Do you think they're going to have the same sense of nostalgia 20 years from now that you did from listening to a record? Possibly. I think you still get a feel for the music, but whenever I put on a record I can see the sleeve and see the art. I don't think you will necessarily get that same sense, because it's nice to have that tangible thing. I guess you get that with CDs too, but it's different.

To be totally honest I don't really know, because like I said, I've never searched online for music. When you start looking for records and you want to find that gem, they really are rare. It's hard to find.


Do you have an album cover that was highly influential in encouraging you to collect records? One that stands out in my mind from when I was a kid was Big Brother and the Holding Company Cheap Thrills, the R. Crumb cover. I remember looking at it and thinking it was so crazy. Crumb's a nut. His drawings are far out, especially for a little kid. Then you open it up, and there's the band with all this psychedelic shit in the background.

I'm real into art and photography. I'll collect records for the album art even if I don't necessarily like the record. I like foreign records, German records. Heino. His album covers are really weird. He's a really weird looking dude, but every time I see one I'll pick it up. He's like the German Liberace.

Do you have a favorite record shopping experience? One really cool one was up at the flea market in Wellston. I was flipping through some bins, and I found the first three Funkadelic albums and the first Parliament record, one right after the other. They called me the record man up there.

[Goes into funky voice]

"Ah, it's the record man."

"How much do you want for these?"

"Ah man, I'll give you a quarter a piece on them."

That was pretty awesome driving home from that.

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