Unwed Sailor's Johnathon Ford Spotlights His Favorite Indie Record … – Glide Magazine

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Photo credit: Charles Elmore
In Vinyl Lives we spotlight and profile record stores around the country who offer music lovers an experience that goes beyond an iTunes purchase or a Spotify playlist. Vinyl has found a new resurgence in recent years and the good folks behind independent record stores are on the front line, directly responsible for curating a unique collection of music. Here at Glide Magazine we feel that record stores are a valuable part of the community and to music as a whole, and are therefore worth celebrating.
After two decades of critically acclaimed and fan-adored releases, Unwed Sailor has become a fixture within the indie rock/pop landscape. A familiar and unceasing tide. A steady hand through turbulent channels.
In many ways, the band’s forthcoming release Mute The Charm (due out February 10th on Spartan Records) represents an exercise in addition by subtraction – creating a layered emotive experience through more organic means. The album is a back-to-basics return that sees Johnathon Ford – the mastermind behind the band – going back to some of his earliest influences and injecting it into the DNA of the music.
We’re talking New Order, The Sundays, Seam, Joy Division, Roxy Music, and the late 80s/early 90s Manchester England scene. It’s distinctly different for them and it resonates in a much different way from their previous releases. This can be heard in the catchy instrumental “Windy City Dreams”:
With these types of influences, you might be wondering where Ford seeks out his favorite albums. In this special edition of Vinyl Lives, Ford turns the spotlight on three of his favorite record stores along with one that sadly no longer exists.
Music Millennium (Portland, OR)
I’ve been visiting Music Millennium since the early 90’s when I lived in Portland for a bit. It’s always been a standout record store to me, and one of my favorites in the country. Lately, I will always stop in when Unwed Sailor plays Portland, to browse through their massive used CD collection. It’s the perfect place to stock up on some CDs for the van, and their selection is too good to be true. I usually have to stop myself at 10 CDs and leave the store. There are just too many that I want!
Love Garden (Lawrence, KS)
I would frequent Love Garden when I lived in Lawrence, KS in the early 00s. I always try and stop in on Unwed Sailor tours as well. They have one of the best used vinyl selections I have ever experienced. It’s pretty ridiculous the records I have found in their punk and alternative used bins. I am always blown away with what I walk out of there with. Another thing I love about Love Garden is the pricing on their vinyl and CDs. Super fair and not overpriced! Love Garden will always be in my top record stores in the country.
Park Ave CDs (Orlando, FL)
Park Ave CDs is another record store with an excellent selection of vinyl and CDs, and I always get a surprise with some rare gem that I find there. I love record stores that surprise me, the ones where you finally find this record you’ve been searching forever for, or the ones where you find a record you never knew existed and think, “How did I live without this??” or “How did I not know about this??” Park Ave CDs is one of those stores for me. I also love that they have CD in their name. Most stores today would have changed the CD to Vinyl at this point, so I love that they stuck with the CD in their name. Each of these stores have been around a long time and have weathered the ups and the downs. They are institutions that I have the utmost respect for and it’s always a highlight to shop in these stores.
Fallout Records in Seattle, WA (closed in 2003)
Fallout is long gone, but I can remember in the early 90’s the highlight of my week was going into Fallout and buying a record after I got off work. This was back when I could buy a 7” for $3 and an LP for $8 – $10. So much of my music education happened in that store. It was the smallest record store I have ever been in. It was literally one small room with records and a cash register. It was also an intimidating store to shop in. I was always scared to bring the record up to the register, hoping that I wouldn’t be judged for what I was buying. This was the era of the snobby record store clerks. Punks with no smiles to give. At the time it was intimidating, but now I look back and laugh at the memories. I loved Fallout and I get a little teary-eyed when I’m back in Seattle and walk by the storefront where it used to be.
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SONG PREMIERE: Austin’s Under The Rug Knots Bold Intimate Charisma On “Bolo Tie”
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Unwed Sailor’s Johnathon Ford Spotlights His Favorite Indie Record Stores (VINYL LIVES)
VIDEO PREMIERE: Mile Twelve Take a Progressive Bluegrass Odyssey with “Take Me As I Am”


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