Archive for October, 2011

Ryan Adams almost meets Ryan Hannigan

For those of you not on twitter Catriona had a guy in the shop today who looked just like Ryan Adams. When Ryan Hannigan the singer with Avalanche favourites Star Wheel Press popped in with more CDs on his way to the Ryan Adams gig it dawned on Catriona that it had indeed been Ryan Adams and not just a lookalike.

Any doubts were put aside when the man himself posted a photo on twitter taken outside the shop. Those of you who know the shop will know this is the view from outside our door. A little embarrassingly we had in fact just sold out of the new album on CD though at least we still had the Ashes & Fire vinyl in stock.

I should say that I am rubbish at recognising bands when they come in the shop and almost as bad with all the comedians we get though at least after a few visits I tend to remember them. Fucked Up spoke very highly about the shop to David from The Shop Assistants when he was down for their gig and yet I’m afraid that though I’m sure I was in I don’t remember seeing them which even I find hard to believe ! 

And yes I do know it should really read Ryan Hannigan almost meets Ryan Adams but one day when the charismatic Mr Hannigan is a star it will read right and I’ll be able to say I told you so !  


This is what things have come to

After a tweet by our friends at Spillers in Cardiff I checked out the new top 10 albums. It looks bad enough but having Tom Waits at 10 puts it all in context.


The Top 10 UK albums this week are:



1. Coldplay – ‘Mylo Xyloto’
2. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – ‘Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’
3. Michael Buble – ‘Christmas’
4. Bruno Mars – ‘Doo Wops & Hooligans’
5. Kelly Clarkson – ‘Stronger’
6. Matt Cardle – ‘Letters’
7. Ed Sheeran – ‘+’
8. Adele – ’21’
9. Steps – ‘The Ultimate Collection’
10. Tom Waits – ‘Bad As Me’

Jeff Mangum’s Aeroplane Over The Sea may be delayed

Jeff Mangum ATP Festival Postponed

Jeff Mangum ATP Festival postponed due to “extremely unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances”

Several artists scheduled to perform at the December festival also had shows booked by ATP in London in the days surrounding the festival. From the statement:

“The separate London shows for The Magic Band and Superchunk will stay at their original dates– we are waiting to hear back regarding the Jeff Mangum, Panda Bear, Olivia Tremor Control and Thurston Moore London shows which may also be rescheduled– keep an eye on our website for confirmation– we will let you know as soon as we can.”

Two acoustic shows from Gordon Ballboy – his words not mine !

Okay – because I’m an idiot I have managed to agree to play 2 shows on consecutive days in November.  They are

1st Nov – Leith Theatre Session (Charity gig in support of Leith Theatre Trust)

Doors are at 6.30, entry is £10 and I am playing first.

The following night I am playing at this:

2nd Nov – Secret CDs @ The Voodoo Rooms

Doors will open at 7.30 p.m., entry is £3 and the running order for the night is:
7.45: Freeloading Frank
8.30: Jill Hepburn
9.15: Gordon Ballboy
10.00: Norman Lamont and The Invisible Helpers

So within 2 nights you get the chance to come support the future of the Leith Theatre and also the future of Edinburgh’s finest Open Mic night – Out Of The Bedroom (“ah Ambassador, with these consecutive acoustic gigs you are really spoiling us etc etc”).

Withered Hand in Rolling Stone magazine – It will be Meursault on the cover of the NME next !

Frightened Rabbit ten inch now available to order in the shop

New @FRabbits 10 inch can now be ordered from our online shop. Release date is October 31st.



New Frightened Rabbit 10 inch vinyl EP out Monday Oct 31st

I’ll be putting this up for preorder soon. There are only 500 so I’m just waiting to hear how many I am likely to get. I’m sure we will be able to add something extra !

Tracks are Scottish Winds, Fuck This Place and The Work. Full info to follow.  


DJ Shadow on record stores and his new album

The music industry today is a completely different business to that of 2006. And vinyl junkie Shadow is concerned that downloading could be ruining artists’ work.

He says: “We’re in the twilight of the physical world.

“But we haven’t segued into the digital realm comfortably.

“I think the advent of copyright afforded an unprecedented explosion of human creativity. What I’m seeing now is music in stasis — where nothing is moving forward.”

It’s a gloomy outlook confirmed by the demise of the music obsessive’s natural home — the record store.

He says: “Some of this now seems quite futile to me. But I don’t think what I’m doing is futile. This is my life and passion.

“I just feel weird sitting idly by and pretending everything is hunky dory as a recording artist.

“What does it even mean these days to have a new album out?

“All the record stores are closing so there’s no place you can even buy it from.

“As artists in an industry we’re now trying to build a house after we’ve removed the foundations. It’s extremely difficult to get anyone excited about an album in 2011.

Clive’s Record Shop in Shetland to close

Some in the music industry think I have a vast army of spies since I tend to find out about record shop related things very quickly indeed. In fact I just google the phrase “record shops” and sometimes “record stores” and look under news twice a week. Sadly this just popped up.

By coincidence I phoned Clive for the first time just after he had made the decision to close. Amazon was taking his business but also a new Tesco. I had also heard more recently he had had a change of heart and was going to stay open. Seemed like a really nice guy.

Straight to Plan B then

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the coffee shop but when it works well it works very well indeed especially at busy in-stores. However during rainy windswept midweeks we would be reliant on the coffee addicts of Red Dog together with their love of Rocky Road. I was going to call it a day after the Festival as the plan had always been to relocate the main counter to the coffee counter if we weren’t really generating enough income as the space is quite valuable. However one of our customers distraught that he might lose buying “the best cup of coffee in the Grassmarket” offered to take it over. Since he had experience of running coffee shops it seemed right to give it another go. However as I was having second thoughts about somebody making a hefty investment that could easily not pay off I was also offered a large collection of vinyl that would fill the very space moving the counter would free up. This just after a poor rainy Tuesday had been saved at the end of the day by a customer visiting from China buying 18 second hand albums (everything from Phil Collins and Rod Stewart to U2, Zappa and Sinatra).

I’ve only mentioned this to a few people and already I’ve been asked if I can keep the ever popular cakes and I supose that is a possibility. A free cup cake with each copy of Emily Scott’s new album maybe ? Anyway whether the deal for the large collection comes off or not it seems to make far more sense to fill that space with vinyl either in one go or gradually. My joiner will be in to extend the cult and classic European DVD racking this week and I’ll discuss the logistics with him then.

I’m a great believer in giving customers what they want which is why we went with sourcing more posters and more recently t-shirts and there certainly seems to be a market for the European DVDs too. It helps greatly that my supplier has an expert knowledge of this field and provides all the DVDs.

Avalanche started off selling second hand vinyl before we got accounts firstly with independent distributors and then the majors so we are in a way returning to our roots. Before that I made the money to set up our first shop by selling 80’s merchandise at Ingliston market so we have indeed come full circle. More on this and the decline of new releases tomorrow.