Archive for November, 2011

Bwani Junction in-store Monday 14th November 4.30pm

Should be a good crowd for this as the guys play in the shop the day of release for their album “Fully Cocked”. There will also be a limited number of signed posters and some time after the gig to speak to the band. 

As you can see album covers below are begging to be included as a pop quiz question

Bwani Junction album launch in-store Monday 14th November

Bwani Junction - Fully Cocked


Monoganon - Songs To Swim To

King Kurt - Big Cock


Our first year in the Grassmarket

Without a doubt both the music industry and retail in general have changed more in the last year than at any time in Avalanche’s history and that includes the introduction of CDs and the start of online selling. I can not pretend that it has not become a constant annoyance to me to hear people within the music industry spout outdated (possibly something true even 3 months ago) ideas of ways forward in general and for shops in particular. The current phrase seems to be “living in a bubble” and that is certainly what most people involved with music do. They have their own world that rarely crosses into the world of many others. At the same time those who want to be involved often find entry into these “bubbles” difficult if not impossible.

It is the nature and most would accept the strength of a shop that we come across a wide spectrum of those involved in music (many from outside Scotland) on a daily basis. Musicians, labels, record companies, distributors, promoters,  journalists and media folk in general (TV, film, radio etc), recording studios, managers and bloggers just off the top of my head. I’ve no doubt forgotten an important sector ! I have my own opinions but mostly if I say something it is based on the most current information from all these people. By far the most common misconception still spouted by virtually all those in the wider music industry is that if shops just put on interesting events and provide good customer service they wil be “alright” which admittedly Avalanche’s own move was based on.

However customer’s behaviour has changed dramatically even in the last year. Small but interesting events will attract nobody at all. Slightly bigger and more popular in-stores, exhibitions etc will attract good crowds who will just come along but on the whole not buy anything. Whereas before people would feel obliged if they had taken up your time to ask advice about music to at least buy something many now consider us to be merely an information service and finish with “I’ll go and listen to some more online”.

Thankfully our many visitors still on the whole tend to appreciate advice given and I must say buy more than ever. We are however still getting a fair number of people with notebooks simply writing down all our recommendations from our Scottish bands section. Again on the plus side we do get people from all over the world who come in to buy from us after reading the blog/website’s recommendations. Online sales have increased but many customers from abroad admit they hold off ordering if they know they will be in Edinburgh in the future as they like the personal approach of not only buying the music they have discovered but then having other music recommended too. As you can tell there are many who do appreciate the service we provide but unfortunately there are too many who consider music and information/advice to be something they shouldn’t have to pay for. In an ironic but positive twist many who see no value in music do see worth in posters and t-shirts and posters in particular have been a huge success since our move. Most striking are the young Arctic Monkeys fans who come back week after week to buy more posters (we have seven different ones @ £3 each) but would never dream of paying £3 for an Arctic monkeys CD.

I have several meetings this week. Proper meetings not the usual people popping into the shop for a chat “meetings”. I will then make decisions about how we move forward. As one customer pointed out this week the most sensible thing for me to do after getting in such a great collection of vinyl would be to shut the doors and just put it all online. That is a given if money was the only consideration. However contrary to what a small minority seem to think it has never been about the money as many others will testify. We have to make money. We have to make enough money. It is not about maximising the amount of money to be made at the expense of the things that have made Avalanche known all over the world.

Avalanche Manifesto 2 – coming soon.          

Does Gordon Ballboy really sing Withered Hand songs in the shower ?

Certainly rumour has it ! The tweets below drew a great deal of comment and suggestions. So hear is the idea. Leave your suggestions in the comments below or if you prefer email them to You can also just suggest them in the shop as several of you have done already.  I’ll take the most popular / interesting and see if any of them can be made to happen. Realistically if you want U2 to cover Star Wheel Press then that is unlikely. If you want Star Wheel Press to cover U2 that I can maybe make happen.

Avalanche Records

avalanche_edin Avalanche Records
I’d also like to hear @witheredhand cover “Johnny and Mary”, Scott@FRabbits sing “Breakfast At Tiffany’s” + @savingsloan cover “Avalanche”
Avalanche Records

avalanche_edin Avalanche Records
Also Jamie @broken_records do “Born To Run” because I know he wants to!
Avalanche Records

avalanche_edin Avalanche Records
OK one more for now though I’ve got plenty more. @KidCanaveralsing “My Favourite Dress” by @weddingpresent
bikey99 JoJo

 by avalanche_edin

@avalanche_edin I would love to hear @witheredhand cover@FRabbits M.O.F. and FR cover Good News in their entireties. Perfection!
Avalanche Records
avalanche_edin Avalanche Records

@bikey99 @witheredhand @FRabbits Excellent choice though I’ve always wondered how Gordon @ballboymusic would cover songs from Good News also

Win a Fence loves Avalanche poster



This competition runs all week. Leave your details after any purchase and you could win one of the very few copies of the Fence loves Avalanche poster.

Win one of Scott Hutchison’s limited prints


That’s right to celebrate our first year in the Grassmarket any FRabbits fan that leaves their details will be entered into a draw to win one of Scott’s limited signed and numbered prints. We won’t even ask you to buy anything ! See you tomorrow.

The National – Murder Me Rachel (@ Spin)

For some unknown reason for a long time I thought The National were OK when all along they were amazing. 

We will have been exactly one year in the Grassmarket this Saturday

I had intended to mark the occasion in some way but with plenty already on that weekend decided not to have bands. I was going to have a poster sale (the big success since our move) but the arrival of the large vinyl collection currently residing in the middle of our floor scuppered that. However please come along anyway this Saturday to celebrate that we have made it to the end of our first year in our new setting  having swapped the question “do those steps go down to the station” for “do those steps go up to the castle”.

There will be a few surprises. I just haven’t decided what they will be yet !   

Best vinyl collection we have ever had come in – brought to you by twitter

Avalanche Records

avalanche_edin Avalanche Records

OK I’ve just bought in 20 large boxes of vinyl. Mostly indie. Arcade Fire Afghan Whigs Barry Adamson Aim Alice Donut That is just some of As
Avalanche Records

avalanche_edin Avalanche Records

Also some classic dance and hip hop vinyl. So many gems of all genres. Too many to even think of listing.
All laid out on the shop floor in boxes so they can be looked through now.
Avalanche Records

avalanche_edin Avalanche Records

Morrissey Leftfield Husker Du PJ Harvey Oasis Orb Primal Scream Radiohead U2 Stone Roses Pere Ubu Pixies Beck Talulah Gosh Smashing Pumpkins