It’s been a heart wrenching week for Central Square, and selfishly, myself. First news trickled out that the seminal rock club, one in which I’ve seen both friends and heroes play in, TT the Bears, is closing it’s doors – and now…..this. Pound for pound Weirdo Records was the greatest record store in the world, and now….it’s gone, as Central Square takes one more giant step to becoming Kendall fucking Square. Jesse was right, Hi-Fi Pizza becoming a goddamn vegetarian spot was only the beginning. The gentrification of Central Square is now in full throat. But Hey, at least we have a bunch of soulless and pretty pharmaceutical buildings creeping up our ass. Yikes, this could get ugly quick….let’s get back to Weirdo.
The first time I entered Weirdo Angela Sawyer (Godhead & Owner of Weirdo) turned to me and asked over some sort of percussion driven screech chant “music” if I wanted a beer. I of course said yes and my experiences only improved from there – Weirdo was always perfect for me. As a DJ, blogger, podcaster, and overall music freak I can’t overstate how important Weirdo Records was to me. I was admittedly intimidated by the place at first. Walking into Weirdo Records was like entering a tomb. The claustrophobic feel of the large closet called store berated your senses and didn’t allow you be comfortable – and that’s why it was utterly fantastic. There’s still plenty of great shops in Cambridge, but none push your taste or limits like Weirdo – and that’s what a shop’s supposed to do, expose you to new sounds, make you a little uncomfortable, all while helping you cultivate the musical garden garden of taste in your head, and my garden never grew faster than it did with Weirdo. It was like this strange sonic miracle grow for my ear taste.
If I’ve turned you on to new music, you’ve seen me spin out, or listen to my radio show or podcast – then you should certainly shed a tear with me. So much of what I play was discovered and mined out of Weirdo – and it gives me more than minor (major?) anxiety now that it’s gone. Where the hell am I going to get my Afro-Beat, Asian Soul, Middle Eastern Psych or rare Garage from? Goddamn it. The more I type the more I realize how big a hole such a small place is going to leave.
If she reads this (and I think she will) I want to take a step back and thank Angela. I was mostly quiet in there, but you always pushed me in directions that were beyond good, and from that first beer to last purchase, you made the most intimidating shop the most accessible and in the end the best – I’ll be a cow-eyed shoegazer the next few days as I wallow in my “loss” – but am beyond thrilled for your future adventures. We need more Angela’s in this world. Full Stop. End of Sentence.
I’ll be spinning records tonight at State Park from 9:00pm to 12:00am and will wear my Weirdo Records T-Shirt with pride while playing a healthy amount of wax from the pound for pound undisputed Record Store Champ. Drinks on me if you can make it Angela.
Weirdo Records is Dead. Long Live Weirdo Records.