We will be open weekdays 10.30 am - 9.00 pm
Monday 16th Dec - Friday 3rd January
(Saturday & Sunday hours as usual)
Closed Dec 25th & Jan 1st
Our Boxing Day Sale will be 26th December 9.30 - 6.00
Open 10.30 - 3.00 pm Dec 24th & 31st
Happy Holidays from ITM!
For leftover Record Store Day product, type “RSD” into the website search.
Our 3 most asked questions…..
you will find all your questions answered here…
Call us before you come down to check we are buying to avoid upset!
As you’ve probably heard by now, Into The Music was the high bidder for the CBC Winnipeg music library: about 16,000 LPs & 26,000 CDs. Just to put that into perspective, that addition doubles our vinyl inventory and triples the CD stock we have on the floor right now! In case you didn’t see it in the Wpg Free Press on Tuesday, Rob Williams wrote a spot on and accurate summary of what happened to make all this a reality. Check out his article HERE. As you can tell from the picture that accompanies the WFP article, we now have the collection at our storage site.
As a side bar to the article, on the morning the picture was taken (and proof positive that I can smile for a 7:30AM photo op) I picked up a rental and drove to Regina. My goal was to explore the option of making an offer on the CBC Regina record and CD library, one of the few CBC libraries that has yet to be decommissioned. And on the morning that the WFP article hit the stands, I got a call from Regina informing us that again we were the high bidder and our offer had been accepted. WE WILL SOON GET THE CBC REGINA COLLECTION. If anything it’s vinyl content is comparable to Winnipeg though the CD numbers are significantly higher and include over 6000 classical and 1700 jazz CDs (there were no classical or jazz CDs in the Wpg collection, having been previously donated to a local University).
We have certain challenges ahead. The process will be a little different for the Regina collection. Instead of bringing every single piece back to Wpg, we’ll sort and come back with what will be of greatest interest to our customers. The rest will be donated. And of course the biggest question is how are we going to get all this out and available for sale as quickly as possible. Watch this newsletter for updates on how during this 25th Anniversary year we are going to do just that (with perhaps a few surprises).
For those of you who would like to continue trading or selling your used CDs & vinyl don’t be discouraged. During these last few weeks we’ve been a little overwhelmed organizing our storage facility, changing the work flow to get more stock out and setting up our new eBay store (search for us on eBay at Into The Music Winnipeg). WE ARE BUYING STOCK AGAIN NEXT WEEK, JUNE 25th to JUNE 29th FOR ONE WEEK ONLY. After that I’m off to Regina to pack up the CBC collection and facilitate the move of 200 more boxes back to Wpg. We will be buying again shortly after the week of July 9th, again watch this space for further details.
There is nothing but good news right now. With the summer here, the Jazz Fest under way with the Fringe and Folk Fests to come, this is looking to be our best year ever. These collections represent the best opportunity for us to grow and expand our business during a time when record & CD store across Canada and the world continue to struggle and indeed close. We’ve succeeded because of the great support we’ve had from everyone reading this newsletter and music collectors everywhere.
More to come.
December 12-January 6th
Open til 9pm Monday-Fridays
Weekend Hours per usual
Annual Boxing Day sale
December 26th 9:30am-6pm
25% Discount on ALL USED ITEMS!
We Will Be Closed On Christmas Day & New Years Day
We have some odds & sods leftover from Record Store Day 2010 & 2011.
Just type “RSD” into our website search & check out whats left….
All are very limited quantities
Don Van Vliet aka Capt. Beefheart
Jan. 15th 1941-Dec. 17th 2010
Plans for Captain Beefhearts 70’s birthday event at Into The Music have taken a sad turn this week with news of the great man’s passing last Friday. A long time sufferer of multiple sclerosis, he succumbed to complications of this incredibly debilitating disease.
If you grew up curious about the music of the 60’s and 70’s rock, especially the rock underground, you’re at least familiar with the name Captain Beefheart. While he’s never had anything approaching a hit album, his influence is all over the rock landscape, from punk to post-rock. His first album was Safe As Milk, a blues based workout that while perhaps being his most accessible outing, already had the unique vocal growl and hints of the disjointed rhythmic primitivism that was the sonic fingerprint of all his later output. A few years later Trout Mask Replica hit and the legend and myth of Captain Beefheart had been cemented for all-time. The most obvious thing you could say was that nobody else sounded like him, his voice and band sound was unmistakable. The blues inflections and homage to Howlin’ Wolf were apparent. But he appeared like his contemporary and former class and band mate Frank Zappa during the mid 60’s rock scene. Breaking from conventional pop forms and inventing itself, “anything goes” seem to be in the air, the avant garde, free jazz the blues and the good man’s background as a childhood art prodigy informed his trajectory like nobody else.
Some of my favorite lyrics include:
That’s right, the Mascara Snake. Fast and bulbous.
Big eyed beans from venus,
Tropical Hot Dog Night
Like two flamingoes in a fruit fight
...I could go on and on. When Doc At The Radar Station came out in 1980, it fit in with the incredible stuff coming out at the time and fit in perfectly with my new life in Calgary. Hot Head, Ashtray Heart, Run Paint Run Run got played along with Talking Heads Remain in Light and The Buzzcocks A Different Kind of Tension, Iggy’s New Values and Joy Divisions Closer.
During the summer of 1994 I went with friends to the UK to visit their friends in Scotland and eventually get a bit of time to myself in London. One of the first things I did in London was check out the NME to see what was going on around town. The only item that really caught my eye was an art exhibit in Brighton, a coastal tourist town a couple hours drive from the downtown. It was for a solo art exhibit for Don Van Vliet displaying his talents as a modern art painter in the tradition of Abstract Expressionism. A bit too expensive on my limited budget at the time, I accepted that this was one exhibit I would have to miss. On the day my charter was to leave Heathrow, I was informed technical problems would delay my flight about 12 hours so the airline put us all on a bus and took us to Brighton for the day. Incredible. It was destiny really and I was off the bus in a flash and tracked down The Brighton Museum and Art Gallery in minutes. I knew of his reputation as an excellent painter and the paintings reflected the album artwork that he had adorned his albums with for years. The exhibit also had video and audio archives, more than enough to keep me in the gallery for 3 hours.
On Friday January 14th we’ll be holding our own Captain Beefheart birthday/memorial. We’re arranging a special screening of concert and interview segments from his music career, sale pricing on all Beefheart CD’s and LP’s and a bit of memorabilia. Stay tuned to our website for upcoming details.
Across the light, across the night
You can hear the Captain’s cry
- Greg Tonn
THE GLOBE & MAIL ONLINE EDITION
Winnipeg music store bucks sales trend
Greg Tonn looked at the tally for a week and noticed a continuing decline in the number and dollar value of compact discs being sold at his Winnipeg store, Into The Music. There was no doubt about it - the market for CDs appeared to have peaked. Given that a large part of his bread and butter came from the sale of new and used CDs what, if anything, could he do about it?
In 1987, Winnipeg entrepreneur Mr. Tonn turned his personal LP collection of more than 2,000 albums into a specialty venture, which he called Into the Music. According to Mr. Tonn, his strategy was to be “short on junk and long on gems.” The establishment originally opened its doors on Corydon Avenue in the middle of Winnipeg’s Little Italy, with the store relocating in 1990 to the Osborne Village area. This was where business really took off as used CDs poured into, and out of, the store.
In short order, Into The Music effectively developed a city-wide following, making it one of the places to go for music. Given the store’s eclectic focus on specialty jazz, classical, punk, blues, deleted recordings, and new hard-to-find imports, it was no surprise when the store received the 1999 award for “best retail store for the Prairie provinces” at the 1999 Prairie Music Awards.
In 2003, the store relocated to Winnipeg’s rejuvenated Exchange District, after Mr. Tonn and his Osborne landlord were unable to agree on a new lease. Located just three blocks from the city’s epicentre at Portage and Main, the move was a very good decision. With Red River College opening its downtown campus just a few blocks away, a lot of tech-savvy businesses in the area, and some complementary retail in close proximity, the store had again become one of “the” places to go for music.
CDs made a big splash in the 1980s, resulting in the rapid marginalization of vinyl. As a result, many LP collections were dumped en masse in the 1990s, with Mr. Tonn buying several at rock-bottom prices. Demand for CDs has recently started to cool. While they had accounted for about 65 per cent of the store’s unit sales in the early 2000s, CD sales as a percentage have been sliding, with recent estimates somewhere in the low 40s.
Mr. Tonn noticed one other development along with the decline in CD sales: a rediscovery of vinyl LPs as format for music hobbyists.
While the music industry had changed in a number of ways, including the emergence of an online market for downloaded music and the housing of personal collections on iPods, a less conspicuous development was the quiet re-emergence of the serious collector. These individuals, Mr. Tonn believes, still value music as a physical artifact that sits on their shelves and not just on their computers. He also believes these customers are “into vinyl,” as something to collect and also to act as a protest against an increasingly digitized culture.
This penchant for collecting is not age-related, Mr. Tonn says, with both young and old picking up the bug. While one group, say the 50-plus oldsters, might prefer one format, such as CDs, another, like the Goths, might prefer a specific genre, such as British heavy metal. One key commonality for all groups was a renewed appreciation for music as a physical artifact that provided a source of personal identification.
In response to this development, Mr. Tonn sought to reorient the store as an indispensable middleman for the serious collector. While some less volatile segments, such as jazz and classical, were especially well suited for collecting, it appeared the opportunity for such a service existed across virtually all segments. The move also had implications for his online business, where he had recently sold musical rarities such as the first 45-RPM recording released by former Winnipegger Neil Young and The Squires.
Mr. Tonn reports that his last year-end was his best since the mid 1990s, with the store widely recognized as one of Manitoba’s go-to places for rare and interesting music. While he recognizes vinyl will never regain its former prominence, he’s convinced it will remain a strong hobby format.
He has further enriched his in-store offerings with a variety of events, including performances by musicians from the city and beyond. Into the Music also refreshes its website at least twice a week. Letting customers know about recent arrivals is critical: Mr. Tonn estimates 300-plus LPs and 400-plus CDs get added each week to the store’s collection.
The CD market may be getting a bit more compact, but the opportunity to help music collectors collect doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Reg Litz is a professor in the Asper School of Business of the University of Manitoba.
I had a few minutes to chat on the phone with Kevin Drew from Broken Social Scene last week about honesty, making a large band work and the Blue Bombers.
ITM: Hi Kevin, my name is Kerri and I’m calling from Into The Music in Winnipeg.
KD: I LOVE Winnipeg!
KD: Our Sound director - who has been our sound guy for a while - 7 years or so - He’s probably the #1 biggest Blue Bombers fan. We know every fuckin’ player, every game - we’re always pulling over to find internet so he can watch them. The bus is always a little Winnipeg Bombers shrine. I have to say - after following their season - I felt sorry for him a lot of the time but when I found out they won 32-2 or something like that - well, it’s basically a massive Bomber’s situation for Broken Social Scene. So, YES. We love Winnipeg.
ITM: That’s great! Ok - so down to the questions. How and when did you start playing music?
KD: I was a little kid and started banging on stuff. So I was playing music since I was pretty young. I didn’t really start playing guitar till I was 18 and took piano when I was a little kid. I stopped playing piano but got into lots of keyboards, a lot of drones and a lot of Brian Eno.
ITM: I read somewhere that it’s very important that your music remains honest. How do you keep that honesty with such a large collaboration of people?
KD: Well, that’s pretty simple because everyone is pretty straight up about the intentions of the songs when we go into them. There are ways you can manipulate tunes, there are ways that you can think about songs - but if you just kind of let it happen and you’re all there to guide it together, then the intentions behind it are genuine. It makes for an honest song.
ITM: So - Who are your favorite songwriters?
KD: Oooh…hmm…(laughs) Well, that would depend. I’m a big fan of Issac Brock, or I could go WAY back to the other guys. Curtis Mayfield was always someone I would “go to” as a songwriter. I love so much music that it’s very difficult to be specific about it.
ITM: Was it an easy collaboration to create? Does Broken Social Scene have an easy chemistry or did that take time?
KD: Yeah - it does come pretty easy. I can’t really get into much more detail than that. Everyone has their own understanding of melody. I think it was everyone who was bringing in their own aspects of what a song was, was what worked about this band. It really gelled. We all had different backgrounds but we all came together really easily with the music.
ITM: What advice would you give an artist that wants to put together a band of 12-16 people?
KD: You have to very much understand the word “compromise.” You can’t make it something that you are proving to yourself that you can do. Meaning - you can’t make it this pinpoint in your life where you are like - This is where my voice is - b/c there are going to be a LOT of voices. You have to really understand what it means to have teamwork. You have to let the positions of people happen naturally and not think it’s going to work right away. It takes a few years to find your place in a big band as you’re going out there the world. I guess if you’re going to be in a big band it’s b/c you’re not concerned about yourself. I think the big thing is - don’t use it as a platform for YOU.
ITM: Do you find the time to play solo ever? Or is that even something you would do if you could?
KD: I don’t. I think later on in life - as we get older - it would be great to go out and do stuff like that. But for now, we all made a pact that we would put those things aside and just focus on this. But yeah - someday I’d love to play solo.
ITM: Tell me about the new record “Forgiveness Rock Record”
KD: I think it was the best process we’ve had yet. It was a lot of fun and it was great to be down in Chicago and great to work in Toronto. The songs are working live and we are definitely enjoying playing them. We try and follow that rule - Make sure you love every song b/c we’re going to playing them for a long, long time - When we’re playing these new songs we’re realizing - Ok, we pulled that one off - So, it’s working out.
ITM: How do you find you are able to keep yourself grounded during all of the tour dates, the interviews and sheer exhaustion?
KD: It’s difficult, but at this point in the game, the only thing that keeps you grounded is that you’ve done it all before. So, when you have a bad attitude about something you don’t want to repetitively have a bad attitude about it, that doesn’t help anyone involved. You understand that that’s your life and your day is what consists of those things we’ve just said. You try to be happy about it. Be happy that people are talking to you and that you have these problems that you have. We are all a lot older than we were when we first started out and we’ve gone through almost every problem a band can go through. We’ve repeated those problems and we’ve repeated a lot of these problems again. So you realize that - ok, this is just part of the job - so you just treat it that way. They aren’t problems anymore, they are just things you are going to run into when you’re doing this.
ITM: Great, well thank you SO much for talking to me, and I’ll see you in Winnipeg!
KD: I’ll SEE YOU IN THE PEG!
Broken Social Scene played the Burton Cummings Theatre on Wednesday, October 6th.
Scott Nolan & Jesse DeNatale talk about their upbringing in music, their upcoming albums & Art in today’s world.
I had the opportunity a couple of days ago to have coffee in my cabin with Jesse DeNatale & Scott Nolan. Both are fantastic musicians, passionate and thoughtful about their art and incredible people. Be sure to go to their show tonight at the West End Cultural Center. It will be a show you don’t want to miss!!
ITM: How did you start playing music?
Jesse DeNatale: I started with a harmonica. It was the only instrument I only needed to know how to breathe to play. Then a friend of my mom’s came over with a guitar and said - I want to give this to your son because I’m just going to get drunk and break it. I can’t learn to play it - I’m just going to break it in a drunken rage - So, all of the sudden we had this real instrument. It was too big though so I just open tuned it. No one thought about lessons, but they would say - Go practice your guitar. So I’d just go to my room, put the neck down and just start tapping on it, making rhythmic music really. I knew you were supposed to do more with it, but the best I could do was just make stuff up.
Scott Nolan: I was about 6 or 7. To my parents credit they sensed something in me. I don’t know if they believed it was musical but they saw that they had a kid that didn’t try to make friends and do a lot of that stuff. So they hired me a teacher named Mr. Struck who was a really elderly man - it was one of those - sit beside each other in your room, share a music stand and do little tee tee taws, open string. I just hated it. I can’t remember how long it went for ‘til he went to my parents and said - I can’t in good conscience take your money, your son is not musically inclined, he doesn’t seem to have any interest in it at all - So I think they assumed it was the wrong thing they chose. So - that was the start. I had an Auntie who was a painter that passed away when I was 3 or 4 and in my grandparents house at the bottom of the stairs was this big color wheel that I now have in my studio - as a little kid, I would make my way to the bottom of the stairs and just stare at it, I just loved it for some reason. It led me to realize that behind me, under the stairs, was a big crawl area. So naturally, as a young kid, I would go in there. Way at the back there was a guitar - my grandparents had no idea that it was even there. So, later in life I started thinking about that Auntie and how they used to tell me that she used to fawn over me. I sometimes believe that she may have been more conscious of the way that things were left behind. I like to believe it wasn’t such a random thing. If you can get to this spot, then you can get to here and if you get to here, then who knows where you may go. I’ve always felt like she was behind me somehow. My family, jokingly say I’m different. They’ll tell my nieces and nephews - Your uncle, he’s different, but he’s good - I don’t credit that first guitar teacher, but I do credit that Auntie.
ITM: How do you feel that your upbringing influenced the style and feel of your music?
SN: My home life - my mom never listened to music for pleasure until she got remarried maybe 7-8 years ago. My dad only played music when he drank. Fortunately for me, he drank a lot. He played 50’s music typically. He was into soul and rhythm and blues but his depth of knowledge tended not to go to the depth that I may have liked. He’d ask me about Michael McDonald and I’d go get him a Holmes Brothers record. There were those barriers. I liked Hank Sr. and he liked Hank Jr. He did play 50’s music, that to this day, still stays with me. The writing back then musically was out of this world, the harmonies, the writing, it’s top notch. I don’t know if it’s really this way but I sensed that you had to be really good to make it back then. Truthfully, I don’t feel that way about today’s music. I think there is a number of ways to get to the top without having to be unique or original. The 50’s were a big one for me.
JD: Yeah - it’s kind of left up to the public to decide now. There weren’t as many tunnels for them to come out of then either. There was radio and television. You had some pop songs in movies etc but there have been writers forever. It seems like there was someone overseeing the conveyer belt who wouldn’t allow certain things in. You might have been good too. The mold was broken at some point though. Maybe it was Bob Dylan when he opened the door AND took it off the hinges - he said - Anything goes - that could have happened before that. But at some point - something happened that made people believe that anything can happen. Even Bad. Someone can be like - I suck at playing, I’m going to try - and then people LIKE that sound. They like the sound of someone that sounds like they are just learning how to play guitar in their bedroom and it becomes a hit because people relate to the incompetence of it? That’s the wrong word, but it seems attainable - it’s not even that though - even if you were better, you would dumb it down to make it sound like you couldn’t play. I think we’ve gotten to a place as listeners where we’re confused. We’re not sure whether we really like it or not. We’re going to have to deal with that at some point. Personally, I go into too many places where music is playing - the supermarket, everywhere - and it becomes like a poison. I’m digesting something that I don’t want to. It makes me uncomfortable, I get anxious. Once in a while it’s nice, but for me - as someone who walks around with a melody in my head - I can’t hold on to what I want to. It can be good music too, but I just don’t want to hear it. I want to CHOOSE to hear it. I don’t know why people think they have to listen to music all the time. I think there is a real fear of being alone - of being without communication. It’s hard for them to just be quiet. We spend so much time with noise that we’ve ignored the natural sounds around us.
ITM: Jesse, You have a new record coming out in 2011 called “Halleluiah Rain” - How is that different from your last record “Soul Parade”
JD: Well, it’s not going to be extremely different b/c it’s still me writing it. I won’t get too far away from what it is I do because I’m still learning. I think Soul Parade was more about a wider view of some things, and Halleluiah Rain is more about romantic relationships between 2 people - the importance of those and the conflicts of those - how we hold them. I hadn’t been writing about that stuff. I think I’ve always written songs that have a “way out.” if it’s about some darkness or sadness or despair then there is a way out of that. I’ll always - or hopefully - (laughs) put a way out in there. In my mind - Soul Parade was about life and death - Those two ends of the spectrum - seeing them as parallel in some ways and also favoring life. So that was the optimism in there and the hope in there. Nothing-favored death - but it did take into account that it was a big part of the picture.
ITM: Scott, tell me about your new record.
SN: My new record is done. I’m very proud of it. I think if anything has changed from my last record - I invested a lot more time into production and I found myself pretty obsessed with things like the Traveling Wilburys. They were the one band we constantly referenced. Their recordings were somewhat polished and clean but the recordings had an element of comfort in them. The presentation seemed really geared to their audience - which really struck me because I love the Captain Beefheart’s and the Tom Waits and it took me a while as an artist to realize that isn’t really me - that isn’t where my niche lies. What the Wilburys helped me realize is that I’m not writing songs for a particular audience but I did want to be willing for the first time to produce a record for an audience. For the first time I worked with a co-producer that really brought things to the table. There were things I had never tackled before. To be challenged was one of the most exciting things for me. Everyone involved was challenged. I loved the experience. When it comes to this record, I didn’t want to obscure things for the sake of obscuring them. I didn’t necessarily want to go live off the floor all the time. Rolling Stones did it on a number of records. They had a lot of years together as a band and sure they were out of their minds doing it. It’s not just about going into a studio and getting messed up. I see a lot of that. There are people in my peer group that say - That’s the way we do things - and I’ll tell you you’re not producing “Tonight’s The Night”. If you take it seriously and make it your business - there is a lot to consider there. The audience is a worthy consideration. Patrick O’Connell once said to me - If you have a point, get it out there as simply as possible. It is NOT a negative thing when masses respond to your work. It’s not a selling out thing - It’s the fact that you’ve been able to take a universal idea and articulate it in an elegant and simple manner that reaches people.
ITM: Who are your favorite Songwriters?
JD: Honest Songwriters. That’s not fair b/c it’s not the song, it’s the performance of the song. On paper it’s one thing. Delivery makes the world of difference. Specifically Jonathan Richman comes to mind. He is able to make it look simple. He puts a lot into his songs and keeps them uncluttered.
SN: I often make reference to Neil Young. It goes beyond his songs. I like the moves he’s made with this wealth. I like the way he is relentlessly curious with new things even if it means making records that people hate. Beyond that he has written some really classic songs - I like the whole package. He’s not losing half his money in divorces; he’s developing and building schools for kids with special needs. Him and his wife have done some really incredible stuff.
I’ve always liked the team of Tom Waits and his wife. I think they are virtually untouchable. There are so many great writers out there. Daniel Johnson, Captain Beefheart. I don’t think there is a writer anywhere like Vic Chestnut. His commitment to his writing I just find incredible. These are the things that have inspired me to say - I will die trying. Every time I get on stage I hope to leave the audience a little better off than how I found them. We have to protect ourselves and see value in what we do.
JD: It’s true - music can play a really big role in who we are as people. Leonard Bernstein understood - as we do - that it’s a universal language. If schools wanted to, they could make it mandatory to learn this language the same way as we learn Spanish or French. Think about that! If everyone knew how to read and write music it would have such a different place in society. It would have a much greater impact in the importance of art. The importance of art would be communicated. Art is something that many people believe we can live without. They’re cheating themselves though. Until we get our heads around accepting the importance that art has in this planet, we won’t really change the way we treat artists.
Jesse DeNatale & Scott Nolan perform this Friday, September 24th at the West End Cultural Centre. Doors are at 7:15pm & Show is at 8:00pm.
Tickets are $17 in advance at The WECC, Ticketmaster, Winnipeg Folk Festival Music store & Music Trader. $22 at the Door.
By Kerri Woelke
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