Crate Diggers Portland: Dig In With Seller Andy Mehos
Discogs sponsored Crate Diggers Record Fair comes back home for its fourth event in Portland, hot on the heels of its Canadian debut in the great cities of Montreal and Toronto! Crate Diggers is the ultimate event for record collectors, vinyl junkies, and music fans, taking place on August 26th, 2017 at White Owl Social Club. The day begins with a record fair featuring 30+ vendors and 6 of Portland’s best local DJs, then moves into an all-night after-party, featuring Soul Clap, Supreme La Rock, and Rev. Shines!
In preparation for Crate Diggers Portland, we got the low down from local DJ, avid record collector, and Discogs seller and contributor Andy Mehos aka DJ Andy Maximum, who will be selling records at the event.
You are the Production Manager for the Pacific Northwest’s only record pressing plant, Cascade Record Pressing. Can you tell us a bit about your role with Cascade?
My job includes scheduling and configuring each manufacturing job on the presses to meet customer specifications and deadlines. I also order all the raw materials (including PVC compound) for manufacturing, and packaging and accessories (i.e. dust sleeves, polybags, etc.). Because we are a small company, we often take on other duties outside of our job title; for example I am also the IT guy and Database Administrator. In my past life, I worked in Information Systems but my passion for music and collecting led me to Cascade and the record business.
How long have you been a collector? What sparked your interest in vinyl culture?
I have been collecting since I was a teenager. Not only do I love music, but also I have a knack for remembering details about bands, songs and releases. I think my brain is just wired for record collecting. For many years I purchased CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, but nowadays I generally only seek out vinyl, and especially 45s. For me, vinyl provides the most organic listening experience. It sounds the best. Vinyl manufacturing has provided my insight as to how a record is indeed a crafted product and I believe that carries through to the listening.
What does your personal collection look like?
MANY MANY 45s! Being a DJ has influenced me to appreciate the “hit single”. An awesome single can sometimes be an artist’s only recorded output. As for genres, I enjoy Rock N Roll in all its forms, but some of my more recent obsessions include 1970’s “Junkshop Glam”, Aussie Rock. I’ve always been hugely into Power Pop, and the UK Mod Revival. Also, TONS of classic Punk Rock.
What do you enjoy most about digging and collecting?
The “big score” of course! It’s the ultimate reward for sifting through countless boxes of 45s in record store basement, or in the back corner of a Sunday flea market – a true adventure. More exciting to me than finding that mega-rare/valuable record for 99 cents is finding a killer single no one I know is familiar with to throw on the turntable at my next DJ night. I keep my portable player in the trunk of my car just in case I see a yard sale with records. “Don’t leave home without it.”
Do you use Discogs? If so, which site features do you use?
I am a buyer and seller (user name: vinylcat76). I have a modestly-sized sales inventory that keeps me busy listing/packaging/shipping. My favorite Discogs feature is the Wantlist, and it has been supremely valuable to me as a buyer for building my collection and as a seller for determining the demand for an item. I also love entering my collection into to the database, but at 2,018 entries I have only just begun. It may end up as a retirement activity.
Do you have any favorite local record stores?
Portland has a lot of great record stores, but for sheer volume and selection I give the nod to Crossroads with multiple vendors under one roof. The shop just moved from its old location to my neighborhood in the Southeast and I’m super excited about it! My all-time favorite store is Double Decker Records in Allentown, PA (my roots are in Pennsylvania). It’s the best record shop on the planet (that I’ve been to). And they don’t do mail order. Every vinyl collector should make a pilgrimage to that place!
You also DJ around Portland quite a bit. Do you spin vinyl, and what kind of stuff do you play?
I spin exclusively vinyl. Some nights it’s 45s only. Often I’ll stick to a musical theme for each night. For example, I do a monthly Glam Rock night at a local pinball arcade. Another night I play 1960s/70s Bubblegum and Teenpop at a diner, and on other nights I’ll spin Punk or Garage Rock at bars or between bands at live music venues. Portland has a great appreciation for music, and there’s such a demand for DJs I’ve been able to spin it into a part-time job.
Where can people find you doing your thing behind the turntables in Portland?
Quarterworld, Star Bar, Conquistador, Beulahland, Dot’s Café, to name a few. I sometimes guest spin at venues in other cities. Check my Facebook page for my upcoming DJ events.
What kind of records will people find at your table at Crate Diggers? Is there anything in particular that you’ll be digging for for yourself?
I sell literally all genres. I probably have largest portions of Hard Rock, Punk, Garage and 1960s. Also, I sell LOTs of $2 bargain LPs. As for what I’m seeking, see my answer to the collection question!
Be sure not to miss Crate Diggers Portland 2017 on August 26th, 2017 at White Owl Social Club! The epic FREE event begins with a record fair at noon, featuring 30+ vendors and 6 local DJs. The After Party goes from 9 PM until 2 AM and features DJ sets by Soul Clap, Supreme La Rock, and Rev. Shines!