The Discogs community is and has always been a collaborative effort, and we take pride in supporting our sellers. Last year, Discogs took Crate Diggers events around the world and as a result, we’ve launched a new series via the Crate Diggers brand that has a simple mission:
Highlight record stores and our music collecting community worldwide.
For this installment of the Crate Diggers Spotlight series, we are highlighting Somerville, MA record store Vinyl Index. On Thursday, August 9th, 2018 at 7 PM head over to Vinyl Index for DJs, drinks, and giveaways! We spoke with shop partner 7L in advance of the event.
What is your role, and can you give us a bit of background on yourself?
My time is split between the store and with my group Czarface (Esoteric & Inspectah Deck of Wu-Tang Clan). I spent the 90’s to early 2000’s as part of 7L & Esoteric then to full time DJing and now back to doing what my true passion; making music at night and being in a record store during the day at Vinyl Index. The store is owned by myself, Jeremy Sullivan and Peter Fiumara. Jeremy spent the past 15 years as one of the people running UGHH.com and Peter owns the Good Life, a club/restaurant that has booked everyone from Kid Capri to Craze.
How long has your store been in business?
We opened just this year.
Does your shop have a specialty? What sets your store apart from others?
As far as product I think we all chip in carrying what we think the makeup of an ideal store is. We all have our specialties but there is plenty of overlap from genre to genre as what our personal tastes are. What we don’t have in size we make up with quality and cleanliness. I think our designer Alfredo Rico-Dimas executed that vision to a “T”. Andrew our carpenter did masterful work and I think all of it really came together exactly how we wanted.
What was your inspiration for opening a record store?
Since in the late 80’s, just working at a record shop was a dream. I remember as a kid drawing on a piece of paper the records I would stock, what records would be on the wall, and the kind of music I would want to play in the store at certain times during the day. This was around 1990. I only remember because I had a Fear Of A Black Planet and Bell Biv DeVoe posters on my wall and thought how cool they would look in a store. Fast forward to now, I think our inspiration comes from all of us running and doing the shop just how we would like to see a store (if we were the customers) minus the PE & BBD posters which sadly are gone now.
We had talked about doing a store over the years and with Jeremy finding Bow Market everything fell in place. Around 2009 I wanted to open a store and approached Get On Down to sponsor (aka giving me money) to open a store but Matt (one of the owners) suggested I work them at the label instead since there was no real affordable option for a brick and mortar.
What do you enjoy most about running your shop?
Meeting new people with the same and complete opposite taste of mine. It’s great to see someone
buying a record I love but also it’s interesting to see someone excited over a record I am not familiar with and talk them up about it.
Do you have any favorite or memorable moments in the shop thus far?
I can’t pinpoint a favorite moment just yet but I always like to see people walk in and point at records on the wall while recalling a memory they have from the album.
What does your personal collection look like?
I think mine has whittled down to a nice selection of 80s and early 90s Hip Hop, 60s and 70s Jazz and Soul, plenty of Funk, all my Reggae, plus my 45s (which grows daily thanks to Discogs), but the bulk of my collection is mainly all Soundtracks and Library records.
Do you use Discogs? If so, what features do you use?
I use Discogs every day, mainly to deplete my bank account but also to win arguments with friends over what year a record came out or who played on what album.
For those the Boston, MA area on August 9th, 2018, don’t miss the Crate Diggers Spotlight on Vinyl Index.! They’ll have DJs, drinks, and giveaways in store!