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 are launching a new series via the Crate Diggers brand that has a simple mission:
Highlight record stores and our music collecting community worldwide.
After initial Crate Diggers Spotlights in Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Chicago, we are highlighting Madison, Wisconsin record store MadCity Music, and will be presenting their Collectible Record Sale on July 11, 2018. On this day, MadCity will be putting over 1,000 rare and collectable items into the shop bins for the first time! We spoke with shop owner Dave Zero in advance of the event.
What is your role, and can you give us a bit of background on yourself?
Owner, manager – anyone who has owned a small business can tell you that you do a little bit of everything and more. I’ve always loved music and wanted to be around it, owning the store is my way of accomplishing that. Besides the store, I am married to a wonderful woman named Lauren, and we have an adorable, but patience-testing, puppy named Madge.
How long has your store been in business?
MadCity Music was started in 1981. The store has had four different owners, including me. I purchased it from the previous owner in December 2007 after working at the store for many years. It’s been just over a year since I moved the store from its previous location (of 27 years) two miles east to our new location. I knew the move was going to be good, but I never expected it would be as successful as it has been though!
Does your shop have a specialty? What sets your store apart from others?
Genre-wise, we’re all over the board these days. It’s a balancing act of making sure we have what our customers are looking for, stocking what we really know and love, and having enough of everything else so customers can come in and explore. My philosophy is that coming to the record store should be and an exciting and fun experience, just like listening to music should be.
What do you enjoy most about running your shop?
It’s still the same as when I was first hired part-time all those years ago: being able to hear new (to me, at least) music and, in turn, being able to get others into their new favorites. Also, I really like being able to see someone’s history, or a timeline of their life, when buying their used LP collection. You get to hear their stories and learn about the experiences they had.
Do you have any favorite or memorable moments that have occurred in the shop?
So many…there’s too many to list that involve our fantastic customers and regulars over the years, so I’ll list a few “celebrity” moments:
- One of our clerks over-explaining to Mission Of Burma why he missed their show the night before due to too much mac’n’cheese and whiskey. That still makes me cringe and laugh.
- Neil Hamburger and Major Entertainer Mike H hanging out when in town. (Neil bought a Banana Splits picture sleeve 7″ first time in the store).
- I bought Kelly Hogan’s record collection. It was, of course, great.
- Butch Vig and other Garbage members swinging by when in town.
- Getting to know the fantastic Peter Case after him playing an instore.
- Slug from Atmosphere is always digging in our bins when in town.
- Clyde Stubblefield sold me a few used James Brown CDs that he played on. I’m sill in awe of that one. RIP Clyde!
What does your personal collection look like?
I always warn people that they might be a little underwhelmed when seeing my personal collection. One of the long term effects of working at the store for so many years is that I don’t hold on to everything. I’m lucky and get to listen to a lot during the day. If an album really hits me or is something that I’ve been looking for, I’ll, of course, hold onto it. I have a lot of LPs and CDs, but I don’t feel the need to keep everything. I like taking the chance it might come around again. Of course, I always keep an “essential” couple of thousand LPs and CDs around.
Do you use Discogs? If so, what features do you use?
We use Discogs at the store for selling and checking pricing. 99% of everything that we buy used is going to be offered for sale in the store first. If an album sticks around for a while, then we’ll see if we can try selling it on Discogs. It really helps us keep inventory moving and connect with a different customer.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
It’s great to have been able to work in and own the store for as long as I have. The move last year has had changes and rewards that I could have never imagined. We are thrilled and fortunate to be in a town that has so many music lovers who prioritize buying local first.
For those in Madison, WI on July 11th, 2018, don’t miss this special Collectible Record Sale at MadCity Music, presented by Crate Diggers. MadCity will be supplying the coolest and weirdest collection of used vinyl they’ll be putting out, so far, this year! They’ll be putting over 1,000 new used LPs featuring many rare, hard-to-find, and first pressings from the worlds of Avant-Garde, Indie Rock/Punk, & Queen (yes, the magnificent Freddie Mercury’s Queen!)! Also, plenty of other gems from the worlds of Classic Rock, Jazz, Blues, and more!