Seattle, Austin, Portland, Chicago, Nashville….we know what we’re getting at here – all kick ass music cities. Everything from the venues, record stores, local bands gone big and music festivals, there’s no shortage of cool and hip. But what about Phoenix, Arizona? Well, there’s no way Phoenix even dares come close to top tier music cities, but at the same time it ain’t no Sacramento. The nation’s sixth largest city isn’t all about those well worn state leisure activities many smugly think of. There’s a thriving music scene in this town, and one of the cornerstones in that scene is Stinkweeds, a little record store that has served the Phoenix area for 27 years.
Proprietor Kimber Lanning has been actively involved in music in more ways than one since opening the store at the age of 19. From 1994-1999 Stinkweeds hosted small shows that attracted the likes of Elliott Smith, Neutral Milk Hotel, Blonde Redhead, Calexico and Magnetic Fields to name a few. In 1999 Lanning would open a separate venue called Modified Arts whose cozy environs hosted many of the most significant indie artists touring then in their formative years including Arcade Fire, St. Vincent, Beach House and Joanna Newsom before the venue became a full time gallery spot. It should also be noted that Lanning founded Local First Arizona, a statewide nonprofit focused on strengthening Arizona’s economy.
Contrary to the foul imagery its name might conjure, walking inside Stinkweeds is sweet and tasteful to the eyes and ears. Although it won’t be giving Amoeba Records a battle for its rows of crates and oldies, when it comes to new indie releases on vinyl and CD Stinkweeds has nailed that niche. Manger Lindsay Cates recently dropped us a line to tell Glide what’s been happening at the little shop on Camelback and Central….
Stinkweeds was opened in 1987 in Mesa, AZ by Kimber Lanning, who is still the current owner. The store has always had a serious indie slant, with tons of rare, hard-to-find indies and imports, books and magazines. The store has moved 4 times and is located in midtown Phoenix. 28 years later, Kimber is still the owner along with being the executive director of Local First Arizona, the coalition of locally owned businesses. The majority of what we sell is new vinyl. We have a TON of used vinyl in stock but people come to us for new, limited edition vinyl pressings. Also, we have over 85 CD listening stations that we switch out monthly, and those get a ton of attention.
Biggest sellers so far this year…
Viet Cong – Viet Cong (Jagjaguwar)
Ty Segall – Live In San Francisco (Castle Fever)
Dengue Fever – The Deepest Lake (Tuk Tuk Records)
Twerps – Range Anxiety (Merge)
Panda Bear – Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper (Domino)
Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love (Sub Pop)
The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Capitol)
Father John Misty – I Love You, Honeybear (Sub Pop)
What new releases are you most excited about these days…
What are we hyped about? Gosh!! I’m so buried in the day to day, we haven’t looked ahead very far for new releases. We’ve got a boatload of pre-orders for the upcoming Sufjan Stevens, Modest Mouse and Bjork records. Personally, I’m excited about the new A Place To Bury Strangers, Au.ra, Moon Duo.
You’d be surprised we sell a lot of…
We sell quite a lot of magazines, which is awesome. Pretty much everything that happens in our little store is the opposite of what’s going on out in the world. Vinyl is huge, so is print media, cassettes, and we do still sell a lot of CDs as well.
Stinkweeds is located at 12 W Camelback Rd in Phoenix, Arizona
For more on Stinkweeds check out stinkweeds.com