Cambridge’s arts and music scene has taken another hit. Less than a week after news of T.T. The Bear’s Place’s closing had surfaced, Massachusetts Avenue record shop and underground culture destination Weirdo Records has shuttered. Owner Angela Sawyer relayed the news yesterday via her website, thanking her customers and outlining her future plans, which include performing in improv nights and playing and hosting shows similar to the ones she featured at Weirdo over the past nine years.
Weirdo is considered one of the best record shops in Massachusetts, and since the news broke yesterday, customers have been posting words of gratitude on the store’s Facebook page.
“Record stores are a bit like paper airplanes,” Sawyer writes in her farewell note, “but thanks to all of you, I’m pretty sure a good one can fly a ways.”
Read Sawyer’s note below:
Today is the last day that Weirdo is open, and I just wanted to take a sec and say THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH to everyone. If you shopped here, performed here, looked around and knocked something down, listened to some homeless guy rant about Hendrix, complained that your package wasn’t packed well enough even though it was, or just generally existed in the realm of Weirdo then thank you.
Weirdo began as a myspace experiment (‘How hard could it be to build a website?’ I thought). It exceeded every possible expectation I ever had for it by quite a bit, and then some extra. It was able to have such a good run and run for so long, in the face of a culture that is in no way interested in art, culture, avant garde music, music in general, or vinyl (I think you probably know that all those vinyl is back fluff pieces are lying thought their bullshit corporate teeth, right?). All that was possible because of the great record collectors in Boston and around the world who contributed to the shop against their better economic judgment, over and over again.
The sale that’s been going on for the last few months also went far, far better than expected. So well, that I decided to take a vacation from selling records. I get to leave in the black (which as some of you likely know, is UNHEARD OF in record-shop-land). I’ve been working 85-100 hours a week for more than 9 years now, which was just part of running a shop and having a job that I loved. But I am also very interested to do things that non-record-store-owning people do, like leave town, practice music, eat fruit, get haircuts, and generally do things one-at-a-time instead of ten-at-a-time. So while I don’t want to undercut the sadness of Weirdo’s customers, and I do appreciate the great compliment that’s implied there, I also want you to know that I’m super, super excited to get back to the stuff I remember thinking about doing when I was 35 instead of 45 years old.
For the moment, you can find me at www.iluvkarlrahner.com. Shows I’m at and records that I perform on and my other dumb ideas will live there a while.
For the forseeable, I’ll be hosting an open mic for comedians and musicians every Wednesday at King’s Bowling Alley (50 Dalton St/Hynes T stop) 9p. I’ll be running an open-to-all monthly improvised music night called Shrymprov at the Whitehaus in JP (next one is tomorrow the 21st!). I’ll also be hosting a monthly storytelling show called Shaves in my bedroom and giving everyone who shows up free beer. Those shows will be found on iluvkarlrahner’s calendar and on facebook & so on. On May 25th I’ll be playing in a duo with Michael Rosenstein at the Midway (3496 Washington St, JP). On May 26th I’ll be playing solo at the Smokey Bear Cave in Lower Allston. On May 30th I’ll be playing outdoors during the day with Moshi Moshi I Am the Decider as part of the Grass Stains festival at Ringer Park. And later that night my new hardcore band with Sam Potrykus, Nick Neuberg & Shawnie from Bugs & Rats will have a first show opening for To Live & Shave in LA at Deep Thoughts. That band is called Negative One.
Finally, record selling may well be back on my plate after I get bored of having too much money and time and music on my hands. That’s pretty much why Weirdo got started in the first place, and I’m sure if I try out an office job several months from now, I’ll hate it immediately and wonder why I ever stopped doing this. Record stores are a bit like paper airplanes, but thanks to all of you, I’m pretty sure a good one can fly a ways. So sincerely, thanks again very, very much for everything. See you soon!
Watch a 2013 video on the store, by Boston Hassle, below: