Double Nickels Collective, a new record store selling music and more from multiple Valley vendors, celebrated its grand opening in Tempe on Saturday, Oct. 5. The grand opening brought many collectors to Southern and Mill avenues to look at what the store offered, and, like any proper music fan does, make immediate and uninformed predictions about what its success would be.
Thankfully for the store, those initial impressions, especially for this reviewer, were nothing but positive. The variety of music, vendors, gear and price made for a truly expansive experience, all under one roof.
Double Nickels Collective was actually the successor to another store, Eastside Records, in collaboration with other businesses. Eastside, which was also based in Tempe, sold both popular and rare records with everything ranging from hardcore punk to pop, rock to jazz, spoken word to soundtracks. The store closed down earlier this year to revamp at this other location. Now, the door of Double Nickels Collective features a label of a small ghost next to the words “The Ghost of Eastside Records.”
However, this is not so much a ghost of the previous store as it is its blazing phoenix, rising from ashes into great heights. Eastside Records’ collection looks much more organized in a larger space, with the Collective exposing the same great finds that hid in the previous location. This collector found a “hard-to-find” (so proclaimed the sticker) copy of Stars of the Lid’s And Their Refinement of the Decline (albeit missing one record), which was definitely unexpected.
But the best thing about Double Nickels Collective is that dedicated collectors/sellers can occupy a space in the store to sell their records. Record High, Stereophonic High Fidelity, Redfield Records and King of the Monsters were some of the vendors stacking booths at the store, and each one had something special to offer. While King of the Monsters offered an assortment of metal records, Record High amassed a group of rare, hard-to-find and pricy Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab vinyl.
Stereophonic in particular got the Miggy “nod of approval” for having cheap and critically acclaimed vinyl. And of course, the Stinkweeds crates of new and used vinyl were a comforting touch.
Gear, Books, Clothes and More
In addition to a pleasing smorgasbord of vinyl in all shapes, sizes and colors, Double Nickels Collective stocked a decently priced selection of amplifiers and turntables. There were also plenty of CDs and cassettes, including a pristine tape of post-punk band Wire’s seminal album Pink Flag (spoiler: it has a pink flag on the cover).
Finally, the store carried several books and comics, both fiction and non-fiction, and a rack with women’s and men’s clothing from Meat Market Vintage Clothing. However, since this is a music blog, I am not properly qualified to review these items. Sorry. (Except for that rad leather jacket with Joy Division emblazoned on the shoulders).
Michael Pawlicki, owner of Double Nickels Collective, said the whole premise of the store was very quickly arranged and that empty plots on the floor would later be filled with more booths and items. We all can thank him for his quick thinking and instinct, since inside the walls of this building is a store were both the large and small collector can live in harmony. Double Nickels Collective will hopefully take its place among the best record stores in the Valley.
Photos by Miguel Otárola/DD