By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
So, onward: the nominees, in their respective slots because there are so damn many categories we could've put them in, are . . . Bionic Records, which fills the alternative/ punk slot. It's a home-grown three-store mini-chain, made semi-famous the world over when Dexter Holland wore Bionic T-shirts in mid-'90s Offspring videos. This is an aspiring young punk's paradise, the place to pick up that crusty band's arm patch or that sticker or T-shirt from a band that broke up before you were even born. We'd like to give a shout out to runners-up Black Hole in Fullerton; Vinyl Solution in Huntington Beach, which should get some sorta special award because they have tons of real, honest-to-god vinyl record albums in stock, Greene Records in Tustin; and Noise Noise Noise in Costa Mesa.
[Applause. Drunken shouts of "I love you, man. No, really, man. I'm serious. Don't be that way, dude."]
KANE: Next is CD Warehouse in Orange—our "used" store nominee. You know, I once took a bucketful of CDs there to sell, and they actually bought all of them. Every single one. Even the one by Paul Schaffer, which, I must emphasize, I did not buy myself but got for free through the record store I worked in at the Time. That brave, selfless act alone deserves recognition, perhaps a medal. Runner up is Second Spin in Costa Mesa, which, although part of a smallish, non-OC-based chain, still does a decent job of keeping relatively new, cheap CDs in their bins.
KANE: Next is Costa Mesa's Dr. Freecloud's Mixing Lab—the "electronic" nominee. The oldest electronic/ techno specialty store in OC. This is the spot to pick up new mixes, test out new sampling techniques, and gobble up piles of rave fliers—some you might actually want to go to—and chat up co-owners Ron D Core or Simply Jeff, expert spinners in their own right. Runners up? Higher Source in Huntington Beach and Pitch Control in Fullerton.
[Applause. A drunk shouts, "You don't know me, man."]
KANE: Next is Pepperland, the "store whose name is a Beatles reference" slot. Convienently located next to Bookman in Orange, Pepperland has moved locations about 200 Times, but I discovered them back in the '80s when they were housed in a cubbyhole in a delapidated strip mall on Katella in Anaheim. The coolest thing then was that they sold album flats (album covers, essentially), so you could find a bunch from a band you liked and wallpaper your bedroom cheaply. They also have Beatles everything here—so awash in Fab Fourmania are they that you'll be convinced that Paul McCartney not only isn't dead, but he's also working behind the counter!
[Applause. Shot of confused Paul McCartney looking around.]
KANE: Last, we have the Orange County Record Swap, the "none of the above" nominee. It's undoubtedly OC's biggest, best record store; too bad it's open only one day a month. Every fourth Sunday, this mammoth record swap takes over a huge conference room at the Sequoia Athletic Club in Buena Park, attracting dealers and reps from record stores all over SoCal, and someTIMes from as far away as Europe and Japan. This is where to find cheap CDs, really cheap box sets, posters, collector's items, old back issues of Rolling Stone, imports and assorted other pieces of strangeness—I once saw a ticket stub from a Tiffany concert going for a buck at this show. What's scarier is that somebody actually bought it. Runner-up is The Trunk of Johnny Horsehead's Cadillac, seen cruising south Harbor Boulevard weekend nights, usually between 1 and 3 a.m. He swears it's all legit, and that Radiohead and U2 meant to stamp their new albums with a big "CD-R" on them.
KANE: And the winner is . . . Bionic Records. Because three stores are better than one, and they're not only secure enough in their punk rock manliness to openly carry Celine Dion CDs, but also the clerks won't even laugh at you if you actually buy one of them. They'll wait till after you've left the store, and then they'll laugh at you.
[Applause as Kane walks offstage. Swaim appears onstage again as the screen rises again.]
SWAIM: And we're going back to Rebecca Schoenkopf, who's out on location at Chain Reaction, right, Rebecca?
REBECCA: Hi, Will. Yeah, I'm here at Chain Reaction. We're looking for Tim Hill, the owner, but there seem to be a whole bunch of teenagers here. They're so young, and, and . . . teenlike. And they all have really good skin, which is bizarre because they're teenagers. It's somewhat disconcerting, Will, and I'm not ashamed to tell you: I'm fearing for my safety.
SWAIM: You mean more than when you got into a fistfight with Linda Jemison?
REBECCA: Yeah, I want to talk to you about that when you've got a minute. She pulled my hair, Will! It really hurt!
SWAIM: We'll talk about this another Time.
REBECCA: Am I gonna get some sort of bonus considering I sort of got beat up?
REBECCA [mumbling]: Figures.
SWAIM: What was that?
SWAIM: Don't you have a job to do?