If you know me, you’ll know that my wallet regularly falls prey to a reasonably compulsive vinyl habit. So when record/CD/DVD vendor Malcolm Tent sets up shop in Usdan every month or so, I can’t resist spending upwards of half an hour flipping through crates, admiring the display of rare and bootleg concert DVDs, and generally shooting the crap with the amiable former record store owner. The guy knows his way around ’70s and ’80s post-punk and indie underground as well as anyone. He’ll spend twenty minutes telling you about his favorite rare Devo single. If you’re curious about a record, he’ll throw it on the turntable and give you a listen.
Here’s a brief roundup of Malcolm’s record-selling experience yesterday, 10/29. Full disclosure: before conducting this interview, I spent $16.50 and walked away with Tom Verlaine’s self-titled LP and Leonard Cohen’s Death of a Ladies’ Man and I’m Your Man.
- Most exciting sale of the day? I sold a few cassettes, which is a further vindication of analog.
- Weirdest sale of the day? Pick one, any one.
- Most surprising customer? You, for passing up a shrinkwrapped copy of Songs of Leonard Cohen in favor of Death of Ladies’ Man. [I told Malcolm the latter record is criminally underappreciated. He told me he’s one of the criminal underappreciators.]
- Most records/CDs sold to one customer? One fellow bought five LPs.
- Record you can’t seem to get rid of? Secret Name by Low. Such a good record, but nobody wants it!
- Record you can’t seem to hold on to? Anything by the Smiths. [Perhaps this is related to the 1985 Smiths concert footage Malcolm had screening on his mini-TV?]
- Best part of selling at Wesleyan? As Fred Durst would say, “It’s all good.” I like the campus, I like the people, and Frank Marselli can run a mile in 7:30.
- Final notes? We’re all Devo!
For more info about Malcolm Tent, his music, and his obliviousness to MGMT, check out this Argus interview from last November.