WORDS BY MARTIN DEVANEY
For many, an establishment’s in-house soundtrack is a sign that they’re in the right place. Essential to the joint’s vibe, the right songs can set a mood, add to an enjoyable experience, or have you turning on a dime for the door. DISPATCH called a few favorites to get their playlists. Suffice to say, taken together, this is one helluva mix.
1639 University Ave W, St Paul
Generations of Twin Citizens have marveled at the endless delights within this offbeat palace of oddities. Employees mainly play cassette mixtapes made by co-workers over the years, with track lists lost to time, if they were ever made in the first place. These tunes are delightfully all over the place, befitting of the aisles of the store itself.
A Mixed Tape of Music By Mort Garson – Mort Garson
‘Garbage’ – Biff Rose
‘Drugs Drugs Drugs ’- Tonetta
‘1999’ – Harold Rippy
‘Dark In My Heart’ – Lee Hazlewood
71 Snelling Ave N, St Paul
For more than 50 years, no matter which side of Snelling the store has found itself, Cheapo has been a go-to for rediscovering classics, picking up a new release, or selling off stuff you’d rather no one knew you listened to freshman year. Don’t fear the record store clerk, they won’t run you out of the store like Jack Black’s Barry Judd in High Fidelity. And who knows, maybe you’ll buy a copy of what you’re hearing in the store…Beta Band, anyone?
72 Seasons – Metallica
Wide Awake! – Parquet Courts
Chips from the Chocolate Fireball – The Dukes of Stratosphear
Since I Left You – The Avalanches
Jordan: The Comeback – Prefab Sprout
Disco Death Records
721 W 26th St, Minneapolis
Across the river at Disco Death, you can get coffee, a slab of vinyl, and have your film developed all under one roof. They’ve also begun to host pop-up markets. Their in-store turntable spins an eclectic mix of funk and folk upon its platter, inviting listeners to take a seat in the shop before happy hour at the CC Club.
Pacific – Haruomi Hosono, Shigeru Suzuki and Tatsuro Yamashita
Live At the Old Quarter – Townes Van Zandt
Logg – Logg
Scenery – Ryo Fukui
Something/Anything? – Todd Rundgren
Hard Times Cafe
1821 Riverside Ave, Mpls
Harking back to the West Bank of old, Hard Times is still here, offering vegetarian and vegan fare and the strongest cup of coffee on or near campus. Not surprisingly, the tunes are as varied as the clientele. Some crucial jams in here. DISPATCH is just sayin’ The Hard Times and Ax-Man crews could have a great mixtape exchange program.
‘It’s Too Late’ – Bob Mould
‘Without You’ – Mark Gormley
‘Livin’ In the Fridge’ – “Weird Al” Yankovic
‘Fitchl’s Lied’ – The Woodys
‘Too Much Time On My Hands’ – Styx
Lost Fox Lowertown
213 E 4th St, #100, St Paul
Set in a beautiful space across from Union Depot and around the corner from Mears Park, Lost Fox has quickly become a jewel of Lowertown. With a coffee bar up front and a traditional bar in back, they’ve got an excellent menu, ample seating, anda fantastic soundtrack. The care they put into their curation shows.
“It’s important to me that the music reflects the kind of place we’re trying to create,” says co-owner Mike Rose. “We let employees play what they want, within reason. The main goal is to play music that has substance that we find interesting.”
‘Young Americans’ – David Bowie
‘Spanish Bombs’ – The Clash
‘Sunday Morning’ – The Velvet Underground
‘Superstition’ – Stevie Wonder
‘Life of Pablo’ – El Michels Affair
3506 Nicollet Ave, Mpls
Sharing a space with Honeycomb Salon, Marigold is Minnesota’s first non-alcoholic bottle shop. They have a splendid selection of NA drinks, from wine to whiskey, as well as beer and THC seltzers (and a second location in St. Paul—St. Anthony Park neighborhood—opening soon). They tend to play a variety of in-store music, but this one was all about the ’90s, complete with singalongs and anecdotes about the music videos.
‘It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over’ – Lenny Kravitz
‘Fantasy ’- Mariah Carey
‘Tom’s Diner’ – Suzanne Vega
‘Waterfalls’ – TLC
‘Fade Into You’- Mazzy Star