Tim Matranga, co-owner of Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage
What do you do when you have a vinyl record collection of more than 8,000 albums and a passion for vintage, midcentury modern furniture and accessories? Open a store, of course. That is exactly what Tim Matranga and his wife Laura did this May with Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage in the Warehouse Artist Lofts on the R Street Corridor. Tim heads up the music department, while Laura scours estate and garage sales for the unique vintage items littered throughout the two-business enterprise—the Matrangas partnered with Marty DeAnda, who operates MediumRare Records in the same store. SN&R recently sat down with Matranga to talk vinyl, the pains of collecting and his radio show Psychedelic Psoul on KDVS.
Why is vinyl still relevant?
I think people want something that they can put their hands around and say they actually have a physical copy of something rather than just purely digital. I think people really do want some type of physical object related to the music, whether it be vinyl or CD.
Is digital streaming musical heresy?
Not really, because everyone does it these days and just about everyone has streamed or downloaded music they want to hear when they're in a pinch, but I think the real experience is listening to a record on a good stereo system so you can really fully appreciate the music that is on the disc.
What genre of music sounds better on vinyl?
All sorts, I think. Everything from rock 'n' roll to psychedelic, and it's a big part of hip-hop, of course, and some electronic as well. Sometimes you'll hear nuances that you might miss if you're just listening to an MP3, or the sound quality [might be off].
When did you start your collection?
It started when I had a paper route when I was 14 years old and I had a little disposable income. I went to the record store and at the time I was buying whatever was popular. Then, eventually in high school, I started listening to more '60s rock, like the Beatles and the [Rolling] Stones and then I got into, like most people do, punk and obscure underground music. Being involved with KDVS, I sort of jumped all the way into buying way too much music.
Any records in your collection that you would never part with?
There are some records that I've gotten that I can't imagine I would sell unless it were a dire situation. But one is by a band called the Search Party and they did an album called Montgomery Chapel. I can't remember what the whole story is on the group, but it's one of those mega-rare '60s psychedelic rock [records] with kind of a Christian bent.
How did the store come about?
The vintage was [Laura's]. She had been selling vintage knickknacks and furniture for a long time, but we figured it was time to make it real and open a shop. Since I knew the records and she knew the vintage, we decided, “Why not call it Kicksville Vinyl & Vintage and merge the two ideas?” Then once we had Marty on board, he invited us to do this, it just worked out. Marty's half of the store is a bit different than mine—a little bit more classic rock and '50s,'60s, '70s. My stuff is more '80s, '90s and 2000s with some select soul, rockabilly and garage rock. We're trying to emphasize different things so when people walk in they can see there are two different, contrasting elements going on there.
How do you go about finding music?
Getting up early on Saturdays and going to garage sales, estate sales, record swap meets—that's a big one—also traveling to San Francisco and L.A. on record buying trips. I'll come back with a big box or two of records for the store. Then there's always dealing with other dealers and trading. We're always looking for collections, so if you're selling, we're buying.
Most unusual item to come through your store?
There have been several, but there was this band from Sacramento called the Horny Mormons and one of their records came in, but it sold already.
What is the one record that got away from you?
I was at a record show and a guy pulls up a Chocolate Watchband record next to me and I think it was marked at some silly price like $8 and I was like, “Oh, I've been looking for that record forever, can I buy that from you?” and he was like, “Nope, that's for me.”
You have a show on KDVS—did video really kill the radio star?
I don't know. I think as far as I think radio is still relevant, but not quite as much as 10 or 20 years ago. I still continue to do [the radio show] because so much of what you hear on the radio is just commercial, you know, the same 50 songs over and over, and so I like to throw things out there that people haven't heard.