Bosq,
The TVD First Date

“When I moved to Boston as a Hip Hop obsessed 18 year old in order to attend Northeastern University, one of the first things I did was start looking for record stores.”

“I had had my turntables for years already, but the few thrift shops in my hometown were far from generous in what they provided a kid looking for breaks, vintage funk and soul, or classic hip hop. I wandered the city for hours whenever I could, between classes and football practice, checking out places I found on primitive websites (2002 style) or message boards, where music nerds gathered and shared tips.

On one such expedition, I came across what will now forever be for me the archetype of the perfect record store. In Your Ear records in Allston was down a flight of stairs into a decent sized underground shop. Stacks of repaired receivers and turntables greeted you to left, and a hardcore and metal section that I always breezed past on the right. Beyond that (where you almost always had to squeeze by someone immersed in their own search) it opened up into the most beautiful example of the balance between disorder and order.

Clearly defined sections guided your search but never so organized that you might not accidentally find something to expand your taste. The daily appearance of unmarked boxes in the process of being organized or priced meant there was almost always something no one else had looked through, and most importantly for a student with no money there was a gigantic stack of unsleeved 45s for 10 cents each.

I remember spending hours and hours in that stack, skipping the train in favor of walking there and back (probably an hour each way) because that 3 dollars in train fare was an extra 30 records! I’d get home and carefully wash each record to make it playable but half the time they still screamed with static regardless.

Like most things in the world, the most important part of In Your Ear was the people. The centerpiece of the operation being Reid, grey haired and spectacled, always with a trucker hat, he was shy but immensely knowledgeable. Reid was always more than happy to help you trace the paths via producers, songwriters and session players, from your favorite records to new discoveries. To pass you the box of new arrivals that no one had looked at yet and wasn’t priced (and would never try the classic record store move of dropping a ridiculous price on you once you were already at the register). Or to just hang out, play you records and talk nonsense even if you weren’t going to buy anything.

A few years after discovering the spot I had the luck to move in literally across the street. This is when my collection and addiction started to grow exponentially. I’d drop in more or less every other day (often on the way home from a shift in the Newbury Comics warehouse where I worked pulling and organizing vinyl orders) and almost always leave with something. Even when I didn’t, listening to their other full time employee talk about his big plans to start a “blog about how to avoid shark attacks,” obscure Italian horror movies, or whatever his other wild obsession of the day was, made the visits always worthwhile.

Part of the reason this time stands out so much to me is that it was the earliest stages of throwing parties and actually DJ-ing outside my bedroom. You also have to remember this was pre Serato, and CDJs were out of the question for DJ’s playing Hip Hop, Funk and Soul. This meant you were only playing what you could find on vinyl.

I can’t really describe the excitement of finding something at the shop on Monday and dreaming all week of how you were going to play it on Friday night, imagining how the (small but enthusiastic) crowd would react when you dropped it at just the right time. The first gigs were with 2 good friends, and even better than the crowd reaction would be if one of us found something crazy during the week, managed to hide our excitement and then dropped it on Friday to a chorus of “Yoooooo!!! What!?!” from the other two.

I write this in the past tense because I live in another country now, but as far as I know In Your Ear is still going strong, and is absolutely 100% worth a visit anytime you are in Boston. Tell Reid I say what up!”
Bosq

Bosq Y Su Descarga Internacional, the new release from Bosq arrives in stores on Friday, October 23, 2020 and can be pre-ordered here.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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