Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Final Countdown!

We're opening this week! Here are a few last sneak peeks...

The first installation of the Origami Vinyl accent wall! This piece is actually four separate but identical panels that all intersect. How did artist Meghan Moran do it? How did she get the intricate lines to match up and continue throughout each panel? The answer: BY HAND! (what!?) Thanks Meghan!

Get your limited edition first-run Origami Vinyl shirts! Choose from three different styles designed by Jeff, Jed and Ryan... all of which have matching canvas record bags... all of which were hand screen-printed by Ryan.

We're almost there!

Special thanks to Jess for coming out from NY, spending the weekend at Neil's place... wading through bins, boxes, records... and helping with pricing and merchandising! And for being so fun to eat with... Brunch is not only for assholes!

Thanks also to Jed for lending his wheatpasting expertise for the accent wall installation.

Wanna hear about all this from someone other than me? You're in luck...

Origami Vinyl on EvilMonito
Origami Vinyl on Poketo

Stay tuned for more as we continue our final countdown to Friday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Alert The Press!

Ahem, Le press release:

Origami Vinyl to Open in Echo Park, CA
Opening April 3, 2009

ECHO PARK, CA – March 26, 2009 - Already creating a buzz, courtesy of the LA Times and Buzzbands, Origami Vinyl will open its doors to the public at 1816 W. Sunset Blvd, Friday, April 3rd at Noon. Grand Opening guests will enjoy in-store performances by Wait.Think.Fast. and Nico Stai as well as an Opening Day Sale of 10% off everything in the store.

A not-so-natural progression of the digital-only record label of the same name, Origami Vinyl is Echo Park's very own vinyl-only record shop! The shop will stock a variety of new vinyl—both LPs and 45s—as well as record players, cartridges and accessories. Conveniently located two doors from The Echo and Echoplex, Origami Vinyl will also serve as the primary box office for concert tickets to The Echo, Echoplex, Spaceland and other Spaceland Productions Festivals/Events. As if that weren't enough, digital DJ pioneer Serato has chosen Origami Vinyl as its flagship recycling center for used Serato control vinyl.

Inspiration for the store came from the neighborhood itself, where owner Neil Schield has lived for nearly a decade, impressed by its increasingly characteristic knowledge of, and appetite for, good music. No one knows Echo Park quite like Schield's new landlord and neighbor Mitchell Frank (The Echo, Spaceland, Malo, El Prado).

“After Neil unveiled plans for his grand opening party,” Frank laughs, “my wife said I’m not allowed inside Origami Vinyl unless she’s holding my credit cards! The vinyl-only shop is a welcomed addition to the neighborhood and will have great synergy with The Echo and Echoplex. It’ll serve as a box office for shows at the venues, as well as a pop up store, radio station hub, music news broadcast and internet communications bureau and a great vinyl outlet – not to mention a host for record release parties and art exhibits. I’ll see you there, but for me it’s cash only!”

Origami Vinyl will be open seven days a week “from Noon to Late” and will occasionally host events like listening parties, record clubs, in-store performances from local and touring artists, art openings and other random happenings. To stay updated, visit our blog at www.origamiorigami.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/OrigamiVinyl.

Origami also concludes its March residency at the Echo this Monday, March 30th at 9pm, featuring Origami artists Wait.Think.Fast. and Summer Darling plus special guests Kissing Cousins and Future Ghost. The night is free so come help us celebrate!

For follow-up, please contact Neil Schield at neil@origamiorigami.com or at 213.618.2166

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Chalkwork Orange

I'll make this quick... Over the weekend Jed chalked up that "Coming April 3rd" sign in the window and I loved it. And then yesterday he came back to do the hanging chalkboards that will announce, for each week...

the tickets for sale...

the upcoming albums and...

new album releases!

The boards look so good I'm pretty damn speechless. I wish I was a new release up on that chalkboard.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sign of the Times!

It's a sign of the times! Everything's coming together and our grand opening date has been set...

April 3rd is fast approaching and it is now time for finishing touches... including this window sign chalked up by Jed!

He was simply driving by and saw the crew toiling away, so he stopped in and we quickly put him to work... because there's no sadder thing than wasted potential. Thanks, Jed!

Meanwhile, Stentz and Dan finished the wine crates and secured them to our custom work benches.

Outside, attracting onlookers and passersby (such as Jed), Morgan and Jeff set up the scaffolding and started on the Origami Vinyl sign...

the stencils for which were all very carefully X-acto knifed by Jeff himself... one illustrated (by Morgan) paper fold at a time!

Midway through we were all super stoked already.

Back inside, Sean Foye did a really great job of camouflaging the stereo cables along the walls and Neil and I modified and mounted a few packages of corkboard.

The Pièce de résistance!

It's a sign of the times...

I Love Electricity

Being limited to daylight working hours is great. The folks of Origami Vinyl, however, prefer the freedom that electricity allows. We can now leave the dawn-to-dusk toiling to the farmers because as of Friday, we have lights! And if the devil's in the details , these are the unholiest of lightbulbs! The very carefully selected squirrel cage tungsten filament bulbs not only look pretty, they last for years! AND... when hung on cables, in threes, from 25' exposed ceiling beams...

the effect is almost sinful...

The electrician installed the lighting cables, but the height adjustment and random wire clean up were up to us; and actually up to me after Neil was too scared to climb the scaffolding. (haha!)

The soft lighting perfectly accentuates those vintage Bose speakers from the Foyes...

And the newly mounted chalkboards that were sourced and lovingly placed by Kara & Loop Haro...

Not to mention the wine crate record bins and wall displays!

Thank you to the above mentioned friends and... the electric company!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Movin' On Up

... to the east side... to the deeeeluxe lofted space in the shop! Yeah, we'll be moving' on up! Yesterday was another very big day for Origami Vinyl. [cough-cough-Pete Townshend-cough]

After a more hectic morning than you should know, Jeremy and I welcomed the arrival of the spiral staircase. My version of welcoming consisted mainly of photo-documenting, while Jeremy's included helping to corkscrew it through the doorway.

Sparks literally flying
Not Pete Townshend [cough-pete-effing-townshend!-cough]

Still not Pete Townshend

Likewise not Pete Townshend, Sean came to install the vinyl-only record shop's all-important vinyl-only sound system. Because we're keepin' it real.

Sean and Jeremy sound systeming

Sound check 1...

Check 2... Note the wall mounting... just another fine example of Jeremy's woodcrafting skills.

Stair installation complete

Sean test-running the stairs

Pete Townshend [cough]

Cue music...

And fade...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Not open yet?" - Pete Townshend




So there we were, at Origami Vinyl, when up walked Pete Townshend. Pete Townshend in Echo Park! The following conversation did actually take place.

Pete Townshend: I take it you're not open yet?

Jeremy: No, not yet.

Pete Townshend: Pete Townshend [hand extended and noticeably disappointed]

Jeremy: Jeremy [hand taken]

Alex: Can I ask how you heard about us?

Pete Townshend: I was interneting, looking for vinyl and saw a review about Origami Vinyl as if it were open.

Alex: Was it the LA Times Blog?

Pete Townshend: Yes

Alex: Yeah, they did a blog about the store coming, but mainly it was announcing Origami's Monday night residency here at the Echo.

Pete Townshend: I'll have to come by when I'm back in town... where's a safe place to eat around here?

Unanimous answer: Masa [fingers pointing].

To Masa - Sean Foye says you're welcome.

Stay tuned for more on today's very exciting progress...

Monday, March 9, 2009

Working For The Weekend

Get comfy; there are a lot of people to thank so this is gonna be a long post. Working for the weekend used to mean slaving away all week at a 9-5, just to be able to relax come Friday night. It now serves, for many of us, as the answer to "What are you doing this weekend?"... taking the place of such phrases as "going away for the weekend," or "maxin' & relaxin' at home for the weekend." It's undeniably crunch time.

Last week, we started quite a buzz with the commencement of Origami's Monday night residency at the Echo... which also served as a mildly official announcement of, slash countdown to, the opening of Origami Vinyl. Having lit a fire under his own ass, Neil put out his email version of the bat signal, and the response was an outpouring of love, support and, of course, labor for pizza. Please meet the weekend crew, as we have come to know them:

Jim Schield - The measurements man. Jim is Neil's grandpa and the mastermind behind the custom workbench tables that now line the walls of the store. Don't let the glasses fool you; his vision's so sharp, he'll accurately eyeball any necessary measurements in the time it takes you to find your tool belt!

Jan Schield - The artist and antiquing authority. Neil's grandma paints, and she paints well... so well, in fact, that her patina job on the cash-wrap display case (and the now matching bookcases) could easily pass for a naturally weathered piece aged by Mother Nature herself. Who knew distress could be such a beautiful thing?

Jeremy Balko - The undercover carpenter. On any given day, a conversation with Jeremy will likely reveal 1) his awesomeness, 2) that he is a cuddly bear of a man and 3) his expertise in both Mixology and hanging blowfish. Not so readily apparent is the fact that he can work a tablesaw and hammer like a pro. An effing pro! For his Saturday AND Sunday handiwork, it's safe to say Jeremy can pretty much call in a favor whenever he wants for the rest of his life.

Todd Armstrong - Woodsman... Dennis Quaid lookalike... Goalie... Jeremy's partner in crime at the wood pile. What started with two men and a wood pile quickly developed into a comfortable rhythm and soon they were dancing their way through the wood pile, turning out workbenches. Soooo smooth.

Ben & Heather Heywood - Summer Darlings-turned-staple-gun-gurus. The Heywoods came bearing staple gun, paint, other assorted Home Depot treasures and some much needed sunshine to the dim, naturally lit workspace. (If all goes well, the electrician should be hooking up power as we speak/blog.) I've never used, nor loaded, a staple gun and Ben stepped in just as my mind started wandering off to the voices chanting "You'll shoot your eye out." Before that, Ben braved the big ladder for as long as he could manage to not get vertigo. Heather also took over the duties of documentarian while I was trapped in the rafters.

Jeff Oonchitti - Keeps truckin'. Somehow, despite long work hours at a restaurant (paid work, that is) and a less-than-friendly drive to Echo Park, Jeff always seems to find the time to help out. He lent his muscles, oversize load driving skills and Toyota truck all to our cause... very early Saturday morning. Keep on truckin'!

Dave & Alexis Woodall - Paint patrol. Alexis very thoroughly slapped on the first coat of paint outside the store. She also very thoroughly reported as an fyi, that although it looked very blue, she was sure Neil knew what he was doing and that it would dry black. Good lookin' out, Alexis. Meanwhile, Dave had the kind consideration to bring back the ladder and free me from the rafters. Good lookin' out, Dave.

Loop & Kara Haro - Flea market masters. Vintage frame finders. Though limited, both time- and budget-wise, Loop and Kara set out to tackle the very overwhelming Rose Bowl Flea market, tasked with finding big vintage frames to hang in the store. Two words: Mission accomplished! It was as if they'd simply reached into the thought bubble above our heads and delivered our vision as reality! Complete with a sixer of Amstel Light. And... one frame came with a bonus painting that will soon hang in Neil's kitchen as a tribute to fish, lemons and the Haros.

Katie Garrison (not pictured but, trust me, she's cute) - Arch rival (of the arch). The very intimidating, very large, very stuccoed arch above the door was no match for Katie and her paintbrush. On Sunday, she pretty much single-handedly masking taped and painted the arch that no one really wanted to tackle the day before. Even the very very tip top part! And she's little... little and amazing. We sure did put her John Muir Trail survival skills to the test.

Taj & Matt - Dirty birdies. Clean up duty... it's a dirty job but somebody's gotta do it. Taj and Matt were unfortunate enough to stop in after the mess making fun was over. And they came in for the clean up without a single complaint. Taj stepped up and moved a big pile of leftover 4x4s. That shit's heavy. And Matt took to the broom like a gull takes to the wind.

Thanks to the efforts of the weekend crew, the store is now starting to look like a store. And we feel very loved and lucky to have such supportive friends. We must also thank the folks at Two Boots for once again feeding the entire crew. My new obsession: Earth Mother with cheese:

You, too, can get in on this action... next weekend! See you then!

Origami Vinyl is now on Twitter

Come follow us!   www.twitter.com/origamivinyl

Here we will give you updates on our progress.  Once the shop is opened, we will send out new release tweets on every Tuesday, as well as let you know when we have tickets for sale and other upcoming or surprise events (in-stores, record release parties, etc.)


Friday, March 6, 2009

Buzzbands gives us some love!!!

Kevin Bronson is such a rad dude. If you aren't familiar with who he is, Kevin has been THE music writer in LA for the past 8 years.  Writing for the LA Times and creating one of the most read music blogs in LA, Buzzbands. Last year he DJ'ed our first ever Origami event at the Echo, and unfortunately I didn't get much of an opportunity to pick his brain and chat him up. Last week, he hit me up to talk about our March residency and the opening of the store.  What came of our conversation was posted today on his blog, (Check it Here)   What he doesn't tell you is that in the 80's he used to be a sports writer and is a huge Dodger fan that got to cover the Dodgers World Series in 1988 and witness THE home run!  Lucky guy!  These days he is an aspiring baseball umpire and is working his way up the food chain.  Needless to say, him and I have a lot in common and I'm stoked that he's stoked on the store.

Thanks Kevin!!!


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Origami Vinyl featured in the LA Times today

The LA Times' August Brown sat down with me last week and asked me a few questions over some beers at Masa.

You can scope the feature here.

Woohoo! Thanks August!