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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Culture Market: Silver Lake vinyl and indie marketplace celebrates the MP3-free music scene

Photo by Carlos Ubeda/Flickr

By Nicholas Mestas and Cori Salinas

London-based Independent Label Market  is a concept ripe with sacred old traditions. Beginning its journey in 2011, the market brings together indie-label kings, music-collecting aficionados and vinyl record fans.  ILM allows independent record labels (nearly 30) to sell their product and have a real dialogue with their auditory consumers.  On Saturday, Nov. 3 the market makes its West Coast debut in Silver Lake.

We think there is something to be said about the sensory process of buying music that has largely faded away since the dawn of CDs and MP3s. The ILM marks a return to that sensory process. Forget the virtual check out window – this is real life. “No MP3s at this market,” proclaims an ILM poster.

The market arrives in Los Angeles with the help of Los Angeles-based IAMSOUND Record. Making big waves since 2006, IAMSOUND has established themselves as indie-label heavyweight contenders. Their collaborations with many of the most talked about Los Angeles upstarts, as well as NPR and KCRW’s beloved Lord Huron, have positioned them as the perfect conduit for ILM. We had a chance to catch up with IAMSOUND’s Paul Tao to discuss the the process of bringing a vinyl collector’s dream to L.A.’s Eastside.

How did IAS get involved with ILM? Who courted who?
We’ve been friends with Joe Daniels who runs Angular Records in London for quite some time, and Joe was the mastermind behind ILM over there. He came up with the idea, and him and his partners have successfully run it multiple times in the UK and once in Brooklyn. We loved the idea so much that we’ve been bugging him for a while now to bring it to LA, and we finally were able to make it happen a few months back and have been organizing it since then. He doesn’t know LA as well as the other two cities so we partnered up on this to work with labels and to find a venue and date and all of those details.

Was the West Coast premiere of ILM a long time in the making?
It’s been in the works for the past few months or so! It’s taken a lot of hard work from all sides of this.

Why choose Silver Lake? What does the Eastside of L.A. bring to an event such as this?
Well most of us at IAMSOUND have lived in Silver Lake or the Eastside for quite some time now, and we know that the people of this neighborhood and the surrounding areas are probably the most friendly to indie music and to markets like this than any other place in LA, so it made sense to put it over there. We also love the farmer’s markets around here so we wanted it close to the Silver Lake Farmers Market so it could have a good crossover.

In a time of MP3 dominance, do you feel that the Eastside of L.A. has a unique “vinyl culture”?
Absolutely! Look at the success of Origami & Vacation, two mainly-vinyl record stores that have flourished in the past few years. I’m very proud of our neighborhood for supporting local businesses like this and showing that there is still a place for great, underground music. People on the East Side love indie music and that comes pretty hand in hand with vinyl records, so it all make sense.

Independent Label Market will make its west coast debut Saturday, November 3 from 11 am to 5 pm at Micheltorena Elementary School, at the intersection of Micheltorena and Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake.

Nicholas Mestas and Cori Salinas are freshly appointed contributors to The Eastsider nd the producers of Culture Market, a new feature that explores the sights and sounds that make up Los Angeles’ cultural landscape.

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