We apologize for the inconvenience, but we do not carry Record Store Day’s “black Friday” releases. We do have an enormous selection of new and used albums, and lots of other things for that special vinyl collector in your life, and a 10% sale in the shop today.

IMG_79731If you really want to be sure they get something they’ll love, we have gift certificates available. There are nearly a half a million records in the shop so your special someone is sure to find something for their collection!

New this year are ornaments made from actual colored vinyl LPs by our old friends at Vinyl Afterlife. We also have an updated selection of their classic record label coasters and album notebooks.

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Laura’s hand knit mittens are always a hit around this time of the year. She has been working extra hard to have a big selection of knits in the shop!

IMG_79691 IMG_79681The local section is filled with awesome new albums from 2015, including the latest from our own label by Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band.

Our other favorites from this year include: a CD/tape release by What Tyrants, a triple-album series by Rank Strangers, an LP (Mystery Date) and a single (L’Assassins) from our favorite label in town, Piñata Records, and an awesome disc by the Southside Aces from earlier in the year. We have lost count of all the great local releases from 2015!

While you are here on East Lake Street you’ll find other great shopping! If you love comic books, you’re sure to love Nostalgia Zone, one of our favorite places. There are all kinds of awesome surprises in a little gift shop with a huge selection called Corazon, and also at Soderberg’s, a florist which is a neighborhood landmark. A newer shop, Repair Lair, specializes in camping equipment (“spend less on gear and more on beer!”) but you’ll have to wait ’til Saturday to visit them.

And you’ll find the best restaurants in town in this neighborhood, including Gandhi Mahal, the Himalayan Restaurant, Peppers & Fries, Midori’s Floating World, Sonora Grill and more! Why wait for “small business Saturday” when you can avoid all the traffic at the big box stores and have a great day instead?!

In the past we have always posted “Alice’s Restaurant Masacree” on Thanksgiving day, but this year we thought we’d post something new.

We hope you have a good holiday, and that you enjoy “The Turkey Song.” We’ll see ya tomorrow!

turkey song


The latest release from the Hymie’s Records label is a debut LP by a band who have been playing here for years. Lonesome, Stoned and Drunk by Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band is in stores now, available online here and through the label page on this website. This album was lovingly produced by Brian Herb, who has been mixing the music at our annual block party for a few years now — in fact, the entire project is very close to us because so many good friends have been working on it together.

The Beer Back Band sounds like an updated version of the classic Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard and the Strangers or Buck Owens and the Buckaroos, with hints of Dwight Yoakam thrown into the mix. Lead guitarist Ross Fellrath adds the spark to burners like “Whiskey” and “Asshole,” and also honky tonk flavor to the ballads with his pedal steel and baritone guitars. Bassist Marc Cohen and drummer Joe Klingelhutz have a natural knack for country, and the band has been playing these songs together for years now. Joe played with Whiskey Jeff in Amen and the Hell Yeahs, Annandale’s premier lounge act, before forming this group to focus on Jeff’s songwriting.

We’ve been singing along with Jeff’s songs here at Hymie’s, at the Hexagon or the Triple Rock for years. Jeff’s songs are funny and irreverent one moment, and heartbreakingly sincere the next. His misadventures in life and love are laid out without shame, so you can laugh ’til you cry in your glass of Templeton rye.

12003863_10153800178189445_855026252704498853_nThe LPs are packaged in a classic Folkways style jacket, complete with liner notes by Twin Cities promoter and country DJ Craig Drehmel (DJ Truchstache), and country music legend Sherwin Linton. The cover photograph was taken by our friend Aimée Pjipers — check out some of her art here. Our goal was for this record to look as good as it sounds!

We have a few releases in the works for 2016, including a Live at Hymie’s compilation, but we are especially excited to add these awesome guys to our catalog! We hope everyone will enjoy Jeff’s songs as much as we have.


Whiskey Jeff and the Beer Back Band’s record release show for their debut LP is this Saturday night at the Eagles Club #34 at 10pm. Also performing are Gabe Barnett and Chokecherry. Facebook event is here.




We apologize for the inconvenience, but we will once again not be carrying Record Store Day™’s official releases for “black Friday.” You will find those ‘limited’ releases quite easily on Saturday, or on internet-sale Monday, whatever that is called. 

We have, however, filled the browsers to the brim with awesome new releases and reissues and original LPs and 45s.That’s what record stores do. The following is an update of what we posted about the subject of RSD’s “Black Friday” last year. We found little reason to change what we had to say:

In spite of our many similarities, record collectors don’t seem to connect with comic book collectors. Sometimes it seems like we don’t even speak the same language. It’s a shame, because so many records have fun comic-themed jackets. hinting at all we share in common. We can’t think of a better recipe for a fun Saturday afternoon than a visit to the Nostalgia Zone, the awesome comic book shop just a couple blocks down East Lake Street from your friendly neighborhood record store. We’re not sure who has more fun with what we find: ourselves or the kids.

The reason we’ve been pondering the differences is that Record Store Day, which will be up to its ninth year this coming April, was based on Free Comic Book Day, a fairly brilliant promotional scene which has sadly been eclipsed by its crass, over-commercial cousin.

Record Store Day may have been just as sincere at its outset seven years ago, but its become the year’s most burdensome seasonal challenge for small shops like ours. Ironically, few of our regular customers express interest in the now hundreds of special releases with the official Record Store Day seal. Many of us who have been collecting, playing and enjoying records all our lives find the entire phenomenon baffling, sometimes alienating. A sought-after record shouldn’t be so because a corporation decided to limit its production, and a new recording by a favorite artist shouldn’t be a challenge to find for fans.

Yes, the official Record Store Day releases do sell well on the third April of each year (and for “list prices,” ie prices set by the wholesalers, which we find to be unreasonably inflated). The enormous sales of these releases each year has given us a budget to host a family-friendly block party featuring fifteen or more local bands each year — and we feel blessed for that.

We don’t expect the major labels are ever going to create a record we could give away just to get folks interested in the very idea of listening and collecting, like Free Comic Book Day has done for years (comic book stores do, by the way, pay a small price for the ‘free’ books you can collect that day, so please support them by buying something else!). We do wish they would create quality products one would enjoy adding to their collection. Unfortunately, while the number of official Record Store Day releases has ballooned into the hundreds in recent years, few fit this criteria.

Major labels have used the event to move massive quantities of moldy catalog material (2014’s official releases included an Eric Carmen single, for Chrisssake). Unreleased archival material that would have made an appealing release without the ‘limited edition’ bullshit is poorly packaged and over-priced. And the dirty secret of record store day is this: none of these products are returnable.That merits repeating: Record Store Day vinyl is a non-returnable product. We’re all stuck with what doesn’t sell.

This event which ostensibly designed to support independent record stores forces us all, the following week, to list hundreds of singles and EPs and janky remixes and reissues online, just to get rid of them. There are RSD releases from four years ago still kicking around our shop, tagged at and sometimes below the wholesale price we paid.

But here’s what we love about Record Store Day: the local music media really gets behind us. Radio K did so much to help  City Pages tagged us the “Best Record Store Day Location” this year, and the Star Tribune has always published our local music lineup for the two stages. Our favorite bands get the exposure they deserve for the awesome music they make — two years ago we were honored to be the site of Black Diet‘s record release show for Find Your Tambourine, and their stellar set in spite of the drizzling rain was one of the best things that’s ever happened here at Hymie’s.


Last year had just as many magical moments. Nato Coles actually picked Irene up and held her over his head on the stage (she DID NOT like this) and Pennyroyal played their last show to an enormous crowd. Each year’s block party has produced these sublime moments, from Fat Kid Wednesday’s smoldering set our first year to the time we pushed Whiskey Jeff up on stage with a borrowed guitar to buy time for another band and the crowd loved him as much as we do. All of this — the stage, the sound, the city’s share just for using the street — is paid for by those special Record Store Day releases.

What makes Record Store Day‘s extension into “black Friday” so distasteful to us is that it seems to have nothing to do with record stores and everything to do with large labels moving quantities of catalog crap. The unfortunate collector who goes home with this schlocky shit (only to find it much cheaper in shops or online two weeks later) isn’t going resent the corporations that now manage the recordings of some long defunct band or dead artist, nor the Record Store Day establishment that’s which has marketed the product. They’re going to resent shops like this one, struggling to survive, and finding the old adage as apt as ever: “With friends like Record Store Day, who needs enemies?”

Black Friday has nothing to do with small businesses or families. The day after Thanksgiving should be an extension of the holiday: a day for making epic sandwiches with the fridge-ful of leftovers, finding the holiday decorations in the basement (our family writes a letter to our future selves about the holidays each New Years Day when we pack this stuff up, so there’s that to look forward to when unpacking the boxes), and catching up with friends who’ve returned from around the country or the world for a few short days. The last thing we’d want to do it drive around town to find some junk which, honestly, is easier to find online twenty-four hours later.



Tonight is a second show here at Hymie’s for punk favorites Kitten Forever and a first for OAKS, the Minneapolis duo who released their first full-length record with Modern Radio Record Label earlier this year. Animal Life‘s eight tracks are weightier than our usual impression of two-member bands, to the extent we’re impressed by the inventiveness of bassist Jim Kolles and guitarist Erica Krumm.

When we first heard the album, we thought of Lou Reed’s famous remark about songwriting: “One chord is fine. Two chords and you’re pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.” The best of its drum-machine driven minimalist jams fall somewhere in between post-punk goth and the Stooges. A standout is “List for the Desert,” a song which proffers the pop potential of minimalism and approaches the quality of classics like Closer and Bauhaus’ Flat Field.

Animal Life‘s dark themes are discordant with what we’d expect having come to know Krumm and Kolles through the record shop as compassionate and active supporters of the local music community, and folks we’d describe as sincerely sunny and sanguine. Perhaps this is a testament to the cathartic quality of songwriting. There’s a moony-eyed sentimentality to “West,” which was released as a video in August, and the album ends with what we’re taking to be a positive message in “Soft One,” with the rhythmic lyric “today the sun is higher” reminding us the harsh seasons of winter always come to an end. The melody repeats itself and the album fades into a cacophony of dwindling feedback.

If you’re not familiar with Kitten Forever, but you’re a fan of feminist-leaning punk rock, you’ll enjoy this endearing documentary about the trio produced by The Lowertown Line earlier this year. They’re an awesome band and always a great live act, so yep tonight’s show in the shop will likely be crowded!

OAKS and Kitten Forever will perform here at Hymie’s at 7pm tonight. As always, this is a free and all ages show. Both groups will have merch for sale, though. And their records are gooood!

French officials ordered security measures in the wake of the ISIL terrorist attack in Paris last Friday, which included the cancellation of all concerts. As just about everyone around the world has read or heard by now, the largest massacre was at a show by an American band, Eagles of Death Metal, at the Bataclan Theater. Included in the eighty-nine victims was Nick Alexander of Colchester, England, who was serving as their merch manager. This all hits close to home for anyone who loves live music, and like us spends a lot of evenings in clubs and theaters.

The restrictions have since been eased as the city seems safer, although efforts to capture the possible mastermind of the attack led to a shootout late last night in the suburb of Saint-Denis. The legendary Irish punk band Stiff Little Fingers didn’t cancel a show last night at a Paris venue, Backstage at the Mill. In this BBC story, lead singer Jake Burns expressed their condolences to the victims. “For us, we’re musicians, we’ve just come to do what we do. Hopefully the people who come tonight can manage to forget about their troubles for an hour and a half,” he said. “That would be our job done as we see it.”

Burns and the band grew up in Belfast during the worst of what were called the Troubles, the long and bloody conflict in Northern Ireland which deterred touring bands from visiting the capital city for much of the seventies.

“As a youngster, it was frustrating to be deprived of such a normal part of life. For us as a band, our performances were sometimes delayed because of disturbances and road blocks, nothing serious. But we do have an appreciation of just how difficult these situations can be.

Obviously, in Northern Ireland, conflict became very much the normal state of affairs. Here, it isn’t. It’s a huge shock to the system for people here. Unfortunately, we can’t do a lot to help, we’re just here to do our job.”


After their encore, lead singer Jake Burns told the crowd, “The world has you in its heart.”


Before French officials eased the restrictions, another Irish group with roots in the Troubles, U2, was forced to cancel a concert which was to be televised on Saturday. They had been rehearsing in Paris, just three miles from the Bataclan, when the attacks began on Friday night. Bono spoke with an Irish radio station in the morning, offering his reaction. “Our first thoughts at this point are with the Eagles of Death Metal fans,” he said.

If you think about it, the majority of victims last night are music fans. This is the first direct hit on music that we’ve had in this so-called War on Terror or whatever it’s called. It’s very upsetting. These are our people. This could be me at a show. You at a show, in that venue. It’s a very recognizable situation for you and for me and the coldblooded aspect of this slaughter is deeply disturbing and that’s what I can’t get out of my head.

All four members of U2 visited the Bataclan Theater on Saturday, laying flowers on the sidewalk with others.


There is a lyric in the bridge of Stiff Little Finger’s first single, “Alternative Ulster,” which seemed like a fitting response to the Islamic terrorists like ISIL, even though the song was originally about the conflict in Ireland.

They say they’re a part of you
But that’s not true you know
They say they’ve got control of you
And that’s a lie you know

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