Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Search for Northern Soul and Garage Records in Miami

It seems like I was a good husband during our 10-day honeymoon because on the day of our departure I got an hour off for good behavior. Thank you dear! So I spent this time wisely and it was in a record shop of all places.

Record shops aren’t around every corner in Miami so it’s a good thing they have Today & Yesterday Records. Situated at 9274 S.W. 40 ST, you’ll most likely need a car (or a scooter!) to get there. 

What makes this place a worthwhile stop isn’t necessarily it’s abundance of 45s in stock but more the very reasonable prices and the friendly and knowledgeable owner. The shop is immaculate and very well organized. It’s the perfect remedy for the man on his honeymoon that doesn’t have a minute to spare. Did I forget to thank my lovely wife?

A varied selection of LPs are up for grabs but I hit the 45 section right away. The 7” are housed in filing cabinets at the back of the store. A bunch of drawers are packed with your variety of commercial 60s and 70s tracks. Newer releases and reprints are also available. All neatly placed in alphabetical order, I skipped the well-known artists and concentrated my research on the miscellaneous sections. Every once in a while, you’ll come across something worth a second glance.

I always expect to find records of local artists, on hometown record labels during my travels but I’ve come to realize that every tourist like myself wants the same thing. In the end, you have as much a chance of finding these records in your own city. Case in point, I ended up buying a 45 from the Canadian Garage group Mashmakhan. Go figure…

Don’t go looking for that box of rare and expensive singles hidden behind the counter. There simply isn’t one. What you see is what you get. I did come across some interesting labels I hadn’t seen before but I was disappointed to learn, after a quick listen, that most of them were country songs.

I did come across a couple of captivating ska and rocksteady tracks like this classic one by The Slickers.

I also picked up this low down and dirty early R&B, bluesy number by Buster Brown.

I couldn't leave without some latin-funk from a group named Coke. You have to admit that when you pick up a record by a group with a name like Coke on a record label like Sound Triangle you would  expect some trippy psych, right? Not so my firends!

The find of the day came in the form of a Garage 45 from the K-Otics. Double Shot  is the catchy A-side. The surprise was when I listened to the B-side. What a revelation! Wow! It’s ten times better! I don’t always listen to the flip side and maybe I should. Let this be a lesson.  Hum...I wonder if The Kinks were an influence? What do you think?

All in all, it was worth the detour. And if you have extra time on your hand, make sure to visit the Cuban eatery next door for mouth watering authentic cuisine. This is what awaits you…

Iron Beer. New to me and worth seeking out.
So long Miami!

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