Hold the needle drop. On Wednesday of last week, Cambridge’s secret haven of obscure wax, Weirdo Records, announced they are closing their doors after nine years as a business.
Weirdo Records owner Angela Sawyer took to the site’s website to write a farewell letter that was more celebratory than sad. “The sale that’s been going on for the last few months also went far, far better than expected. So well, that I decided to take a vacation from selling records,” the 45-year-old wrote. “But I am also very interested to do things that non-record-store-owning people do, like leave town, practice music, eat fruit, get haircuts, and generally do things one-at-a-time instead of ten-at-a-time.”
Weirdo began as a MySpace experiment to see if she could connect with other record collectors looking for more obscure releases. Sure enough, she found that community, and over the last several years, they came out to shop against their better economic judgement.
The tiny store was hidden away on Mass. Ave., a quick walk from Central Square for those looking for something off the beaten path. Unlike Newbury Comics, Weirdo Records allowed customers to test out anything before they bought it. Want to hear what this Taiwanese psych rock band from the ’60s sounds like? Spin it on the record player with a pair of their headphones. Don’t know this local band’s mixtape? Pop it in the cassette player on the back shelf. It was Boston’s premiere store for discovering the unknown. Now, that physical door won’t swing open again.
Sawyer plans on hosting open mics for comedians and musicians at King’s Bowling Alley on Wednesdays at 9pm, a monthly improvised music night called Shrymprov at Whitehaus, and performing as a musician herself.
Keep your eyes glues on her site, though, and you may see Sawyer return. “Record selling may well be back on my plate after I get bored of having too much money and time and music on my hands,” she writes. “Record stores are a bit like paper airplanes, but thanks to all of you, I’m pretty sure a good one can fly a ways.”