Friday, January 11, 2008

Armands is Closing For Real

Remember the last time we mentioned this? Apparently a little over a year ago. This time it is for really real. Sadly the upstairs music department is closing and the sale begins today.
Armand's Records Music Dept. which has been in business since 1980 is officially closing its 2nd Floor Dept. at 1108 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia. All Cds, Records, DVDS, Slipmats, Record Bags and all Accessories will be 25% - 75% Off.
Any DJ can tell you the loss of such a cornerstone in the market. This was the place to go for new music. Remember when the official release date was the official release date? You went to the store, saw a bunch of your DJ friends, hung out, fought for listening space and dropped your whole paycheck.

Read on for some reminiscing:

Dirty South Joe:
Hate it or love it, the Hollertronix Never Scared mixtape was a revelation to some and had an enormous influence on the global dj landscape. I remember one particular interview Mike did at the time when he attributed the eclecticism of the mix to the simple notion that walking around Armand's, that was the stuff you ran into, one genre after another. It wasn't exactly unique, plenty of stores carried a wide variety of music, but it was always up to the time, and basically a candy shop for the urban music based dj. Plus it was ENORMOUS, and the vinyl department dwarfed everything else. The first time I ever walked in there I came to the immediate and essential understanding that I had to work there. I had just moved to Philly from NY and the EVERYTHINGI'LLEVERNEEDINONERECORDSTORENESS of the place was the perfect antidote to the 17 record store rotation I was used to in my previous residence.

The roll call of Armand's employees who have made their mark on the game in recent years is formidable...Low-Bee, Cosmo Baker and Kenny Meez to name a few, the place had a way of leaving as much of its mark on you as you could possibly ever influence it yourself. That was probably because, during its heyday, it was INSANE with activity, and the place to go if you had any notion of staying one step ahead of the game. I was blessed. On my very first day, Jazzy Jeff and Ca$h Money kind of randomly bumped into each other moving through the aisles while I was within earshot putting records away. One had just gotten back from Japan and the other from Europe, and it was obvious they hadn't seen each other in a long time. What a great sign that I was in the right place at the right time! Jazzy Jeff and Ca$h Money!!!On my first day!
Cosmo Baker:
Damn, this kind of makes me teary. I think I can really say that this is the most appropriate place to say:

"The end of an era."

Rest In Peace Todd-1. If it weren't for him the store would not be what it became.

Respect to Yuri Dutton for streamlining the store in the 90s, helping solidify it's position as a place for independent vinyl

And MUCH respect for the love and guidance from Dirty South Joe who ushered the store into the next generation, and who singlehandedly kept the store alive, as well as using the store to become a champion for tons of musical talent.
Bo Bliz:
when a NEW HOT record would come out it would get a lot more rub than this huge amount of wmd's that somehow get into my hard drive. pretty crazy. more of an event.

and yeah, swinging into armands on a tuesday or before the weekend would be an amazing opportunity to talk shit bout records and really get down with folks. didn't appreciate it at the time, but damn!!!
Billy W:
When I lived in NY, we'd roll down to Philly to cop club records because at that time the Lab only had a small handful and weren't getting new ones the same way Armand's was. You'd go in there checking out five club records and leave with a grip of like 15-20 singles of all different types of sounds. That's what I look for in a record shop experience and Armand's always delivered in spades.
I will always remember these things about Armand's:

1. Dirty South Joe playing me countless new bangers.
2. Dirty South Joe convincing me to buy records that turned out to be club clunkers, but he was very persuasive.
3. Drinking behind the counter with Joe.
4. Layla and her accent.
5. Lloyd
6. Bmore Club records

Man, this sucks.
JT from
I also want to take this time to acknowledge all the hard work, support, and love the owners of this business has shown all of us. From the discounts to the secret record stashes they have always looked out for the average consumer to the superstar DJ. So if your a fellow record collector/supporter like myself I advise you get out of work early on Friday, and go down to Armands and get as much as you can.
Real talk. This is major. End of an era for sure.

Armands Records

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