From Coachella To Pinky’s Bar, Alex Rodriguez’s Document Safari By no means Stops

Vinyl data don’t seem to be going any place, and it’s slightly conceivable that COVID-19 helped solidify their endurance without end. That’s what Alex Rodriguez, DJ booker on the Los Feliz hotspot referred to as Pinky’s and co-owner of Document Safari in Los Feliz, thinks anyway; and he will have to know. The L.A.-born and Bakersfield-bred track obsessive, who additionally occurs to be head curator for Coachella’s large on-site vinyl file emporium, has labored in track maximum of his existence, from DJing in each portions of California, to working antique boutiques in Bakersfield, to managing venues, together with the Glasshouse’s file retailer in Pomona. Whilst the pandemic proved tricky for retail areas, particularly small companies, he says the file business wasn’t one in every of them.

“All the way through the lockdown I believe other people had been on the lookout for issues to do of their house, and because bars, eating places, track occasions, carrying occasions, all that stuff used to be closed, the one factor that used to be if truth be told open used to be retail,” he says. “And I imply, how time and again are you able to move to Goal? You’ll lose interest and it’s all of the identical stuff. However the puts like file shops, and prefer anything else collectible, each and every time you move, there’s at all times various things to have a look at. So I believe that roughly made collectibles generally, whether or not it’s comics or toys or data or antiques– it gave other people one thing to do. They may move to some of these shops and notice other stuff each and every time and purchase other stuff. Then after they had been house with no matter they purchased, they may play with it or pay attention to it. It gave them one thing to do.”

“I believed it used to be gonna die as soon as the entirety opened again up,” he continues. “I believed that the loopy gross sales and the resurgence used to be gonna take an enormous drop as soon as other people may just go back and forth once more and move out to devour and move to bars and notice concert events once more. Nevertheless it hasn’t. I believe numerous other people roughly were given addicted to shopping for data. It’s certainly an dependancy… accumulating anything else is.”

Record Safari

(Courtesy Document Safari Los Feliz)

Rodriguez, who used to be born within the San Fernando Valley, is fortunate sufficient as a way to feed his personal dependancy and lend a hand others fulfill theirs by means of the new-ish Atwater file retailer (which opened in July of 2021 and counts Goldenvoice’s Paul Tollett as a owner) and the Coachella retail venture too, either one of which permit him to go back and forth around the nation on the lookout for uncommon vinyl. There used to be even a documentary, also referred to as Document Safari, made about his travels and curation.

Regardless of being immersed in file crate digs at the day by day, Rodriguez’s track nerdom didn’t get started out with a turntable. He cites MTV as his preliminary inspiration, specifically the artists who performed steel and tough rock, and he remembers, as numerous us do, developing combine tapes of songs off the radio by means of an previous boombox. For older DJs, this used to be some way to be told about placing in combination playlists and making a temper and waft by means of monitor variety. For Rodriguez the genres had been in every single place and his tastes have remained eclectic.

He began deejaying in 1999 in L.A. and in Bakersfield and moved right here complete time in 2013. Enjoying track for others in public areas, as this creator has tried on a couple of events, is an expressive enterprise. It’s about studying a room and connecting, reflecting the power after which taking it someplace new. Rodriguez gained lovers round the town for doing simply that.  However even ahead of the pandemic he determined to decelerate. “There’s such a lot of new DJs now, it’s like let the youngsters have that night time, no longer some man who’s been deejaying for twenty years in L.A.,” he says about reserving others.

After spinning at Peanutbutter Wolf’s Gold Line in Highland Park, a bartender from there who additionally labored at Pinky’s really helpful him for the task of filling turntable slots. Pinky’s opened within the Fall of 2019 and used to be pressured to near because of COVID on the top of hipster hotness, reopening in Fall of 2021, nearly two years later. It’s picked up proper the place it left off, and recently, it’s packed nightly with sprightly scenesters and notable names at the back of the decks together with Johnny Jewel & Want (of Italians Do it Higher), Alex Nicolaou of Drab Majesty, and Rose Is aware of. The sounds are complemented by way of a brand new bar program by means of beverage director Aly Iwamoto, an L.A. local whose labored at The Varnish, Bavel, Demise & Co, and Thunderbolt.

Pinky’s poppin’ (Lina Lecaro)

“The DJs are all ready to do no matter they would like,” Rodriguez says of Pinky’s sound selectors. “Lots of the genres that get performed within the room are funk, soul, disco, little little bit of New Wave or area, some digital stuff, and  some hip hop. We don’t in point of fact do an excessive amount of rock as it doesn’t in point of fact have compatibility the vibe, extra dance-y roughly stuff does.

There’s no designated dance flooring at Pinky’s but if we attended simply ahead of the pandemic hit, respected mixmaster Minimize Chemist made an look at the decks and other people had been certainly shifting and grooving.  There’s a patio courtyard simply out of doors of the bar (throughout from the Atrium eating place, which stocks the similar house owners) and track will get performed out of doors, the place crowds cluster on hotter evenings. Whilst Pinky’s was once vinyl-only, Rodriguez says he’s expanded to all codecs for the reason that pandemic, opening up the sonic scope of the gap.

As for what to anticipate on any given night time, Rodriguez says vibe is repeatedly converting. “I take a look at to usher in other DJs to stay it recent and I take a look at to ensure it’s at all times other. So, you already know, in case you display up on a Thursday, 3 weeks in a row, you’ll listen other track.”

Record Safari

(Courtesy Coachella Document Retailer)

Talking of range, he is taking the similar option to stocking Coachella’s file retailer, that includes artists taking part in on the fest, natch, but in addition new and previous, widespread and difficult to understand, used and new data from all genres. He was concerned with the Indio competition after doing it with Glasshouse, and later was an everlasting a part of the fest’s crew.  With the second one weekend falling on Document Retailer Day, hiring Rodriguez proved more uncomplicated than looking to paintings with person file shops like Amoeba, that have their palms complete with creditors on weekends like this one.

For Document Retailer Day (April 23) Rodriguez says he ordered “one to a few copies of the entirety” for each Coachella and his personal retailer.  However “simply since you order, doesn’t make it possible for you’ll get the entirety,” and as someone whose attempted to get a restricted free up all over the once a year collector “vacation” is aware of, scoring one of the crucial sizzling drops isn’t simple. He’s been stocking the polo box retailer since 2014 and he says gross sales are secure, with hip-hop and pa artists hottest lately, a incontrovertible fact that certainly displays the competition’s pivot to Gen-Z pop track bookings.

Older festival-goers may begrudge this musical shift, however the file retailer is encouraging younger attendees to find vinyl, no less than. The shop makes it simple to take action too,  providing a coat take a look at like gadget wherein consumers pay 8 greenbacks (which additionally will get ‘em a Coachella tote) and a hang of purchases till the top of the fest. Worth issues run from $2- “a number of hundred” for extremely collectable titles.

“I’ve been purchasing data since 1994 and I’ve certainly observed their recognition move up and down time and again,” says Rodriguez, who merits credit score for his contribution to conserving them cool, by means of everythig he does, together with sharing nice album jackets and uncommon unearths on Instagram. “Thus far, that is most definitely the longest stretch, and it simply helps to keep hiking.”

Pinky’s, 1816 N Vermont Ave. (323) 763-0351.

Document Safari, 3222 Los Feliz Blvd. (323) 928-2290.


Updated: April 27, 2022 — 7:49 am