Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Psychotronic Leaves Paradise
Michael and his wife are moving the shop to Augusta, Georgia and from now on I will only be able to revel in the beauty and rapture of nature at Chincoteague without getting my more urban fix of vinyl in at the same time. I'll never forget wandering the very sleepy main street of Chincoteague six or seven years ago, passing all the pony t-shirt and driftwood shops and then seeing the neon green dripping sign of Psychotronic. I knew about and had read some issues of the cult magazine by that name, but I figured there was no way in Hell this shop in idyllic Chincoteague could be connected to it.
But when I walked in and saw huge posters of "Fantomas" and "The Brain that Wouldn't Die" and the tall rather urbane red-haired gent behind the counter resembling David Bowie was cranking the Pleasure Seekers, I realized I'd stumbled onto some kind of parallel dimension. An amazing perfect place had just gotten more perfect and amazing.
Michael was gracious to let me know he was leaving (I would have truly wept if I'd found out by walking to its location in a month when Everly and I take our week off there and found an emptied shell) and to give me a last peek at his stock.
Needless to say I left burdened with treasures. Around twenty classic near mint pulps that included a bunch of Harry Whittingtons and Gulf Coast Girl by underrated underknown Charles Williams, plus a crate of killer vinyl. I added to Everly's and my collection of Louvin Brothers lps with "Country Ballads" on Capitol (mono of course beyotch!) and loaded up on some great jazz, latin and obscure rock for the store. Not to mention five Jon Hassell albums and "Bukowski Reads His Poetry" on Takoma, which will go well with the shelf of Buke we got in over the weekend.
After a long talk with Michael in the alley while loading and wishing him luck further down South, we ate at the great Vietnamese restaurant a block away and drove to the nature reserve and beach. The reserve wetland was near full up with glittering water, always a comforting sight, especially after the heavy drought year when there was barely a puddle.
We drove off at sunset as the birds were out in force feasting by the bridges.
Although it's truly sad to see Psychotronic leave Chincoteague, it's kind of amazing it ever landed there from Manhattan in the first place. So I will cherish my memories of flipping through albums with a fresh sunburn and looking forward to a night of home cooked seafood from Gary Howards enjoyed out on the screened-in back porch, listening to the frogs and crickets. Starting up a game of Scrabble that falls by the wayside. Strumming and picking some Handsome Family songs while Kim Jong Ev studies the historical menus of New York restaurants from the 1930s.
Sundial Books, a very good bookstore remains on Main Street, though, with a strong selection of art, music and film books.
Long live Psychotronic in all its forms! Long live carriers of physical culture!