Joni Mitchell once wistfully sang, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” It wasn’t a compliment. But this Paved Paradise — a mobile record store that will set up shop on the North Side on Sept. 22 — doesn’t sound so bad.
The 24-foot truck, which is on a 15-city tour, will deploy “equal parts pop-up shop, block party and roadside fruit stand” at Allegheny City Brewing. It is bringing some of the world’s best record labels, including Ghostly International, Numero Group (an archival/reissue label) and indie giants Secretly Group (Dead Oceans, Jagjaguwar and Secretly Canadian) to Deutschtown.
“On Ghostly’s side, we wanted to help our artists find ways to get their music out,” says Amanda Colbenson, special projects director with Ghostly International.
There will be two tents full of limited-edition LPs, cassettes, CDs, T-shirts and other merchandise and ephemera from the five record labels.
Secretly Canadian has been a massive presence in independent music, with bands like Songs: Ohia, Yeasayer and The War on Drugs (who won a Grammy for Best Rock Album). Likewise, the ultra-influential label Dead Oceans is home to the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Bright Eyes and Mitski. Ghostly International is home to major dance and electronic artists, such as Tycho, Matthew Dear and Com Truise.
Numero Group started out reissuing rare soul and R&B compilations from local scenes around the country via the Eccentric Soul series. Now, it reissues everything from psychedelic acid-damaged rock (“Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares”) to “Eccentric Disco” to the early days of metal monsters with “White Zombie: It Came from NYC,” which includes 5 LPs and a 108-page book.
The event will include local and national DJs — and some who are both — such as Ghostly’s dance music artist Ali Berger, who moved to Pittsburgh several years ago.
“He has an incredible collection of ’80s and ’90s R&B vinyl,” says Colbenson. “He’ll also be making special merch to sell for the day.”
There will also be a booth for the hi-res music streaming platform Qobuz.
“It sounds weird to have a vinyl record store with a streaming musical station,” says Colbenson. “But you can go over and listen, and it will be an easy way to explore the archives of all the labels.”
Nearby North Side record store The Government Center — which recently moved into a much bigger space — will also be a part of the event.