An afternoon at Resistor Records – and the music I took home with me


Resistor Records – 511 South Myrtle Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016

The town I live in is a small suburb of Los Angeles, tucked away beneath the foothills in the “other valley“, the San Gabriel one, a place has a small town feel, a real sense of community, yet is only twenty minutes (well, give or take “LA” traffic) from Hollywood, and Downtown LA. Monrovia is one of those places where people actually know their neighbors and support the local businesses. Oh, and did I mention that we actually have the best record store in Southern California here? Well, we do.

Sure, I love Amoeba, and frequent its huge collection of music and movies often, but let me tell you something the tiny but mighty Resistor Records, which I am lucky enough to have walking distance from my house, is a million times better than Amoeba, if it is quality vinyl you are looking for, and if you enjoy the way record stores used to be, a place to hangout and listen to music and talk about music and actually discover new music. Resistor is like you favorite bar, or coffee house, the one where you don’t want to leave and feel completely at home, and where your love (and/or obsession) with music is appreciated.

Every time I’m in the store I’m reminded of my years working at record stores, and it makes me miss the experience – so much.

The used albums are in mint condition. Every single album I have ever purchased at Resistor, even from the dollar bin, have been in perfect condition, with the inserts and lyric sheets and sleeves intact, and the play of the albums as if they hot of the presses. And, the new album selection are right up my alley. My favorites, even the albums I didn’t know were my favorites yet, are displayed and recommended and right there ready to make me spend more than I’d planned, but with no regrets when I do.

The prices are shockingly good, too, especially for the quality. You are not going to find a better deal, for albums in this condition, anywhere in Los Angeles (I know, I’ve looked).

Also, I’ve yet to ask for an album that they can’t provide. If it isn’t in the store, they can get it, and get it fast.

So, I made my first visit of the new year yesterday, with my two younger kids in tow. My twelve-year old daughter is crazy about the store, too, especially the discount used bins in the front where she likes to browse and discover bands she’s never heard before. She’s a fan of classic rock, campy 80’s pop and 90’s grunge and has happily come home with stacks of records that she’s raved about as if she was the first one ever to discover bands like Queen and Nirvana. Her take homes yesterday from the dollar and three dollar bins? Ray Parker, Jr., Elton John and Cat Stevens.

As for me, I came home with four fantastic albums that I can’t seem to get enough of. Want to take a listen?

Love :: The Cult

The Cult

My first find was The Cult’s second album (not counting their time as the Southern Death Cult), Love, which I originally had on cassette (probably still do in a box somewhere) and played to near infinity in my first car. It was a favorite of my best friend and I, an album that we knew backwards and forwards and inside out, an album that we both have distinct memories of. For me, it reminds me of certain clubs in Hollywood in the late 80’s that I haunted, and a not good for me boy that couldn’t get enough of. It reminds me of driving in that late at night/early morning/just before sunrise time with friends who were accompanying my sleepless end of a long night’s adventure, all of us not quite ready to call it over yet.

I took it home and opened it up first, screaming a little in delight when I found the inside sleeve in such perfect condition. This one was the first to hit the turntable and I was filled with delicious nostalgia while it filled my living room. Brother Wolf and Sister Moon took my breath – oh my stars, I forgot how much I love the song, and Rain, and Black Angel.

Brother Wolf, Sister Moon

Cult, The rockbook 4

In My Tribe :: 10,000 Maniacs


Last week’s Quintessential Album post was about 10,000 Maniacs In My Tribe. In the write up I did I mentioned wanting to get a copy of the album on vinyl. How fortuitous then to find not only the album at Resistor Records yesterday, but to find a copy with the cover of Cat Stevens’ Peace Train on it.

10000 Maniacs

You can read more about the album, and my memories of it, here. The album find yesterday made me giddy happy, and it plays like it is 1987, and I just visited Tower Records and picked i up new. I never get tired of hearing Natalie Merchant’s voice. Spinning it last night made me want to spin around in circles – listen to the song below and tell me you don’t want to, as well.

Peace Train :: 10,000 Maniacs
(yes, it’s on this copy I found!)

No Cities to Love :: Sleater Kinney and Rips :: Ex Hex


So, I almost got out of the store with two records in my bag (and one on order – Butch Walker’s Afraid of Ghosts will be mine soon – YES), when I stopped to ask what was playing in the store. I’d been listening the entire time I was browsing and kept thinking “this is really good.”, “this is damn good.”, “who is this?”. The band was Ex Hex, Mary Timony’s new thing that somehow I had missed when it was released in October 2014. The sticker on the album had multiple explanation marks, a “mark” of excitement and recommendation from the store, and I had to have it. While talking about the album I was also urged to pick-up the new Sleater-Kinney that I’d been meaning to hear. The sticker on this one was noted to be a “Resistor Recommendation” and it made its way home with me, as well.

A New Wave :: Sleater-Kinney
Bob’s Burger-style


Don’t Wanna Lose :: Ex Hex
love the reference to The Fabulous Stains!

Both albums are oh my stars fantastic, and have me wishing that I’d run off and joined a girl band back when I was 19. Both of these albums are a must-have for anyone who was ever a “riot grrrl“, or a lover of that scene. They are also for anyone who loves alternative rock the likes of Joan Jett, Hole, The Kills, The Dead Weather, Gossip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Julie Ruin, Jack White, The Amps, The Replacements, and well, you get the point. Go now go and get BOTH of these albums – I cannot recommend them enough. Oh, and if you do go out to get them, and you live in Southern California, go to Resistor Records in Monrovia, you won’t regret it.

8 thoughts on “An afternoon at Resistor Records – and the music I took home with me

  1. My record store is Record Theatre but it’s not within walking distance:/ The kind of town you’ve described is ideal, like a movie-town. I like the idea of a town having enough supported small businesses that people go into their town and actually spend time there instead of passing through on their way to the next bigger town with the chain and big box retailers.

    1. Our downtown area actually has been used in quite a few TV shows, most notably the entire series October Road. The show even bought a store space and turned it into a shop that two of the characters owned, and they brought fake snow in, too. The downtown has been in some movies, too….so in a way it is a “movie-town”.

      The high school (we only have 1) has been in a few movies.

      Our community are huge supporters of local business, which is really cool. I love that I have a movie theater, record store and comic book store walking distance – now we just need a book store.

      1. Wow I had no clue that’s so rad! I wonder if you get travelers in town coming to see where their favorite show was filmed and stuff like that. You must sometimes.
        I think YOU should make plans to open a book store and then you can write while you’re at work there. =)
        You should keep doing features on the cool stuff in your town.

      2. I don’t know…I don’t think many people would know it for the shows…I only know because a) I’ve seen some of the filming go on, and b) I recognize the town, especially our downtown/main street, when its used in movies/TV shows.

        I was thinking of doing that as a series, too…for my town, and the town where my Mom and brother own a coffee house, and maybe a few other places in and around Los Angeles, that are less “known”…might be fun.

      3. You should it’s pretty interesting!! And I always love a piece like that that’s sort of an unusual travel guide. They own a coffee house??!!! Why do you live in a movie?!!!

      4. You should do it, too – about the places near you.

        p.s. I’m halfway through the movie ‘Broken’ you wrote about/recommended. So far, I really like it. A lot.

      5. I sometimes draft up a paragraph about a local business and I’ve made myself take pictures at restaurants and stuff but then I never post them plus I don’t think they’d be as interesting as your town or your connection to those places. I end up posting about places that are nature-related instead. Maybe I will try! There’s not much right around here though:/

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