By Brian Fee
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Few record stores match a serious selection of wax with proper in-store performances—and that addictive indie spirit—like London's Rough Trade East. Now BrooklynVegan announces that Rough Trade is coming to Williamsburg this autumn. To a live-music lover and vinyl junkie, this just sounds sweet.

There is little to go on beyond Rough Trade's press release, which uses the term “saturnalia” (noun: unrestrained revelry; orgy) in the second sentence. Oh yeah, and the somewhat divisive news that they've partnered with Bowery Presents for live shows. Look: I whine about Bowery Presents ticket prices less now after acclimatizing to the expense of seeing live music in Tokyo. If it's dope, I'll pay.

In the spirit of April's "What If?" theme at Black Balloon, I've come up with a wishlist for Rough Trade NYC's first in-store shows, cherry-picked from the legendary Rough Trade label.
The Strokes. A no-brainer. These rakish lads—erm, Yanks—still personify New York cool. Performing: Is This It, start-to-finish without pausing. Julian will be howling “Take It or Leave It” and we'll beg for more. But that's it.


Chris & Cosey. aka Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti, or Carter Tutti—one half of industrial pioneers Throbbing Gristle and among the most seductively sinister soundscape duos today. Performing: '85 darkwave classic Technø Primitiv.


Super Furry Animals. Golden-voxed Gruff Rhys and his Cardiff mates released two slabs of psychedelia on Rough Trade (2007's Hey Venus! and 2009's Dark Days/Light Years) plus Rhys' eclectic Candylion. Performing: A selection from their back catalogue (including wobbly-edged burner “Juxtapozed with U”) plus some Welsh a capella would entice quite nicely.


A Cabaret Voltaire reunion. Hey, this is my wishlist, dammit! The Sheffield-based post-punk avant-guardians, as danceable as Joy Division but thrice as dour—if you can wrap your head around that one. Performing: Red Mecca, a startlingly salient comment on Islamic and Christian fundamentalism...recorded over 30 years ago.


Mazzy Star: Hope Sandoval (gossamer crooner) and David Roback (über-musican) with band tour Europe this summer and have a new LP—their first in 15 years—on the way. Performing: Hell, they could do nothing but Bieber covers and I'd be happy.


Before visiting a new city, I make a prioritized shortlist, and “best record shop” falls just after “best dive bar.” I usually eschew Austin's renowned Waterloo  for its quirkier southside kindred, End of an Ear. I get hyphy within Haight-Ashbury's mega Amoeba, and while in Tokyo I alternate between Disk Union's punk-postered walls and Spiral's exquisite audiophilia. NYC claims top for noise (subterranean Hospital Productions) and electronic (DUMBO's designer-y Halcyon).

Rough Trade NYC's imminent arrival is probably making Other Music a little nervous (watch this immediately), not to mention the longstanding Williamsburg stores Sound Fix and Earwax. May the spirit of saturnalia unite us all.


Image: BrooklynVegan