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Second Annual Punk Rock Record Fair @ Southpaw
May 12, 1007

Written by John Proctor
Photographed by Elana Yakubov

Ah, May. Springtime is nearly upon Brooklyn, with the cherry blossoms on Graham Avenue in the ‘Burg, waterfront visitors starting to bare their white skins up and down the East River and – my personal favorite – the shysters in Park Slope selling off their wares on stoops, corners, and sidewalks up and down Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Avenues.

For the second straight year, I marked the turn of spring into the wonderful world of over- and underpriced books, records and ephemera with the Punk Rock Record Fair at Southpaw. Besides offering two floors of fringe cultural artifacts and forearm tattoos for my amusement, the fair provides another rare pleasure – a chance to walk into Southpaw without wanting earplugs and screaming for a beer. (Man, I’m getting old.)

By the time I got within 2 blocks of Southpaw, I’d already loaded up a backpack full of media from stoop sales along the way from the train when I started bumping elbows with the many tattooed, leather and denim wearing, mostly middle-aged men and women and the younger mock mullet-sporting and hoodie-hooded counterparts. Right before I got to the Key Food across the street I noticed a woman looking very businesslike from the waist down – wool skirt, fleshtone hose, pointy-toed dress shoes – and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned “PUNK ROCK,” but I don’t think she was going to the record fair.
Once inside, I was disappointed to see there was no bar – oh wait, self-serve mimosas! Is that punk? One blond haired toddler was sitting on the bar bobbing his head to Black Flag while his dad shopped; I nodded to him as I helped myself to the pitcher.

Vendors at the fair included Double Decker Records, Trouble Man Ltd, Viva la Vinyl, Collector Scum, the overrated Bleecker Bob’s Records, and a plethora of niche market digital and vinyl (I never realized there was so much death metal in the world).

After stoop saling I have to say I found most of the stuff overpriced (after finding Richard Buckner’s Since for $2 and a copy of Re/Search’s Angry Women issue for a quarter who wouldn’t?), but I did almost shell out $50 for a 1983 print of Blaine Fart of the Fartz. Then I remembered I don’t really know who the Fartz are, so I bought a Fartz album for $15 instead.

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