San Francisco’s Aquarius Records Is Closing

Aquarius Records, the oldest independent record store in San Francisco, will be closing and reopening under a different name next month. Yesterday, owners Andee Connors and Allan Horrocks announced on their website that the legendary shop, which was established in 1970, has been sold to the reissue label Superior Viaduct, who also run an Oakland record store called Stranded. Aquarius will close 7/4 and reopen 7/29 as a second Stranded location. “We really couldn’t think of a much better fit than Superior Viaduct / Stranded to whom to pass the torch,” Connors and Horrocks write in a statement. “At the end of the day, it’s all about discovering great music, being enthusiastic about the bands and artists we love, and sharing that passion with others. AQ and SV have similar ‘tastes’ in many ways, and we know they’ll do a great job and be worthy successors.” Read their full note below.

Beloved Customers and Friends:

So, today you would normally be seeing a new New Arrivals list. But instead, we’re doing an special in-betweener (the one we skipped last week), because we’ve got some BIG news.

After a combined 40+ years at the shop, aQuarius OverlOrds Andee and Allan have decided it’s getting to be time for us to move on. We’ll be in touch again real soon to let you know about all the whys, wherefores, and what-are-they-gonna-be-doings…

For now, we just want to let you know that the shop WILL continue and many exciting changes & improvements are on the way, including a much-expanded vinyl inventory, both new and used!

While our decision wasn’t an easy one, we’re super happy that we’ve found the right people to work with the current aQuarius staff to carry on aQ’s unique mission and legacy of “getting the music to the people”.

Starting next month, our friends at Superior Viaduct will be taking over ownership of aQuarius. You may know Superior Viaduct as a fantastic archival label that is always reissuing really cool music in a variety of interesting genres – including many essential releases we’ve made Records Of The Week in the past – but they also have a great record store over in Oakland called Stranded.

We really couldn’t think of a much better fit than Superior Viaduct / Stranded to whom to pass the torch. At the end of the day, it’s all about discovering great music, being enthusiastic about the bands and artists we love, and sharing that passion with others. AQ and SV have similar “tastes” in many ways, and we know they’ll do a great job and be worthy successors.

In the coming weeks, you will see the usual faces behind the counter as well as some new ones.

AQ’s Valencia St. shop will continue to operate as usual until Monday July 4th. Then, after some renovations & remodeling, the store will re-open under the Stranded banner on Friday July 29th.

The aQuarius website & mail-order will also operate as usual for the time being and orders will be fulfilled by Superior Viaduct. Our usual New Arrivals List, however, will be going on indefinite hiatus as of now, though you’ll still be receiving email updates containing more details about all these developments. For one thing, we will definitely be having a party to welcome the new overlords and celebrate the shop’s continued survival!

Andee and Allan want to thank all our customers for their support and friendship over the years – aQuarius has been an amazing, hugely important part of our lives and it will continue to be. In fact, we have plans to FINALLY compile, edit and publish the “Big Book of aQ Reviews” that we’ve always wanted to, so you’ll be hearing more about that project soon too!

Ok, now that you’ve absorbed all that, while we have your attention, back to the regular store-stuff you were expecting – with a reminder that from 5:00pm to 5:30pm TONIGHT (in just a few hours!) the awesome new-wave-garage-surf-pop-punk band MRS MAGICIAN, from San Diego, will be playing a special, stripped-down free instore set here at aQ! Those of you who can’t make it down can tune in to see it live online, as our pals at PressureDrop.tv will be streaming it. We’ve embedded the feed on the front of our website, go look!

Also, although in light of the happenings outlined above we’re not doing a proper list this week, you will find that the usual “In Stock, Not Yet Reviewed” section directly below contains a bunch of exciting new releases, including brand new albums from such aQ-faves as RADIOHEAD, the SWANS (deluxe versions), MOGWAI, SONIC YOUTH, MALE GAZE, RAIME, and LARAAJI & SUN ARAW (that one on Superior Viaduct!), all released today! Plus we have the vinyl version of one of last list’s Records Of The Week, the wonderful various artists compilation SPACE ECHO: THE MYSTERY BEHIND THE COSMIC SOUND OF CABO VERDE FINALLY REVEALED! And, there’s a new issue of The Wire, too, with Loren Connors on the cover. Among other cool things – like a few copies of a new limited HEADS lp… So please get your orders in or come by and pick those up now – in the case of the Radiohead record, we got as many as we could of the limited deluxe indie-only white vinyl version, but they won’t last long, fyi.

Of course, the usual note that our last New Arrivals list, #502, still welcomes your visits and re-visits here.

All right then. Hope to see you today at 5, and over the weekend, and into the future!