Backroom Records

During the summer, 4080 seems to be on a bit of a hiatus. We’re all over the place trying to get things done, and I’m spending some time in Montreal.

A friend of mine here got a flyer for the grand opening of a record store at some show, so we decided to go check it out. This wasn’t just one of those “come to my new store” type situations.  For those of you who know Montreal, you can laugh at the thought of walking all the way up St. Urbain, pretty much to that insane overpass.

We just kept walking guessing that we’d get to this place soon enough.  Backroom Records, it was called.  We finally get to the address and….it was a row of townhouses.  At first we were annoyed, but we realized that we may as well check around the back.  So, after trekking through this alley, we see some people hanging out on this rickety-looking deck up a fire escape.  Not exactly the first image that pops into mind when you think of a record store.  But what the hell, you’ve got to be prepared for adventure.

We walk up the escape, squeeze by some people and into a tiny room.  It took me a second to focus, but I started turning around and there were just crates everywhere!  It was clearly a mix of his collection and probably those of the others at the opening.  Immediately, we got to digging.  I found a ton of stuff for INCREDIBLE prices. I finally found a Nina Simone album I’d been looking for, I got Pink Floyd’s The Wall for $2, Johnny Cash live at Folsom Prison, Al Green, and tons more. All in good quality. I’m impressed, and I’m thinking of returning at least once. Maybe we have our first strategic partner.

The owner, a man named Warren Hill was way too friendly.  I can only imagine how easy it’d be to be a bit of a music snob (think High Fidelity) when you know as much as he does, but that was not the case at all.  He was eager to please, testing records for us and encouraging all the vinyl neophytes with some prime recommendations.
Go check it out. 5912 St. Urbain.


[Edit/Update: I definitely returned many, many more times, and every time it kept getting better.  The prices are unreal, and I think you should check it out.  If you want an idea of some of their selection, subscribe to their mailing list: backroomrecords at]

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