Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Crate Digging at Electric Fetus, Minneapolis MN

Electric Fetus' Main Entrance

Related to Elements: Crate Digging, DJ

When You Google "Minneapolis Record Stores," Electric Fetus is the first store listed on Google Places.  That fact alone coupled with favorable Google reviews was enough to make it a crate digging destination for my wife and I on Saturday, July 21st.  We basically had to kill a few hours before our Jazz show\dinner reservations started and, as you know, there is no better way to kill time than digging for records.

Expectations were high since we were in one of the largest cities in the Midwest, and it was ranked so highly at Google.  But almost immediately after walking through the front doors my anticipation for the dig fizzled as the expected smell of new and used vinyl was lacking, replaced by the overpowering scent of patchouli.  Upon first glance it appeared as if we stepped into the wrong store.  No music was in clear sight at all, only rows of incenses, smoking paraphernalia, dorky hippy dresses that looked like they were made out of recycled burlap sacks, novelty items, flower power related gifts, and other massively outdated merchandise in terms of style and function.  If I were a DMB fan or a Grateful Dead head I would have felt right at home amongst all the pot leaf logo stamped trash blocking my path to the music section.

I walked right passed all the hippy gimmicks to the now apparently miniscule record section.  Glancing down the 3 tiny aisles, (tiny in comparison to ANY record store I have ever been in, and tiny in comparison to the rest of the store) I noticed that a majority of all the records were brand new still sealed, and many of them were either official represses or newly released records.  The buzz kill became even more prominent when I started looking through the records at the prices which were, quite simply, expensive as hell.  

Basic Electric Fetus Floor Plan (Click to Zoom In)
Not one to give up without a thorough dig, I made my way around the display shelves, patiently avoiding the way too numerous newbie cratediggers who cluelessly pawed through the overpriced new stuff, looking for that one record to add to their inevitably bland collection at home.  

"Oh sweet!  New Adelle on vinyl!" exclaims one oblivious kid

Patiently I dug through the new Hip Hop and rock.  Everything new that was decent was at least 8 bucks more than what everyone else had it priced for online.  Literally everything that was in the new Hip Hop section was predictable, common, over-priced and available everywhere else.  I dug through the joke of a new Electronic section and found one record that I had to have and never got around to buying online. 

Literally digging through shit to find Shit Robot

I already had a few Shit Robot 12" singles, and they are all really good so I figured the album would be too.   Even though it was over priced, I bought it since I didn't feel like leaving empty handed.  Shit robot turned out to be a shit album, by the way, not nearly as good as the instrumental 12"s that grace DFA's catalog of records.

Tired of looking at absorbadent prices and common new wax, I started digging through the used wax section next.  It was even more of a let down.  I'd estimate there were less than 200 used records on the shelves, all of them thoroughly picked through.  The used hip hop section consisted of less than 30 records, and there, thankfully, I found one super dope definitely noteworthy record that was at least average priced for the title...

Compton's Most Wanted - I'm Wit Dat 12" on deck

Regretfully I made my final selections, and reluctantly paid too much for them to an overly perky staff member.  I left with a mere 3 records, 2 of them overpriced and ultimately mediocre, one average priced and dope.  This was not at all the crate digging experience I was expecting before I stepped into the store.  This so called "Mineapolis Record Store" is NOT a record store, it's a neo-hippy catering CD store that happens to have a joke of a record collection.   I'd give them a rating of 3/10 as a record store, if their staff wasn't so friendly they would have gotten a 2.  

Crate diggers, if you ever end up in the Twin Cities, steer clear of Electric Fetus, it's not worth your time.  In hindsight,  I should have gone to the more familiar (to me) Cheapo Records instead, where at least there I'd find hoards of reasonably priced new and used records and would have walked away with a smile and a stack of special records. 


  1. I was in the cities a few weeks ago and almost stopped in at Electric Fetus. Now I guess I am happy I didn't take the time to stop! (Went to Guitar Center instead!)
    Thanks for the in depth review!

    Joey Olson

  2. The Mpls vinyl scene is very good, but some of the shops are garbage. The Fetus is pretty lackluster, but Treehouse is wonderful. Cheapo is always a good decision, and is in a great neighborhood to get dinner and a live show (and is very close to Treehouse). Remember, every record store in Minneapolis promotes live music and even sell tickets to the events, so when you dig make sure you dig for shows as well!