It's kinda sorta the end of the line for Aquarius Records, the independent Valencia Street shop that's been in continuous operation in various locales since at least 1970 as they say on their ca. 1990's website, they're the oldest independent record store in San Francisco, and they're "the store that's old enough to not
remember exactly how old it is." The late 60's and early 70's were, indeed, a blurry time for many. Pitchfork reports on the closure, which happens on July 4, but the store will remain a record store, reopening as a second brick-and-mortar location of Oakland's Stranded, owned by reissue label Superior Viaduct.
Aquarius owners Andee Connors and Allan Horrocks write on the site, "It's getting to be time for us to move on," saying that the Superior Viaduct team are "worthy successors" who will "carry on aQ's unique mission and legacy of 'getting the music to the people.'"
Horrocks, who's owned the shop with Connors since 2003 and who now has a two-year-old who's been occupying a lot of his time, tells KQED, "We were looking to have someone take it over, and after some searching and discussion, we knew the guys over at Stranded were interested in opening a new shop,” adding, “This store needed a reboot and we couldn’t really do it ourselves."
The store had its beginnings next door to Harvey Milk's camera shop on Castro Street, later relocating to Noe Valley before landing in the Mission in 1996, just as Valencia was showing the first signs of gentrification.
Aquarius has long been known for eclectic tastes and in-house reviews, and annual staff picks lists, and apparently there may be a book in the works collecting their reviews. As they always close out their newsletter announcements, "Please try to buy your records from us. That way we can keep on doing what we do, and we'll always be here with our ears to the ground, and with cds full of metalcore pitbulls, death metal parrots, gamelan playing elephants, recordings of glaciers cracking, ice melting, zamboni's, life support systems, drag races, audience applause, and of course self flagellating Norwegian dwarves, moaning telephone wires, recorded exorcisms, acapella straight edge metalcore, high school battles of the bands, movie theater organ music, Christian psychedelic folk, Bhangra Black Sabbath as well as all the metal, indie rock, electronica, punk rock, reggae, dub, sixties psych, krautrock, classic rock, country and anything else your heart may desire."
Following a couple weeks dark, Stranded will open on July 29.