Mississippi Records

Behind the Counter: Mississippi Records (Portland, OR)

Each Tuesday, Behind the Counter speaks to an independent record store to ask about its recent favorites, best sellers, and noteworthy trends.

Look them up and you’ll find that Mississippi Records is a favorite in Portland.  Since owner Eric Mast’s serendipitous encounter with the space 11 years ago, the shop has expanded into a record label, supplying hard-to-find music to the masses for low prices. A unique selection, rapid turnover, and an employee-curated tape series (various covers featured below) are the hallmarks of Mississippi.

Give me three great albums that you’ve enjoyed lately.

Group Inerane: Guitars from Agadez Vol. 3 (Sublime Frequencies), Hasil Adkins: White Light/White Meat (Norton Records), and the Daniel Johnston box set of his first six albums (Munster).

Mississippi Records: Men With Broken Hearts
Mississippi Records: Men With Broken Hearts

The Thermals

The Thermals’ favorite current records

The Thermals: “I Don’t Believe You” (Personal Life, KRS, 9/7/10)

The Thermals – I Don’t Believe You

We asked The Thermals, the Portland pop-punk power trio, to name a few of its favorite recent releases. The band’s drummer, Westin Glass, responded with a list of five records that ranges from radio-friendly pop to an independent artist that calls himself the “black Bob Dylan.” Whether or not you share Glass’ taste, you can appreciate his sentiment that some music exists to help you laugh and get laid.

Jason DeRulo1. Jason DeRulo: s/t (Beluga Heights [Warner Brothers], 2010)

This one may be hard to swallow for you indie-rock fans — but I assure you, it’s worth it. Definitely a “singles” record, with three mega smash hits on Top 40 radio. I first heard Jason DeRulo‘s track “Whatcha Say” blasting on the one working speaker in my friend’s car last year and immediately loved it. The digitally distressed Imogen Heap sample in that song makes for the most memorable hook of 2009.

I also love “Ridin’ Solo,” a great post-breakup, self-psych-up song. Jason DeRulo knows how to make a fucking hit — a bubble-gummy blast of ear sugar that will lighten your mood and get stuck in your head. Speaking of which, his track “In My Head” is stuck in my head right now.