Deep Thoughts JP on an early April afternoon, just before five, the sun still shining on the tiled floor: among their large and varied holdings of LPs, two Pink Fairies LPs, an early ’70s English psychedelic group with grinding guitars heavier than Led Zeppelin. Sit down on the light gold velvet couch, behind the antique trunk covered with left-of-center magazines, glance over to the other side of the store, with The Beatles’ red album, and an obscure Blind Faith.
Behind, on the back wall, the CDs, fewer in number, but just as varied and surprising. Check out the new Sun City Girls singles collection. Bounce back to the LPs on the other side, for the new Flaming Dragons of Middle Earth album, brilliant Western-Mass. stars of outsider music. Nick Williams and Peter Negroponte, the owners, already have the latest new stuff in noise and weird on vinyl, and they’re starting to get new CDs. But used stuff will always be among the great things they have to offer. And they are very liberal as to what they accept from local sellers, whether it’s Duke Ellington, Ahmad Jamal, or Alice Cooper.
“We want to be the link between In Your Ear and Weirdo,” two stores in Cambridge focusing respectively on ’70s rock and cutting edge experimental, says Peter, drummer for local psych/cut-and-paste rockers Guerilla Toss. But Deep Thoughts is a more pleasant environment, spacious and cozy. Part of the experience is just being there.
Nick is the founder of Cave Bears, a duo featuring him and whatever musician friend is around him at the time. He also co-founded the label Feeding Tube, so he’s an insider. So, when I asked him what he expected the half-life of the store to be, he had no trouble saying, “I expect it to be around until I retire.”
Peter and Nick bring complementary ethics to the store, which are reflected in their music. They both have many connections, but Nick’s music is more community based, where Peter’s has a wider appeal in the hip rock world, so the store has a way of bringing worlds together and building community. Already it is doing good business, and in two years they expect to double their holdings.
The two started talking about the idea on a tour early last fall, but nothing was done until February. Then at the end of winter, they had the space, at 138b South Street, and in five weeks it was up and running.
Deep Thoughts also has a nice collection of art on the walls, with a stuffed-animal assemblage and painting by local artist Lucy Watson. And they have about two shows in the basement every week. And this isn’t your average house show dingy basement. It’s clean and painted, with funky murals on the walls.
Deep Thoughts is a one-stop Mecca for people, art, and music. With JP already becoming a burgeoning cultural society, it’s bound to boom, and open up new doors to musical cross-pollination, and give the neighborhood a shot in the arm of love and excitement. Stop by any day from 12-8.