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Angry Mom Records moves for space and live music

Ithaca staple Angry Mom Records moves into the upstairs space of Autumn Leaves Used Books.

Customers browsing records in the new upstairs space. (Jack Berth/Ithaca Week)

In December 2022, Angry Mom Records had the chance to move from its small space in the basement to the open area upstairs—and they took it.

Running out of space

Since the establishment started in June 2009, the small area was acknowledged, with an eventual move of space bound to happen according to store employee Noah Johnson.

“We just ran out of space downstairs,” said Johnson. “It was going to happen one way or another, whether it was here or a different space.”

The move upstairs lasted a whole day, done by employees and with help from the Ithaca lacrosse team.

Angry Mom Records making it apparent that their location has moved from the basement. (Jack Berth/Ithaca Week)

The move upstairs more than doubled the space they had in the basement, as with the bigger room, they were now able to take in even more types of media, recognizing the influx of people buying physical media.

“We’ve seen in the last couple of years that they [physical media] all come back,” Johnson said. “It also made sense for us to get into VHS & Bluray.”

VHS and Bluray, being an old way to watch movies through either a tape (VHS) or DVD (Bluray), opens Angry Mom Records to more types of customers.

Perfect partnership

Angry Mom Records store owner George Johann got the basement space from friend Joe Wetmore, the previous owner of Autumn Leaves, and took the chance when he could.

“I’d been selling out of his window a while doing record shows,” said Johann. “The space was offered to me and I jumped on it.”

The relationship between the two stores is very transparent, providing a clear line of communication for organizing events.

“We have biweekly meetings where we’re figuring out how to make this marriage work as best as possible when it comes to having shared events up here,” Johnson said.

The new look in the basement of Autumn Leaves Used Books. (Jack Berth/Ithaca Week)

The old basement space has been overtaken by Autumn Leaves, which is under new ownership from PM Press, looking to feature its own published works.

Being able to have a shared storefront benefits both stores, as when one store has an event, the other store continues to sell, possibly bringing in new customers.

“Somebody might be coming here for the new record coming out on Friday, and they walk past a bunch of books that intrigue them, most likely snagging one,” Johnson said.

Designated for music, designated for all ages

The space designated to host live music. (Jack Berth/Ithaca Week)

Angry Mom Records hosted live music before in the basement, but significant interest in moving upstairs was the opportunity to host live music.

“It makes natural sense,” said Johnson.

Johann realized the absence of a venue for all ages and all people and took the chance to let his store be the place to provide that.

“I was always involved in the live scene whenever I was, and noticed there’s not an all-age venue here,” Johann said.

Store employee, Seven Caso, was a part of the time when all ages venues were normal and appreciated the opportunity they can bring.

“When all-ages shows started happening 15 years ago with Ithaca Underground, bands were popping up left and right,” Caso said. “There was this little ecosystem of people supporting each other.”

COVID harmed the possibility of having low-to-middle range shows in Ithaca, and Angry Mom Records seeks to be the first, but not the last.

Board with posters of events and live shows to come to Angry Mom Records and Autumn Leaves. (Jack Berth/Ithaca Week)

Local bands have close connections to Angry Mom Records, and the bigger space means more room to advertise for shows, to hang up merch, and to have more local bands play.

“We want to be a space where ‘Oh you wanna put together a live show? We can make it happen,’” said Caso.

Angry Mom Records will be having their next show on March 21st, and for more info regarding future shows and their online library, check out their website.

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