STACK‘s Roving Reporter stops in at JB Hi-Fi Melbourne City to chat music with Music Coordinator Dave Anderson.

There’s plenty of room in our lives for musical nostalgia, but Dave Anderson is here to let you know that in terms of physical quality, we’re in a very blessed epoch. “The packaging and the quality of the vinyl is so much better than some of the crap I bought back in the ‘70s!” the Music Coordinator at JB Melbourne City store says. “Your vinyl would be paper thin – it’d wobble in the wind. Now you get a nice, thick slab of vinyl, great packaging, a download card, sometimes a CD. I just love what’s happened with vinyl.”

He’s in a primo position to observe it: Melbourne CBD is JB’s biggest vinyl store in the country, and Dave says that it’s hip hop which “shines proportionally” as a genre amongst his clientele. “There’s a real move to rediscovering the roots of a lot of hip hop,” he explains. “I think there’s an appreciation by some of the younger ones for the history, so you do see customers investigating and researching a little bit. And it’s such an amazingly fluid genre, musically – there’s so much to investigate. On the metal side, too.”

Metal also does brilliantly at Melbourne City; Dave says it’s often metal fans who are “fervent” about securing specific pressings. But then, so is he. “I’m going to mention Cable Ties – I’m a huge fan,” he says, “and I’ve got three versions of their album because I wanted all their coloured ones. I think they’re headed for the stars, they’re that good.” He saw the Melbourne punk three-piece a few years ago at one of Northcote Social Club’s Monday Night Mass events, and was smitten. “They immediately stood out as having ridiculous talent,” he attests. “It’s been great to watch them grow and grow; I can’t wait for album number two.”

Having been with JB for 25 years, Dave’s seen fashions crest and fall, but he’s been stunned with the quality of new music out this year. In addition to homegrown singer-songwriter Laura Jean’s Devotion (“That’s going to be in my albums of the year, I’m so impressed”), UK electronica artist Leon Vynehall’s Nothing Is Still and Death Cab For Cutie’s Thank You For Today, Dave adores Idaho country artist Eilen Jewell’s Down Hearted Blues. “She is mighty! She makes it sound effortless, but there is so much craft in there.”