Tell us a little bit about yourself: Hello. My name is Alex Cooper, I’ve entirely forgotten my title at Smartpunk Records. I’ve been a music dork my entire life. I started working in a record store (sup Park Ave CDs) when I was in high school, had an adult job for a few years, then started working with Smartpunk a few years ago when some friends of mine revamped the company into a record label and online record store. While I work primarily for punk bands (however one might choose to describe the genre), I really like all types of music from all over the world. German krautrock to Brazilian Tropicalia, spiritual jazz to Weird Al. Actually now that I think about it. I mostly just listen to Weird Al now.
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues.
Greatest band of all time.
Steve Martin - A Wild & Crazy Guy
, oooone of the greatest comedians of all time.
Favorite Enjoy The Ride or Enjoy The Toons release: Men In Black. Greatest movie of all time.
Favorite album artwork:
The Notwist - the Devil, You + Me
What are your favorite record shops in your area, in case any readers are traveling through your town? Park Ave CDs
in Orlando, FL. I grew up working in this store. It taught me so much. Introduced me to a ton of life long friends and music that means the world to me.
On the outskirts of town, but well worth the trip. All types of strange internationally releases available for fair prices. Cool collection of African tapes that I always buy no matter what. Love love love this store. And Grimey’s
in Nashville, TN is tight too. Very cool book store attached! Oh and Technique Records
in Miami. Sup Mikey!
What have you been listening to more frequently lately? Late 70s/80s Neil Young records I assumed were terrible, but I was wrong. Kinda doing the same thing with Elvis. I thought I hated Elvis. Then I watched that documentary on HBO, it’s very good. I love the new Nas record. It’s a masterpiece. I’m really enjoying the new Oneohtrix Point Never album “Age of”. Express Rising “Fixed Rope (II)” is very nice. Big fan of Dante Carfagna.
What are some of your favorite albums you have in your collection? My German records. Anything progressive, Kraftwerk, Soft Machine, Can, Guru Guru. The spiraling effect of learning about German music created in the late 60s onward kind of paved the way for how I excavate music in time, geography, by genre, and so on. Basically I became a big dork after discovering Kraftwerk because of course falling in love with Kraftwerk makes you a dork.
Any specific albums you wish you had on vinyl?
I’d like to expand my classical collection. Nothing in particular, just solid recordings. Plenty of jazz records from the 60s. I’ve been on the hunt for original pressing of pretty much anything that Souljazz Records reissues and produces. Also - Weird Al’s accordion LP box set.
What album would you like to be pressed on vinyl?
All Time Quarterback, Ben Gibbard’s side project from a while back. I think this album is highly underrated.
The Chariot - Everything’s Alive, Everything’s Breathing, Nothing is Dead, Nothing is Breathing. As a religiously confused 15 year old, I loved this album, I loved this band. I saw them and David Bazan at Cornerstone Music Fest one year and it was… confusing. Ya. Anyway Josh Scogin is a really great guy and his new band ‘68 rocks just as hard, but I want this record on vinyl. CC Universal Music Group.
What upcoming summer albums are you excited about? New Hampshire & Foat LP “Nightshade” on Athens of the North Records. One of the greatest contemporary jazz artists out there now. Greg Foat, big fan. The new Mutual Benefit. Their music is very nice, real peaceful stuff. I enjoyed their last album Skip a Sinking Stone quite a bit. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith is coming out with another new album I believe. Real excited for that. She’s doing a lot of very cool things to make left field experimental electronic music more approachable. I think there’s a new Tony Molina album on the way. That’ll rip.
If you were on a desert island and you could only fit three records safely in your suitcase which ones would you take with you?
Eno & Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts;
J Dilla - Donuts
; Weird Al - Running With Scissors
; *Beastie Boys - Paul’s Boutique
*I’d have to I’m sorry I’d sneak another record onto the island.