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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wooden Tooth records finds a new home for music lovers in downtown Tucson

    Darien Bakas
    Records on display at Wooden Tooth Record store located on 4th Ave and 7th Street.

    Walking into the new Wooden Tooth Records feels like entering someone’s home whose purpose is to share the gift of good music.

    The store sits between a marijuana dispensary and a metaphysical supply store just off Fourth Avenue where its vinyl record sign hangs as a beacon to the music lovers of downtown Tucson.

    As I entered, co-owner Kellen Fortier chatted with a customer about the recent loss of one of music’s greatest-, Prince.

    Fortier’s musical knowledge shines through the conversations he has with customers. Casual but with substance, these conversations reflect the type of environment Fortier hopes Wooden Tooth Records fosters—an environment that differentiates it from other stores.

    “Some record stores feel dusty and cold, and so when we opened up we wanted to make customers feel at home,” Fortier said.

    The store is intimate, there’s a love seat in the back accompanied by a vinyl listening station. Friendly customers come in and out, browsing through CDs, vinyls and tapes spanning a multitude of genres.

    “We try to be pretty diverse in the genres we carry.” Fortier said. “We have a lot of mainstream artists but we try to carry obscure titles as well.”

    Wooden Tooth Records has an impressive collection of independent artists, but its selection of local artists make the store stand out as an independent record vendor.

    “We have a decent amount of local bands, but we’re really excited to have our first album release as a record label,” Fortier said as he pulled out a small 45 record from the local artists’ vinyl rack.

    The album, Follow You Home, was by Tucson-based alternative rock band Katterwaul. The band debuted as the first of many local acts Wooden Tooth Records hopes to create a relationship with.

    Wooden Tooth Records’ recent relocation came quickly. It originally opened almost exactly one year ago. After splitting from its joint-cooperation with Café Passé, the record store is finding its new stride.

    Wooden Tooth Records has gained a lot of local support within the past week at its new location.

    “We opened on April 16, which was Record Store Day, and the turnout was amazing,” Fortier said. “We had a line out the door.”

    Building on the amiable community that Wooden Tooth Records has already drawn in, Fortier wants to bring even more of a neighborhood feel to his store.

    “We’re going to start doing a thing with Wooden Tooth Records coffee mugs where if you buy one—we usually have a pot brewing—you can come in and get a cup of coffee whenever you’re here,” he said.

    The new-and-improved Wooden Tooth Records fits right in with the casual and comfortable vibe of Tucson. Its expansive selection of albums can impress any music collector, but the familiar spirit of this record store makes the average shopper feel like they’re a part of something bigger.

    If you’re on the search for a second home, be sure to visit Wooden Tooth Records on Fourth Avenue.

    Read: Wooden Tooth Records old home at Cafe Passe

    Read: More hidden gems: Learn secret circus arts at the Circus Academy of Tucson

    Follow Sean Orth on Twitter

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