Ep. 58 – Tony Theil of Attic Records shares his love of vinyl

We take a spin through the history of the store, his personal record collection, and his advice for folks just starting their stacks

by Stephanie Brea
December 22, 2020

iTunes | Spotify | Direct Download Episode 57

In this week’s episode, we meet Tony Theil of Attic Records. Just how much does Theil love buying, selling and playing records? He quit multiple jobs and moved to Millvale from Ohio when owner Fred Bohn Jr. offered him a job at the store. Learn about the history of Attic Records (spoiler alert: it wasn’t just records at the start) and about the “Pittsburgh sound.” 

When asked why he loves records, Theil explains, “[It’s] a sound that is definitely unique. I can’t say it’s better all the time than streaming or a CD, but I can say that it’s way more unique. If you have a stereo with a volume all the way down, if you listen close, you can hear a needle actually playing just the record very faintly. I mean, it’s interacting with the record. How cool is that?”

Theil gives some advice for those just starting to collect vinyl and shouts out some local bands whose albums he thinks you should own. (It’s a non-comprehensive list.)

Since Theil lives right above the shop, we also ask him to share some of his favorite Millvale spots.


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The Slaw 2020 Greatest Hits

What’s December without a little year-end review? Aadam and I got together (6 feet apart) and asked each other some questions. Listen to the full responses in the episode, but here’s a little cheat sheet.

What are some surprising things you learned about Pittsburgh from the podcast?

Stephanie: The buried Bellefield Bridge in Oakland thanks to Justin Greenawalt

Sunny Side Up brunch sandwich inspiration from Mike Carney

Aadam: Pittsburgh’s horror film history with David Hood, aka Cinemonster

Poet Karla Lamb’s work and the Latinx and Proud! Reading series at City of Asylum

What were some of your favorite moments?

Aadam: Learning about cycling and the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club, and club president Shequaya Bailey taking the interview on her lunch break

Stephanie: Scott Kowalski biked up to Allentown for his interview in the studio pre-COVID

And producing this beer tasting video

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4SfFhjHY7A[/embedyt]

What’s your can’t-miss episode?

Stephanie: Our one-year anniversary episode with Rick Sebak

Aadam: Artist Camo Customz

Who would you want to interview in 2021?

Stephanie: Randy Baumann of WDVE. Or State Representative Sara Innamorato.

Aadam: Martayla Poellinitz, content creator and makeup artist @martymoment on Instagram and TikTok

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Stephanie has been organizing events since 1998, starting with a series of motorcycle rides through the Arizona desert to support her father’s business. She’s probably crossed your name off a presale ticket list or served you a beer somewhere around town. An undergrad degree in poetry means she has lots of unpractical knowledge about iambic pentameter, while a brief stint as a copy editor for Alternative Press taught her that twenty one pilots is stylized in all lowercase letters. Wanna throw a party in a vacant parking lot? She’s interested. At the onset of COVID-19, Stephanie took on the role...

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