The Austin Chronicle

Cheapo Man

By Shelley Hiam, January 28, 2008, 3:45pm, Earache!

This blog aims to capture life in the Austin music scene from a different angle, focusing more on the people in the pit and on the street than the musicians on stage. It's a space for everything from fashion to fans, and a place to expose people under the radar who make our scene thrive. Today's the first in a series of profiles on local record store clerks.

Meet Jeff Pettit, aka DJ Jefe, Cheapo Discs' go-to for alternative, punk, garage, surf, and soundtrack recommendations. His dad was one of the top 10 coin collectors in the nation, which sparked his interest in record collecting in junior high. Growing up in Wisconsin, college radio introduced him to Dr. Demento and the Ramones.

He’s never sold any of his vinyl, has seen the Spice Girls from 11th row center, and thinks it would be fun to play pinball with Rob Zombie, which says more about humbleness than music taste.

Experience: Worked at Zia Record Exchange and Radio KAOS before coming to Austin and Cheapo two-and-a-half years ago.

Favorite soundtrack: Repo Man

Favorite score: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Personal collection: 6,000-plus vinyl and 1,500-plus CDs

What’s pretty awesome in his collection: A copy of the Beatles' Yesterday and Today "butcher" cover

Favorite local bands: The Teeners, the Strange Boys, the Marked Men, Sons of Hercules, the Ugly Beats

Most memorable in-stores at previous employers: Insane Clown Posse, R.L. Burnside, Bad Religion, and Danzig, who was gruff, wouldn’t sign unofficial merchandise, and wanted the cops called on people.

Most memorable Cheapo in-stores: The Ettes, Kepi & the Cave Bats

Favorite record stores: East Side Records (Tempe, Ariz.), Amoeba Music (Los Angeles), PDQ Records (Tuscon, Ariz.)

Recommended albums from 2007: The Love Me Nots, In Black & White, the Stabilisers, Wanna Do the Plastic Brane Love Thing?

Guilty pleasure: He can’t think of one, but his co-worker quickly points out the Jingle Babies CD on Jeff’s employee picks wall.

Favorite things about working in a record store: The little gems that come over the trade counter, finding out about new music.

Least favorite thing about working in a record store: He barely gets to shop in other record stores.

What he thinks about downloading music: The “phoenix from the ashes will be vinyl coming back.”

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