As we reported last month, Ballard DIY space the Josephine surpassed its fundraising goal and is reopening as a venue, electronics repair shop, and a recording studio, probably early next year. However, Jigsaw Records, the music retailer within the space, will be holding its grand opening party Saturday, October 17 (608 NW 65th Street). Operated by Chris McFarlane, Jigsaw will specialize in power pop, twee, lo-fi indie pop/rock, punk-infused pop, and "pretty much any other kind of fun music that we fancy," according to its website. McFarlane will stock vinyl, CDs, and tapes from local, national, and international indie labels and plans to keep Jigsaw's prices as low as he can. The store also will do mail orders.
The grand opening event will feature live sets by local musicians Clyde Petersen (Your Heart Breaks; Stranger film Genius contender), Jacob Jaffe (Younger Shoulder), Corey Bowl (Augustus Blackheart), Lino T. Fernandez (Son of Ferdinand), Greg Hughes (Bobby's Oar), Chris Chambers (Shadow Cats), Dee Krain, and Adriano Mozzarella.
McFarlane says foot traffic on NW 65th Street in that part of Ballard is good, if not great, noting that Jigsaw will benefit from being in proximity to shops like Eyes on the City, the Sneakery, Goodwill, and a few cafes and bars between 8th and 5th Avenues NW.
It's cool to sell the kind of music you love most (e.g., Belle & Sebastian, 14 Iced Bears, Boyracer), but it seems like Jigsaw's aesthetic is somewhat limited. Would McFarlane branch into other genres if sales are slow? "You're right in that it'll be a bit limited," he says in an email interview, "but the way I see it is that I really don't want to sell things that I don't like, because it takes all the fun out of things. Plus if I only carry what I like, then I'll at least be knowledgeable about the stock in the shop, rather than having to give a noncommittal/possibly dishonest 'it's great' for whatever crap is selling like hotcakes elsewhere. (Not to diss any of the local shops—in fact, my best friend is also starting a record shop soon and thinks I'm nuts for not carrying what might actually sell!) Also, I have a number of regulars from Seattle and around the world who know they can count on my taste, and not have to second guess things I'm selling—they're frequently willing to take chances based on my descriptions and the fact that I've even stocked it in the first place. And besides, as it's a small space, I wouldn't really be able to branch out too far, even if I wanted to!"
Jigsaw will be taking goods on consignment, which is part of McFarlane's scheme to build a strong local section. Unfortunately, Jigsaw won't be holding in-store shows any time soon. "The Josephine is still working hard getting up to code, and until then we can't have shows in the main show space," McFarlane says. "The acoustic sets happening on the grand opening will be held in the shop itself (which as I said, is not very large), and are likely a one-off thing."