Microgoove-ing: On its sixth anniversary here are six things you might not have known about the Seminole Heights record shop

Plus shopkeeper Keith Ulrey's six favorite records of 2017.

click to enlarge Keith Ulrey, whose Tampa record store Microgroove, celebrates six years alive on December 2, 2017. - Ray Roa
Ray Roa
Keith Ulrey, whose Tampa record store Microgroove, celebrates six years alive on December 2, 2017.

An embrace of local retail — especially record stores — is something CL readers should be well-adjusted to by now, and staring at six years of Seminole Heights vinyl-slinging has to feel good for longtime Tampa Bay indie-rock totems Keith and Susie Ulrey, who are tapping an old, out-of-town friend (Georgia band COEDS, which is actually signed to the Ulrey’s New Granada Records imprint) to play a show alongside some well-known Florida bands (DieAlps!, Horsewhip) as well as a few we’re excited to get acquainted with (The Easy Button, Adieux).

UPDATE: COEDS had to cancel due to circumstances out of its control. Keith is looking for a replacement, and the show goes on. If you wanna play, then hit up the shop ASAP.

The free, family-friendly affair kicks off around 11 a.m. and will feature lots of PBR, Commune + Co. coffee plus discounts and Cappy’s and the Independent just a few doors down. In honor of the celebration we thought we'd throw together six things that you may not have known about the store. Keith even told us his six favorite albums of 2017.

See more, get more information on the show, and listen to The Easy Button, below.

Microgroove’s 6th Anniversary Celebration w/The Easy Button/COEDS/Adieux/The Blonde Tongues/Horsewhip/DieAlps!/Sandspur City
Sat, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Free.
Microgroove, 4906 N. Florida Ave., Tampa
More info: facebook.com

Before it was a record store, Microgroove was a not a body shop. "It was an empty space for years. Prior to that it was Tampa Street Market (handmade furniture, etc)," Keith told CL in a message. "Prior to that it was Covivant Art Gallery. Contrary to popular belief it was never a body shop."

It is not exactly lucrative. Despite an RIAA report showing that U.S.shipments of vinyl were up to $430 million in 2016, it's notable to remember that the figure also has to be split among all of the country's independent record stores. The number of U.S. brick and mortars varies depending on which research you reference, but the most reliable number tossed around by sales and distribution executives seems to be at around 1,500 shops. That $430 million also includes online sales of vinyl — and you are all guilty of buying that shit online instead of in a store. Keith describe's his store's situation as "surviving," less like Leo DiCaprio in Wolf of Wall Street and more like him in The Revenant

It is the de facto home of New Granada Records, one of the Bay area’s longest-running independent record labels. The label, which has been around since 1994, only put out two releases this year, but it unleashed seven titles in 2016 and could land a big one (a new full-length from Pohgoh) next year.

It also hosts shows. The promoting arm of New Granada — New Granada Presents — pretty much shifted to doing shows in-store, and the shop still has seven events booked through 2017, a year that saw it host over three dozen events in the tiny retail space.

It — along with the other independent record stores in the area — is an invaluable asset to the community. My first encounter with Keith was at the now-shuttered Vinyl Fever. He probably doesn't remember that exchange, but in the years since he — along with other local shop owners like Kenny Crum (Steelworker), Manny Kool (Daddy Kool), Danny Drummond (Mojo Books & Records), Nick Sorace (Disc Exchange) and Rob Sexton (Planet Retro Records) — has been an integral source of insight and inspiration. 

And here are Keith’s six favorite records of 2017, local or otherwise. You should call your own local record store to see if they have it in stock. Honest Life (Courtney Marie Andrews), Our City (DieAlps!), Everybody Works (Jay Som), Life After Youth (Land Of Talk), Rainer Maria (Rainer Maria), Weather Diaries (Ride), Out In The Storm (Waxahatchee).

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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