Meet Kate Siamro the ‘Chatty Canadian’ of Spinster Records in the Bishop Arts District of Dallas, Texas. I came across her fun posts on social media for the shop and knew I had to chat with her. Her responses and energy come through in the interview as well.
In her free time she loves playing pool, hanging with her dog Duke, going to local shows, and trying a bit of everything. “I’m the kind of person looking to experience anything. I live in Dallas, Texas so I struggle with not having a beach or mountains. It’s so flat and lacks so much nature. It’s easy to get fat. You have to create your own magic.”
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
Initially it was a journalistic historic passion for music. Also wanting to working in the music industry in Dallas and help grow it. The owner met me one day and offered me the job because he liked my energy… I said yes so fast… working at a record store was a dream of mine since I was 14 and watched High Fidelity. I wanted to be John Cusack.
What is a day in the life like?
It’s constantly changing yet always the same. I’m always finding new music here. However, it’s charming in the sense that I’ve had regulars for 5 years, I could open the shop blindfolded, and I can look at most albums and know their worth almost immediately.
What has been your favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?
My boyfriend, Hunter Moehring, in a sense. I remember him coming by the shop one day, and buying a Buzzcocks album, I had such a crush on him, and I’ll never forget how giddy I was when talking to him and how many albums we commonly admired. I never wanted to date a musician because I work at a record shop… and true to form I ended up with a damn musician.
Also my boss David Grover is family to me. He owns the store and since day one we’ve always connected. We both have a lot of energy and we are extroverts. We go against the stereotype of coming into a record store and being judges. Nothing is worse than a record snob, it’s such a stupid pop culture stereotype of people who work at music stores. We welcome all, and want to get people excited about records.
In your opinion what has been the coolest thing to come through your shop / the thing you had to keep / almost couldn’t put out for sale?
Three years ago it was New Order “Substance” album. I immediately snagged that. More recently Mission of Burma “Vs.” In all Honesty, I want to buy every classic new wave, post punk album that comes through. Finding records from of Dallas bands from the 80’s and knowing the guys on them because they run music venues now… that’s always a trip.
What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?
I had a stalker that’s a magician who wouldn’t stop coming in and doing magic tricks. I was scared he would make me disappear. I also had a guy come in and get sexist with the fact that I’m a woman and work at a record store, my boss David kicked him out and told him he’s not aloud back in. I also had someone wasted and dancing at 1pm on a Monday, and then a ton of cops showed up and took him away… supposedly he was drunkenly destroying local stores around us. We’ve had famous musicians come through too.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
For fellow women I always say be strong, tough, and honest. I never lie about knowing something. I like asking a lot of questions and learning as much as I can about music, especially locally.
Educate yourself if you want to work in music. Understand the industry and history. Most of all, raise your fellow women to success.
We are in a still male dominated field, and women need to work together to kill the stereotypes of what we enjoy listening to and what we can do in music. I also feel energy wins. Having positive energy and embracing yourself and finding beauty in who you are will always make you are more attractive person to be around. embrace what you got.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
Yes! It’s an addiction. I buy all the time. I had a very long list on Discogs of records I want. It’s so satisfying. My collection is majority New Wave, 80s, soul, and punk. I like all genres though.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
I hate saying it, but men who assume I don’t know anything about music because I’m a young woman. I would never consider myself all knowing of everything, but sometimes guys will try to educate me on the basic level music facts or how turntables work… I think it bothers me because they wouldn’t drop basic facts like that on some older dude. I used to want to shake them and say “I’ve been doing this for 5 years”, ” I DJ”, “I’ve worked the Coachella record store”, “I grew up around records and good music”… I recently stopped caring and try to interrupt them and finish the fact before they can.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about? i.e. innovation, or trends you’re seeing.
It’s back and is strong because we are in a digital age and we are craving things that are tactile. We want something that feels nostalgic and physical. I think records will survive because they do sound better and look cool. I get nervous about Amazon putting small businesses, Like Spinster Records, out of work. I get nervous that Amazon’s ability to buy in bulk and lower the price will kill off small record shops. That’s why people need to boycott them. They are destroying small shops.
What else am I missing that you’d like to share?
Dallas is growing! In the next few years I’m excited to see where it stands nationally on music. We have just as much punk and rap as we do country and rock. It is so diverse. We have so many bands and musicians just doing a stand up job and I’m so proud of it. This city has so much to give. I’m really happy to be a part of it.
Spinster Records: @Spinsterrecords