We had the pleasure to officially meet Jen at RSD Summer Camp this year, and previous to that through social media watching all the fun things happening at the Puscifer Store. A kindred spirit, Jen has carved out an awesome little corner for the Puscifer world in the ghost town of Jerome, Arizona. Without further adieu meet Jen Keenan, the co-owner and Manager of the Puscifer the Store and Puscifer Entertainment, where she curates their vinyl and merchandise. The store stocks, develops and designs the Puscifer brand, oversees Puscifer.com and Puscifer music releases. The Puscifer shop is not only a record store, where they stock both new and used records, but also a barber shop, wine tasting room, and event venue. Outside of the record store, she also helps in the lab at the Caduceus Cellars Winery which recently opened a stunning new location, The Merkin Vineyards Hilltop Winery & Trattoria. Follow along online to see all they have going on this month and beyond from in-store shows, to new Puscifer release’s and more.
When not making wine, or slinging records Jen is an apprentice falconer and flys a Harris’s Hawk named Loki. Yes, you read that right. “I also like to race crap cars with 24 Hours of Lemons and make weird art!” she says.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you?
I’ve always had a love of music since childhood, but fell into it honestly.
What is a day in the life like?
Our shop is a record store, wine tasting room, barber shop, silkscreen/design studio and puscifer.com. No day is ever the same and no matter what you plan to do it does not happen that way. It’s full of surprises and interesting people. I may be slinging wine, ordering and selling records, designing new products, booking/planning events or fulfilling web orders.
Favorite sale / relationship made from behind the counter?
We are in a tourist town of about 400 population. One sale in particular was a woman on vacation from the East Coast. She was of Indian heritage and could not believe we had a copy of Bollywood’s Hits. It was from her childhood. She was so ecstatic to buy it and talked about it the entire time in the store until she was out the door. Hopefully to this day she is still telling people about this crazy shop in the oddest small town in Arizona.
In your opinion what has been the coolest thing to come through your shop / thing you had to keep / almost couldn’t put out for sale?
Someone sold us their entire collection of original pressings of 80’s hair metal and new wave records. That was an instant flashback to the great parts of middle school for me.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
The most difficult parts have been figuring out the nuances of the music ordering side (distributor / label / one-stop) and how best to keep the stock fresh but still curated.
What has been the craziest experience that has happened at the shop?
We had listening parties for TOOL’s Fear Inoculum release. People were lined up down the street and had come from all over the world – Afghanistan, Russia, Australia, to name a few – to get in. I met some amazing people that day that have become really close friends.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
I just jumped into it and figured it out along the way. I would recommend working in a record store for some experience first.
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.
Excited to see its popularity still growing and the creative packaging. I have a background in art so the packaging designs I really geek out on.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
I am a collector. I think it’s the tangibleness and the visceral connection to the music and the creativity in the packaging.
Who has been influential to you and your growth as a professional in this industry?
Anything else you’d like to add, if not tell us who you’re listening to right now:
I included a photo Record Store Day 21′ Drop 2 (above). I was 10 days post double mastectomy (+ post chemo). It’s a testament to the power of music, in this case especially records; to my passion for records, my shop, RSD. RSD gave me something to look forward to and a goal that I was going to be strong enough to be there. I love hearing people’s stories about records and which ones have influenced them, how excited they get – you can see on their faces, they’ve been transported back to those moments. Also when a young person comes in, just starting their collection and seeing them grow and what they get interested in.
Puscifer Record Store: @barbiferjerome