By Kaisi Elizabeth
Get Hip Records is the newest addition to the Pittsburgh music scene. Located on the North Side; nestled idyllically above Johnny Angel’s and Bike Heaven at 1800 Columbus Avenue. At first, one might think, “hmm, what a strange place for a record store . . .” But after a few minutes inside . . . with the warehouse-window lighting, surrounded by the rows of alphabetized vinyl begging to be thumbed through, feeling the warm riffs flowing out of the glorious floor speakers, one realizes this is as good a place as any. Because, as owner, operator, and general badass, Greg Kostelich would remind you, “Rock and roll has no boundaries.”
For Greg, Get Hip is the product of a lifetime of hoarding records and manifesting destiny. He has been inadvertently preparing for this endeavor his entire life. From his early days as the guitarist for the Pittsburgh based punk rock band, The Cynics; to his later days as a producer and publicist for the bands he signs to his Get Hip record label, “It just seemed like a logical way to get rid of my record collection” since according to him, “You can’t take it with you!”
Since the Get Hip Label started as an aspiration for Greg and The Cynics, so they could produce their albums without the pressure of The Man’s thumb on their necks, and has matured into a full-fledged homage to great music. Greg has personified the blurring of the line between creator and creation; which, in the music world, makes you a pioneer. Greg and his wife, Barbara (his partner in life and his strategic business partner) along with his most recent protégé, Zack Keim of the Nox Boys, have been busy the last few months preparing for the opening and maintaining of the store. But, staying true to his milieu, Greg and the gang are planning and prepping for a list of shows in order to christen the showcase area above the store.
Most of us would agree that the world needs more record stores; and we are blessed to live in a city where they are not in short supply. Music lovers are constantly searching for a nostalgic approach to an ageless obsession. Yet, given that within the past two months, three record stores have opened within the Greater Pittsburgh area, it stands to reason that the vinyl fire will be burning strong in our dear city for the foreseeable future.
To get a full list of shows and upcoming events at Get Hip, visit their website or “Like” them on Facebook. Or, better yet, stop by and buy yourself some new records to spin for the holidays.