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Cheap Thrills' 40th Anniversary Party

Posted by Katelyn / November 9, 2011

Cheap Thrills Whereas most people greet their 40th birthday with contempt, fear and denial, Cheap Thrills is not a person. It's Montreal's first used record store, having opened way back in 1971 by Janet Dawidowicz with money she received from a car insurance claim. The store's big 4-0 is arguably a landmark event, so on Nov. 9, it will celebrate by throwing a huge party at Casa del Popolo.

For Nick Cabelli, longtime employee and the man who planned the birthday bash, the occasion seemed to him "A fine time to celebrate all that's come before, and will come in the future." The night will feature performances by three local acts. First up will be pop-punk seven-piece Pigeon Phat, followed by former Think About Life songstress Caila Thompson-Hannant, who performs under the moniker Mozart's Sister. The Hidden Words, which is the current folk-gospel project of former The Unicorns and Clues multi-instrumentalist Alden Penner, will play last.

"I love her smoky-blues-dance feel," Cabelli said of Thompson-Hannant. As for The Hidden Words, "[Penner's] been a friend of the store for a long time [...] Anything he's involved in I'd like to be around - we all really love his music."

Expect "a door prize or two," some gift certificate giveaways and "a short little 'thank you everyone for 40 years.'" Cabelli hinted that there may even be balloons!

When asked what it is about Cheap Thrills that has allowed it to age so gracefully, very-longtime manager Guy Lavoie sighs, "I wish I knew if there were some kind of secret." Over the past 30 years that he has worked at the store, Lavoie ensures that not much has changed.

Cabelli agrees, except that "[...] We sell more cassettes than we used to and less CDs, which is kind of hilarious!"

As for the secret to Cheap Thrills' success, Cabelli has his own theory: "The secret is to stock interesting things and sell it at a cheap price. If we notice our stock isn't moving, we just change the price to make it fun and accessible to people."

Cheap Thrills 40th Anniversary Party
Pigeon Phat, Mozart's Sister and The Hidden Words
Casa del Popolo
Nov. 9, $12

Photo courtesy of Flickr user kernelslacker.



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