As many musicians have jobs at record stores, you'd think there'd be more people like Sean McCrossin, who not only runs the CD Alley on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, but also operates his own label, Sit-N-Spin Records. While not a musician himself, McCrossin does share a love of music with those who make it, and decided to do what he could for some of the local bands he adores. "My interest was more purely aesthetic," says McCrossin of his label. "Just a love of music, really. Since then I've certainly picked up the guitar, but I don't claim to be a musician."
The germ of the idea for Sit-N-Spin came while McCrossin was in Greenville in the mid-'90s, but it wasn't until he opened a second shop in Wilmington that he actually acted. One of his employees, James Reardon, is in Rodeo Boy and McCrossin decided to put out their single. But what began as a simple 7-inch soon grew to be a whole album.
When McCrossin got married, he sold his CD Alleys in Greenville and Wilmington and moved to Winston-Salem. He came to Chapel Hill a little over four years ago, when his wife applied to UNC-Chapel Hill for grad school. He spotted 2-Way Pull Records holding a going-out-of-business sale, and soon he was back in the record business. With such a vibrant scene, it wasn't long before the label was alive again, releasing a Kingsbury Manx single and a Comas 7-inch picture disc.
"It's been a great musical journey for me. I've felt very welcome and have made a very nice home for myself here," says McCrossin of the local scene.
A fan of '90s independents such as Sub Pop and Matador, McCrossin liked how labels like 4AD "had an aesthetic to it. No matter what it was you picked up, you knew it was 4AD." While Sit-N-Spin doesn't have the resources to pursue a particular sound, they have managed to release albums by some great local artists, including Sorry About Dresden, Cold Sides, Ghost of Rock and North Elementary.
On the horizon for Sit-N-Spin are a split 7-inch with The Nein and Cantwell, Gomez & Jordan, and a Cub Country 7-inch, which should be out in the next two months, as well as a limited 7-inch by North Elementary and an EP this fall by Darren Jesse's wonderful Hotel Lights.