When people look for music in Downtown Phoenix, they ultimately find their way to Stinkweeds. Stinkweeds is an independently owned and operated music store and website dedicated to independent labels and bands. A Valley institution since 1987, Stinkweeds has been a fixture at the corner of Camelback and Central Avenue since 2004. While owner Kimber Lanning can often be found in and around the store, she relies on a committed staff to keep things humming. One of these people is store manager Lindsay Cates.

Lindsay has been working at Stinkweeds for the past decade, and is also responsible for keeping stinkweeds.com up to date. When asked what she likes most about working at Stinkweeds, Lindsay doesn’t hesitate to mention Kimber, who she says is the ideal boss: positive and passionate with a contagious good attitude. Lindsay also cites working at an independent business and her customers as job perks. “It is awesome being able to engage with others about music,” Lindsay says. She sees many customers on a weekly, if not daily, basis and notes that the customers, staff and bands that frequent Stinkweeds are like family. “If a regular doesn’t come around for a while, we miss them,” she says.

Lindsay eats, breathes and sleeps music. In addition to working at Stinkweeds, she is also the data entry guru behind SilverPlatter.info, a website dedicated to bringing Phoenicians the most comprehensive information about live music shows, venues and bands in the Valley. When Lindsay steps away from Stinkweeds her passion for music goes with her. She plays bass for several local bands, including Farewell Review, snow songs and Harcuvar. If she’s not working or on stage, Lindsay can be found at local music venues (especially the Rhythm Room), supporting as much live music as possible. On one of the odd days the Lindsay isn’t immersed in the local music community, she enjoys spending time at Downtown spots Copper Star Coffee, Conspire and The Lost Leaf. When asked where she likes taking visitors to Phoenix, Lindsay names her favorite new restaurant, Moira Sushi.

Lindsay is a Phoenix native, who, like many people who grew up in the Valley, had long desired to leave. Over the past few years, however, she has changed her mind and is now excited to be part of the Downtown Phoenix community, noting, “Downtown Phoenix is becoming a destination, with new, exciting businesses opening up.” In addition, Lindsay is thrilled about the cross pollination of local businesses, such as how local coffee institution Lux plays music from Stinkweeds, and refers customers to the store to buy music they hear while enjoying a coffee.

She acknowledges that Downtown Phoenix is still a work in progress, but encourages people to get out and participate in the Downtown community. “Getting around Downtown is easier than many people think,” says Lindsay, noting that by light rail, bicycle or walking, people have several options to get around and between the hubs that are developing along Roosevelt Row and near Central and Camelback.

Lindsay can be found behind the counter at Stinkweeds,12 W. Camelback Rd., weekdays from 11 a.m. until around 5 p.m.

All photos by Paul Valach