I Want My Record Store Back
My local independent record store closed last week. It had been open almost thirty years. The owner has been ill for several months, which may have been the deciding factor in closing the store. But I have no doubt that the store was mortally wounded by the popularity of downloading music, and the stifling grip of the big box retailers (who are now devoting less shelf space to CD's). Only another music nerd could understand how deeply saddened I am about losing my favorite record store.
My twelve year old son is bummed out too, because his favorite radio station is gone. I haven't listened to 99x in years, but my son listened to it every night. Now he gets new music from Youtube, or he hears new songs on TV commercials, movie soundtracks, and video games. Radio stations used to "break" new bands. Then it was MTV. Nowadays, I guess we are all arbiters of taste: anyone can have an mp3 blog, or post a podcast. But once we listened to the opinions of radio DJ's, record reviewers, and record store clerks. Sure, they could be a-holes, but they could also turn you onto something new (or something old) that you would really like.
April 19, 2008 has been designated Record Store Day. It will come too late to save my local record store, but I appreciate the effort to encourage people to patronize independent retailers. Here are some quotes from musicians about why independent record stores are an important cultural resource. I mean that sincerely. Now go buy a record!
Supersuckers: Rock N Roll Records Aint Sellin This Year (buy)
Weston: Record Shop (buy)
Peck of Snide: Record Store Guy (buy)
Fellaheen: Record Collector (buy)
Labels: ATL record stores