e mërkurë, 16 prill 2008

"I heart my analogue sound storage medium"

Put the needle on the what?

In the last week, I've been thinking a lot about my history with music and how I listen to it. I walk into my house past my records, past my wall of CD's and sit down at my desk and hit play ... on iTunes. No one can deny that the digital age has simplified some things and made it much easier to get a quick fix for something you have to listen to, but the truth is ... with the slow atrophy of the demand for physical product in the mass central nervous system, something extremely important is choking.

Saturday is International Record Store Day. The last bastion of a music hospice for discovery of all things sonically cool. Yes there are eleventeen million places you can go to read thoroughly padded record reviews online of that amazing band you've never heard as soon as (if not before) it's even released. Hell theres even an abundance of circles where you can find small run, weirdo hand packaged shit that Bestbuy will never ever be able to touch. But the days are quickly fading when you can walk into your local wax peddler and utter, "man what is that amazing track you're playing?" "Why its Timmy & and Tuna cans, and I just happen to have their new 45."

OK so everyone has a story about when and where they bought their first record. Mine happened to be "freezeframe" and I picked it up at a now defunct store called Caldor. They were a small chain store on the East coast. Their slogan was "you'll never NOT find it at Caldor". Walmart bought and leveled every one of those stores.
My town had no record stores so I had to bike (or get driven) to Nashua or Manchester. To be able to comb through every record every week of a 400 sq ft. hole in the wall and ask inanely dumb questions to the guy with the chopper stash and a Triumph Allied Forces Tour T-shirt. You could flip through the posters hanging on the back wall in those swinging racks. You could press your face into the counter glass and see what new pins or patches or stickers were available. They were the "temples" and "churches" for most kids. Now the underground is 1's and 0's. I still have every (almost every) record I ever bought in the places and there's a story behind every purchase. And they're all fuckin gone. Every one of em'. Its all dying off quick.

Do yourself a favor my friend. Go into your local record store on saturday and by something ... anything. Even if you don't by vinyl. Ask the over caffeinated kid with black frames behind the counter what's good right now. I'll be there too ... somewhere between Lionel Richie and Lou Gramm.


"What's playing on your favorite download store when you walk into it? Nothing, that's what. Who are you going to meet in there? Nobody. Who's going to tell you to stop listening to that and start listening to this? Go ahead and save yourself a couple of quid. The saving will cost you a career, a set of cool friends, musical taste and, eventually, your soul. Record stores can't save your life. But they can give you a better one."
-Nick Hornby

and for those interested in the fascinating history of shellac records, look here.

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