Friday, March 26, 2010

Record Store Day

Saturday April 17 is Record Store Day 2010. Record Store Day was developed as a sort of call to arms for music nerds throughout the US to rally against the corporate bullies and attempt to hoist up the slowly sinking 'indie shops.' Trivial to some, but it crushes me each time I consider it. It's an amazing feeling to spend a few hours digging around a record shop not knowing what you'll encounter and walking out with a stack under your arm. I did it every week. The number of discoveries I have made over the years spent in the record shop is ridiculous!

Yes, we have Amazon, itunes, emusic, or whatever other online shop you fancy, but you lose that journey of exploring, learning, and socializing. Beyond that, indie shops foster creativity. These are the types of places where like minded folks gather, reach for the same Eno record, begin chatting, and eventually start a band. The other side of this is the market that the corporations are catering to currently. These are the people who buy one or two cd's a year. One of these discs is guaranteed to be by whoever won American Idol that year. It pains me to see music reduced to such a disposable product. What was once a means of creativity, thought, and expression is now being placed next to batteries on an impulse rack.

Obviously, this is all part of a much bigger picture. Without getting too heavy, it's a struggle to watch America become a logo. America TM. Every town with a significant population is being built to look exactly the same: Red Lobsters, Best Buys, Wal-Marts, CVS's, Staples, etc. The idea of small business owners working together to form a community is becoming an antiquated concept. This happened about 10 years ago with the independent pharmacies. I remember when my family's pharmacist was forced to shut down his business and go off to work for a CVS somewhere. For years his business had thrived and he was loved by all of his customers for his warmth, sincerity and individuality. Likewise, places like Main Street Jukebox, where I worked for almost a decade, Princeton Record Exchange, Vintage Vinyl all offer that same individuality and expertise that is not found in FYE, Best Buy, or Target. I think the music checkout in Wal-Mart is run by the same fellow who is selling guns and knives in the next department. The sad reality is that these indie shops will not be around forever. Still, we should give them a few more years, don't you think?


1) Autechre- Oversteps
2) Erykah Badu- New Amerykah Parts 1 & 2
3) King Midas Sound- Waiting For You
4) Four Tet- There Is Love In You
5) Harry Nilsson- Nilsson Schmilsson
6) Andrew Weatherall- A Pox On the Pioneers
7) Ralph Towner- Solstice
8) Big Star- Third / Sister Lovers
9) Gil Scott-Heron- I'm New Here
10) Olivier Messiaen- Meditations Sur Le Mystere...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Ian,

    It's interseting about what you're saying about the indie record stores...I remember that feeling from when vinyl first starting fading away...Now - all musiic stores are fading away. CD Warehouse on 46 in Totowa closed up around Christmas time, Coconuts closed up shortly after - Online music has definitely prevailed...I will go up to Sound Exchange on April 17 - hell I just might even buy a vinyl album!
    Lots going on here in NJ - most of it not so good. Governor totally hates unions and is slashing education horribly. Clifton schools just lost 7 million dollars in state aid - Economy really sucking over here! Everyone feeling the strain - my business also.
    Trying to stay calm & positive, but every day getting just a little bit rougher to do so...
    Be well, and we'll talk to you soon.

    Reading: Harlan Coben - Caught
    Just finished - Jodi Picoult - (I loaned the book to Aunt Maryellen, and I forgot the name of it - but it's her latest)

    Listening - Radiohead - The Bends
    Steve Winwood - Arc of A Diver
    John Lennon - Imagine
    Paul Kantner - Planet Earth Rock & Roll Orchestra
    Acquafragile - Mass Media Stars
    Ray LaMontagne - Trouble
    Citizen Cope - Various selections...