Sunday, April 17, 2011

Not So Permanent Record Stores

From Dave Brigham:

This post is in honor of Record Store Day, which was held yesterday, April 16th, to celebrate music and independently owned music stores.

I used to love to shop at Capitol Records in Hartford, CT. I went there several times with my high school buddy John, once we discovered college radio. I recall buying all sorts of stuff: The Rezillos' Can't Stand The Rezillos on vinyl; a live U2 bootleg cassette recorded at Boston's Paradise Club on their first U.S. tour; a few albums by Crippled Pilgrims, a band that only I cared about; and I'm fairly certain I bought at least some of my Dead Kennedys, Circle Jerks and Naked Raygun albums there.

The store closed in 1985, from what I can tell via an online search. The store was well loved, and was credited by one source as the first U.S. record store to sell CD's. I have no idea if that's true, but it certainly was a great little store.

During college, I shopped at Pitchfork Records in Keene, NH, which was not as funky as Capitol Records, but was still a great source for all my punk rock and New Wave needs. I have fond post-college memories of shopping (for vinyl initially, and then CD's) in dusty record stores in Athens, GA, and Albuquerque, NM, during a road trip; in Portsmouth, NH; Somerville, Boston and Cambridge, MA; and at various Newbury Comics stores around Boston.

But over the last few years I've become a complete and total online music convert. I love sampling and buying stuff from the comfort of my own home, and being able to put my entire collection onto my iPod. Do I miss the gentle sounds of one LP bumping against another as I peruse, or the "thwack thwack thwack" of CD's banging against each other in sales racks as I rifle them? Yes, I do. But I have much less leisure time since my kids came along, and it's so easy to search for obscure stuff online, so I've turned my back on record stores, although I miss them a great deal.

So count me among the hordes who are responsible for the decline, and in too many cases, outright disappearance of, mom and pop record shops.

My buddy Jay Kumar, who's one of the bigger music heads I know, recently tipped me off to this....depressing slab of Backsideness: 40 Sad Portraits of Closed Record Stores.

Of course, there are still plenty of record stores across this great, music-loving world of ours. And vinyl is making a comeback. So, don't be like me -- get out there and hit a brick-and-mortar shop!

No comments:

Post a Comment