Yes tomorrow is officially the day of the Independant Record Store.
I’m not talking about yer HMV’s and Virgin megastores (are they still about – i dunno..) I’m talking about those little shops tucked down a random alley somewhere in town, which contain hundreds of plastic boxes all brimming with old and new vinyl.
These shops used to be the lifeblood of the UK Music scene and as well as providing tunes for enthusiasts, also allowed like minded individuals to meet each other and share ideas. I think this is a major loss in the modern age, no doubt the internet has stepped into that void and it is now possible to muscially connect with millions of people through myspace, aim or youtube, however I think the sincerity has been lost and the whole music situation has become very throwaway. For instance I got a 7″ copy of Move On Up by Curtis Mayfield on Buddah Records today. According to the label it was originally published in 1971, how many tunes that have come out in 2010 will still be sought after in 39 years time? Or even 3 years time? The internet has made music utterly disposable, which is why we need events like tomorrow’s Record Store day to remind people what we once had.
I’ll leave you with a little list of Do’ and Don’ts from The Guardian that made me chuckle:
- DO Flick through the fanzines and immerse yourself in 15-page features on Fad Gadget and reacquaint yourself with the joys of the picture disc.
- DON’T Ask if they’ve got the album that got a five-star review in Q on CD because you “chucked your turntable away. By the way, I agree that Liam’s the best ever frontman – don’t you?”
- DO Pay attention to the staff’s recommendation of bands you might like.
- DON’T Admit that you’ve never heard of them.
- DO Nod your head sagely to the sounds being blasted from the shop sound system.
- DON’T Ask the bloke behind the counter what’s playing – or worse, be caught trying to Shazam it. And on no account ask them to “Turn it down”.
- DO Be prepared to dig through the sale racks. One colleague found a cache of early 80s Rough Trade vinyl there.
- DON’T Ask if they’ve got any Lady Gaga.
- DO Spend an arm and a leg on limited editions you never knew you needed.
- DON’T Say you saw it for sale cheaper in Tesco. In fact, if you saw it at all in Tesco, you’re in the wrong shop.
- DO Stand your ground at the vinyl racks. Steady browsing is the name of the game – don’t hog, but don’t let anyone hustle you off.
- DON’T be alarmed, ladies, by this traditionally 90% male environment. The record boys are much more intimidated by you than you are by them.
- DO Be prepared for public humiliation if part-exchanging your old record collection. It will be scrutinised – and then they’ll give you 50p for the lot.
- DON’T Buy your records on Amazon (or illegally download them) then complain when a subculture disappears. Use your local record shop – or lose it.