Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I Need That Record!
Last night, after I put my son to bed, I watched a good documentary titled 'I Need That Record!' (The Death or Possible Survival of the Independent Record Store). It's a documentary that explains why thousands of indie record stores are closing nationwide. It discusses greedy record labels, digital music, big box stores, average artists that are pushed by big money, and how corporate radio pretty much decides what the public is exposed to.
This film hit home to me because growing up, I was one of those kids that just loved the indie stores (still do) and spent a lot of time hanging out there and searching for the next great band that I haven't heard yet. I knew at a young age that corporate radio would only expose me to a certain amount of music, and that in order to find anything new, I would have to discover it on my my own. It's something that has stuck with me. I still never play the radio and honestly couldn't tell you what Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga sounds like, even if they were playing right in front of me. Honestly.
That feeling of opening the package of new record or CD and popping in the player while you flip through the artwork and read the lyrics is something that is lost in the digital download world. Which is why I usually still by the actual physical disc. Only now, with the lack of indie stores around, my purchases are bought on Amazon.com where I can get it used at a very good price, or directly through the record label on-line. It's tough to beat. Don't get me wrong either, I love having the option of having an album on my computer at the click of a button too. It just isn't the same though as buying it at an indie store with like minded people working that you can talk about it with while some strange band that you've never heard plays on the radio in the background.
The independent record store is pretty much extinct now with all the Wal-Marts, Best Buy's, Borders, and Targets popping up on every corner these days. It's a shame, and I'm gonna miss them. If you're lucky enough to have one in your town, support it.
With appearances from Ian Mackaye, Thurston Moore, Mike Watt, Glenn Branca, and Noam Chomsky.