Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Needle in the Hay

What makes a good record store? While many people at this point only do their music shopping on Itunes and read books on their Kindles, there are still a lot of people who see value in holding the real thing in their hands. I've been to record stores from San Francisco to New York and many places in between. Here's a list of a few things every great record store must have.

1 A Cat. Not some spry, agile thing that weaves itself in and out of your legs while you're trying to walk to the jazz section, but a big, fat, lazy cat that sleeps sprawled out and purring over Willie Nelson's greatest hits.

2. A song you've never heard before playing over the speakers. It can be an olde-timey number, an obscure hip-hop group from Durham, North Carolina, or some thrashing, angry punk-rock threesome. It just has to be loud and has to be something you don't know.

3. Knowledgable staff. This is a given. And I don't mean snarky guys who sneer at you when you ask for something that more than 7 people have ever listened to. They better know whether or not they have that John Coltrane you are looking for and where it is. They don't have to compliment you on your tastes (though it's nice if they do) but they can't insult the record that you just bought from their store either.

4. Dust. The whole point of record shopping is to feel as though you are finding a lost gem. A little authenticity isn't too much to ask for.

5.Flyers. A store that doesn't advertise the local bands is not a store that deserves your business. Period.

No comments:

Post a Comment