On Indie Shops

Yahoo! Finance put out a list of 10 things not to buy in 2010 last week. The list itself was as follows.

  1. DVDs
  2. Home telephone service
  3. External hard drives
  4. Smartphones
  5. Compact digital cameras
  6. Newspaper subscriptions
  7. CDs
  8. New college textbooks
  9. Gas-guzzling cars
  10. Energy inefficient homes and appliances

I’ll refrain from commenting on most of these (What’s that? If Jaws is in the $5 DVD bin at WalMart, I should say “Screw that!” and buy the $59.99 Blu-Ray instead? Logic!), but the one I’m looking at is CDs. The article quips “When was the last time you bought a CD or even walked in a record store?” I asked myself that and realized I’ve made a mistake.

I haven’t been shopping at record stores enough!

I’ve relied on big chain places for most of my record purchases in the past year. Places where “Sale” means “Not quite $20!” While these places usually give me what I need, I had to visit the local indie record shop for Pearl Jam’s Backspacer last year. And it’s such a great experience. There’s a lot of history to these places, and a great aesthetic. Posters from decades and trends gone by are on the walls; bands old and new, remembered and forgotten, are huddled together in the cramped, huddled shelves, and nothing’s quite as cool as looking for great stuff in the “local artists” section.

The pricing and selection is top notch, too. Some artists inexplicably cost more at the big chain stores (why is Californication still $20, anybody know?), but at the two records stores that I’ve been to, seeing anything above $16 is rare. And used sections? Rarely the double digits. As far as selection goes, it’s hard to beat these places, too. Sure, most places carry artist’s well known albums, but I see more variety at the indie shops, too. Oh, and have you noticed places starting to come back around to vinyl? One of the record shops in my area has the entire basement devoted to it.

Are these places for everyone? Probably not. But please, for the music geeks out there, support your local independent record shops!

-BGibs

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About bgibs122

I enjoy music and music culture; I hope you do, too.
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