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March 4th, 2001

Record Store Blitz

I recently had a rather positive encounter with a good record store, and it took me back to a time in which I never existed… when record stores were places you could go, find and listen to great music, and then buy them for your own collection. Here are a few I’ve been to within Chicagoland, and I encourage you to share your experiences.

Reckless Records, Chicago: By far, the biggest used CD place I’ve been to; Nanette referred me here when I was looking for some goods. Huge, huge selection, well staffed, and generally if it’s not here they don’t make it (or, they can order people to make it for you.)

Second Hand Tunes, various Chicago locations: I used to absolutely love 2nd Hand Tunes in Oak Park… I really thought they had everything under the sun, and prices were good. This is actually where I purchased a few rare R.E.M. goodies. But, since becoming part of a big chain, I’ve found things have been a little less interesting and the prices rather unremarkable. I visited the Chicago store on N. Clark but found the selection similarly lacking.

Val’s Halla, Oak Park: This is a record store in every sense, but I didn’t care for it much the few times I visited. I think it was the cats running around. But it certainly has character. Lots of records. Lots. Neat window displays.

In A Groove, Wheaton: Mentioned in the positive encounter above, another true record store. The walls are lined with records at good prices. The used CD collection is confined to a rather small series of bins in front, but it’s very much like treasure hunting. In addition, they sell some new stuff. Great staff – truly good business.

Have you found any keepers? -pm

Posted in Television, Movies, and Music

FROM: Terry M.
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 2:47:15AM
My favorite record store in Chicago was Vintage Vinyl which was in Evanston and sold vinyl only, and had only the hard to find independent albums. I'm not certain that it's still open, it's been a few years since I've been there.

The best indepdendent music store here is Classical Millenium which is good and has many of the hard to find CD's, but unfortunately they pack in the CD's too tight, so you can't efficiently browse them, and the rows are so close that two people can't browse one section at the same time.

In the past year I've bought about 30 CD's which is about one-tenth of how many I bought each year from '96 to '99, and I don't plan on buying too many more until/if the industry and Napster get their act together and figure what they're going to do. That, and I don't have any room for any more!

Unfortunately, Napster has completely ruined the magic of record browsing/shopping, which for years was one of my favorite activities in life. There are few things in life more pleasurable than buying CD's of artists you've never even heard of, to come to find your new favorite artist. But you can't do this any more - I'd be surprised if there are any music stores at all within five years, thanks to Napster!



FROM: Matt
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 10:45:44AM
Blaming Napster for ruining your record shopping experience is a pretty poor argument.

I'd argue the exact opposite. I've found more new artists that past year via Napster than I have since I worked at our college radio station.

If you use Napster as a tool to find out more about bands you've heard bits and pieces of - especially for those without access to a Vintage Vinyl (a vast majority of us...) - then it's a boon for the entire medium and for exposing lesser known bands.

I'm really not trying to sound like a dick here - but if "High Fidelity" is the way you find out new tunes, great - but not everyone has, or wants, the opportunity to cd spelunk for the next best thing at 10 bucks a pop.



FROM: Terry M.
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 11:18:25AM
Well, I have gotten into much fewer new artists since I started using Napster. As I said I bought 1/10 the number of CD's in year 2000 (when I started using Napster), compared to every year before that.

Napster has a couple of problems:

1. You have to have heard of the artist beforehand. In a record store, you simply run into new artists by virtue of them being in a display rack. This is impossible in Napster, because it is search driven.

2. Previewing songs ruins the continuity of the album. If you hear one or two songs before buying an album, when you listen to it in its entirety doesn't sound right.

3. Previewing is based on pre-conceived notions and catchy hooks. If you download a song and don't like it, you won't buy the album. Most music requires repeated listens to enjoy, but you have no vested interest to understand a piece of music if it did not impress you the first time (versus if you paid $15 for the CD).

4. There is very little music available on Napster aside from top 40 pop, and cyber-teen music (techno, etc.). Searches for most of my favorite artists come up with no or few matches, and the selection for some of of the best music is appallingly bad (classical, for example). Basically, if the music you like falls outside the tiny spectrum of music which teenage boys on the internet like, then you're out of luck as far as Napster goes.

Online distribution has the potential to help the music consumer, but if it means making new music hard to find, and limiting you to only the catchiest, best-selling music (like Napster does), then it does nobody any good at all.



FROM: Ryan
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 11:42:50AM
Oh boy... here we go again. :)

Personally, Napster hasn't done a damn thing to ruin the joy of me going to a used CD store and picking up a stack of CDs. Almost every time I go I pick up something by someone I've never heard of or someone I've read a lot about. Admittedly, I do lots of my CD shopping on the Web since the closest used CD store to me now is 45 minutes away, but when I head back to NJ and hit Tunes, it's all over for my wallet.



FROM: liz
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 3:39:05PM
There is very little music available on Napster aside from top 40 pop, and cyber-teen music (techno, etc.). Searches for most of my favorite artists come up with no or few matches, and the selection for some of of the best music is appallingly bad (classical, for example). Basically, if the music you like falls outside the tiny spectrum of music which teenage boys on the internet like, then you're out of luck as far as Napster goes.

dude, i have to completely disagree with you there. i have a fairly diverse taste in music, and it's quite, quite rare that i don't find something on napster that i'm looking for. i can agree with you that the classical music selection is less than to be desired, and not knowing what artists you're searching for, i can't tell you unequivocally that they won't be on napster, but i've found it to be unlikely.

case in point: in the last week i've downloaded violent femmes, talking heads, bonnie raitt, bunnygrunt, and the polyphonic spree off of napster (among other things; those are just the most "unusual" of what i got.) i've downloaded absolutely tons of live and rare jeff buckley songs, and i've found this to be the case with radiohead too. sorry to be so longwinded here, but i think that the selection on napster is immense, and there's more to be found than the "teenage boy contingent."



FROM: Tony
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 8:20:23PM
Im going to stick my two sense in.

Example 1:
I saw the trailer for the movie "The Patriot" there was a short song (or song-clip) in the trailer...I must admit...I went to see a movie, just to see that trailer, just to hear that music again. I loved it. But of course I had no clue who it was from, none of the Cdnow audio clips from the soundtrack shed any light on this song. As a last ditch effort, I went to napster and searched for "Patriot Trailer Theme Song" and soon found what I was looking for; It turned out to be "Escape" by Craig Armstrong. Later after I found that this song was on the Plunkett and Mcleane EP. Which has NO connection to the movie "The Patriot" so in essence, it is because of napster, that I ordered (and currently extremly enjoy) several Armstrong albums. Also, Armstrong is a composer, and varies wildly from pop, top 40, cyber-teen etc....

Example 2:
I searched napster for the keywords "war song" (why, I was bored.) and came across a song "The Gulf War Song" so at which point I downloaded it, and found it amazing. It was actually "The Gulf War Song" by Moxy Fruvous, thanks to napster, I found Moxy Fruvous, and now own there first release "Barganville"

Example 3:
I was looking for songs from the MI-2 soundtrack, when I came upon a song labled MI-2 soundtrack-The Score-Hans Zimmer. I downloaded it, and subsequently am now hooked on the work of Zimmer (composer similar to Armstrong) As with the others, I now own two Zimmer cd's and listen to them VERY often.

These three examples show, how relitvley unkown artists, were found on napster, and led me to find some truly good music. Contrary to Mr. Terry's opnion



FROM: Maria
DATE: Sunday March 4, 2001 -- 8:20:50PM
The best music store I've ever been to (in addition to being the coolest all-around store I've ever been to) is Rockin' Rudy's (http://www.rockinrudys.com) in Missoula, MT. They have everything you could ever want in the way of music plus a ton of other unique stuff you couldn't find anywhere else.



FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday March 5, 2001 -- 9:11:09AM
Here in Northern VA we have dick in the way of record stores. However, there are tons of places for used CD shopping. I should know because it has become my life's passion as of late.



FROM:
DATE: Monday March 5, 2001 -- 9:20:45AM
There is very little music available on Napster aside from top 40 pop, and cyber-teen music (techno, etc.). Searches for most of my favorite artists come up with no or few matches, and the selection for some of of the best music is appallingly bad (classical, for example). Basically, if the music you like falls outside the tiny spectrum of music which teenage boys on the internet like, then you're out of luck as far as Napster goes.

** I also have to disagre. I'll be listening to a jazz station and heasr a great song. the station will announce the title and artist. I will then go to napster to see what else is available from this artist and over 90% of the time I end up purchasing the CD.

I have also found things such as Frank Sinatra, loads of classical, unreleased versions of music etc. Also being a DJ, I have found DJ only versions that I would have no other way to get if it was not for napster.



FROM: Old Fezziwig
DATE: Monday March 5, 2001 -- 9:59:42AM
I always always always went to Record Exchange here in Cleveland. But then they changed to Record and Game Exchange and are more worried about selling Playstation and Nintendo games than music. Now, I mostly shop online for used CDs at half.com.
And when in the Bay Area, Amoeba Records is the BEST!
-Fezz
www.oldfezziwig.com



FROM: Paul
DATE: Monday March 5, 2001 -- 3:18:25PM
I was going to say something earlier, but everyone else said it better. Instead, I'll summarize:

Napster won't make record stores go away.



FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday March 5, 2001 -- 3:33:47PM
Paul--I only wish saying that made all this chatter about Napster go away.



FROM:
DATE: Saturday January 1, 2005 -- 3:11:11 pm



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