Monday, January 14, 2008

Support your local hipsters!

New record for a new record: I finally got around to picking up Radiohead's In Rainbows. I still consider CDs to be cool new technology, so that whole pay-what-you-want download thing totally passed me by. Actually, I guess the release of the physical album was just a couple weeks ago, so this is somewhat unprecedented for me. I usually wait until a band has long since broken up or 10 years has passed since their heyday until I decide to get around to listening to them. I also picked up the latest from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, which has only been out since '06.

I would like to point out that both purchases, besides being actual disc-shaped physical manifestations of recorded music, were also purchased at the Disc Exchange, the local kick-ass record store. This is noteworthy for two reasons: record stores, especially the quirky, locally owned variety, are an endangered species; they are also the places in the world were I feel the least cool. I'll tackle the former first.

I refuse to mention the movie High Fidelity in this post. Dammit, I guess it was unavoidable. At least I got it out of the way early. Moving on, the epicenter of cool in any town, much more so than the yuppie-filled coffee shops, has always been the hipster-frequented record store. If you have any kind of good taste in music, you will never be able to find what you need at Wal-Mart. If for some crazy reason you do, it'll probably be the family-friendly censored version and if that's the case, your band has obviously sold out the souls of its unborn children and you shouldn't be listening to them anymore anyway. What the hell are you doing in Wal-Mart to begin with, NASCAR fan?

Independent record stores, like independent bookstores, are on the verge of extinction due to our insistence on buying our shit from the corporations that are already doing a bang-up business selling iPods and printer cartridges. In the meantime the Disc Exchange, which is devoted to providing a varied selection of both mainstream and hard-to-find music, will in a few weeks close its only other location due to a drop in business. Sure, Best Buy has a decent selection and pretty good prices, but how many Husker Du albums do you think they have in stock? That's another band I haven't yet gotten around to. It's only been 20 years.

Yeah, maybe it's inevitable that independent stores won't be able to compete with online downloads, but plenty of people still buy CDs. It would be nice if we could buy less of them from the big box stores and more from our super-hip neighborhood record shop. The same record shop, and this is point #2, that always makes me feel like such a complete square with their techno beats and their aromatic incense and their clerks wearing such perfectly worn out jeans and funky piercings. Heaven forbid I should ever walk into such a place wearing a polo shirt and some khakis. The universe might implode. And then I would have to kick myself in the nuts for wearing a polo shirt and some khakis. (Actually, you should see just how preppy I'm dressed today in my new button-down collared shirt tucked into some somewhat fashionable blue jeans. I'm such a friggin' sell-out. At least I listen to decent music.)

16 comments:

Courtney said...

Awww, but you're cute.

Long live the indie record store!

Anonymous said...

by the way courtney said, whose face is that in your picture that is cut out? is that picture supposed to say that all the attention needs to be focused on you, if not, it should be. oh yeah, music rules, blah blah blah.

hightower

Severo said...

oh no, Steven's posting again. someone make him stop. Anywho... this post was pretty much a snooze. sorry dude - better luck next time :)

Courtney said...

hightower -- that's Cindy. She's my secret lesbian lover but I don't want Mickey to know about her, so I cut her out of all my pictures. Our love is forbidden, you see.

Mickey said...

Severo- Despite the fact that I couldn't even figure out what hightower's comment is supposed to mean, it was still better than yours. I encourage you both to continue anyway.

And I also agree with you. Today's post sucked.

Anonymous said...

courtney, actually i dont see, hence the picture being croped, wait.......i see it now because i dont see it. How clever. Any better Mr. X?

hightower

Meaghan said...

Can a guy physically accomplish kicking himself in the nuts? Just curious...

I'm not sure we have any record stores in Rome, kind of sucks really. But I would support it if we did!

Noelle said...

I will totally get up on my "buy independent" high horse, if you want. The sad truth is that I feel like a sucker every time I pay for music, because I know there are so many people out there getting it for free.

I feel that way about sex, too.

Mickey said...

Meaghan- Is Peppermint Music (is that what it was called?) still there? If it's not then it's my fault. Can't say I ever went in there.

Noelle- Ha! Good one. And I thought I might be baiting you with the bookstore mention. Your indie-cred is definitely way more solid than mine.

Allie said...

We have a whole section of our little city that I am not cool enough to be in, so I got a good chuckle out of this post. I applaud you for braving the record store in khakis. I usually spend some quality mirror time wondering if my jeans are wrong because they are actually worn out, not new made to look worn out before I can venture into hipster-central. And then I still feel like a loser.

TravelingEm said...

Hrm, it's been a long time since I've bought music. Mostly I just listen to radioparadise.com which is an independent streaming radio station and I give them money, does that count? I'm all about supporting local stores and food though. I just wish it wasn't so freakin' hard to do here.

Aaron said...

I prefer to shop at my local indie store because, as you say, my cds generally are not at Best Buy. The downside is that my local indie store:

1. Employs high functioning douchebags

2. Really isn't even all that great as indie stores go. I've gone in on release day several times looking for fairly high-profile indie releases only to be met with "duh" ("Sufjan who-now?"), and just wound up ordering the damn things from Insound.com.

Jacob said...

Sufjan Stevens!

Julie said...

I would be laughed out of any indie record store. In fact, I'm pretty sure all of my friends who think I'm great would laugh at me if I mentioned going to an indie record store. Why should I bother?

Amazon does not care if I am tragically uncool. It's like my own little "Cheers." It knows my name and suggests new things I might like. And I get free shipping on purchases over $25. I can't remember the last time I purchased a CD in another way.

Mickey said...

Bad Julie. BAD Julie! No!

Who am I kidding?...That's where most of my CDs probably came from, but it's never too late to reform your wicked ways. REPENT!

Julie said...

Make me.