Flaming Lips, pirate metal, and why you should spend more time in record stores

Last weekend, my wife and I took a trip up to Newport, Rhode Island, to spend some time at the beach. Read the full post.

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  • Billy Fields

    I buy 95% of my music from Independent Record Shops. I try and hit a store at least a couple times a month. The heart and soul of a community can be located in many places, but if there’s a great record store you’ve found the mainline to it all.

    One of the first comments to your post was about the price of music. Alex doesn’t seem to think music is worth more than the digital convenience + something less than $10.

    What other form of entertainment, of cultural sustenance, of emotional fulfillment can you own and digest infinitely for so low a price? You’re buying the soundtrack to your own memory. How can a record, any record, that you listen to 100’s or 1000’s of times not be worth more?

  • Cathy

    The Nevermind Shop in Upton MA is a throwback to the record stores you used to know and love. I got lots of cool records there and their stock is always changing. The owner Mick, really knows his music.

  • Hans M.

    Dude! You passed on Alestorm? Cry some. It’s *speed* pirate metal and way sick. You can stream it thanks to Napster, and the Internet will allow you to order a copy on-line. That’s what I do. I can’t say I blind buy much at all (though I was pleased with one result: Codeine’s ‘Barely Real,’ of the same era of that Archers of Loaf album you mention, though much slower). I have been a music writer since the early 90s in many South Florida publications and have been getting turned on to music in many specialized ways, including advance listens by labels and musicians. That said though, there’s nothing like cultivating a taste for music through reading as well as following you favorite artists and who they like or are influenced by (I would have never loved Kraut rock if it were not for David Bowie). With that in mind, record *shows* and thrift stores offer the most excitement. We got one place in Miami that rehabs addicts with work that offers an amazing ever-shifting wall of donated vinyl (3 records for $1). As a music aficionado, I too have an array of Holy Grail finds I hope to find in the stacks of vinyl of any new shop I visit. And you can’t match that feeling of entering a space with racks of vinyl seething with the potential of a magic find. You can’t replace that on a torrent site, unless you are looking for a truly obscure track. Besides, a well-pressed slab of vinyl, sourced from the original master *tapes* cannot sound the same via a computer… and no, I don’t mean surface noise or hiss– good vinyl doesn’t have that– I’m talking warmth and spacious sound. That said, there is a lot to say about shopping for vinyl, and there are packs of younger kids discovering this feeling, so hopefully this bodes well for true indie shops, as monstrosities like Tower, Virgin and Borders fold.

  • Josh Spencer

    Not only do I frequent record stores, we’re opening one in our bookstore in downtown LA in 2 weeks! The Last Bookstore will now have tens of thousands of vinyl records, most of ‘em cheaper than downloads….

  • bg

    I used to work in a new/used record store in the early 80’s run by some great friends. It was like Christmas whenever a customer brought in some vinyl to sell. In fact I took my pay in store credit (I was only going to spend it on records anyway). Great memories. Today I still purchase the occasional vinyl, along with CDs and digital downloads.

  • T

    I have bought many albums on the basis of album cover art alone. Quality has ranged from the great (although I didn’t appreciate it until I was older) cover for Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live! to the lesser quality but still intruiging Cycle Sluts from Hell.

  • rtyecript

    I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

  • Wes s

    …have I ever spent golden hours in record stores, heck yes~! As a 47 year old from SW fla, vinyl bins were a ‘window to the world’ for me. We had 1 underground fm station in the mid 70’s, and I would record radio shows after my bedtime & then listen later in the week. Writing letters to fan clubs, etc, & badgering surly clerks to make special orders, after cherry pickin my 79 cent certron cassette from woolworths…
    What fun it was,

  • Lori A

    luckily I live in MA where we have several Newbury Comics. They carry records, CD’s, DVD’s and lots of other cool random items. Best Buy seems to be getting less and less and only new stuff mostly.

  • dance records

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  • Emanuel

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