Click opera – CDs were us
Defining the virtues of boutique record stores in general, Daniel quotes our mutual friend Momo Nonaka: “Momo used to say that in Tokyo, the assistants at some of the better record shops were treated as celebrities… Record shops should be like museums, people’s palaces where you go to luxuriate in culture. In Tokyo, one gets the impression, rightly or wrongly, that one is being informed about old and new music, that the main priority is to inform the public first and to sell records second.”
We are the warehouse generation. Hardware stores with sales-persons who knew their inventory and could offer help/info on how to use it were replaced by Home Depots (which I avoid like the plague). All sorts of little stores were replaced by gigantic WalMarts. Little record stores that offered a specific edited selection were replaced by huge Tower Records, Virgin Megastores and the like. CDs should be sold in galleries, not warehouses, and by people who care about the edited selection of music they offer. A warehouse cannot possibly represent the personal nature of an artist’s musical recording – the trials, the drama, the struggle, the joy etc…
Let’s hope there will always be a place for both. When I compare going to a local hardware store or small grocery, and the friendly open talks with them, and their opinions and the reality of their smiles and on the other hand the huge warehouse types with they phony “have a nice day” and robotic smiles. well, I sure think the small stores are essential to keeping us human. I wish we had a personal type music shop. I remember long ago when we did, and you could ask opinions, etc. It’s missed.
My sentiments exactly.
There used to be a “Budget Tapes and Records” near my house when I was a teenager. They used to let people listen to a record before they bought it, and I remember spending long hours at that store talking to the guys there about music we both had passion for.
I bought nearly all my vinyl there, except for the stuff I picked up during trips to Europe. It really sucked when the owner of the store decided to get out of the record business. Three months later, that location was a Rent-A-Center appliance place.
When I was a teen, two of my favorites places to spend hours visiting were the old Sound Warehouse and Cactus Records here in Houston. I’d ride my bike on Saturday mornings to the warehouse and would spend hours looking at all the albums. I would marvel at the covers and read each song title. Music would be playing in the background and I would get lost in conversation with the manager about music. Later, as I got older the other place I would visit would be Cactus Records on Shepherd where some 10+ years back, I would meet an artist by the name of Ottmar Liebert who had just performed in person. I had just discovered your music and then I got to meet you–well that was the icing on the cake. Today, both stores are gone and there will never be any store to come that will replace those little record stores and the joy they brought to me.
Luz, that’s wonderful like a fairy tale!