July 19, 2006



Jane Dark: "I'll admit that I have no commitment to my local's profitability, and I download music for free as an economic decision. That said: I love my local (Amoeba). It's big, and has lots of clerks; with most of them, I have only a pleasant nodding relationship. When I have more in-depth encounters with the three or four I've gotten close with—although we have great aesthetic differences—they are thoughtful and enthusiastic and funny and good company. For a solitary part of my life, record store clerks were almost the only people I spoke with in person, for maybe eight months (and the guy at the gym), and it was just fine. Also, I sometimes see them in the streets, at the movies, etc., and we always have a chat exactly as if we were friends.

On the other hand: Rasputin's? Which is down the street? They're assholes. Don't get me started.

When I was 18, I worked at the famously corrupt Strawberry's chain in Boston. Talking to customers was the only part of the job I especially liked, though some of that talking was certainly good-natured hectoring about disagreements in taste."

John: "I lament the passing of record stores. First of all, I think record store people get a bad rap. Many of them—as portrayed in 'High Fidelity'—are greasy, anti-social, and insecure to begin with, so I don't take it personally when they are dicks. I think Rocks In Your Head had to be the worst place for dickish non-helpful record store people.

If you approach them with reverence, they will treat you like crap. If you approach them as a fellow music nerd, they will talk to you for hours.

I still buy most of my music in CD form. Downloading from filesharing programs takes too long and killed one of my computers. I rarely get stuff from iTunes: just single songs. I like having the CD, and I'm afraid of my computer crashing again.

I felt sad this past weekend when, after some afternoon drinks, not one of the four people I was with wanted to go to Amoeba with me. (We were parked just 2 blocks away.) They said, 'I only get stuff at Amoeba that I can't get on iTunes.' So sad."

Andrew Sherman: "How much does it depend on how insecure you feel? Aquarius in San Francisco seems like a hipster place, but when I asked for help choosing a Magma CD, staff members were called from the office to help make that crucial decision. For a long time, whenever I went into an art supply store, I was put off by the snooty artist clerks. But after taking some classes, I realized they're no better than me, that they're bored, underpaid, and that they will help if asked. Nicely."

(Ed.: We, too, have had pleasant experiences with the staff of Aquarius. Many, in fact. Mail order, holler!)

Posted by Sasha at July 19, 2006 03:00 PM | TrackBack