Buying new records these days is a slightly strange experience. You can go into a record store expecting to find something new & cool, but quite often you will leave empty-handed. Even in the present climate of being able to look up critical reviews before you buy, there’s no guarantee that your local indie record shop will (physically) maintain stock in what you want. Excess inventory hurts their bottom line, so it can be a real crapshoot.
I suppose there’s always the iTunes instant-gratification route to follow, or the more sluggish Amazon route. But I would prefer to support a local record shop, even if it means spending about an extra $20 bill a year for the privilege. It’s a small price to pay for something so rewarding.
Today I dropped into my favourite independent record shop, intending to buy a couple of highly-rated recent releases on CD. There was zero hope of these releases being available at a big box store; moreover I would have even been willing to pay a premium over typical iTunes level pricing to get a physical product. Instead of walking out with shiny 5″ diameter discs, I was confronted with a disturbing new trend. A lot of what I listen to could probably be categorized as “Mainstream Indie” rock music. Meanwhile, a lot of what I’m looking for isn’t readiily available on CD . My indie record shop had a couple of these cool new releases on vinyl, but didn’t have them on CD. WTF? I’m eternally grateful that the LP version usually comes with a digital copy (it saves me a lot of work), but purchasing music has apparently come to this. The stuff I listen to is apparently so obscure that’s its easier to find a modern vinyl version of it than a CD version. This was definitely not the case 5 years ago.
Very young waitresses and cashiers and co-workers tend to make me feel really old, but this new development makes me feel like Rip Van Winkle. Yikes.