You do find the darndest things on the web …
I was looking for an online piece I wrote on the Death of Record Stores (“When the Music’s Over”) that appeared in the cyberpublication Obit magazine. Here’s some scoop —
But — as far as I can tell, Obit has expired without leaving so much as an obit behind.
One of the strangest, most unexpected shadows over my writing career is how much of the second half of it once existed on line but can no longer be found. The following, however, is beyond that sort of sad/creepy. Seems to be a version of my record-store obit translated into French and then back into English … or something:
Anyway, it’s so peculiar I’m going to paste the whole thing into this post. Maybe it will last longer that way.
Or maybe not.
“Obit Magazine as usual, When the Music’s Over”
In the earliest days of records, from about 1915-1930, Americans slim the consummated cities encountered discs in extensive stores, as products they influence pick up with harness face or a her marching orders of flour. And divers soldiery discourage of the performances they would discover would be next to regional favorites, folks you influence make ineluctable every summer at the subvene or unaligned at the purlieus lounge bar roadhouse on weekends. The flood of the dominate disseminate network, even so, caused the oldest quality patch in log sales. (See this brief doings of records, or the more garrulous Wikipedia account.)
Records rebounded along with help patch after World War II, and the renewed 45 RPM constitution that appeared in saw wood on stores and musical-instrument shops featured artists from across the boondocks. Gramophone discs were considered passé because disseminate amounted to a extricate music anthology. For divers soldiery discourage years, 7-inch discs introduced a more temporal fathering of youngsters to not not in the least renewed tunes, but also unbeknownst worlds of manner of piquancy.
So what went awry? The decrease of log stores is like the extinction of the dinosaurs in that too divers soldiery discourage explanations are offered – not all causes are appropriate and some are unaligned contradictory.
A manner magnificently illustrated next to Mary Fleener’s undying autobiographical side-splitting, Turn Off That Jungle Music! The eruptions of stone and then hip-hop seemed to lap up that the log company would not in the least support care common and getting bigger fathering after fathering. It helps to note that consummated, national-chain stores arrange a phenomenal nullify of problems than smaller, specialty stores. On their manner up, the prime chains like Tower, HMV and Virgin Records la-di-da divers soldiery discourage corner stores out of purloin of duty. The intimation to Goliath retailers is evidently laid out of purloin in Brendan Toller’s documentary, I Need That Record! – The Death (Or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store. But these were mostly humble operations catering to a extensive audience. He replied that the two operations’ inventories didn’t imbrication all that much, and that silently in nappies customers influence anger the hits at Tower and then fingers on to his locale for the benefit of the aware sides.
Decades ago, the canny co-founder of the indie-music Newbury Comics Mike Dreese was asked if he was anxious with the mammoth Tower superstore emptiness down the pass as glut an carelessness out of purloin.
Now the prime chains are being cut out next to the notwithstanding loss-leader tactics they in the good old days inured to, this about common to soi-disant big-box stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Everyday records arrange fingers on down the other nullify, from tucked away in the away of the extensive market to tucked away in the away of the big-box megastore.
Increasingly, this is where the hordes of at ease music fans communicate to to pick up the latest documentation of ownership being pumped next to Clear Channel disseminate. In the full of years days they would exchange you all you wanted and more than you knew, and today they exchange you anything you assume over and less than you impecuniousness. In I Need That Record! incomparably Ian MacKaye, director of the bands Minor Threat and Fugazi and for the benefit of 26 years big vicinity of the indie imprint Dischord Records, remarks that as in due course as he heard lousy, he turned insane the disseminate forever and stopped paying predominance to mainstream music.
But this doesn’t anger across the deposing of the premeditated log market, which went their separated manner large ago.
He has one a unfixed fancy of what Oasis sounds like.
Worldwide, selling recordings is not the well-to-do motor car it in the good old days was. Aren’t there oodles like him to recognize specialty retailers? Not according to in fashion economics. Hence all the ancillary goods in music stores – like the performers, retailers are making well-to-do insane the T-shirts, not the CDs. The operations that naЛve force be hard-nosed and fast-moving, aces at marketing, unequivalent to the slapstick, deep, overstuffed corner shops memorialized in the ascendant overcome of record-store circulars, Nick Hornby’s Hi Fidelity. And, as I Need That Record! demonstrates, all it takes is of one mind stingy property holder, crazed next to the real-estate bubbles, to beat the indie-store imperil. The Gothic of such places was heartfelt, testified to in I Need That Record! and next to the feedback of Philip Smith, holder of House of Records, the oldest music market in Los Angeles, when I asked him what would be desperate if log stores disappeared:
“There is no substitute for the benefit of the corporeal interaction abundance music fans and log collectors.
How divers soldiery discourage bands started from inappreciable meetings in the stone department? How divers soldiery discourage romances began in the lousy department? How divers soldiery discourage favorite bands were discovered Sometimes non-standard due to in-store support advantage of, clerk recommendations or album be oodles cleverness? How divers soldiery discourage record-store employees went on to come insane to stone stars, DJs, critics, producers or music-moguls? How divers soldiery discourage shoplifters went on to a flume in wirepulling? There is a blow-by-blow visceral lineament to thumbing Sometimes non-standard due to albums in a bin that cannot be replicated in a understood gap. A responsible log market functions as a community nub and joining locale for the benefit of like-minded people. Also, you won’t accidentally conclude your bracelets on celebrity else’s full of years chewing gum while browsing the disco department on iTunes.”
House of Records opened up away in 1952, as a supplier of jukebox 45s. Researching this article in L.A., I determinate I would assail this trove of survival intelligence.
It had persisted Sometimes non-standard due to the booms and droughts, the fads and flops of a near-geologic at the end of the day of patch in the music duty. Smith alert to me the market closed 10 months ago. Honor them while you can.
This is a inventory of America’s Most Revered Independent Record Stores. Milo Miles is the world-music and American-roots music critic for the benefit of NPR’s Fresh Air. He also writes for the benefit of Rolling Stone arsenal, The Village Voice and the New York Times.
PS: This, by the way, is the correct rendition of the acronym — this “Fucked Up Beyond All Repair” stuff is bogus. Take it from a guy who first heard of it not all that long after WWII.