Friday, April 18, 2008

I Need That Record!

“I Need That Record” is a documentary feature examining why over 3000 independent record stores have closed across the U.S. in the past decade. Are they going to die off? Will they survive?

Record stores serve as important community spaces that provide foundations for new musical and artistic scenes and movements, a place where unique under the radar bands have been continuously supported, a place where the underground can thrive, a place where independent thought is encouraged and challenged, a place where people of different ages, races, and taste can mix and mingle face to face. Unlike the internet, physical stores are a real place, with real people, where community is formed and supported. Not just record stores, but original mom and pop main street stores are all in a fight to stay alive. Independent businesses are hubs for new jobs, new innovations, and creative thought.

Over the past ten years it has become increasingly harder to compete with big chain businesses that have big money and Congress protecting them. The rich and powerful in business and government have thrown a wrench in the wheels of progress. American culture has become more isolated and atomized as a result of homogenous culture and thought. Businesses and establishments that make different parts of America distinct from one another are disappearing. In order to save community, ourselves, and our world what we need are independent creative places where new ideas and thought can be nurtured. Not more of the same…

Some interviews include- Ian Mackaye of Dischord Records Fugazi/Minor Threat/Teen Idles, Chris Frantz of the Talking Heads, Pat Carney of the Black Keys, Mike Watt of the Minutemen/reunited Stooges, Noam Chomsky, guitar composer Glenn Branca, punk author Legs McNeil, rock photographer Bob Gruen, Bryan Poole guitarist of Of Montreal, Numero Records, Rhino Records, Bloodshot Records, United Record Press (the largest vinyl plant in the U.S.), and many many many indie stores across the U.S. (NYC, Boston, DC, Cleveland, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Chicago, Minneapolis, Memphis, Nashville, L.A.). (Via thedailyswarm.com)

5 comments:

Simon said...

In London it's weird, the past 7 years or so has seen the closure of a lot of the small record stores; but it's not the indie shops that are closing. Thanks to a revival of interest/use of vinyl some of the indie stores seem to be thriving. While the large stores seem to be moving to push DVD, games and books more than music.

What's been hit pretty hard by the internet - torrents and blogs - is the secondhand music store. They've almost all gone in London. All the places I used to go to and get my fingers dirty flicking through old vinyl in the racks. The rise in the rapidshare style blogs that post complete hard to find records has stolen their custom!

It is kind of sad, and it makes me feel kind of guilty. However, if you're into pretty obscure music you could never find it in those places anyway. I've found more online than I ever did browsing through the crates.

However those same stores used to buy a lot of new stuff in from people who had gotten it for nothing. Plenty of albums changing hands for which neither record company or artist saw a penny. Guess where those came from? Not through thievery..but as freebies that record companies handed out to staff, journalists and various other people in the industry. I don't know a person who worked for a record company through the 80s or 90s who ever paid for their music or the gigs. Or their drugs for that matter.

That's the same record companies who blame the internet for the death of music. So I guess I shouldn't feel too guilty.

Marissa said...

Sounds like an interesting documentary. It's sad to see our big gov't and big business collaborating in such shady ways. They ruined farms and our food, got us into retarded wars and now even our record stores are in danger. Seriously. Not. Tight. :(

The Vinyl District said...

Agree fully. So - did you hit up a record store?!

Fusion 45 said...

Without giving it too much thought, I'm guessing the demise of the independent record store -- here in the US, anyway -- is a cyclical trend. They'll come back and they'll look different than they do today. I'm guessing there'll be iPod docking stations where people can refill their players (like people used to take records into listening booths); there'll be coffee pots and young hipsters trying to make time with teenage girls. It'll be a social thing. And music will be a part of it, not the core of it. Music as the core of a brick and mortar business will likely go the way of the feed store on Main Street. Music Junkie at Fusion 45

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