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Record Stores

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With the advent of computers came mp3s and the internet followed by iPods and iTunes followed by decreased CD sales and increased online sales. No one that doesn’t work for a major record label will dispute that this is a good thing. The flow of music from person to person takes place at a rate exponentially faster than it would have even a decade ago. In 1998, it took a lot more work to discover music that wasn’t just on the radio, it was much more difficult to find decent bands in the alternative realm. Thanks to the internet, all of this happened and is happening. This is the best thing that has happened to music since recording came into play.

With that being said, I’m here to ask: remember record stores? Not like the music section of Hastings or Barnes and Noble, but real record stores.

Personally, I love record stores. One in particular. It’s called Homer’s. There are a few Homer’s in the Lincoln-Omaha-Council Bluffs area, but the original one in downtown Omaha is the best record store that I’ve ever been to.

It’s in an old building in Omaha’s downtown historic (according to tourist centers) Old Market. A magnificent area, really. The store is long with an old wooden floor. There’s always incense burning, which I don’t really dig, but it has a certain feeling to it, y’know? There’s a tub of posters advertising concerts past days that run about two dollars. All along the left wall are vinyls. I’m not really into buying vinyl, but one day I did find A Hard Day’s Night by the Beatles for like eighteen dollars. Seriously, I’m not dumb. Every band I’ve ever heard of has a little separation marker in the CD section. Obviously there are plenty of bands that I haven’t heard of there. They have a huge “Staff Picks” section with really great staff picks in every genre. Everyone that I’ve encountered that works there is really cool. The store is really a fantastic place.

Record stores will be a thing of the past in a few years. And, to be honest, that makes me pretty sad. iTunes just can’t inject me with the feeling of holding a solid form of music in my hands in a room full of music and music memorabilia. Sorry, Steve, but you just can’t compete.

So tell me about your record stores.


Written by Jacob Z

June 30, 2008 at 12:12 am

6 Responses

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  1. They’ll use 3D printing to create CDs/vinyl for you!

    omg. We should find out if that can be done and start doing itttt!

    But really, I’ve only been in a couple (maybe one?) non-chain record shops in my life. The one I was in did have that incense thing on. They also tried to prove how hardcore they were by selling bongs. I was like, wtf is this shit?

    I know there’s a sentimental feeling to be in a place you really enjoy. That makes perfect sense to me. But at the same time, I don’t live within a reasonable distance of a record store. Not only that, I don’t buy CDs or vinyl. So for me personally, while I like that sort of… really independent feel (to an actual record store), I also just can’t really get into going to one ’cause I don’t know what I’d by there. ):

    Marshall B

    June 30, 2008 at 1:48 am

  2. I, on the other hand, do buy vinyl–a good deal of it, actually. And I suspect that there will always be people who do; if not vinyl, at least CDs, just to have a physical copy of their music.

    Anyway, I’ve been to a number of wonderful indie record stores. Some of them do have the incense/bong thing going on which is a little… iffy. But it’s balanced out by places like Amoeba, which was seriously the size of a fuckin’ Safeway (and the one I was in was the smallest of the 3).

    The place I frequent lately is Wax Trax, which has a separate store exclusively dedicated to new & used vinyl. It makes me a happy lil camper.

    Sarah K

    June 30, 2008 at 2:51 am

  3. omg. We should find out if that can be done and start doing itttt!

    I dunno if you could do a CD–I dunno enough about digital technology to know if it would work. But theoretically, with a fine enough printer and a program to create the groove patterns, you totally could do a vinyl record–they make vinyl toys that way.

    Sarah K

    June 30, 2008 at 3:00 am

  4. That’d be sweet.

    I’m gonna have to check out Wax next time I’m in Denver. Hehe.

    Marshall B

    June 30, 2008 at 3:01 am

  5. Where is Amoeba, one of them, at least? I think I’ve heard of it…

    Jacob Z

    June 30, 2008 at 11:01 am

  6. There are 3–one in Berkeley (the one I went to when I lived there), one in San Francisco, and a huge one in L.A.

    Sarah K

    June 30, 2008 at 1:31 pm

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