Real Vinyl Record Stores
Analog vs Digital Music
Back in the day (not so long ago), you were required to actually physically travel to real vinyl record stores, maybe more than a few, to find a new record release or a remembered classic you don’t yet have. We have the ability today to quickly and efficiently electronically browse through hundreds of titles online. While that may may save a lot of time and effort, we have lost something in the process, in my humble opinion.
There was a ritual and excitement about going to the local record store that can’t be duplicated staring at the computer screen. They usually smelled “funny”, had various levels of “service” and weren’t always fully stocked – and they weren’t always in the nicest part of town.
But that was part of the fun. Because even if you didn’t always find exactly what you were looking for, almost inevitably while browsing new and used, you found something you didn’t know you needed to have – right now. The record store was the mecca of impulse buying.
While many stores had listening stations so you could check out your selections, in the end you had to hear it on your own equipment to see if it was everything you had hoped for. The music could sound very different from what you heard in the store – for better or worse. But for used records it was a must, to make sure there was an acceptable level of “hiss and crackle”.
Fortunately, there are still quite a few of these dinosaurs around. Although there have been many losses over the last couple decades (RIP Oarfolkjokeopus / Treehouse), several of my favorite shops are still chugging along. Please make a visit if you live in the area, it’s well worth the trip.
This is a nice forum discussion on the Steve Hoffman music site about Twin Cities music stores. Please take a look and maybe join in if so inclined.
Here is also a great site to find record stores in your area, please check it out since I am only listing stores I have personally experienced.
Before We Go
This is an interesting piece on a record store in the city I was born, Mankato MN. I have actually never been there but will go soon and update in our GTM News and Views on the experience.