I don’t want to come off like a snarky music person. I know with some of my music rants, readers might think I’m a bit touchy with music. That’s the point, I guess. These articles come from someone who has something to say about music and all that goes on with it. When I rant, I rant because I care, my friends.
At the end of the day, do what works for you. I can still speak of the glory and horror I see going on daily in the world of music from a first-hand perspective, and I have for many years. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I speak the truth as I see it. Calling out, talking up; my intentions are good. That I promise you.
With the cool air settling in, it’s obv many of you are like all totes stoked on getting your fav mocha-loco-iced-grande, putting on your adorbs Han Solo outfits and strolling around Southern Maine digging for treasures and so looking for all the feels. (#2017kidslingo)
In those journeys, many of you are going to look for some cool records to bring home. Since record shops are going to get busier, let’s visit a few quick things shoppers and store owners need to keep in mind to make it a nice time for all.
Elbow Room – I know when you walk in a record store it’s cool and you’re blown away at all the racks of vinyl with these rock stars' faces staring back at you. You just want to wander freely and swing your $14 cup of coffee all around. Please remember though you’re not the only one in there. (If you’re not the only one in there). Be cautious of your moves. Let people breathe and search with some space. For collectors who constantly “dig” for records, boundaries are important.
I visited a shop a couple weeks ago in New Hampshire and got jammed bad. I was knee deep in the “C” rows somewhere between Cheap Trick and Chicago. Out the corner of my eye I saw a questionable guy slowly walking my way. Keep in mind this store is huge. Thousands and thousands of records to check out. CD's, 45's and other collectibles.
As I flipped through Dream Police into Chicago Transit Authority this guy made his way creepily right next to me. The kicker is he didn’t go to the start of the “A” section four rows over. He jumped right into the “B’s”, which put him elbow to elbow with me. Before you think I’m just being too touchy, how would you feel if you were buying a skirt or a case of beer or a jar of salsa and someone was up against your elbows? Yeah, no fun. Oh, but it got worse.
After he picked up that I wasn’t moving for him he scattered down to the “E” maybe for some Escape Club and in comes the worst space invader of all time. This woman floated around the store aimlessly for ten minutes with hair as wacky as Robert Smith of the Cure. She beams over to “C” where I’m flipping through and tries to dive into the records I’ve been standing in front of for the past six minutes. Now you might say maybe she wanted something in the “C” row. Nope. She had no direction at all. Even if she wanted Cher or Ry Cooder, you're supposed to wait. In any situation, you wait your turn. We learn that as children. I was so annoyed I had to bolt away. I spun out towards the soundtracks section, half the store away. While I was being jammed, another pet peeve was happening that lasted the better part of 20 minutes!
Sound On Please – There really should be a fine record stores should have to pay for not playing any music for more than three minutes. I know sometimes employees get to pick what to play next when its their turn and all, but get that action back on quick, people! A quiet record store might as well shut the front door. As I was still dodging these space invaders near the “W’s” now, not a note was played on the house stereo. You can’t let that happen. Silence is a killer in record stores. Always have music on. It also helps drown out foolish questions like, “Do you have the new Papa Roach on vinyl?” Luckily this guy made good by putting on a Tiny Tim record. Bonus points.
It all seems like common sense right? Not so much. With new people finding the exciting world of buying vinyl in 2017, we need to speak up about unspoken laws to make it a pleasant time for all of us!
Please don’t cut off people or get too close to their flipping. Spread yourself out at least four letters away. Me at The Pogues means you at least at Talking Heads. Keep music on at all times in the shop. Be proud, play great things! If you’re trying to sell used vinyl, don’t think you’re gonna make tons of money because they’re “old records”. If you check out a record, be careful how you put it back in the sleeve. Don’t brag about your collection. Don’t talk about the Beatles in record stores. Someone is about to walk in who knows so much more about them than you do.
Most importantly, go to every record store you can, over and over again. Give them your business and have a blast.
Oh and don’t get me started on people talking on their phones...