Ever since my childhood I have dreamed of owning my own little record shop. Movies like Empire Records and High Fidelity have only fueld the passion. I long for a Cheers-like place where everyone knows your name; where the guy behind the register knows as much about your musical tastes as he does about your goldfish, Wanda. Unfortunately, with the musical revolution that is the ipod, this dream is looking exactly like that, a dream.
Indie record stores are on their way out. In the LA Times on Friday morning there was an article written by Geoff Boucher titled “Indie record stores doing slow fade out.” The article talks about two storied indie record stores in LA that are closing their doors forever, which is extremely sad, but what really caught my attention were the numbers he quoted from a group called the Almighty Institute of Music Retail. Ten years ago there were around 5,000 music shops and now there are only about 2,800; 1,000 having closed in the last 3 years. According to the article, part of the blame can be attributed to large chains such as Tower, and Best Buy but even their sales are beginning to suffer.
We are experiencing a musical revolution, and the medium we use to get music is changing. It’s an exciting time to live. Music is easier to access and in some ways easier to produce, which gives us a greater variety of artists for our listening pleasure. Unfortunately, it’s this same revolution that’s crushing my dream.