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Wednesday, November 23

Great article in Salon about future of Record Stores

A few days ago, Salon posted an article by Pitchfork contributor Marc Hogan on a real yet mostly positive outlook on the future of independent record stores . You can read that article here. It features quotes from our friends at Wuxtry in Athens, GA, Grimey's in Nashville, Guestroom in Oklahoma, and Permanent in Chicago and LA.

Here are some choice quotes from the article:

"But the survivors aren’t going away. They’re simply changing their tune, becoming smaller and more focused. Time will tell whether that’s enough — for some, continued existence may require a whole new arrangement."

"Still, all isn’t lost. Independent record store closures have been on the decline since 2008, according to Almighty. Amoeba Records, a three-location California independent record store chain that celebrated its 20th anniversary about a year ago, was founded as a “comprehensive, one-stop music destination for everybody,” co-owner Marc Weinstein has said. But that’s an exception. More often, today’s best record stores are carefully curated, niche-oriented establishments, selling new and used vinyl to a specialized market — which tends to be found in critical mass near large cities or universities."

"So against all odds, is there reason for optimism? Hopeful music lovers do keep opening stores. Excluding mass merchants like Wal-Mart and Target, the number of record store openings has increased each of the past three years, including 62 new independent record stores so far this year, according to Almighty. After Louisville, Ky., indie ear X-tacy closed this fall, Matador Records — the label that’s home to Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the New Pornographers — pointed out in a blog post that the death of the record store has been exaggerated, and used Steady Sounds, in Richmond, Va.; Cyklopx, in Forest Park, Ill.; All Day Records, in Carrboro, N.C.; Co Op 87, in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Saki, in Chicago as examples."

"Sone existing stores are actually expanding. In Austin, Texas, End of an Ear recently added an 180-square-foot space next-door, co-owner Dan Plunkett said. In Oklahoma City, Guestroom Records is in the midst of opening a third store, located on the ground floor of a music school. In an email, co-owners Tarvis Searle and Justin Sowers pointed to their independently released offerings: “You’re not going to find many Best Buys that have big Tune-Yards, Dum Dum Girls or Oh Sees displays,” they wrote. Chicago’s Permanent Records recently opened up a second location in Los Angeles."

Keep fighting the good fight!

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