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Re: [ARSCLIST] Record Store day (April 19)
I can't add to the recent discussion of record stores being dead or not, eBay
taking their place or not, but would like to relate the actual experience I
had on Record Store Day. First, I learned of it from the ARSC listserv over
Saturday-morning coffee (thanks, ARSC). We got the sudden desire for a day trip
to a record store. Living in the rural southwestern corner of Michigan,
where there are no record stores, I knew that such existed in Ann Arbor and
Detroit to the east and Chicago to the west, with drive times of up to several hours
on boring and often crowded interstate highways. Searching
www.recordstoreday.com revealed a small chain of indie record stores in Fort Wayne, Indiana,
Wooden Nickel Music, a couple of hours away by old-fashioned national highways.
Their Web site (www.woodennickelmusicfortwayne.com) featured the Record Store
Day logo and promised live music sprinkled throughout the day at each of
their three stores. We jumped in the car and headed out.
When we arrived at the store we picked, Record Store Day LP's emblazoned one
wall and musicians were setting up at the rear of the room. The room was
stuffed with browser bins, many of them full of used LP's; there was some new
vinyl at the front. The featured band was the five-member Possum Trot Orchestra,
an "old-time music" aggregation local to Fort Wayne and headed up by one John
Minot, professor of folklore at Indiana University/Purdue University Fort
Wayne. John had a new book available, 78 Blues, Folksongs and Phonographs in the
American South. I liked the comment in the acknowledgments, "This book is
lovingly dedicated to my wife, Linda, and our daughter, Janet, who have learned
to live most graciously with someone who puts records before real life," and
therefore put John's book in my stash, along with a number of classical, jazz
and pop LP's I had already found at reasonable prices. The band's music was fun
and engaging, introducing me to a kind of music not at all familiar to me.
Store owner Robert Roets was video taping the performance, for putting up on
the store Web site. He found plenty of time to speak with us about his
business, a main part of which was his passion for music and records.
While I was pleased with what I had found and heard at Wooden Nickel, the
people I saw in the store rustling through and picking out vinyl presented the
most rewarding experience. In my mid 60's, I was perhaps the oldest person
there! Two sets of much younger folks caught my attention in particular and
became photographic subjects for my digital SLR camera. I have no hard evidence
for all of the detail in the following descriptions but this is what I imagine I
saw: (1) a young black fellow, perhaps 12 or 13 years old, going through LP's
with his mom, each separately but commenting on each other's choices, and (2)
a young man in his 20's, whom I later saw going through vinyl with what had
to be his dad and a blonde lady who was either Dad's second wife or girlfriend
(pardon any overactive imagination), all participating.
So in the end, there is perhaps hope for a record store, fueled by the young
people I saw at Wooden Nickel Music.