Monday, January 12, 2009

Reason #1 Why I Live in Misery: No Record Stores*

There are no record stores in COMO. Sure, this is not an indictment on the entire state of Misery, but it is my current home and thus deserves a complaint. I realize that St. Louis has Vintage Vinyl, Jeff City has that one used record shop (JT's, I believe), and Kansas City probably has something. However, that all translates into long car rides just to find a decent inventory of records.

Don't tell me that Slackers, Streetside, and Wal-Mart should fill my needs for quality record choices. They don't. I often find that none of these stores has what I'm looking for unless it's a new release and on a Tuesday (the day new releases hit the stores). Hopes of finding anything older than this week is hit-or-miss. What should I expect? Most of the stores in this town rely as much or more on video game and used movie sales as they do music. So, they're rather unlikely to stock any decent vinyl or the next Swearing at Motorist record.

I would give an honorable mention to Happy Time Media, a decent used record shop. However, they rarely have anything interesting or different. When they do have something worth a listen, the price is jacked up.

The record store situation is so bad here that I have had to resort to ordering most of my records (especially vinyl) online from Insound. The good thing is that nearly everything I am looking for can be found (with eBay as a supplemental source). The bad thing is that a record store in New York can only get orders to Misery so fast. My first new purchase of the year (Animal Collective's much-anticipated Merriweather Post Pavilion) is already on back-order. Plus, I am still waiting on a shipment of assorted older records to land on my doorstep any day now.

I remember the days when I could just go to the store and buy records in-person. The only waiting was at the cash register, behind the girl with used records by The Smiths and Cindy Lauper plus Motorhead CD. My store was Used Kids (with Magnolia Thunderpussy filling in the holes). If Used Kids didn't have it in vinyl, there was a copy on CD. If they didn't have it on CD, there was probably a used/promo copy for seven bucks. If they still didn't have it, they knew of six other bands you should be buying instead. Sadly, there is no Used Kids in COMO. Besides myself and R, there are maybe ten people in this town that know the wonder that is Used Kids. Tragic.

So, this is the number one reason why I call the place in which I live "Misery": There are no record stores.

*A note from comoprozac about this post: In an ongoing series of posts for this blog, I will attempt to give all the reasons why I actually live in Misery. This will answer my many critics who don't get irony, cynicism, or puns. Although each item will be numbered, they are in no particular order. I will just post a complaint about the state I'm in as they come to me. Enjoy.


abby said...

Have you ever been to Shake-It in Cincinnati/Northside? You should stop in the next time you're around these parts.

ks said...

I absolutely hate the record stores in Atlanta, save Decatur CD (a tiny little gem in a see of shit). I know I'm supposed to think that Criminal Records is "all that" and that Wax n Facts is a "super place" to track down new/used vinyl, but I just don't. I've seen good shops, and these just don't cut it.

I was so spoiled in Columbus and even more so in Louisville to have ear X-tacy -- the best indie record store EVER....10,000 sq. feet of heaven. [henceforth referred to as 'mecca'] If you ever travel thru L'ville, GO. Do not collect $200; do not go to jail; just GO to ear x-tacy.

These days, I resort to downloaded albums, buying online, and my semi-annual (sometimes tri-annual) trek to mecca when I visit the 'rents in Louisville.

I can spend up to 2 hours wandering around ear x-tacy, listening to music, scouring the bins, picking up CDs, putting them down, and picking them up again. It's rare that I get out w/out spending $100. The shopping environments of both Criminal Records and WaxNFacts don't encourage this kind of experience, and Decatur CD is just too small (though the owner is really nice and the prices are great). Also, I enjoy seeing members of some of my favorite bands (Rodan,Rachels Band, June of 44, etc) working behind the counter.

So, I can sympathize, but you definitely have it WAY worse than me. I'm just are geographically-challenged.

ks said...

wow, I spelled "sea" wrong (see: "in a see of shit"). I'm pretty smart.

Stevi said...

So are Whizz (10th St) and Apop (Locust) both gone? It's been awhile since I've been by either location. But they're both still listed online.

comoprozac said...

Yes, I do believe I've been to Shake-It, but it was a long time ago if I'm thinking of the right place.

Yeah, some metro areas just suck ass. You've mentioned Ear X-tacy before. It's certainly on my list to check out.

Whizz and Apop are gone. I never saw a store called Whizz since moving here. Apop still exists in STL, though.