» Blog Archive Nobody Asked ME?! The Record Store IS NOT DEAD! -
Hunter Young News, Streaming

NAM PhotoIt’s that time again, where my un-asked-for opinion assaults your eyes! Today, it’s less me bitching and moaning about things, and more bringing to light that music, while becoming less original and more instantaneous thanks to the digital epoch that is now upon us, there are still bastions of places that do there best to cater to the bands, and by doing so, keep the spirit of the record store alive and well. Just without actual records. Or stores. Just go with it! More after the jump!

If you grew up in the halcyon days of physical music media, things like cds, 45s, 33s, and any other vinyl size, you knew the excitement of going to a record store and looking through EVERYTHING. It was a physical thrill, one that really isn’t felt browsing iTunes, which isn’t bad, if you only want music they approve. Going to a record store (I like Waterloo Records in Austin, TX, if we are swapping music holes) is like coming to church: you feel the music, you smell the music, and by Jesus’ own athlete’s foot, you will touch as much music as possible. It’s a true music library, except you don’t have to bring the things back. You don’t want to talk too loudly, as that might interrupt the rapture you had, or attract sale people. Never attract Sales People.

The very act of touching the item itself, more so with vinyl than cd, just makes you consider your musical choices more. It’s a direct link from what the artist hears in their soul to what you hear out of the speakers. It’s hearing God whistle what your soul sounds like. I’m actually speaking more towards analog vs digital, but its under the same umbrella. Vinyl is DIFFERENT. and that difference makes the places it congregates different. However, with the advent of digital music space, plus music tools and programs on computer, vinyl was relegated to boxes adn almost to the mists of time. Now not so with labels like STB Records and Poisoned Mind Records. Along with the recent resurrection of this media, the whole vibe from going to the store is coming back, with direct-from-artist sites like Bandcamp, Mixcloud, Reverbnation.com, or Soundcloud. We have places where bands put up their new vinyls, where you get singles, splits, LPs, EPs, extended records, and whatever other madcap creations bands want to give.

Directly to you.

And with continued independent releases, an endless stream of recommendations, no matter how esoteric or eclectic the band, new music is at the forefront for the discerning audiophile. No longer is one at the mercy of large music providers like Apple, Google, or Amazon (both Google and Amazon are the least evil out of the huge market providers, in my opinion), who tend to release more the mainstream of popular stuff. You try finding a good stream of Doom or Stoner bands on iTunes. Their tagging sucks, and they only have the big releases recommended. With places like Bandcamp, you have an entire tag to search, and while there are some Things That Should Not Be, you’ll find more new music there than almost any other store/streaming site.

Which is also a whole nother issue! All large sellers have a “sample” available of most, if not all, tracks available on their available records, but this isn’t what I want. How am I supposed to know if I like the song by just a 30-90 second, random clip of the song? What if the band just switches to Mariachi right as the clip is ending, and I don’t know that?! How could you do that Google?! HOW DO YOU SLEEP AT NIGHT?! This is extreme, but I love that Bandcamp and others let you listen to the available tracks, all the way through, for free, and you can buy tons of what you like for free, or for damn cheap. It’s like handing out chocolate bars as samples: everybody wins, because I am a fat kid who loves chocolate and music.

So, if you aren’t impressed by the lack of new stuff coming down the pike, or you just hate the mainstream bullshit, Check out some other places, like mentioned above. You’ll have a much better idea of what’s out there, you can communicate directly with the bands, vote with your dollars, find new music on the cheap, and support your favorite bands directly, instead of the corporate machines that just want that moolah.

Bonus: If you’re looking for a new extreme band, like say in the Sludge category, I believe Thou has a ridiculously huge sale on most of their albums on Bandcamp, lots of free and <$5 albums.

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