Wednesday, September 12, 2007

::A requiem for the traditional record store::

It's official, folks. The record retail outlet, as we know it, is going to hell in a handbasket. Between the accelerated number of folks legally and illegally downloading music online and the shitty state of music, we may as well prepare ourselves for the imminent demise of the "record store." I remember when I used to work as a rep for BMG Distribution's NYC branch (pre-Sony merger) not long ago. Going to different record stores in the city with an armfull of P.O.P. and zeal. Beat Street, Music Factory, and Tower Records have all since bitten the dust. Used record & CD resellers like NYC's Midnight Records and Footlight Records (above) have chosen to shutter their storefronts and operate exclusively as online retailers. All these changes in the industry will no doubt have a profound effect on the way we conceptualize music as a product. After all, how many of us can remember when the 7" single was the standard way to bow in an artist's latest full-length album?

I'm sure that pretty soon, most of us won't even leave our funky little apartments to cop music (as if some don't already). In the interim, I wonder what type of intermediary music retail spot the industry will come up with. Maybe some type of highly interactive store where we can punch up our favorite artists and plug in our iPods like 8-track cassettes and download music from some sort of sleek, hi-tech terminal. And as much as I know it will come to pass, I'm really not feeling it. So over time, I'll be spotlighting some of my favorite little record shops in NYC. Stay tuned...

Ok, I'm done talking. Chime in, already.

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