Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Record Store

The podcast that I selected to listen to was Sounding Out! Episode #6: Spaces of Listening/The record Shop.  I have written a feature story about the resurgence of record stores over the past several years so I was immediately drawn to the topic to hear what the contributors in the podcast had to say about the current state of the record store.  After listening to the piece I have developed some conclusions on what it was about.  I believe that it is mainly about those featured in the story (record store owners, patrons, academics, musicians etc.) telling their favorite stories about growing up going to record stores and how that shaped their music taste by being suggested different pieces of music, hearing the music in the store or even just stumbling upon a physical copy while in the store that appeared to be intruiging that they eventually bought.  They touch upon the ritual of the moment of exchange in the record store i.e. exchanging money for something physical tangible, a vinyl record or CD.  This is something that for those that do not collect physical copies of music, especially in my genereation, do not experience, which truly makes a piece of music that much more special to an individual.

It can be inferred that those featured in the podcast are of an older generation when everyone went to the record store and that is where they discovered new music primarily.  Something that is stated by several of the contributors is that today with the disconnect that the internet has brought to the music industry and music culture, the younger generation is perhaps missing out on a large part of their music development because they are not going to record stores and asking the clerk or store owner what they suggest or even debate against their taste.  In part I think this argument is true.  Although I collect vinyl myself, I generally have an idea of what I am going to buy before I go into the store because it is something I have discovered and believe that it will sound good on vinyl, I almsot have never asked the record store clerk a music specific question I mostly just ask them if they have the record I am looking for.

As for the podcast itself and the production elements implemented, the structure was very effective and the plethora of contributors made it extremely intruiging because you were not hearing the same voice the entire time.  One particular element that I doubt was intentional but provoked my thoughts was that I was very drawn to the song that played at the beginning and end of the podcast but the song was never identified by the main narrator or in the description of the podcast.  I thought that related nicely to what a lot of the people in the podcast were talking about when they were in a record store and heard something playing and were drawn to the sound and asked the clerk, hey what is that? There is such an information overload on the internet that even though we can find almost any recorded music ever, it is not as authentic as hearing something in a physical space, it feels much more processed.  If this were my podcast I would have probably included more music throughout the piece perhaps as an example of the sounds that the contributors in the podcast remember hearing in the record store.  Other than that it was very well executed and engaging, bringing to attention a topic that I am incredibly drawn to.

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