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Demise of the Record store
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GoldenBull



Joined: 10 Jan 2008
Posts: 7012

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nonwave wrote:
lately it doesn't seem like the record stores in my area are stocking the music i actually want, so i've been using mailorder most of the time. there ya go. if they had what i want, i might buy it there.


That is pretty much the point. No record store can stock everything everyone wants, but the internet provides unlimited "shelf space" virtually for free. Only the world's worst businessman would fail to see the advantage.

I'm actually surprised that this is such an issue for metalheads. Extreme metal has always been obscure, with the exception of a couple of brief booms in popularity (which still never even approached the level of mainstream). Long before the internet became what it is, mailorder was the only way to get most metal albums.

The nostalgic aspect of licking a stamp and stuffing an envelope is a big deal to many, I am sure, but beyond that it has no value. It is simply a means to an end, to obtain a record you want. Clicking "buy" or "send message" on a trading board is not the same thing, but it has the same value.
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Caina



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I this is all affected in part by the gradual homogenization of the town-centre shopping experience - in an 'average' city in the UK nowadays, the city centre malls and outlets will all have exactly the same 'entertainment' shops carrying the same stock, which is completely at odds with the indie record store model of stocking a wide variety of niche items, with the money being made in a trickle from various outlets (including gig promotion, ticket sales, band-produced merch being sold in the stores etc) rather than in a torrent from the same few-hundred CDs being sold over and over again.

In Brighton, where i'm originally from, there are around 10-12 indie record stores which seem to be thriving, because the town itself is and always has been a haven for artists and weirds-with-beards of various types, who have actively resisted this homogenization in everything to food/coffee places to record stores (Fopp died an ugly death there for example, and Starbucks is always empty). The environment is still right for that kind of shop to exist - for how much longer I can't say, but there's something about all of them being in a couple of square miles, in amongst other types of independent shops, that makes you want to spend money in them, even if that means you might pay a few quid more than if you'd got it off the internet.

I totally agree that downloading is weakening the industry as a whole, but the wholesale uniformity of the modern high-street is also doing it's bit. Who can honestly say they 'loved' going into HMV to pick up the new Beherit? It's a vicious circle - the high-street gets bought up by big chains, the indie stores die - the high street becomes boring and feels overpriced for the 'experience' you get there, people stop bothering to buy stuff, the record industry suffers.
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GoldenBull



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with that as well. No matter what happens to the market, there will always be shops that do well and survive, especially if they are placed in an area where their clientele are likely to gather in large numbers.

But I do not think that downloading is weakening the industry. That is an illusion. Downloading IS the industry. Record labels are just taking way too long to realize it.

For me, finding a great metal/punk record in a shop has always been a really rare treat. I don't think that will ever change.
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into the pit



Joined: 25 Oct 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kapalika wrote:
@ into the pit:
Are you referring to Scheibenkleister? If so - yeah, it is a killer store!
That particular store is more or less a sencond hand store but they do stock a small selection of new cds and vinyls.
I regularly visit it, also because I get items like protective sleeves and whatnot there.


yes of course. I also buy protective sleeves there and LP mailers (although they were out today Sad), he cleans your records professionally when needed etc.

I guess it's all due to the owner(s).

just been there today and picked up a killer discharge LP for 10 bucks, what else do you need?
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throneofmight



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

any music shop round here is expensive...mail ordering is the only way to get what I like!
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Conservationist
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldenBull wrote:
That is pretty much the point. No record store can stock everything everyone wants, but the internet provides unlimited "shelf space" virtually for free. Only the world's worst businessman would fail to see the advantage.


Sounds like there's too much music, and not enough clear winners. Ah, niche, a form of entropy. Awesome.
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GoldenBull



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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conservationist wrote:
GoldenBull wrote:
That is pretty much the point. No record store can stock everything everyone wants, but the internet provides unlimited "shelf space" virtually for free. Only the world's worst businessman would fail to see the advantage.


Sounds like there's too much music, and not enough clear winners. Ah, niche, a form of entropy. Awesome.


Not really. It's just that most people in this world do not give a second thought to what the "quality" of their music choices might be. The masses are unpretentious and pursue nothing but entertainment. The merit of this approach is an entirely different debate, but a lack of quality is not the problem, nor is it the cause of the decline in record stores' livelihoods. Nobody is even considering it. This is the natural effect of a technological shift in the way products are sold, and nothing more.

In order for Entropy to happen here there must have been some order beforehand. Limitation of space in which to sell shit does not constitute order. This isn't chaos, it is democracy. Love it or hate it, of course. Laughing
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Pro Abortion



Joined: 15 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldenBull wrote:
The masses are unpretentious and pursue nothing but entertainment.


oh the masses are pretentious. they're as pretentious as anyone. The masses LOVE to show off whatever they're currently into whether they're being "elitist" about it or not.

a lack of quality is NEVER the problem, Conservationist. a bunch of great metal, better than anything we've seen thus far, wouldn't help out metal record stores at all, it's MP3s to blame.
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blodhemn9



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the bottom line is this:
Metal fans,punk fans and other genres on the fringes of the music spectrum are simply not the ones paying the music industries bills.
These giant companies cater to those who seek the 'quick fix', which is an epidemic in modern society, especially in America. These people (mostly youth) want it, and they want it NOW. That is why digital music sales are so profitable.
My younger sister(19), has an Ipod filled with about 3,000 songs, and I don't think she even has an entire album on there! Its just hit singles and whatever bullshit is popular. She downloads crap from Itunes all the time and tells me that she is a huge music fan and claims that music is 'her life'...yet she cannot name a single band/group that is not available for purchase at Best Buy/Walmart/the mall. This is the mentality of todays mainstream music fan.
Record stores cater to what is becoming more and more of a niche crowd....however, owning a store is a business, and they have to be smart about it unless they want to close up shop. That's why many of them do internet orders through their stores, in an effort to at least grab SOME of that market. In the near future, these stores will only be able to survive in big cities, places where the music they sell has a (relatively)large and profitable fan base.
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GoldenBull



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pro Abortion wrote:
GoldenBull wrote:
The masses are unpretentious and pursue nothing but entertainment.


oh the masses are pretentious. they're as pretentious as anyone. The masses LOVE to show off whatever they're currently into whether they're being "elitist" about it or not.



Showing off is not pretentiousness, it is simply pride. Again, whether there is anything in most music collections worthy of pride is entirely up to the beholder. But honestly, what I meant was that the masses do not invent critical theories that explain why their cd collection is going to bring about a Nietzschean revolution or other bullshit like that. They just buy what they like and play it loud. Ironically enough this is one case in which I think they have the right idea, regardless of the shitty music they are buying.

And the "niche" idea has some merit, but I think that market was already there. How many people have been buying underground music for years, in metal, in punk, in techno, and in every other possible genre? Millions of people with their own particular tastes, ranging from mainstream to obscure are now presented with a world where anything is available as readily as anything else. In this environment no physical store can compete. But why would they even want to? For the most part opening a record store has never been a ticket to being a millionaire, and people who open them simply want to run a shop that they love. Anybody who wants to try and start the next Amazon can go right ahead, and anybody who wants to start a vinyl shop can too. But I agree that outside of big cities it would be damn near impossible to sustain a business like that.

(Those of you who live down the street from a metal shop can suck it, by the way) Laughing Laughing Laughing
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Conservationist
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

blodhemn9 wrote:
yet she cannot name a single band/group that is not available for purchase at Best Buy/Walmart/the mall. This is the mentality of todays mainstream music fan.


This has always been the mentality of most.

Then there's those who buy niche.

But niche stores are failing except in the hippie boutiques Caina describes.

What does this mean?

Oh, and movies and fiction are also in trouble, in parallel.

Wonder what that means? lol
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blodhemn9



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GoldenBull wrote:
Pro Abortion wrote:
GoldenBull wrote:
The masses are unpretentious and pursue nothing but entertainment.


oh the masses are pretentious. they're as pretentious as anyone. The masses LOVE to show off whatever they're currently into whether they're being "elitist" about it or not.



(Those of you who live down the street from a metal shop can suck it, by the way) Laughing Laughing Laughing


..Eh, I'd rather not.

It has it's downsides though...like hanging out there drinking, then spending money you don't have because you 'know this vinyl/cd won't be here next week ' !
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GoldenBull



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conservationist wrote:
blodhemn9 wrote:
yet she cannot name a single band/group that is not available for purchase at Best Buy/Walmart/the mall. This is the mentality of todays mainstream music fan.


This has always been the mentality of most.

Then there's those who buy niche.

But niche stores are failing except in the hippie boutiques Caina describes.

What does this mean?

Oh, and movies and fiction are also in trouble, in parallel.

Wonder what that means? lol


It means the entertainment industry is falling apart. We should toast to it!
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blodhemn9



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conservationist wrote:
blodhemn9 wrote:
yet she cannot name a single band/group that is not available for purchase at Best Buy/Walmart/the mall. This is the mentality of todays mainstream music fan.


This has always been the mentality of most.

Then there's those who buy niche.

But niche stores are failing except in the hippie boutiques Caina describes.

What does this mean?

Oh, and movies and fiction are also in trouble, in parallel.

Wonder what that means? lol


Fiction I don't care much about, I prefer to read non-fiction 90% of the time.

I don't agree that film is in trouble.....As the horror movie thread showed us, there is still a vast well spring of visionary directers out there making great films, in all genres....if one takes the time to seek them out. I think film is an art form that is here to stay for the long hall. That is an industry that is affected by the switch to digital files as well, but not as much as music is. After all, who the fuck wants to watch films on a 3" screen ???
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HotBlack



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Underground stores here in Japan can keep going, albeit meagerly. There are 3 genuine metal dedicated shops where I live with real metal maniacs working at them. Yesterday I picked up Sempiternal Deathreign - The Spooky Gloom orig Foundation 2000 for about $10... stopped in another on the way back and found another copy of Putrid Offal / Exulcerate split in the discount bin for $5! ...which is great cause I had traded that away recently. Long live ye olde metal shoppe!
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