I’m a record fanatic, and this obsession goes back to high school days. I loved jazz then, and would go audition Blue Note and Impulse vinyl at Wallach’s Music City, then head to Sam’s or Crane’s on Adams Boulevard in LA to buy them at a better price. I didn’t have much money. I’d buy the mono versions for a buck cheaper than stereo. I still have some of those first generation records. You could tell: there were no zip codes, it would just be New York, N.Y. 19. They’re worth something now, even if scratched and worn.
- Pedro ran the store and didn’t want to ruin his vinyl with in-store play
Modern Sound in Rio was run by a guy named Pedro who never played any music in the store. He said he didn’t want to wear out his vinyl! So one would shop in silence for Brazilian and other vinyl and cd gems from past and present. It looked like a very organized and well-run store, and seemed from the photos I’ve seen to be a serene haven for music lovers. There was also a stage where live music was performed every night of the week, featuring top names and up-and-coming acts.
In LA we have Amoeba Music, which is noisier and more hectic, but it’s always a pleasure there to browse the world music sections for the latest African cd’s, the Brazilian section for rare used vinyl, and the large jazz room for the latest stuff and occasionally find a copy of a rare cd that you’d have to pay $$$ for on Amazon.com. Plus, Amoeba doesn’t mark up rare used stuff or churn you on it. Some stores used to put all the rare stuff away for auction, so you’d never see it out on the floor. It is always with anticipation for such surprises and excitement that I enter the domain of Amoeba Music, and I leave the store contented. Like Modern Sound, Amoeba also regularly features live concerts from artists in all musical styles.
We should be grateful for the music stores that still struggle to exist in an online consumer world. Stores like Modern Sound and Amoeba are run by music lovers and keeping doors open is a labor of love. They are an endangered species. Long live the record store!!!!!!