OKP attracts serious music heads like me who actually spend money on music, at locally-owned shops. Over the years, I find myself spending less time in record stores. This is partially because I’ve become very selective about what I must own in a physical format. So, I don’t buy music as much as I did 15 years ago.
But there’s another reason why: I’m not finding what I want.
This problem has led me to think about pet peeves I’ve developed over the years
Ladies and gentlemen, I present...wrekko sto pet peeves:
1. Raging against Amazon and other big box retailers. Yes, they are the bad guys, the Walmart of the web, but focus on your establishment and what you have to offer. A couple years ago, at my former favorite shop, the owner told me about Amazon’s on-demand CD-R feature as if most CDs sold by Amazon are produced on-demand. Obviously, this is false. The reality is that most CDs sold by Amazon (and by the site’s third-party Marketplace Sellers) are the same exact CDs that artists sell on their websites (see: Foreign Exchange Music), what’s sold at Best Buy, Dusty Groove, live shows/festivals, records store, etc. He was misinformed and his ignorance still befuddles me to this day. I should add that at the same shop, management recently posted a print out of an out-of-print album from Amazon. They wanted to illustrate that their price was lower (about half) than third-party marketplace sellers. On Amazon, the price started at $50 or something high. We all know Amazon, understandably, is generally cheaper. That out-of-print album was an exception. Mind you, I don’t mind local shops being more pricey. I understand and respect why.
2. Poor curation. Too many damn greatest hits collections and run-of-the-mill albums/bargain bin shit. Where are the actual albums? Do better. Develop relationships with estate planners, retiring DJs, etc.
3. Not keeping up with music news/pop culture. Example: TV One Unsung and other documentaries, along with biopics, spark renewed interest in artists. If you knew the New Edition movie was debuting in January 2017, then be thoughtful and prepare for that shit weeks beforehand. On two occasions, I’ve heard people inquire about artists that were recently the subject of a TV doc and the shops were not prepared.
4. Music Snobbery: “You just now gettin’ hip to that?” That’s what a staffer said to me at Moods Music in college 10+ years ago when I put an older Eric Roberson CD on the counter. Funny thing is, I had illegally downloaded the album years prior and was just getting around to buying the CD. Another time, the owner turned his nose up at me when I inquired about a Gretchen Parlato album, as if I asked for a goddamn Ashanti CD. I was a regular and he should have known better. The problem here is that I was a baby faced collegian who still looked like a teen, and he thought he knew more than me. The thinking was that if he had not heard of the artist, it must be some young folks’ B.S. Oh, and at the now-defunct Earwax Records in ATL, management questioned if I knew anything about AC/DC because of the shirt I was wearing. Why is it so hard to conceptualize a black girl listening to a classic rock band? It ain’t speshul. I get it. Mofos be rockin’ Metallica shirts and can’t name a single solitary song. Who cares?!
-- "Music is not to be possessed; it's to be shared.” - James Mtume
"Just stay loose, keep it raw, and bang ya drums out sometimes." - Madlib