A friend of mine manages a record store 100 miles away from me. I wish it was closer. We help each other co-promote whatever each is peddling on any level we can. Conversations over the weekend and the recent leak of a friend’s forthcoming album inspired this rant.

From the time I was old enough to scrape together the cash needed to make a purchase, I spent a significant amount of time at the local record store. There were days I wouldn’t have a penny in my pocket and still rode my FUJI 12-speed to check out what was new and request what was played next. I’d sit and read the new issues of Creem, Hit Parader, and Kerrang! as soon as they hit the magazine rack. That local record store was more of a home to me than the one my parents put overhead. I miss it.

No, not this record store
Twenty years later…my local record store never has any of the albums I’m looking for, so I order from online sources. Every magazine I now read is delivered to my mailbox by a disgruntled postal employee. The place I once called home is now occupied by the occassional snob who is too busy thinking he knows more about music than he actually does. If he’d only take the time to tell me what he’s listening to lately that’s enjoyable, he might sell a record or two. It’s disheartening to find myself avoiding the place I once loved because the clerks often make me feel uncomfortable. Piracy didn’t kill the record store for me…the record store clerk did. I hope that’s not the case for anyone at my friend’s store. /rant

The conversation I was referring to in my intro was about the effects online piracy has on the record store my friend manages. The staggering statistics of lowered sales. I hear every word he’s saying, I do. If any of you work (or have worked) at a record store, please chime in and toss my friend ideas of what you did to generate business. I’d love to find an answer for him if there is one.

Onward. My friend Jon Phillip is drummer for the band Limbeck. He’s never really had a pot to piss in for as long as I’ve known him. When I first heard that he was touring the world with the band, I had hopes that this might one day change. Limbeck’s self-titled album releases April 10. Guess what I found floating around with all the other leaks this evening?! A month and a half before the release date, it’s in everyone’s grubby little paws (including mine), free for the taking. It made me stop for a second and wonder if Jon ever will have a pot to piss in?!

Last, but certainly not least…when was the last time you turned something down that someone offered you that was free?! I’ve been trying to help my friends promote their bands. I recently posted a giveaway offering 5 free CDs and couldn’t give them away, yet in the past two days hundreds of people have visited the site? I don’t get it, people… was it too much to ask that you had to go to your mailbox to receive it? I guess the Rock Sellout giveaway will die with the record store. Sad on all accounts.