Friday, January 21, 2011
DISCHIVOLANTI - MILANO
So this is one of those places I passed when it was shut last time I was in Milan. I pressed my face against the glass in the hope it might some how meld with the liquid and allow me a kind of 'fish eye' view of the interior. This did not happen.
Anyway, last week I was sent there again for work to observe the well dressed people of what is generally regarded as Italy's fashion capital. It didn't take very long for me to pull this place up on a map and work it into my day's itinerary. Was it worth the detour? I would say so. I left with an 1976 Italian press of the frustratingly hard to find 'Tarot' album by the Cosmic Jokers. It wasn't cheap but now that that particular search is over I can rest a little and score it off my now imaginary bingo card (it was very real until I left my hard drive on a flight to Boston).
Dischivolanti is possibly the worst name for a record shop in the history of man. This is entirely because a.) I have no idea how to pronounce it or b.) what it means. I am guessing it's a head-nod to the yacht from that Bond film, that or this guy was massively impressed by that Mr Bungle album from the mid 90s. Either way he spelled it wrong.
So what of the inside of said shop? Yeah, it's not bad. I don't have much to compare it against as I've only ever been into a handful of other Italian record shops over the years, even spattering of records and CDs, few gems on the wall, unhealthy amount of what looked like static stock under the shelves. Regardless of that the owner was very friendly, I think - My Italian consists of about ten words done in a Joe Dolce 'Shaddup Your Face' style accent. Either way he smiled at me when I pointed toward the wall where the copy of 'Tarot' was sitting and seemed to understand when I said:
'Can I get that please?....Tarot...Tarrut,,,That one..,Cosmic...Yeah'
He even chipped a bit off the price which is always appreciated.
So how to rate this shop?
How to rate any of these stores that are brave enough to still be hanging in there? They should get medals. Medals but also points deducted for boring and tiresome stock. I really don't ever need to see another copy of that Christopher Cross album with the flamingos on the front.
Yeah, it was alright but Dischivolanti is not in danger of worrying the few hallowed stores that have been mentioned up to now in the 'Greatest Record Shops in the World' list but then that particular occasional feature is becoming more difficult to write on a daily basis. I mean shit, the last time I came out a new found record shop fully aroused could well be a couple of years back. Who to blame? The hoarders who refuse to die? The websites that artificially inflate the pricing structure? The landlords who would rather triple their rent and have Starbucks as a tenant?
Maybe I should try and flip this. Surely the lack of hunting grounds makes the sport all the more exciting? The competition that much fiercer... Yeah, that's it. Now I feel like one of those sailors on that island chasing down the last of the Dodo meat.
Probably tasted like chicken anyway.