Sunday, January 1, 2012


Record shop wise, the last thing I remember is leaving Edinburgh's Avalanche records after bidding farewell to the owner. We chatted, he was less than hopeful about the future and the volume of stock Vs available space told a similar story. Plastic carrier in hand I nodded cordially at the attractive girl behind the counter and stepped out into a wet Scottish Summers day spying my wife and pram bound Son sat on a bench across the road.

Fast forward to January 1st 2012 and what's changed?

A huge chunk of last year was spent rediscovering the delights of late 80's to mid 90's (specifically 1993) Indie music, started as a US only obsession but soon blossomed to include acts as diverse as Felt and Chapterhouse. Sounds awful doesn't it? Well it's kept me pretty chuffed and I've spent approximately 100th of what I was caning on records this time last year.

The rest of my time was taken up by a shed load of personal and geographical change. It would also appear that I have walked away from a habit that has defined me for the past two or three decades.

I have quit record shopping.

Yes I still buy music, CDs mostly but that overwhelming urge to spend days on end trawling dead and dying record stores is gone. Just before Christmas I passed by Rat Records (It appears to be my de facto local and I wondered what was on offer). I don't doubt that five years back it would have been well worth a bi-weekly visit but now? Sure there were a few choice pieces on the counter but 99% of the shop was dry.

Am I saying that the game is up? That it's all about the internet? No. You just have to look further a field. Get creative. Go to the source like these guys...

(Great, no exceptional site by the way Elion. If you don't do this full time you should)

But that's only going to work if you get off on Geographically specific music, and even then you can bet somebody got there well and truly before you. Just discovered the 70s Lagos scene or Trinidadian Funk? Guess what, so did somebody else, somebody with the air-miles and fiscal means to take home small chunks of the country in question. Anyway, I'm rambling, it's not even about that. Rat Records had a copy of Ornette Coleman's 'Of Human Feelings', the one with 'Times Square' on it for four quid. I could have turned it the same day but the thought of it flapping against my leg on the walk home was too much for me. I'm just done with it.

I mean, will I still stop by the occasional record shop on my travels? Yes. Will I obsess to the extent I used to? I hope not. I get my pleasures in a far more simple way now, my album of the year is freely available to buy for less than a fiver and the thing that's making me happiest at the moment is Shack's 'HMS Fable'. Besides, I may have developed a soft furnishings habit.

So what for the blog? Who knows, I'm still trying to work that out.

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