I will confess that I am responsible for the decline of music stores. Splurging on a $20 Pixies CD was something I once considered a failsafe mood booster when I was feeling down and out in College Park. But that practice became damagingly expensive and less practical as time went on and the idea of owning “stuff” seemed quaint and wasteful. That means I lost the joy of going browsing, and music shops suffered and closed, and I can’t say I feel that bad about it. But we lost the joy of going and searching for physical music, which is indeed a real calming boost of brain chemicals. So this is why we buy vinyl now, for the joy of thumbing through and collecting, the idea that maybe listening to a whole album and not just a Spotify Discover playlist has some value, whether it’s artistic value or the zen of just letting it play.
One of your best chances of the year to do some of the record browsing is coming up this weekend: the semi-annual Gold Dig record sale is taking place Saturday in Gowanus, and it’s got more than 10,000 records for just $1 each, including some secretly hidden gems. (more…)