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condor View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: When did music shops start getting worse?
    Posted: December 02 2017 at 13:39
I can remember Virgin, on three floors, with headphone stations where you could sample any music before buying it.

Now there is only HMV, on one floor, with no headphone stations and more DVDs than CDs.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 15:31
I guess the obvious answer is technology and how it's changed the consumer market with direct and easy access to almost any recorded music.   But it may also be that music as a listening activity has changed.   I talk about this in my Rock Culture thread and how the joy of listening seems different now; more about having and hearing music rather than exploring it.   The difference between looking deeply at a painting vs. just enjoying having it on a wall.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 16:10
It's not just music stores though, the same thing has also happened to movie and video game stores. Many of them have completely shut down or only sell online now.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 16:30
For me, ages ago...  Not many shops sell Prog music...Unhappy

Seems we are doomed to shopping on-line..Ouch
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 16:54
I'm lucky enough to have a few record stores in the general area (of at tops, a 30-40 minute commute).  There's a regional chain called Rasputin, which is okay.  They mainly have mainstream stuff, but every once in awhile, I'll find some hidden gems.  Prices aren't bad, either.  My favorite, though, is Amoeba.  They have three locations in Berkeley, San Fran and Hollywood.  The Hollywood location is my absolute favorite record store on the planet. They have everything.  I usually have to settle for the Berkeley location, though, and it's still pretty solid.  A lot of rarer, hard to find things and a ton of the Record Store Day releases (along with the mainstream stuff).  Better yet, they're even cheaper than Rasputin.  I grew up in Montana, where they don't even know what music is, so I know all too well the pain of not being able to personally shop for music.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 17:12
Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.





Edited by Atavachron - December 02 2017 at 17:13
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 17:16
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.




Yeah, I checked that location out and only stayed for about 10 minutes.  Really disappointed in it.  Honestly, Berkeley's Rasputin and Amoeba is stronger overall.  Even Pleasant Hill's Rasputin (closest to me) is way better than SF's Rasputin.  
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 17:44
Originally posted by condor condor wrote:

HMV

Well there's your problem...

Big chain stores tend to be crappy since they're more interested in profit than the music, which means stooping to the lowest common denominator and pushing to sell DVDs, clothes, and accessories more heavily than music. There are still plenty of fantastic local record stores all over the place, though, that are in business for the love of the music. 
when i was a kid a doller was worth ten dollers - now a doller couldnt even buy you fifty cents
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 18:18
Originally posted by MillsLayne MillsLayne wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.

Yeah, I checked that location out and only stayed for about 10 minutes.  Really disappointed in it.  Honestly, Berkeley's Rasputin and Amoeba is stronger overall.  Even Pleasant Hill's Rasputin (closest to me) is way better than SF's Rasputin.  


The last few years I lived near San Jose (moved to WA in 2012) Rasputin's in SJ and Fremont were the only decent prog stores left.  The SJ location was massive and had amazing sections for goth, metal & psych with a pretty good prog section as well.  Wouldn't surprise me if all the south bay locations have shut down by now Unhappy   There was also Streetlight records in SJ and Santa Cruz and while they had a huge selection there wasn't a lot of prog on the shelves...

Before that the best south bay area prog store by a mile was CD Warehouse.  Huge knowledgeable prog section with tons of French imports...shoot they even had Marillion do an in-store mini-set in '91 with Hogarth, Rothery & Trewavas.  Early 2000's though they changed mgmt and dumped all the prog going techno/dance/etc...
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 22:04
^ I remember when Streetlight opened on 24th St. in SF in the 70s.   The one on Castro closed after 35 years just a little while back.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2017 at 22:29
I've been to the Streetlight in Santa Cruz.  I liked the selection for sure, but it was a little pricier than I was hoping for.  They did have some rarer selections, though, which was nice for a change.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2017 at 02:38
Originally posted by Magnum Vaeltaja Magnum Vaeltaja wrote:

Originally posted by condor condor wrote:

HMV

Well there's your problem...

Big chain stores tend to be crappy since they're more interested in profit than the music, which means stooping to the lowest common denominator and pushing to sell DVDs, clothes, and accessories more heavily than music. There are still plenty of fantastic local record stores all over the place, though, that are in business for the love of the music. 


Not necessarily

The two chain stores still present in Brussels (FNAC & Mediamarkt) have very competent and passionate music managers (though in the former case, the guy is a prog-hating punker) and know what to buy and cater to whatever public still coming to their places... But does it take a bit of getting used to listen to whatever you want to hear on the headphones while watching others buying laundrymachines, expresso machines or computers




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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2017 at 22:31
HMV's CD section has been shrinking for years as the DVD and T-shirt section has been expanding.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2017 at 22:39
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.


The Amoeba in SF has a good psych/prog section. I was just down in LA a month ago and went to the Amoeba for the first time. While much bigger, they didn't have a prog section at all :(  Everything was simply in with the general pop / rock section. They still had a great selection but i wish they had it segregated. The Rasputin's in Campbell has a prog section. Luckily there are several of the Raspy's around. All the other's are slowly disappearing. The Streetlight in SF went out but there is one in San Jose and Santa Cruz. Of course i've spent a fortune keeping their doors open LOL

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 03 2017 at 23:11
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.
The Amoeba in SF has a good psych/prog section. I was just down in LA a month ago and went to the Amoeba for the first time. While much bigger, they didn't have a prog section at all :(  Everything was simply in with the general pop / rock section.

Yeah at least SF has a P/P section.   I've always wanted to see a prog/fusion b&m shop in the Bay... not a promising niche these days I suppose.

"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."   -- John F. Kennedy
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2017 at 00:10
Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.




The Amoeba in SF has a good psych/prog section. I was just down in LA a month ago and went to the Amoeba for the first time. While much bigger, they didn't have a prog section at all :(  Everything was simply in with the general pop / rock section. They still had a great selection but i wish they had it segregated. The Rasputin's in Campbell has a prog section. Luckily there are several of the Raspy's around. All the other's are slowly disappearing. The Streetlight in SF went out but there is one in San Jose and Santa Cruz. Of course i've spent a fortune keeping their doors open LOL


Bought my first Magma album at Amoeba in Berkley. Right down the street was Rasputin. Only 2 places in the early 90s I could count on any prog that wasn't on a major label. You could find the RPI stuff hidden in the "international" section of Rasputin.

To answer the op: Growing up in Fresno record stores were always crap. Getting anything good required the 3 hour drive to the bay area. Now I'm near Seattle so the picking is far superior. So "getting worse" does not match my personal experience.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2017 at 02:23
Originally posted by Sean Trane Sean Trane wrote:

Originally posted by Magnum Vaeltaja Magnum Vaeltaja wrote:

Originally posted by condor condor wrote:

HMV

Well there's your problem...

Big chain stores tend to be crappy since they're more interested in profit than the music, which means stooping to the lowest common denominator and pushing to sell DVDs, clothes, and accessories more heavily than music. There are still plenty of fantastic local record stores all over the place, though, that are in business for the love of the music. 


Not necessarily  The two chain stores still present in Brussels (FNAC & Mediamarkt) have very competent and passionate music managers (though in the former case, the guy is a prog-hating punker) and know what to buy and cater to whatever public still coming to their places... But does it take a bit of getting used to listen to whatever you want to hear on the headphones while watching others buying laundrymachines, expresso machines or computers





An additional comment from a non american or UK reader which could complement Sean Trane reply: as a french canadian living in Paris , France (this gives more than one thing in common with Sean; i guess) i enjoy very much going to Gibert Joseph on boul St-Michel, downtown. At first a bookstore, it still features huge selections of videos or records, of which there is a specific section for prog. Actually the whole store is built on the principle of specialised sections (POP, Alternative, Hard/Metal, World and so on ) with senior salesmen well (in)formed. Actually it reminds me of my last job in Quebec city 25 years ago, where i was in charge of the "non commercial musical section" (!) in one Archambault record store, a specific record store chain in Quebec. Honesty forces me to add that still the Gibert cd section is shrinking fast these days, but yet the available space is then occupied by the great vinyl comeback!
45 years of prog listening and still movin'
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 04 2017 at 06:31
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Originally posted by siLLy puPPy siLLy puPPy wrote:

Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Only one Raspy left in SF, on Haight, the one off Union Square closed a couple years ago.   Never been to the L.A. Amoeba-- Haight St. is okay though the Prog/Psych section isn't quite what it used to be.   Great video section.
The Amoeba in SF has a good psych/prog section. I was just down in LA a month ago and went to the Amoeba for the first time. While much bigger, they didn't have a prog section at all :(  Everything was simply in with the general pop / rock section.

Yeah at least SF has a P/P section.   I've always wanted to see a prog/fusion b&m shop in the Bay... not a promising niche these days I suppose.


I think you are correct about that. Unless it involves a new useless APP then it probably won't last long (except yet another overpriced coffee shop LOL)  

Due to the market being so niche i think we just have to get used to these niche worlds existing online. I mean any prog album is only a click away (assuming it's available at all). Even Amoeba is only making it because they were wise enough to expand into the medical marijuana evaluation biz and the Berkeley one actually has a dispensary. So in effect if it weren't for the determination of the owners to keep a community music store operating, then i doubt they would last much longer either. It's a double edged sword. On one hand i will totally miss the physical hands on experience but on the other hand it's literally never been easier to find anything i can think of just on a few sites on the web.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2017 at 18:44
When they started shutting down.
Ditto bookstores.

Edited by Peter - December 11 2017 at 18:45
"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
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