Tuesday, June 27, 2006

STEVE ROCK: I'm not a DJ, but....

...I will be spinning tunes for happy hour at The Royale this Thursday, June 29. I'll be out in their fabulous drinking garden from 5:30pm to 9pm, playing all sorts of various suff.

Monday, June 26, 2006

MUSIC: Arif Mardin, RIP

Legendary record producer Arif Mardin has passed. We will not see his kind again...

MUSIC: Rodney On The Walk Of Fame

Congrats to the very deserving Rodney Bingenheimer, for getting his star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

This Is What I Do...

My friend and former co-worker Randy Roberts wrote a big cover story in this week’s Riverfront Times on the current state of independent record stores in St. Louis, which you can read here. The story centers mainly on the business descent of Vintage Vinyl versus Euclid Records' ascent. Needless to say, the piece is a multilayered emotional read for me. I left Vintage Vinyl a few months ago after ten years working there, and have returned to Euclid, where I’m working in their mail order division. (I previously worked at the old Euclid Records Central West End location from 1987 to 1996.)

It’s always weird to read something in print that you’re actually living, but I thought Randy presented a pretty fair and accurate picture of what technological progress is doing to the game I’ve made my living in for the past thirty years. When I sat Lew Prince and Tom Ray down to give them notice that I was going to leave Vintage Vinyl, I told them I simply didn’t know how to help their business anymore. The music buying public have spoken. Oh in theory they may still love the idea of record stores, but they no longer need record stores like everybody once did. And thanks to a myriad of reasons, some deftly touched upon in the article, there’s really not much that can be done to change the situation at this point. Heck, journalists were probably writing the same story about blacksmiths a hundred years ago.

So when I decided to leave Vintage I really had no idea what I was going to do when it came to employment. I figured my record store days were done. But thankfully, Joe Schwab made me an offer to come work for him again, and I couldn’t be any happier. I’m in a position that allows me to use my thirty years of old school record knowledge and apply it daily to the new school of selling records on the web. And to use an old school phrase, the gig’s a gas.

One thing that got kind of lost in the article’s description of Euclid’s web customers spending large amounts of money on rare records, is the passion coming from those doing the purchasing, as well as from we at Euclid, the seller. Sure, some of these folks have the financial luxury of not having to worry about price tags, but it still takes a certain defined degree of love and passion for the artifact in order to plunk down say $1500 on one jazz album or even $200 on an old rock 45. It’s that kind of love and passion for musical artifacts in general that got me into this line of work in the first place, and at this late stage of this nutty game I’m overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to reconnect back into it.