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From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
> Maybe it's an age thing, but I can't see any reason for physical stores 
> for music since Amazon took off. I haven't bought a book or CD from a 
> physical store in probably a decade now. 

To a certain extent that is similar to me, especially when I am home in
Kentucky, far, far away from any record stores with just a small
non-discount bookstore in town.  Constantly when something is discussed
in these forums or I otherwise hear about something available, I check
on Amazon and a couple of other places and ZIP, I click and buy.  The
problem is not being able to combine shipping in the marketplace area,
which raises the price considerably when buying several things that the
same vendor offers.  

But that being said, when visiting Leah in NYC we always try to drop
into Acadamy Records, Book-Off, Strand Books, and a neat remainder book
place we found in the Village, and we usually leave these places with
too many things to carry, so I usually drive there.  Then there are the
special events like the semi- and annual sales at places like the
ARChive of Contemporary Music that Leah and I hit this afternoon.  We
crawled out with almost 100 one dollar LPs, almost 50 two dollar
LaserDiscs, and some 50 cent 78s including two Chaillapin Opera Discs,
Jazz at the Philharmonic Vol 4 on Disc album 504, Artie Shaw plays Cole
Porter on Musicraft album S2, King Cole Trio Capitol album B8 with an
extra disc, and Tetrazzini on the vinyl Heritage Series 15-0001, and
some other stuff including two Hoffnung books.  (The sale continues thru
Sunday, so if you're in the NYC area you might want to check it out    
http://www.arcmusic.org  )  And then there's the Jazz Record Bash on Fri
and Sat, and everybody will be there.  And then there's the Antique
Phonograph and Record shop in South Jersey we went to last Saturday
while in the Phila area and got a couple dozen 78s there.  

There is nothing like being able to handle and inspect the records,
including the ones you don't buy, which can't be done on the internet
nor in mail auctions.  While 78 collectors have been using mail auctions
since the 1930s, most of these collectors have also gone thru tens of
thousands of records in stores, so they get to know what the details are
in the actual records.  I know I have looked at more than a million
records over the years. This is an important learning experience for
collectors.  When the rock collectors started having access to mail
auctions in the late 70s in Goldmine and other magazines like it, I
noticed that the majority of rock collectors had never really gone thru
piles of thousands of records, and usually knew nothing about the
records themselves.  Reading the articles in these rock collector
magazines, looking at what they mistakenly called "discographies", and
the auction lists themselves, showed how ignorant these rock collectors
were, even the "experts".  All too often they had never looked at any
records that were not already in their collection.  They didn't know
labels, pressing plant styles, matrix numbers, etc.  Obvious conterfeits
were snapped up like the real things by them if they ventured out to a
record show.   


> And downloads trump even that because not only are they convenient,
> they are near-instant gratification.  Now if only full 44.1/16-bit
> downloads would go down to 99 cents or less per song and be
> commonplace, we'd finally be at a reasonable "new paradigm."

So if these "collectors" now stick to just downloading things, that
might leave the real artifacts for us real collectors. I'm not
interested in paying for vapor, which is all a download is.  We did use
some free streams as source for some of the music in Leah's documentary
because most of the music was added while I was in New York and my
records were in Kentucky.  I do buy plenty of CD reissues of 78s, so I
am not a purist who insists on having the 78 even if it is impossibly
rare.  But if the reissue is on a CD or a download, I will go for the
CD.  You are not a record collector if you go for the download.  (In
Leah's documentary, Kurt Nauck discusses the difference between music
lovers who just want to listen to the music, and record collectors who
want the record and also might listen to the record.)

Mike Biel   [log in to unmask]