August 27th, 2012
When You Can, You Should Still Try To Buy Discs And Vinyl At Your Local Record Store: SOMETIMES YOU GET FREE TICKETS
Sometimes, good things happen at the strangest moments. In this state of technological affairs, CDs and records (and the purchase thereof) are becoming scarce and few and far between. There’s so much downloading and streaming (for free), and then there’s iTunes. Strolling through Urban Outfitters on Walnut Street today, you’ll find vinyl at the front of the store. They’ve got: some older new stuff, like Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, brand new LPs from Yeasayer, Twin Shadow and Jack White, and some random ones like a Credence Clearwater Revival Greatest Hits. But, uhh, they’re all pretty much $20-$30. Sure, they’re huge (compared to CDs and an untouchable download) and nicely shrink-wrapped. Oh, and you get a digital download code almost always. But you can buy the same thing at AKA and Repo for maybe half the price.
With Spotify and streaming sites like NPR and Stereogum, even to write On The Record, I rarely ever actually need discs. But before Spotify times, I used to go buy CDs at AKA, a couple every other week, to support them and the artists that I was curious about/love. Today, a miracle happened at AKA when I bought Bloc Party’s newest, Four (along with hard copies of channel ORANGE and Express Yourself – I still like to listen to stuff on a boombox), the guy at the counter asked “Are you interested in seeing Bloc Party for free?”
“Why yes. Yes I am,” I responded. And he slid two orchestra tickets to their September 15th Tower Theater date across the counter. I thought I was going to enter into some kind of raffle or buy a $1 giveaway ticket. Nope. Just had em’ there on top of the register, ready to give out to some lucky soul. “Take a friend,” he said. And I will do just that, kind sir. And thank you very much. I nervously uttered a few more “This is great!”s and “I’m pumped, man!”s. And I am. This band used to mean a lot to me. Silent Alarm was THE JAM. The records that came after just weren’t the same. And this record is a return-to-form.
In this coming week’s On The Record, you’ll hear an impassioned plea to ignore the unkind words and ink that have been spilled regarding Four. It’s a great record and if they played only songs from Four and Silent Alarm, I wouldn’t be mad. But if you hurry over to AKA Records on 2nd Street in Old City, there might still be a couple tickets sitting on top of the register, waiting for you to be the next lucky fan after you buy the new one. Otherwise, just go’ head and buy a ticket. And listen to “Banquet”: