I Might Like You Better If We Bought Records Together
Record shopping is at once a communal and yet quite solitary experience. There's nothing more exciting than walking into your favorite record shop or local record show/flea market and finding your brethren record hunters on their own respective missions. Oh, it’s a warm and safe place full of like-minded and spirited pursuers. You wonder almost immediately though what they might be searching for, how much of a dent have they made to their “lists” and what their most sought after releases might be. This mixes with a little bit of fear; what if they should locate and add to their pile the one record you've been waiting to find, and simply can’t go on living without, before you can get your sweaty little palms on it? This is a risk we must face head-on because whoever finds it first gets to nestle it upon their shelf, but oh, it would look so good on yours! It’s a risk we take and an accepted part of the dance. If nothing else, it extends your journey a bit further up the road as, frankly, a good amount of the fun is in the chase anyway.
As enjoyable and welcoming as the communal component of record shopping is the true crate diggers descend into their own little individual worlds shortly after crossing the shop’s threshold. A group of shoppers (read: music snobs and obsessives) on similar yet divergent journeys. They’re best observed from the other side of reinforced glass or at least some sort of cage structure. Be sure not to reach your hand in or disrupt them in any way.
One person's holy grail might be another's bargain bin filler. That's what makes it all so exciting. The art of record shopping really is quite a paradox. It's a relaxing Zen-like exercise while, at the very same time, stress and anxiety inducing. You're excited to be elbow to elbow with your compatriots but ultimately you're there to fulfill your record-buying fantasies and list fulfillment (OK, a little pun intended). It's understood and accepted though and that's why we keep going back for more. So, get out there and support your local record store. In fact, go to more than one. It's guaranteed to be the most exciting, frustrating, liberating, wallet-crunching and exhilarating thing you'll do all day!