Monday, 21 June 2010

Finding Championship Vinyl

As a young, 21st century man I find myself wandering round shops a lot (even when I have no money - in the past 10 months the only things I've actually bought for myself are a Pearl Jam CD and a Faith No More CD, and only because they were both under the two for £10 section and were both double disc sets, therefore obviously meaning a victory against HMV for me) and two types of store I can never resist walking in to and wandering around are small record shops and memorabilia shops. The reason this is notable is that I don't believe I have ever bought anything from either of these, and probably never will. This is especially true for the latter where I have spent countless hours staring at models of Star Wars characters or vintage mugs with the Sex Pistols on them, but never quite understood why I would want to spend so much money on them. T-shirts maybe, if they feature a band that is no longer around and I couldn't just pick up a T-shirt at one of their gigs, but there comes a point when you are just shelling out all your pennies for something rather pointless. And that's the point that, I'm happy to say, I decide I'd rather walk out of the shop empty handed and spend my pennies on overpriced coffee instead.

Then there are record shops. I will always go in to one, especially if it looks like the sort of place where you could find rare recordings of famous gigs. Unfortunately I have no idea what rare pieces I'm supposed to be looking for, so usually I'll just skim through the CDs rather randomly for a while. Then I'll look through all the old vinyl records, despite the fact that I don't own a vinyl player, before leaving the shop feeling superior because I am that guy who's supporting the small record stores and laughs at your corporate chains promoting the mainstream, commercial music. Except then I'll go and buy things at HMV anyway because it's cheaper and set out in an easy-to-find-what-you're-looking-for way. Plus I can get student discount there.

The point is that there is a certain feeling you get from just being in that kind of shop. In there I can pretend I am an over-intellectualised rock aficionado hipster who collects music that no-one else even knows about. In that tiny shop I am John Cusack's character from High Fidelity, even if I don't have a categorised record collection or if I haven't read 'Johnny Cash's autobiography "Cash" by Johnny Cash' or if I'm not friends with Jack Black. For a few minutes I am the sort of person who would do all those things, as well as arrange things autobiographically and make top five lists about girls who break my heart. And you might think it seems strange to want to be that person. That person sounds horrendous. But there's a reason that film made $47 million, and a reason people love John Cusack.

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