Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ode to Record Stores: Grooves

A horrible thought occurred to me on the train to San Francisco. What if there were no record stores? What if we could only buy records online? Instead of a store you could walk into and browse through dusty LPs in overstuffed bins, there would be inaccessible amazonian warehouses housing records that would be shipped to you by clicking your mouse while staring at a screen. Or worse, what if records disappeared completely.

This thought struck panic in my heart. I changed my plan to photograph in the Tenderloin and Civic Center. Instead I felt it was imperative to photograph record shops in the city. The first one I hit was Grooves on Market Street. It is everything a record store should be: idiosyncratic, full of character, and a delight for the eye, as well as for the ear. I wouldn't want to live in a world where internet commerce wipes out places like Grooves.

"In a flash of clarity, he decided that light and color and form are what keep humankind from existential despair and loneliness, and that he wanted to devote himself to capturing that insight in some visual way."  - Susan Orlean writing about the artist Brendan O'Connell
I'll be posting more photos of record shops in the future. The panic attack also got me to revive this blog.

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