Jan 25 Reviews / Where do you buy music?

Usual batch of stuff this week, including Radicalfashion, which was recommended by a reader of this site about a month or so ago.

This has sort of been touched on in the past, but for a topic of discussion this week I thought I'd ask where people buy their music? Local stores? Online entities? Mailorder? iTunes? Do you even buy music anymore?

Commenting has been closed on this article.


Thee More Shallows have signed with Anticon and are releasing their new album in April. Which is immense news.

Have you heard the new Tobias Lilja album from n5md, Almostcool?. It's terrific

almostcool
I've heard a lot of the albums you're talking about below. I will take the politically neutral stance, however, and simply hold my comments until I post my reviews for each release. Yes, that's probably the easy way out, but we'll have plenty to discuss when I post my reviews... :)

I will say that 2007 is looking like it's going to shape up to be a really great year musically. I've heard some darn good stuff already and there's an absolute ton of stuff on the horizon that I'm excited about.

william
whenever i am in seattle i hit up easy street and sonic boom. here in vancouver i frequent zulu and scratch with occasional forays to scrape [for metal]
i seem to be ordering online alot from ear-rational,profound lore,god is myth,archive,ektro,end records and cmdistro. i also spend too much on ebay from various sellers.....
i do download a ton,but prefer to use it as a way of determining wheter or not to buy something. in actual fact i probably buy more since the internet and filesharing than i did before!

Michael
I have heard both the explosions in the sky and arcade fire albums and they both sound excellent.

The downside to hearing these albums much earlier is, people get a chance to form their opinions using inferior sound quality mp3's.

There seems to be an explosions in the sky backlash in various forums in frequent. Maybe they have become too popular for people to like now, i don't know. But most people have already dismissed the album before it has been released.

richie
i live in l.a. and go to amoeba pretty often. i order online occasionally if i can't find it there.

D
Hey Jon,
The record store in Lawrence, Kansas is called The Love Garden. Wonderful store full of wonderful people (and cats). I do most of my shopping/ordering there. That they cover as much ground as well as they do never ceases to amaze me. So many things I once had to order from Aquarius or FE, etc. are now a short walk from my door. One of the best record stores in all of the Midwest, and I do mean all - Chicago, Minneapolis, St. Louis, included.

marshall
I actually buy a lot from my local store. I live in athens ohio and there's a shop called Haffa's whose prices are very competitive. Sometimes I find things cheaper on amazon, and if I'm buying something from constellation or kranky, I like to order from them directly, but as much as I like getting things in the mail, there's something about going in Haffa's on a whim and buying something.

The bass player in my band has also given me full copies of do make say think, explosions in the sky, and the arcade fire album. I've listened to bits and pieces but am wary about listening to them repeatedly. any thoughts? maybe a good question for next week.

liza
I like to buy direct from the labels online. Otherwise it's online shops like www.aquariusrecords.org volcanictongue.com boomkat.com or forcedexposure.com
I subscribe to all of these mailing lists which are very informative esp aquarius where they have extensive sound clips. You can really get lost on their site...so generous of them to write such lengthy reviews and post long clips.

Jon
Indeed they did have cats running around! And every tab that broke up the band-names alphabetically was hand-drawn to whatever that particular acts' aesthetic was...very cool!

And musicstack is kind of a database that record stores post stuff onto. Usually I'll search for a rare record, like Yann Tiesen on vinyl, and see who has it, get their name off musicstack and then track down the record label's site.

colin
Basically I discover new music mostly on-line, but if possible try and buy it from a record store. Here in Holland, record stores with anything but mainstream, are disappearing fast, which is a shame, so I think it's best to buy from the few remaining stores to keep them going for a bit.

I hate itunes/ any of the other on-line stores. I want a physical purchase in my hands, which often gets dumped onto my Sony mp3 player, the best of both worlds.

almostcool
I've never heard of musicstack.com, but I'll check it out.

The record store in Lawrence that you're thinking of is Love Garden, and it is indeed very cool. They have loads of weird stuff and they have kitties that live there and roam the store. :)

Jon
Oh, and how does everyone feel about musicstack.com? I've never really bought through there, but sometimes I've been able to track things down through it...

Jon
Boomkat is great, and I was pretty happy with insound (shipping wise at least, being in the US) except I really do agree with a previous statement made about them; too much an extension of pitchfork sometimes...if not all the time.

Buying from labels is really probably the most preferable, always happy to hear from you and they usually have the best prices.

Locally Austin, TX isn't SO bad...but sometimes they just don't stay that updated. Particularly with vinyl...

By the way, is anyone here from Lawrence , KS? I saw Mt. Zion there this last August and got to go to this really really badass record store that was downtown; had to walk up a set of stairs to get there. If you're ever in that city try to find it (wish I had a name for it)!

J. Astra
I download a disgusting amount of music... but that doesn't mean that I won't buy it. Truth be told, I worked at a record store for 5 years and bought / got promos for about 400 CDs, but that store is no longer in business. Since I'm in Maine now and there's not a lot of interest in the arts up here, I don't really have a practical choice but to download. That said, I still buy - I order directly from the artist or from Bull Moose, although I like buying from the artist or his/her label directly.

Sam
I live in Tokyo and it's a great place for used vinyl and cd's. Just yesterday I picked up 'Autobahn' by Kraftwerk and 'Compact Snap!' by The Jam (both on cd) for the combined total of £7! They were both in mint condition and I'm pretty sure the Jam cd is a bit of a collectors item these days.

As far as new music goes I'll check it out via download and buy it if it's any good - either from one of the Disk Union stores in Tokyo or online from Boomkat.

David
Online. Apart from the rare deal that tempts me in Fopp. £5 for Richard D James Album! Usually it's amazon/play/cd-wow/boomkat.

Michael
I think I buy from a combination of all, although i seem to be leaning towards sites like boomkat (and artist websites) and even digital downloads these days.

Having said that, there is a wonderful store in Glasgow that sells 'classic' albums on cd for £5. So you can pick up a few albums, ones you may have downloaded or ones you have on vinyl, for very little cost

Ive also picked up a few bargains in 2nd hand stores too

almostcool
I actually have heard the Brother Kite album and it alternately jumps out at me and then drifts into the background. I'll give it another listen or two, though, and try to review it. There is some gazery goodness on it.

Matt
something off-topic: Have you listened to that new album by The Brother Kite (Waiting For the Time to be Right)? I can't find a review for it on this site, and it seems like something that might be up your alley. Shoegaze/dream pop stuff with sort of a Beach Boys influence. Pretty solid.

Neil
It's online with me, for a number of reasons:
1. chains/local shops want too much for their goods (not a new phenomenon);
2. my tastes are no longer catered for by the high street;
3. labels/bands offer far better value, and care more for their own product.

I'd love to buy from shops more often, but hell, why should I bother when there's a far bigger and better shop at my fingertips?

peter
I tend to buy almost exclusively on-line. Not that I am trying to send record stores to their death bed, but shops tend not to have everything that I want. I prefer ordering because I'm pretty much assured to be what I am after (even still, I tend to end up dropping something from my order because FE or amazon don't care one item).

If I lived right down the street from a great shop, I'd probably buy from the shop. Even still, when a clerk tells me that s/he can order what I'm looking for and they'd have it in two weeks, I end up just buying it on line. (seriously...2 weeks to custom order something I could find online and have in less than a week?)...

Bubbachups
Buying music is about 50/50 for me between internet and record shop. I'm lucky to have a very good record shop in town which carries all the hard-to-find and obscure stuff, both on cd and vinyl, so I can get a lot of great things from there. It's also by far most fun to buy music this way. The interaction with the record store people, exchanging tips and advice or just generally talking about music a bit. I like the atmosphere of a record shop.

On the internet I pretty much only buy from artists and labels directly. It's easier that way, often cheaper and of course more fun when you get stuff with it. Some specialized stores are very helpful too, like Mimaroglu Music Sales (which is run by Keith Fullerton Whitman).

Bubbachups
Just heard a track of the new Do Make Say Think album. Quite interesting with the Akron/Family backing vocals I must say. You have to kind of get rid of the usual post-rock prejudices before listening to this record to be able to appreciate it, but judging from this track (In Mind) I really like it. Looking forward to hear your thoughts on it Aaron.

Alex
I still buy a lot of records, about 90% LPs, 10% CDs. Probably buy more than I ever have, despite the digital revolution. I don't tend to "steal" music from Slsk, etc. I do download music to back up my LPs, and also to try stuff out. Grizzly Bear, for example. Hated it the first few listens, now I'm hooked, so I'll be buying it for sure.

Brick and Mortar: Park Ave CDs in Orlando, but rarely, since I live about 150 miles away. Great vinyl selection, even a used LP section, and they vacuum wash every one of them.

Online: Forced Exposure is one of my favorites, esp because of their selection and flat-rate shipping. Insound has been good, but they have more or less become an extension of Pitchfork's indie pretentiosness. Tonevendor is another great online place. Decent selection, good prices, but they charge quite a bit for shipping. I am always surfing ebay for older out-of-print stuff too.

Direct: I buy a lot of LPs direct from the label, especially Anticon and Robotic Empire.

I've never bought an online album (mp3, etc) and most likely never will.

almostcool
In large part, I feel like my collection is somewhat solidified, so I don't buy a lot of things locally anymore because the selection isn't that great. Once in awhile I pick up random used things that I'm curious about but wouldn't buy new. That's about the extent, though.

In large part, I buy most of my music online these days. I have to admit buying about 25% of my music from Amazon and about 35% or so from Ebay (both used and new things to fill in my collection).

The other 45% gets split in various ways between a ton of online places, including direct ordering from labels that I like, as well as companies like Forced Exposure (who have just about everything crazy under the sun) and occasionally Aquarius.