so i went into rough trade a couple of weeks ago, specifically to buy chris tt's new album 'love is not rescue'. i thought this was a reasonable goal, since chris is so very rough trade in his style. after wandering about a bit, i thought it was wierd that i couldn't find it on display or in the racks. i asked the staff about it and they said... even they'd had it in and they hadn't reordered it, or they'd never thought to get it in. they took my number and said they'd call when it arrived. they never did.
this kind of service is what's wrong with record shops. rough trade can't afford to treat people like that, or leave their target market unsatisfied in this day and age. i was also schocked that they'd gone even more off the wall and replaced the sandwich fridge with a bike rack. come for the records, stay for the coffee and wifi, stay a bit lock for the bike storage... is their rent really so low they can afford to do that? or is this a worrying sign?
that same day, having been wandering around the shop for a bit, i ended up buying three albums - a present and two scott hull records that i wasn't previously aware of the existence of. now, i have a rule - you buy it where you saw it. i wouldn't have known scott hull - of agoraphobic nosebleed and pig destroyer - had a solo career if it hadn't have been for walking round that record shop, so it's only fair to buy it from them. and i wouldn't have known that his solo output is so wonderful (see mixtapes 1 and 2 for some of his tracks). so i'm really, really grateful that i can just wander through the 'outrock' section of my local record shop, find something i wasn't aware of, and love it so much.
this kind of service is what's right with record shops. i can go in wanting one thing, miss out on it, and find something else brilliant. but that doesn't mean i can be treated rubbish.
so i do a lot of online shopping too, because lots of things only seem to exist online, and like i said, if i find it there, i'll buy it there. i recently went mad and bought 3 records and a t-shirt because of various connections to ephel duath's davide tiso.
i got somma's '23 wheels of dharma', because of eraldo bernocchi, who remixed the entire 'pain necessary to know' record and collaborated with tiso on 'parched'. it seems to be an album of largely improvised hebrew-tibetan jazz-dub. this comes on rare noise records, berlocchi's label, and features bill laswell on bass, like, oh i don't know, every other random purchase. it's... a bit hippy-dippy, and backgroundy. the best tracks are probably the ones they put up online. 5/10.
i got the soundbyte's 'rivers of broken glass', from 2005, because it was the only album to come out on tiso's short-lived vanity label amaranth records. it's great - never bursting into heaviness but very atmospheric, post-metal like the way doves are almost post-rock. 8/10.
and i got the code666 compilation 'better undead than alive 2', which is fantastic. tiso provides interludes between songs, linking the album into something like a conceptual piece by various artists. it's extreme metal, but it feels so fresh and wierd and interesting, perhaps along similar lines to the crucial blast anniversary compilation, but much more structured. i'm really, really very happy with these two records. 10/10.
so aural music, the label in charge of code 666 and amaranth, also stuck another cd in the package for me as a bonus - by a band called carinou. this is one of the worst albums i have ever heard, incredibly weak cyber-rock. lyrically unpleasant, feebly concieved and produced, it's just ugh. obviously they've got a few copies of it lying around, and i'm greatful for the gift, but it's hardly a good advert for their roster. 1/10 (because it was free).
you know what's strange? in all this mixtape-age, i can't find one track off the new dillinger escape plan album i that i want to disseminate. hmm.
oh, and: Scott Hull: Requiem: fantastic. i've listened to this so much since i got it, i never knew i'd love ambient music so much. well it's soundtracky i suppose, but gotterdammerung, it's bloody marvellous. i might put it on for the kids tomorrow.