Object: used records
Location: Rustic Music, 333 S. 13th St.
Background: The vinyl record, i.e. analog sound storage machine, is a remarkable feat of design and engineering that is the culmination of a century of inventions starting with the phonograph. This — and the topic of album cover design — is too expansive for this blog’s purposes so I will just say this: $2? What a bargain.
Context: Philadelphia’s retail eccentrics — the kinds of stores that don’t concern themselves with service design — give the city its piquant patina. Rustic Music (check out its homepage for a great little video about the shop’s history and owner) is right around the corner from Dirty Frank’s and the Last Drop coffee shop — it completes a genuine, if salty, trifecta. I’m all for slick newcomers, but let’s buy lots of $2 records so our dinosaurs don’t go extinct. Then what would we be — New York?
Also, who bought this REO Speedwagon album when it was new?
If there were a contest for best symbol for Philly’s place in music, this bin would be a contender. Consider that we just broke the record for longest soul train. One of our major museums is about to drop a blockbuster Bruce Springsteen exhibit. You can go to Broad Street and record a Motown tune at The Sound of Philadelphia‘s historic studio across from the Kimmel Center. We were, of course, home to American Bandstand.
Philly knows used, but it is also at the vanguard of new. Local music label Data Garden prints their downloads on plantable seed paper. Buy a song; start a garden = the end of leafing through bins of used vinyl.