Chunklet to Go Go - Cracking the Record Store Write Up
Insider tip: record stores actively tempt you to buy as much shit as you possibly can, and they don’t particularly care how much you like it. Don’t get us wrong, record stores are not scam artists. They would all prefer that you like everything you buy from them, but taste is a tricky thing, nobody’s perfect, and they are a business not a friendness.
The good news for them is if you don’t like something, hey, caveat emptor, and also they can make a much bigger profit margin on used records than they can on the new stuff they sell, so it’s a nice double dip if they can sell something twice. Not that your average friendly neighborhood clerks are conscious of that, or anything else for that matter. Their drug-addled brains are usually too busy giving what’s left of their full concentration to things like, “Ok, gotta check in the Matador order, then clean the bathroom, then write three bullshit sentences about why anybody on earth should buy the new Xiu Xiu album, then eat lunch…”
Record store clerks A) are generally more subtle than regular pushy expensive jeans store retail sales people because they actually like their shitty low-paying job enough to want the business to succeed, so while they don’t want to steer you wrong, they’re also probably going to stop short of telling you “don’t buy that, it sucks,” and B) are bombarded by every single record ever, all the fucking time, like 40 hours a week, which is enough to make anybody kind of dislike what most of us refer to as “music,” so for them to perk up and notice anything means that it’s probably going to be some kind of confrontational anti-music scree with arrhythmic non-English screaming and moaning and third-grade quality guitar playing. Relying on these people for help can be hairy territory. They don’t anti-recommend anything, and the stuff they’re actually psyched about can turn your living room into Bad Vibes Town, USA.
And that’s just if you talk to them. The shit they write down on those little “why you should buy this” abstracts you find attached to the actual records is even more devious, because they had some time to think about it. The good news is, there’s a code to those, and we can break it for you.
Actual definition: Either the person who put this out really likes the way this record sounds or they are trying to trick you into paying too much money for a reissue of something you can get for $5 used, and the only way to know the difference is if it says “Billy Joel” somewhere on it.
Actual definition: RUN AWAY.
Actual definition: This record costs $3.99 and it will make you chuckle one time.
“[band’s name] is back!”
Actual definition: This record does not need to exist.
Actual definition: Brutal.
“…composition…” or “…song structure…”
Actual definition: You should buy this if you are pretentious, and then you can talk about its “composition” and “song structure” to your other pretentious friends.
Actual definition: If you don’t like the image you’re looking at enough to pay $12 to own it, don’t buy this.
Actual definition: It’s like music but for people who hate music.
Actual definition: We already own this, and we want to feel good about ourselves for spending our entire lives buying everything vinyl that’s been smushed between two plates instead of doing something else with our time, like, you know, helping people or something.
Actual definition: Same price as any of these other records, but for less music.