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Another record store gone March 14, 2010

Posted by sjroby in Life in general, Music.
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Various artists: Skull Disco Soundboy Punishments, purchased at Sounds Unlikely in June, 2007

I don’t know how long ago it happened, but Sounds Unlikely, an Ottawa record/CD store that opened in 2007 following the closing of the somewhat similarly oriented and much missed Organised Sound, went out of business.

I went there fairly often for a while, not least because they were the only store I knew of where I might reasonably expect to find some dubstep albums. I figured I’d be spending a lot of time and money there.

And then I lost my job.

In the seven or eight months between my first visit to Sounds Unlikely and my last day at Telesat, I bought 14 albums there. In the two years since losing my job, only 10 albums. And I was surprised to see that the last thing I bought there, I got last July, because I know I’ve been there a few times since then — but I also know that I went a few times eager to buy something and found precious little that was new in the store. There were staff changes, and less of the kind of stuff I was interested in was showing up — the last dubstep CDs I bought there, I bought in August of 2008 — but there didn’t seem to be much else that was new. And I rarely saw other customers or the friendly, chatty staff who used to be there, and the myspace updates about new stock and in-store events stopped coming a long time ago, too.

I sometimes blame myself for buying mp3s from eMusic and CDs from online retailers, because we still need record stores for finding the things we didn’t know we needed. A record store’s sound system may introduce you to some of your favourite albums; a knowledgeable employee may let you know that if you like this, you should try that. Plus, hell, it’s good to get out of the house sometimes. But I can only do so much.

(Laura said you only bought two dozen CDs there in just over two years? In addition to all the other CDs you got everywhere else? Most people don’t buy that many CDs, period. And didn’t even when people did buy CDs.)

So, farewell to Sounds Unlikely, and thanks for letting me buy CDs by Cyrus (Random Trio), Ulrich Schnauss, Githead, Burial, Boxcutter, Pinch, Disrupt, These New Puritans, Grievous Angel, Wire, Dusk and Blackdown, and Cadence Weapon, and a lot of compilations, my final purchase being the Soul Jazz Records double CD Dancehall: The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture.

In memory of Sounds Unlikely, End Hits, Organised Sound, Record Runner,  Spinables, Records on Wheels, Shake Records, and all the other places we’ve lost over the years. And good luck to Compact Music, Birdman Sound, CD Warehouse, and the rest that are still going. If I can get more financially secure, I’ll do my bit to make sure you are…

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