Sunday, February 11, 2007

What Are The Odds?

Today, I discovered a new used music, video game and movie store in town. It’s in a new strip mall, next to the new Starbucks with the drive-thru! I’d seen the store front for awhile (“Vintage Stock”) but thought it was a vintage clothing store and ignored it. Today I saw the whole sign and pulled in to take a look, leaving my hot latte in the car thinking I’d just be a minute. By the time I came out, I was $125 poorer and sipping a cold $4.80 Venti Pumpkin Spiced Skinny Latte. And none of this would be the least bit noteworthy if not for what happened at checkout.

First, I have a question. Is it a pre-requisite for the job in a used music store that you be an emaciated teen who suffers from severe acne and excessive tattoos and piercings? Because there must have been 5 guys working in the place and they all looked exactly alike. And you would not think that I, a middle aged professionally dressed mother of two, would have anything in common with these young fellows. But that would be wrong.

I spent about an hour perusing the entire CD collection, starting at the letter “A” (and for the most part, all the genres were co-mingled…they did have a small section marked “Jazz” and another marked “Blues” and yet another marked “Christian,” but each of these was only about 50 CDs, with very little variety (for example, the Blues section was all Ray Charles and Stevie Ray Vaughn…and one Ella Fitzgerald CD, but not any more, because I bought that one). The Christian section was mostly Amy Grant and a few Wow Worship collections. Perusing the larger collection of mixed genre music was an entertaining walk back in time to my high school days (B-52’s, Three Dog Night, Paul Simon, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, etc.) and a clear reflection of the demographics of the community in which I live…clearly a lot of middle aged, middle class white folks without a very wide diversity of musical taste. But I picked up some old favorites (including all of the above) that I once had on vinyl.

None of the CDs were actually in their jewel cases, so when I got to the cash register, one of the guys (after ignoring me for several minutes because he was busy doing something on the computer…maybe playing a video game) shouted to one of the other guys that he had a stack of CDs to be pulled (presumably from a neatly alphabetized drawer of matching CDs…ahem…you would think). So off goes the other guy to collect my CDs when I hear a song overhead that I recognize…Hey Jude, by The Beatles (this was my very first 45 ever! It’s also one of the songs on one of the CDs I’m purchasing, a two volume Beatles collection). And I wait. And wait. This is a very time consuming process (others are now lining up and getting impatient) as he opens up drawers in no particular order and I hold back the urge to jump over the counter and alphabetize everything. Twenty minutes later, he’s finally down to the last jewel case and searching everywhere for the missing CD. Finally, he goes over to the store’s CD player and pulls my CD out of the player. The Hey Jude I was just listening to was mine! I know they weren’t playing the Beatles when I came into the store or even by the time I got to the “Bs.” What are the odds that, out of the thousands of CDs in the store, these young guys, who looked more like metal fans, would choose to play the same CD that I just picked up?! Weird. This just confirms that we're all more alike than we sometimes care to admit. ;-)

And I couldn’t resist sampling something by the Squirrel Nut Zippers. This campy take-off of 1920's jazz is actually quite good imho. As is the candy.

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9 Comments:

At 8:42 PM, February 11, 2007, Blogger Foo said...

I thought I knew the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but I don't. I was thinking of Cherry Poppin' Daddies, whose "Zoot Suite Riot" I used to perform to fair effect on karaoke nights.

I started to suggest that the reason all record shop employees are emaciated, pimply-faced geeks is that that all the normal-looking, socially-adjusted kids are too busy dating and going to extracurricular practices to really appreciate and learn about music. At least, that's how it always was at my favorite shops. But it sounds like yours were just rejects.

And maybe the bland selection of music you found isn't really a negative reflection on your community's demographics. It's a used record store. Those are the ones they didn't want any more. They had to make room for cooler stuff.

 
At 9:17 PM, February 11, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

I don't suppose you have any video tape of your Zoot Suit Riot performances? ;-)

And I think you're right about the music knowledge...these guys, though seemingly inept in the clerical department, were quite knowledgeable about music.

And even though this stuff probably does represent the rejects, I still think the suburban demographic it pulls from is very homogenous and bland. We have to go into The City for cultural diversity (and the better used music stores).

 
At 9:42 PM, February 11, 2007, Blogger Janie said...

They probably had the look of knowledgeable music store employees nationwide...I swear, they all look the same.

I feel out of place when I go in, but they do know their stuff!

 
At 7:17 AM, February 12, 2007, Blogger beth said...

I love the Squirrel Nut Zippers! Glad you got a taste. :) Cherry Poppin' Daddies are also cool, as are Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

And now I realize what's not on my iPod! (They're always in the CD player, so I never have time to rip them for my iPod...must do that tonight.)

I miss my used CD store - they had one in my college town that was simply awesome...esp. on a college student budget. They have nothing useful like that around here (or at least that I can find) and you'd think, given the largeness of this area, that they would.

 
At 7:22 AM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Mike said...

Sorry. No karaoke recordings. You'd think that more karaoke shows would offer the vic--er, performers recordings of their efforts (for a nominal fee, of course), but my understanding is that it's a copyright and licensing problem. A buddy of mine in Miami somehow comes up recordings of his karaoke performances from time to time, but I've never seen any of the operators in my area offer the option.

All of which is beside the point. I'd never inflict my caterwauling upon someone who's never shown me the smallest unkindness. (Except my wife, who is obliged by covenant to support me "for better or worse".)

 
At 10:21 AM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Beth, I found a great used music store in Philly when I was out there. Is that too far to drive? ;-) I never would have picked up the SNZ's if not for an earlier blog post on the candy and you mentioned the band by the same name, so I owe you a big thank you!
And now I'm going to have to hunt down some Cherry Poppin' Daddies and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy, I guess.

That copyright excuse is probably also a protection of the victims. The only time I've ever karaokeed (not an actual verb but it will have to suffice), it was by force and if anyone had taped it, I would have had to sue somebody. ;-) And are you sure you're name is not Foo? ;-)

 
At 5:15 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger LZ Blogger said...

My kids have taken over all my OLD vinyl albums. I think they are ALL NEW to them! They did give me back my Don Ho album though! ~ jb///

 
At 5:27 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

I'm thinking that's what was going on with the Beatles also...it's all NEW to them! ;-)

I really wish I hadn't "trashed" all my old vinyl about now. Not that I have any way to turn it, but I'm sure there was a collector's item or two in there...hmmm, Bread...um, more Bread...well, probably not exactly collector's items, but still... ;-)

 
At 5:31 PM, February 12, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Oh, yeah...Partidge Family, David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, and...did I mention Bread? ;-)

 

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