RECORD STORE TALES Mk II: Getting More Tale
#331: Where Do You Buy Your Music?
Where do you buy music? I put together an informal survey of where my music has come from over the last 12 months.
DISCOGS – What a great way to fill up on old 12” and 7” singles that I am missing. Not a great way to fill up on uber-rarities. For example, I cannot pay $63 for Tenacious D’s Jazz EP which has only one track. I cannot pay $58 for Iron Maiden’s “Virus” single on 12” vinyl which has two rare Soundhouse Tapes on the B-side.
AMAZON – The lion’s share of my music comes from here. Whether it be a new release or a reissue of something in a deluxe format, Amazon is my go-to store. The prices are fair and the shipping is free for all orders over $25, which is all my orders anyway. Also great for gift-giving when your family has created their own Amazon wishlists. And if you don’t want to buy new titles, Amazon has plenty of marketplace sellers who deal in affordable, good condition used CDs. You just have to check out their ratings, like you would on eBay.
ENCORE RECORDS – The newly relocated Mecca of music shopping in Kitchener. It was even better when Encore was located just around the corner from the great comic book store, Looking For Heroes. Then I could kill two birds with one stone (or as Ricky might say, get two birds stoned at once). Their selection of new and used is awesome. Any deluxe reissues that I don’t get from Amazon can easily be found there. T-shirts, oddball releases, singles…this is the place to go in the area. At least, this is where I go!
CD JAPAN – I’ve been buying on and off from CD Japan for over a decade, but only in the last year have I really gone hogwild. (Thanks, Mitch.) When I can find Japanese versions of albums with bonus tracks for only a little more than the domestic versions, I’m in. These guys have never let me down. I’ve bought about a dozen discs from them in the last 12 months, none of which I would have been able to buy affordably anywhere else that I shop. My biggest score ever was my recent Thin Lizzy At The BBC box set. CD Japan price, brand new? $140. Discogs price, for US issue? $322.
SUNRISE – Now closed at Fairview mall. Too bad. I used to buy a lot of stuff there. They had great sale items. I stocked up on Zappa reissues there for $9 each!
ITUNES – For exclusives only. I will never buy anything on iTunes that can be had physically. This year I purchased Mitch Lafon’s A World With Heroes EP on iTunes, and the odd bonus track here and there. That’s it. iTunes can fuck off otherwise.
TARANNA – Aaron and I do our annual Toronto trip and end up with many treasures every time! See our videos for more details. Also included here is the Toronto record show I attend each April.
And of course, sometimes you just have to buy music directly from the artist. Artists such as Lee Aaron and Helix have earned my dollars via their own websites this year.
Then, there are places I haven’t bought anything from this past year. Walmart, Best Buy…there’s no point, really. Others include:
EBAY – I have bought no music from eBay in over two years. When I’m looking for uber-rarities, this is a very expensive way to get them. A last resort only.
My old store – Although Aaron finds stuff he wants there all the time, I haven’t had any luck in the last 12 months. However that is simply because I have so many CDs. It’s not due to the quality of that store. They are excellent at selling good condition used items. I just haven’t found much this year. I’m sure I will again. I’m just very picky about which versions of items I want, and if I don’t find the exact version I just want to keep looking. I still recommend my old store to anyone looking for cheap, good quality used CDs.
Regardless of where I obtain my music, one thing is certain: The collection keeps growing, and growing, and growing. I am confident with 100% certainty that it will continue to grow, thanks to the fine vendors listed here!