Sound it Out!

Thinking about films featuring record shops…

“Hairspray” (the original John Waters, of course)

“Taxi Driver” – where Travis buys the Kris Kristofferson LP to give to Betsy on their ill-fated date.

“Clockwork Orange” – the scene where Alex chats up two lolly-sucking girls to the tune of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” (and where Heaven 17 got their name)

“L’Atalante” – the runaway bride is finally discovered listening to recordings of sea shanties

“Fast Times at Ridgemount High” with the cardboard cut-out of Debbie Harry

“Hannah and her Sisters” – Woody Allen and Diane Wiest bump into each other and find themselves falling for each other

“Velvet Goldmine” where the Christian Bale character buys the new record he’s been desperate to hear, takes it home and just lies on the floor listening to it.

High Fidelity – well, naturally. Though some of us still wish it had not been Americanised…

Pretty in Pink.

500 Days of Summer.

And probably many, many more (not forgetting the “Wrecka Stow” scene in “Under the Cherry Moon” where Prince and his acolyte split their sides laughing at posh white girl Kristin Scott Thomas as she tries to decipher the words. “So when you want to buy a Sam Cooke album, where do you go?”)

Why are we thinking about record shops? Because April 21st is Record Store Day and we are celebrating the wonderful world of the independent record shop – a place for inspiration, dreams and fateful meetings, not unlike the cinema in fact. And the record album is a bit like film in that it’s been superseded by new media and yet is still going strong. The traditional album cover with its artwork and sleeve-notes is like a little piece of cinema in itself, it can take you on a journey of mystery and imagination before you even listen to the music. A Cd sleeve on the other hand is an annoying bit of paper that never fits back properly into the plastic case. And for all the joys of online shopping, it’s a solitary business; it’s not like the sense of discovery and shared passion you get in a good record shop run by people who love music.

So long live the LP, the 45, the 12inch single and the independent record store. And to show our love we’ll be showing the fantastic documentary “Sound it Out” in July as part of the Tramlines festival. We’re screening it in an empty shop space as a reminder to support your local record shops – don’t let them disappear!

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